What Went Wrong? ‘7 to 1’ – Quantifying Caribbean ‘Less Than’

Go Lean Commentary

When building a house, one starts with the foundation. It is important to have a good solid foundation.

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” – The Bible – Matthew 7:24-27 – New Living Translation

Don’t get it twisted! Caribbean society did not have a good solid foundation at the start; it was built on the premise of Slavery! That’s a flawed moral foundation. That was then … as the years, decades and centuries past, the societal defects only exacerbated. See this quotation:

One by one, at least six European powers [(British, Danish, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spanish)] entered the fray and wrestled with each over the riches to be obtained from the region under colonization. Caribbean islands were exchanged as part of peace negotiations after European wars, and sometimes captured outright by those countries that could muster the naval power so far from their shores. The source of this wealth was the fruits of the labor of enslaved Africans. Commercial and military intervention on the African coast ensured a supply of captive laborers for the plantations. The slave trade represented the largest capital investment in the world, meaning that the slaves themselves were valuable commodities, and was promoted and patronized by the royal families and leading merchants and politicians of Europe.

Africans were enslaved and taken to the Americas, agricultural commodities were transported, often in the same slaving vessels, from the Americas to Europe, and trade goods were shipped from Europe to Africa for more slaves—the so-called “Triangular Trade.” More than nine million enslaved Africans reached the New World, … about 40 percent going to the Caribbean. Jamaica received nearly twice as many slaves as were imported into the United States; Barbados and Martinique, tiny islands where plantation slavery was established very early, each received roughly the amount received by the whole United States. While these figures cannot take into account the many millions who died en route, they do provide an idea of the intensity of Caribbean slavery. Caribbean slaves were notoriously malnourished, overworked, and susceptible to disease. They died in droves. It was cheaper for planters to simply import new slaves than to maintain their existing labor forces, and women were not encouraged to bear children until it appeared the slave trade would end. …
Source: Yelvington, Kevin A. (2000). ” Caribbean Crucible: History, Culture, and Globalization”. Retrieved July 22, 2019 from: http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/6402/640201.html

The islands and coastal lands that constitute today’s Caribbean were not intended to be paradisiacal destinations for Black-and-Brown people. No, in the original intent, these people had only one purpose: provide [cheap] labor … and that’s it.

So ‘What Went Wrong‘ in the historic development of the Caribbean? Answer: There is a lot of “red on our ledger”.

It was generally accepted that the ratio of African slaves to Europeans were ‘7-to-1’. That was the balance in Caribbean society. All those 7 Africans – freed men and slaves – were balanced or counter-weighed with 1 European. See these historic details:

During the 17th and 18th centuries, European colonialism in the Caribbean became increasingly reliant on plantation slavery, so that, by the end of the 18th century, on many islands, enslaved (and free) Afro-Caribbeans far outnumbered their European rulers.[3] – Source: Wikipedia
Saint Domingue (Haiti’s/Dominican Republic) example – In 1789, the population was composed as follows:[14][15][16]

·   40,000 Grand-blancs (literally “Great whites” in French) and Petit-blancs (“Little whites”)

·   28,000 Sang-melés (French for: “Mixed blood”) or free people of color.

·   452,000 slaves

Jamaica‘s example – In 1787, there were only 12,737 whites out of a total population of 209,617.[6]
Suriname – Long inhabited by various indigenous people before being invaded and contested by European powers from the 16th century, eventually coming under Dutch rule in the late 17th century. As the chief sugar colony during the Dutch colonial period, it was primarily a plantation economy dependent on African slaves and, following the abolition of slavery in 1863, indentured servants from Asia. Suriname was ruled by the Dutch-chartered company Society of Suriname between 1683 and 1795. … As a legacy of colonization, the people of Suriname are among the most diverse in the world, spanning a multitude of ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups, [with only 1% featuring an European heritage]. – Source: Wikipedia

(In addition, see the Appendix VIDEO depicting “how the Caribbean became the most Racially Diverse Region in the World”).

