December 6, 2021

Maurice Bishop: Two articles from journalist/columnist Peter Binose

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_40151710_bishop238#1 Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines said “I AM HERE TO CONTINUE THE WORK OF MAURICE BISHOP”

This which follows is a part of a speech by Maurice Bishop to his Central Committee, it lays out the work and strategy that Bishop and the Party was going to apply and follow. Therefore this is may be the best example of the work of Bishops that Gonsalves is going to continue.

“Line of March for the Party”

One (1), in a Series of three parts, Extracts of a Speech by Maurice Bishop, the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary of Grenada.

Speech “Line of March for the Party” Presented by Comrade Maurice Bishop, Chairman, Central Committee to General Meeting of Party on Monday September 13 1982.

 “Comrades of the Political Bureau and Central Committee of the Party, Comrades of the Party.

I will like to join with Comrade Strachan to say on behalf of the Central Committee that we are very happy to have all the comrades here this afternoon. As Comrade Selwyn has pointed out, essentially what we want to do today is to deal with the proposed line of march as examined by the C.C. of the Party in the last few weeks.

In our view the line of march needs to take into account four specific features:-

Firstly, the present character and stage of the Revolution. We regard that as fundamentally important. We must decide what exactly is a correct characterisation of the present stage of the Revolution.

Secondly, the line of march must address in a serious way the question of the main tasks facing the Party and Revolution at this time.

Thirdly, we must determine a correct prioritisation of those tasks; we must establish priorities bearing in mind particularly, the comments, criticisms, suggestions, proposals etc. which have been made by Party members and, of course, taking into account the totality of the objective and subjective situation.

The fourth and final factor is the need to emphasise the further development of the subjective factor, the need to place great emphasis and importance on the further development of the subjective factor, that is to say, the Party, In other words, we must look at the Party itself, review the history of the Party very briefly and deal with the question of criteria for membership into the Party and for remaining as members of the Party.

Comrades, in terms of the character of the Revolution, the first aspect to the line of march we believe it is important for us to look at this question at this time for several reasons.

Firstly and obviously . . .

Firstly and obviously, because we must as a Party know where we are. As Party members, candidate members and applicants we have to face the broad masses out there; we have to answer questions about where we are, what we are trying to do and so on and therefore we must be able to answer those questions in precise terms. We believe further that there is some confusion on this question, that it has not been sufficiently dealt with in the past and therefore we want today to look at it that much more carefully. It is extremely important for us to get a better understanding of where we are, of what we are trying to build and of how we will be able to build it. That is why we feel that this whole question of what exactly is the present stage is so important.

Before looking at that, a few words on the question of where we have come from, in other words, the inheritance of the Revolution. All comrades know of course that we inherited a backward, undeveloped economy, with a very low level – one can say in fact, a primitive level, of technological and economic development in the country. There was a very low level, and there is still a low level of development of the productive forces, that is, of living human labour, objects of labour and instruments of labour. This low level of development of the productive forces in turn resulted in very underdeveloped class formations.

What we have in Grenada primarily of course, is a very large petit bourgeoisie, particularly a large peasantry – the rural petit bourgeoisie – small farmers who own small means of production and who must therefore work as they cannot live off their own plot of land alone. Some of them employ labour; some do not. So a large peasantry or bulk of our rural petit bourgeoisie. Then there is the urban petit bourgeoisie in terms of shopkeepers, garage owners, craftsmen, small restaurant owners and such like. The whole range of the petit bourgeoisie in our country. That of course is by far the largest class formation in the country.

We also have a working class which is very small and made up of agricultural workers based mainly in the rural areas, transport and communication workers on the docks, in telephone, electricity, etc., manufacturing and industrial workers (the smallest section of all) who produce garments, cokes, beer, that sort of thing. Some sections of the working class are employed by Government – garbagemen, the lowest clerical workers, the daily paid workers and so on. And of course we also have the commercial workers. Some of these comrades of the working class are also small owners of the means of production, but do not rely on that to support themselves – at least not as their main means of support.

In terms of the inheritance . . .

