Line of March for the Party - Part Two
Presented by Comrade Maurice Bishop,
Chairman, Central Committee
to General Meeting of Party on Monday 13th September 1982
[continued from Part One]
And why does the bourgeoisie need the alliance?
They need the alliance . . .
They need the alliance first of all because they have contradictions with imperialism. Imperialism especially at this time because of the deep capitalist crisis, has been putting the squeeze on the national bourgeoisie. They can't always get letters of credit, every month the banks make the terms for the letters of credit more difficult instead of three month repayment, it becomes one month. Sometimes they get not even one day. Also they can't get the kinds of loans they want. And when they do get loans, they have to pay high interest rates. And overall, of course, the fact of the recession - the capitalist crisis makes it more difficult for them to develop in the way in which they would like. This is so because the capitalist crisis affects Grenada and helps to squeeze our economy because their demand for our goods - cocoa, banana, nutmegs has fallen. And when we can't sell cocoa, banana, nutmegs, then it means the standard of living falls because there is less money floating around. So a lot of the capitalists are vexed with imperialism. That is the first point.
The second point is that they have been watching the Revolution and they are now convinced that the Revolution gives them new possibilities for making profits, new possibilities for expanding their businesses and moving on. They have watched the growth of infrastructure - the new International Airport, the coming Sandino Plant, the Emulsion Plant, the Quarry and Asphalt Plant, the new East Coast Road, the Feeder Roads, the West Coast road to come, the new Telephone system to come, the new Electricity system to come, the new Storage Tank Farm to come, the 40% more water in people's homes. They have watched all of that and understand that it represents the necessary basis for them to develop their business and to make profits. In other words they see the Revolution as providing them with the possibility of developing and expanding.
And don't forget that we have been encouraging them through holding many consultations with them. When we have a National Conference on the Economy with the mass organisations (as we did on 29th January), two weeks later, we held a National al Conference with the Private Sector, and we are sitting down with them just like we did with the masses.
Now we are settling with their participation a Tourism Code and an Investment Code. And Cde Coard, as the Minister of Finance, has been meeting with them very regularly and giving them incentives, giving them concessions, helping them to develop the confidence that the state is not going to crush them. And all of this has now had a qualitiative (sic) effect on the National Bourgeoisie.
A third factor . . .
A third factor, comrades, and it is a factor we sometimes forget, is that the National Bourgeoisie has [Unclear] is the unpatriotic capitalist and there is the patriotic one, and it is the patriotic ones who will form the alliance with us. The unpatriotic ones will sell out and go abroad or will try to engage in sabotage. So the reality of patriotism is something that must not be overlooked.
And fourthly and finally, it is important to remember that part of the reason we can form the alliance with them is because of their own low level of class consciousness. Therefore, they don't really fully under stand what it is we are doing. It comes over in a million things they say from time to time. They are not really [unclear] they are still hoping that what we are building is not socialism but as one of them puts it socialist capitalism or capitalist socialism - whatever that means.
So, the is that area of confusion. But comrades a few more words on the nature of the alliance that. we have with these sections. First of all, it is important to understand that the alliance we have gives full, total complete control to the Party and the working people. The party and the working people have hegemony. A monopoly will mean total power, hegemony will mean total control, and that is the distinction we are drawing between hegemony and monopoly.
But there is absolutely no doubt that we have a hegemonic control on power and over all the capital areas of the State. We can see this in several different ways. If you consider the question of Cabinet. The Cabinet of our country has ten (10) ministers and nine of these ten ministers are members of the Party; the only non-member of the Party is Norris Rain. If you look at the ruling council of the People's Revolutionary Government, you will see it no longer has twenty-three people because Lloyd Noel is in detention, Pam Buxo is out of the country, Lyle Bullen is no longer involved. There are three people who are out, there are now twenty (20) people who are in the P.R.G. And if you look at the Party and the Cabinet and you analyse them carefully, you will discover an over 90% direct control by the Party of the ruling council of the P.R.G. and Cabinet.
Secondly, to see . . .
Secondly, to see further this hegemony or control I am talking about comrades, look at the composition of our army and militia. We don't have any upper Petty-bourgeoisie or bourgeoisie in our army or militia. When you look at the officers in the army it is Working Class comrades or petty-bourgeois revolutionary democrats or communists who are the officers in the army - that's the situation in our army.
Thirdly comrades, consider our Zonal Councils and our Workers Councils and so on. The bourgeoisie is not invited deliberately and consciously, so they don't have the opportunity to come and try to confuse people inside the councils. When we're having a Zonal Council in this building or a Workers Parish Council, we send out the invitations, we decide who we want to invite and we live (sic) the bourgeoisie out deliberately and consciously.
