The structural economic crisis and deterioration of living standards at the end of the 1960s was one of the main causes of the subsequent increase in social activism in Jamaica. Along with calls for more social justice and equality, an awakening of racial self-consciousness led to a greater public interest in political and cultural affairs. These developments had direct implications for the content and style of policies which would find resonance in the lower and middle strata of society. There occurred a proliferation of public anti-imperialist groups and journalism, the students were more radical and the communist movement left of the PNP was more visible (at the end of the 1970s there were two communist parties in Jamaica, the Communist Party of Jamaica (CPJ) and the Workers' Party of Jamaica (WPJ), both of which rallied only negligible support at the polls but voiced their views loudly in public).
The new PNP government which was elected in early 1972 was carried by a broad consensus and won the election with a general mandate for change. Its victory at the 1972 polls was based on the support of all classes in the Jamaican society. The strong electoral support by the lower classes indicated a greater room for autonomous government action vis-à-vis the bourgeoisie. The PNP government's composition and policies reflected the perceived and real shift: in the social distribution of political power. From the start, there was a small but increasing vocal far left faction in the PNP leadership and, after 1976,