1991 - On the rectification campaign based on the study of the document "Elections, No! People's War, Yes!"
- 1 On the Rectification Campaign Based on the Study of the Document Elections, No! People's War, Yes!
On the Rectification Campaign Based on the Study of the Document Elections, No! People's War, Yes!
Following is a speech given by PCP Chairman Gonzalo at an August 1991 meeting held in Peru in conjunction with the PCP's rectification campaign. - AWTW
I. How to Study. Pay Attention to Analysis and Synthesis.
Pay attention to analysis and to synthesis. They make up the two aspects of a contradiction, and of the two, synthesis is the principal aspect. Analysis allows us to separate things into their component elements in order to understand them better, but this is only one aspect, and the process of knowledge can never be reduced to analysis alone; it requires the other aspect, synthesis. Synthesis is what allows us to grasp the essence of knowledge. Without synthesis there can be no leap. Synthesis is principal; it is the aspect of a contradiction that leads to its resolution and allows us to grasp the objective law it embodies.
This is an ideological question, part and parcel of the application of dialectical materialism, the Marxist theory of knowledge. In contrast, bourgeois idealist ideology isolates analysis from synthesis. According to the proletariat's ideology, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, these are two aspects of a single entity and synthesis is principal because it gives rise to a higher level of knowledge, a qualitative change, a leap.
There are two classic examples of this. One is the example of a clock. In order to understand how it works you have to dismantle it. That allows you to understand its components and their functions. But if you cannot put it together again all you have is a pile of parts. Even if these parts were classified into groups you still would not have a clock.
The other example is the development of natural science since the fifteenth century, which demonstrates in historical terms where the lack of synthesis leads. The tremendous development of sciences such as mathematics, astronomy, physics, etc, brought about an increased understanding of various aspects of nature, but this process also brought about the fracturing of science analytically, its division into different fields, and led to metaphysical theories. Even the eighteenth century, with its great scientific, materialist advances, produced metaphysical knowledge. Nevertheless, this process of fracturing and dividing knowledge into different fields laid the basis for a leap. It laid the foundation first for Hegel's idealist dialectics and later Marx's materialist dialectics. All this breaking apart of things meant there had to be a synthesis, a great condensation, and it prepared fertile ground for the development of dialectical materialism by Marx and Engels, principally Marx. The achievement of this historic milestone, the proletariat's world outlook, Marxist philosophy, dialectical materialism, was the result of a powerful process of synthesis. The same is true of the achievement represented by the recognition of contradiction as the essence of the proletariat's outlook, a leap of inexhaustible historical importance.
Both examples show the need for synthesis, for a leap. So pay special attention to analysis and synthesis, principally synthesis.
A problem has manifested itself in the course of the various contributions to the discussion. Taking things apart leads to a lot of talk about "quotations", and in the discussion people talked about "quotations from the document" or "reading quotations from Marx" or "grasping the quotations from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution". People fall into enumerating isolated quotations instead of applying them to current problems. Thus the failure to grasp the question of synthesis leads to another problem, a failure to grasp the proletariat's ideology as an integral whole, as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Even the way some people express themselves reveals this problem. One of the speeches only made two mentions of "Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism", whereas the document refers to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism again and again, from beginning to end. Another mentions "humanity's only science", which is true, but this science has a name - Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, and its creative application here, in this country, is Gonzalo Thought.
We have to get beyond merely grasping the facts. When a problem arises we have to find out what causes it. This is an ideological question. In the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie as it presents itself in the ideological sphere, there is resistance, expressed as the predominance of bourgeois ideology over proletarian ideology at a particular moment in time. This phenomenon is part and parcel of the struggle between the two ideologies, a struggle which arises even more with new people who are still being trained. Hence bourgeois ideology must be destroyed in order to construct proletarian ideology. There can be no construction without destruction. The dead weight of tradition, old ideas and ideological deviations is heavy; these things do not die out peacefully. Therefore transforming oneself requires enormous efforts. Human beings are practical, not contemplative, especially when they are striving to transform reality in the service of the proletariat and the people. This is why they can overcome that old, outworn ideology and take up the ideology of the proletariat, the only ideology that can enable them to understand and change the world in the interests of the class and the oppressed peoples.
In study, the point is that there is a contradiction between analysis and synthesis, which gives rise to a leap in terms of knowledge. If this contradiction is not handled correctly it will lead to problems in the overall handling of proletarian ideology. This is the root cause, in this sphere, of the failure to take the stand of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, as the universal truth and outlook that unites the world's communists, and Gonzalo Thought as specifically principal for communists here, for the Peruvian revolution in particular. The stand that seeks to use isolated quotations to analyse the international situation, the political situation in the country, the Party and its three magic weapons, or mass work, etc, is based on a failure to understand Marxism as an integral whole. In study, the failure to go beyond analysis and apply synthesis as the principal thing, the failure to make a leap, is a manifestation of bourgeois ideology. Our stand is that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, is the guide and centre, the axis around which everything revolves; it is what allows us to understand things, deduce the laws that govern them and thus transform nature, society and ideas.
The conclusion to be drawn is that remaining at the level of analysis leads to metaphysics. Synthesis leads to materialist dialectics; in the study of the document it brings us to Marxism, Marxism brings us to Leninism and Leninism to Maoism. Of these three one is principal: Maoism. Moreover, Maoism leads us to Gonzalo Thought which is the universal truth specifically applied to the concrete reality of Peruvian society and the concrete conditions of today's class struggle. Synthesis allows us to understand the document and its Marxist character, to understand how the Party evaluates Marxism today on the basis of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought thesis that Maoism is a new, third and higher stage.
All of us, communists, fighters and masses, must train ourselves in the ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought.
II. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The Celebration of its 25th Anniversary.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was Chairman Mao's greatest achievement and represents an enormous contribution to the world proletarian revolution. It resolved what had been a pending question regarding socialism: the continuation of the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat in its unstoppable march towards communism. The question has been definitively settled and now we communists have the answer: we shall continue the revolution under the conditions of socialist society by means of proletarian cultural revolutions. The essence of the problem, seen in perspective, is to change people's souls, to transform their ideology, so that they personify Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism. Only in this way can we prevent the restoration of capitalism and march forward to communism.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is a basic issue for Maoism. If we don't thoroughly grasp that Maoism is a new, third and higher stage we won't understand anything - it's that simple - because as we know very well, today to be a Marxist means being a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist. The theory of the Cultural Revolution is rooted in Marx himself, since it was he who pointed out that the transition from capitalism to communism would require permanent revolution throughout a period of proletarian dictatorship. He conceived of this indispensable and necessary revolution as a series of successive great leaps. It is also rooted in Lenin, who envisaged and encouraged a cultural revolution. But it was Chairman Mao who answered this great unresolved question of how to continue the revolution and carried it out in practice, who led it and developed it as the greatest political event humanity has ever seen. The problem was unresolved, though many great struggles took place, until 1966 when the Chinese proletariat and people found the way, under the personal leadership of Chairman Mao at the head of the glorious Communist Party of China. This was an earth-shaking event.
For us this is even more vitally important today, since the so-called "defeat of socialism" that has been so loudly proclaimed is linked to the question of how socialism develops and how the dictatorship of the proletariat is defended. What has failed is revisionism, not socialism. Revisionism continued along the evil road of capitalist restoration until it sank so deep into the rot that it finally went under. From Khrushchev to the infamous Gorbachev in the USSR, and in China from the rise of Deng Xiao-ping in 1976 until today, the revisionists usurped the dictatorship of the proletariat, restored capitalism and destroyed socialism. Revisionism refers to the political leadership of capitalist restoration, to the negative aspect of the process of restoration and counter-restoration which the class must go through until it seizes power once and for all.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution represents the most encouraging and highest point in this world-wide process of struggle between revolution and counter-revolution, between restoration and counter-restoration, in the development of socialism. The fact that it lasted only until 1976 when Deng Xiao-ping's counter-revolutionary revisionist coup d'etat restored capitalism in no way negates the Cultural Revolution nor its necessity. In fact, this restoration confirms what Chairman Mao himself said, that in the struggle between capitalism and socialism, in the life-and-death struggle between restoration and counter-restoration, the question of who will win out has not yet been decided, and that the class struggle will continue until final victory, until communism.
Between 1966 and 1976 the Cultural Revolution was a practical, concrete reality. That is incontestable. The whole world saw it. So now proletarian cultural revolution is a settled question. In 1848 Marx said that political power must be seized by means of violence. Though he did not live to see it happen nor did he carry it out in practice, he gave us the solution: the proletariat had to seize power through revolutionary violence and exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the same way Chairman Mao provided the solution to continuing the socialist revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat - and furthermore, he did carry it out in practice. Because we have had this experience we know what to do.
Without underestimating the importance of the Paris Commune in 1871 as the first milestone in the process of the seizure of political power by the proletariat, we should recall that Marx himself foresaw that it was doomed to failure because there was no Communist Party to lead it. Nevertheless, he said it was impermissible to allow the morale of the proletariat to be undermined, no matter how many leaders might fall, and he supported and defended the Commune. Despite its importance as the first milestone, the Paris Commune cannot be compared to the carrying out of the Cultural Revolution, which is a milestone of a far higher quality. Furthermore, while the former lasted only about two months the latter spanned more than ten years, and under the leadership of Chairman Mao and the Communist Party of China it brought hundreds of millions of people into motion. Between these two milestones there is the October Revolution led by Lenin, the creator of the first dictatorship of the proletariat and the world's first socialist country, and the Chinese Democratic Revolution, also led by Chairman Mao, which achieved victory in 1949. Of these four great and glorious milestones in the seizure of political power and the building of socialism, in the establishment and defence of the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the class leadership of the international proletariat, the highest and most developed milestone to date is the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
The general political line of our Party, the Communist Party of Peru, holds that in its march to communism the Peruvian revolution must pass through three revolutions - the democratic revolution, the socialist revolution and not one but several cultural revolutions - and that all of these, from the first, constitute one single, uninterrupted march towards communism. We must thoroughly grasp this point exactly because today, 25 years after the Cultural Revolution, we can see in it our future, and even more so because it was in the course of the Cultural Revolution that Maoism lit up the world and became a new, third and higher stage of Marxism: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Let us celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution!
The document Elections, No! People's War, Yes! examines the principles laid down by Chairman Mao for that glorious revolution, and thus places before us the central issues in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
The opinions that have been expressed here have referred to the Cultural Revolution and its essence - to transform people's souls - but we should understand it in terms of what's been laid out here. We should get in the habit of studying in order to apply, in order to draw practical conclusions regarding current political problems. This leads us to our third subject.
III. The Political Situation
The political practice of the proletariat is to take documents, political line and Party directives and apply them to the current political situation. We study with an eye to applying it, to resolving burning problems. Otherwise we would fall into bookishness and parroting - a bourgeois, idealist and metaphysical method.
Thus we should analyse the current class struggle in light of the four sections of this document. We should take a look from every angle at the ideas that are before us now and that the Central Committee must settle.
In the first part, "Crucial Elections for the Reactionaries", what is the document getting at? It lays out the international and national context. Regarding the international class struggle, we hold that today we are witnessing a counter-revolutionary general offensive. Looking back at the Party's positions, in 1985, when Gorbachev initiated his Perestroika, we put forward that there was "a new counter-revolutionary offensive headed principally by Gorbachev and Deng Xiao-ping". Later, in May 1990, in the document we are presently studying, we referred to "an offensive against Marxism which has been intensifying and converging with the offensive unleashed by the imperialists who are once again trumpeting the supposed obsolescence of Marxism'. Thus there is both contention and collusion - and in this case principally collusion - in a sinister onslaught against Marxism-Leninism-Maoism." To summarize, a convergent offensive by imperialism and revisionism, in collusion and contention. Events since then have confirmed that this analysis was and continues to be correct. But wouldn't it be relevant to conclude that we are witnessing a counter-revolutionary general offensive? Why do we say this? Because everyone is attacking revolution, democratic revolution and socialist revolution, attacking revolutionary violence, people's war, attacking the Communist Party, attacking socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, attacking the goal, communism. They claim that facts have demonstrated that socialism is no longer valid, that it no longer exists, that it has failed. But we must remind them that in the 1950s there was a socialist camp, that the victory of the Chinese revolution brought about a shift in the correlation of forces in the world, and that never has any system been able to bring about such a rapid and profound transformation of a rotten capitalist and feudalist base as happened in the USSR and China.
