It might seem that the malcontents in these two groups of dependencies have little in common. In fact, however, this is not so. The major grievance in both cases is that the people can at present only get what they consider to be their minimum needs as a result of the bounty of their metropolitan powers. They are, in fact, dependent.
Since dependency, in any form, is today generally regarded by the world at large as a just grievance, it may be pertinent to consider just what independence, which is so greatly desired, can mean in the mid-twentieth century. It is certain that all states, whether great powers or small, are being linked ever more closely by the great discoveries which reduce or eliminate distance, and which will, to an increasing extent, open to all people of the world advantages hitherto enjoyed, if at all, only by the very few. Further, economic developments entailing a high degree of specialization have already resulted in the growing interdependence of the major producing areas of the world. Even the United States, with its diverse and abundant natural resources, must lend to other countries so that they may buy a part of its production, already too large for its own citizens to consume. Political independence, too, does not, today, mean what it meant in the nineteenth century. Then, a great power could count itself as independent if it maintained reasonably strong armed forces, and had reasonably good diplomatic relations with its neighbours. Even in those days, however, 'independence' was a relative term. Thus, the need for dependence on other friendly powers was relatively less for the United Kingdom, isolated from Europe by the English Channel, than for any of the European great powers; and the United States, in its physical isolation from potential enemies, was virtually secure.
The position is now wholly changed. Even the United States, today the richest prize for an aggressor, has now a need as great, or greater, for armed forces, good diplomacy and strong allies as any of the lesser powers. By itself, the United States is, and knows itself to be, insecure. How then, in such a world, is there any point in, or possibility of, attempting to satisfy the aspirations of the tiny island
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Britain and the United States in the Caribbean:A Comparative Study in Methods of Development. Contributors: Mary Proudfoot - Author. Publisher: Faber & Faber. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1954. Page number: 359.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.