There is, to my mind, no such thing as a national character, other than that which has been forged consicously for a purpose of binding together that which is disparrate. Nationalism is a glue which sticks anything. It is the lack of discimination with which it is used when control is wrtested from the hands of those who thought it was a good idea, that it can begin to glue everything, also the undesirable. Nationalistic mages are an aspect of self-perception. Certainly, a country is made of people who share a culture, share values. Bt this is a country of collision. It values are freshly hybrid and socially divergent. The icons of achievement within the mind of one person are the butt of contempt for another. This would be no more than normal except that the icons of achievement belie a political belonging. The people in Jamaica are the same people as everywhere else, but the culture that has arisen, has arisen from the contingencies and determinism of a politicised historical development.


Nationalism creates the possibility for generalisations. Such generalisations are harmless as long as they are nor relative, not exclusive, based only self reference, created only on their own terms, without inflicting a sense of superiority over others. An “I am good” rather than an “I am better” Superlatives engage in a different project to simple descriptions. Their movement is determined by whatever gives way, the ground or the body.