Socialism unfolded in the USSR under Lenin and Comrade Stalin until the revisionist Khrushchev usurped political power; the situation was similar in China, where socialism lasted until 1976 when Deng unleashed a counter-revolutionary coup d'etat following the death of Chairman Mao. If we count from 1848, when the fundamentals of socialism were first laid out by Marx and Engels (just two people) in the immortal Communist Manifesto, or from 1917, when socialism was first realized in practice, we can see that socialism is still young, it has only existed for a short time. Today it continues to exist as an experience, it is alive in the world's communists and revolutionaries. It exists as an ideology, as a body of politics, as a theory and a practice, and it also lives in us, the communists and revolutionaries of Peru.
Thus we are talking about a counter-revolutionary general offensive aimed at thwarting revolution as the main historical and political trend in today's world. Who is attacking revolution? Both the imperialists and the revisionists. But of the two, Yankee imperialism is principal - they are heading up this offensive, in an attempt to establish themselves as the sole hegemonic superpower in their contention with the other superpower, Russia, and the other imperialist powers. This offensive is being unfolded principally by Yankee imperialism, the principal hegemonistic power. It is a general offensive for two reasons: because it is being unleashed everywhere by the world's imperialists, revisionists and reactionaries, and because it is occurring in every sphere: the ideological, political and economic spheres, though it is centred on politics.
We must grapple with this very seriously, analyse it and grasp it well, just as we should with every question. The point is to understand reality in order to ascertain the laws that govern it, and to use these laws to transform reality in the interests of the world's proletariat and peoples.
Here we should note that this is not the final offensive. This is an important distinction. It is a counter-revolutionary general offensive. Generally speaking, a final offensive refers to the last part of the strategic offensive of a revolution. Revolution goes through three stages, in political and military terms, and of course politics guide military matters and is the principal of the two. These stages are the strategic defensive, strategic equilibrium and the strategic offensive. We hold that we are witnessing the strategic offensive of the world revolution - we do not say that the final offensive is taking place today. Furthermore, we view the strategic offensive of the world revolution as a protracted process - not something brief - consisting of twists and turns and even setbacks. What we are referring to here is not revolution but counter-revolution, a counter-revolutionary general offensive aimed at thwarting the development of the world proletarian revolution.
Another point that must be noted is that despite all their bombast, their economic assaults, their unfounded mud-slinging and wild attacks, they are doomed to defeat. Since we know that revolution can run up against restoration and even be reversed, the fact that we are facing a counter-revolutionary general offensive should not surprise us. Instead we should analyse it so as to deal with it and defeat it. Attacks on Marxism have always heralded its further development and advance. Let us recall what we put forward in 1979: fifteen billion years of matter in motion - the part of this process we know about - have given rise to the irresistible march to communism. This is the reality, so let us grasp this law and apply it. Our goal of communism is not some idea unrelated to this material process; it is a part of it. Communism arises from this process and constitutes its future; it is part and parcel of the unfolding of this material process and is an expression of matter's irrepressible motion. No other class has a future like the proletariat. The bourgeoisie was a revolutionary class once but it became historically obsolete. It is lashing out wildly like any cornered beast, seeking to make its own inevitable destruction more costly. It knows it is finished, that it is an unburied corpse, but even at the foot of its open grave it resists burial at the hands of the proletariat. The final monster, imperialism, ill-begotten child of the bourgeoisie and oppressor of the world's peoples, must be swept off the face of the earth together with revisionism and world reaction. It falls to us, the proletariat and the people, to bury it. From the historical viewpoint, this task is necessary and it falls to us to carry it out. We must be absolutely convinced that we shall smash the bourgeoisie and bury imperialism along with all its partners and flunkies.
In the first part of the document, where it takes up the political situation in Peru, it refers to the question of "legitimization". In several meetings since the Congress we have analysed this concept put forward by Yankee imperialism in the context of their thesis of "low-intensity warfare". This is an important question for us and we need to ask what they have achieved. The answer is they have achieved nothing. Fujimori has not gained the slightest legitimacy from the elections, not only because of the reactionary and comical character of elections in Peru but also because he didn't get many votes. Instead, these elections put his legitimacy into question, since the number of people who abstained (27%) was greater than the number who voted for him (24.6%) in the first round and far below the 50% plus one required by the Constitution. In the second round, even with the help of the APRA party, the United Left and the Socialist Left, the best he could do was a plurality. His actions have hurt this "legitimacy" even more. Everything he has done has been directed against the people, which is natural since he is a representative of the big bourgeoisie, principally the compradors, and of the landlords as a whole, and is the most obsequiously pro-Yankee imperialist president the country has ever seen and the most rabid enemy of the people's war - in short, a genocidal national traitor.
