THE EDITOR: I consider myself a senior responsible citizen of TT. Further, because I have seen the spread of social decay of this society from the 1970s, I can cry more easily for my country today. Yes! As I cry I remember the steelband clashes and cutlass attacks of the 1950s and 1960s, and the ever present bobol and its pre-party-politics origin.
Against the background of the above, I now declare that the number one problem in TT is not a stand-alone problem like crime, employment, or a lack of discipline. I see it as a hybrid problem reinforced by the insubstantial ideology, integrity, and courage which characterise our society.
Since 1970, I have been seriously researching the unfolding of our society in the context of the development of history over the ages. Three factors have constantly presented themselves for my attention. Ideology, integrity, and courage.
Ideology gives people pride and loyalty to their country. This is why over the years young men defied their parents and marched away to war. This is why communism and capitalism gave us the cold war. Of course, this is why today we have so many different political ideologies as a result of the non-alignment movement which started in 1961. Now the world seems to be in a tailspin with every nation and individual taking a pragmatic route. Yes! Once it feels good, do it whether you are a Joe Public or a Donald Trump.
Because of space, let me be blunt with my appeal. Unless we in TT embrace promoting a better and more cohesive nation in the context of a positive ideology, our problems — social, political, or economic — will escalate.
Once our leaders and people fail to demonstrate integrity, understanding of the dynamics of national development, and the courage to object to evil, immoral, unlawful, and illegal activity, we eventually will self-destruct.
Yes, we are witnessing the unfolding of an individualistic, intellectually barren, material, and sensual world with no ideological guidelines, integrity, and courage to help ourselves. Getting back on track, therefore, should now be our mission.
RAYMOND HACKETT via e-mail