VOL 8. N. .
EDITORIAL COMMENT AND NOTES 1
FOUR POETS OF THE GREATER ANTILLES
Eric Williams 4
THE NATURAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
T. W. Marshall 13
THE MAROONS IN THE 18TH CENTURY 25
NEW SCIENCE OF POLITICS
A. W. Singham 28
LANGUAGE STUDIES IN THE INDEPENDENT UNIVERSITY
Beryl Bailey 38
TRADE UNION DEVELOPMENT IN JAMAICA
George Eaton 43
Land of the Living 54
A Life in the Theatre .55
Trade Unionism-A Practical Approach 57
STATEMENT OF JOURNAL'S POLICY 58
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of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
RUBY SAMLALSINGH, Resident Tutor, Trinidad and Tobago.
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A SELECTION OF CONTENTS FROM PAST ISSUES
Vol. V, No. 3
An Anthology of West Indian Verse
Price: $1.00 (B.W.I. or U.S.) or 4/2 U.K. per issue.
Vol. V, No. 4
Dorothy Payne-a Newcomer to Sculpture ... ... M. Sandmann
Rejection of European Culture as a Theme in Caribbean
Literature ... ... ... ... G Cuultlard
Vegetation in the Caribbean Area ... ... .. G.F. Asprey
The Couronians and the West Indies-The First
Settlements ... ... ... ... ... Edgar Anderson
William Dampier (1652-1715)-Writer and Buccaneer
in the West Indies ... ... .. ... John A. Ramearan
The Panan, an Afrobahian Religious Rite of Transition Melville J. Herskovits
Dark Puritan, Part III ... ... ... ... M. 0. Smith
Price : 60 cents (B.W.I. or U.S.) or 2/6 U.K. per issue.
Vol. VI, No. 1
Queen Anne's Government and the Slave Trade
George Charles Falconer ... ...
British Representation in Venezuela in 1826 ...
A trip to Nassau, 1882
A Royal Birthday in Haiti
Cultural Relations within the Caribbean ...
Vol. VI, Nos. 2 and 3
Canada's Federal Experience ...
Australia Background to Federation ...
The Constitution of Australia ...
Early Constitutional History of Jamaica ...
The Road Back-Jamaica After 1866 ...
The Temporary Federal Mace
Constitutional History of Trinidad and Tobago
Constitutional History of the Windwards ...
Constitutional History of the Leewards ...
Federalism in the West Indies
Summary of Constitutional Advances-
Trinidad and Tobago
Leeward and Windward Islands ..
.. D. A. G. Waddell
... Joseph Borome
William M. Armstrong
Samuel Proctor (Ed.)
... Lou Lichtveld
.. Alexander Brady
... F. W. Mahler
... S. S. Ramphal
... C. V. Gocking
.. R. N. Murray
... Bruce Procope
... H. 0. B. Wooding
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..S. S. Ramphal
... Harvey do Costa
... F. A. Phillips
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A Theory of Small Society ... ... ... Kenneth E. Boulding
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Terre Bois Bois ... ... ... ... Harold F. C. Simmons
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Drums and Colours-an Epic Drama commissioned
for the Opening of the First Federal Parliament
of The West Indies, April 23rd, 1958 ... ... Derek Walcott
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West Indian Culture ... ... ... ... M. G. Smith
West Indian Poetry ... ... ... ... R. J. Owens
The French West Indian Background of "Negritude" ... G. R. Coulthard
Du Tertre and Labat on 17th Century Slave Life in the
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Education and Economic Development ... ... W. Arthur Lewi
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Drugs from the West Indies ... ... ... Compton Sealbrt
Political Education in the Developing Caribbean ... Rex Nettleford
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Frederic G. Cassidy, Jamaica Talk
Muntu, An Outline of Neo-African Culture,
A House for Mr. Biswas
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Editorial Comment and Notes
INDEPENDENCE OF U.C.W.I.
1. We refer with pride to the granting of a new Charter to the U.C.W.I.
which will m-ke it a dgree-granting institution in its own right. By the time
this issue is published, we expect that an announcement will have been made
that the Ch:rter his been approved by the Privy Council and signed by Her
MIjesty, The Queen. We add our thanks to Her Royal Highness, Princess
Alice for accepting the invitation to be the first Chancellor of the new University,
and our gratitude to London University for the excellence of its tutorship of
the U.C.W.I. in the period of preparation for independence-the period known
as Special Relationship.
We are glad that every attempt is being made to ensure that high standards
are maintained and strongly support the proposal that External Examiners in
every branch should be appointed each year to ensure comparison of standards
with recognized institutions. The Independent University will be able to
attract a greater number of young graduates as research students from other
Universities to add to the research programme in their preparation for higher
degrees of the new University. We support the College's view that while
maintaining the standards and to some extent the structure of most of the
present degree courses, the College should explore the possibilities of new
degree courses, and the addition of new subjects. The proposal to enable a
student to combine arts subjects with natural science subjects or social science
subjects is welcome, and we hope that there will be a place for subjects such as
Education, Adult Education, Musical Appreciation, Geography, Social Work,
Drama in any general degree.
The independence of the College, the proposed independence of Jamaica
on August 6th, 1962, the probable independence of Trinidad, of British Guiana
and of the Eastern Caribbean Federation of eight territories, before the end of
1962, increase the challenge and opportunities for effective Adult Education to
be undertaken by the Department of Extra-Mural Studies. As Dr. P. S. Noble,
Vice-Chancellor of London University said in his address at the U.C.W.I.
Graduation Ceremony on February 10th, 1962 :
Much is still to be done in the kindred study of education and
particularly in Extra-Mural and Adult Education .... Extra-Mural
education is the seed-bed from which you can bring new strength to
your growing College, and Adult and Extension education is of the
utmost importance in developing among the older members of the
public, who may themselves not have had the opportunity of higher
education, a greater interest in Universities and what they do, and in
things of the mind generally."
BRITISH GUIANA AND THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF THE WEST INDIES
2. In the last issue we discussed the possibility of withdrawal of contri-
butions to the U.C.W.I. by one or two of the major British Caribbean territories.
Since then, the Trinidad Government has publicly indicated its interest in
the continued development of U.C.W.I. as a regional institution, and so has
Jamaica. Indeed almost all the leaders of the former federation have publicly
hoped that the University College of the West Indies will be maintained as one
of the Common Services. On Wednesday, February 7th, The Minister of
Education of British Guiana announced to the University College Council that
his Government intended to withdraw its contribution to the U.C.W.I. budget as
from 1963, the end of the present triennium.
The news was received with regret, and we endorse the Council's resolution
which recorded the College's gratitude to successive British Guianese repre-
sentatives on the Council for their valued contribution to the Governing body
of the College, recalled the high standard of British Guianese Students,
regretted the decision, and expressed the hope that there would be friendly
relationship between the College and British Guiana in the development and
expansion of University education in the area.
The British Guiana Government indicated its decision to establish a
Guiana University College and requested the assistance of the Principal of
U.C.W.I. in the planning of the College.
We believe that British Guiana has a right to wish to set up its own Liberal
Arts College-and let us remind those concerned that for a University to be
effective, it must be independent, and must be jealous of its independence.
We hope that when the Guiana College is established it will have that degree of
autonomy which will help to gain for it the respect and confidence of the
country and the region.
3. It is with regret that we record the disturbances in British Guiana which
culminated with a series of fires on Friday 16th February. One of the buildings
which were completely destroyed was that housing the Extra-Mural Depart-
ment's office and rooms in British Guiana. All our books, equipment and
records were destroyed. It will be ironic for history to record that this fire
occurred just nine days after the announced withdrawal of British Guiana from
U.C.W.I., although there can be no connection between the two events.
EFFECT OF BRITISH GUIANA'S WITHDRAWAL
4. With British Guiana's withdrawal, the College will have to adjust its
proposed expenditure budget, and negotiations will no doubt be held on the
arrangements for withdrawal. For example, when will extra-mural work of
U.C.W.I. cease in British Guiana ? This journal hopes that Extra-Mural
activities will continue for as long as possible, and that when the Guiana College
takes over its own extra-mural activities, there will be co-operation with
U.C.W.I. Extra-Mural Department.
It is to be expected that arrangements will be made so that a number of
British Guianese Students will continue to take courses in U.C.W.I.'s faculties
of medicine, agriculture, engineering, arts, social sciences and natural sciences.
BARBADOS EXTRA-MURAL CENTRE
5. We refer to the impressive ceremony held on Thursday, January 25th
in Barbados, to mark the handing over by the Government of Barbados of a
Letter of Intent to grant the College a parcel of land for the building of an
Extra-Mural Centre in Barbados. Her Royal Highness, Princess Alice, the
Chancellor, presided, and addressed the company. Other addresses were given
by the Honourable Cameron Tudor, Minister of Education, the Principal,
Dr. W. A. Lewis, and the Director of Extra-Mural Studies. This journal hopes
that the Centre will soon be built and notes with approval that the proposed
U.C.W.I. Barba:dos Evening College will be adjacent, so that facilities and staff
may be shared.
6. We welcome the following as contributors for the first time :-
Mr. W. T. Marshall
Mr. A. Singham
Dr. George Eaton
Mr. W. I. Carr
Mr. Hugh Morrison
Mr. Frank Hill
Lecturer in Mathematics, U.C.W.I. whose lecture
in the 1961-62 Open Lecture Series we now
Lecturer in Government, U.C.W.I. whose lecture
in the 1961-62 Open Lecture Series we now
Lecturer, Department of Economics, who writes
on Trade Union Development in Jamaica.
Lecturer, Department of English, who reviews
John Hearne's Land of the Living
Staff Tutor in Radio Education, who reviews
Guthrie-A Life in the Theatre
Journalist and former trade unionist who reviews
R. B. Davidson's Trade Unionism-a practical
We are reprinting Dr. Eric Williams' very interesting article on "Four Poets
of the Greater Antilles in our scheme of reprinting one of the outstanding
articles of the past in each issue of 1962.
We welcome back Dr. George Cumper as a contributor.
We have included in the last page a restatement of the Journal's policy
and a description. We hope to publish Letters to the Editor and we should
like to ask those wishing to write to the Editor to limit their letters to 250 words ;
we shall try to publish as many of the letters as we receive.
Four Poets of the Greater Antilles*
IN RECENT YEARS it has become quite fashionable in certain circles to talk of
Caribbean co-operation. The practice not infrequently diverges from the
preaching when the faith is put to the test. This is not surprising. The traditional
Caribbean outlook is isolationism, not co-operation. Engendered by distance
and the absence of adequate communications, isolationism has been suckled
by the international rivalry which has dominated Caribbean history, and reared
on insular jealousy. But let us suppose that these deeply ingrained charac-
teristics of Caribbean society were magically to disappear. Let us suppose that
cheap and regular communications were to be provided between, say, Trinidad
and Haiti, and, more miraculously, that our Trinidad middle-class availed
themselves of them. Let us suppose that, with the stroke of a wand, we could
blot out the four and a half centuries of international rivalry for Caribbean
hegemony, and start with a clean slate. Let us suppose, finally, that the
Caribbean were suddenly transformed into an area of fraternity, in which
the Trinidadian, for example, acknowledged the equality of the small islands.
Let us imagine, I say, all these miracles, and Caribbean co-operation would
probably be no nearer realisation than it is today. For the two fundamental
obstacles to its achievement would remain: the absence of a common body
of knowledge, and the language barrier.
In my opinion, the development and organisation of this common body of
knowledge of the Caribbean, based on the deliberate cultivation of the multi-
lingual facility, is the great political desideratum and intellectual truth of the
age and the area. It is with this in view that I have selected for my subject
this evening four outstanding contemporary poets of the non-British Greater
Antilles: Nicolas Guillen of Cuba, whose complete works were published in
Buenos Aires in 1947 under the title of El Son Entero; Jacques Roumain,
who died in 1944, and Jean Brierre, both of Haiti; and Luis Pales Matos of
Puerto Rico, whose major work, Tuntun de Pasa y Griferia, was reprinted in
Puerto Rico in 1950. A few translations of individual poems by Guill6n,
Roumain and Brierre are included in The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949,
edited by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps, and published in 1949.
Two dominant influences have moulded these four men. The first stems
from Africa. African influence is strongest in Haiti, whose population is
overwhelmingly Negro. Its strength is appreciable in Cuba and Puerto Rico
where, even by the conventionally elastic Caribbean criteria for differentiating
between whites and non-whites, the census figures estimate the coloured
A lecture to the Trinidad and Tobago Literary League of Cultural and Debating Clubs,
on 4th April, 1952.
population at about one-half of the total. Of the four writers, however, only
the Puerto Rican, Pales Matos, is a white man; the others are coloured.
The second dominant influence in the work of these writers comes from
the United States. They belong to the period of Caribbean history which saw
the vast development of United States power, especially its economic power,
in the Caribbean. In 1898 the United States annexed Puerto Rico outright;
in 1906 Cuba agreed not to borrow any money or cede any bases without the
consent of the United States, and conceded to the United States the right to
intervene in Cuban affairs to protect life and property when deemed necessary
by the United States; in 1915 United States troops occupied Haiti which was
thereafter forbidden to borrow money without the approval of the United States.
It was the age of what was called in the United States dollar diplomacy;
its symbol in the Caribbean was the large sugar plantation owned by United
States capital and worked by landless Cuban and Puerto Rican labour. The
Caribbean looked like becoming, in the words of United States propagandists
of three decades ago, "the American Mediterranean." Latin America replied
with denunciations of what is called "Yanqui Imperialism." The climate of
international relations was only improved in 1934, when Franklin D. Roosevelt
announced his Good Neighbour Policy, in which he proclaimed to the world
that the United States had no imperialistic ambitions in the Western Hemi-
sphere. The marines were thereupon withdrawn from Haiti, the legislation
interfering with Cuba's sovereignty was repealed, and the United States
inaugurated a series of reforms in Puerto Rico which have brought contem-
porary Puerto Rico to a position of autonomy not exceeded anywhere in the
It is against the background of these two dominant influences, from Africa
and the United States, that I propose to treat the poetry of these four poets.
If I consider these two influences separately in the interest of clarity, it will be
appreciated that they are really closely related. For example, the Negro in Cuba
might be a worker on a sugar plantation owned by a United States Company.
First, Africa. The poetry of Pales Matos is full of sonorous Africanisms,
in which he obviously revels and which he uses very effectively. Let me give
you an example. He says ("Pueblo Negro"):
"Last night I was obsessed by the remote
Vision of a Negro ..
-Mussumba, Timbuctoo, Farafangana."
Here is another example ("Majestad Negra") :
"In the broiling Antillean street
Goes Tembandumba of Quimbamba-
Rumba, macumba, candombe, bambula. .."
Underlying these Africanisms is the fact that Puerto Rico is "one-half Spanish
and the other half African" ("Ten con Ten"). But what else in Africa to the
Caribbean? For Pales Matos it is an amalgam of dance, drums, voodoo and
sex. His Negroes do nothing but dance, dance, dance" ("Candombe"), as if
possessed ("Numen"). The nights for him resound with drums ("Tambores").
The Negro woman he portrays as one "in whose maternal curve is hidden the
prolific harmony of sex" ("Pueblo Negro"), whence springs the "torrid love
of the mulatto woman" ("Mulata-Antilla"). It is true that Pales Matos describes
the Antilles as "a carriage of sugar factories, a Turkish bath of molasses"
("Canci6n Festiva para ser Ilorada"). But he does not go into this question,
beyond a reference to the "sad Negro" ("Lamento") and the Negro woman
"singing of her empty life as a domestic animal" ("Pueblo Negro"). Thus, in
the poetry of Pales Matos, the African influence is emphatically cultural.
With Guill6n, on the other hand, the influence is basically economic. While
he, too, has his Africanisms and emphasises the African origin, his Negro is a
poor worker, working in the sun whilst the Arabs sell their wares and the
Frenchmen take a stroll or a rest ("Guadalupe, W.I."). His life is dominated
by sugar-"the Negro tied to the sugar plantation. The Yanqui on the sugar
plantation" ("Caia"). The whip, sweat and the whip ("Sudor y Latigo")-
these are his lot. He is the hungry Simon Caraballo, sleeping in doorways,
with a tile for his pillow and the ground for his bed, cold in his feet, without
coffee in the morning ("Balada de Simon Caraballo"), prototype of the lost
men who wander aimlessly about the city like "dogs abandoned in a storm"
("Canci6n de los Hombres Perdidos",.
Roumain and Brierre, the Haitians, deal not with the Negro in Haiti but
with the Negro in the world as a whole, and place their emphasis on racial
discrimination. Roumain writes: "I have kept your memory, Africa, You
are in me" ("Bois-d'Ebene"), but it is the memory of the Middle Passage
and the mortality of those whom the slave traders referred to contemptuously
as "ebony wood" or "black ivory". Where the dance, the song and sex
comprise Pales Matos' Negro, Roumain protests against those:
"To whom a Negro
Is only an instrument
To sing, n'est-ce pas
To dance, of course
To fornicate, naturlich
Only a commodity
To be bought and sold
In the pleasure market" ("Sales Negres").