Another way of looking at the ‘7-to-1’ ratio is with this narrative from an European perspective: “it takes 7 of you people to equal to one of us”. While this was never the official codification in any Caribbean country, this was the anecdotal experience. (‘Less Than‘ was the official codification in the US for the African population: Three-Fifths –  slaves would be counted when determining a state’s total population for legislative representation and taxing purposes). This was especially evident after abolition & emancipation of slavery, when the journey began: the slow march toward de-colonization, majority rule and independence.

This is What Went Wrong with Caribbean society; the people that would form the vast majority of the population – the former slaves and indentured-servants – was considered ‘Less Than‘, yet suddenly thrust into national leadership.

This commentary, 3-of-6 in the July series from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean continues the theme “What Went Wrong?” in the history of nation-building for Caribbean society. Like other New World territories, every Caribbean member-state was structured for plantation economies. That means the ethos of Caribbean communities was embedded with a lot of societal defects – Crony-capitalism, White supremacy, propensity for flight (slaves and masters). In fact, in all Caribbean communities, the European population declined after emancipation, and even more left when the Caribbean states obtained independence from their colonial status to European empires. The “writing was on the wall”.  The full catalog of all the entries in this blog-series is listed as follows:

  1. What Went Wrong? Asking ‘Why’ is Important
  2. What Went Wrong? ‘We’ never had our war!
  3. What Went Wrong? ‘7 to 1’ – Caribbean ‘Less Than’
  4. What Went Wrong? ‘Be our Guest’ – The Rules of Hospitality
  5. What Went Wrong? Failing the Lessons from Infrastructure 101
  6. What Went Wrong? Losing the Best; Nation-building with the Rest

The proliferation of bad community ethos in Caribbean member-states have been detailed in many previous Go Lean blog-commentaries. See a sample list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=17464 Bad Ethos Retarding ‘New Commerce’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16645 Bad Partners – Cruise Lines Interactions
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16534 European Reckoning – Christianity’s Indictment and Bad Ethos
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=16408 Bad Ethos on Home Violence
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10532 The Propensity of Bad Stereotypes
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5542 Economic Principle: Bad Ethos of Rent-Seeking
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3582 For Canadian Banks: Caribbean is a ‘Bad Bet’

Caribbean ‘Less Than‘ is an important consideration for the Go Lean movement. This is why it is important to examine the full length-and-breath of the societal defects in our communities.

All Caribbean people are created equal … despite the flawed moral foundation of our history!

We are not ‘Less Than‘; yet when our people leave, abandon their homeland, they are treated ‘Less Than in the foreign abodes – noticeably true in the US and Canada – they re-settle as their new homes. What’s more, for the English-speaking Caribbean citizens that emigrated to the United Kingdom, their experiences have also been documented as Less Than in that country. Lastly, similar anecdotes have emerged from France (Paris) and the Netherlands.

Now that we know “What Went Wrong“, we can now remediate and mitigate the shortcomings. Yes, we can! This is not easy – heavy-lifting actually – but it is conceivable, believable and achievable to reform and transform our societies.

The movement behind the Go Lean…Caribbean book, hereby urges all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap. Embedded here-in are the strategies, tactics and implementations to make the homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – Here’s how the Caribbean became the most Racially Diverse Region in the Worldhttps://youtu.be/fAZBLzWCUbU


Published on May 1, 2017
– This is how the Caribbean became the most racially diverse region on the planet, after having it’s ancestry and genetics permanently altered through European colonialism and migration.

In this video, I’m going to give the rundown for several Caribbean countries such as Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, along with many others. We will look at the demographic history, and just what spawned the drastic fluctuations in the racial makeup of the region.

We’re also going to touch on many of the surrounding areas such as Central America, the Gullah coast, as well as the Guianas of South America.

Please let me know your thoughts on my analysis, especially if you live in, or have ancestry from the region. Videos over the latter regions will be released soon. Thanks for watching!

Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *