“Marxist politics elevates the workers to the role of the leaders of the peasantry.” LENIN´
While Peruvian society faces itself in an extremely acute crisis, it has entered a transcendental period. In periods like this one, important political situations are defined, and the parties set positions and initiate actions which may lay out their future for many decades. Under these conditions the third restructuring of the Peruvian State in this century is developing, and as part of it, the elections for a Constituent Assembly, as well as, in the following years, the approval of a new constitutional charter to replace that of the 1933 and general elections, according to the timetables of the regime’s Tupac Amaru Plan.
For this reason, it is necessary to analyze the current process in the country and be able to guide ourselves with certainty and decisiveness, since, today more than ever, we must navigate in turbulent waters toward our unavoidable goal: the Peruvian Revolution, whose road was established by Mariátegui, and after fifty years, it has been proven to be right.
I. FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS: THE STATE, VIOLENCE AND ELECTIONS
The analysis of the current situation must be based on the fundamental problems of the working class, which through its Party and in the light of Marxism, have been established and proven in our country.
ON THE STATE
The Peruvian State is a landowning-bureaucratic State. It is a dictatorship of the feudal landowners and the big bourgeoisie under the command of Yankee imperialism, a dictatorship which has developed in this century in the shape of representative democracy and within it, in crucial moments, under military regimes to defend or develop the ruling order of exploitation. Starting in the decade of the 1920’s, the Peruvian State was led by the comprador bourgeoisie, and after 1968, by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie: both factions of the big bourgeoisie.
The Peruvian State is a type of State most commonly found in semi-feudal and semi-colonial societies, in which it exerts a joint dictatorship of two classes: feudal landowners and big bourgeoisies (comprador or bureaucratic, as the case may be), under the leadership of the latter, but within the domain of imperialism or, lately inroads of social-imperialism. It is a dictatorship which, whatever its system of government (representative democracy or corporativism) and the politics guiding it (demoliberal or fascist) exploits and oppresses the people.
Violence with respect to weapons, the army, police and repressive actions like that at Cobriza in 1971 , Andahuaylas in 1974 or Lima on February of 1975, to mention some examples, or military actions like the anti guerrilla actions in 1965 to remember the most important one, in addition to the daily activities of the repressive forces, the persecutions, jailing, suspension of constitutional guarantees, state of emergencies, curfews, etc., enable the exploiting classes, amidst their dictatorship, their State, to maintain its order, defend and develop it.
Violence in our country helps and sustains the landowning-bureaucratic State unleashing it against the people; especially against the proletariat and the peasantry, who are well aware of it, as they have experienced it as part of their daily struggle. However, violence is not only reactionary. There is also revolutionary violence, from the people, which mobilizing peasants under the leadership of the proletariat generates a people’s army led by the Communist Party. It is the violence that rises in the countryside and develops a war of masses to destroy the old State of landowners and big bourgeoisies in order to build the new democracy.
Violence is a universal law. It is the transformation of the old world through guns, the glorious road of President Mao Tse-tung. Violence is written at the bottom of our history. The conquerors used it to submit these lands and subject them to colonial rule. Tupac Amaru unleashed violence to defend the rights and demands (reinvindicaciones) which mobilized hundreds of thousands of indigenous peasants.
Violence of yesterday and today, is the usual means of the struggle the peasants have in their hands in their unfinished struggle for the “land to the tiller.” Violence is part of our society’s centuries of history, mainly of the peasantry, that continues to confront the landowning-bureaucratic State, especially against gamonalism which is the old State’s base and sustenance.
But revolutionary violence in our history has reached a new dimension under the proletariat, resumed in Mariátegui and his Party. In this way, since the last fifty years, in which the PCP was founded, the old bourgeois revolution became a revolution of a new democracy. It became an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution which only the proletariat through its Party is able to lead.