Brierre is bitter at the thought that the broom, the tool, the elevator and
the kitchen are the Negro's share, and reminds us that behind the music, the
love and the dance there are concealed dope and loneliness. The chief con-
sideration for him is the discrimination against those who, as he says,
"constructed Chicago whilst singing the blues, built up the United States to
the rhythm of the spirituals."
The difference of emphasis is perhaps best exemplified by comparing the
attitude of Pales Matos and Brierre to Haitian independence. Pales Matos
stresses the concern with titles of nobility on the part of the black and mulatto
aristocracy which replaced French rule. He pokes fun at the "Duke of
Marmalade" and "Count of Lemonade" ("Canci6n Festiva para ser Ilorada"
and "Lagarto Verde") at whom many others before him have laughed,
forgetting that these were actual place names in Haiti. He sneers legitimately
at the cafi-au-lait women, the elegance of the aristocracy and their minuets.
But when he makes the statement, "there goes the Count of Lemonade ..
multiplying the orang-outangs in the thickets of Christophe" ("Lagarto
Verde"), he comes perilously close to that analysis of Negro character made
by the planter-historian of Jamaica, Edward Long, in 1775, that the Negro
bore a closer resemblance to the orang-outang than he did to the white man.
Brierre, on the other hand, a passionate Haitian nationalist, gives us this
interpretation of the struggle for Haitian independence:
"In St. Domingue
You marked out with suicides
And paved with anonymous stones
The tortuous path which opened one morning
On to the triumphal road of independence
And you held over the baptismal fonts
Clasping in one hand the torch of Vertieres
And with the other breaking the bars of slavery
The birth of liberty
For all Latin America" ("Black Soul").
Let us now turn to the second influence in the work of these poets--the
United States. Pales Matos is full of wrath for the tourist trade, which he calls
"the Anglo-Saxon pest," and the United States tourist, whom he identifies with
Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt. In a bitter passage, he writes:
"Whore, rum, Negro boy. Delight
Of the three great powers
In the Antilles" ("Placeres"),
the powers being France, Great Britain and the United States. For the rest.
Pales Matos deals with the question obliquely and by indirection. This is his
description of Puerto Rico, his "green Antillean isle" ("Ten con Ten"):
"This is my whole history:
Salt, sterility, weariness,
A vague indefinable sadness,
A motionless fixity of stagnant water,
And a cry, out of the depths.
Like a terrible and obstinate fungus,
Compact among soft carnations
Of useless quenched desires" ("Topografia").
He calls on God to have pity on "my poor town where my poor people will die
from nothing! . in this old town where nothing ever happens" ("Pueblo").
He reaches the depths of frustration when he writes that Puerto Rico, "in the
desert of a continent . bleats like a stewed goat" ("Preludio en Boricua").
Pales Matos did not like the United States and could see no salvation for
Puerto Rico. What, then, was his vision? He looked around him at his Carib-
bean neighbours. What he saw was a collection of names which he has never
visited, islands of papiamento and patois ("Intermedios del Hombre Blanco-
Islas"), fiery calalu and strong rum, plantains and coconuts. His conclusion
is a purely negative one-"all united, dreaming and suffering and struggling
against diseases, cyclones and greed, dying a little at night and restored again
at dawn" ("Mulata-Antilla"). His only recourse was to fall back on a purely
personal solution and cultural nationalism-a vigorous cultivation of his native
Spanish language, which was officially subordinated to English after 1898.
Guill6n moves in another world from Pales Matos. As contemptuous of
Babbitt as Pales Matos, his resentment is specific: the United States tourist
spends on liquor enough to cure a Cuban suffering from advanced tuberculosis
("Jose Ram6n Cantaliso: II. Visita un Solar"). Loving Cuba as much as
Pales Matos loves Puerto Rico, his opposition to the United States is not
cultural but economic. It is directed at absentee capitalist investments, as a
result of which "my country is sweet from outside, and very bitter from inside"
("Mi Patria es dulce por funera"), and under which the Cuban, "yesterday
the slave of white overseers armed with angry whips, is today the slave of
ruddy and voracious Yanqui sugar barons" ("La Voz Esperanzada"). Where
Pales Matos turns his back on his neighbours, GuillCn woos them. He noted
that the same foreign hand on Cuba's flag is on Venezuela's, and says: "how
bitter this oil, caramba, which tastes of Cuban sugar" ("Son Venezolana").
Pales Matos sought the solution of his problem in linguistic nationalism.
Guill6n, on the other hand, sought it in international politics. He turned to the
communist party and communist ideology. The solution which he advances is
"the levelling and harvesting call of the Revolution" ("La Voz Esperanzada").
His refuge is Stalin, whom he calls the captain, at whose side, if we care to
take his word, free men walk, Chinese, Negro and white; constituting a "rough
bloc of blood from Siberia to Ceylon and from Smyrna to Canton" ("Una
Canci6n a Stalin"). Guill6n repeats again and again this theme, with varia-
tions: the united front of whites and Negroes. He describes Cuba, for example,
as a mulatto mixture of African and Spanish, who dance the same song ("La
Canci6n del Bongo"). Elsewhere he speaks of Cuba as sprung from one grand-
parent who was Negro and another who was white, both of the same size,
'Negro anxiety and white anxiety," shouting, sleeping, weeping, singing
("Balada de los dos Abuelos"). As yet a third illustration, he talks of two
children, one Negro, the other white, "branches of the same tree of misery"
The International is the hope that Roumain, too, holds out to us. The
Asturian miner, the Johannesburg Negro miner, the Krupp metal worker, the
peasant of Castille, the outcast of India, the Indian of America, the white
worker of Detroit, the black peon of Alabama-Roumain's thesis is the familiar
Communist one, that all, shoulder to shoulder, will proclaim "the unity of
suffering and of the revolt of all peoples on the entire face of the earth"
("Bois-d'Ebene"). He assures us that, from the depths of the gold mines of
the Congo and South Africa, from the cotton plantations of Louisiana and
the sugar centrals of the Caribbean, even the tom-toms will learn the language
of the International, and the day will come when:
dirty proletarians ...
all the outcasts of the earth ...
will march to the assault of your barracks
and of your banks ...
with this world
of dirty Negroes" ("Sales Negres").
Brierre's homage to Roumain, "the immense brazier surmounted by the
Red Flag" ("Nous garderons le Dieu"), suggests that he is not unsympathetic
to Stalinism. The communist ideology is implicit also in the conclusion of his
poem, "Black Soul":
"You await the next call
The inevitable mobilisation ...
. tomorrow for the assault on the Bastilles
towards the bastions of the future
to write in all languages
on the clear pages of all skies
the declaration of your rights ignored
for more than five centuries
in the Congo
everywhere in short where your black hands
have left on the walls of Civilisation
imprints of love, mercy and light."
This, then, is the choice we are offered by these four poets: to sing the
International with Guillen and Roumain, or bleat like a stewed goat with Pales
Matos; to die under the Red Flag with Guillen and Roumain or stagnate and
die from nothing with Pales Matos. Guillen and Roumain call on Stalin; Pales
Matos harks back to Tchekov and betrays a weariness and sadness reminiscent
of the mal de siicle of the French romantic movement in the nineteenth century.
As opposed to the insistent propaganda of Guill6n and Roumain regarding the
racial equality of world Stalinism, Pales Matos offers us his sonorous African-
isms. It would be a tragedy for the Caribbean if these were the only alternatives.
Fortunately they are not.
Pales Matos' own Puerto Rico is the outstanding example in the Caribbean
today that there is a third alternative-a democratic party so firmly rooted in
the masses that its popular majority constitutes a virtual monopoly. Under the
leadership of Governor Mufioz Marin, Puerto Rico today is not weary, sad or
stagnant, a country where nothing ever happens. It throbs with a vitality which
never ceases to astonish those accustomed to Caribbean inertia and which has no
counterpart in the Caribbean. What influence this release of his people's latent
energies has had on Pales Matos is not clear. I am not aware of any poetry
written by him within the past few years. But this much is certain. Puerto
Ricans in their thousands have rallied not to Stalin but to Mufioz Marin. They
have at the same time worked out a cordial relationship with the United States
on the basis of local autonomy, and thus found that participation in a larger
entity which Guillen and Roumain sought in the Stalinist International and
which Pales Matos was unable to find at all.
It is equally fortunate for the Caribbean territories that the answer to the
powerful plea of Roumain and Guillen for racial equality is not the Africanisms
of Pales Matos. My personal experience of the West Indies and the Negro in
the United States convinces me that this racial propaganda is the basis of the
superficial appeal for Negroes in particular of the communist doctrine which
few understand. This propaganda is too powerful an attraction for people with
the heritage of slavery and who still live to a considerable extent in what the
distinguished United States educator and sociologist, Charles S. Johnson, calls
"the shadow of the plantation." There are those who claim that the communist
practice of race relations diverges from the theory. I am in no position to
express any view on this. But what can be said is that it is wholly false to think
that communist ideology has a monopoly of the theory of racial equality. Nearly
a hundred years ago, seven years after the Communist Manifesto, to be precise,
the doctrine of racial equality was stated by one of the brightest stars in the
nineteenth century democratic constellation-the United States poet, Walt
Whitman. Though it is long, I think it appropriate to conclude tonight with
this little-known manifesto of fraternity by Whitman, entitled "Salut au
I see all the menials of the earth, labouring,
I see all the prisoners in the prisons,
I see the defective human bodies of the earth,
The blind, the deaf and dumb, idiots, hunchbacks, lunatics,
The pirates, thieves, betrayers, murderers, slave-makers of the earth.
The helpless infants, and the helpless old men and women.
I see male and female everywhere,
I see the serene brotherhood of philosophy,
I see the constructiveness of my race,
I see the results of the perseverance and industry of my race,
I see ranks, colours, barbarisms, civilizations, I go among them, I mix
And I salute all the inhabitants of the earth.
You whoever you are I
You daughter or son of England I
You of the mighty Slavic tribes and empires! you Russ
You dim-descended, black, divine-soul'd African, large, fine-headed,
nobly-form'd, superbly destin'd, on equal terms with me
You Norwegian I Swede! Dane Icelander I you Prussian I
You Spaniard of Spain! you Portuguese!
You Frenchwoman and Frenchman of France I
You Belge! you liberty-lover of the Netherlands! (you stock whence
I myself have descended);
You sturdy Austrian! you Lombard! flun! Bohemian! farmer of
You neighbour of the Danube
Each of us inevitable,
Each of us limitless-each of us with his or her right upon the earth,
Each of us allowed the eternal purports of the earth,
Each of us here as divinely as any is here.
You Hottentot with clicking palate! you woolly-hair'd hordes I
You own'd persons dropping sweat-drops or blood-drops I
You human forms with the fathomless ever-impressive countenances
You poor koboo whom the meanest of the rest look down upon for all
your glimmering language and spiritually I
You dwarf'd Kamstchatkan, Greenlander, Lapp!
You Austral negro, naked, red, sooty, with protrusive lip, grovelling,
seeking your food I
You Caffre, Berber, Soudanese!
You haggard, uncouth, untutor'd Bedowee
You plague-swarms in Madras, Nankin, Kaubul, Cairo
You benighted roamer of Amazonia I you Patagonian! you Feejeeman I
My spirit has pass'd in compassion and determination around the
I have look'd for equals and lovers and found them ready for me in
I think some divine rapport has equalised me with them.
You vapours, I think I have risen with you, moved away to distant
continents, and fallen down there, for reasons,
I think I have blown with you, you winds;
You waters I have finger'd every shore with you,
I have run through what any river or strait of the globe has run
I have taken my stand on the bases of peninsulas and on the high
embedded rocks, to cry thence:
Salut au monde !
What cities the light of warmth penetrates I penetrate those cities
All islands to which birds wing their way I wing my way myself.
Toward you all, in America's name,
I raise high the perpendicular hand, I make the signal,
To remain after me in sight for ever,
For all the haunts and homes of men."
The Natural and Social Sciences
T. W. MARSHALL
I EXPECT my title will sound to most of you impossibly ambitious. However,
I think the same might be said of the title of this series of lectures, and it is
encouraging that we always get such good attendances at these lectures, because
it shows we are all keen to drop for a while our pretences of expert knowledge
and try to communicate with each other. I thank you therefore for bearing
with me to the extent of coming to this talk and hope that your time will not
I want to ask, and give a partial answer to, the following two questions:
" What is a science ?", and When we use the term science' to describe a
given field of research, what is our justification, if any ?" In spite of the fact
that my working experience is confined to the physical sciences, and that I
have worked as a theoretician only, I intend to discuss these questions with
reference to all the natural and social sciences-or at any rate a cross-section
of them. I hope to convince you by the time I have finished that any scientist-
natural or social, experimentalist, theoretician or even engineer-uses theories,
or as I shall prefer to call them models, of some sort. The difference between
the models used by different scientists lies only in their degree of empiricism,
or closeness to the raw data studied. In sciences there are, or should be,
accepted rules of procedure-I purposely refrain from calling them laws-
common to all of them.
I pass on then to my first question.
WHAT IS A SCIENCE
We can answer questions of this sort in one of three ways. We could look
up the word in the dictionary. This is the etymological approach, and I do not
propose to adopt it, because the scientist tends to prefer operational definitions
of the terms he uses. He is more interested in the usage of a word than its
history, and dictionaries suffer from the two drawbacks that they can only be
finite in size and that they are always out of date. Thus the second method,
and one which would appeal to the experimental scientist, is to stew together
the many current usages of the term, in the way the medieval alchemists stewed
up their potions, and arrive finally at the quintessence of the word. (I believe
that this is the correct origin of quintessence, by the way). The third way is
the way of the theoretical scientist and is therefore, naturally enough, the
method I shall adopt. We start off with the operational method, but instead
of carrying it through to the bitter end, we stop the stewing process at a certain
stage and agree to define the term so that it is as precise as possible. After
that the drawbridge is up and we do not use the term to describe a thing unless
it falls within our precise definition. This method of definition of science '
will seem harsh on occasion because it may exclude from further discussion
some very interesting work which is commonly regarded as scientific. In my
definition of a science I shall, however, try to make it as fair as possible to
If we look at the history of any science we see that an outstanding feature
about its evolution is that a certain method comes into existence. This is a
set of criteria for adjudicating between rival explanations of the same set of
phenomena and for carrying out crucial tests to see which one should he
accepted. I think it is the scientific method which distinguishes a science from
something which is not a science, so that our problem comes down to a definition
of the scientific method The way I shall define it, we shall see that most
fields of investigations are not really sciences at all at the outset, but that after
a while, when a suitable set of rules has been established, they may be sufficiently
definite for us to say they have turned into sciences. It is of course a matter
of definition at what stage this transition can be said to have occurred, and
I personally would put it rather late. I would not, for instance, say that the
study of the stars-as distinct from planets-became a science until the end
of the nineteenth century. The brainchild of astronomy, cosmology, has not
become a science at all yet, although it may become one in the near future.
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
ln order to give a definition of the scientific method, 1 shall tell what is
almost certainly the best known story in the history of science-the story of
how Newton's theory of the Solar System was discovered and came to be
Accepted. Since I expect you will all know parts of the story, I shall not spend
too long over it, but will draw the necessary morals of the story as I go along
and sumnm rise them at the end.
The first chapter opens long before the days of Newton. In fact it goes
back to the Babylonians. This is the history of how the raw data was gathered.
The positions of the planets in the sky were observed, and the way in which
these positions varied from day to day and year to year. It makes a fascinating
story, but is no part of the science of astronomy. It is merely a necessary
preliminary. Admittedly, in order to gather this data both the science aid
the technology of optics had to become highly developed, but the gathering
of raw data is no more science when it is astronomical data than when it is
Then theoreticians like Newton, Descartes, Hooke and Huyghens framed
hypotheses as to why the planets seemed to move in the way they did. It is
worth remembering that the reason they did this was that the previous theory
which had held the ring for fifteen centuries had fallen into disrepute. I expect
you remember it. It was known as the Ptolemaic theory. In its purest form
it stated that everything went around the Earth in circles, and this did not
need further explanation, because the Earth was the centre of the universe.
It had got into difficulties because, in order to explain the mass of contradictory
data that came flooding in, it had to paper over its cracks by introducing all
sorts of complicated extra hypotheses. Since there had no rhyme or reason
to them, this was the signal to scrap the whole theory and look for a simpler
one. The physical sciences are full of examples of this story repeating itself.
Anyway I expect you know what happened next. Newton's ideas won
the day and the result was an uncommonly rich haul of verified predictions.
