Miami, Florida USA – This blog/commentary is an ENCORE of the original blog from January 15, 2015. This is being re-distributed on this Memorial Day 2016, a US holiday set aside to remember the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country, the United States of America. The memory of these ones is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.
Fight or Flight – The original commentary below was not a glorification of war, but rather an acknowledgement of the National Sacrifice necessary to forge change in a society. Our Caribbean needs more of a National Sacrifice ethos, rather that the propensity to flee – the current attitude – at the earliest signs of distress. We must rather, fight for change!
Go Lean Commentary
The term National Sacrifice is defined here as the willingness to die for a greater cause; think “King/Queen and Country”. This spirit is currently missing in the recipe for “community” in the Caribbean homeland.
To be willing to die for a cause means that one is willing to live for the cause. Admittedly, “dying” is a bit extreme. The concept of “sacrifice” in general is the focus of this commentary.
The publishers of the book Go Lean…Caribbean wants to forge change in the Caribbean, we want to change the attitudes for an entire community, country and region. We have the track record of this type of commitment being exemplified in other communities. (Think: The US during WW II). Now we want to bring a National Sacrifice attitude to the Caribbean, as it is undoubtedly missing. This is evidenced by the fact the every Caribbean member-state suffers from alarming rates of societal abandonment: 70% of college educated population in the English states have left in a brain drain, while the US territories have lost more than 50% of their populations).
The book Go Lean…Caribbean opens with the acknowledgement that despite having the “greatest address in the world… the people of the Caribbean have beat down their doors to get out”, (Page 5).
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); a confederation to bring change, empowerment, to the Caribbean region; to make the region a better place to live, work and play for all stakeholders (residents, visitors, businesses, organizations – NGO’s and governments). This Go Lean roadmap also has initiatives to foster solutions for the Caribbean youth. The Go Lean book posits that permanent change for Caribbean society will only take root as a result of adjustments to the community attitudes, the national spirit that drives the character and identity of its people. This is identified in the book as “community ethos”; and that one such character, National Sacrifice is sorely missing in this region.
Any attempts to change Caribbean society’s community ethos must start with the youth.
At no point should it be construed that this commentary is advocating sacrificing young men (and women) on the altar of the God of War. But rather, this commentary laments the missing ingredients of wholesale commitment to any national cause. Thusly, the recommendation is for conscription/draft (Appendix B) into a National Youth Service (NYS) program for the Caribbean. Take it one step further and make the Youth Service program regional in its scope rather than “national”; with applicable exemptions for:
- military/police enrollments
- student/research deferments (at regional institutions)
- religious/missionary assignments
- medical/disability exceptions
This quest relates a commitment so vital to a community that everyone should be willing to sacrifice and lean-in for the desired outcome. This Caribbean effort is not new to the world; it is currently being championed by a Washington-DC-based global Non-Government Organization (NGO) branded the Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP). Much can be learned from analyzing their successes … and failures. See details here:
Innovations in Civic Participation – NGO – Leaders for Youth Civic Engagement (Retrieved 01/15/2015):
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP) is a global leader in the field of Youth Civic Engagement. ICP envisions a world where young people in every nation are actively engaged in improving their lives and their communities through civic participation. We believe that well-structured youth service programs can provide innovative solutions to social and environmental issues, while helping young people develop skills for future employment and active citizenship.
ICP carries out its mission through four main activities:
- Incubating innovative models for youth service programs;
- Creating and expanding global networks;
- Conducting research and publicizing information on youth civic engagement, especially national youth service and service-learning; and
- Serving as a financial intermediary to support program innovation and policy development.
In addition to these activities, ICP regularly consults with its extensive network of over 2,500 academics, policymakers, program entrepreneurs, and other leaders in the field on program and policy work.
Innovations in Civic Participation
P.O. Box 39222
Washington, DC 20016
A quest for a National Youth Service has previously been advocated in Sub-Saharan Africa (see Appendix C). There, the NYS was designed to explore the potential to foster youth employability, entrepreneurship, and sustainable livelihoods. This effort stemmed from an existing tradition of NYS programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, which were originally designed to cultivate a sense of national identity and mobilize skills for development in post-independence nations; (see Appendix A). Today, NYS programs operate in the context of a deepening regional youth unemployment crisis, which averages over 20 percent, according to African Economic Outlook. NYS programs engage hundreds of thousands of young people each year and have the potential to equip them with strong civic skills and prepare them for employment and livelihood opportunities.