Revolutionary violence manifests itself as a peasant war led by the Party, to follow the road of surrounding the cities from the countryside. This is the only road to follow and which has been conclusively proven, even by the heroic guerrilla of 1965, whose defeat did not negate Mao Tse-tung’s theory of the People’s War nor the road of Mariátegui. On the contrary, it demands from us its accomplishment, putting in command the correct general political line established by Mariátegui with tenacity and firmness, and following the development of the class struggle in more than fifty years, especially the great lessons of the 1960’s.
Marx pointed out: “Every so many years the oppressed are authorized to decide which members of the oppressor class will represent them and crush them in Parliament!” And that is still more valid when it comes to elections to approve constitutional charters. That way, if the elections are the regular order of renewing the bourgeois dictatorship of capitalist societies (including the most democratic ones), one could imagine the normal course of its political functioning for the preservation and development of capitalism. In the landowning-bureaucratic States, like those of Latin America, in which they have accomplished their role of changing governments, and in the circumstances when they have respected the norms of the demoliberal bourgeois system, elections have only been the tools at the service of the feudal landowners and big capitalists, whether it is a periodic renewal, as is being done lately in Colombia, or the end of a military government, as in Argentina for example.
The above is easily verifiable in the country. With important interruptions by the military governments during the periodic electoral processes, especially interruptions linked on the one hand to the development of the people’s struggle, and on the other, to the contradictions between feudal landowners and between the comprador bourgeoisie, and the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, it is important to note that the military regimes themselves have been instrumental in implementing elections, be it to normalize their own situation, end their rule, or to guarantee them.
Elections in Peru have undoubtedly served to preserve or develop the old Peruvian State, the formal republic, the dictatorship of feudal landowners and the big bourgeoisie. Therefore, elections have been (and it could not have been any other way within the context of the ruling social order) tools in the hands of the comprador bourgeoisie first, and then a tool of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie. This has been the most important aspect of the electoral processes of the Peruvian State in this century and it’s what has determined the class character of elections in the country.These fundamental questions are summarized as follows:
* The Peruvian State is landowning and bureaucratic. It is a dictatorship of feudal landowners and big bourgeois, under the control of Yankee imperialism. Against this, the people’s struggle must destroy the old existing order in order to build a State of new democracy.
* The Peruvian State, like every State, sustains, defends and develops itself using violence; it faces what the people need, which is revolutionary violence following the road surrounding the cities from the countryside.
* Elections are means of domination by landowners and big bourgeois capitalists. They are not tools of transformation for the people nor a means to overthrow the power of those who are ruling. Therefore, the correct orientation for us is to use elections when it comes only for purposes of agitation and propaganda
II. THE CURRENT PERIOD
This problem requires the analysis of two issues: The economic situation and crisis in the country, and the third restructuring of the Peruvian State.
THE ECONOMIC SITUATION AND CRISIS
After the Second World War, the development of bureaucratic capitalism was increased. This type of capitalism can be traced to the end of the last century. The expansion of bureaucratic capitalism is more considerable in the 1960’s, especially after October of 1968, with the current regime which is based on the problem of the peasantry. To this end, it carried out the more extensive and profound evolution of feudal landowning property. As a result, there is a greater concentration of the property land, the preservation of servile forms of exploitation, bureaucratic management systems and direct control by the State over territorial rents.
Thus, the State lays the roots for bureaucratic capitalism in the countryside. In synthesis, the expansion of bureaucratic capitalism aims at the process of industrialization and generates, an industry more dependent on imperialism (mainly Yankee), as well as greater participation by the State, especially in those industries which are considered basic and extractive. Thus, the State becomes the motor that sustains the economic process, and plays a principal role in banking, finance, including trade. In this manner, the expansion of bureaucratic capitalism is the continuation of the capitalist process already pointed out by Mariategui: a capitalism subject to the domination of Yankee imperialism, and linked to feudalism.
It is this process and expansion (profundizacion) that have generated the current crisis Peruvian society is going through, which is aggravated by the world crisis. The crisis, in essence, is the result of the expansion of the capitalist development in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country. It is not the result of the destruction of semifeudalism but of its evolution, and it is not the result of freeing the country from imperialist domination, mainly Yankee, but the development of semi-colonialism. Therefore, after three years of economic measures aimed at ending the crisis, we now see ourselves in the midst of a deep crisis whose end is not foreseen or expected in 1980.
