Central Committee Communist Party of Peru 1979
DEVELOP THE GROWING PEOPLE’S PROTEST!
“Whether it is correct or not, ideological and political line decides everything. If the Party’s line is correct, we have everything: if we don’t have fighters, we will have them; if we don’t have weapons, we will get them; and if we don’t have Power, we will conquer it. If the line is incorrect, we will lose all we have obtained.” MAO TSE-TUNG
Politics, which is the class struggle for power, has entered into our country in a moment of great importance. Counterrevolution, the bureaucratic road, led by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie as a faction of the big bourgeoisie, is developing the third restructuring of the State in this century. Ever since it approved the new Constitution, it aims at celebrating general elections in May of 1980. On the other hand, the revolution, the democratic road, whose axis is the proletariat, strengthens the growing popular protest and orients itself to its development in function of initiating the armed struggle. The central point on the current political question is the existence or nonexistence of a revolutionary situation.
The definition of this problem is of vital transcendence for the people and is the object of persistently hard and fundamental debate. To us in the light of Marxism, our country is going through a developing revolutionary situation, and consequently, the strategy and tactics to follow must depart from this reality. Furthermore, all Peruvian politics at the present time, the struggle between revolution and counterrevolution, cannot be treated outside the frame of analyzing this situation.
Today in Peru, the problem of the revolutionary situation is not understood, and as a result the monumental political mistakes made on the people’s side, follows. From the understanding of the existence of a developing revolutionary situation in the country, derives the correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line of the proletariat, its application and perspective. These problems cannot be judged with certainty, but in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, specifically by the application of Mao Tse-tung Thought to the backward countries, that is, semi feudal and semicolonial countries, and from the analysis of the class struggle in our society in the present situation. Only in this way, is it possible to understand the class struggle today, manage its laws and develop the road of the people from the position of the proletariat.
1. WE LIVE IN A REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION IN DEVELOPMENT
Peruvian society lives in a revolutionary situation in development that is the fundamental question and the only correct point of departure for the politics of the proletariat. We can arrive at the understanding of this reality if we base ourselves on the conception of the proletariat, from the study and application of the theses of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought on the “revolutionary situation,” theses which are simple and clear and which, however, are crudely twisted from the position of right opportunism, a position expressed mainly in the people’s camp by “revolutionarism.”
For that reason, today more than ever, if we want to serve the proletariat and the revolution, we must sustain ourselves firmly in Marxism and apply it correctly and decisively, without electoral vacillations which muddle the problem, and cause confusion, especially on the tactic the proletariat must follow facing the third restructuring of the State and elections, particularly facing future elections. These are the errors whose principal consequence is to focus in the plan of reaction, and not in the development of the revolution.
THE NATIONAL-DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION IN THE COUNTRY
When he founded the Communist Party, Mariátegui established that in Peru, the revolution would have two stages: democratic and socialist; the first one is the prerequisite and condition for the second, and can only be led by the proletariat through its Party, the Communist Party. It is in the first stage of the revolution that President Mao Tse-tung defined as the new democratic revolution, that is, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal, since it has to scrub away the feudalism that subsists and break off the imperialist domain. As history has proven to society, this can only be accomplished by the armed struggle, that is the People’s War, following the path of surrounding the cities from the countryside. This is a fundamental truth from which all proletarian politics must be based.
The road of the armed struggle starts from the countryside to the cities, is supported mainly by the peasantry, who rise up in arms, under the leadership of the Communist Party, generates the people’s armed forces as the principal form of organization. It is the form in which revolutionary violence is synthesized in semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries. This is a revolutionary violence which is precisely the very essence of Marxism. So being a Marxist, applying in theory and in practice the conception of the proletariat, in countries like ours, demands to subordinate ourselves to the armed struggle and, therefore, center the activity in starting it, if it has not started, and developing it if it has already started.
