The Grenada Revolution Online

Was No Side Victorious?

October 19th was a classic epic confrontation between revolutionaries from above and a revolution from below; a confrontation between the popular leader and the masses, against the ideologue Bernard Coard and an elite officer corps; between populist forces and a totalitarian Leninist clique; between the party and the people. The outcome suggests that no side was victorious.

George Brizan from Grenada: Island of Conflict, Macmillan Education Ltd, text George Brizan 1998, p. 442 & 443

The social scientist who attempts to undertake some rational analysis of what occurred cannot but begin with the recognization that it involved, in all of its complexity, practically everything that goes to make the human condition. There is ambition, rivalry, the thirst for power. There is the conflict of strong personalities. There are at one and the same time high ideals and low motives. It is not a Victorian hero and villain melodrama, for all of the leading actors, starting with Bishop and Coard, are complex human beings who cannot be easily stereotyped. All of them are as much victims as instigators, caught up in an awful current of events over which, ultimately, they have no control, so that, in the final analysis the observer, rather than allocating blame, can only perhaps feel pity and compassion.

Gordon K. Lewis from Grenada: The Jewel Despoiled, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, p. 67.

My central argument is that two uneven and contradictory strains of socialism were present within the NJM, both of which were reinforced by the traditional political culture and social structure of the population. One current of Grenadian socialism was egalitarian, democratic, and Jamesian; the other was hierarchical, statist, command-oriented, placing power above the masses, and resembling in several administrative respects the rigid autocratic features of the Crown Colony and Gairy regimes.

Manning Marable from African & Caribbean Politics: From Kwame Nkrumah to Maurice Bishop, Verso Press, 1987, p. 199.

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our own minds

Bob Marley, Redemption Song (1980)

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