1979 - Concerning three chapters of our history
From the General National Conference, December 3, 1979
We have been saying for a few days that we wanted to talk on certain issues. There are moments when men resort to talking in symbols, metaphors or in less intellectual forms. But we would prefer that our group of Communists speak for us in a direct and broad manner.
We want to briefly talk about how the history of today will be seen decades from now. We place ourselves in a plan of revolutionary imagination and look backwards from the future, this is useful and also serves to fortify the spirit. We have clear minds, resolute wills and inextinguishable passions, a revolutionary imagination will increase them even more. Let us think about it and allow our imagination to speak to us from the future. Let us place ourselves decades ahead in the future, in the second part of the coming century.
We are in the final part of the XX Century, very soon we will see the years going by and they will pass even faster as we advance towards the transformation of our society in the third millennium of humanity. The end of the 1990's means the end of one millennium and the beginning of another in which Communism will be definitively stamped on history and humanity will take a leap from the realm of necessity into the realm of liberty.
We should think of the second half of the next Century. History will be written by us and those who will follow are us, the future Communists, because we are an inexhaustible force. When children begin to read and men begin to remember, they will have a history to read and it will recount:
I. How Darkness Prevailed
In this society, there was a time in which darkness prevailed. It does not imply that everything was dark, but it means that darkness prevailed. In our country, in our America, there is an old and long tradition and a slow history which should be known. We need to search for the profound roots of who we are, not because we are nationalists, but because we have historical particularities and nobody can make revolution if they do not have historical roots. We are an old society.
Some twenty thousand years ago, man arrived in these lands in a very primitive state; ten thousand years passed. In about four to six thousand years they began to develop agriculture and basic shelter to protect themselves from extreme weather conditions and they also started sewing covers to protect their bodies. Two thousand years later we already had very productive agriculture and became a great agrarian system. The community develops and the Ayllu starts to be forged: a specific agrarian communal expression of our people. Thereafter, a surplus was generated along with the creation of class differences, property and the State.
Approximately 700 hundred years ago the State began to develop and expand, and as the State grew, exploitation came into existence generating oppression. Thus, the people were divided between the oppressors and the oppressed. Also, these lands were divided into small regions, big confederations and kingdoms: Huari is an example. Time passed and the Incan empire was formed. Then came Inca Pachacutec who brought more imperial order and reorganized the State, making it stronger. This shows that in ancient Peru there were nations that exploited others. The existence of classes was evident, there were the exploited and exploiters. However, such a petrified kingdom did not last long. Strange men came and destroyed the existing agrarian order. But it is not true that the people of the Americas fell on their knees. People resisted and defended the system of exploitation that they had created, but it was a rotten system based on exploitation, and it collapsed when confronted with a superior order.
Thus, in our country the system collapsed and a long and vicious process of feudal exploitation began. Our people were taken to the mines, their blood was transformed into gold and silver for Europe. We view the development of European capitalism as the product of the flesh and blood of our ancestors.
Centuries passed and a system of mestizaje develops. There were rebellions, especially the mobilization and uprisings of the peasants in the XVIII Century, which rocked the system to its foundations. The worldwide actions of capitalism prosper along with the spirit of emancipation of the masses; and since classes are not eliminated and the problems of land and sovereignty are unresolved, these two old problems continue to persist.
The XIX Century involved the transformation of the feudal order to a semi-feudal order, and from a colonial order to a semi-colonial one. We changed masters from one group of Europeans to another, from Spanish hands into English ones. The new exploiters were enthroned and they were more cruel and sinister than the previous ones, but the people always rose up to fight without truce in an arduous class struggle although with periods of greater usurges in which the system was shaken up.
In the latter part of the last Century a new imperialist order surged, the United States of America. It arrived early in these lands, and in the 1920's its domination was consolidated. Hence, at that stage of our history, darkness prevailed in our lands. At the same time, a new class emerged, the proletariat, and a new chapter begins.
II. How the Light Emerged and the Steel Was Forged
The working class emerged, a new class was born. It was the working class and the international proletariat that was also expressed as the proletariat in our country. That is who we are. The proletariat begins to illuminate the darkness, it is the class that is represented here. This light was transformed into steel.
From 1885 to 1919 there were nearly 30 years of intense class struggle in which the Peruvian proletariat begins to develop and their presence showed a definitive change in our country. The class struggle, international actions, and the struggles of the proletariat and peasants allowed the forging of Marxism and José Carlos Mariátegui, who fought like few others in these lands of the Americas. Our people are not frivolous, as some ignorant people say, we have produced many great people. Mariátegui is one of the few men in these lands who applied Marxism-Leninism to the special conditions and our people begin to find a new untraveled road. A new and more pure light emerges, a shining light. That light we carry in our hearts and souls. That light was founded with the land and that soil became steel. From light, soil, and steel springs the founding of the Party in 1928. The steel was forged, that is what we are. That is the problem of how the light emerged and the steel forged.