This matter is clear and simple and there is no way to twist it if we sustain ourselves in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, and it is also clear if we truly serve the proletariat, the people and the revolution in deeds, and not merely in empty words. All the above are elemental truths of the international experience and were thoroughly debated in our country in the decade of the 1960s, a time when Peruvian Communists, reaffirmed and upheld the great theses of Mariátegui and adhered themselves to the great development which Mao Tse-tung Thought meant for Marxism-Leninism, and concluded that in the country the revolution is democratic and can only be fulfilled by armed struggle and not by elections, following the road from the countryside to the city and taking as its main force the peasantry, especially the poor peasantry. This is a great experience of our people, of our class and of Communism in Peru. It is an experience which nobody who upholds Marxism can forget to take into account the current conditions of development.
We the Communists in the country, and all the revolutionaries must ask ourselves a simple question: why is it that the working class has not yet conquered Power in our country? The answer is concise: It is because up to now, an armed struggle has not been developed nor have we initiated it nor applied the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought. There is in Peru, a long electoral experience and many times the people have been called, and the revolutionaries have been taken to participate in elections. As a result, there have not been any fundamental benefits for the class or for the people and much less, of course, conducive to the conquest of Power. The class and the people have been called to participate on the supposition that transcendental decisions and consequences were at play or stake. That way, the masses of the people put their hopes and became focused on the elections as the main task, which disoriented them and took them away from their own road. What have the class and the people gotten out of such electoral activities? Other than a few spots in the chamber of deputies or the senate, which ultimately only benefit their supposed representatives, have only helped to sow parliamentary cretinism, fuel up opportunism and reap disillusionments. Well then, in our country, there is a very dark electoral trajectory and a bitter experience we cannot forget.
We must remember that in every electoral process in the country, opportunism goes wild sowing illusions, dreaming about taking up positions in government, invoking a feigned defense of the masses, offering great democratic advances and generating uncontrolled greed and appetite. All these politicians aim at riding on the people’s struggle in function of their own dark purposes. These are concrete lessons of our country and they show that the actors can change or survive, but electoral opportunism remains, and nothing come out of it for the people, except taking them off the correct path. We also have had many popular struggles and even insurrectional actions in the cities of Peru, not to even mention the so-called “revolutions,” which have merely been military pronouncements or coups d’etat that at one point or another even involved sections of the people. However, none of these actions, some of them very heroic actions, have resulted in power for the class or for the people, but were very bloodily crushed by the Army, or their outcome has only served and helped one faction or another of the exploiting classes. This shows that the road to take power is neither the uprising nor the insurrection in the cities. That is another fundamental experience of our revolutionary struggle, which must vaccinate us against insurrectional roads ostensibly centered in the working class, as the principal force of the revolution in the country.
Similarly, in the countryside many peasants’ struggles have been carried out, but none of them were developed as an armed struggle. They have been unable to free the peasantry, to give them land, and much less have they generated a new Power, a new State for the class and for the people. Linked to the large peasants’ mobilization of the mid 1960s, we have the guerrilla struggle of MIR and the ELN, but not following the conception of the proletariat on the People’s War, nor being properly linked to the peasantry, they were crushed. However, these guerrilla actions left great experiences for our people. What do all of these facts show? They simply show that in more than 50 years of the Communist Party and revolution of the new democracy up to now, the working class has not taken Power and therefore, the people of Peru have been unable to free themselves of imperialist domination or to sweep away feudalism.
However, we have participated in many electoral processes. The masses have rebelled in the cities, the peasants have battled and spilled their blood heroically, and we even have had guerrillas, although not a People’s War. Despite all of this, the proletariat and the people have not been able to conquer Power. Thus, up to the present time, the democratic revolution, the revolution of new democracy, the national-democratic revolution has not been developed through armed struggle according to the principles of People’s War sustained in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought. Therefore, we have not followed the road of encircling the cities from the countryside and, consequently, we have not created revolutionary support bases in the country nor have we built revolutionary Power sustained by the people’s armed forces. This is the reason why we have not destroyed the old social order and the working class, and the people have not conquered Power. What follows from all that? Concretely, up to now, the national-democratic revolution has not begun to be developed in its highest form and, therefore, the principal task of the revolution in Peru is to initiate the armed struggle; that is the central task of the democratic revolution.
