A New Party
Jamaica has a new political party - LANDS. "LANDS" officially stands for the "Left Alliance for National Democracy and Socialism" and the acronym and logo are symbolic of our advocacy for agrarian reform.
Inspired by the ideas and practices of several theories and leaders, we intend to build a platform of our own in Jamaica. We will not simply take any dogma and become a mouthpiece for regurgitation; instead, we have a process that will determine our platform. When we come across an idea, we will follow these 4 steps:
- Study (thoroughly study an idea, and identify the core of it)
- Critique (rigorously critique an idea, taking context into account)
- Refine (extract the useful elements of the idea without removing the core of it)
- Develop (if the core idea is good, adapt and develop the idea for our local context)
One leader that has inspired us is Michael Manley, a Democratic Socialist who pushed for the rights of workers and other vulnerable groups. We will not deny the accomplishments of the People's National Party, despite choosing to start our own. We do not rule out the possibility of working with Jamaica's existing political parties, or at least signing a Memorandum of Understanding to avoid any form of hostility between us. We still see the need, however, to have our own party to push for our own brand of Democracy and Socialism. We may influence other parties, and other parties may influence us, and such is the nature of open discussion and debate.
We believe that there needs to be a rebirth of certain ideas which seem to be dying. Democratic Socialism is a synthesis of 2 ideas that we hold in high regard: Democracy and Socialism. Right now, however, we believe that Jamaica lacks both Democracy and Socialism. We are not saying that Jamaica is not democratic in any way, or that the state does not provide any necessary social services, but Democracy is more than just going to the ballot box every 5 years, and Socialism is more than just having primary school being free.
Throughout the course of time, we intend to elaborate on our ideas and stances, as we intend to explain our perspectives of Nationalism, Democracy, and Socialism. We will be engaging the masses in several ways; we will maintain a physical presence in social spaces as we grow, and we will try our best to communicate with the technologies available to us. We are open to discussions and debates with other persons and organisations.
We intend to make our publications as accessible as possible. While making detailed information available, we also want to deliver it in ways that are simple, requiring minimal effort and time to understand the main point of what we're saying. We see no value in flaunting academic language when we can use simple words to explain simple things. We also understand that some persons may be interested in a short summary of ideas, while others may be interested in more detailed publications. Some persons simply have less free time than others. For these reasons, we will try our best to diversify the way we deliver information. As we grow, we intend to communicate through articles, infographics, comics, videos, short essays, or even books.
For our writing specifically, we intend to split our publication into 2 categories: Press Releases and The Party Line. Our Press Releases will focus on our practical stances on current affairs and policy issues, while The Party Line will focus on more ideological work.
We have no intention to participate in general elections in the near future. We detest the opportunist nature of some Jamaican third parties, where they only make themselves visible during elections, then disappear into the shadows as soon as elections are over; they seem to only care about elections. They are like unreliable rivers that appear during flash floods, then disappear for long seasons of drought when people really need water. We intend to remain a constant current in Jamaica's politics, throughout the years between elections. Marcus Garvey's People's Political Party was formed in 1929, and the People's National Party was formed in 1938, long before Jamaica had its first general election under Universal Adult Suffrage in 1944. Jamaican politics is about more than just elections; it is about the ideas and movements that lead change. We believe that the party needs to be properly developed before it can consider stepping into the waters of electoral politics, and that it can influence change without even doing that.
During elections, we may find ourselves endorsing specific candidates or a specific political party, but that will depend on our relationships with these parties, the values we share, and what our members want. We will consider participating in elections when we see a need, and when we have enough people calling for it. Our aim is not to seek power, but to represent the voices that are being drowned out by the boring but oppressive politics of our modern times.