The following data helps us visualize the economic situation:
Land Distribution, Comparison Between 1961-1972
|Area in hectares (Has.)||Total Units (1961)||Total Units (1972)|
|1 hectare=2.47 acres||% of farms||% of Has.||% of farms||% of Has|
|A less than 5 Has.||83.2||5.5||77.9||6.6|
|less than 1||34.2||0.6||34.7||0.8|
|D more than 100||1.3||84.6||1.1||75.4|
|more than 2500||0.1||60.9||1.1||54.3|
A = very small properties (minifundio)
B = family units
C = medium size properties
D = large and very large properties (latifundio)
If we add the agrarian debt of tens of thousands of soles, 68% of which total is payable to the landowners, 24% of which is payment for credits due to the bankers, and 8% of which is bureaucratic expense; and if we bear in mind that the State has extracted 6.473 billion soles for real estate taxes from the production of agrarian cooperatives in the five-year period 1971-1975, of which 3,639 billion, more than 50% was taken in 1975, can anyone then speak of the old semi-feudal system as having been destroyed? Can anyone really claim to have broken the backbone of the “oligarchy?” Isn’t it clear who benefits and who is protected by the agrarian law? But let’s see other data:
|Rate of Growth (GNP)||6.9||3.3||3.0||-0.2|
|% increase of prices in Lima||16.9||23.6||33.5||39.0|
|Government Deficit (billion of soles)||-14.09||-30.591||-48.432||
On these tables, recession and inflation are seen very clearly. They also show the diminished production and rise in prices that whip the Peruvian economy, as well as the serious situation of the State budget. But let’s point out, that while wages were multiplied by four from 1968 to 1976, profits for enterprises or businesses were multiplied by seven in the same period. And if we add the evolution of wages and salaries, based on the indices of actual remuneration for metropolitan Lima (since there are no other), wages were 100 soles in 1968, by December of 1977, had been reduced to 72.23 soles, and it is foreseen that by December of 1978 they will be reduced52.29 soles, whereas the salaries that was 100 soles in 1968, in December of 1977 was reduced to 86.95, and it is predicted that by December of 1978 they will be reduced to 60.70 soles.
These figures are enough to see the situation in which the economic production develops, who benefits from it and whom it hits, and the above does not take into consideration the bankruptcies, factory closings, layoffs, etc.; which added onto the the serious crisis and the ongoing process of greater concentration of capital for the benefit of the landowners, the big capitalists and imperialism. To complete this trend, let’s see the problem of the foreign debt and the real value of the sol, which shows clearly, the domain of imperialism and the dispute between the superpowers.
Remember that in September of 1975 exchange was established at 45 soles to a dollar, in June of 1976 it went down to 65, then came the minidevaluations that ended in 80 soles to a dollar by September of 1977; and from October of that year came on floating, which raised the exchange to 130, in December, and now, to speculation paying 180 soles per dollar in money order certificates, although the official exchange value did not vary; a situation intimately linked to the International Monetary Fund controlled by the United States. According to official figures, in 1968, the country’s foreign debt was 737 million dollars, but by 1977 it was 4.17 billion dollars, a sum that forced the use of up to 41% of exports to cancel off interest payments of the debt in 1977.
The foreign debt is one of the hottest problems today and from this we can see how the superpowers contend in our country, as can also be seen by the Yankee concern that their loans are not used to pay the Soviet Social Imperialist creditors to our country, especially for the sale of weapons; as well as for Soviet maneuvers on the renegotiation of the debt with Peru, and using it as leverage to take positions. This is clearly seen in the campaign of the revisionist newspaper “Unidad” and others who exalt the Soviet social-imperialist “kindness” and “understanding.”