All must be done for this purpose and that is, consequently, the central activity toward which all communists and revolutionaries must orient themselves if they truly want to be at the service of the proletariat, the people and the revolution. In that way, the pending task of the democratic revolution in our country is to begin the armed struggle. In general terms, many revolutionaries and some organizations in the midst of the people are in agreement with the above, but claim that while that is the strategy to follow, current conditions do not allow us to focus on initiating the armed struggle. According to them, there is no revolutionary situation, and therefore, we must center ourselves on activities like mobilizing the masses even on elections, precisely, they say, to generate a revolutionary situation. Thus, the debate on whether or not a revolutionary situation exists in the country, has become a fundamental problem of our politics, which must be judged very seriously in the light of Marxism and the analysis of our own reality. Let’s address this issue taking as a basis the thesis of Lenin and Mao Tse-tung.
LENIN AND THE REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION
Lenin set forth fundamental theses about the revolutionary situation. Analyzing the great strike movements of the working class and the people’s struggle in the second decade of this century in the old tsarist Russia, he established that their roots, and their cause, were the existence of a revolutionary situation. To illustrate this matter he wrote the following: “Russia lives in a revolutionary situation because of the crushing oppression of the vast majority of the population, not just the proletariat, but nine tenths of the small producers, mainly the peasants, has sharpened to the maximum, and the obvious sharpened oppression, the hunger, the misery, the denial of their rights and the humiliation inflicted upon the people, is in blatant disagreement with the state of productive forces in Russia, with the degree of conscience and the level of the reivindication of the masses . . . “
Can we say that such conditions do not exist today in our country, and for many years? It is evident that these conditions are present in Peruvian society and, furthermore, such conditions have entered these past few years in a process of profound worsening; do we need to prove this? Do we need to prove that “nine tenths” of especially the peasantry of Peru, are subjected to a growing oppression and exploitation of the Peruvian proletariat? Do we need to prove that the hunger, the misery, the denial of their rights and the humiliation is inflicted upon the people of Peru? All that is so evident that nobody can deny it and, moreover, we don’t need to look at the distant past, and all that has been worsening since 1968, since the present regime took over Power. It has been getting worse by the day up to the crisis we suffer today, since 1975. Can anyone deny the harsh reality our country suffers?
Nobody. No one who is based on the most elementary objective analysis of our reality can deny it. Precisely, the existence of these conditions of oppression and exploitation are themselves the base of the revolutionary situation. For this situation to emerge clearly, we also need another condition, as Lenin himself says: “Oppression, however great, not always results in a revolutionary situation in a country. For the revolution to explode, it is not sufficient that the ones below do not want to go on living as before. It is also necessary that those above are not able to go on managing, and ruling as they did up to that time.” That is how Lenin defined what a revolutionary situation is, and what the objective conditions is. He synthesized them in two cases: that those below don’t want to go on living as before and, those above are unable to go on managing and ruling as they did up to now. Those are the two conditions that generate mobilization of the masses, their struggles, and the strike movement of the proletariat, among others.
It is not, then, the mobilization of the masses that generates the revolutionary situation, but the opposite; the revolutionary situation, the objective condition of the revolution, is what cause the mobilization. This is their effect. In addition, it is very important to note that Lenin considers that the revolutionary situation generates a political crisis at the very base of the State; in his own words, he states: “Russia is in the middle of a political crisis on a national scale, and it is precisely a crisis which affects the bases of the state structure, and in no way some minor part of it. It affects the foundations of the building and not this or that accessory, this or that floor.” This is fundamental, and the revolutionary situation affects the very bases, the foundations of the State and therefore “a reformist exit of the situation” is not possible. Patches or sutures are inadequate, and the only possible solution is a revolutionary exit.
