The Wine of Astonishment

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TOPIC:The Wine of Astonishment demonstrates that there can be no social well being in the absence of economic prosperity and good governance.Discuss.

Paolo Mauro in his 2004 report to the International Monetary Fund entitled “The Persistence of Corruption and Slow Economic Growth” noted that
“ a consensus seems to have emerged that corruption and other aspects of poor governance and weak institutions have substantial, adverse effects on economic growth.” p. 4 Indeed, it is reasonable to ascertain from this that the same poor governance and resultant adversely affected economic growth will have an equally unfavourable impact on social well being. Such occurrences do not, in fact, represent the desired sustainable development encouraged by the Bruntland Report of 1987. The report describes sustainable development as

“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” There is a decidedly linear relationship between social wellbeing, economic prosperity and good governance. The lack of one will ultimately affect the presence of the others. Hence, in order for sustainable development of the physical and psychosocial environment of a country to be ensured all three must be in place.

Earl Lovelace’s novel, The Wine of Astonishment is testament to the indubitable fact that there can be no social well being and economic prosperity in the absence of good governance. In order to be considered good, Lovelace’s depiction of the Trinidadian government needed to have displayed several characteristics. It needed to have been participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective, efficient, equitable, and inclusive and obedient of the rule of law. However, the government behaved quite contrarily.

The novel is centred around the persecution of Trinidad’s Spiritual Baptists by the government. Persons were politically...
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