He has been de-legitimized and thoroughly unmasked at a dizzying pace. The people feel that there is no right nor reason for so much evil, for so much oppression, and the people's war strengthens this understanding. The systematic violations of the people's human rights, Fujimori's genocidal policies following in the footsteps of Belaunde and Garcia - the facts cannot be covered up because the people have experienced them personally. The reappearance of mass graves; the slaughter of the sons and daughters of the people; the cowardly murder of the fighters and their families, with absolute impunity; the take-no-prisoners policy in this war - these things cannot be hidden from the people because it is the people who have endured them. The monstrous crimes committed against the families and the masses who marched on the Fifth Anniversary of the Day of Heroism in the public plazas and the shantytowns of Lima, armed only with banners and slogans - how can they cover up the massacre at San Gabriel? Can they deny that Fujimori offered his congratulations to the soldiers who committed it? The protests that occurred when a university student and two poor youth were killed for carrying knapsacks - can they be disregarded and the murderers once again be shielded? The genocide committed against tribal communities, the genocidal Armed Forces' use of peasants as cannonfodder, the free hand given to the paramilitary ronderos to commit all sorts of crimes - how can all this legitimize the Fujimori government? The brutal wage cuts, the total neglect of the people's education and health care by the "cholera government", the systematic denial of the people's rights and the gains won by the proletariat and people, the continuous and growing repression against the masses, the introduction of land-mortgages and usury and the current concentration of land ownership principally through expropriating the poor peasants, the starvation of millions of people cast into the starkest poverty, the profound economic recession that has reduced the income of the Peruvian masses to levels unseen for decades, the destruction of national resources and the wholesale auctioning off of the country to imperialism, etc, etc - can all this legitimize the Fujimori government? On the contrary, the Fujimori government has become utterly exposed in less than a year.
In summation, in studying the first part of this document we should consider: 1) The vicious counter-revolutionary general offensive. 2) The growing de-legitimization of the Fujimori government and the rotten Peruvian state.
In the second part, "The Political Crisis Deepens and the Contradictions Escalate", we should focus on the process of bureaucrat capitalism. Our Party's thesis of bureaucrat capitalism is that it is the mode, the form, that capitalism assumes in backward semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries such as ours. This process is linked to the country's historical development. In eighteenth-century Peru capitalism developed only in the most embryonic way. This process picked up speed in the mid-nineteenth century, when the country was subjugated by British imperialism and suffered the consequences of the war with Chile.
After 1895 bureaucrat capitalism underwent three periods: 1) From 1895 to 1945, centred in the 1920s. This is the period of the development of bureaucrat capitalism. 2) From 1945 to 1980, centred in the 1960s and 1970s (following the 1968 corporatist, fascist coup by Velasco). This is the period of the deepening of bureaucrat capitalism. The Party put forward that the fascist coup was meant to fulfill three objectives: First, deepen bureaucrat capitalism; second, restructure Peruvian society; and third, prevent a revolution in Peru. Obviously they were not able to completely succeed in any of their objectives, although they laid a certain basis. The most devastating proof of their failure was the initiation of the armed struggle in 1980. Thus began the third period, the destruction of bureaucrat capital, which continues today.
Bureaucrat capitalism was critically ill from birth. Today it has entered a general crisis and is approaching its doom. But if one examines the development of bureaucrat capitalism one can see that within the various periods there are subperiods. For example, within the first period there was a prologue, a preparatory phase. Then in the 1920s there was another phase, which laid the foundations for bureaucrat capitalism's development, only to be followed by a collapse. When the level of development that had been sought could not be achieved, that drove the country into crisis and led to a greater decline. Historical facts show this to be the case. During the second period, the period of the deepening of bureaucrat capitalism, once again there was a preparatory phase or prologue, a phase of building up the basis for development, and finally another crisis leading to an even worse collapse.
In the third period, the destruction of bureaucrat capitalism, which began in 1980, yet again there has been a prologue, a long and muddled phase of preparing conditions, extending into the nineties. Today they are laying the foundations for carrying out neo-liberal policies, and blabber about how they are carrying out a "revolution", but just as in bureaucrat capitalism's two previous periods, this phase of building up foundations during the third period will inevitably lead to another crisis, which will in turn give rise to an even more disastrous collapse. In order to differentiate between the second and third periods, we should emphasize that the state served as the main economic lever during the second period, while today they seek to have non-state enterprises play this role. History shows that this building up of a foundation does bring some results, but that it also leads to deeper crisis. All this demonstrates that today, in its third period, bureaucrat capitalism is in the midst of a general crisis in the ideological, political and economic spheres. This situation has been becoming increasingly critical since 1974, and there is no way they can overcome it. The state is falling apart politically: the president governs by decree, abusing the powers granted by Article 211, Paragraph 20, of their Constitution. The parliament cannot fulfill its assigned function as a legislative body, and the judiciary, ridiculed even by Fujimori and cut off from all funding, is increasingly at the mercy of the president's beck and call. Furthermore, the laws themselves, such as the recent new penal code, are becoming increasingly fascistic. Every day is witness to new signs of fascism and fascistic positions. In the ideological sphere, they - like their imperialist masters - are staggering under the burden of an increasingly rotten and future-less ideology. Their only remaining option is to raise the banner of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, liberalism. That banner was already a tattered rag by the time of the First World War and today is long outmoded. These people are stubborn, but they have no future, while socialism has already proved that it has a brilliant future. Capitalism is a corpse and like many corpses it needs burying.
Thus, ideologically, politically and economically they are sinking into a deeper and deeper general crisis and are being demolished by people's war day by day.
The government faces an increasingly difficult situation, the most complicated and difficult situation Peru has ever known. They cannot handle it. Whatever measures they may adopt will lead to only the most fleeting improvement and complete bankruptcy. The main instrument of their destruction is the people's war based on the class struggle of the masses of people.
It is important to indicate bureaucrat capitalism's three periods and the specific character of each, especially the last period. This is what permits us to understand that they can never succeed in carrying out the three tasks faced by the Peruvian reactionaries and their imperialist masters, principally Yankee imperialism: to kick-start bureaucrat capitalism, restructure the state and wipe out the people's war. These tasks are historically and politically impossible. Even the reactionaries in Peru are saying that the Fujimori government is accomplishing nothing, that it is simply stumbling from failure to failure. This is only a part of the truth, because the problems that it increasingly faces are inevitable - they are the concrete reality of the bureaucrat road of the exploiters, the big bourgeoisie and big landowners and imperialism. They are the embodiment of a law, the law that the development of bureaucrat capitalism ripens the conditions for revolution, and the revolution, with the development of people's war, accelerates and grows more powerful, bringing the country-wide seizure of political power closer.