This caused Newton's theory to be placed on a pedestal as the shining example
of wh:lt Man could achieve by his intellect and what he could hope to do in
other intellectual fields. But all Newton did was to make some astoundingly
simple and to us almost obvious suggestions. He observed that the apple fell
to the ground-that is towards the centre of the Earth. He observed also that
the moon kept close to the earth in a tight orbit, and surmised that the same
agent was responsible for attracting both the apple and the moon. He must
also have worried for a long time over the significance of Galileo's famous
experiment of dropping two different objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa,
and observing that they both hit the ground simultaneously. According to
Newton's new idea, this meant that the earth pulled all objects towards it in
the same way no matter how heavy they were. Finally, by watching the apple
a bit more closely, he was able to predict the relationship between the moon's
distance and its period-that is the length of the month. So he found by
extraordinarily simple reasoning both the Universal Law of Gravitation and
the laws of dynamics which to this day are known as Newton's Laws.
I have described with, I hope, suitable enthusiasm the process of abstrac-
tion, or induction, as it is called, which enables men-or at any rate
men like Newton-to frame fruitful hypotheses. But to get sidetracked on
to this topic for too long is fatal. It is a staggeringly wonderful thing that
men can do this, and I think the result is beautiful, but the study of the
scientific method is not the study of this process. Because it is creative, it
concerns the psychologist rather than the philosopher of science, and we can
do no more than accept it as a wonderful fact of life.
It is only at the next stage that the study of the Solar System becomes a
science. Only when we see Newton's theory being picked out as superior to
those of his colleagues and then being put to the test, do we see a distinctive
scientific method at work.
The Newtonian Theorvy % as chosen, not so much because it gave the most
accurate description of the experimental data, as because it was the simplest.
We shall soon s e that the notion of simplicity can be more accurately defined,
but let us accept it as a self-evident term for the time being.
Newton's theory suggested immediately a large number of crucial
experiments. First it predicted relationships between the distances of the
planets from the Sun and their periods of revolution. (The planets of course
are just like so many apples as far as the massive sun is concerned). The
results were almost perfect, and when account was taken of the gravitational
attraction between the planets, as well as the attraction of the sun, they became
absolutely perfect within the experimental error of those days. Later, at the
beginning of the nineteenth century, it was observed that Uranus, the outermost
planet then known, had a regular wobble which Newton's theory could not
explain. The theoreticians were now so confident that Newton's theory could
not be wrong, that they made the very bold ad hoc hypothesis that there must
be another planet perturbing it. Unlike the modifications which had beer.
introduced into the Ptolemaic system, this was scientifically very acceptable,
because it suggested the crucial experiment of looking for the planet in the
appropriate part of the sky. Sure enough, when the telescopes were turned
there, the planet Neptune was discovered. So the Newtonian theory survived
an extremely stringent test.
Let us now see if we can draw any conclusions from the story so far.
Whenever we frame a hypothesis, we introduce some new abstract concept.
Take for instance the statement: The length of an iron bar varies linearly
with the temperature ". Arising quite naturally from this statement is the
concept coefficient of thermal expansion '. An alternative phrasing of the
above well-known hypothesis is: The coefficient of thermal expansion of an
iron bar is a constant, independent of temperature ". This is a rattling good
hypothesis, although as a matter of fact it happens to be false. At the time it
was first framed, it fitted the observed data very well, but discrepancies appeared
quite soon under careful testing. It is a delightfully simple hypothesis and
is easily tested. All we need to do is in sure the length of the bar at different
temperatures, and draw a graph. The hypothesis is that it will be a straight
The important thing about such a hypothesis is that it is highly falsifiable.
It suggests a large number of ways in which the sceptic could set about trying
to refute i'. If, instead of specifying that the graph ought to be straight line,
we had said it ought to be a smooth curve, the question would arise What
curve ?". For there are far more smooth curves than there are straight lines,
and so we are not being nearly so specific, if we merely say that the points lie
on a curve. Thus the most satisfying hypothesis is that which suggests the
largest class of potentially falsifying experiments. To use an analogy which
might appeal to bridge players, we choose as working hypothesis that which
is most vulnerable. There should then be no lack of crucial experiments
Once a hypothesis has passed its crucial experiments unscathed, it becomes
known as a scientific law. But we have to bear in mind that scientific laws "
have no more permanence than any other man-made laws. It would be better
to say that the hypothesis in question had passed all the tests which had so
far been designed to catch it out, and was therefore being provisionally accepted
as the best explanation currently available. This is not the same as saying
it is true. Indeed we can never say that an assertion about abstract concepts
is true, for it would require an infinite number of experiments to prove it so.
If and when our law is shown to be false, however, we should be in a strong
position to frame one which gives a more accurate picture of reality. For we
shall know where we have gone wrong.
I purposely left the story of Newton's theory in the middle, because it
turned out to be a particularly hard nut for the sceptic to crack. It acquired
such an unassailable position in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, that
the intellectuals of those days thought it could never be shaken. Newton's
method of reasoning was even given the misleading title of 'inductive logic'
and the successful outcome of the method in the physical sciences led to a
tremendous optimism in much social and philosophical thought for a whole
two centuries. However, we now know that even the work of Newton
represented only an approximation to reality. Einstein has produced a
completely different theory of gravitation which uses quite different abstract
concepts, and which explains the motions of the Solar System equally well.
The central Newtonian concept of an attractive gravitational force is entirely
absent from Einstein's theory. Furthermore, Einstein himself suggested
crucial experiments to decide between the two theories, and today we are
almost certain that Einstein's theory is better.
This does not cause us to say that Einstein is correct, however, for we
have now learnt our lesson. We no longer talk of theories being true.
Abstract concepts are nothing but our own inventions, and give no more than
a powerful method of cataloguing our knowledge of the world we live in. As
our understanding of this world increases, our concepts will change also.
Allow me now to put a diagram on the board to summarise what I have
said so far.
RAW DATA J HYPOTHESES SCIENTIFIC
thought processes choose best LAW
in scientist's brain (simplest)
BREAKDOWN -- NEW DATA NEW HYPOTHESIS
This process describes what I shall define as the scientific method. I think
it is when we reach the stage of a scientific law, that we can recognize that we
are dealing with a science.
THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Now let us move on to the social sciences. It may look as if I am about
to take the traditional lofty attitude of the physicist towards them, for in order
to frame my definition, I confined myself to examples from that science. It
is my intention, however, to show that the scientific method has been used
successfully in the social sciences, but first let us see what criticisms are likely
to be made of this view. The first objection which the natural scientist would
make is that it is not possible to conduct experiments in the social sciences,
and that therefore hypotheses cannot be properly tested in the scientific sense.
A more fundamental objection would be that measurements are of necessity
much less exact in the social sciences, and that by suitable appeals to
experimental error, the social scientist can prove anything. According to such
a view, it is something of an impertinence to use mathematics, the most exact
science, to establish results which are either trivial, or likely to be found false
almost immediately. I will examine this latter point first, and will deal with
the question of testing hypotheses in some detail later on.
The controversy about the applicability of the scientific method to the
social sciences is almost as old as the sciences themselves. There has always
been a strong school of thought in economics, for example, which maintains
that the best method of discussion and presentation is the literary one. Since
the social sciences study Man, who is infinitely variable, it would be incorrect,
and even morally repugnant, to apply mathematical methods in them. We
may draw the odd graph, but it must be purely illust native according to this view
On the other hand, there has been from the earliest days the temptation to
generalise-to find the laws of economics. Let me read you a couple of passages
from W. S. Jevons' Theory of Political Economy published in 1871, to
illustrate the battle that had to be fought to establish the scientific method
From Jevons-Theory of Political Economy
It is clear that Economics, if it is to be a science at all, must be a
mathematical science. There exists much prejudice against attempts to
introduce the methods and language of mathematics into any branch of
the moral sciences. Many persons seem to think that the physical sciences
form the proper sphere of mathematical method. and that moral sciences
demand some other method-I know not what. My theory of Economics,
however, is purely mathematical in character.
The greater or less accuracy attainable in a mathematical science is
a matter of accident, and does not affect the fundamental character of
the science. There can be but two classes of science-those which are
simply logical, and those which, besides being logical are also mathematical.
(Jevons' italics). If there be any science which determines merely whether
a thing be or not--whether an event will happen, or will not happen-it
must be a purely logical science; but if a thing may be greater or less, or
the event may happen sooner or later, nearer or farther, then quantitative
notions enter, and the science must be mathematical in nature, by
whatever name we call it.
Economics has of course changed quite a bit since these words were written.
Economists today run colossal programmes on digital and analogue computers
in order to prove their points. We even make our economics students pass
an examination in mathematics. However, I still think that we can draw
useful advice from Jevons' words.
I would agree with him that in order for something to be a science, it must
be a mathematical science. But certain preconditions have to be satisfied
before we can introduce mathematical methods. However highbrow it may
be, our mathematics provides us only with a symbolism, or in other words,
a substitute for thought. If we hand a problem over to a mathematician, or
if we turn mathematicians -.uselves for a while, this is not much better than
handing the problem over to an electronic computer. Both computers and
live mathematicians are, in a very real sense, complete idiots. They will churn
out an answer, but if we didn't phrase the question carefully enough, the
answer may be quite nonsensical. So before having recourse to mathematics,
we must satisfy two stringent initial conditions. Our abstract terms must be
carefully and unambiguously defined. And we have to introduce all our
hypotheses at the beginning. It is not playing the game to stop the math-
emiatical process in the middle and throw in extra conditions dictated by
" common sense ". For mathematics does not recognize common sense.
Ii we look again at economics we see terms like "utility", "capital" and
''demand" being used to mean a variety of different things. It is virtually
certain that if somni of these terms were more precisely defined, some of the
traditional meanings of such terms would be lost. But economic theory
undoubtedly would benefit if this were done. Also in the economic literature
we constantly meet the phrase other things being equal ". This phrase is
really nothing but an insurance against the theory going wrong, for everyone
knows that other things are not equal. It must therefore be the concern of
the economist to banish this phrase from his work.
AN EXAMPLE FROM PSYCHOLOGY
We will return to economics again in a moment, but first I am going to
discuss an example from psychology. This subject sits neatly on the frontier
between the natural and social sciences. The study of conditioned reflexes and
of the mechanism of learning can be explored experimentally-that is, the
observer is able to control all the relevant factors, and to vary the experimental
conditions in such a way as to investigate them all more or less separately.
This approaches to the ideal situation of the physical sciences, so we usually
think of experimental psychology, as it i;i called, as a natural science. On the
other hand, psychologists study such things as the scientific description of
personality. Since experiments are neither feasible nor legal in this field, it
is usually considered to belong to the social sciences.
The earliest attempts to measure an aspect of personality quantitatively
were intelligence tests. The psychologists made the single assumption that
there was a single factor called intelligence which accounted for the abilities of
various persons to learn complicated skills. Accordingly, they tried to design
tests which would measure this factor without regard to anything which the
person concerned had already learned. We all know that their success has
been only partial. However, people like Thurstone, Spearman and Eysenck
then went a step further. They applied a whole series of intelligence tests to
the same group of people and calculated the statistical correlations between
the results of the various tests. They then assumed that all the tests measured
something which they defined as intelligence, and that some tests did the job
better than others. This is a simple enough hypothesis, and it leads to a
definite estimate of how efficient each test is-or to use the more precise technical
term, how closely its measurement correlates with the true value of intelligence
for a person. Finally, they were able to use their results to predict what would
happen when these and other tests were applied to other groups of people.
The predictions are of a statistical rather than a detailed nature, but the methods
of testing statistical hypotheses are now well established. Notice that, because
the simplest hypothesis got into difficulties, the psychologists had to limit their
aims and resort to statistical methods. In order to get a reliable estimate of
a person's I.Q. we would have to give him a whole series of tests. Our sceptic
might be forgiven for saying we might just as well test the subject on the time-
honoured skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. But the real point is that
this method has a considerable predictive, and therefore testable, value. It is
therefore, a good application of the scientific method.
Suppose we now ask What has in fact been measured ?" I am afraid
the only answer to this question is That which these tests measure." The
psychologists' original assumption was that intelligence is independent of what
has already been achieved. Further detailed tests on groups of children over
a number of years subjected to various educations would be required in order
to test this hypothesis and this is a problem whose surface has barely been
scratched. But in principle there is no reason why the same method of
investigation should not be used, and the answer would be of obvious value
to educationists, not to mention politicians.
It is interesting that the same method has been applied in political sociology
to measure a quantity known as "radicalness". The hypothesis breaks down
after a while because it soon becomes obvious that there is a second factor
which always interferes whenever we attempt to measure how left or right wing
a person's politics are. If we look back at our diagram we see that this
is the place to introduce new hypotheses. The one which has become most
popular in this field is to call this new factor open or closed-mindedness.
Mr. Singham mentioned this topic three weeks ago in his talk on political
science, if you remember. So we are now catalogued as open-minded and
a shade left of centre or close minded and miles to the right ". I must
say I am not too happy about this because I find I am described as a close-
minded radical and I don't find the description at all apt. However, I am
prepared to accept it as being all in the game for the time being, for while this
hypothesis doesn't rate all that highly for falsifiability, I am confident that
like all hypotheses it will one day be falsified.
I would draw the following conclusions from this story:
GOLDEN RULES FOR SCIENTISTS-
(1) ACCURATE OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS
(2) SIMPLEST POSSIBLE (MOST FALSIFIABLE) HYPOTHESES
(3) CARBY THROUGH IMPLICATIONS OF HYPOTHESES TO BITTER END
BEFORE MODIFYING THEM.
Let us now take another look at the science of economics. These three
points were all grasped by economic theorists long ago. I will read you a little
passage from Mathematical Principles of Theory of Wealth written by
Augustin Cournot as long ago as 1838.
From A. Cournot-Mathematical Principles of Theory of Wealth
Any demonstration ought to proceed from the simple to the complex;
the simplest hypothesis for the purpose of investigating by what laws
prices are fixed, is that of monopoly, taking this word in its most absolute
meaning, which supposes that the production of an article is in one man's
hands. This hypothesis is purely fictitious; it is realized in certain cases;
and moreover, when we have studied it, we can analyse more accurately
the effects of competition of producers.
Cournot based his price theory on the hypothesis of monopoly whereas his
immediate successors-the marginalists-based theirs on the hypothesis of
perfect competition. Nowadays we all know that, if anything, Cournot was
nearer the truth, but that the real picture lies somewhere in between. As a
result of these people's work, economists are now in a position to begin studying
the very difficult topic of Imperfect Competition.
Today there is a body of economists which devotes its effort to putting
economics on the same axiomatic footing as the physical sciences. They have
even invented a new word for it-not an usual step for social scientists, since
no body of intellectuals likes its jargon more. They call it econometrics.
Possibly the purest example of this work is the Theory of Games. This
was invented in 1930 by a mathematician, John von Neumann and popularised
by von Neumann and Morgenstem in their book Theory of Games and
Economic Behaviour published in 1947. According to their view we can
picture the economy as a complicated game in which the participants are
consumers, producers, labour and so on. One participant's winnings naturally
depend on what all the other participants do, and the theory tells us in principle
how everyone will act in order to maximise his takings. Notice that I said
"in principle ", however, for the mathematics gets almost impossible if the
number of players in the game is more than two.
This example shows how difficult is the subject of microeconomics. We
should not be surprised at this since we would presumably all agree that it
takes a complicated theory to explain even the economic behaviour of an
individual. However, if we attack from the other end and study macroeconomics
instead, we find that it is possible to construct quite good models from relatively
simple assumptions. A good example of work in this category is Wassily
Leontieff's study of the American economy over the period from 1919. I will
not describe his model in detail, but its outstanding feature is that all the
relationships are assumed to be linear. In other words, his graphs all involve
straight lines instead of the graceful sets of curves used by the classical
economists like Cournot to derive their theories of price. The drawback of
these theories was that they looked quite plausible, but were almost impossible
to test for the same reason as I gave when I discussed the problem of the
expanding bar of iron.
Leontieff's macroeconomic theory which is called input-output analysis,
has been so successful in explaining some aspects of the capitalist economy,
that it has been adopted by government economists in some capitalist countries.
When Mr. Selwyn Lloyd tells us he has been converted to the idea of an economic
plan for Britain, this is almost certainly the sort of thing he means. It is really
a very striking result, that in this case the simplest possible hypothesis, as well
as being scientifically the most acceptable, should also turn out to be so fruitful
in its technological applications.
It is also interesting that we should have found that the macrosopic system
had such simple laws when the microscopic system was so complicated. For
this is a situation which physicists will recognize as a familiar one. While the
behaviour of individual molecules of a gas is complicated, there are quite simple
laws of physics-Boyle's Law and Charles' Law which we all learn at school-
which describe quite accurately some properties of the gas as a whole.
WHEN SOCIAL SCIENCE IS NOT SCIENCE
So far I have tried to be constructive and give examples where the social
scientists adhere as closely and faithfully to the scientific method as the natural
scientists. But I cannot leave the subject without injecting a few more
controversial opinions. I would say that much of the work done in the social
sciences is not at all scientific. In fact if we measure such work in terms of
tons of newsprint I suspect it might turn out to be the major part. I am not
competent to judge its worth-although I might hazard some opinions in
private-but I am sure it is not scientific.
