In his inauguration address on January 20, 1960, American President John F. Kennedy uttered these timeless words: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
Unfortunately for The Bahamas, many Bahamians have developed a completely antithetical mindset, having imbibed a culture of political nepotism and political cronyism, believing that the state owes them something.
Since the United Bahamian Party era, Bahamians have come to view the central government as their daddy, which is responsible for their maintenance from the cradle to the grave and from the womb to the tomb. Back then, Bay Street politicians allegedly bartered British pounds, shillings and bales of rice, grits, sugar and flour to Out Islanders for votes.
Politicians today, seeking votes in the tradition of the Bay Street oligarchs, have facilitated this primal urge in Bahamians, who are nothing more than socialists that expect the state to provide them with jobs, free healthcare, free education, free housing and financial aid — all paid for by other taxpayers.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, so the government has to get the funds to finance this socialist scheme from somewhere.
In his Christianity and Capitalism booklet, the late Calvinist philosopher Rousas John Rushdoony defined socialism as organized larceny, that takes from the haves to give to the have-nots.
Karl Marx railed at the free market enterprise in “The Communist Manifesto” by stating that “it has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless and indefeasible chartered freedom, has set up a single, unconscionable freedom — free trade.”
In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
Notwithstanding the Marxist caricaturization of capitalism, The Bahamas owes its economic standing as the third wealthiest country in the Americas to the free market system.
Socialism not only encourages larceny, but also class warfare, fueled by envy in proletarians over the success of the bourgeois.
I have seen unsuccessful Bahamians, who have squandered their money, rail at successful Bahamians, who have managed and invested their resources responsibly.
Any attempts by the state to close the gap between the haves and have-nots will end up being another financial disaster.
Venezuela, Cuba, the former USSR and North Korea are prime examples of the bankruptcy of Marxism. Another example is Jamaica under Michael Manley during the 1970s.
I have listened and read several interviews by Our News and The Tribune in which voters (the overwhelming majority) stated that they will be voting for whichever party or candidate will look out for their personal interests.
One male voter from a Family Island stated to The Tribune that he will not be voting for the Free National Movement because his roof has yet to be repaired over 12 months since Hurricane Dorian.
In this case, this gentleman sincerely believes that Bahamian taxpayers are responsible for repairing his house, not him or his close relatives.
Several Nassau voters told Our News that they will vote for whomever helps them and their family members. In all each of the interviews, nothing was said about national security, education, healthcare, the national economy, crime, infrastructure in the Family Islands, etc.
It was all about them and their personal interests. It is this myopic view of politics and a sense of entitlement which have fostered a culture of political corruption, impeding progress for the national good.
As we approach another general election, Bahamians must rise above the politics of self interest by adhering to JFK’s patriotic plea to the American people 61 years ago: “Ask not what The Bahamas can do for you; ask what you can do for The Bahamas.”
— Kevin Evans