In terms of the inheritance I also want to emphasise the low cultural level of our population at large as part of that inheritance and in particular the lack of technical skills and technical expertise of the working people. We must emphasise also the l9th century type of capitalist that we have in the country, capitalists engaged primarily in comprador activity, in other words largely in the importation and thereafter distribution of goods. This is a particularly parasitic type of capitalist in the full time service of international capitalism on which they must depend for the manufactured goods which give them their profits. They produce nothing and the vast majority of them engage in no form of manufacturing or industrial activity at all.

As part of the inheritance too, we must also note the very low level of infrastructural development of our country. Further, very backward agricultural development is also part of our inheritance and has relevance to the present stage of the Revolution. This inheritance of ours does have negative implications for the road that we are travelling on, for our objective to build Socialism in our country.

First of all, having a small working class is a very very serious disadvantage because only the working class can build Socialism. We know this is so because the working class is the class that is always growing; in fact, it has been historically, and it still is part of capitalist development that the working class gets larger and larger. Again, it is the working class that is most prepared for organisation and discipline because of having to work every day, having to arrive on time, having to engage in collective organisation and collective bargaining in their trade unions and so on. The working class too owns no means of production, in fact owns nothing except their labour and therefore they are the ones who most of all have to fight to end the oppression that comes about as a result of the private ownership of the means of production which of course enslaves them and ensures that their own development is stultified and, finally the working class does have the key role in building socialism because of their role in production.

This inheritance is a problem . . .

This inheritance is a problem also because of the large petit bourgeoisie that it has left us. We of course have that number of petit bourgeoisie in our country precisely because of economic under-development, precisely because capitalist production was so undeveloped that they did not need much labour and therefore people were by large forced to try to make a living however they could and wherever they could. But because the petit bourgeoisie is a vacillating class it is more difficult to build Socialism when there is such a large amount of petit bourgeoisie in the country, precisely because they are in the middle and you have to fight hard to win them. Many of them of course have bourgeois aspirations, many more are deluded and [unclear] by bourgeois ideology and propaganda and therefore the struggle to win the petit bourgeoisie has historically been a very serious intense struggle in all countries that have embarked upon a path of Socialist transformation.

The question we must now pose comrades is whether a society such as ours with their primitiveness, with so little infrastructure, with so little development of productive forces, with such a small working class can really build socialism. This is a question that many other countries before us have posed and many other countries in the future will continue to pose. Of course, this question arises because socialism requires a good level of development of the product productive forces, it requires infrastructural development, it requires agricultural development it requires industrialisation, it requires a high level of cultural development of the people, it requires an even higher level of political development and political consciousness, it requires central planning of the economy and society as a whole, it requires a serious Marxist Leninist vanguard Party leading, guiding and directing the whole process. All of these things are prerequisites for the building of Socialism, and, of course, the vast majority of these either do not exist at all or are at a very low level of development, at this time. Nonetheless, the answer is yes, it is possible for a country like ours to build Socialism. That of course we all know. It is possible, but the question is how and we think that this can be seen if we examine some of the possibilities or models for economic development in our country.

We believe that . . .

We believe that there are four main possibilities for economic development of Grenada and countries like Grenada. The first of these is a total private sector free enterprise system of economic development, your Seaga of Jamaica or your Puerto Rico model of development, where free enterprise is given full rein, where the private sector is able to rule uncontrolled. The second model is a total state sector approach where just about anything important is owned by the State, where the State owns virtually everything that matters. The third type is a mixed economy, but with a private sector dominant, and of course, that is the model that we have chosen in Grenada, the mixed economy state sector dominant type model. rut even after having said that, there are still questions of why we have chosen that form and the question of, precisely how will that form assist us to build socialism are two such questions that come to mind. Obviously, if we are speaking of building Socialism and we are, then it is clear that our objective as Marxist-Leninist must in the first instance be to construct socialism As rapidly, but scientifically as possible. That being so, clearly we cannot choose the path of capitalism. We cannot choose the path of a total private sector free enterprise model because that will be inconsistant (sic) with what we believe in and what we have been and are struggling for. We could not likewise choose that path of the mixed economy, with the private sector dominant because that will have tremendous dangers for the successful construction of Socialism and will have us without the effective possibility of guiding and regulating economic development through the imposition of taxes, the granting of credits and concessions and the use of all arms of the State apparatus. This must necessarily be so because it is, as we know, the objective material basis of the economy that determines and directs the political, social and cultural development of the society as a whole.