These facts, on the agrarian problem, especially the industrial economic production and the rule of imperialism and the quarrel of the superpowers, are stunning proof of the expansion (profundizacion) of bureaucratic capitalism, the evolution of semi-feudalism and the development of our semi-colonial condition; of serious crisis the first one throws us in, and shows the current situation and the perspective which forces the specialized economic publication to say that, “the forecasts for this year, 1978, are even more nefarious.” In 10 years, what economic direction has the government followed? In general lines, in 1969 and 1970 they prepared conditions for their plans. Then they applied the 1971-75 economic-social plan aiming at accumulating capital.
This was canceled in its last year because the difficulties had already begun, the 1975-78 plan was approved aimed of a greater accumulation of capital. It was a plan that in its first two years sought the control of the crisis but without achieving it. In 1977, the Tupac Amaru Plan was approved, which applied the modifications proposed by the President in March of 1976, a plan to extend until 1980, on which date the crisis was supposed to be over. During this period the State fulfilled a main role, as the driving force in the economic process, and developed the State’s monopoly. However, in the last few years, the need to reinvigorate the private economic activity was proposed, and in the imperialist order within which our country and the State operate, it prepares conditions for future development of the monopoly production of imperialism and the big bourgeoisie associated with it. What is being proposed today for the country’s economic process?
Concretely, that the non State monopoly, or private sector, is the motor reinvigorating the economy, so that the expropriation, or “privatization,” of the great means of production which the State has been managing and concentrating, especially in the last ten years, and the greater concentration of property derived from the crisis; as well as the establishing of new forms incrementing the exploitation of the labor forces, to restrict or cancel the benefits, rights and conquests of the masses, as usually happens in every economic crisis, and it is a condition to contain and overcome the crisis. This the economic period in which we now evolve, a period that in the short term benefits imperialism, the exploiting classes and their government in two important problems:
* The financial problem, now centered in the foreign debt. This will demand to take other measures besides the ones already taken;
* the economic problem, taken as the productive process, which demands an economic plan which has already been announced and is closely linked to the ongoing electoral process and to the “social pact for the national salvation” that is being elaborated; between these two questions, the second one is more important, since the first for the most part has already been defined, while the second is more complex and has a long term effect in perspective.
ABOUT THE THIRD RESTRUCTURING OF THE PERUVIAN STATE
The bureaucratic bourgeoisie was developed during the Second World War and it aims at leading the State. Its presence was notorious in the governments of Bustamante and Belaunde, especially the latter; however, only recently, in October of 68 it was when it assumed the leadership of the State, that is it assumed the reigns of government through the armed forces, displacing the comprador bourgeoisie, who since the 1920’s had been enthroned as the leading class in the reactionary camp. Under what conditions did this promotion take place? It takes place amidst the crisis of the so-called representative democracy. The Peruvian State was organized as a formal bourgeois democracy, systematically, with the Constitution of 1920, under the leadership of the comprador or “mercantile” bourgeoisie, as Mariategui called it. This helped develop bureaucratic capitalism, which is a process that consolidating its Power through the “Oncenio” de Leguia , under the mantle of Yankee imperialism.
However, the 1929-1934 crisis and the development of the class struggle, mainly by the proletariat, with the founding of the Communist Party, generated a period of upheaval in our contemporary history. Also, during this period the elections of 1931 took place, which drafted the current Constitution still force (at least in words.) The constitution of 1933 has the characteristics that Karl Marx masterfully pointed out:
* while it recognizes the demo-bourgeois type rights and liberties, each article sanctioning them contains its own contradiction, that is, the same time that rights and freedoms are stipulated, they are lawfully restricted. The following samples suffice and it’s precisely one of the examples given by Marx, Art. 62 reads: “All persons have the right to assemble peacefully and without weapons, without compromising the public order. The law will regulate the exercise of the right to assemble.”
* It shows the contradiction between the Executive Power and the Legislative Power, and while in its words, the latter attempts to tie down the former, in the legislative facts the Executive has been imposing itself more and more, reflecting the development process of the bourgeois State, which inevitably strengthens the Executive Power as well as its principal support, the army.