Despite its potential as an economic strategy, little is still known about how effective NYS programs are at increasing youth employability in Africa. But there is no doubt for the commitment to community that is forged from these efforts. Young people cry, sweat, and bleed for their community, embedding a desire to sacrifice for the Greater Good.
This corresponds with the Bible precept: “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” – Acts 20:35
There are NYS programs already deployed or proposed for these Caribbean member-states, (though many have been snagged or stalled):
- The Bahamas
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Saint Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
The purpose of the Go Lean book/roadmap is more than just the embedding of new community ethos, but rather the elevation/empowerment of Caribbean society. In total, the Caribbean empowerment roadmap has these 3 prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance and industrial policies to support these engines.
The roadmap details the following community ethos, plus the execution of these strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to forge permanent change in the region:
|Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives||Page 25|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future||Page 26|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact a Turn-Around||Page 33|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing||Page 35|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness||Page 36|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States||Page 45|
|Strategy – Mission – Enact a Defense Pact to Defend the Homeland||Page 45|
|Strategy – Mission – Keep the next generation at home||Page 46|
|Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union||Page 63|
|Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy||Page 64|
|Tactical – Separation-of-Powers Between CU & Member-States Governments||Page 71|
|Implementation – Assemble – Incorporating all the existing regional organizations||Page 96|
|Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change||Page 101|
|Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up||Page 103|
|Implementation – Ways to Deliver||Page 109|
|Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean – Confederation Without Sovereignty||Page 127|
|Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better||Page 131|
|Planning – Lessons Learned from the West Indies Federation – Military Units||Page 135|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Manage Federal Civil Service||Page 173|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security||Page 181|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications||Page 186|
|Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage||Page 218|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Youth||Page 227|
|Appendix – 30,000 Federal Employees||Page 299|
|Appendix – Previous West Indies Integration – Caribbean Regiment||Page 301|
Previously Go Lean blog/commentaries have considered historic references and have also stressed fostering the proper and appropriate community ethos for the Caribbean to prosper; and reported on the repercussions and consequences of bad ethos. The following sample applies:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2830||Bad Ethos: Jamaica’s Public Pension Under-funded|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2809||A Lesson in Bad Community Ethos : East Berlin/Germany|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2480||A Lesson in History: Community Ethos of WW II|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2297||A Lesson in History – Booker T versus Du Bois – to Change a Bad Community Ethos|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1531||A Lesson in History: 100 Years Ago – World War I – Cause and Effect in Community Ethos|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=841||Having Less Babies is Bad for the Economy – Need People|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=623||Only at the Precipice, Do Communities Change|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=353||Book Review: ‘Wrong – Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn…’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=228||Egalitarianism versus Anarchism – Community Ethos Debate|
All in all, there is a certain community ethos associated with populations that have endured change. It is a National Sacrifice, a deferred gratification and focus on the future. Any losses of privileges are appreciated by the entire community, not just the affected individual or family member. This is the purpose of the US Memorial Day Holiday on the last Monday in May, honoring the military service of all our men and women in uniform, their families at home, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in dying for their country. A quest to unite the country in remembrance and appreciation of the fallen and to serve those who are grieving is a good way to forge a community ethos of National Sacrifice.
See VIDEO here of a community’s great honor to a slain soldier:
VIDEO: Sky Mote: Community Honors a Fallen Soldier from El Dorado County with a Hero’s Welcome – http://youtu.be/MVQORRQvTpU
Published on Aug 17, 2012 – Starting with a Marine Honor Guard carrying the transfer case containing the body of Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote of El Dorado, CA, upon arrival at Dover Air Force Base, Del. on Sunday Aug. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana). Then continuing with the great Welcome Home the community gave. His family will never forget!
Though this Fallen Soldier is mourned and missed, his sacrifice is duly acknowledged, appreciated and honored in his hometown. This community spirit creates a value system for public service and National Sacrifice.
The US is not the only country that memorializes their war dead. Those countries that do, experience less societal abandonment. The British Commonwealth of Nations (representative of 18 Caribbean member-states) shows likewise homage to their Fallen Soldiers. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is responsible for maintaining the war graves of 1.7 million service personnel that died in the First and Second World Wars fighting for Commonwealth member states. Founded in 1917 (as the Imperial War Graves Commission), the Commission has constructed 2,500 war cemeteries, and maintains individual graves at another 20,000 sites around the world. The vast majority of the latter [however] are civilian cemeteries in Great Britain. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_War_Graves_Commission).
