The Politics of Labour and Development in Trinidad

The Politics of Labour and Development in Trinidad

The Politics of Labour and Development in Trinidad

The Politics of Labour and Development in Trinidad

Excerpt

This work focuses on the politics of labour in Trinidad from 1937 to the early 1990s. It examines how historically constructed social divisions have militated against the successful development of a united working class and/or socialist party. In exploring these divisions, some pre-1937 historical detail, including the periods of slavery and indentureship, are examined.

The work employs a Marxist methodology, but one that does not believe in the inevitability of revolution or a united working class. Instead, class struggle is used to show how both overt and covert forms of resistance have influenced the wider history and development of Trinidad. Orthodox positivist and structuralist Marxisms which posit the belief that working class political behaviour can be explained independently of the historical record are therefore rejected (as are those criticisms of such a caricature of Marxism - see chapter one).

Instead, this work examines how labour has been divided by the unevenness of capitalist development, and the particular racialized form that this development has taken in Trinidad. Previous histories of labour have focused almost exclusively on the trade union movement [Ramdin 1982], or have crudely used an inappropriate two-class model to explain periods of conflict . . .

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