The Grenada Revolution Online

Was Grenada a 20th Century Third-World Marxist-Leninist Totalitarian State?

There are people and books that can match up events during the time of the People's Revolutionary Government to ‘prove’ that Grenada was just such a 20th Century Third-World Marxist-Leninist Totalitarian State.

Dujmovic in his book The Grenada Documents: Windows on Totalitarianism" summarizes the key points of a modern totalitarian state:

  • An absolute or totalist ideology, messianic in nature, which both purports to explain history and promises to bring happiness and peace to man.
  • A single party, usually under one leader, with a strict, hierarchical organization.
  • A commitment to the development of a ‘new man,’ free of the outdated, corrupt values of the previous order.
  • Control of the population through the party's monopoly of the armed forces and secret police.
  • Mobilization of the masses through the party's control of all cultural, media, and information systems, including the educational system.
  • A centralized economy which serves to strengthen the party's control over society.
  • Expansionism: As ‘keepers of the flame’, a totalitarian party feels compelled to bring all mankind to the wisdom of its ideology.

There are those who will expand on the Latin saying corruptio optimi pessima which usually is taken to mean “the corruption of the best is the worst”. The result obtained by distorting an excellent thing is all the worse in proportion to the excellence of the thing that we distort.

The idea of creating a "new society" under the New Jewel Movement brought misgivings to some sensibilities. They asked:

How was this "new society" to come about? Through the will of what persons? What body of persons would be used in order to carry out this social experiment? How come no one ever tried this way before? And where were the "people" in all of this?

For many Grenadians there was the natural inclination on all sides to assume that the political doctrine that came out of the Central Committee was "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."

Those whose only desire was to do good needed to watch out for the path which led the other way.

Next: A Marxist-Leninist New Society?      Back: What Was the Internal Power Struggle?

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