Equally, we cannot opt for the total state sector model as the state does not have the necessary material of financial resources, management and skills resources, access to markets, international contacts and so on. All of this should he obvious, but for those who have any doubts, please reflect on the tremendous difficulties that we have in finding the dollars necessary to pay the downpayment to the British Company – Plessey’s – that will be installing the radar, communications and navigational equipment for our new international airport, or reflect on how difficult it has been to find guaranteed markets for our primary products and our agro-industrial products, or how difficult it is to find engineers or architects or science teachers or managers – and note I did not even say good managers, I just said managers. No, it would be impossible at this time for the state on its own to build Grenada.

That, of course, means that an alliance is necessary, an alliance in the first place between the working class and the petty bourgeoisie, in particular the rural peasantry, and in the second place an alliance with those elements of the upper petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie who for different reasons, are willing to be involved in building the economy and the country at this time.

DEFINITION OF PRESENT STAGE OF GRENADA REVOLUTION

And this leads me at long last to the answer to the question – what is a correct characterisation of the present stage of development of the Grenada Revolution? And the answer, of course, as we all know, is that the Grenada Revolution is a national-democratic, anti-imperialist Revolution, involving the alliance of many classes including sections of the small bourgeoisie but under the leadership and with the dominant role being played by the working people and particularly the working class, through their vanguard Party the NJM.

That Comrades is how we define the present stage of the Grenada Revolution today. Obviously National Democratic, anti-imperialist means what it says. I did not say a socialist revolution as some comrades like to keep pretending that we have. Obviously we do not have a socialist revolution and it is not socialist precisely because:

The low level of development of the productive forces. You cannot have a socialist revolution with this low level development.

 

PART TWO

Our working class is too small and too politically underdeveloped.

For these primary reasons we cannot proceed straight away to the building of socialism but must first pass through a stage where we lay the basis, where we create the conditions, including the socio-economic and political conditions, for the building of socialism and the creation of the socialist revolution, that is, for the full coming to power of the working class. In other words, comrades, what we are into now (this national democratic stage) really means two things. What we are speaking about now is not socialist construction, not the socialist revolution, we are speaking about the national democratic revolution, we are speaking about socialist orientation. So the important things to contradistinguish here are socialist construction the second stage versus socialist orientation the first stage, which is the stage we are in at this time.

Comrades, these two things . . .

Comrades, these two things are completely different and it is very important for us to grasp that difference, because the experience of the C.C. and study guides in the Party is that it is an area of tremendous confusion and an area that has proven hard to grasp. In some countries around the world it is of course possible to go straight to socialism. That would have been possible; for example the French in 1785 at the time of their bourgeois-democratic Revolution. They could have gone straight to socialism because the necessary objective material bases and conditions were present. Or if tomorrow morning a revolution takes place in the United States or one of the industrialised countries of Western Europe they too can no straight to socialism, because they have a large working class, because the objective material basis in terms of infrastructure, high economic development, high level of development of the productive forces etc, etc are present, so once there is a correct scientific political leadership it is possible for them to proceed to socialism straight away, but for us it is impossible. It really is important for this first concept to be fully grasped.

On Saturday when we were doing the same presentation for the Applicants, there was a particular example I gave which I want to repeat for the Members and Candidate Members and ask for the apologies of the promoted Applicants.

What we gave for an example then was two different people in Grenada who owned two separate plots of lands; let us say one person owning land in Grand Anse and another in Grenville, St. Andrew’s. Both of them own plots of land, both of them want to build a house on their respective plots of lands. In the case of the man in Grand Anse, his land is flat, his land already has the necessary attachments for telephone, water, electricity, he has a concrete base, there is already some kind of access road to his plot of land – therefore all he has to do is put up his house.

In the case of the man in Grenville, what he has is a rough piece of land, the land is hilly, the land has a lot of bush, a lot of trees, a lot of stone. There are no water pipes near to this man’s plot of land; there are no telephone poles near to this man’s plot of land, no electricity poles, no access road – he has to go through a dirt track. This second man cannot just go and put up his house. First of all he has to cut a piece of road to the house to get the materials there; then he has to level the land and he has to do all the necessary earth work; and civil works; he has to put down his concrete base and only then can he begin to talk about building his house.

