The Grenada Revolution Online

QUALITIES OF A REVOLUTIONARY

A Co-ordinating Council of Delegates Document, circa 1975


The document below is copied in keeping the the original, including spellings and plurals. The mark [sic] is placed after a non-usual spelling to aid the reader in knowing the word preceding the {sic] is not a typo. The format of the original document is reproduced similar to the original.

What are the qualities of a Revolutionary?

  1. Primarily a revolutionary is the servant of the masses.

    The revolutionary --- the servant of the people --- follows the following rules (and other similar ones) firmly.

    (a) Respect, Love and serve the peoples

    (b) Wherever you are serve the peoples of those regions with all your forces

    (c) Refuse to do all things which may harm the peoples

    (d) Do not say any humiliating words to the peoples

    (e) Do not coerce (use force on), terrorise or insult the peoples

    (f) Do not hurt the peoples' sensibilities with awkward attitudes or negative comments on their habitats, customs, values or beliefs

    (g) Act, speak, sleep, walk, eat, dress, hold yourself at all times like the peoples

    (h) Do not damage their property and do not take liberty with their womenfolk

    (i) Do not cease to learn from the peoples, to teach them in return, to help them in all their work, to organise them and to support their organisations

    A revolutionary's best measurement of his work is to ask himself "am I serving the peoples best".

  2. A revolutionary is one who has organisational spirit. Organisational spirit means readiness to sacrifice personal interests, to sacrifice one's life for the organization. The revolutionary's motto is "the organization first, the individual last".

  3. A revolutionary is one who is staunchily [sic] opposed to liberalism and places practice, hard work, discipline and principled unity at the forefront. What is liberalism? Liberalism manifests itself in many ways. One is to let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has clearly done wrong and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a schoolmate, a fellow townsman, a loved one etc. Or to touch on the matter lightly so as to keep in good terms. Another type of liberalism is to indulge in irresponsible criticism, to gossip behind people's backs, to say thing at a meeting but to gossip afterwards and to disregard the collective life while following one's own individual inclinations.

    Other types of liberalism are to give pride of place to one's own opinions and reject the organisation's discipline, to indulge in personal attacks and petty squabbles, to hear incorrect views or counterrevolutionary remarks without rebutting or reporting them, to fail to conduct propaganda among the masses, to feel or do nothing when someone acts contrary to the masses, to work amateurishly and half-heartedly, to speak of oneself as the "most intelligent or most dedicated" and feel exploited and become lazy, to know one's own mistakes and to fail to change them, etc . . .

  4. A revolutionary is an internationalist. This means that the Grenadian revolutionary should feel as much for the people of Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Palestine, Vietnam, China, Bolivia, South African [sic], Cameroons, etc. as he does for the Grenadian peoples.

  5. A revolutionary is one who has the finest and highest human virtues. A revolutionary has moral integrity. Selfishness, Limelight seeking, slacking, corruption, cheating, lying, conceit, individualism, opportunism and double-dealing are (and should be) all alien to him. A revolutionary avoids unscrupulousness in dealing with comrades. However, a revolutionary's morality --- like all his stands --- is of a class nature, i.e. based on a class analysis.

    To sum up then, the best qualities of a revolutionary are:

    (a) Discipline - iron-strong, very firm discipline

    (b) hard work - the revolutionary recognized [sic] that work is struggle and that if the enemy is to be destroyed one must struggle (work) hard. It means perseverance in studying, in working among the masses, in organising them, in doing political work. Those who do not work obtain nothing --- except those who live off people's labour. The revolutionary goes and works where the difficulties and problems are greater.

    (c) Theoretical soundness --- that is the essential quality of a revolutionary. A revolutionary never ceases learning, studying and improving himself. His quality is that he never tires of learning.

    (d) Perseverance is one of the qualities of a revolutionary. A revolutionary who does not have perseverance will not achieve much. From the outset all should know that there is no easy victory, that the revolution entails hardships in all forms, that there will be setbacks and failures as well as successes and that if the masses are to understand what is to be done, long and persistent political work is required.