I should say that the greatest single influence in the social sciences which
is responsible for this state of affairs is that of the Freudian and other
psychoanalytic schools of thought. No one can dispute the colossal influence
psychoanalysts have had in the literary subjects, and possibly the extra insight
which they give us into the development of personality does help a little in
our study of society as a whole. However, I think that many social scientists
have been led into the doldrums because they regard the work of the psycho-
analysts as scientific, whereas their methods parallel more closely those of the
literary critic than those of the scientist. Such conclusions as they have reached
are by scientific standards extremely conjectural and based on insufficient
For instance, the Freudian, given the information that male individual A
had a repressed attitude towards sex, which caused him to be unhappy and
inhibited in his relations with the female sex, would say that this was a clear
case of castration fears. These have their origin in events in the life of male
infant A which occurred mainly around the age of three. This sounds fine
enough, but later, when individual B comes along with a highly promiscuous
sex life which threatens his personal relations with the opposite sex, the Freudian
says that this is a different manifestation of the same castration complex. As
if this were not enough, individual C who to all intents and purposes is a pillar
of society, happily married and head of a large and well-balanced family is
also found to be suffering from a castration complex-but in his case it has
somehow got transferred away fiom his sex life, and manifests itself solely in
a violent aversion to bananas. Actually it finally turns out that all males
above the age of three have this thing, and that it can be used to explain pretty
well anything that men do and women do not.
This is, to my mind, a totally unfalsifiable hypothesis, and in scientific
terms is therefore quite meaningless. What is more, such a hypothesis is devoid
of piedietive value. For when I see my son at the age of three, exhibiting
signs of anxiety about possible castration, I w ill be quite unable to infer from
the nature of his anxiety whether he will grow up to be an A, a B or a C.
But suppose we do ask the psychoanalyst to propose a crucial experiment.
lie will then point to the success of psychotherapy in curing mental disorders.
But this evidence is merely the selected and highly subjective evidence of the
psychotherapist himself. If instead, we apply the well-tried methods of
statistical testing to their claims, we find it is all most unconvincing. However,
at this stage the Freudian will throw up his hands in horror, and tell us that
statistical methods are not applicable to psychoanalysis. I think I have said
enough about the scientific method, for you to see that this position, far from
being a scientific one, is positively opposed to the intrusion of science.
This state of affairs need not trouble us unduly, were it not for the fact
that the Freudian method has made massive invasions into the fields of social
investigation, where, as we have seen, the scientific method can be made both
feasible and fruitful. Freud in one of his last works, explained the inferior
status of women in our society, by saying it was a natural result of the discovery
that every little girl makes around the age of three, that her brother has
something which she has not. Who but a man could think up such an idea !
Surely there are more plausible explanations which ought to be considered first.
I hope I have said enough to convince you of the value of the scientific
method. I have had both for reasons of time and of ignorance had to confine
myself to a few sciences, and I am aware that I have generalised rather
drastically. I feel that in particular, I might have been able to paint on a
broader canvas if I had more knowledge of the biological sciences. However,
one cannot pretend to know something about everything.
If asked to state a conclusion, I would say that one cannot in advance
exclude the scientific method from any intellectual field. You could say, and
I would agree with you, that it probably will not get us very far in, say, literary
criticism. But to put up a placard saying "Science Keep Out of Here" would
be intellectually dishonesty and bigotry. For the scientific method properly
used, has built into it a self-checking mechanism. If it makes nonsense, or
establishes only trivial results, then it will tell us so.
K. R. Popper ...
H. J. Eyeenck
T. C. Koopmans
J. Tinbergen ... .
R. Dorfman, P. A. Samuelsoin,
and R. M. Solow
J. von Neumann amd
W. S. Jovois ...
The Logic of Scientific Discovery
... The Scientific Study of Personality
Uses and Abuses of Psychology
The Psychology of Politics
... Three Essays on the State of Economics Theory
Linear Programming and Economic Analysis
Theory of O(mes and Economic Behaviour
The Theory of Political Economy
... The Mathematics of Value and Demand
... Letters, Vol. 5, pp. 196-197
The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud.
The Maroons in the 18th Century:
A Note on Indirect Rule in Jamaica
IN THE history of Jamaica since the Spaniards came, one of the most romantic
traditions is that of the Maroons. It recalls the gloomy defiles where, in the
first Maroon war, a handful of ragged hunters outwitted all the forces the
gentlemen of the House of Assembly could send against them ; and the name
of Cudjoe their leader is still literally a name to conjure with. Under the
treaties which ended this war most of the Maroons have lived peacefully to
the present day. But in 1795 a part of the Maroon nation broke out in armed
rebellion against the Crown. Why ?
In Burn's history of the West Indies the blame is put on Hugues, the
French revolutionary agent, whose arrival set on foot those intrigues with
the Maroons of Jamaica. . which resulted in a desperate outbreak ... in
1795. Burns has written the history of the West Indies in two hundred pages,
and in such a work of compression things inevitably are squeezed together
which belong apart. Is it true, as Burns and Wisenian seem to say, that the
Maroons in their discontents were making common cause with the mulattoes
who wished for thoroughly European changes in their political status-the
right to vote and to hold office and property ? I think it is usually wise to
distrust purely political explanations of great political changes, and especially
to distrust explanations which rely on the secret correspondence and the
agent of a foreign power. The story which, I think, can be pieced together
from books written at or about that time is quite different.
Who were the Maroons ? The story goes back to the years from 1655
to 1600 when an English army, split by dissension and besieged by hunger,
occupied the southern plains of Jamaica while in the hills to the north the
last Spanish governor, Don Christopher Ysasi, tried vainly to muster enough
strength to regain the island for Spain. Each side needed the goodwill of the
Spanish slaves-the slaves who knew the best spots for ambush, the paths
across the forested hills and the haunts of the wild cattle that roamed the
plains. Each side bid for it with the gift of freedom and the right to settle
unmolested in the uplands. When the English finally expelled the Spaniards
they left the control of the mountain spine of Jamaica to these former slaves,
called Maroons. The English did not want the mountains ; they were happier
on the plains, with backs to the sea, or in the fertile valleys like Guanaboa
where the cane throve. To serve the cane the English too brought in slaves ;
and of these too a part fled the estates and joined the bands who hunted the
waste places of the island.
We do not know from what African nations the Spanish slaves were
drawn. Of the English slaves we know that many of those who fled were
Coromantees, that is, Ashanti, a people noted among the slaves and slave
masters for pride and courage ; and it was the Ashanti language and way
of life that came to prevail over all others. The high god of the Ashanti, Nyan-
kopon, was acclimated in Jamaica as Accompong, or in English Garamighty";
the other gods, the little people and the worshipful ancestors all found
their place among this uprooted people. When the abeng, or cowhorn, of the
Maroons signalled across the hills it was in the tones of the Ashanti language
that it spoke.
It is important to realise that the Maroons were at first a hunting people.
They hunted the hogs of the interior and, at least in the beginning, the cattle
which the Spaniards had let run wild on the plains. But as the chain of settle-
ment extended itself around the base of the hills they found themselves confined
and cut from a main source of food. The settlements themselves had cattle,
however ; and these tasted no less sweet for being the property of the estates.
So in the early part of the eighteenth century the encroachment of the English
on their hunting grounds brought a growing friction and, finally, organised
campaigns by the settlers to reduce the Maroons to terms, culminating in
the first Maroon war. This war was a campaign of the type which later became
familiar in Africa-a war whose aim was to bring the lands suitable for European
agriculture under the European system of private ownership.
It is in the treaties which ended the war in 1739 that we have to look
for the seeds of 1795. The Jamaican administrators of the day looked on these
treaties as a final and stable settlement. What did the terms provide ? First,
they set up the Maroons as a separate people within their own reserved area,
with absolute chiefs directly responsible to the governor of Jamaica. We
do not know if the Maroons had formerly been ruled in this way ; I am inclined
to think that they had lived in independent groups uniting under a chief
only under threat of war. Secondly, the Maroons were given areas of land
adjoining their towns to practise agriculture, and their hunting was forbidden
within three miles of any European settlement. Their visits to the towns
were brought under a pass system. Thirdly, in each Maroon town was installed
a white resident ", with powers not clearly defined but responsible, as was
the chief or captain, directly to the governor of the island. Fourthly, a duty
was imposed on the Maroons-that of capturing and returning slaves who
ran away from their masters-a provision that henceforth set the interests
of the Maroons in opposition to those of the rest of the African population.
I would like to suggest that this settlement was by its nature no more stable
than similar arrangements in Africa have proved over the last fifty years.
We can see this if we look at what actually happened next. The English
settlements went on expanding, pushing further and further into the hills;
by the end of the century almost as much of the land of Jamaica was claimed
by private owners as today, though not so much was actually in use ; and
on all this land the Maroons could legally hunt or dwell only by invitation.
They were driven therefore more and more to live by growing food and tobacco
and trading it in the island markets, and even by working for wages. But
the tracts of land allotted them for cultivation were not of the best, and
gradually approached exhaustion ; while their numbers steadily increased.
They were forced to leave the towns to which the treaties had confined them
and settled in small groups, removing themselves thus, whether deliberately
or not, from the control of the captains. The position of the captains was
already sufficiently embarrassed ; appointed, after the succession named in
the treaties had run its course, at the will of the governor, for English rather
than African reasons, they could not be certain of the allegiance of their people
or of their rank in relation to the white man who lived-or should have
lived-beside them. In Trelawney, where an energetic white resident com-
pletely displaced the captain before being himself removed from office, the
leadership of the Maroons seems to have degenerated into the bickering of
cliques by 1795. The actual incident which led them into open defiance was
of little importance ; the intercourse with French agents was a figment of the
planters' imagination ; the root cause of the rebellion was that the develop-
ment of the island along English lines had deprived them of the basis of their
traditional way of life and, leaderless, they could not accommodate themselves
to the new situation-as did the Portland Maroons, who moved, from Nanny
Town to Moore Town to Bath and Charles Town, ever further, geographically
and economically, from their isolation into the main stream of Jamaican life.
Seen in these terms, the Maroon war of 1795 becomes not an isolated
incident in the political history of the island but an explosion of the same
type as occurred in 1805 and even in 1938-the hunger of a growing popula-
tion, cut off from its share in the land by social barriers which it cannot destroy
peacefully, making violent appeal to whatever power can serve it best. The
situation of the Maroons in the eighteenth century its essentials, resembles
that of parts of Africa today, even to the way in which some peoples have
adapted themselves peacefully while others have broken into violent resis-
tance. Since emotion must enter into our view of present Africa, it is instructive
and even useful to consider the same problems in a narrower and remoter
New Science of Politics
A. W. SNGoHAM
ALMOST a year ago Professor Chapman introduced this community to the
various approaches used by political scientists in their study of government.(').
This lecture, which was later printed by the University, is indeed a remarkable
document ; for within a month of his arrival, Professor Chapman with amazing
insight (which after all is a professional trait) indicated that the major con-
tribution which a political scientist could make was to bring reason to the
University and community. After spending a year here in this community
I could not agree with him more that one of the prime ingredients necessary
here at the University and in the community is the proper exercise of reason.
But this, I must confess, is not the task of a political scientist, for it is precisely
because he has assumed the role of a moral prescriber that our discipline has
become a haven for the modern cleric, who no longer finds the pulpit respect-
able. This moral role that he assumes has often made him a self-styled expert
on all matters of public policy. ([ am informed that this ailment of the political
scientist is shared by his sister disciplines, economics and sociology).
In order to understand politics, these moralists argue, one has to
" experience" the event or events one is describing. Thus, they face the
problem of reliability and validity of explanation by resorting to a code of
ethics. The essence of political theory becomes ethics, and ideological pre-
ference is often substituted for political analysis.
I propose tonight to return to an elementary distinction which seems
to have lost favour recently, namely, a distinction between the public and
the private role of the policy scientist ". The political scientist, because
of his close association with policy questions has often confused the roles of
being a policy maker and a policy analyst. He is under constant pressure
today from the political elites to become a decision maker, thus further con-
fusing his role. The Kennedy administration, for example, has depleted the
faculty of Social Sciences at Harvard and by so doing has done a great dis-
service to the intellectual community by implying that these two roles, a
policy analyst, and a policy maker, are inter-changeable.
In addition to the problem of not being able to distinguish between these
roles, the political scientist of today is further confused by the fact that his
discipline has no boundaries. For example, Professor Chapman, in the same
article, states that political science, like history, is one of the few disciplines
left that is interested in the study of man in all his aspects. It is this omnibus
approach that has resulted in an accumulation of all types of information,
about all types of institutions, related to politics. But the essence of knowledge
(1) Chapman, Brian, The Study of Government, Inaugural Lecture, U.C.W.I., October,
writes Richenbach, is generalization, and generalization, he continues, is the
very nature of explanation. It is this search for generalization that has led
to dis-enchantment on the part of some political scientists with the omnibus
approach ", and has led them along novel and adventurous lines. I propose
tonight to describe and discuss these recent developments.
The attempts at introducing these new and novel approaches have found
greatest acceptance in the United States. Disenchanted with the traditional
historical and legal approaches, American political scientists began to take
an interest in the process of government rather than the structure of govern-
ment. This interest in process was often accompanied with an attempt at
The University of Chicago in the late twenties and early thirties was
the centre of what is now known as the behavioral approach to politics. By
far the most influential and brilliant was Harold Lasswell, to whom we shall
return later. In addition to Lasswell, Chicago was also responsible for Herbert
Simon, author of Administrative Behaviour(1), Gabriel Almond, author of
The Politics of the Developing Areas(2), and David Truman-who wrote The
Governmental Process(3). The Chicago school with their interest in political
process, naturally turned to such political institutions as political parties,
legislatures, and interest groups. Their main focus however, was to examine
social processes within political organizations.
The post world war generation of political scientists were not entirely
satisfied with descriptions of social processes ; developments in sociology
and social psychology, especially the structure-functional school, influenced
much of the behavioral research. The structure-functional influence brought
into the discipline a whole new language that the political scientist was un-
acquainted with. The social psychologists with their small group experimen-
tation and tests of statistical significance, made the political scientist aware
of the difficulties in arriving at generalizations in social sciences.
These new developments within the discipline resulted in a prolonged
and futile debate within the profession. The discussion was largely over peri-
pheral, not basic issues. The disagreement can be largely explained in
generational terms, namely, the old timers reacting to, and threatened by the
" Young Turks ".
While this debate was being ensued some of the most imaginative works
in political science were being conducted by non-political scientists. Lipset
published a brilliant work on democratic processes within a trade union(') ;
Barrington Moore produced an insightful analysis of Soviet Politics(5). It
is quite clear then that political science as a profession had to adopt a foreign
policy towards the other social sciences or face obsolescence.
(1) Simon, Herbert, Administrative Behaviour, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., New York, 1957.
(2) Almond, Gabriel, Politics of the Developing Areas. Princeton University Press, 1960.
(3) Truman, David, The Governmental Process, Alfred Knopf & Co., Now York 195.
(4) Lipset, Seymour M., Union Democracy, Free Press, Glencoe, 1956.
(5) Moore, Barrington, Jr., Soviet Politics-The Dilemma of Power, Harvard University
Press, Cambridge, 1950.
The major difficulty that the discipline faces today is an epistomological
one. In other words the political scientist of today has to make some assump-
tions about man, his nature, and his functioning. We could arrive at these
assumptions arbitrarily, or we may look at our sister disciplines and discover
what, if any, empirical generalizations they have arrived at about man's
social behaviour. It behoves him, then, to acquire the necessary skills utilized
by the other sciences, so that he may read and understand their findings.
In the short run a political scientist will have to spend a great deal of his time
acquiring a general education ; incidentally it is this need that leads a political
scientist when he is asked how he is earning a living, to reply apologetically
that he is actually a historian, or sociologist, &c. It is thus quite tempting
for the political scientist now to become an omnibus social-scientist" and
thus return to what he has rebelled against.
It is obvious from the previous discussion that there exists considerable
confusion over the role of the profession. The confusion arises primarily
because the discipline has never attempted to seriously demarcate its sphere
of interest, and then develop a body of theory that explains the political
phenomena. It acquired its substantive areas of interest by default, rather
than by the types of generalization it developed. Two recent attempts at
re-definition deserve our attention : David Easton suggests(') that we isolate
that part of social reality that we are interested in and subject it to analytical
treatment. The part he suggests is the authoritative allocation of values in
a society. This involves a study of the structures and practices that are closely
related to the authoritative allocation of values in a given society. Collectively
these activities can be integrated and termed the political system. The function
of the political theorist then is to identify and discuss the relationships between
these variables. If the study of politics is so defined, then it becomes imperative
that we develop terms, concepts, and definitions that have universal meaning,
and precision. The positivists have been bitter in their complaint that as a
discipline, we have never engaged in the necessary art of defining our terms.
For example, such commonly accepted terms as class, ideology, functions, &c.
must now take a more precise form if we are to communicate with one another.
These gross terms we have glibly borrowed from Marx without attempting
to refine them. Parsons for example, has attempted to introduce concepts
like role, status, perception as refinements of earlier gross categories. His
interest in politics, however, has been recent, although the (place) of the
political system was implicit in his early work-the Social System('). In a
recent article(3) he suggests that the political scientist make the same distinc-
tion that an economist makes between the economy and economics. He
suggests that the political scientist distinguish between politics and the polity.
