Let's start on a positive note: the Caribia Rose. Nice!
Is ‘Caribia' the astral ‘nation-state' waiting to be materialized? Many people used to think so. This visionary state of Caribia consists of all Caribbean islands, the 3 Guyanas, Central America (excluding Mexico), the Bahamas and Bermuda. So far the vision has been an elusive dream …
Hugo Chavez constructed a new ‘socialist' city in the Venezuelan forest which he named ‘Caribia'. He was also visited by the dream …
Ships have been named ‘Caribia' too. One sank in a storm a long way from home, blocking the entrance to Apra Harbor in Guam (1974). It reminds us of the collapse of the West Indies Federation even before it was constituted (1962). Nevertheless, visions of ‘Caribia' persist. They stem from a lingering – and confused - longing for unity among the peoples of the Caribbean. It can materialize, once its contours become clear. In 1990 it inspired me to write a Manifesto in book-form, entitled ‘Caribbean Manifesto', a hodgepodge of ideas, stories and poetry aiming to promote Caribbean unity.
The Manifesto revisited
Rethinking the concept now, 25 years later, I still believe its basic premises are correct. The Caribbean should unite. Seeing that most of us are islanders, meaning that we are not only nationalistic but insular-minded as well, unification will have to come from bottom up, not top down. The impulse must come from the islands, countries and their people, not handed down from governments in the way the EU developed (where the top-down approach also causes problems). If it is ever to materialize, it must become a people's movement first. But we are still far away from that. And it can only be materialized, if a constitutional Key can be found to unite islands. The key exists, of course. But WHO will reveal it?
For the time being we will support organizations such as the Association of Caribbean States and Caricom. They are not dead, but not very much alive either. It appears as though we are all waiting for ‘something’ to happen, a new inspiration, a new dispensation perhaps? Let’s wait and see …
In the meantime it has become clear that the notion of Caribia as a unified ‘nation-state' is obsolete. The concept of the nation-state itself is dying. It may live another 50 years, but its end will come sooner rather than later. The World Wide Web will cause its demise. The world-map will be completely redrawn. Nationalism will come to be seen for what it is: discrimination. That is why we believe the Caribbean’s highest political aspiration at this point in time can only be to obtain recognition for ‘Caribia' as an ‘autonomous region' within a new planetary constitution.
We are living in times of accelerating and profound change. This turmoil will hopefully result in a New Democratic Balance worldwide, a global re-grouping and re-structuring of peoples, nations and economic systems. We can envisage that globalization will eventually result in a New Planetary Civilization, united under a ‘Planetary Council’ formed by a number of Autonomous Regions, each of which will be ruled by a semi-federal government. The EU seems to be developing in that direction, although it is plagued by nationalism at the moment.
One may like this direction, or not. But if we are reading the signs right, this trend is a mighty river whose flow we cannot stop. We can only affect its course. If that is so, we can and should make sure the New Planetary Civilization will be free, democratic and economically just. Not world domination, but world liberation. On this, see also our latest free e-book entitled ‘Paradigm Regained’.
The Caribbean’s highest political aspiration
In this New Planetary Civilization the Americas could be divided up into three autonomous regions, North America (Canada, US and Mexico), Caribia (the islands and countries mentioned above) and South America (Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chili, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). Now, of course, Caribia could be grouped with South or North America (or both). But if we want to distinguish ourselves as a separate region, for historical, geographical and cultural reasons (and there is a good case for that), we should aspire to be recognized as a third American autonomous region.
Note that in a new Planetary Constitution the term ‘autonomous' has administrative meaning only. It does not mean an ‘independent nation-state'. Independence is already (in 2015) an out-dated concept; the modern world is already interdependent and interconnected. In the new constitution, therefore, ‘autonomous' means that the region of ‘Caribia' will be recognized as a kind of loose federation, having its own (autonomous) government. We can imagine a Planetary Council as the super-structure uniting the approx. 20 autonomous regions which are slowly forming around the globe.
Each region would then consist of a number of federal states, roughly coinciding with the nations and countries we know today. But it is likely that many new (and smaller) states will be formed (present-day nations being divided up along ethnic and/or religious lines). This happened when the former Soviet-Union broke up and more recently in the Balkans. It will certainly happen in Africa, the Middle East, India, China and Indonesia. It is likely that in our region, too, a number of new states will be recognized (Tobago, for instance).
Each state will have its own (lower) level of autonomy and within those a number of local communities will have their own measure of local administrative power on the lowest level. In other words, we foresee a structure consisting of 4 tiers of planetary government.
This posting will be corrected and expanded as new information and insights require.
30 June 2008
First revision 29 July 2015