The Spark, 2 February 1975, vol. 1, no. 1
Voice of the organisation for revolutionary education and liberation
Commemorating the most heroic stand of THE DOCKERS and STUDENTS in the '73 - '74 revolution
WORKERS MUST LEAD!!
Editorial. The Changing Trend.
The dynamics of change.
It is of vital importance to understand this most dynamic factor of human existence that mankind is moving forward in. the grip of a natural process of evolutionary development. This development may at times be insignificant or imperceptible (sic) while at other times it is brought about by contradictions, by essential differences within a unit (society) which cannot be reconciled, so that like water spilled on a hot iron, there is an entirely new substancial (sic) form-steam-the product of the conflict between the elements of heat and water.
It has been necessary to give (readers) some idea of the mechanics of progress so that the great ideological change in the Joint Organisation of Youths (J.O.Y.) might be more easily understood. This change which we shall describe, is indeed, only natural, since scientific analysis has indicated that even in our old position the seeds of the change were already been nurtured. Hence, today we arc no longer possessing the same ideals or the same interpretation of social or politico-economic ills. It is in this type of thought that we have changed and in order that there be no misunderstanding of our position in any quarters, we shall endeavour to explain the exact nature of this changing trend.
We have in the past stood firmly as Black Cultural Nationalist, in short as Black Power advocates. As such we were concerned ESSENTIALLY with the contradiction of racism, with culture, pan-Africanism and black nationalism. What we did not realise was that even in our position there were several weaknesses. Inevitable, questions arose. What is the real basis of white-black racism? It is the result of early CAPITALIST development and subsequently of the slavery and semi slavery relations of production which arose from this state: to support the structure of this society, i.e. to keep it in existence as capitalist, it was necessary to propagate myths which effectively established the views that the black man was inferior in all aspects, and therefore a creature well suited to their purposes. The next question clarified us more: What really is Black Nationalism? It is the concept of non-white imperialism, that black men, wherever they are, should be in full control of "their" natural resources and all other means of production. Of course this in itself was creditable but it was INCOMPLETE. In 1951 Gairy was the first Black Power advocate seen or heard in Grenada, preaching Black Nationalism and countless other things, look at us today! thus, black men also exploit and oppress black men- and sometimes with more energy and relish than the whites.
Furthermore, it becomes increasingly clear that the Black Cultural Nationalists/their analysis of socio-politics (that is of every occurrence within the social framework concerning them) on the contradiction of racism, so that the cry "racism" was always heard in response to every issue.
Social analysis cannot be thus based on one contradiction, the entire structure is immensely more complex than that. At the point where these weaknesses became to prominent, we began to seek a more scientific formula which would encompass these ideas-not wholly but their positive aspects-and furnished us with a piercing and SCIENTIFIC analysis of every social structural formation.
We have already set out in a clear manner, it is hoped, the material or real basis of racism which we found to be the budding capitalist system and the social forms thus derived. We look to at the question of Black (economic) Nationalism in which we explained the very real possibility of Black by Black (as Gairyism) oppression, a mode of behaviour popular under capitalism. In short and clearly, the real. problem is not merely racism but the basis, the direct cause of its manifestation, the capitalist mode of production.
The only answer was Scientific Socialism, it fulfilled a necessity for CLARITY and SOLIDITY based on Scientific concepts of development, materialism and class analysis-to name a few. Today we are greatly more assured of our present position as a struggling organisation.
We do not wish to be misunderstood, we do not condemn Black Power, indeed, it is to our advantage that some of its ideas be perpetuated at certain times and under specific conditions, however, as a vanguard movement or front line organisation it is incapable and impractical. In addition we feel that it is an almost essential stage in the development of movements and organisations of black people particularly in the Carribean (sic) area. Again our main objection is that it reserves itself exclusively to one contradiction, we as an organisation can recognise many others.
The real enemy is therefore the entire capitalist class regardless of the colour of the skin or its religious beliefs (or disbeliefs) and the social forms which are an indivisible part of that class system.
O. R. E. L.
We the members e of the organisation of Revolutionary Education and Liberation (formerly J.O.Y.) have intended in this statement to clarify our position as a movement with a new ideological outlook. This new outlook is not strange, it was inevitable and dictated by our past. We know that the future will prove us right.
The Working-Class: Our reckoning force.
Knowledge of the laws of social development shows us, in no uncertain terms, the real forces at work in contemporary society, it brings to our understanding in "black and white" the social forces which must be organised and what opponents they will have to defeat, if we are to carry out or fulfill our historical mission which is that of establishing a new and proletarian order.
The idea of socialism as an alternative to capitalism first spun out of the heads of reformers who at that time were blatantly ignorant of that guiding force- the laws of social development. They could not at that time identify the real social force capable of creating a new society.
That force is the working-class. Imminently conflicts and upheavals will occur, the capitalist class will resist socialism to the very end, for the end of capitalism means the end of private ownership of the means of production, e.g factories, estates etc, in short, it means the total eradication of every appendage of capitalism. For the working-class, on the other hand, socialism means its emancipation from 400 years of exploitation, it means also that the working-class will then become the ruling class.
The working-class by its very nature is the force to be reckon (sic) with. They provide the basic need for our country's survival. We have seen what has happened after the Dockers heroic strike. The very conditions of life of the workers lead them to combine to defend their standards of life from capitalist attack and to improve them. But the trade union struggle to defend and improve working-class standards does not get rid of capitalism, and only when it equips itself with scientific socialist theory does it realise its long-term aim of getting rid of capitalism totally.