The goal and the function of the economy he states is production, but the
goal and function of the polity is the mobilization of social resources, and
(1) Easton, David, The Political System, Alfred Knopf, New York, 1959.
(2) Parsons. Talcott. The Social System, Free Press, Glencoe, 1959.
(3) Parsons, Talcott, The Structure and Process in Modern Societies, Free Press,
the attainment of common goals for the formation of public policy. The
production of the polity is a system of power, ihich is a generalized capacity
to get things done in the interest of collective goai.
One of the most important and significant contcpts utilized by political
scientists is the power concept. Max Weber(1) whose contributions in this
area are monumental, defined the state as a human community that claims
a monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.
He goes on to say that politics means the striving to share power, or striving
to influence the distribution of power among states or among groups within
the state "
George Catlin and Harold Lasswell can be described as the modern revision-
ists of the power concept ; Catlin(?) is unhappy about the political scientists
because they have confined themselves to study political institutions. For
Catlin the data for politics can be obtained by observing man as he enforces
his will on others. This act of will, a psychological drive to maximize one's
values, Catlin argues, provides the basis for a new science of politics. Power
then, for Catlin, is the major orienting concept in political science.
HIarold Lasswell suggests that, in politics, what we are interested in is
the way in which values are shaped and distributed. After looking at some
of the Twentieth Century elites, Lasswell concludes that the elites are able
to survive because they are able to distribute the core values of income, safety
and deference. Politics then becomes a study of influence and influentials(3.
The elite theory of politics is certainly not a new development in political
science. Both Lasswell and Catlin are actually, as we indicated at the outset,
revisionists of the power concept. In spite of the obvious appeal of the elite
theories, we must note that neither Lasswell nor Catlin gives us a framework
for political analysis. All they do is to describe the power process, and how
elites acquire power. Lasswell's contributions, however, were not only in the
area of elite theory. His subsequent study, Psychopathology and Politics(')
introduces the political scientist to the writings of Freud and its application
for politics. Utilizing psycho-analytical data, he shows how the politician
displaces private affects on public objects ; he also shows how political atti-
tudes are a product of childhood training and sexnial mores.
Having introduced you to one or two of the orienting concepts in political
science, I want to turn now to some recent empirical writings in political
science that reflect the new "scientific mood of the political scientist. I
wish to examine writings that deal with the personality, the group, national
political structure, and comparative political structure.
(1) Max Weber, From Max Weber, Editors, Gerth & Mills, Routeledge Kegan & Paul,
London, 1932, p. 178.
(2) Catlin, G. E. G., The Science and Method of Politics, Alfrod Knopf & Co., New
(3) Lasawell H., Politics, Who get What, When and How.
(4) Lasswell, Harold, Political writings of Harold Lasswell, Free Press, Glenooe, 1951.
The most significant work to appear in the general area of personality
and politics was Erich Fromm's Escape from Freedom.(1). The growth
of fascism in Europe left many a social scientist aghast at explaining oi.c of
the most ruthless tyrannies of modern times. Franz Neuman produced the
classic entitled Behmouth (2) where he traced the economic factors that
led to the growth of facism. In that study he also introduced the concept
of the total bureaucratization of the individual in the modern fascist state.
Two psychologists, Eysenk(3) in England and Adorno(4) in the United States
began to develop tests to measure what is now called the authoritarian
Psychologists with their characteristic skepticism of psycho-analytical
and sociological variables, have attempted to deal with the problem by
measuring attitudes and relating them to personality traits. Early attempts
at this was disastrous, for personality theory involved more than a congeries
The authors of the Authoritarian personality were primarily interested
in describing the phenomenon of anti-Semitism. They found, for example,
that the anti-Semite was also quite hostile to all minority groups ; and their
major concern became that of ethnocentricism. They then developed the
now infamous F scale, which in actuality was a psychological test designed
to test fascist tendencies. They found that those who scored high on the F scale
scored high on ethnocentricism and anti-Semitism. But unfortunately their
measure for fascism was conceptually confused, and was referred to as a test
for authoritarianism. In actuality it tested fascist authoritarianism and not
authoritari ins as a class. Shils(5) pointed out the political bias of this study
and indicated that this measure did not include the left authoritarians. Again,
as Rokeach(o) and associates have pointed out, legitimate as this criticism
was, it would be more fruitful if we ceased thinking of authoritarians in either
left or right wing terms, but develop a test that would measure authoritarian
types irrespective of political pre-dispositions. Rokeach and associates then
worked on the assumption that if one made a distinction between the structure
and content of ideological systems, then we might introduce some clarity.
For example, a person might be for an inter-racial society, believe in the
right of Mr. Bustamante to exist, be permissive with his children, but at the
same time be quite rigid about these seemingly liberal traits. In the expression
of these goals, he might prove to be closed minded and authoritarian.
I now want to turn to the writings of Milt Rokeach who discusses one
of the age-old problems in political science with the tools of psychology.
Ideology and ideological commitment have been the subject of much dis-
cussion in the literature of political science. He suggests that the problem
(I) Fromm, Erich, Escape from Freedom, Rhinehart, New York, 1941.
(2) Neuman, Franz, Behmouth, Oxford University Press, 1944.
(3) Eysenk, Psychology of Politics, Routledge, Kegan Paul, London, 1954.
(4) Adorno et al, Authoritarian Personality, Harper Bros., New York, 1950.
(5) Christie R. and Jahoda. Marie (eds), Studies in the scope and method of the Authori-
tarian Personality, Free Press, Glencoe, 1954.
(6) Rokesoh, M., The Open and Closed Mind, Basic Books, New York, 1960.
of authoritarianism can be fully understood only if we understand the belief
system of an individual. Ile speaks of a belief-disbelief system, for heie he
argues that every system is asymmetrical ; one has in addition to a series of
beliefs, a series of sub-systems that one rejects. The belief system is conceived
to represent all beliefs, sets, expectancies, that a person accepts as true about
the world he lives in.
A disbelief system is a series of sub-systems, that contains all the dis-
beliefs, sets, &c. that one rejects at a given time as being false. A system for
Rokeach is not a logical system of inter-related parts. It is a psychological
system where parts may be functionally related, but not logically. Now a
belief-disbelief system so defined does not have descriptive categories like
communism versus democracy, but rather it is a system that includes all
aspects of belief. In short it is a total framework. Within this system there
is the phenomena of isolation, i.e. an ability to have contradictory beliefs
within a system. Secondly it has the component of differentiation, i.e. an
ability to articulate the distinctions within the belief system. Furthermore,
the organization of beliefs takes place along a central-peripheral dimension.
A central region represents a person's primitive beliefs. The inter-related
region, his authority figures, and finally the periphery is actually a residual
category where one arrives at a conclusion on the basis of anticipated authority
Time does not permit us to explore Rokeach's findings about the open-
and-closed minded aspects of the personality ; but it should be apparent what
implications this study has for the study of political ideologies. We have in
political science stressed beyond proportion the rational aspects of man, always
assuming that he perceives shifts and changes in neatly-structured terms.
The psychologists have made it clear that our logical systems with their
sociological compartmentalization will have to be modified by recent develop-
ments in personality theory.
I want to turn now to the findings of the social psychologists ; they have
reminded us that in order to understand the behaviour of an individual we
must examine his behaviour in the context of his activity ; in this respect
they single out the small group as being the most useful. The group concept
thus has been borrowed and used by the political scientist to study political
behaviour. The group concept has resulted in a number of very interesting
and suggestive studies. Bentley with his Process of Government('), Newcombe
and his Bennington Girls(2), Whyte and his Street Corner Boys(3), Muzefer
Sheriff(4) with his perception theories, and Robert Merton(5) with reference
group theories ; all of these unleashed an exciting area for political analysis.
(1) Dentley, Arthur, The Process of Government, University of Chicago Press. 1908,
(2) Noweombe, T. M., Personality and Social Change, New York, Aryden Press, 1943.
(3) Whyte, William F., Street Corner Society, Chicago, University of Chicago Proess,
(4) Muzefer Sheriff, The Psychology of Social Norms, New York. Harper Bros., 1930.
(5) Merton, Robert, Social Theory and Social Structure, Free Press, Glencoe, 1957.
Latham(') and Truman developed theories about the group basis of politics ;
but, poor conceptualization and the fleeting character of the group began
to plague tlie political scientist. He was faced with the task of distinguishing
between types of groups, and the sociologist's distinction between formal
end informal groups proved to be of little use. There was a need also develop-
ing for instruments to measure the degree and extent of group influence on
behaviour. The experimental fad caught on, but group experiments again
had limited value for the world of reality(2).
Just as the social-psychologists were disenchanted with the personality
variable, the sociologists objected to the group variable, and sought to explain
political bahaviour by relating it to the social structure. Bendix(3) and
Lipset(3) pioneered the movement for showing the relationship between social
stratification and political power. Implicit in this view was the notion that
the ideas and actions of men were conditioned by their socio-economic
position in the society, and that when large numbers of persons occupy the
same position, they begin to think and act alike, and finally they are likely
to organize along these lines and compete for political power." Thus the
study of politics must involve an analysis of the social composition of members
and leaders of political organizations. This, they argue, will give us a clue
as to how power is distributed in a society.
One of the by-products of this emphasis on social stratification has been
the development of voting studies. Paul Lazarsfeld(4) began wlhat has pro-
bably become one of the most productive fields in the study of politics and
incidentally where the most systematic work has been done, namely, the general
area of voting behaviour. The sample survey has enabled us to remove the
discussion of the class and group basis of voting from the speculative realm
to an empirical one. In addition to the usual relationship between social
structure and voting, the Survey Research Centre at the University of
Michigan has attempted to measure and co-relate psychological attitudes
After a general election one can find that the political analysts all
become pundits about why people voted in a particular manner. We have
seen recently in Jamaica the referendum has been interpreted as a vote of
no confidence, a general hostility towards the brown elites, a rejection of the
University College as an intellectual community, and so on and so forth.
This is one of the few areas in which analysts speak with a great deal of con-
viction and no information. The proper use of the survey both prior to and
after the election might have given us some clues about the motivational
basis of the vote.
(1) Latham, E., The Group Basis of Politics, American Political Science Review,
Vol. 46, June, 1952.
(2) Verba, Sydney, Small Groups and Political Behaviour, Princeton University
(3) Lipset, Sm. and Bendix, R., Class, Status and Power, Glencoo, Free Press 19.
(4) Bereleson, B. and Lazarefeld, Paul McPhee, W. N., Voting, Chicago, University
of Chicago Press, 1954.
(5) Campbell and Associates, The American Voter, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1960.
In addition to studying voting behaviour, the sample survey has proved
to be quite useful in studying political elite groups, community power struc-
tures and other political institutions. I have found the sample survey, in
my study of the Jamaican bureaucracy, an invaluable asset. In this case
I am interested in examining the socio-psyclological characteristics of the
senior administrative officials in Jamaica. I am interested for example, in
finding out what is the class background of the Jamaican service, and their
administrative values, i.e., the degree of their conunitment to such values
as efficiency, rationality, &c. In this case I find that the sample survey is the
best available technique for analysis. Tile use of survey methods has had a
revolutionary impact on the study of politics, one of the most important
consequences of which has been the emphasis on methodology, thus making
the political scientist more rigorous and forcing him to sharpen his analytical
tools. The introduction of elementary statistics has had the usual effect of
terrifying the traditional pundits, who have raised the cry of tyranny and
1984, but like the other social sciences we have (by and large) adjusted to
its proper use.
1Up to this point the findings of political science that I have tried to
discuss have one serious limitation ; they suffer from being merely parochial
findiigsi ; in other \ words, in discussing personality, the small group, or national
political systems, they' all operate or have been analyzed within one cultural
systelm. Sensitive to the charge of being 'culture bound" the political
scientist has attempted to put his local findings to the test by comparing them
with other political systems. For if he is interested in generalizing about
the behaviour of man, he cannot after all define man as being an European
man ; in fact much of the early literature arrived at generalizations about
political institutions and behaviour on the basis of findings about western
political systems. But the revolutions in Asia and Africa forced the western
political scientist to take a second look at their generalizations ; the anthro-
pologists and sociologists again have had to come to our aid and introduce
us to such things as culture systems, &c.
The comparative method has been most significant in that it has allowed
us to return to the systems approach in politics, which we raised at the
outset of this discussion. Almond and associates have recently developed the
" Political culture model. They treat the political system as a patterned
interaction of roles affecting the decisions that are backed by the coercive
power of the state. A political system however, operates within a political
culture, and Almond develops a four-fold classification of political cultures :
(1) Anglo-American ; (2) Continental European ; (3) pre-or partially
industrial ; (4) totalitarian. But again, as in many of these classifications,
he confuses cultural patterns, social order and political bias(1).
(I) Eulan, Elderaveld and Sanowitz, Political Behaviour, Free Press, Qlencoe, 1959.
Macridis(1) modifies the cultural approach and suggests that the following
elements within a political system can be meaningfully compared : structure
of authority, social interest configuration, and the decision-making apparatus.
Apter distinguishes three dimensions for comparative research : (1) social
stratification; (2) political groups ; and (3) government(2). Again the greatest
difficulty we face is the operational relevance of these conceptual models for
David Easton(3) has recently introduced input-output analysis to political
science. He indicates that a political system is a system which takes in inputs
in the form of demands and support and produces outputs in the form of
policies and decisions. In any political system scarcity prevails with regard
to most things people want ; therefore not all demands can possibly be met.
We must determine first how demands arise and assume their particular
character in society, and then how these demands are transformed into issues
or inputs. However, in order to keep going a political system also needs inputs
in the form of support. The main reason for focusing attention on support
as a crucial input is the need to find out how systems manage to maintain
a steady flow of inputs without which the system would not absorb sufficient
energy from its members to be able to convert demands into decisions and
policies, i.e. outputs.
At the outset of this discussion we stated some of the theoretical require-
ments for the study of politics. After exploring the efforts made by the
empirically oriented political scientists, we find that in spite of gallant efforts
we have not been as systematic as the other disciplines in hypothesis con-
struction. For concepts such as the group, there has been great confusion.
We have referred elsewhere to the fact that the divisions between the
various social sciences have begun to lose their meaning. This is all the more
so in an underdeveloped society, where it is becoming increasingly difficult
to distinguish between social, economic and political aspects. We find for
example that a political structure in order to be functional, will depend upon
the economic goals that are sought after, and the maximization of these goals
in time will depend on the stability or instability of the social structure. It
would be quite tempting under these circumstances for a social scientist to
attempt to research all three aspects of the social system simultaneously.
If he falls a prey to this temptation he will then tend to produce an abstract
model about the whole system that has little or no bearing on the problem
he originally set out to investigate. But on the other hand if he selects a
political problem and examines it exhaustively, paying little or no attention
to the economic or social aspects, he stands the danger of.providing partial
or misleading answers to his problem.
(1) Macridia, Roy, The Study of Comparative Government, Double Day & Co., New
(2) Apter, David, A Comparative Method for the Study of Politics, American Journal
of Sociology, Vol. 64, No. 3, November, 1958, pp. 221-237.
(3) Easton, David, An Approach to the Analysis of Political Systems. World Politics,
Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 383-400.
This dilemma can be best resolved if the social scientist works in a mileu
where there is considerable interaction between social scientists. This inter-
action must result in co-ordination and integration of research where it will
not be necessary for political scientists to be doing economic research. A
co-ordinated design is almost imperative, as most of the underdeveloped
countries have limited resources. This might sound repulsive to those of you
who have conceived of intellectual activity as individual activity, but there
are two reasons why this procedure is essential. To begin with, in under-
developed societies the need for economizing is high, and administrative and
intellectual co-ordination could result in the best use of resources. Secondly,
in most underdeveloped societies the intellectual community is small and
intellectual traditions weak. In the formative years in these societies, insti-
tutions of higher learning will have to bureaucratize their research activity,
until such time as the market is flooded with research workers. It is interesting
to note that in this connection the I.S.E.R., here at the University, is one
of the few organizations in the underdeveloped world that has acted as a
co-ordinating body. But the integrative functions still remain to be done.
The task of the political scientist in the area is a difficult one. In addition
to furthering the frontiers of political knowledge, he has to accomplish this
task in collaboration with his fellow economists and sociologists. Unless we
perform this function Lippman's characterization of political science will
remain true. He once remarked that nobody takes political science seriously,
for nobody is convinced that it is a science or that it has any important bearing
Language Studies in the Independent
The contribution which the independent University of the West Indies
will make in the field of the liberal arts is, with the possible exception of the
social sciences, nowhere likely to be as great as it will undoubtedly be in the
study of language. For, if we must regard the principal role of a university
as that of increasing the world's store of knowledge by constantly putting to
the test existing theories and principles in new environments and, when
necessary, re-framing or revising these theories and principles to embrace
hitherto unsuspected phenomena, then one is justified in the claim that on the
international plane the University of the West Indies is destined to make
considerable contributions to the science of Linguistics, and indeed to all
disciplines in which language plays an integral part.
