There is a West Indian proverb, “If you kill me, bury me, too.” The concept of a West Indian federation has been killed, but it refuses to be buried and may, phoenix-like, rise out of the ashes at some future date. Perhaps this is the case because it is so much more difficult to bury ideals than it is to kill off their immediate results. As a factual reality, the Federation of the West Indies expired almost at the very moment of its birth. The funeral rites were without ceremony. Friends of the deceased grieved, while others grinned, and all shared in the paltry inheritance. Yet, as an ideal, it is enshrined in the hearts of many West Indians who continue to look beyond their very narrow geographical limits for a bond that will unite them with others for the greater glory of the entire West Indian community.
If the Federation of the West Indies becomes a reality — and the initial failure may be a necessary step in its ultimate success — it will be but another demonstration that the spirit of nationalism cannot be checked by the facts of geography and economics. In politics, vision and the sense of mission often enable men to climb mountains even if they are unable to move them. Man's indomitable spirit, which enables him to deny God and nature, is exemplified in the nationalistic movements so characteristic of the last hundred years and more, which are reaching new heights of intensity, if not frenzy, in our own day.