Consider the trade unions in our country, five of the eight leading trade unions are under the direct leadership and control of full members, candidate members and applicants of our Party. There is no doubt about it; what we have is hegemony; we have full control.
I want to think of another area. Just consider, comrades, how laws are made in this country. Laws are made in this country when Cabinet agrees and when I sign a document on behalf of Cabinet. And then that is what everybody in the country - like it or don't like it - has to follow. Or consider how people get detained in this country. We don't go and call for no votes. You get detained when I sign an order after discussing it with the National Security Committee of the Party or with a higher Party body. Once I sign it -like it or don't like it - its (sic) up the hill for them.
It is also important . . .
It is also important to note comrades, that while we are in an alliance with sections of the bourgeoisie and upper petty-bourgeoisie, they are not part of our dictatorship. They are not part of our rule and control - they are not part of it. We bring them in for what we want to bring them in for. They are not part of our dictatorship because when they try to hold public meetings and we don't want that, the masses shut down the meeting. When we want to hold Zonal Councils and we don't want them there, we keep them out. When they want to put out newspaper and we don't want that, we close it down. When they want freedom of expression to attack the Government or to link up with the CIA and we don't want that, we crush them and jail them. They are not part of the dictatorship. In fact, if the truth is told, they have been repressed by the dictatorship. They have lost some of the rights they used to have. Now it is the working people who have these rights, not the bourgeoisie. When the working people want to hold a public meeting, we don't stop then. When the working people went to go and hold a picket, we don't stop them. When they want to Picket Bata, that is good, but if Bata want to picket workers we jail Bata. The workers could Picket Bata, but Bata cannot picket no workers. When Torchlight workers want to take over the company, we support them, not publicly and through making noise because that would not be in our interest. We pretend we don't know what's happening and let the trade unionists do it. But if the Torchlight owners try to crush the workers, we jail the Torchlight owners.
The point is all rights are not for them, all freedoms are not for them, but all rights and freedoms are now for the majority who are no longer oppressed and repressed by a tiny minority. That is very important to understand because that is what dictatorship or rule means. And that is how every state operates. That is why the state came about in the first case; so that there would be a dictatorship and a minority, in the case of the capitalist state, would crush and oppress the majority. In the case of the Socialist State, the majority will crush, oppress and repress the recalcitrant minority. That is what it is, and that is what the nature of the dictatorship is, so they are not part of that. And that is very important for us to understand.
Comrades, as we see it, this political essence - this dictatorship of the working people - is what we have to continue to develop and to build rapidly if we are to make substantial progress in building the national democratic anti-imperialist phase of the Revolution. And I would say, there are six (6) things to watch and to emphasise in terms of the political essence.
First, it means control by the Party and the working people. So we have to be guided by that at all times. The Party and the working people; the Party acting in the name of the working people and particularly, of course, the working class must control, guide and direct the process - must rule.
Secondly, it means . . .
Secondly, it means an alliance has to continue to be maintained, firstly, with the peasantry and other elements of the petty-bourgeoisie, and secondly with sections of the upper petty-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. That also means comrades, when we do work plans when we have particular actions we want to take or are about to take, we always have to be conscious of this alliance. In other words, comrades in St. Andrew's area for example, who historically have given extra ordinary (sic) trouble in their dealings with Norris Bain, Minister of Housing and member of the ruling PRG Council must be very careful. Over and over again, there would be activities, where there is no no (sic) reason why the comrade can not be present, and they won't invite him. So we have him coming to us and complaining about all kinds of unnecessary problems because of stupidity. On the way in which some comrades choose to relate to, let's say a Lyden Ramdhanny or a Bernard Gittens. The fact is that we have an alliance and the alliance is important. And the same applies to the patriotic businessmen with whom we are developing joint ventures and whom we are encouraging to invest. We can't meet them and curse them or get on arrogantly with them for no good reason. Obviously, a trade-union struggle is one kind of thing. But what I am saying is that for as long as the alliance is there, it calls for a certain kind of political maturity at the level of our behaviour in dealing with these with whom we are building an alliance. That is very important for us to watch.
The third thing, comrades, the question of our people; their education (political and academic); the development of further democratic mechanisms and organisations and means and methods of getting them to he involved and to participate and so on; The need for greater training in democracy for them. In other words, the preparation for them to rule. That, of course, primarily refers to the working class but it applies in general to the working people and also to the broad masses in terms of the development of democracy, in terms of the involvement in mass organisations, in terms of participation in the organs of popular power.
The fourth point, the necessary emphasis we have to give at all times to the working class (we are going to come back to that so I don't want to say too much on it). But for this political section, it has to be emphasised.