Throughout the Caribbean is to be found a complex language situation,
in which the indigenous American-Indian languages, nowi nearly all extinct,
have been replaced by transplanted co'lnial languages--English, Spanish,
Dutch, French-existing side by side with one or more creole language. These
Creoles are the mixed languages ihich have resulted from the contact
between a European language and one or more of the West African languages,
and which in territories such as Haiti and Curacao have attained social status
and are now used for all but official communications. In other places such as
Jamaica, British Honduras, and Dominica, the Creole is completely without
" status ", though its virility is attested by the fact that it is for the masses
the first, if not the only language.
It is the purpose of this article to indicate the tremendous scope for a
programme of language study by our University, and also the urgency with
which these studies must be undertaken. I shall proceed on the assumption
that our purpose will be to discover and describe all the language forms which
exist in the Caribbean area, the respective functions and social status of these
forms, and the role which they play and ought to play in education as (1) media
of instruction, (2) curriculum subjects, and (3) the basis for formulation of
suitable methods of language teaching in the area.
The first of these purposes, that of describing the various language forms,
requires pure linguistic investigation and need not, in the beginning, involve
the social scientist or educationist at all. It will necessitate :-
(1) Extensive field work in all the territo ies for the collection of material
from which the analysis will be made. If I may illustrate by using
the situation best known to me, the Jamaican one, this would mean
the collection of three types of tests, viz. (a) Expatriate English
(b) Standard Jamaican English, and (c) Jamaican Creole.
(2) The submission of each of these groups of texts to rigorous examina-
tion under the following headings : (a) phonology (b) morphology
(c) syntax (d) prosody (e) lexicon. This will lead to the pre-
paration of grammars, dictionaries, and linguistic atlases for the
(3) Historical investigation. We shall need for each territory not only
the type of historical background study which R. B. Le Page has
already given for Jamaica in Creole Language Studies I, but also
more detailed study leading to the identification and description of
the particular provincial or local dialect of French, English, &c.,
which forms the basis of the Creole for that territory. In Jamaica,
for instance, the Creole bears direct genetic relationship to the
midland and northern 17th and 18th century provincial dialects,
and not to the dialect which developed into Modern Standard
English. Hand in hand with this will go a description of the West
African languages which have influenced the development of each
of the Creoles, and if possible, a description of such pidgins or
traders' language as may have been in general use during the
centuries of the slave trade.
(4) Comparative studies of these varying forms, first intra-territory,
and then inter-territory, to determine the points of similarity or
distinction in each of the types under investigation, at each level
((See section 1).
The task of investigating the functions and social status of these linguistic
forms is primarily that of the social scientist, who, it is hoped will work closely
with the linguist and make available to him the results of his socio-linguistic
studies. He can help the linguist best by :-
(1) Making periodic checks on the attitudes to each of the linguistic
forms of each group in the community-officials, educators, city
folk, country folk, &c. This will help the linguist, in the initial
stages of his investigation, to determine the best methods of
approach in drafting questionnaires, in selecting informants, and
carrying out the mechanics of his studies. It is the social scientist
who will first be able to predict any relaxation or intensification
of a vendetta against one language form or another, and the
linguist must depend on him to a great extent in establishing a
rapport between him and his public.
(2) Alerting the linguist to the existence of any special languages, such
as those used by certain cults throughout the West Indies, and if
needs be, making the entr6e for the linguist who will describe these
(3) Assisting the linguist in his investigation of linguistic taboos at the
lexical level in particular.
It is, however, in the field of education that these studies will make the
greatest impact and have widest practical .pplicttion. The teaching of English
poses in the West Indies special problems not found in those countries in which
English is the mother tongue nor yet exactly paralleled in those in which
English must be taught as a foreign language \while the child's mother tongue
remains the dominant one. Again I draw my illustration from Jamaica ; the
aim in teaching Standard English is not merely to give the child a second
linguistic tool, but also to make the new language the dominant one, that is, to
shift the balance away from Jamaican Creole to Standard Jamaican English.
This, in the light of the fact that the medium of instruction is also the language
being taught, creates special language-learning and language-teaching problems,
which need to be studied by educator and linguist together, so that specific
methods may be proposed, rigorously tested, and revised, until judged adequate
to meet the situation.
I cannot stress sufficiently the need in this for co-ordination of effort
between linguist and educationist. The latter, having relied until now largely
on pragmatical methods for dealing with the problem, is likely to chafe at the
bit and be reluctant to take the long and indirect way pointed to him by the
linguist. The linguist, however, knows that any method of language instruction
which does not find its foundation in reliable descriptions and comparative
studies of the languages involved (the child's first language and the language
being taught) is of necessity wasteful and uneconomical.
The order of procedure is clear. Equipped with the descriptions and
comparative studies of each of the language forms existing in each territory,
linguist, social scientist and educationist will sit down together in consultation
and arrive at a decision as to which of the languages is to be given primacy and
be the one taught in the schools. This is not, as would seem at first blush, a
foregone decision. In Jamaica, for instance, the answer is likely to be Standard
English, but then we shall have to decide what standard : Standard Expatriate
English, Standard Jamaican, or Standard West Indian ? For there is a
difference between the three, and while Standard Jamaican and Standard West
Indian (fictitious though they be) have much in common, they are far removed
from the equally fictitious Standard Expatriate English which so many West
Indians seek to emulate, and actually think they speak.
(2) Having decided on the language which will receive primacy of status,
the decision will have to be taken on the medium of instruction. This is not
a decision in which the linguist has much say : his is but to accept the advice
of social scientist and educationist.
(3) The next step will be that of deciding the best classroom methods, the
order of instruction, grading of lessons, &c. Both method and content will
depend on the language being taught and the language of instruction.
(4) The final stage involves the writing of texts, and the training of
specialist teachers who will be equipped to test the material under all types of
conditions until a final selection can be made.
This article has so far concentrated on the local implications of language
study in the Caribbean. On the international plane it will have tremendous
linguistic and pedagogical importance for the study of the Creole genre in
general, and for application to the teaching of official languages against a
Creole background in particular. For the Caribbean may justly be regarded as
the Western storehouse of the Creoles, and as such will provide much of the
material for studies in Creole Linguistics.
There is, of course, nothing new in the interest in Creole languages which
has recently come into focus with the works of men like Robert Le Page,
Douglas Taylor, Robert Hall, David T)e Camp, and others. A number of
19th century linguists attempted to study them, notably Addison Van Name,
whose Contributions To Creole Grammar appeared in 1869-70 ; Hugo
Schuchardt, whose compendious Krrolische Studien, in eleven volumes appeared
1882-91 ; Rene Poyen-Bellisle, who published Les Sons et Les Formes du
Creole dans les Antilles in 1894 ; and J. Turiault whose Etude sur le Creole de la
Martinique was published in 1874. The approach of these linguists in an age
when language study was still bound to the Classics, was, by modern standards
unscientific, but understandably so. The result was that they and their
readers came to regard Creole languages as (to quote Van Name) dialects
which have grown out of European languages grafted on African stock and
hence inferior in general interest to even the rudest languages of native
Recent developments in Linguistics have proven the old theories wrong,
and have shown that not only are the Creoles fit subjects of study in themselves,
but that they have already thrown a great deal of light on the structure and
history of one or other of the parent languages from which they have sprung.
In the field of syntactic analysis alone, if in no other, the study of Creole
languages is likely to revolutionize the entire methodology. For Creole
languages represent the extreme in analytical languages, and any method of
analysis which is adequate for describing them is most likely to have general
application to other less analytical systems. Indeed, if there is such a thing
as the universal grammar for which philosophers have so long been seeking,
then it is more than probable that those who are engaged in analysis of Creole
grammars will come very close to discovering it, and we can hope some day to
have some really good descriptions of languages such as English, for instance,
for which there is at present no completely adequate description.
But what I have said so far is not at all to minimize the work already
done by the U.C.W.I. in this field. Rather, it is to advocate the continuation
of the programme initiated by Robert Le Page, who, immediately after his
arrival in the West Indies became aware of the need and scope for linguistic
studies and was soon engaged in a linguistic survey of the Caribbean. In an
article in this magazine (Vol. 4, No. 1) entitled The Language Problem of the
Caribbean he outlined the immensity of the task being undertaken, giving
a sketch of the situation in each territory and the programme of investigation
and research indicated.
Most of the work since then has, however, centred in Jamaica. Already
two texts of major value on Jamaican Creole have been published. The first by
R. B. Le Page and David De Camp begins the series called Creole Language
Studies, and is entitled JAMAICAN CREOLE. It is written in two parts :
(1) A historical introduction by Le Page, and (2) a phonological and
grammatical description together with four stories in phonemic
orthography by De Camp. The second publication is JAMAICA
TALK, a popular text by Frederic G. Cassidy, designed to give the
story of "Three Hundred Years of the English Language in
Jamaica." Prof. Cassidy's book was reviewed by me in the last
issue of Caribbean Quarterly. It shares with the other the
distinction of establishing a satisfactory and economical spelling
system for Jamaican Creole.
In 1959 a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in New York made
possible a conference on Creole Language Studies in Jamaica. In addition to
the three gentlemen whose publications I have just mentioned, there were a
number of linguists whose interests lay in the field of Creole linguistics. These
S.R.R. Allsopp (British Guiana), who had done an M.A. thesis on
the dialect of English spoken in Georgetown ;
Prof. Robert A. Hall (Cronell University) internationally known for
his work on Haitian Creole and the East World pidgins ;
Douglas Taylor (Dominica) whose contributions on Dominican
Creole in WORD Magazine are well known in the field ; and
Dr. Jan Voorhoeve (Surinam) who has done extensive work with
three Creole dialects in Surinam.
At this Conference a permanent committee was set up with R. B. Le Page as
secretary to assist in co-ordinating Creole language studies in the future. The
Creole Language Studies series mentioned above is one of the fruits of this
conference, the proceedings of which have now been published as the second
book in the series.
Meanwhile, two other texts are near completion : "A Dictionary of
Jamaican English on Historical Principles by Cassidy and Le Page, and my
own Grammar of Jamaican Creole, which is to be No. 3 in the Creole Language
Studies series. A dissertation by David Lawton entitled An Analysis of the
Suprasegmental Phenomena of Jamaican Creole is also due for publication
soon by Michigan State University. With the publication of these studies the
back will at least have been broken as far as Jamaican Creole is concerned. It
remains for similar work to be done in each of the other territories on the same
scale, and we can only hope that students from the areas concerned will catch
the gleam and undertake those phases of the study which can best be handled by
native speakers of these Creoles.
Trade Union Development in Jamaica*
For all practical purposes, the Modern Trade Union Movement in Jamaica
must be dated from the year 1938. Legal Trade Union history however, begins
much earlier with the passage in the Legislative Council on the 25th October,
1919, of the Trade Union Law, which conferred legal recognition on Trade
Unions registered as such, under the law.
It is however, part of our purpose not only to show that Trade Unions
were actively in operation before acquisition of legal status, but to delve
back into the past to see if we can discern the earlier attempts on the part of
Jamaican workmen to combine and organise for the defence or improvement
of their working conditions.
Our speculations may legitimately begin with the year 1834 when the
Emancipation of Slaves Bill was promulgated into law, creating thereby a
society of legally free men ; for in a slave society there is no loom for workers
organizations. The Act of Emancipation did not give unqualified freedom
to all slaves. While all slave children under six years of age were to be freed
immediately, all those above this age were expected to serve a six-year term
of apprenticeship to accustom them to wage labour. The British Government
envisaged this period as one of transition during which labourers would he
prepared for full freedom by a series of social reforms and by the enjoyment
and exercise of fuller rights. The planters, however, viewed the system as a
part of the compensation paid to them in consequence of freeing their slaves,
as it were a short and partial reprieve granted that they might squeeze the
last juice out of compulsory labour before the great ruin of freedom set in." (')
Slavery may have disappeared as a social institution but it came back as a
system of industry, the negroes . having to work as slaves for so many
hours a week."(2). Planters (and slaves too) were therefore slow to grasp the
fundamental change that had occurred. Those who were owners of labour
had now become buyers and those who had been personal chattel had now
become sellers of labour. The Apprenticeship system never came off the
ground, undermined as it was by inflexibility on the part of the planter plus
an intense desire on the part of the slave to dissociate himself from the estate
*The purpose of this article is to describe what may well be the earliest attempts
at Trade Union Organisation in Jamaica. This survey examines in particular, the period
1898-1920, and is the result of original research carried out by the writer during the period
(1) J. H. Parry and P. M. Sherlock, A Short History of the West Indies, London,
Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1957, p. 191.
employment which reminded him of his past. For those who were prepared
to work on the estates, economic conditions actually worsened. As a counter-
poise to the power of the labourers over wages, the proprietors have that of
charging rent for houses and grounds tenanted by labourers, and this right
i often exercised with a view to counter-balance, as much as possible, the
payment of wages, and not with reference purely to the value of the house
and grounds. Thus in many instances the rent of a house is charged not at a
rate fixed for the house, but a rate fixed for each occupant of the house. These
counter-claims for rent and wages keep up much irritation and litigation,
but will, it is to be hoped, in time be settled on the basis of mutual interest
. ."(1). Time did not appear however, to be healing the breach between the
social classes of the new society, and it did look as though the great ruin of
freedom was setting in. Abolitionists and pro-Emancipationists who thought
that all that was needed to restore the negro to his rightful status was his
freedom viewed with chagrin the deterioration of living and social conditions.
The Theory of Natural Indolence of the Negro gained credence, and fairly
common were such statements that the negroes desired, not to better their
condition, but merely to live as before with a smaller expenditure of effort."
Sir Robert Peel stated in the House of Commons in 1841 that if ever the
black population of the West Indies should become squatters on waste lands
or mere cultivators of provision grounds instead of labourers for hire, then
slavery and the slave trade would have received the last and greatest encourage-
ment which it was in the power of man to bestow."(2). Bold and constructive
measures were needed to halt the decline of Jamaica's sugar economy, espe-
cially after the British Parliament enacted in 1846 the Sugar Bill which provided
for the abolition between 1848 and 1852 of the duty preference which West
Indian sugar enjoyed on the market over cheaper slave grown sugar in Cuba
and the Americas. Instead the vested interests dissipated their energies in
recriminations and obstruction. It is not therefore surprising to find that
faced with starvation and deprivations the labouring class began voicing their
Richard Hart records in "Origin and Development of the People of
Jamaica"(S), that at the end of 1863 and the beginning of 1864 strikes* broke
out on many sugar estates.
The Falmouth Post mouthpiece of the planters in its issue of January
19, 1864 reports there has been among the peasantry, a strike for wages in
several districts of the county of Cornwall The same newspaper in its issue
of February 12, 1864 states we regret to learn that during the last week,
there was among the labourers in the Parish of Hanover another strike for
(1) Quotation from a despatch sent by Sir Charles Metcalfe, Governor of Jamaica,
to the Secretary of State in 1839. Cited by Parry and Sherlock. Op. cit., p. 193.
(2) T. S. Simey, Welfare and Planning in the West Indies, The Clarendon Press,
Oxford, 1946, p. 59.
(3) Richard Hart, The Origin and Development of the People of Jamaica, published
by the Author, Kingston, Jamaica, reprinted 1952, p. 14.
*The word strike is used advisedly, as there was certainly no organisation among
workers to call a concerted stoppage to enforce negotiation of demands.
advanced wages. We fear that the people have been wrongly advised, and
we trust that the difference between them and their employers will soon be
settled in an amicable manner. It is true that the price of sugar has increased
in the British markets but it is expected that the increase will not be main-
tained for any length of time ; and it should be borne in mind, that the
Proprietory Body sustained during three years, heavy losses on the sale of
produce which they exported."(6).
By 1865 the danger signs were clear in Jamaica that the labourer was
in distress from low wages-irregular employment, failure of crops through
drought and a harsh truck system. A movement was organized to appeal
directly to the Sovereign Queen in the belief that a disinterested Sovereign
could overcome the obduracy of the planters. A petition to the Queen from
labourers in St. Ann evoked a reply which suggested that the remedy lay in
working harder. A Baptist Missionary, Dr. Underhill dispatched a letter to
the Secretary of State for the Colonies which was referred to Governor Eyre
for comment. Eyre, a second-rate administrator, refuted the allegations of
suffering contained in the letter. This is the atmosphere which produced the
so-called Jamaica or Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865. In St. Thomas where
there were special grievances over land and maladministration of justice,
a crowd led by a Baptist preacher named Bogle, marched to Morant Bay on
October 11. Rioting broke out, property was destroyed, and 21 white and
coloured persons were killed as well as 7 Negro rioters. In the reprisal insti-
tuted by the Governor, 580 men and women were killed, 600 flogged, and a
thousand houses destroyed.
One of Governor Eyre's chief political opponents was George William
Gordon, educated son of an estate Attorney and a former female slave-and
a progressive coloured member of the House of Assembly. Gordon, suspected
of complicity in the uprising was taken from Kingston to Morant Bay, court
martialled and hanged, although the case against him was not clearly proven.