This second part of the document also takes up the special local elections. There has already been a lot of the usual prattle about them, as the kept hens of the press start their predictable clucking, but they cannot hide reality: today the Armed Forces not only vote, they directly appoint local officials. As their Cangallo document says, they will continue to do so. The truth is coming out. They used to brag about what they called the triumph of democracy but today they have to admit that there are over 400 districts where there are no local officials whatsoever. So much for their democracy. Furthermore, even though they cannot provide protection for candidates standing for local office they refuse to allow these candidates to withdraw. This is what happened with the United Left candidates in Ayacucho. In Junin, they have put forward the ringleaders of their paramilitary forces as candidates.
Therefore, for this rotten system elections are no more than a means to continue exploiting and oppressing the people. That is why the Party's tactic of boycotting elections is good. It develops the tendency of the people to turn against elections and serves the people's war.
The third part of the document, "The Boycott Develops the People's Tendency to Turn against Elections and Serves the Development of the People's War", centres on the advances that refute the slanders hurled against us in 1989, and emphasizes the evaluation made by the Second Plenum of the Central Committee: that in 1989 the People's War won a big victory with the establishment of Open People's Committees, and in 1990 it achieved strategic equilibrium. All it took was a simple phrase - Hail the strategic equilibrium! - and the reactionaries and revisionists began to tremble and gnash their teeth. Almost all of them have shouted themselves hoarse trying to deny it. They have even unleashed bloody and pointless military operations against us, venting their fury on the masses, as always, trying to "prove" that there is no strategic equilibrium. Why are they in such a mortal panic? Because the old order is about to die and be buried. The Party has always made good on its word. We have always done what we said we would. We said we were going to initiate the armed struggle and we did in 1980. Today we are embarking on the seizure of power country-wide; we have proclaimed strategic equilibrium and defined it concretely, and given it greater emphasis than ever before: "Strategic equilibrium and the preparation of the counter-offensive means, for the enemy, striving to recapture their lost positions in order to save their system; for us it means preparing for the strategic offensive by organizing the seizure of state power." We have to grasp this well in order to deal with it increasingly well in practice. We have to thoroughly examine the question of strategic equilibrium, not only in terms of Chairman Mao's teachings but also in terms of the specific form it will take here in our country.
Furthermore, we should see how the Third Campaign to Advance in the Development of Base Areas, a part of the overall Great Plan for Developing Base Areas to Seize Political Power, is a product of the whole process of eleven years of people's war. The importance of the Third Campaign is that it successfully concludes the Plan to Advance and is therefore the link to a new plan. In short, the completion of this Third Campaign in May, June and July has been magnificent. Never before has the People's War, principally in the countryside and complementarily in the cities, penetrated so deeply nor risen to such heights. All of us, at all levels, should feel a great joy at having served whole-heartedly in such a far-reaching task. A few bricks and then a few more bricks all joined together make a solid wall. Let traitors try and negate it; if they do so, it is because of their class interests and in order to fill their own pockets, no matter how badly the Peruvian reactionaries and the imperialists pay them. We are very well acquainted with the reality we have personally experienced and created. So we in the Party, the People's Guerrilla Army, the New Political Power and the masses understand the great achievements of this heroic People's War.
Is the people's war having an impact? There is clear evidence that it is. For example, for the first time now there is debate in the U.S. Senate about the people's war in Peru. The reverberations of the people's war are reaching into the very lair of world reaction. This is not the main sign, but it is an important one. Meanwhile, in Peru, some people are building ultra-modern castles in the air. They include the genocidal national traitor Fujimori; the butchers General Malca, Minister of the Interior, and General Torres Aciego, Minister of Defence; dyed-in-the-wool pro-Yankee elements like Minister of Economics Boloña; groveling social climbers such as Bernales, Tapia, Gonzales, etc. These people, all obsequious flunkies for imperialism and the exploiting classes, are begging for imperialist "aid" - mainly from the U.S. - and imagine that it will lead to the defeat of the people's war. They try and use the very advances of the people's war as an argument for why the imperialists should "re-admit Peru into the world financial community" and defend the ultra-reactionary Peruvian state.
In the U.S., the opening moves for next year's elections are taking place, and Bush is going all-out to be re-elected. In the Middle East he won some raggedy success, a victory that was good enough though everyone knows that he did not fulfill his goals. We put it this way because committing a cowardly and bullying assault against a people cannot be considered much of an achievement, especially today when every struggle of the peoples of the world for their liberation is a component part of the world revolution (we are fully conscious of Saddam Hussein's class limitations). Still, this was Yankee imperialism's "victory". Moreover, they embarked on the war in the Gulf in order to give their economy a boost, but it did not turn out as they expected and they are continuing to suffer serious economic difficulties in relation to the other imperialist powers. This does not, however, mean that they are no longer an imperialist superpower. Further, Bush declared a war on drugs, and here, again, he is running up against the people, because just as his attempts to deal with their economic problems by raising taxes and reducing spending on social programmes have given rise to resistance by the people of the U.S., so also his war against drugs is bringing him up against the poorest and most exploited masses, especially the oppressed minorities, and again he has had little success. This war on drugs is closely linked to the fight against the people's war in Peru and the class struggle in the Andean region, and this has its repercussions in U.S. political affairs. Thus we must conclude that this matter will not be over in September, when in order for U.S. aid to be "unfrozen" the Peruvian government must comply with an "anti-drug" treaty stipulating, among other things, its respect for human rights - which this government systematically violates. The people's war in Peru has become an electoral issue, and we find it very interesting that its repercussions are being felt in their Congress. In addition, this is a contributing factor to the struggle being waged by our comrades of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and unites us further, as does the carrying out of a common campaign against imperialism, principally Yankee imperialism, under the slogan Yankee Go Home! This is another example of the achievements and impact of the Third Campaign.
The fourth part of the document, "Elections, No! People's War, Yes!" is the main one. Here we lay out our criteria for how to evaluate Marxism today. We examine the basic theses of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, in four fields, and reaffirm our principles. There is even an exposition of how we understand it as an integral whole, taking up, in ascending order and proportionally, the contributions made by Marx, the greater contributions made by Lenin, and the much greater contributions made by Chairman Mao, which also shows the development of Maoism as a new, third and higher stage.