    The revolutionary's stand is "fight, fail, fight again, fail, fight again . . . till victory". Perseverance does not mean only to persevere in a virgin forest as part of a guerilla unit but also means to persevere, all over the country, in day to day political and organisational work among the masses.

    (e) Patience is one other quality that must be present in a revolutionary. The revolutionary is patient in his work among the masses. He understands that it will take some time for the masses to grasp the why and hows of their misery.

    (f) Courage is a quality that no revolutionary can do without. The revolutionary is courageous, daring. A revolutionary fears no sacrifice and is prepared for death as his strength is drawn from the masses and their glorious history of resistance against feudal lords, foreign invaders, and the like. "Dare to struggle, dare to win"; "Courage in battle, fear no sacrifice" "Be hard, firm, resolute" are the mottos of the revolutionary.

    (g) Ingenuity is an essential quality of the revolutionary. A revolutionary has to be ingenuous [sic], otherwise he will be bogged down in and unable to extricate himself from situations for which he has not been previously prepared. The ability to make maximum use of a given situation, material or scope of action is a necessary one.

    (h) Optimism is more than a quality in a revolutionary. A revolutionary can hardly be anything else but an optimist. He is so because he has maximum faith in the masses and the justness as well as invincibility of their cause. As such a revolutionary is not the one to despair, to lose hope, get frustrated and abandon the struggle. He is aware that the road to liberation has its twists and turns and is consequently prepared for all setbacks.

    (i) Honesty, modesty and self-respect: A revolutionary is honest otherwise there would have been no ground for him to feel angry and bitter at other's dishonesty. A revolutionary is modest; he is neither conceited and arrogant nor does he use his position over others or expect special treatment because he is talented or has done a commendable job. (And though good work should be appreciated and praised, it must be understood by all revolutionaries that to do one's job well is a duty). Modesty as is commonly known in Grenada is hypocritical and a hinderance [sic] to efficiency as a man who knows how to do a certain task well is not expected to say he knows or can perform it. On the hand, a revolutionary dares to say "I know" and dares to acknowledge that "somebody else knows". A revolutionary's modesty is not in avoiding saying what he knows but in avoiding arrogance and conceit because of his talent or knowledge.

    A revolutionary has self-respect and self-esteem. He carries himself with dignity and acts accordingly. He never cringes low before the enemy to get small personal benefits. As a servant of the people, he is proud and neither begs the enemy nor whimpers in [unclear].

The revolutionary tool of criticism and self-criticism is based on this statement: "If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticised, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right we will correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it." Everyone is liable to make a mistake, at one time or another, but what distinguishes a revolutionary is his ability to criticise himself and to learn from the past mistake to avoid future ones.

The four problems that confront revolutionaries in utilizing criticism and self-criticism are caused by the low theoretical level of comrades, by the presence of petty bourgeois spirit of vengence [sic] (if he has criticised me I must also do so, at all costs, correctly or nor), by the absence of democracy (i.e. objective mutual discussion of problems), and by the tendency of some comrades to present themselves as super-revolutionaries by assuming extremist positions and over criticising everybody.

The following eight "rules" should be followed to ensure correct application (usage) of criticism and self-criticism.

  1. Say all that you know and say it without reserve.
  2. Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words or correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not.
  3. Do not provide conflicts and disputes (by using criticism) in order to ruin the unity of the organisation, to show off, to improve one's position, to save face or vent hatred and seek revenge. Never use criticism as a means of personal attack.
  4. Criticize in good time and not always after the event.
  5. Do not engage in criticism and self-criticism without observing rules or correct organisational procedures.
  6. Avoid excessive criticism (i.e. criticising day after without giving the comrade some time to improve) as our aim in criticising is to "cure the patient" and not "to doctor him to death".
  7. Fight against those who are shocked when disagreements arise and who do all in their power to maintain peace and unity based on no principles.
  8. Have criticism and self-criticism session at all levels of the organisation as often as possible so as to prevent all kinds of political dusts and germs from contaminating the minds of the revolutionaries and the body of the organisation.

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