The uprising was not a rebellion-it was neither nationalist nor racial in origin,
but merely the expression of a deepseated cry against poverty and injustice,
combined with a lack of confidence in the central government. There was in
fact, no cohesion among groups in the society to produce leadership on a
national scale. No labour organisation emerged as the wage earning group
was itself too small for any organisation to develop, and the first bloody riot
in Jamaican history therefore proved to be barren as far as workers organi-
sations were concerned.
A Royal Commission was appointed to enquire into the outbreak and
the theme that emerged is a recurrent one right up to the World War II period.
Lucas' Historical Geography of the West Indies(7) stated : The evidence
taken by the Royal Commission tended to show... that the movement was
in great measure a no-rent movement aggravated by the want of a good labour
(6) Richard Hart, Op. cit., p. 14.
(7) Quoted in Labour Conditions in the West Indies, report by Major 0. St. J. Orde
Browne, Cmd 6070, London, HMSO, 1939, p. 77.
law and tribunals suited for the easy selekment of labour questions. It was, it
may be said, a crisis in which modern difficulties arising out of the relations
of the landlord and tenant and of employer and workman were mixed up with
the old conflict of race and colour."
EARLY CRAFT ORGANISATION, 1898
Construction Trade : The earliest trade union of which this writer has
found trace is the Carpenters, Bricklayers, and Painters Union-commonly
referred to as the Artisan's Union which held its first General Meeting on the
8th August, 1898.
The Union headquarters was located at 37 East Street in Kingston, the
capital. Its first slate of officers were E. L. McKenzie, President, G. T. Atkinson,
Treasurer, and S. A. Phillips, Secretary("). Attendance at the weekly Monday
night meetings varied between 70 and 80 members. The Union concerned
itself with drawing up a schedule of union rates for their trades which was
submitted to the Governor with the request that they be declared the pre-
vailing rates throughout the island(g). The Union also opened its own workshop
on the premises with a foreman in charge. Most of the important work of the
organisation was done through small work committees, and officers of the
Union were bonded for faithful performance of their duties. A library was
maintained complete with elementary drawings and the President early
advised that communications be made with certain trade unions abroad and
the Technological Institute in London(o).
The Artisans' Union made vigorous representations to the Director of
Public Works against the evils of sub-letting contracts but its pet project
was to secure the establishment of a Technical School in Kingston which would
issue certificates of competence. As one member reported to a weekly meeting
"...they must now take measures to push the government to organise a tech-
nical school in Kingston even if on a very small scale. The necessity for such
a school is made clear from the absence of a current schedule of rates of labour
in the island, the unskilled manipulation of tools, of certain class of tradesmen,
the absence of a proper certificate of competency from a reliable source for
first class men and further a reckless and unprincipled system of supply and
demand ". These and other circumstances he hoped the union would adjust.(")
Here we see the method of mutual insurance in operation. Three hundred
placards were posted in principal towns, Kingston, St. Ann, Spanish Town,
Port Royal, Port Antonio, Montego Bay, inviting the co-operation of mechanics
generally with tile Union. This circular addressed to local artisans is interest-
ing for what it says about the Union. ". . addressed to carpenters, bricklayers,
painters, blacksmiths, plumbers, fitters, machinists, joiners and stone masons,
in consideration of the fact that no system has ever been adopted for the
(8) Daily Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, issues of August 8, 1898 and August 10, 1898.
(9) Daily Gleaner, Kingston, Jamaica, issue of 17th August, 1898.
(10) Ibid. dated 7th September, 1898.
(11) Ibid. dated 19th October, 1898.
social, intellectual and financial advancement of mechanics, comprising the
different trades, to enhance the dignity of labour that the standard or minimum
of daily living on starvation wages be obliterated and to adopt a scale for
This Union provides in their organisation weekly meetings, sick and
death benefits, compassionate allowances, loans Ion 90-day acceptance to
members, weekly lectures on handicrafts, work with demonstrations on black-
board, free library books on mechanics, elementary drawings, regulation of
wages by a schedule of rates, &c.
They therefore for your own interest and the generation following,
invite your influence, knowledge and co-operation in fulfilling the mission
of the C. B. and P. U. (short title of the Union). Communicate at once to the
Secretary at their office 37, East Street, Kingston or to any member of the
Union from whom information and application forms can be obtained.
Remember-unity is strength-and united we stand-divided we
Appended to the placard was an extract from a letter received from the
Mayor of Kingston which read One cannot fail to be struck with the utter
absence from Jamaica of any of these associations for the protection of crafts
which abound in Europe and the United States. The Organisation in which
you are engaged must therefore be regarded as one of the evidences of the
advancement among our people. I, for one, hail your movement as a hopeful
sign of the times. You seek not only the protection of your trades, but also
the promotion of benevolence, one towards another which will go far to con-
solidate you into a brotherhood. There is strength in unity, yours is a
combination of good and noble purposes. I therefore say-hold fast in unity
and may God profit your cause. Signed, A. A. Robinson."
A revealing picture of economic stresses is given in an address by the
President to a specially convened meeting in April, 1900, to consider unem-
ployment among the artisans. The financial position of the working classes
comprising carpenters, bricklayers, painters, blacksmiths, and the man
with the hoe was in a deplorable condition." Distress demoralized many
people and rendered their existence worse than contemptible ... The question
of labour for the people having no direct consideration by the government
to promote and encourage local industries, the present mode of taxing houses,
the absence of public works, were factors which constituted idleness and brought
discontent to the people ... There had never been any direct legislation
on labour for the welfare of the working classes, by which a steady application
to legitimate work could be obtained, no encouragement to make labour dig-
nified, but rather an impecunious condition of affairs which created loss of
manhood and a deplorable struggle for existence."(3)
(12) Daily Oleaner, dated 19th October, 1898.
(13) Daily Gleaner, 4th April, 1900.
Another member reported that among 400 labourers who migrated to
Port Limon (Costa Rica) there were no less than two-thirds who followed the
A deputation waited on the Governor to seek some amelioration but there
is no report as to what action, if any, resulted from the meeting. However,
in June, 1900, the Union placed this advertisement in the Press :
Registered under Law (presumably Friendly Societies Law*) begs and
solicits the patronage of the Building public.
They are prepared to accept contracts for Buildings with drawings and
specifications supplied. They have the best workmen and give the best work
and materials. Lodge your orders in their letter box at Hanover Street or at
32 East Street to E. L. McKenzie, President, Patronise Union Men."('5)
The Union apparently disintegrated shortly after 1901 as a result of
depressed economic conditions as well as dissension over the auditing of
accounts. There was a threat of prosecution against the President for misuse
of property and a failure to have the accounts audited for over two years.
The President, E. L. McKenzie resigned and an Investigating Committee
was appointed to review the whole operations of the union('1). Finally, a
proposal emerged to reorganize the Union as a co-operative society and a
deputation waited on the Governor to request amendment to the Friendly
Societies Act, so that the Union could become "a company in which any
person could become a shareholder."(17) This move to broaden its scope and
change the character of the union foreshadowed its dissolution as a craft
Printing Trade: There were apparently, other craft organizations active
in the early 20th century. From available records it appears that the printers
struck for higher wages some time during 1907. The printers' organisation
was referred to as The Printers' Union, one of the oldest and most powerful
labour organizations in the island."(1s) Marcus Garvey, the great Jamaican
and Negro nationalist, then working as a printer at the P. A. Benjamin
Company was asked by strikers to join in and was elected to lead the strike.
The strike was finally broken when the treasurer of the union absconded
with the funds and employers began introducing linotype machines with
imported printers to operate them. Garvey was blacklisted and came out
of this experience skeptical of the value of a labour movement(19). The
printers were apparently still using the strike weapon in 1908 for, in an issue
of the Daily Gleaner dated 4th December, 1908, the Acting Editor of the
*Registration under the Friendly Societies Law would confer legal recognition and
protection on the union as a mutual benefit society.
(15) Daily Gleaner, 2nd June, 1900.
(16) Ibid, 26th September, 1900 and 4th October, 1900.
(17) Ibid, 31st October, 1900 and 19th January, 1901.
(18) See E. D. Cronon, Black Mo8es, the University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, p. 13.
Presbyterian apparently a religious publication, wrote from Lucea (eastern
tip of the island) to say that owing to the Printers strike in Kingston his
December issue of the publication had been delayed. There is also reference
in the press of a local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Book-binders
Tobacco Trade : Organisation also existed among workers in the tobacco
trade. On the 30th June, 1908, 65 tobacco craftsmen employed to the Jamaica
Tobacco Company went on strike. The grievance was that management
had abolished the ancient privilege of each man having five cigars each after-
noon. Management offered instead, one penny per 100 more on the existing
rate of pay for cigar manufacturers. The strikers under the signature of
A. Bain Alves (who reappears as a union organizer in 1918) put their case to
the public in a letter to the Editor.(2o) In the period 1918-1920 the cigar
makers union was still active and in fact again called out its members on
strike against the same company.
Iii the decade between 1908 and 1918 there appears to have been very
little craft organisation or activity. A hint as to the reason why the craft
unions seem to have faded out in this period may be found in a reported speech
of W. G. Hinchcliffe*, President of the Jamaica Trades and Labour Union
No. 16203 of the American Federation of Labour. This Union which will be
referred to as local 16203, comes into the news during 1919 and had a very
brief but active career. Hinchcliffe in his speech traced the existence of the
Union.(21) Some people," lie said, believed that the Society (local 16203)
had just sprung into existence-however from 1907 the Jamaica Trades and
Labour Union No. 12575 started working in Jamaica, some of whom (its
members) have passed over to the great majority (i.e. are deceased). The Society
increased in membership and was able to pay sick benefits to many of its
members and assisted in the burial of one, when some of the members began
to argue that as the rules of the Society were not registered (Friendly Societies
Law) in the event of going to law they would have nothing to prove their
claims. From then on the membership of about 45 began to decrease." Just
about this time he (Hinchcliffe) was asked to become a member "and assisted
in drawing up the rules, which were certified by the present Acting Chief
Justice in November, 1909. Shortly after these rules were approved, the
few remaining zealous ones through circumstances had to emigrate, some
to Haiti, and some to Colon (Panama). Others to Port Limon (Costa Rica)-
the Society consequently ceased operations." The inference seems to be that
local 16203 had preserved some degree of continuity with local 12575. There
are two points of interest to be noted in the speech of this union President.
The first is that the men who could have kept local 12575 a going concern
were forced by circumstances to emigrate. The second point is the connection
of both locals with the American Federation of Labour. There is no indication
(20) Daily Gleaner, 3rd, 7th and 8th July, 1908.
(21) Ibid. 17th April, 1919.
*Hinchcliffe earlier served as Secretary to the Artisans' Union, 1898.1900.
as to whether this was a formal association nor is it evident what were the
trades which the craftsmen practised. The link with the A. F. of L. appears
to have been fairly close however. In May of 1919(22) the Secretary of local
16203 wrote to the Secretary of the A. F. of L. expressing inability to attend
the 39th Congress in Atlantic City. A letter of sympathy was sent to Samuel
Gompers who had been injured in a motor car accident. In December of the
same year(") the local also sent a donation to the A. F. of L. to be divided
between the striking Cigarmakers International Union and the Iron and Steel
Workers Union in the United States.
Enough has been said to indicate why the early crzft unions did not
survive. Firstly, the number of skilled artisans organised was relatively small
as the movement was confined largely to Kingston. Secondly, as far as can
be discerned, these embryonic organizations were not presented with any
challenge in the form of employer hostility or government persecution. Thus
there was little to reinforce cohesion and solidarity. Often disagreements
over rules and auditing of accounts led to their disintegration. Thirdly, as
we were told the more zealous among their numbers were constantly emigrating
and this was probably the decisive factor.
Between 1881-1921 the total net emigration from the island amounted
to 146,000 persons of whom 46,000 went to the United States, 45,0J0 to Panama,
about 22,000 to Cub%, and 43,000 to other areas(24). If emigration was there-
fore an avenue of hope for those who applied their trades in an environment
which provided little scope for such activities, it was also at the same time an
avenue of release which sapped the craft organizations of their most zealous
members, and although there were sporadic flurries of activity and work
stoppages to seek redress of their grievances when labour unrest began in
earnest after the First World War and on the eve of the second, the initiative
had already passed from the skilled workmen to the unskilled labouring and
LABOUR UNREST AND THE TRADE UNION LAW
There was widespread labour unrest in Jamaica during the two years
immediately following the cessation of hostilities in 1918. Already depressed
living standards were further aggravated by rising wartime prices. By 1920
there were reported increase in prices of 45 per cent. in food, 100 per cent.
in clothing, 100 per cent. in furniture, household furnishing and similar
LABOUR UNREST 1918-1920*
In April, June, July and December of 1918 a rash of strikes blossomed
forth in Kingston, and spread to outports and other areas in the country.
One of these strikes at an inland sugar factory and estate at Vere erupted
(22) Daily Gleaner, 19th May, 1919.
(23) Daily Gleaner, 5th December, 1919.
(24) G. W. Roberts, The Population of Jamaica, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge, 1957, p. 140.
*A brief description of this period may also be found in Social and Economic Studies,
Vol. 9, No. 4, December, 1960 by O. W. Phelps "Rise of the Labour Movement in Jamaica".
into a riot and as law forces sought to restore order, 3 persons were killed and
a dozen wounded. On the 5th April, 1918, fire fighters of the Kingston Fire
Brigade went on strike amidst threats by the city's sanitary workers to follow
suit(25). Police were promptly drafted in by the local authorities to operate
the fire service and on the 10th April, the press reported an appeal by the
firefighters for reinstatement. The Mayor ordered an official enquiry to place
responsibility for the strike.
Early in June the new Governor* of the island arrived and made his
welcome address at the Ward Theatre, Kingston, in the course of which he
remarked I am no demagogue but I say advisedly that when a man succeeds
and becomes rich through reckless disregard of the legitimate reasonable
demands of those with whom he has business, whether they be his employees
or not-that man is wrong."(2")
A few days after dockworkers in strike action against the Leyland Line
Whai f and the United Fruit Company won increased rates of pay. Handlers
at the Jamaica Government Railway likewise enforced a demand for increased
pay and labouring women also refused to load banana ships for the United
Fruit Company(27). The leading daily newspaper appealed to employers to
prevent further strikes by improving conditions where possible.
On the 22nd June, 1918t, Bain Alves, President of the recently-formed
Longshoremen's Union No. 1 of the Jamaica Federation of Labour published
in the press a resolution forwarded to the Governor asking for official recog-
nition of labour unions. On the same day, coal carriers marched en masse
to King's House, the Official residence of the Governor, to protest the loading
of a Royal Mail Line vessel by 600 prisoners in the face of strike action by the
carriers. The prisoners were utilized as the vessel was allegedly working under
orders of the Admiralty. The Governor received the men kindly, explained
to them what steps to take to present their grievances, and gave them money
to buy lunch. The unrest however spread. The Electric Tramway Company
averted a strike of its employees by granting a wage increase.
Mechanics employed to the Government Railway in Kingston and at
outports struck for a 50 per cent. increase in wages. Hon. J. A. G. Smith,
an elected member for the Legislative Council and a Barrister-at-Law inter-
vened to represent the railway employees. Draymen and storemen employed
by the Chinese merchants similarly won a 50 per cent. increase. City Council
workers also gained increases.
In the Daily Gleaner of the 26th June the Governor, Sir Leslie Probyn,
issued a call to halt all further strikes. Labourers should present their grie-
vances to a Conciliation Board which he was prepared to appoint. But this
(25) Daily Gleaner, 6th April, 1918.
*Sir Leslie Probyn.
(20) Ibid, 24th June, 1918.
(27) Daily Gleaner, 25th and 26th June, 1918.
8Source for data which follows derived from Daily Gleaner of 22nd June, 1918 and
5th July, 1918.
appeal went unheeded. Strikes were reported in the sugar districts in St.
Catherine and armed police were sent to restore order. In Kingston Bain Alves,
President of the Longshoremen's Union No. 1, addressed banana carriers
and coal heavers urging formation of a union. A Mr. Vivian Harry of the
Cigar Makers Union also supported his remarks.
The Governor next received a deputation from the powerful and influential
Jamaica League (an organisation designed to promote patriotism and social
welfare) and complained to the deputation that he could not understand how
his remarks on the labour situation could have been construed to mean that
he was advocating that every labourer should receive four shillings or one
dollar (West Indian) per day.
The unrest in the month of June carried over into July and there were
strikes by banana workers in outports and Match Factory Workers in Kings-
ton. The strike at Vere referred to above resulted in fatalities ifter the Riot
Act was read and soldiers called out to quell rioting strikers. The sugar workers
eventually agreed to return to work after being addressed by the Hon. J. A. G.
Smith, elected member of the Legislative Council for the parish of Clarendon.