A first and most timely conclusion to be drawn: In order to develop the world proletarian revolution, demolish imperialism and international reaction, and smash revisionism, it is decisive to uphold, defend and apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is the heart of the matter. In the 1960s Maoism was called our most powerful weapon, our atomic bomb, an unbeatable weapon. Today we should be even more aware of Maoism's historic importance, its invincibility, that Marxism is all-powerful because it is true. This is the decisive factor, on which everything else depends and from which everything else flows. If we were to stray from Maoism the revolution would suffer, but they would never be able to stop the revolution because Marxism-Leninism-Maoism would assert itself anew to take the lead. What we need principally is Maoism and we need to raise its banner very high, higher and higher; this means that we have to defend it and not just uphold it - we raise banners to defend them - but the principal thing is to apply it.
Why should we uphold, defend and apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism? In order to advance the world proletarian revolution. Revolution is the main trend in the world today. There is no future for humanity without the complete and total victory of the revolution, in other words, communism. Therefore the question is how to advance the world revolution, and that means carrying it out, making revolution. As has been pointed out, the question is not how many of us there are but how determined we are to do it. In 1848 there was just Marx and Engels. Today, 143 years later, there are millions of us around the world. Then we had nothing; today we have two glorious and tremendously rich historical experiences, experiences that live on in the proletariat and peoples, in us, and once again we must emphasize that the restoration of capitalism does not negate the fact that revolution is the main trend. The reactionaries may dream of refuting this fact, but in vain, because the world proletarian revolution is advancing and we are part of that advance. It is true that this advance comes at a price that must be paid in blood, but what does not? Without the blood shed by communists and revolutionaries around the world we would not be here.
We need Maoism to demolish imperialism and international reaction and sweep them off the face of the earth. No matter how much rubbish they throw at us, in the end we will bury them and all their debris along with them. There is no way to stop this great historical housecleaning.
We also need Maoism to smash revisionism. Imperialism and revisionism will go down the drain together but you can't fight imperialism without fighting revisionism.
We reaffirm Maoism's decisive importance. We are absolutely convinced, untroubled by the slightest doubt, much less paralyzed. We - the communists, the class, the revolutionaries - are optimists, and nothing can stop us.
All this brings us to the slogan Beat Back the Counter-revolutionary General Offensive!. This must be our watchword.
We should also draw a second conclusion: We must concretize a task we have already agreed upon: Create public opinion and unleash deep-going ideological work among the masses. Let's carry out this task resolutely and immediately. Marxism teaches the importance of agitation and propaganda. Marx's words have flowered all over the world, in almost every language. Lenin taught that no matter how much time may pass between the sowing and reaping, propaganda always bears magnificent fruit. Chairman Mao said that both sides, the reaction and the revolution, need to create public opinion: they need to create public opinion against revolution in order to perpetuate exploitation, while we need to create public opinion in order to use revolutionary violence to seize and defend political power. Without winning public opinion for the revolution we cannot seize power.
We have a glorious ideology, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, the most powerful weapon in the world today. We have its creative application, Gonzalo Thought. So let's arm minds - arm more and more minds and do it more and more thoroughly. Win over people's minds and their hands will be armed. It is not for nothing that our Party has always had a reputation for being strong on politics, because politics is nothing but the concrete application of ideology in the struggle to seize political power. Today our ideology is under attack from all sides and in every sphere, and these attacks will mount. But they are afraid to confront us directly - in a straight-on ideological debate with Marxism they could only lose. The bourgeoisie's critique does not go beyond wild assertions and baseless epithets. What do they have to counterpose to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism? The new bourgeois ideologues are ephemeral. For example, Fukuyama, whose star seemed to shine so brightly for a little while and then flickered and went out like a match. He denied that there is any development in history and proclaimed the death of ideology. Actually, he especially proclaimed the death of the ideology of the proletariat and excluded the ideology of the bourgeoisie from this fate because imperialism had supposedly prevailed as an economic and political system. But history and ideology continue to do battle, driven by the class struggle; his ravings have smashed up against history and the battles have continued between the ideologies of different classes, whether it be Arab fundamentalists, with their religion; neo-liberals, neo-positivists and fascists, with their various forms of bourgeois ideology; or us, the communists, including in the people's war led by the Communist Party of Peru, with our scientific ideology, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Thus once again the bourgeoisie's ranting and pseudo-theories blow away like smoke in the wind.
Lately they have been going back to Joseph de Maistre, which is truly ludicrous. Even Uslar Pietri, whose work was awarded a prize by the King of Spain, says de Maistre was the enemy of everything progressive, which of course he was since he was a die-hard Papist fanatic. By wrapping itself in the cloak of its most backward "theoreticians" all the bourgeoisie is doing is reinfecting itself with its own pustulance. Lacking any fresh blood with which to reinvigorate their rotten corpse, the bourgeoisie and reaction in general can only fill their veins with more and more poisonous pus.
