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Research Article

Alienation and Fetishization: A Critical Analysis of “‘Radicalism and Innovation’ in the New World Group’s Approach to and Rejection of Metropolitan Intellectual and Political Hegemony

Author:

Hilbourne A. Watson

Bucknell University, USA, US
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Abstract

The New World Group (NWG)2 comprised mainly male academics, writers, professionals and other intellectuals. Norman Girvan described NWG as a “loosely knit group of Caribbean intellectuals whose aim is to develop an indigenous view of the region” (Girvan 1971: 27). NWG did not converge around a coherent body of philosophical ideas and theories of historical change: ideologically and politically, the range of outlook ran from conservative and radical black nationalist ideas to social democratic and neo-Marxist tendencies. NWG, whose impact extended beyond the University of the West Indies (UWI) academic community, emerged in a cultural environment where political parties and other political and social movements and progressive organizations lacked deeply rooted traditions in revolutionary theory and practice. The BWI working class was rather small, at best semi-industrial and heavily mired in religious obscurantism and naturalistic materialism at best. The progressive social and political movements led by the middle strata intelligentsia and rank and file workers stressed mainly anti-colonial and anti-imperialist reformism that was not anti-British in sentiment or orientation. NWG did not become an integral part of the struggles of the working classes in any systematic way, though its ideas might have had impacts that helped to condition social and popular movements around the struggle of the working classes.
How to Cite: Watson, H.A., (2009). Alienation and Fetishization: A Critical Analysis of “‘Radicalism and Innovation’ in the New World Group’s Approach to and Rejection of Metropolitan Intellectual and Political Hegemony. Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 38(1-2), pp.15–48. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16993/ibero.80
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Published on 01 Dec 2009.
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