The Governor Sir Leslie Probyn issued a formal statement denying the remark
attributed to him that no one should get less than a dollar a day and the Privy
Council was called in session to consider suggested arbitration or conciliation
boards for resolving disputes. On the 8th July the Governor acted to imple-
ment his proposal for conciliation boards. By Gazette Extraordinary notice
wis given of the appointment of a Conciliation Board, composed of more
than 50 persons from which a sub-committee would be selected by the Governor.
The parties to a dispute had however to furnish proof that they had tried to
settle their differences amicably. If a dispute was not settled the Governor
would then send to each party a complete list or panel of all persons composing
the Board from which each party selected 8 names. From these nominees
the Governor would select a sub-committee of five, two from each side Plus
the Chairman, to be appointed by the Governor in his discretion. On the day
following the setting up of the Conciliation Board, the Jamaica League spon-
sored an elaborate Labour Conference which was given wide Press Publicity
and from the conference emerged a proposal to form an island-wide labour
union. As if to intimate that as a trade union leader he was not inactive,
Bain Alves, President of the Longshoremen's Union No. I released to the
press an exchange of correspondence between himself and Sir Leslie Probyn
in which he asked for an interview to discuss the issue of legal recognition
for trade unions. Alves, as President of the Jamaica Federation of Labour,
Alfred Mends, Vice-President of the Longshoremen's Union and H. W. W.
Dayes, Attorney-at-law representing the Federation of Labour, comprised
the deputation which met the Governor and the Attorney General.
The Governor made public his views that legislation in respect of the
official recognition of labour unions in Jamaica would be unsuitable for the
colony for the reason that a big majority of the labourers in Jamaica were
not sufficiently acquainted with economic principles which so greatly affect
the wage question. He was therefore adverse to wholehearted adoption of
modern trade union law-legislation if any would be best if founded on the
principle of gradual growth-and the creation of a Labour Department may
be a first step in this gradual growth(28). A press report subsequently elabo-
rated on the proposal to establish a Labour Bureau and mentioned that a
similar proposal had been shelved by the previous regime under Governor
Sir William Manning. This was the note on which the year 1918 ended.
The year 1919 in contrast was not as marked by labour unrest but proved
fruitful for the trade union movement as it saw the passage of the Trade Union
Law. There was a series of strikes in July and December, 1919, and a sprinkling
in other months, but the most serious occurred on the 22nd July when despite
the atmosphere of Peace celebrations, Railway operators and shopmen struck
and between Highgate and Albany rails were removed to derail the train.
It was not until the 4th September that the men resumed work.
The Trade Union Law was introduced into the Legislative Council in
March, given its second reading on the llth June and passed on the third
reading on 12th June after amendments were made in Committee. The Law
was finally proclaimed on the 25th October. As far as the records go there
was hardly any debate on the need for the law. The press released in full the
provisions of the Bill as it was brought before the Legislative Council by the
elected member for Clarendon, the Hon. J. A. G. Smith. There was some
reference in the Legislative Council about the establishment of a Labour
Department to stabilize labour and labour wages in Jamaica. The Acting
Colonial Secretary reported that the Committee to formulate a scheme for
the establishment of a Labour Department was appointed and that the matter
was under consideration(29).
(25) Daily Gleaner. 23rd August, 1918.
(29) Minutes of the Legislative Council of Jamaica. 1919.
LAND OF THE LIVING-John Hearne
MR. JOHN HEARNE'S new novel is set in his
familiar and credibly established island of
Cayuna. Stefan Mahl.r, a young refugee
Jewish scientist, becomes personally, and
violently, caught up in the island's dramatic
politics as these reveal themselves in the
cruel and ambiguous tensions of colour.
However, in spite of the tragic resolution
to the novel's public theme, the island offers
Mahler a mode of life, a way of being, and
his assimilation into the local community
largely exercises the horrors of Dachau and
the unremitting persecution of his race.
The theme is important and is very
obviously, as one reads, deeply felt by
Mr. Hearne. Yet I think one is obliged to
say that one's impression of the book
doesn't finally correspond with Mr. Hearne's
evident intention. For instance, Mahler's
Jewishness and his long background of exile
and suffering ought to profoundly signify
as we follow him through the book. The
irony of placing this man, with this experi-
ence, in the midst of the disturbed life of
Cayuna, both guarantees the real responsi-
bility of Mr. Hearne's interest in his subject
and serves to illuminate, at least theoreti-
cally, the difficulties of the colour problem
as the novel portrays it. But Mahler isn't
convincingly what he is meant to be. We
are told that he is Jewish and other people
in the book refer to it. But Mahler might
be any intelligent and sensitive young man
anxious to make a rewarding life for him-
self. His Jewishness just isn't the stone in
the shoe, the grit in eye, which it is surely
meant to be. This doesn't mean that the
public theme collapses or that there are
not moments in the book which vibrate in
the reader's imagination long after he has
put it down. I am thinking in particular
of the encounter with a "Son of Sheba" in
an early chapter. We are there, we are part
of it: the terrible arrogance of the man,
and the combination of tact, rage, guilt
and humiliation that Mahler suffers during
their exchange. The incident is handled by
Mr. Hearne with a painfully immediate
sharpness-though we don't get any feeling
of "sharedness", any sense that Mahler's
experience relates to the experience of this
man. However, it has a force and directness
which makes Mahler's relations with two
women, one coloured and one white, seem
almost blurred and irrelevant.
Mentioning the two women, in fact,
brings one on to a central weakness in the
novel. We know that Mahler's relation with
the generous, positive, coloured, Bernice
leneky is bound to end. We accept it as
a harsh fact of Cayunan experience, and
we see the amount of responsibility which
Mahler must bear. But I think we see too
easily the didactic impulse which underlies
Mr. Hearne's treatment of the relationship
-An explicit desire to make a conscious
point about colour and human relations.
The relation is admirable and honest:
but its realisation in the novel is only
moderately successful. Similarly with
Mahler's relationship with, and ultimate
marriage to, the wandering alcoholic, Joan.
Joan herself is far, far too reminiscent of
the woman Brett from Ernest Hemingway's
"Fiesta". And again, what appears to be
Mr. Hearne's point is too obviously made.
Joan has no life, no centre, in Cayuna:
neither, to begin with, has Mahler. They
meet. They marry. And they make a life
for themselves, breaking out of the private
gaols in which they are separately shut up.
It doesn't contradict anything one might
come across in real life. But we are made
inconveniently conscious of Mr. Hearne's
controlling purpose-a didactic purpose,
which indeed, the very title of his novel
leads one to infer. Fresh, first-hand, per-
sonal experience isn't often enough at the
centre of the book. Although one's know-
ledge that there are times when it success-
fully tries to be makes one both applaud
Mr. Hearne's general aim, and sympathise
with some of its execution.
As a whole the book, in my view, still
contains a number of the faults a reader
unwillingly learns to associate with
Mr. Hearne's is writing. The prose is over-
ripe and insistently adjectival, positively
shouting for the reader's attention. And the
quality of the dialogue between Mahler and
the Son of Sheba effectively places the
irrelevance of Mr. Hearne's attempts to
work up atmosphere and tension. The dia-
logue is so good that we just don't need
the scene to be so stridently set. And there
is Mr. Ilearne's treatment of man-woman
relationships-relationships which are nearly
always in the nature of a violent concussion.
Again, relationships very often are. But
Mr. Hearne's tend towards the literary:
there is too much merely asserted, in a
prose that tries to bully you into agree-
ment, and too little really seen. However,
I have no desire to end my review on an
ungenerous note in some measure caused
by my sense of earlier weaknesses. "Land
of the Living" contains some of the best
things Mr. Hearne has done: there are
incidents of memorable clarity and
Mr. Hearne's interest in people, it seems
to me, has significantly widened. Bernice
Hcneky. Marcus Heneky (the leader of the
Sons of Sheba) Mahler's interview with the
two senior police officials, and Mahlel him-
self (apart from my earlier reservation)
seems to me altogether more rewarding,
more fully established, than much that
Mr. Hearne has done before. And the
important theme of the novel surely
suggests the fuller scope that Mr. Hearne
can embody in fiction. Finally, mention
must be made of Mr. Hearne's illuminating
and sharply phrased ironies. His description
of a Cayunan politician as the sort of man
whom the sound of his own voice was like
a sexual experience is to be indefinitely
savoured by all of us who can take the
W. 1. ('ARR
A LIFE IN THE THEATRE
FOR some years now, Trinidad, Barbados
and Jamaica have had thriving amateur
theatrical companies. More recently, in
British Guiana, the Theatre Guild has
staged interesting and provocative produc-
tions in its own Little Theatre.
At a time like this, Tyrone Guthrie's
autobiography A Life in the Theatre should
be made prescribed reading for those who
wish to carry West Indian theatre to new
heights. His modesty as an individual
shines through the whole book, though we
know that he is one of the significant
figures in world theatre. His humility,
therefore, is a great example to those pro-
ducers and directors who presume to feel
they are above the common herd, who can-
not possibly understand or appreciate their
Tyrone Guthrie's story, A Life in the
Theatre, carries us from his early life as
the son of a middle-class family with
theatrical antecedents to undergraduate
days at Oxford and thereafter, step by
step, to his present position in his pro-
fession. His being a University graduate,
in addition to his obvious good sense, sensi-
tivity and artistic integrity, will make
many who consider theatre people "light-
weight upstairs" take notice of his remarks
and subsequent conclusions. In the British
world live drama is hardly ever taken as
an academic pursuit. When a University
dares to include it, as one or two British
universities have recently done, in their
courses of study, there are many ready to
scoff and be pained at the departure from
tradition. Drama enthusiasts will welcome
many of Tyrone Guthrie's dicta which
suggest that drama is live and should
fittingly be in the hands of actors and
theatrical producers, not dead as dust
material for academics to chew on and
eventually relegate to museums of learning.
In writing about the importance of the
director, Guthrie has this to say:
For three centuries the myopic exami-
nation of texts, their pedantic classi-
fication as tragedy, comedy, pastoral-
comedy, tragical-comical and the like:
laborious exposition of minor points of
punctuation, of whether Hamlet says "oh
that this too solid" or "too sullied flesh"
and so on-all this has been considered
work, and as such worthy of respect and
good wages. Whereas the performance of
plays has been lowly regarded and
theatrical practitioners have only been
well paid when they offered successful
commercial entertainment . .
Drama is still academically charted
as a backwater in the main stream of
English literature. In schools and uni-
versities the fact that Shakespeare, Ben
Johnson, Congreve and Sheridan were
men of the theatre is still overshadowed
by their status as men of letters. And
their works, as well as those of other
dramatists, are still studied as literature.
This is, of course, a more convenient and
infinitely less expensive way of studying
them. But it now begins to be widely
realized that, as a method of extracting
their meaning, it has grave limitations.
University faculties who once maintained
the ridiculous paradox that Shakespeare
was better appreciated in the study than
on the stage are beset now by grave
doubts about the ultimate importance of
studious, philosophic ponderings, such as
those of Bradley, utterly divorced from
the exciting two hours' traffic of the stage.
In his theatre career, Tyrone Guthrie has
been able to prove many of his theories,
which may have seemed iconoclastic and
absurd if it were not for the respect due
to the opinions of a theatre figure who has
proved his worth. Theatrical groups far
from metropolitan centres should take note
of such remarks as this:
It is often said that we owe to Mrs. Sid-
dons the "tradition" of Lady Macbeth
as a beefy, booming contralto. But this
hardly squares with the sort of perform-
ance which a boy would have given in
the original production; nor, to my mind,
with the music aad balance of the text.
Much the best Lady Macbeth I ever saw
was the Welsh actress, Gwen ffrangcon-
Davies. She suggested a wildly ambitious
spirit in a small and Iragile person. I
read no professional critic's notice which
did not say she was miscast.
Guthrie is largely responsible for the
modern tendency to return Shakespeare to
the sort of stage originally used, where the
actors have the audience on three sides of
them. Soliloquys and otherwise bombastic
speeches become more naturalistic than
many of us would have thought possible.
Through men like Tyrone Guthrie one comes
to realise that Shakespeare was a real man
of the theatre and not just a figure pro-
moted by academic study to the position
he now holds.
Guthrie's ventures in theatre have taken
him to Denmark, Israel, the United States
of America and Canada, He has, of course,
worked in many parts of England, Scotland
and Ireland. It was in Scotland that he
first was able to prove the effectiveness of
Shakespeare's type of stage. He found a
Kirk Assembly Hall with no proscenium
arch where the audience had to sit almost
entirely round the stage. The antiquated
Scottish dramatic work with which he was
then engaged came to life in a way that
seemed miraculous to those who were not
as aware as he was of the need for a new
approach to staging.
Another aspect of Guthrie's work is the
bringing of worthwhile drama to areas that
otherwise would have to be content with
less. His early beginnings with the Old Vic
under Lilian Baylis, her preoccupation
being superior theatre for a poor section
of London, set the pattern for his life. Later
we see him in Israel and in Stratford,
Ontario, maintaining the highest standards
for people who otherwise would have been
served inferior stuff.
As has been said before, this book A
Life in the Theatre should prove of vast
interest to Caribbean readers.
TRADE UNIONISM-A PRACTICAL APPROACH-R. B. Davison
"WHATEVER the structure or the policies of
different trade unions may be, it is clear
that they have an immense power for good
or evil. Furthermore, in the last analysis,
their future lies in the hands of the member-
ship-for a union which does not possess an
active rank-and-file must sooner or later
become defunct as an effective force in the
This is a quotation from Dr. R. B.
Davison's Trade Unions, a slim work that
is designed to teach trade unionists the
skills they require to become effective
unionists. But this is not Dr. Davison
preaching to the unionist. The quotation in
fact is from one of the lessons prepared
by the author as a practical exercise for
the student who is asked to read the whole
passage through a few times until he grasps
its general sense, and then to underline
the essential words. So in the very act of
developing his skill of understanding words
and their meaning, the student is also
being given the basic understanding of the
history and functions and significance of
Dr. Davison puts his finger on the key
problem of trade union organisation. He
says: "The big practical problem in any
trade union is how to improve the effective-
ness of the means of communication
throughout the union." Our union or-
ganisers would be the first to admit this
truth; and the shrewd observer can easily
spot the breakdown in communication
between the leadership and the rank-and-
file that often shows up during a strike.
Dr. Davison, starting rightly from the
basis that effective communication is
carried on by the written word and the
spoken word, has devised 41 lessons (or
jobs). Each one contains a number of
practical exercises for the unionist to do.
They cover the art of note-taking, the use
of "coloured" or emotionally-charged
words, the conduct of a branch meeting,
speech-making, the organisation of a trade
union branch and the finances of a union.
A removable key containing the answers to
the lessons accompanies the text.
In the end, these exercises will aid the
unionist in the twin process of understand-
ing and self-expression: The process that
will make him a more effective member
and a better citizen. As Dr. Davison puts
it: "Once men and women feel confident
in themselves that they can understand
what is going on and can take a part, how-
ever humble it may be, in the process of
decision making in their community, they
have an incentive to develop their innate
capacities even further. Education, truly
conceived, is a cumulative, never-ending
process throughout life."
The author tells us in a Foreword that
this approach to trade union education was
first used by him in Ghana, was further
developed in London and has been success-
fully applied in trade union training courses
here in Jamaica. I think the lessons could
fruitfully be given a wider circulation. Con-
sideration should be given to including them
in the curriculum of our vocational and
technical schools, perhaps also used in the
upper forms of our secondary schools.
Certainly our trade unions with the aware-
ness of new responsibilities in independence
have a ready-made manual at hand for use
in study courses that, it is hoped, will
become a regular feature of their ordinary
Statement of Journal's Policy
THE AIM of the Journal is to publish articles of original thought on any subject
of relevance to the Caribbean, or material of general interest, criticised and
explained in an original manner. It aims at encouraging members of the
University staff and members of the general community to regard it as a
Journal in which they should like the results of their research in matters
Caribbean to be published.
Over the past years, the Journal has published articles on the history,
social structure, folk-lore, natural history, literature, language, of the Carib-
bean-a term not restricted to the British Islands. The Journal publishes
also news and comments on University College development with special
reference to the Department of Extra-Mural studies whose business is Adult
Normally an issue contains six or eight contributions divided as follows :
(a) Articles spotlighting thinking on the University and other aspects
of education in the Caribbean.
(b) Special articles on other matters.
(c) Literary and cultural articles including book reviews.
Occasionally a whole issue is devoted to one subject such as Carnival in
Trinidad (Volume 4 3 and 4 "), Anthology of West Indian Poetry (volume 5
number 3) and the recent publication, Drums and Colours by Derek
Walcott, the play produced in 1958 on the inauguration of the Federal
IN the article "Drugs from the West Indies" by Dr. Compton Seaforth in Vol. 7,
No. 4, there were two minor errors in the formulae.
On page 200, formulae (IV) and (VI) should read:
OH IV, R = g
VI, R CH,
On page 201, formulae (VIII), (IX) and (X) should read:
H' HH H H 0- H
SH (v i) (Ix)
H /I //0.
/ I H 0-H
H- C C-H
H H (x)