* Finally, it was born under the protection of the bayonets which brought to the world to it, and questioned its current validity whenever the interests of the State demanded it. As these matters are foreseen, they will be found again in the new Constitution and its debates, but on the base of the contradiction between representative democracy and corporativism. After 1945, all these constitutional contradictions sharpened with the struggle between the comprador bourgeoisie and the bureaucratic bourgeoisie and more by the increasing development of the force of the people and of the working class. During the government of Bustamante, the contradiction Parliament-Executive sharpened, and the President himself had to propose the need for a new Constitution.
The problem surfaced again during the Belaunde government and there were many disputes about a referendum and reform of the Constitution, which in 1965 took Action Popular to draft and introduced a bill about the functional Senate, a corporativist modality established by article 89 of the Constitution, but never implemented up to this day, since even the Action Popular’s bill was rejected by the APRA-Odria coalition.
This direction, on the base of deepening bureaucratic capitalism, and the contradiction in the midst of the big bourgeoisie between the comprador and bureaucratic factions and, above all, the development of the proletariat (its return to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Mao Tse-tung Thought and the Road of Mariategui), and the upsurge of the people’s movement, mainly the great surge of the peasants movement which shook Peruvian society profoundly, and the 1965 guerrilla struggles, which provoked the crisis of representative democracy (a similar problem occurring in contemporary Latin America).
Under these circumstances the armed forces took over the leadership of the State in function, mainly the interests of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, with two tasks to fulfill: the first one, to carry forward the expansion of bureaucratic capitalism and, second, to reorganize Peruvian society. That is how the current regime began, guided by a fascist political conception, developing the corporativization of the Peruvian Society, which is a process that is taking place through the following three phases:
1. Bases and development of the corporativization, in which all past practices are questioned, labeled as the old “pre-revolutionary” order, the bases of organization are set and the so-called “ideological bases” are established. This lasted all the way to 1975.
2. General corporative readjustment, and evaluation of its successes and problems so as to consolidate positions and advance toward the Corporative State, presented as a “social democracy with full participation.” That began with the replacement of Velasco by Morales Bermudez, August 1975.
3. Third restructuring of the Peruvian State, from July 1977 to the present, and the establishing of a political timetable with elections for a Constituent Assembly, approval of a constitutional charter which must “institutionalize the structural transformations carried on since October 3, 1968” and must carry out the general elections, according to the Tupac Amaru Plan, until 1980. So here we have, in general terms, the corporativization followed in ten years. How has the contradiction between bureaucratic bourgeoisies and the proletariat developed in this decade? The bureaucratic bourgeoisie heads the counterrevolutionary camp, and it commands the feudal landowners and the comprador bourgeoisie, and it is linked to imperialism, mainly Yankee imperialism, although in the last decade social-imperialism began its penetration, and established links precisely with the bureaucratic bourgeoisie.
The people’s camp has a center: the proletariat, the only class capable of leading them, provided it can develop its vanguard and in fact lead the armed struggle. Thus, it will be able to forge the worker-peasant alliance as its great ally, to win over the petty-bourgeoisie as a sure ally and, under certain conditions and circumstances, to unite even with the national bourgeoisie. In the first stage of corporativization, the bureaucratic bourgeoisie managed to isolate the proletariat, and even to partially tie it down, presenting itself as a progressive force and as a “revolutionary” with the support of opportunism, mainly the social-corporativist revisionism of “Unidad” In the second stage, the general readjustment of corporativism, the influence of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie in State affairs began to decrease, its mask fell and it shed its disguises making it more difficult for opportunism to tie down the proletariat to the tail of its enemy.
The third stage of corporativization was the restructuring of the State, in which the contradiction between bureaucratic bourgeoisie and proletariat became sharper again in its antagonism. Both contending classes began to polarize its positions more, one against the other, and consequently the proletariat acquires a greater dimension, as the only leading class of the revolution of new democracy. What is the period that we now live?