Lenin himself, masterfully summarized the revolutionary situation, as follows: “The conditions of the masses of the population in Russia, the worsening of their situation by virtue of the agrarian policy (to which the feudal landowners had to appeal as their only hope), the international situation and the character of the general political crisis in our country, constitute the sum total of the objective conditions which make the situation in Russia revolutionary, due to the impossibility of resolving the tasks of the bourgeois revolution continuing on this road, and using the existing means (in the hands of the government and of the exploiting classes).” All that seems to have been written for our country today!
We highlight the problem of “those above”; obviously in Peru, those above cannot continue to govern and administer things as they did up to now. The proof of this is the third restructuring of the State that is being stipulated in the new Constitution. Evidently, it has to do with the basis of the state, its foundations, and affects the entire state order. The transcribed quotation of Lenin clearly summarizes a situation very much like that in our country today, a result of the existent objective conditions and revolutionary situation in our country. However, in Peru there is a serious confusion about this problem. Some erroneously consider that the mobilization of the masses is the cause for the existence of the revolutionary situation. This idea obviously contradicts the exceedingly clear theses formulated by Lenin, and it has a purpose: to prioritize the reformist struggle (movimiento reinvindicativo) of the masses in order to postpone the revolution, the seizure of Power and, ultimately, to block revolutionary violence in order to go after the electoral processes, and propagate parliamentary cretinism.
Others in the country formulate that the revolutionary situation derives and develops by complementing the objective conditions with the subjective conditions, which indicates another serious error. Subjective conditions, to Lenin, imply the class and the instruments to carry forward the revolution, as he stated in the following: “Neither the oppression of those below nor the crisis of those above, is enough to produce the revolution -the only thing these will achieve is the putrefaction of the country, if the country in question lacks a revolutionary class capable of transforming the passive state of oppression into an active state of wrath and insurrection.” Therefore, a revolutionary situation or objective conditions of the revolution, are not the same as the subjective conditions. The latter are the class and the instruments capable of converting the revolutionary situation into revolutionary violence, which in our country means an armed struggle, the united front, a Party to manage both, a proletariat capable of leading and fulfilling its role as the leading class, and a peasantry capable of rising up in arms.
MAO TSE-TUNG AND THE OBJECTIVE SITUATION IN THE BACKWARD COUNTRIES
President Mao Tse-tung uses the term objective situation to analyze the revolutionary situation or the objective conditions of the revolution and their development in backward countries, that is, semi-feudal and semi-colonial. He starts off from the need to penetrate to the essence of things and not stay with simple appearances. To him, the main thing is to consider the semi-feudal base and imperialist oppression of the backward countries. Under these conditions, the revolution is democratic, that is, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist, whose development demands the armed struggle from the countryside to the city through revolutionary support bases as the New State, which begins to emerge and simultaneously, the old bureaucratic landowning reactionary State is being destroyed.
This is fundamental in understanding the specific conditions that the revolutionary situation has in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, and the development of these societies. President Mao Tse-tung establishes the conditions that conform to the objective situation and also the contradictions that exist, and from which the road of the revolution derives, which in essence is the armed struggle, and the inevitable triumph of the revolution. As stated in point four of his work, “A Single Spark Can Set the Prairie on Fire,” he highlights the following points and contradictions: On the international level, he discusses the development of the contradiction between the imperialist countries. Evidently, it has increased between the two superpowers, Yankee imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. These contradictions have an impact on our country as contradictions in the midst of the exploiters, mainly the big bourgeoisie, as we have seen lately in its two factions: the bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie, which far from ameliorating, will develop further.
