/Great Minds of the Caribbean: Lessons to be Mastered on the Road to Development of an Enviable Caribbean Community

Great Minds of the Caribbean: Lessons to be Mastered on the Road to Development of an Enviable Caribbean Community

Lloyd Best

Excerpt from “Reflections”, Article entitled “Identifying the Epistemic Crisis by Winston Riley”

“We’d be hard put to explain our current predicament without reference to what might be described as the Moses conundrum. How does a nation revise the perspectives of the desert so as to form fertile empirical judgments of what is required by the Promised Land” Over and over, I have been minded to ask the question in terms of the need for the heritage of culture to find ways of escaping and breaking away from itself.”

Other Quotes by Lloyd Best

“Why then, … has a Caribbean nation been so slow to materialise? Why has it remained stunted in its growth. Why indeed is it so limited in scope, so halting in progress? Admittedly, integration is not a natural, spontaneous process, least of all among islands, and particularly among the islands of the Caribbean, which throughout their history, have been operated as separate social and political units, and above all, resolutely distinct economic units of production and exploitation.”

“Especially in this region, integration has to be promoted, nurtured and made to happen. Above all, it must be driven by a vision powerful enough to withstand repeated diversions. It must be sufficiently robust to overcome obstacles as they arise by providing the basis for sifting and ranking priorities and establishing effective guidelines. Such a vision could only be underpinned by vigorous empirical work that recognises and describes the history of the region as it has evolved in its own terms to bring us to the current conjuncture.”

“Over the last four decades, CARICOM seems not to have escaped feeding on ideas promiscuously borrowed from hither and thither, notably from the European Union and comprising largely of a set of ad hoc, utopian programmes which neither singly nor together achieved insight, cogency, internal consistence or just point.”


“It is now clear why the Integration Studies, the Food Plan, the schemes for Industrial Programming, the Enterprise Regime, the proposals for trade integration and so many other related measures have failed ignominiously to get off the ground.”

“This a classic case where implementation turns out to have been impossible because of a repeated failure to locate plans, programmes and measures in specific historical context.”

“Over and over we have refused to devise criteria for measuring progress, with the result that we have continued a life of announcements, pronouncements and declarations.”


“We seem transfixed by our long career as victims of the Americas and the associated disadvantage and dispossession.” It is this panic which is at the root of our obsession with a science and technology not integrated with the arts and humanities, most importantly, history.”


“We of the Caribbean must assume responsibility for our own philosophical conception of the world seen primarily, though not exclusively, through the coordinates of our own historical, cultural and institutional context.”