Since 1977, we live in a political period which will last four or five years characterized by the third restructuring of the Peruvian State in the 20th century, and by the development of the struggle of the popular masses in preparation for the launching of the armed struggle. This is a period that occurred in the second moment of the contemporary history of the country, that is, from the Second World War to the present; a period in which bureaucratic capitalism deepens and the corporativization develops under the leadership of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie; a moment in which, on the other hand, the conditions for the democratic revolution mature and this begins to define it by the force of arms in order to create a State of new democracy.
But, what is the immediate situation of the political period that we now live in? To imperialism, to the exploiting classes and the bureaucratic bourgeoisie leading the process, two matters arise: first, to carry on elections for the Constituent Assembly, and second, to open up the road to materialize the third restructuring of the Peruvian State. The second, is the principal one because it is more complex and has future implications, and from which the bureaucratic bourgeoisie expects to consolidate its leadership role. On the other hand, the first task has the support of most of the political parties, who see in the Constituent their revival and perspective. To the people, the ones exploited and the proletariat, what is being proposed is that they do not allow themselves to be tied to the electioneering process, which opens the door to the restructuring of the State, and to develop the growing popular protest to mobilize, to politicize and to organize the masses, especially the peasantry. This second aspect is the most important one.
III. POLITICAL SITUATION AND THE PEOPLE’S ROAD
In order to analyze the elections and orient ourselves correctly, we need to keep in mind the fundamental issues arisen from it, and the current situation. If not, we run the risk of sliding toward the opportunist swamp. We reiterate, the Constituent Assembly elections are the real beginning of the third restructuring of the Peruvian State by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, and the ones who will struggle most to carry the corporativization forward as much they are able to, aiming at establishing themselves as the leading class of the exploiters. The ongoing State restructuring is a consequence of the expansion of bureaucratic capitalism and the corporativization of Peruvian society and the elections are in fact its beginnings. They are a preamble to “institutionalize the structural transformations” whose consequences for the people are in sight.
Well then, the Constituent Assembly elections help first and foremost the bureaucratic bourgeoisie. That is our main concern. This is the starting point in taking a position with regards to the ongoing electoral process; and in doing it that way, we, and those who follow Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, those who really follow the road of Mariategui and who are at the service of the proletariat and the people, cannot fail to take into account this basic question and must judge it from the position of the working class, in function of the Peruvian revolution. Let’s analyze briefly some of these problems.
ON THE CONVERGENCE OF CLASSES; FACTIONS AND PARTIES IN THE REACTIONARY CAMP
For years, the bureaucratic bourgeoisie and more specifically the armed forces, in its name, have wanted to exercise leadership of the State and do away with the comprador bourgeoisie and the feudal landowners, outside the margin ordered by the Constitution and conform themselves to their own statutes, concentrating all State powers, postponing the political organizations and even casting aside civilians for the benefit not just of the military in active service, but even the retired military.
This contradiction does not mean that it has not represented and kept in mind the interests of its allies, the comprador bourgeoisie and the landowners, but that the need to assume the leadership of State Power took the bureaucratic bourgeoisie (during the crisis of the representative democracy) to appeal to the armed forces as sustenance of power itself, which was the institution in a position of power to advance its interests. But ten years have elapsed and today their main purpose is the restructuring of the State, which will generate the convergence of the exploiting classes, its factions and its parties. Is this anything strange?
No, as Marx demonstrated. Thus, the restructuring of the State will cause a convergence of the two factions of the big bourgeoisie, the comprador and the bureaucratic factions, and especially of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie with the feudal landowners. However, this convergence does not exclude their discrepancies but, the need of restructuring the State and the situation of crisis in which this develops, enlivens those endeavors, both for the landowners and for the comprador bourgeoisie, to recover positions and to defend their interests.
In that way, the need to restructure the State benefits the exploiting classes, and what takes them to a convergence, because they must restructure the State order which enables them to preserve and develop their exploitation and rule and provides them with a constitutional order allowing a normal and periodic process of renewal of the powers of the State. But at the same time, the endeavors to have the interests of their class or faction prevail, and above all their contention for the leadership of the State enlivens their divergences. The historical tendency of the exploiters under the rule of imperialism, mainly Yankee, is the development of the process of corporativization, which at this time, is the convergence in order to restructure the State.