Socialism can be establish only through the action of the working-class in its struggle with the capitalist class to emancipate itself from capitalist exploitation.
To achieve socialism the working-class must unite as a class for itself, and lead all working people to struggle to end capitalist rule and establish a new democratic state, based on the dictatorship of the working-class in alliance with all working people.
KAMAU [McBarnette, one of the Grenada 17].
ALL WORKERS UNITE TO LIBERATE YOURSELF FROM THE CAPITALIST
YOU GOT NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR CHAINS!!!!
SECURITY FORCES AND THE REVOLUTION.
The history of revolution shows us that the security forces of the country in which the revolution is taking place, plays a vitally important [role] in determining whether the success of the first stage of the revolution i.e. the overthrowing of the oppressive ruling class by the people, is successful. With this in mind we revolutionaries must understand the nature and relations of the security forces, thus we will be able to see the correct strategy in dealing with the security forces.
Let us therefore examine the security forces and try to concretely find the correct ways of handling them. Firstly; What is the true nature of the security forces? what is their objective nature, what is their subjective nature? Objectively the police and the army are instruments of the repressive dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Not so long ago, Tony May, Commissioner of police in Trinidad declared that the motto of the Trinidad police is to protect and serve. In keeping with his conceited class he did not mention it is to protect and serve the capitalist class in Trinidad, not the majority of oppressed people. It is to further oppress, brutalise and shoot anyone who challenges the capitalist rule. In the eyes of the ruling class the police and army is their last vital link that keeps them in power and therefore they make sure that the army and the police have the ideology of the ruling class, hence the standing army---- where the sole purpose of the soldiers is to train to fight to defend the bourgeoisie state. Subjectively however, the army and the police are workers not that they produce anything economically, but they form part of the oppressed masses of the people. It is this most important fact that must be understood by all the police, and the soldiers must realise that the people are their allies, and vice versa; that our only enemy is the bourgeoisie ruling class and without the mass support of the army and the police the bourgeoisie cannot continue to oppress and exploit the working masses.
What must be the attitude of the revolutionaries and the people towards the security forces? Firstly we must remember that the bourgeoisie will not give up their hold over the workers without a fight and since they would not fight it is the security forces that they depend on to do the fighting for them. Our major task therefore is to win over the police and soldiers to the side of the workers by constantly raising the level of their consciousness so that they realise that they are not nothing but exploited mercenaries in the eyes of their masters and that the workers are their only true friends. They must not be treated with contempt but as our friends, for that is the only way they will not turn their guns on us when their wicked masters send them to kill peaceful workers.
However, in a situation where some of the security forces prefer to be mercenaries and determine to incur the wrath of the people and test the mighty power of the united people led by the workers, then they must be treated for what they are: traitors and murderers, and justice must be muted out to them swiftly!
With this kind of strategy in force the bourgeoisies cannot survive and the revolution will come to its logical conclusions, victory for the masses led by the workers. Soldiers and policemen must therefore realise that they are the ones whom the bourgeoisie depend on to keep them in power and without their support they will immediately crumble. However, they must also realise that the force of the united people in struggle is the most powerful force in the country and no police force or army can stop the onward march of the people. Therefore by standing in the peoples way and prolonging the struggle, they are only making their position worse.
SOLDIERS and POLICEMEN join the workers, students and peasants, defeat our common enemy the exploiters and oppressors of the bourgeoisie class, join the march to a socialist society, where the peoples' army has a new role, where soldiers, policemen and workers unite and cooperate to build a society in which there is an end to the exploitation of man by man, where the interests served and protection given is to the majority class, the working class not to capitalist exploiters. Where the soldier plays an important part in transforming the economy of the country and the social nature of the society, not just being paid parasites and mercenaries.
SOLDIERS and POLICEMEN turn your weapons on your
Masters, they are your enemies. JOIN the VICTORY
MARCH of the MASSES led by the WORKERS.
ONWARDS TO SOCIALISM.
On the '73 -'74 Revolution.
The '73 - '74 revolution was destined to take place by the same historical forces which brought about the '51 revolution and which dictate the world's historical development. In 1951 we saw the first mass revolution in Grenada's history, led by the vanguard agricultural and rural workers and the poor peasantry. The revolution was aimed at the complete destruction of the semi-slavery and racist class relations. Had it been successful Grenada today would never have provided the material conditions for another truly mass revolution as we saw in '74. However the historic '51 revolution was sold out by the petty-bourgeois, Gairy, who assumed leadership of the exploited masses. He appeared before the masses, begging them on his behalf to halt the progress of the revolution. When the burning, looting and seizure of estates from the bourgeois plantation owners continued, he AGAIN APPEALED to the masses, this time in a radio broadcast, threatening them with 'the law laying hands on them,' and asking them to repeat after him "no more violence," three times. Although the revolution continued after this broadcast, it soon subsided with the exploited classes being betrayed by their petty-bourgeois leader - GAIRY, who longed to arrive in the rank [missing the remainder of the newspaper - please email me if you have the rest, eh?]
The Spark, Vol. 1, No. 2, [March 1975]
For additional and detailed information, please check out these links:
Newspapers - Overview
Gairy and Media
The Spark, vol. 1, no. 2, March 1975
Torchlight and the PRG/NJM
Grenadian Voice and the PRG/NJM