In 1928 we were founded and we have never fallen into the criterion of forming another Party. We have come to an agreement that here the class and mass struggle gave birth to a José Carlos Mariátegui who founded the Party, he gave us light and steel and led us on our own way. Since then there has been light and steel in our country. No matter what they say we can never go back.
It is impossible to turn back while there are still classes. That light will not go out while there are still classes; the steel will not melt while there are still classes. But we had a possibility which came apart when the life of our founder was cut short. Although it was negated, distorted and concealed, the unaccomplished task of Mariategui remained as our Program and Plan, the class embodied it, it continued beating in the class, the combative people and the Communists. We cannot deny that the actions of the class and Communists who fought tirelessly has allowed us to reach this stage.
Time passed. The Second World War came, the most extensive one in history, which marked us and created a more profound bureaucratic capitalist system and a more intense class struggle. The working class kept advancing but never in peace, always in the midst of torments and storms; it was forged with more light, more steel, more strength and invincibility.
Our people were illuminated by a more intense light, Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-tung Thought. We were at first dazzled by the eruption of this unending light, light and nothing else; but little by little our retinas began to comprehend this light, we saw our country, Mariátegui and our reality and we found our perspective: the Reconstitution of the Party. Thus, the chapter on how the light emerged and the steel was forged begins to end.
III. How the Walls Collapsed and the Dawn Unfolded
Today begins a new chapter: how the walls collapse and a new dawn unfolds. It will be said that our Party, forged with the strongest light and purest steel had a decisive moment. This moment generates the Plan of National Construction, and the Party which was a piece of the flag unfurled to the wind, spreads out in order to illuminate our country. The Communists from all parts of the country were called and a national system was set in motion. Communists rose up and the land reverberated. With the rumbling of the land, the Communists advanced. For this purpose, a landmark conference was held, political bases were established and a course to follow was set.
A flag was planted, a very high flag for a new epoch and with a new objective: Initiate the Armed Struggle. Men struggled hard and the few Communists that existed were gathered from various points and in the end they committed themselves by making a decision: to forge with deeds the First Company of the First Division of the People's Army. In this manner, they began to clear out the darkness in a definitive form. The walls shook and were breached and with clenched fists, the dawn broke out. The key was the First National Conference, a milestone marking the beginning of a new chapter. The spirits were joyful and our eyes glistened with light. One chapter will say: we carried a heavy burden, we gave our quota, and in difficult moments we buried our dead, we dried our tears, but continued fighting. This is how it happened, and the People's Republic was proclaimed, a national holiday. Once again the work was recovered bringing joy among us. The countryside became more productive and freedom began to palpitate in our people, with the red banner guiding us forever. Our America will shine. It is already a free world which has extended itself to other parts of the Earth. Today old empires sink. They are dirty waters and poisoned ashes which are being swept away. Work is redeemed and the fields flourish in the Red Republic.
They will ask, what are we going to do today? Today we will advance, conspiring so that the shadows will not return and the working class never loses power. This is what history will say. We head towards the inevitable arrival of Communism in order to reach full and absolute light. The blood of our fallen comrades cries out: "light! light! We will reach Communism!" That will be written someday, it will be history.
Today we have made a historical decision. We have expressed with our clenched fist held high to give our lives. Rising to our feet with our fists in the air we have offered our lives. In this moment the crumbling of the walls and the breaking of the new dawn begins.
As you have all pledged, I too pledge: before the banner of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung Thought, before the effigy of our founder, before the line of our Party and the unconquered banners of our Party: I too am committed to fight and struggle to topple the walls of the old order, I too am a combatant of the First Company of the First Division of the People's Army. I only have one aspiration, like all of you: to serve my people, base myself in the masses who are our support and to struggle for proletarian internationalism. In the International Communist Movement we have only one flag: Marx unfurled it, then Lenin and Mao raised it higher; it is the light that will never be extinguished. We have stood up, and I will fulfill what I must. What matters to me is to complete my journey well. We Communists expect nothing, only to serve Communism. My decision is the same as yours. I too will be a simple combatant of the First Company, I will do what must be done, I will do what is right, expecting nothing except to serve the cause of Communism. This is also my pledge: my decision is yours your decision is mine, because we are united. The toppling of the walls and the unfolding of a new dawn begins.
"History has shown us that a just military and political line does not emerge nor develop in a spontaneous and gentle form, but in the struggle against the opportunism of the 'Left' on the one hand, and against the opportunism of the 'Right' on the other. Without combating and transforming these pernicious deviations that undermine the revolution and the revolutionary war, it will be impossible to elaborate a just line and achieve victory in the revolutionary war."