Their proposals on the “social pact” is a good example, but this convergence or collusion of interests develops amidst sharp contradictions which become more intense as the people’s struggle develops. In the context of the collusion and collision between the two factions of the big bourgeoisie, we are able to understand the positions and actions of their political parties. These parties are grouped in two: those of demo-bourgeois roots, among them the Peruvian Democratic Movement (MDP), Popular Christian Party (PPC), Accion Popular (AP), principally APRA. Those of corporativist tendencies, among them Popular Socialist Action (APS), Christian Democracy (DC), Socialist Revolutionary Party (PSR) and mainly the social-corporativist revisionism of “Unidad.”
Those of demoliberal roots, more are linked to the comprador bourgeoisie, generally support representative democracy and differ among themselves in those wanting to strengthen the Executive, such as APRA; facing the current political timetable, some demand immediate general elections, such as PPC and AP, others support the fulfillment of the Constituent Assembly, such as APRA. Those of a corporativist tendency, who are more linked to the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, generally support the corporative organization of society, although differing in form but not in substance. S
Some propose a “socialist society” such as PSR, and “Unidad” while others such as Christian Democratic Party speak about a “comminatory society.” They differ, then, PSR proposes supposedly “Peruvian socialism” while “Unidad” preaches the pro-Soviet revisionist “socialism.” Those of corporativist tendencies, all support, the current political timetable. Some such as DC (Christian Democrats) labeled it as “rushing” the call for a Constituent Assembly, taking time to decide whether or not to participate; similarly, facing the Constituent, if all were for the “participation” of the grass roots organizations, PSR was against it. In conclusion, we must bear in mind the collusion and collisions taking place in the camp of reaction among its classes, its factions and its parties. This enables us to understand the particular decisions and positions of each one and, furthermore, this will enable us to analyze and orient ourselves in the correlation of forces now emerging and which will define them during and after the June elections.
ON THE OPPORTUNIST LINE IN ELECTIONS
Right opportunism has a long electoralist tradition in the country, which is intimately linked to Del Prado and company and revisionism which has as its voice “Unidad.” In the general elections of 1936, 1939, 1945 and 1963, opportunism tied down the people and the working class to the band wagon of the big bourgeoisie, of the comprador bourgeoisie before World War II and of the bureaucratic one afterwards. The essence of this electoral line and of parliamentary cretinism is synthesized in the following proposals which sustained the 1945 elections: “the workers as a whole have the historical task of struggling for an alliance with the bourgeoisie”; “we no longer launch candidates with the aim of agitation and propaganda.Now we launch to make representatives out of them,” proposals which were accompanied by these statements: “we will only resort to the present strike when the employers show such intransigence that a peaceful solution is not possible . . . But before we go on striking we must exhaust the lawful and peaceful means”; “instead of strikes as a tactic, which must be used only as a last resort –which corresponds to other concrete situations– the working classes must propitiate compromises and peaceful solutions of the problems by way of state organisms.”
These are the right opportunist theses which accompanied the following with regards to the peasantry: “we must take into our hands the slogan of making conscious voters out the thousands of peasants and indigenous individuals.” And essentially these theses are the ones which once more, at a higher level and with more actualized rationalizations, guide the corporativist revisionism of “Unidad” in the greatest capitulation of its dark history. But is this happening only with “Unidad?” No. These are also seen on the magazine “Marka,” that with increasing persistence is calling the people and the working class to be tied down to the tail of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie.
But the problems do not end here, and what is more serious is that electioneering is impacting the people’s own ranks, through the position of revolutionarists who despite the “reasons” they invoke, they are supporting the third restructuring of the State, a position which has taken them, in an open renunciation of their principles, to join on one-side the revisionism of those having as their voice “Mayoria,” as is the case of UDP, and on the other, of the Trotskytes in Focep
ON THE ROAD OF THE PEOPLE
All this takes us to propose to ourselves the position of the proletariat and the people in the face of the elections, to draw the fences clearly and sharply, more so if there are organizations that do not compromise and openly reject the capitulation and, even more, if we have the obligation of serving the people and cooperate in the development of their class conscience. Having placed the elections for the Constituent Assembly within the period of the third restructuring of the State and forging the beginning of the armed struggle, nowadays that the crisis becomes harsher on the people and the people’s protests develop, and participating in elections does not support the proletariat, nor the people, nor the revolution, but only the bureaucratic bourgeoisie, the exploiters and imperialism.