He also illustrates the contradiction between the reactionary rulers and the great masses of taxpayers. The growing state apparatus necessarily ends up raising taxes, which fall upon the masses of the people and, besides, the state economy develops amidst constant budgetary crises. The procedure that is being followed under the current regime and the situation today proves this. In addition, the masses of people are the ones, who through indirect taxation, support the state expenditures more and more; a situation which is getting worse and will continue to worsen. Contradiction between imperialism and national industry. In the country this contradiction is evident; the national industry is increasingly subject to imperialist domination and access to markets is more restricted every day. On the other hand, the aggression by foreign imports (e.g., commodities)handled by imperialism, restricts the development of the national industry, and the financial impositions of imperialism, sinks it into an economic recession, which is worsened by the worldwide crisis. As Mariategui said, imperialism does not allow the development of a national industry.
Contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the working class. The capitalists, “trying to elude the crisis and solve their problems deepen the exploitation of the workers, who in turn oppose and resist these measures.” This statement of fact by President Mao is proven to satiety every day among us. We see today the profound crisis the country has been suffering in the last few years. In synthesis, we see how brutally salaries have been cut. The workday has been increased and harsh working conditions have been imposed so as to safeguard entrepreneurial profits. Furthermore, we see the resistance of the proletariat through the persistent strike struggle, even when faced with all sorts of persecution and repression, suspension of constitutional guarantees and a state of emergency. Further deepening of the contradiction between the landowning class and the peasantry.
In the country, the State has assumed collection of land rents through the agrarian debt, imperialist investment mainly through the agrarian bank and control of the entire system of associations (cooperatives, SAIS, etc.) in agricultural production and, besides, it maintains servile forms of production, and is included in the old landowners feudal exploitation. In this way, the situation of the peasantry has worsened by the evolution of feudalism resulting from the agrarian law, and the penetration of bureaucratic capitalism into the countryside. Merchants in national commodities and independent producers see themselves pushed more and more toward bankruptcy. Today, the economic crisis clearly shows the validity of this premise. It suffices to recall the situation of bankruptcy confronted by the small industrial producers and small merchants, as well as small miners. We must highlight the serious situation faced by the ambulatory merchants who are affected by a brutal repression, and much repression falls upon them.
But the crises hit the medium producers as well. The reactionary government increases its troops without limits. Throughout the country the development and reinforcement of the reactionary armed and police force is evident, both in size of contingents and in weaponry. This is shown by the creation of new repressive bodies of the state and the widening of their functions, and the greater control they exert over society. Inevitably, this process will develop further. Hunger and banditry extends throughout the country. The popular masses of Peru suffer chronic hunger, but today, the crisis is even worse. The masses, the peasantry, especially the poor peasants, has absolutely nothing to feed themselves, and hunger is paired with sickness, which mostly affects infants and youth.
Criminality increases more and more and cow-thievery (abigeato) grow in the countryside protected by the authorities themselves. The majority of the peasants’ masses and the poor in the cities find themselves in a situation in which they are barely able to survive. This comparison, which President Mao made in China is also a cruel reality that prevails among us, misery entrenches itself more and more amidst the popular masses of our nation. Because of the lack of budget funds, many students fear that they will not be able to continue their studies. This is also a reality for the country, as the educational budget as well as the health budget is cut. The education sector is faced with a profound financial crisis. As a result, many students do not study for lack schools or drop school in large numbers because they don’t have the resources available to them. Due to the backward character of production, many graduating students have no hope of finding employment in their vocation or academic field, and thousands of them have to work in anything they can.
That is how President Mao Tse-tung analyzes the revolutionary situation in the backward countries. In analyzing the contradictions present in the objective situation, he finds the material base that sustains armed struggle, its development and victory. From the above, we can see how in our country, we have a similar objective situation and how the same contradictions develop. This is a fact that nobody can deny. These are contradictions that are developing, and in no way can they be resolved by a reactionary government. Furthermore, we all know that these contradictions are not being resolved, but continue to sharpen, so the objective situation in our country is and will be each time more propitious to the development of revolution, and to the development of a superior form, the armed struggle. Consequently, the most important matter that concerns all of us is to start the armed struggle.