How should we respond to their ideological attacks? We must thoroughly expose them, rip off their fraudulent and stinking cover, and confront them with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, applied to concrete reality. Marxism is the only scientifically true ideology. It can move mountains, change the world and set it right-side up. Idealism can only stand reality on its head. Marx said that philosophy had been enchained, snatched away from the masses, entangled in words and cobwebs to hide it from the masses. We should liberate philosophy and give it back to the masses. We have to wield our philosophy by mobilizing the masses. Creating public opinion is a matter of mobilizing the masses - let them be agitators and propagandists. Let's launch a mass movement to educate the masses in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, and in Gonzalo Thought. The necessity for this has been a basic Marxist teaching since the beginning, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a living and glorious example of mobilizing the masses with Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology in order to continue building socialism under the dictatorship of the proletariat, to persist in revolution and not allow its fruits to be snatched away, to defend the revolution. Mobilize the masses in an immense and profound theoretical, ideological movement, with the ideas of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought. Liberate them from this feudal, bourgeois, pro-imperialist muck that makes them see the world upside-down. Let philosophy out of the desk drawer, liberate it from the hands of book worshippers and phoney academic institutions and take it to the masses, to the day-to-day class struggle, to the people. They have been robbed of their soul - reclaim it and give it back to them so that they no longer let themselves be fooled. Philosophy and science do not belong to the erudite but to the masses. Today the masses are becoming increasingly dialectical but this must be made conscious, so that they consciously employ the laws of dialectics and apply the law of contradiction with a full understanding of what it means and apply it to nature, society and ideas. The masses are capable of this achievement because they are the makers of history and the creators of everything. Furthermore, all knowledge arises from practice - above all, human beings change things, in their daily social practice, and it is through this process of changing things that they learn and understand. This understanding acquired in practice is again returned to practice, giving rise to further changes, to development, advance and transformations, but since everything bears the stamp of one class or another, this practice, this knowledge, these transformations will also have a class character - for or against the proletariat and the people. The source of all knowledge is practice, the transforming historical action of the masses, of humanity. At any given time in history it is through social practice that the masses arm their minds with the ideas corresponding to that time and therefore arm their hands to realize the tasks assigned by history. Study is an indispensable complement to this process. People enter into action within a particular class context and in the interests of a particular class, and this gives rise to ideas, to ideology. Their organized action leads to social transformation, an advance for the majority of people. Engels teaches us to hammer home ideas with actions. We in the Party have been applying this approach since the 1970s, and we should persist in it.
How, then, can we arm the masses with the ideology and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought? The masses become ideologically armed by dealing with the concrete problems they face in the ideological, political and economic spheres, on the basis of our work of raising their level and of popularization. As part of evaluating the experience of the rectification campaign launched by the First Plenum of the Central Committee, we should take up the question of raising standards and popularization. In this we should distinguish between leadership and cadre on the one hand and basic Party members on the other, and among different levels of Party organization, that is, the Party's membership, the People's Guerrilla Army and the mass organizations generated by the Party, as well as among the different mass organizations fighting alongside us.
Among the advantages at its disposal the reaction has many means of information. Its highly developed mass media system includes newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, etc. We don't have all that but we can count on an unbeatable resource - the fact that the masses are the makers of history. Knowledge arises from practice and practice is what the masses do. We've said that the masses must be trained as agitators and propagandists; it is they who fight and resist, they know how to do all that because they have always done it and therefore they can do this as well. What should be our method? The spoken word. The oral method is readily at hand and it allows us to go lower and deeper among the masses. It allows a more flexible approach since it can be adapted to the particular audience - peasants, workers, students, intellectuals, soldiers, shopkeepers, etc. It is more flexible and tactical, within, of course, the context of an overall strategy. We should also employ the printed word, using clear and simple language, and fight with the pen as well as with the sword. We should use graphics, which are especially good, for example, for illiterate peasants. We should use all the modern methods we can get our hands on, without forgetting that the spoken word is the principal method because it is the most accessible to the masses of people.
To reiterate, since we serve the masses and wield the spoken word - which doesn't cost a penny, we have all the tactical means we need. For example, we should encourage people to express their grievances. All you need is that a group of people recount their experiences with increasing oppression and exploitation. If just one person starts another will follow and soon they will all feel the explosive strength of their anger. This spurs people on and moves them to take action against the causes of exploitation and against the oppressors. We should encourage different groups of people in many different places to express their grievances so that their words join together like a raging hurricane. One person alone is weak but many people joined together make up a mighty force. Another form of written mass propaganda is dazibaos. Chairman Mao taught that these wall writings are very effective for democracy. The masses don't even need paper - they can write on the walls with chalk, coal or paint if they have any, using big letters to write simple phrases to say what their demands are, what forms of struggle to use, which experiences are positive and which are negative, how they evaluate their leaders. This is an expression of mass democracy. It is the complete opposite of phoney bourgeois democracy, which is so highly touted but democratic only for the rulers and exploiters and not for the people. When the masses think and act they have an inexhaustible strength and can make contributions in every field: politics, military affairs, economics, the arts and sciences. Let's keep developing people's democracy; let the masses discuss plans and evaluate their implementation as the soldiers do in the People's Guerrilla Army - this will lead to a better understanding, greater unity and more powerful action. Let the masses show their abilities as agitators and propagandists in the midst of democracy.
A great mass ideological movement needs the leadership of the Party, because the Party is the most conscious element, as long as it grasps, wields and applies Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, the laws that govern revolution and politics, in other words the laws of the class struggle for political power, of people's war as the principal form of struggle. Without the Party the masses couldn't even be equipped with a plan, and it is indispensable that the Party lead them with a good plan. We know that a plan is an ideological form, and the Party's plan is an expression of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought. Once the plan is formulated the Party has to set the various organizations into motion, because a political line cannot become a material force without organizational forms to put it into concrete practice. These forms can be Party organizations, the army, the organizations generated by the Party, organs of political power or organizations created by the lowest and deepest layers of the masses. Let the masses carry out this great ideological mobilization to uphold, defend and apply Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism (as the universal truth) and Gonzalo Thought (as specifically principal for us as its creative application to our conditions), and let armed actions drive these ideas home.
Thus only the Communist Party can lead this great process of mass agitation and propaganda. As Chairman Mao taught, "As long as there are masses and a Party all sorts of miracles can be accomplished."
IV. The Rectification Campaign
At this meeting today we are implementing the decision of the Second Plenum of the Central Committee. Our duty was to carry forward the rectification campaign, and the duty of the lower organizations, Party members, fighters, activists and masses was to carry it out. Right now we are bringing this campaign to its culmination. We have studied "Elections, No! People's War, Yes!", individually and collectively, debated it and applied it.