And the fifth point, the building of the Party, because again it is the Party that has to be at the head of this process, acting as representatives of the working people and in particular the working class. That is the only way it can be because the working class does not have the ideological development or experience to build socialism on its own. The Party has to be there to ensure that the necessary steps and measures are taken. And it is our primary responsibility to prepare and train the working class for what their historic mission will be later on down the road. That is why the Party has to be built and built rapidly, through bringing in the first sons and daughters of the working class.
And finally comrades, the need always for firmness and inflexibility on political questions that affect the building of socialism. On the economic front, you can have a lot of flexibility; on the political front the flexibility must be very little. We have to be firm because we are walking a real tight rope. On the one hand, you have to give encouragements and incentives and build the confidence of the bourgeoisie. But on the other hand, when they step out of line, we still have to crush them. So it's that kind of tight-rope that has to be walked.
ECONOMIC ESSENCE OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PATH
I want to come comrades, to the economic essence in the non-capitalist path, or more precisely the path of socialist orientation. That is what the economic essence of this national democratic business I s- the non-capitalist path of economic development, the path of socialist orientation. That involves in particular building the state sector along particular lines which I now want to describe quickly.
Firstly, the state sector must be built to be the dominant sector. As comrades know, that's happening already. Last year over 90% of all investments in this country were by the public sector, by the state and at this time the state controls about a quarter of the total economy. Building the state sector to be the dominant sector means a number of things:
The question is . . .
The question is how to control that tourist development? And the plan there as you know is the Tourism Code, the Investment Code in general, and of course, a very, very careful policy and the development of careful guidelines at every stage to ensure that the negative social effects of tourism are at all times curbed. For example, take prostitution, if you catch local prostitutes - lock them up and rehabilitate them. If you catch foreign prostitutes coming in - deport then. So we will have to develop a very careful set of rules and guidelines to ensure that tourism doesn't get our of hand. But at the same time, unfortunately for us is the way I will put it, tourism has to be the key for the immediate short term period.
- We must assume total control of all financial institutions over a period of time. I did not say total control tomorrow morning or next year, but equally over a period - that must happen.
- We must assume total control of all foreign trade and also of some aspects of internal trade. The MNIB, of course, is helping us in that area already. This year, the MNIB will have a turnover of $20m. Right now MNIB has $35m in stocks (quite a staggering figure). right now , MNIB is buying over 78 agricultural items from the farmers in Grenada. Right now, one in every ten farmers is selling his produce to MNIB. Right now, the three main depots for the MNIB (Young Street, Hillsborough Carriacou, and Petit Martinique), in January, February, March of this year together, sold something like 300,000 lbs of produce. And I'11 give you something that's even more staggering than that which was told to me by the Manager of the MNIB depot in Petit Martinique - Linus Belmar. Belmar told us that the Petit Martinique depot has a monthly turnover of $60,000 - a quite staggering figure. The role of the MNIB, both in the area of imports and exports, will have to be stepped up in the coming period.
- We must assume total control of all Public Utilities - electricity, telephone, water, National Transport Service. And here again, as comrades know, we already in fact control those four. The missing one for us now is Cable and Wireless and the Satelite (sic) Dish from the Soviet Union will be one aspect of the timing in relation to Cable and Wireless.
- We must continue the building of the infrasturcture (sic) air port, sea ports, roads etc. - all aspects of infrasturcture (sic).
- We must ensure the further development of tourism, of the manufacturing and industrial sectors; of the agricultural sector; of the agro-industrial sector; of fisheries. In other words, all of the main pillars of the economy - agriculture, agro- industries, fisheries, tourism, manufacturing and light industry.
- We must develop central planning mechanisms for the economy and the society as a whole, but first of all we must start with the economy. In terms of the development of the economy comrades, over the next 10 - 15 years; as we see it, the next 5 years - emphasis will undoubtedly be tourism. That is not to say that we like tourism, That is because we have no choice. Tourism is the sector that has the greatest potential for giving us the profits to invest in the areas we really want to invest in - agriculture, agro industries, fisheries, and non-agro industrialisation generally. That's really where we will like to go, but those cannot produce the money at this time, while tourism can. We estimate that we will spend about $350m in just tourism alone over the next couple of years, including the cost of the New International Air-port (sic).
For one thing, there is no way we can ever pay back for that International Air-port (sic) in a short or medium term if we don't have tourism developed. So that's where it's at for the next five years or so. The next five years after that - agriculture with a lot more emphasis then too on Agro-Industries and Fisheries. But of course, in this first five-year period we also have to continue to do a lot of work on agriculture, agro industries and fisheries, so don't misunderstand what I am saying. I am talking about emphasis and where the dollar bills will have to go because we don't have many dollars. But the fact of the matter is that all of these phases I am describing we will have to continue to work on all fronts. But we are not going to be able to make the kind of returns we need on Agro, Agriculture or Fisheries in the upcoming period. Hence the importance of tourism.