This is an unavoidable perspective that our country has. What other road can we follow in Peru? What other hopes can our popular masses and the proletariat have? President Mao Tse-tung stated the following as he concluded his analysis: “By understanding all these contradictions, we will realize the desperate situation, the chaotic state faced by China today and we will see that inevitably soon. The revolution led against the imperialists, the military chiefs and the landowners, will emerge. All of China is full of dried firewood, which will soon burn in a great conflagration.” Since our country follows the same laws of revolution, has a similar experience and the same perspective, can we think in any other way? No, not at all. President Mao Tse-tung established a brilliant distinction between a developing revolutionary situation and a stationary, revolutionary situation, as can be seen in point three of chapter II of his work, “Why Red Power Can Exist in China?” He stated that in a semi feudal and semicolonial country such as ours, there is always a revolutionary situation, or objective situation as he calls it, for the development of an armed struggle, however this occurs in two forms: a stationary revolutionary situation and, a revolutionary situation in development.
By analyzing his theses we are able to say that a stationary revolutionary situation can be transformed into a developing revolutionary situation, by the action of the subjective conditions on the objective condition; that is very important to keep in mind. In addition, we must be able to differentiate between uneven development and revolutionary situation and take into account, that the latter can occur in a region, and then the revolution may spread to the entire country, or it can even begin by a general retreat of the revolution, as was shown by the autumn harvest uprising of August 1927 in China.
TODAY WE LIVE IN A REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION IN DEVELOPMENT
The analysis of our national reality, based on the application of the theses of Lenin and Mao, which is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, draws the following conclusions: Our country meets the two conditions about the existence of a revolutionary situation set forth by Lenin. Our country shows the objective situation which Mao analyzed as a contradiction. In order to understand our situation, it is fundamental that we keep in mind the difference between a stationary revolutionary situation, and a developing revolutionary situation.
Based on the analysis of the theses of Lenin and Mao, and their application to our reality, we conclude that we are living in a developing revolutionary situation. This is expressed by the growing popular protest which is developing among us, and is being fueled by the crisis that we have been living in for years. Thus, if we base ourselves on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, and analyze the concrete reality of the Peruvian revolution, we have to conclude that we live in a developing revolutionary situation and, consequently, all strategy, tactics and political actions must be based on that fact, if not, we would be grossly mistaken. In synthesis, the class struggle, the antagonic contention between revolution and counterrevolution, can only be seen accurately and correctly, and applied firmly and decisively, if we start from the recognition that there is a developing revolutionary situation. It is from this recognition that the proletariat, the Party, and the revolutionaries in the country will be able to judge the current political situation, and then establish the correct tactics.
2. THE REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION AND THE TWO ROADS IN THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION
In the first part we concluded that there is a developing revolutionary situation. In the second part, our problem is to see how, in general terms, the two roads within this situation manifest themselves. On the one hand, how the bureaucratic road develops, which is the reactionary road, of the exploiters headed by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie through the armed forces that for years have been exercising Power in their name. On the other hand, the development of the democratic road, the classes that make up the people, and whose axis is the proletariat. In synthesis, in this part we will point out how those above confront those below, the two poles in the struggle which determine the developing revolutionary situation. This contradiction proves more convincingly the reality of the objective conditions of the revolution, and the development of its two components, and its perspectives.