From what has been said so far certain observations can be made regarding these discussions. The main problem is how to apply the study of this document to the current political situation. We communists learn to do study in order to apply it; otherwise we would be worshipping books instead of using Marxism to solve burning problems. Abstract study is metaphysical, idealist and bourgeois. We aren't pragmatists, either; we don't study for narrowly utilitarian reasons like the imperialists and vulgar materialists. We study theory in order to apply it in practice and transform reality, to change the world in the interests of the class and the people. So the question is how to apply it, on three levels:
1) To the world proletarian revolution. Here there is only one issue. The document lays out the burning questions of Marxism today: revolutionary violence, the class struggle, socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the struggle against revisionism. Of these four, socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat is principal. Here the point is that Maoism is a new, third and higher stage, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, because it is with Maoism that we shall storm the heavens. In this lies the value of the document - it reaffirms Marxism and holds that to be a Marxist today means being Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist; it grasps that Maoism is a new, third and higher stage, in force and valid throughout the world, for the communists, for the proletariat and peoples of the world. This is the decisive thing. Therefore, our first stand flows from this, from Maoism, and it has been agreed by our Congress: The principal element of Gonzalo Thought is that it has defined Maoism as the new, third and higher stage.
2) The Peruvian revolution. Here the principal thing is that the document serves the building of the new state through people's war. This state is being built by the People's Guerrilla Army and under the leadership of the Communist Party, based on the masses of people. This document serves the country-wide seizure of power. It deals with extremely important points that should be applied in the new state today.
3) How should we apply the document on the individual level? It is incumbent upon each of us to assimilate and embody the document in order to better serve the revolution. In this regard, all those here are directly concerned with being intellectuals and with artistic questions, and the point is to always put politics in command. When people study Marxism, it shakes them up and the contradiction between the two world outlooks comes to the fore; Marxism deals blows to the non-proletarian aspect and drives on the process of steeling people ideologically. As in every task, there are three stages, each with its own contradiction. At first the question is whether or not to take up study, and once begun the task is half-way done. Then, as things unfold, the question is whether to persevere or quit. This is another struggle, which came up here in the form of drawing out the process until it became burdensome. This was a bad situation because it meant that the old and bourgeois would prevail. We discussed the problem and agreed to carry out this task by giving it priority and using shock tactics to make a breakthrough. This is a very useful method, part of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought style of work. It means concentrating all our energies on the task at hand and spending as much time as necessary until it is completed. This is analogous to carrying out a forced march when the enemy is after us so that we outmanoeuvre him instead of letting ourselves be caught. In study, instead of letting proletarian ideology be defeated by the bourgeois ideology contending with it in our own minds, we take up this new ideology that we embody and use it to defeat the bourgeois, idealist, alien class outlook. The old ideas resist and we all have to consciously and voluntarily wage a battle in our own minds until we finally break and defeat this resistance arising within ourselves. The old calls out to us: How can you leave behind the ways you know so well! How can you abandon the ways that sustained you for so many years! The old paints everything rotten in rosy colours in order to weaken our will. Shock tactics are very effective against this resistance.
In the third stage, the conclusion, there arises a contradiction between carrying the task through to the end or not, until you decide that you are going to carry it through and actually do so. When a particular course of study is completed, that represents a leap, and shock tactics are a very helpful method to aid in making that leap.
You have carried through this rectification campaign. This is simply a form in which to unfold the struggle between two lines in order to mould ourselves to the ideology of the proletariat.
How much advance have you achieved? Starting out from ignorance of the document's content you have gone on to study and debate that has allowed you to arm yourselves with the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought outlook concerning four basic burning questions facing Marxism today. From the opinions that have been expressed here, it can be seen that you are applying it to current problems.
The accomplishment of this task has given rise to a leap and a transformation in regard to these four basic problems of Marxism today.
In conclusion, we should emphasize that the document is a serious contribution to the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought counteroffensive against the converging counter-revolutionary offensive by revisionism and imperialism, and to confronting the counter-revolutionary general offensive. Therefore in arming ourselves with this document we are serving the Peruvian revolution and the world proletarian revolution. No question can ever be regarded as exhausted - all knowledge is relative since it reflects matter only partially and must be further developed; but this document conforms to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, and therein lies its merit. Further, its way of looking at things follows Gonzalo Thought. Therefore it is Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, Gonzalo Thought.
1) This has been a very good meeting. The work has advanced. Taking up study in the midst of war helps us handle it better. Our study has prepared the conditions for a bigger leap in practice.
2) In summing up the opinions expressed earlier, we have dealt with the contradiction between analysis and synthesis in regard to study and have said that the initial discussion tended to focus on analysis. But now, afterwards, in the subsequent discussions, a synthesis has been achieved, and the essence has been grasped: to take a stand for Maoism.
A qualitative leap was being prepared, and now it has taken place. The study suffered from the limitation of neglecting synthesis but it prepared the conditions for a leap. If you grasp analysis and synthesis, study becomes more powerful and the essence is grasped, and a leap takes place.
3) Marxism has been grasped in regard to four basic burning questions.
4) We study in order to apply it to today's class struggle, to win ourselves some maneouvring room in our fighting by taking up burning problems. We should look at what is ahead of us and not just at what is in the document.
5) This meeting has been helpful in gaining an understanding of problems that are being confronted throughout the Party. Thus our experience here and what we have done will be very helpful for everyone. For example, the whole Party will benefit from the method of giving priority to this task and applying shock tactics to it, in order to complete our study in the rectification campaign.
6) It is necessary, of course, to gain a better grasp of specific political tasks in relation to the building of new political power through people's war in order to seize power country-wide, but for you concretely this means your work as intellectuals and artists. Therefore your watchword should be "Serve the people and follow the Party's leadership".
7) How much have you advanced? You have taken a leap through studying systematically, intensely and with concrete problems in mind. There is a better understanding of what Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought is, and why it must be upheld, defended and applied to thoroughly transform Peruvian society and serve the world revolution.
8) If there's been a leap, how should we consolidate it? How should this new leap be developed? How to consolidate it and how to develop it are two questions to be taken up from the point of view of how to increasingly and better serve the Party, the revolution in Peru and the world proletarian revolution, to serve the emancipation of all humanity and advance towards communism.
We propose continuing with the study of V.I. Lenin's essay "Karl Marx" to strengthen our ideological training and the reports from the Second Plenum of the Central Committee to strengthen our political training.
This has been a worthwhile effort. We congratulate everyone.