To participate in the elections for the Constituent Assembly is to deviate the revolution from its road, is to put it into a swamp; since it would sow constitutional illusions in the masses, to cause hopes in their laws, in the Constitution, and ultimately in the elections. It is, in synthesis, to want to take the people by the old electoral road of right opportunism, of which the hardened champion is the revisionism of “Unidad” commanded by Del Prado and Company. Facing the Constituent Assembly elections, the only correct position is the non participation, the boycott. What is needed is to apply the teachings of the great Lenin. Lenin applied the boycott precisely against a Duma, a “representative organization,” which would elaborate a Constitution to the service of the prevailing order in Tsarist Russia, and to reach this conclusion he relied on two bases: first, participation would deviate the revolution from its road and, second, an increasing revolutionary process was developing.
We must analyze and apply this thesis in accordance with our concrete conditions. Objectively, in our country the political period which we develop is, on one side, the third restructuring of the State which is led by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie aiming at completing the corporativization of society. On the other, the development of the masses takes us to the task of initiating the armed struggle, which the proletariat must carry on under the leadership of its Party. That is the first question Lenin had in mind. The second one, is the ascending people’s struggle ending up in armed struggle.
In our country the road is not that of the insurrection in the city, but of an armed struggle in the countryside, of surrounding the cities from the countryside through a protracted People’s War; among us the uprising is, essentially, the uprising of the peasants movement, and it is out of this that the armed struggle will come, the history of the country and the decade of the 1960’s prove that convincingly; that is how we must understand, in our case, the problem of the ascension of the masses which Lenin had in mind. To uphold the non participation in the Constituent Assembly elections, the call for the boycott, the generating of a movement of rejection of the elections, is condemned as a “left-wing infantile disorder.” However, that is only a label that tries to cover the facts with a shower of words; because what is being debated here is not the infantilism or senility of anyone.
What is being debated is the real, objective situation of the class struggle in our country; what is being debated is on which period we are now in, and what is its characteristics and its perspective. What is being debated is whether or not the mass movement in our country, mainly the peasantry, leads us or not to the armed struggle. What is in debate is if it is appropriate to sow electoral illusions, to propagate electoralism, if that is any help to the proletariat, to the people, to the democratic revolution. That is what is being debated, and we have the obligation to debate; only by defining these questions we will be able to ascertain which position is the correct one, then toil to implement it in deeds not only in words.
Any other attitude and even those who want to silence with words, with labels and mountains of paper, are old and obsolete maneuvers of right opportunism, here and everywhere else. This is the position of the Road of the people, of the Road of Mariategui, confronting today the ongoing electoral process and facing the restructuring of the State. This is a road which today demands from us, more insistently than yesterday, that we struggle to mobilize, to politicize and to organize the masses of the workers, and especially the peasantry as the principal force of our revolution, and the proletariat as the leading force whose direction is synthesized in its organized vanguard, by its Communist Party, the Party of Mariategui whose reconstitution is about to be crowned.
Let’s guide ourselves by the words of President Mao Tse-tung: “Only when the workers and peasants, who constitute 90 percent of the population, have been mobilized, will be possible to overthrow imperialism and feudalism.” Let’s apply the order of Mariategui: “The organization of workers and peasants on a strict class consciousness character is the objective of our effort and our propaganda.”
AGAINST THE CONSTITUTIONALIST ILLUSIONS, FOR THE STATE OF NEW DEMOCRACY!
LET’S RETAKE MARIATEGUI AND RECONSTITUTE HIS PARTY! LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAO TSE-TUNG THOUGHT!
April, 1978 PCP-CENTRAL COMMITTEE