The first man, . . .

The first man, the man in St. George’s, he is ready for socialist construction.

The second man, the one in Grenville with the rough hilly land who has to do all the necessary preliminary work is the kind of man like us here in Grenada who can’t go straight to socialism. He has to first lay the basis and the foundations. We have to cut the lane, cut the road, make sure the telephone poles are laid, the pipe borne water is available and so on before we can build the house.

That is the difference, comrades, between socialist orientation and socialist construction and that is the stage we are at, the first, stage – the stage of socialist orientation.

Comrades, we speak of the national democratic anti-imperialist revolution and each of those words, of course., has a meaning. The national democratic anti-imperialist revolution is national because it arose from a national liberation struggle that was aimed to do away with the political, economic and ideological domination of an oppressive ruling elite that of Gairy, imperialism and their allies. It is national because it involved, and still involves, a vast majority of the people – that is why the national democratic Revolution is national.

It is democratic because it aims to give or restore rights and freedoms to the majority of the people. Under the Gairy dictatorship of course, many of the rights of the working people were taken away. The February 1978 Essential Services Act took away the right to strike from eleven of the most important categories of workers. :he Public Order Act, 1974, prohibited political parties and even individuals from using loudspeakers, without police permission. The 1975 Newspaper Act made it impossible to publish a newspaper that was political and opposed to Gairy. These rights, as comrades know, have been restored. We have all created new rights because part of this national democratic path is the need to readily expand democracy and the democratic participation of the poor and working people in the country. That is why we have brought more democratic rights through the establishment of zonal councils, workers parish councils, farmers, women and youth councils – all of the organs of popular democracy.

The Revolution is also . . .

The Revolution is also anti-imperialist because it is opposed to foreign domination and the exploitation of our country and its resources by the transnational co-operations (sic). Of course, this looks only at the economic essence of imperialism for that is what I am trying to focus on at this time. The political, cultural and ideological aspects of imperialism are not what we are dealing with here, though they will also be struggles in this anti-imperialist stage.

We want to point out too, comrades, that the national democratic anti-imperialist stage can be led not just by the working class, not just by the petty bourgeoisie, but even by the bourgeoisie. It can be led by the bourgeoisie, petty bourgeoisie or the working class – any of these class forces can lead the Revolution. If it is led by the bourgeoisie, obviously, it could never go on to build socialism – that will be an impossibility; no bourgeois can build socialism. If it is led by the petty bourgeoisie, the only basis on which it can build socialism is if the petty bourgeoisie leadership in the course of the class struggle is transformed into a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist leadership and therefore develops a Marxist-Leninist Party that then guides and directs the process. Without that transformation, it would also be impossible.

Therefore, obviously it is only the working class that can build socialism. It is only under the leadership of the working class, led by a Marxist-Leninist vanguard Party that the process can be completed and we can go on to socialist construction. That is the only time it is possible.

END

#2 Those that forget the past have no future

Something about evil we must never forget, namely, that evil is recalcitrant and determined, and never voluntarily relinquishes its hold short of a persistent, almost fanatical resistance.

Ref: Martin Luther King Jnr.

The words of Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves “I remain to do the work of Maurice Bishop” must be forever remembered, because unless we remember those words we may have no future.

Bishop was very much more evil than people credit him for. His intention was to destroy all class’s above peasant, to build a new mass peasant class. He said that business men and property owners could not be converted to communism, which was his ultimate aim for all Grenadians. His speech to a chosen audience of his Central Committee and selected Party members explain exactly what he had in store for the Grenadian population, most were and still are ignorant to the facts contained in that speech of September 13 1982, “Line of March of the Party”.

