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SOCA (standard:non fiction, 933 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Nov 06 2010Views/Reads: 1320/825Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An essay on failed economic model in a Caribbean country.
 



Soca 

By 

Subba Rao 

Soca or Soul Calypso was born out of Calypso music came on scene in late
70's in Trinidad. Calypso music is a true invention of Trinidadians, 
mostly played just before and during carnival season. During Carnival 
season, people hear so much calypso, they don't want to hear anymore 
after carnival. But the calypsonians have to still make living year 
around, not just during carnival time, so they came out with this new 
rhythm Soca, a combination of melodious Soul music and hot Calypso 
beat. Everybody loved it, now the people from the Caribbean dance for 
Soca music year around, nonstop. The East Indians in Trinidad came out 
with their own version “Chutney Soca” with Indian drum beat for 
everybody to dance, Indian style. 

During two decades beginning in early 1970', Jamaica also experimented
with Soca, not musical rhythms of Trinidad but socialism Jamaican 
style, a combination of Socialism and Capitalism (Soca) , this Soca has 
led the country into an economic disaster. The government decided that 
Soca (a combo of socialism and capitalism)was the answer to eliminate 
poverty among the people especially the farmers. 

Sugar is a big business in Jamaica, it was associated with slavery and
indentured laborers. The English brought Africans as slaves and Indians 
as laborers to work in the sugarcane fields. Though slavery was 
abolished and the island gained independence years ago, most of the 
sugarcane estates are owned by Jamaicans of English ancestry. The Soca 
concept of the government to redistribute wealth did not sit well with 
some estate owners. The laborers demanded higher wages and some wanted 
promotions as managers. The smart estate owners sold their sugarcane 
mills and estates to the government for a good price and jumped out of 
the sinking ship. 

The government was left with rundown sugar mills and decaying sugarcane
fields. The government gave the responsibility of carrying out the 
policies of Soca to the Jamaicans educated abroad and local elite. 
Several expatriates were allowed into the country to work, hoping their 
skills and knowledge would be transferred to the locals. 

Maxwell, Borrell, Blake, Campbell, Ken and Althea, all educated either
in Europe or North America and spent several years abroad reaping the 
benefits of capitalism were hired along with others to run government 
own businesses. On returning home, they decided that economic model 
based on Soca concept is what people in Jamaica needed to uplift 
themselves from the clutches of the local capitalists. 

During breaks at work, the staff argued pros and cons of multiparty
democracy. “One party system is what we need here to bring economic 
stability.” “Look at Africa, most countries down there has one party 
system, it is working,” said Campbell, a small, lanky man with 
perpetual smile. Everybody agreed, after all, Campbell received 
advanced degrees in economics from a reputable university in Canada. 

Althea was always busy conducting field experiments all over the island,
churning out enormous amount of data. She is a combination of beauty 
and smart brain. Though born in the Caribbean, she grew up and educated 
in North America. She is sophisticated in her manners and always sided 
with Ken, an engineer working on transportations systems. Tall and 
athletic, he could have made living as a professional athlete if not 
for his poor vision. He always used his long arms to dismiss Soca model 
in preference to Cuban model as a solution to radically change the 
system form top down. 

Maxwell is a cool guy, hardly participated in brain storm, but at the
end he had the last word “well, the people mentality has to change you 
know the water finds its own level.” 

Blake conducted his research work like an independent consultant or a
free agent. Very few on the research staff knew what project hewas 
working on or how his work benefitted the farmers. Borrell is a soft 
spoken, intellectual and almost behaved like a reverend. His opinions 
offended none; his research work is ambiguous but always got his work 


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