The former British colonies did not adopt this National Sacrifice value system. As most Caribbean (notwithstanding the US Territories) member-states do not even have a (work-free) holiday to honor the sacrifices of those that fought, bled and/or died for their country.
No appreciation, no sacrifice; no sacrifice, no victory. It is that simple!
It is the recommendation of this blog/commentary that all Caribbean member-states should mandate a civilian conscription service for their citizens (1 year between ages 18 and 25); it is common for a confederation – the CU for the Caribbean – to marshal a multi-state, allied military force. Then the CU should facilitate a complete eco-system of engaging the conscripted NYS participants to serve and protect the people and resources of the Caribbean. After which, the communities should show proper appreciation and honor to those that make these sacrifices for “King/Queen and Country”, from all conscription services: military service, public and civilian.
(Many times school teachers and administrators are lowly paid; their service to their country is a great sacrifice).
Veteran-style benefits should thusly be considered for all these “national” servants. This commitment from the community would go far in forging deep loyalty within the citizenry, thus mitigating quick abandonment of the homeland.
There is a separation-of-powers between the CU federal agencies and Caribbean member-states, so the CU would have no authority on how member-states manage, appreciate or honor their civil servants; unless some CU grants/funding apply. But for CU personnel, the practice will be institutionalized to recognize the service of long-time civil servants (active or retired) and their sacrifices. So for any human resource that die in the line of duty, the funeral processions will be filled with pomp and circumstance, much like the foregoing VIDEO.
“The [servants] who perform well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard …” – Bible 1 Timothy 5:17
Now is the time to lean-in to this roadmap for Caribbean change, as depicted in the book Go Lean…Caribbean. All the mitigations and empowerments in this roadmap require people to remain in the homeland. No people, no hope! A community ethos, a spirit or attitude of sacrifice for the Greater Good is a great start to forge change; no sacrifice, no victory.
Appendix A – ICP Studies and Results
Appendix B – Conscription (or Drafting)
This is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of National Service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or even outside the military, such as civil service in Austria and Switzerland.
As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops. The ability to rely on such an arrangement, however, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription)
National Service is a common name for mandatory or volunteer government service programmes. The term became common British usage during and for some years following the Second World War. Many young people spent one or more years in such programmes. Compulsory military service typically requires all citizens, or all male citizens, to participate for a period of a year (or more in some countries) during their youth, usually at some point between the age of 18 and their late twenties. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_service)
Appendix C – National Youth Service Corps in Nigeria
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is an organisation set up by the Nigerian government to involve the country’s graduates in the development of the country. There is no military conscription in Nigeria, but since 1973 graduates of universities and later polytechnics have been required to take part in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program for one year. This is known as national service year.
“Corp” members are posted to cities far from their city of origin. They are expected to mix with people of other tribes, social and family backgrounds, to learn the culture of the indigenes in the place they are posted to. This action is aimed to bring about unity in the country and to help youths appreciate other ethnic groups.
There is an “orientation” period of approximately three weeks spent in a camp away from family and friends. There is also a “passing out ceremony” at the end of the year and primary assignment followed by one month of vacation.
The program has also helped in creating entry-level jobs for many Nigerian youth. An NYSC forum dedicated to the NYSC members was built to bridge the gap amongst members serving across Nigeria and also an avenue for members to share job information and career resources as well as getting loans from the National Directorate Of Employment.
The program has been met with serious criticism by a large portion of the country. The NYSC members have complained of being underpaid, paid late or not paid at all. Several youths carrying out the NYSC program have been killed in the regions they were sent to due to religious violence, ethnic violence or political violence.
A series of bomb and other violent attacks, especially in the North, rocked the country’s stability in the period preceding the 2011 gubernatorial and presidential elections. Most common of these attacks was perpetuated by the Islamist extremist terrorist group called Boko Haram. “Boko Haram” means “Western education is a sin” in the local hausa dialect in Nigeria. The group “Boko Haram” is against western education and wants to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria’s northern region.
Worst hit were National Youth Service Corps members, some of whom lost their lives.