In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines over the last 15 years, no new industry has been created. Many businesses have been driven out of business by government policies and failures. Small businessmen have been put out of business. Even Kentucky Fried Chicken is closed down, the most successful fast food outlet ever in SVG. Farmers have seen their businesses destroyed and people like Bigger Biggs, Marcos DeFreitus, Tousaint and Sir James Mitchell have been subjected to state harassment, malicious litigation, spite, and malicious actions to try and destroy them. Also business owners like C.K. Greaves and the P.H. Veira were told that they were to be put out of business by our state supermarket. People like our premier pepper sauce maker Erica McIntosh has seen the government open a small factory to produce pepper sauce in an exact copy bottle with similar labels, buying all the peppers from farmers, leaving her none or very little to buy, which seriously damaged her business.

Under the Unity Labour Party which is nothing to do with the real Labour Party, a communist party cloaked as Labour to trick the supporters of the old Saint Vincent Labour Party [SVLP], we have seen the banking system in SVG all but destroyed. Our State bank was sold to pay off government debts, companies that most small business owners and others invested and saved their money with, such as Buildings and Loans [damaged by political fiscal duncemanship], Clico and British American where most of Saint Vincents population wealth was held [failed and destroyed and bankrupted whilst the Government looked on and failed to act under the Laws that they had] . All the commercial Banks in SVG are in some considerable trouble and there is the threat of some of them pulling out in the very near future. Huge sums of moneys taken from the NIS, peoples future pensions. All these financial matters have reduced much of SVG’s citizenship to the status of peasants. The PM bragging about having more people on state support than ever before, as if that is an achievement. Perhaps it is an achievement if you are trying to create a larger peasant base to help achieve the communist society that you seek and wish for, if you are continuing “to do the work of Maurice Bishop”.

In 2001 prior to the elections we were told by Gonsalves that there was a line of investors waiting for his government to be elected before they invested, that turned out to be a downright lie. The only such investor that I know of was Allan Smith Bakery, and Allan told me himself that he regretted ever investing in SVG under this government. He told me he was begged by Gonsalves to come from New York and open the bakery at Camden Park.

The thing that I always remind you of is that Gonsalves is a liar and cannot be relied upon to tell the truth about anything. He lied about the funding of the airport through what he described as a coalition of the willing. We were told how the Mexicans were going to give us the cement, the Trinidadians the tarmac, the Venezuelans all the equipment plant and machinery [they gave us $10million we paid over $70 million ourselves], the Cubans were coming in to work the project and the Venezuelans were paying their wages. That turned out to be yet another lie; we have paid the Cuban government over $300, 000 a month for their supply of Cuban slave workers. We were told the airport would be finished in three years; it will be approaching 10 years when it is fully completed and fully functional.

Now as a further con, they have planned the landing of a small plane on the runway the day or days before election day, the proposed pilot will be Pongo, better known as Jonathon Palmer. Well I promise if he lands at the airport before its fenced I shall oppose his license to carry passengers and will notify his insurance company about the risk that he has put them under. So Pongo old bean, better you stop this political nonsense now, just keep taking the photo’s, but keep at least one hand on the controls of the aircraft, but also your future. We know that there may well be a price to pay for having the privilege of the Cuban ambassador using your property as their residence, you may be getting a wheel barrow full of money each month, but there is also a political bill to fulfill.

There really are now investors waiting to come to SVG, but they are waiting for the Scientific Socialist government to be kicked out, if the ULP are re-elected to take government at the next elections, it will be the very end, the total destruction of society as we now know it, the final peasantisation of the people will take place in that fourth term. Do we really want to be ruled by a family dynasty henceforth forever?

So people we must remember there is something about evil we must never forget, namely, that evil is recalcitrant and determined, and never voluntarily relinquishes its hold short of a persistent, almost fanatical resistance. We must also remember that those that forget the past have no future.

The words of Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves “I remain to do the work of Maurice Bishop” must be forever remembered, because unless we remember those words we may have no future.

Wake up people and smell the sulphur, just take time to read Bishops speech of September 13 1982, “Line of March of the Party”. Then remember the words of Gonsalves “I remain to do the work of Maurice Bishop”, because those words are damning.

From

Peter Binose, Manchester.

5/26/2015 4:59 PM

DISCLAIMER: The opinion, belief and viewpoint expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinion, belief and viewpoint of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com or official policies of iNews Cayman/ieyenews.com.

IMAGE: Maurice Bishop news.bbc.co.uk

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