And in terms of agriculture comrades, the Youth Employment Programme assumes predominant emphasis right now in this first period.
In the third five year period (that is in ten years time), light industry, especially non-agro based industry and manufacturing will become more and more predominant, more and more important.
It is important to observe comrades that all of this lays the basis for the development of capitalism. And that of course is a major problem because it means that if we are not careful capitalism rather than socialism will be the the (sic) end product, just like when Lenin had formulated NEP right after the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Bolsheviks too had that same problem and concern.
Simultaneously we will . . .
Simultaneously we will be nurturing the shoots of capitalism and the shoots of socialism and the question is which one becomes predominant and how you control and ensure that socialism is what comes out and not capitalism. We have the same problem as the young Soviet State faced but a million times more difficult, because our state sector is much smaller and does not have the potential in this immediate period for providing the profits to build the economy and the country. And of course, we have a much smaller and less ideologically developed working class. On top of that we have this massive petty bourgeoisie; you have this low level of development of class consciousness; you have this total backwardness and primitiveness in the economy. In other words comrades, we have a tight rope that we have to monitor very carefully as we walk it - every single day, understanding clearly that all of this infrastructural development, and all of this activity we are describing not only can build socialism but also capitalism.
What this means is that our primary task must be to sink the ideas of Marxism/Leninism amongst the working people so that their own ideological level can advance and they can begin to bettor understand what we are trying to do and why their class consciousness can be raised in this way. Secondly, of course we can control the development capitalism through the use of laws and regulations; because one thing we do have is political control (and we have that firmly) so we can decide on how much taxes to charge. we can decide who get credits, we can decide who gets concessions and pioneer incentives, we can decide what [blank space] of Laws to pass and when, we can decide who to manners and when. In other words, we can use the apparatus of the State in order to effect those controls. But it is a tight rope and we just need to be careful and understand what we are involved in.
TASKS OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC STAGE
Comrades, the tasks of this national democratic stage can perhaps be summarised in ten points; and I want to just quickly list them.
- Ensure the leading role of the working class through its Marxist/Leninist Party backed by some form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. But please note that I said some form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, because obviously at this stage we cannot have the dictatorship of the proletariat or the working class, but the form we would have at this first stage is the dictatorship of the working people.
- Build the alliance between the working class and mass of the working people; in other words, the alliance between the working class and the urban and rural bourgeoisie. At the same time, we must also build an alliance with those patriotic sections of the upper petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie who are willing to help develop the country.
- Ensure over a period, public ownership of the means of production. In other words, build the state sector.
- Work towards the gradual transformation of agriculture along socialist lines through development of voluntary co-operative farms and state farms.
- Plan the development of the economy in order to lay the basis for the building of socialism and to raise living standards.
- Begin the implementation of the cultural revolution. And this cultural revolution, as all of us know, is one of the four revolutions we are building at the same time - the political, economic, scientific and technological and the cultural. And in the context of the cultural revolution, I want to emphasise three main points - the spreading of the socialist ideology, the wiping out of illiteracy and the building of a new patriotic and revolutionary-democratic intelligentsia.
- Build the defence capacity of the country so as to protect it and to protect the revolution from internal and external enemies, Comrades, the applicants on Saturday in one of the six workshops came back reporting that they were very concerned about the fact that there were so many non-party comrades who were leading the militia; and that is an area of concern that we share very strongly. We have to get more party comrades into the leadership of the militia. Just in terms of the means that we have here right now, we are short by over one fifth of the comrades that we need to operate them. Just in terms of what we have, I am not talking about what is to come. So if comrades are not prepared to come out and learn to use those means, then it means that other comrades out there, hopefully supporters and strong sympathisers would be the ones using them, which means that at the appropriate time we won't even have the guarantee that the guns can't be turned back on us. So I really hope comrades will take that comment from the workshop seriously.
- Develop proletarian internationalism. As representatives of the working class in Grenada, we have to ensure that our working class anal the working people always demonstrate maximum solidarity with all international working class struggles. That is a fundamental responsibility.
- Develop equal and friendly relations with all governments in the world, a except the fascist military dictatorship and apartheid types. That is why comrades, we have been making trips to different countries in Latin America like Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama and so on. That is why in a few days time we leave for France to another state visit. We must develop relations with all different kinds of countries - some of them revolutionary-democratic, some of them social-democratic, some of them, like in the case of many in CARICOM, straight pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist in outlook.
- Build rapidly our links with the Socialist World, especially the Soviet Union. And here I should hardly need to say more; we have just come back from an important visit to the land of Lenin, the Soviets in the last two days have arrived, nine of them including the Ambassador and their Embassy is about to be opened and so on. So these links and relations are building reasonably satisfactory.
[continue to Part Three]
[back to Part One