Every Revolutionary Organisation has as a principle the concept of criticism and self-criticism. Without the application of this principle in the everyday functioning of the Organisation, Revolutionary Organisations cease to be Revolutionary and degenerate into a windbag Organisation.
- Criticism is carried on in a principled way. It is not aimed at ridiculing people but is used to lift up the standard of work of the Organisation.
- Criticism points out to the individual, the weaknesses in his area of work.
- in Revolutionary Organisations, anyone or body can be criticised by any other individual or body. In other words, no one is exempt from criticism.
- periods should be set aside in regular meetings for criticisms and self-criticism.
- Self-criticism is also important in that every comrade should criticise himself when he falls short in his work.
In other words, comrades, we the members of the NJM NYO [National Youth Organisation] should at all times maintain in our work, the revolutionary principles of criticism and self-criticism.
Some comrades abuse the principle in that they use it as a way to get at a comrade with whom they might have some personal falling out. This we cannot allow.
Others react to criticism in a petty-bourgeois way in that they do not accept it. They are never willing to accept they are wrong and always tend to see criticism in a personal way.
Comrades, our approach to criticism and self-criticism must be in keeping with the lofty ideals of our Revolutionary Organisation - NJM NYO. We must in every way seek to ensure that Petty-bourgeoisie ideas and attitudes do not seep out into our ranks but that our Revolutionary working class ideas and attitudes remain of the purest kind.
The above document is undated and unsigned. Chairman of the Youth Committee as early as 1979 was Leon Cornwall. There are no indications he wrote the document.
Criticism and self-criticism have a long political function since the days of the Bolsheviks which crested with the Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung years.
In Grenada, the Minutes of Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Central Committee of NJM from Tuesday 12th - Friday 15th October, 1982 show Individual Assessing based on the format below:
- Discipline - consistent political work.
- Ideological level - including attitude to study.
- Work performance - including professional approach, ability to supervise and guide, technical and professional job skills.
- Relations with the masses - including the question of being an outstanding example.
- Character/Integrity - including respect for the working class, co-operativeness, modesty, self-criticism, honesty, arrogance and timidity.
- Analysing ability - including ability to cope with difficult situations, judgement, appreciation of strategy and tactics, overall leadership qualities.
- Dues, attitude to Party and State property.
- Functionability - general performance as a CC Member.
Performance evaluations in the contemporary workplace often follow most of these guidelines:
Quality/Quantity of Work
Supervisory Ability, if applicable
Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
Attitude, Imitative and Reliability
Human Relations Skills
Attendance and Punctuality
The line between constructive and negative criticism is a fine one.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles,
but most of them have never happened.