THE REACTIONARY PLAN: RESTRUCTURING AND GENERAL ELECTIONS
Since July 1977, the bureaucratic road continues the third restructuring of the Peruvian State in this century. It celebrated elections for the Constituent Assembly which in a year approved a new Constitution and recently convoked for a general election to be held in May 1980. What does it mean? Has the State been fortified? Has it overcome the crisis afflicting it for such a long time? Let’s analyze this. Ever since the end of World War II, the ascending bureaucratic bourgeoisie aimed at restructuring the State and, from the beginning of the present regime aimed to promulgate a new Constitution. That was the purpose of its corporative and fascist policies. It also aimed at developing organizations which could provide a corporative base to the State, including the organization of a political party. The failed Political Organization of the Peruvian Revolution (OPRP), which had already publicized its so-called “ideological bases,” is an example.
However, by mandate of Yankee imperialism and the profound crisis of the country since 1975, the international situation tended toward “representative democracy” in Latin America, and the plans of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie were disrupted. Thus, the new Constitution does not fully express the corporative plans expected by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie neither does it satisfies completely the needs of the so-called “representative democracy.” Consequently, the Constitution born under the aegis of bayonets of the armed forces, and product of a mediocre Constituent Assembly satisfies neither Tyrians nor Trojans in the reactionary camp, much less can it be a Charter able to satisfy the people, and as soon as it goes into effect, the battles will begin to amend it. As was the case of the Constitution of 1920, the perspective of the new Constitution is one of contention or collision between the two factions of the big bourgeoisie of Peru: the bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie. The perspective is to amend it, within the historical process of the bureaucratic road, the logic of the reaction will be a new restructuring for a more thorough corporativization of the Peruvian State, in function of the leadership and exercise of Power by the bureaucratic bourgeoisie.
On the other hand, for the people and the proletariat the problem will be to sweep away this new Constitution, and of any other kind that expresses the old existing order, and to elaborate one which truly meets their class interests. This will only be achieved by forging a State of New Democracy by the victorious armed forces of the people. This is the situation and the perspective of the third restructuring, and for this reason the following question arises: Is the Peruvian State a strong one? In “A Single Spark Can Set the Entire Prairie on Fire” President Mao wrote: “Although the subjective forces of the Chinese revolution are weak at the present time, the whole organization (the Power, the armed forces, the parties, etc.) of the reactionary ruling classes, an organization based on the backward and fragile social and economic structure of China . . . is also weak. And even though the subjective forces of revolution in China are now weak, no doubt the revolution advances to its submit quicker than in Western Europe. That is because here the forces of the counterrevolution are relatively weak as well.” This great truth formulated in 1930, and was historically proven in China and in other backward countries, and we must keep this in mind without forgetting our specific conditions. And, why does this fragility of the State happen? If we analyze the theses of President Mao on the State in the backward countries, we will understand why.
In his work “On the New Democracy,” in treating the systems of the various States, he states: “The first kind is the State of the Old Democracy. Today, after the Second World War began, no traces of democracy remain in many capitalist countries. They have been transformed or are in the process of being transformed in States in which the bourgeoisie exerts a bloody military dictatorship. The States, in which the landowners and the bourgeoisie exercise a joint dictatorship, may be included in this group.” And later on: “Here we are speaking about the `system of the State.’ Decades of disputes, which began in the last years of the Ching dynasty, have not been able to clarify this matter. In reality, the problem simply refers to the place occupied by the various social classes within the State. The bourgeoisie always hides the place occupied by the classes, and exercises its dictatorship of one class under the label of `national.’ This cover up does not benefit the revolutionary people at all, and for this reason, this matter must be explained clearly to them.” Also, he says: “With respect to the question of the `system of government,’ it is the shape in which Power is organized, the shape in which a given social class impresses upon the organs of Power it establishes so as to fight off its enemies and protect itself. Without adequate organs of Power representing them, there is no State.” President Mao Tse-tung developed the Marxist theory on the State. He resolved the problem of the State in the backward, semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries. He started off by pointing out that it is the joint dictatorship of two classes, of bourgeois and of landowners.
He differentiated the “system of State” from the “system of government,” the former expressing the kind of dictatorship, which in our case is a dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie and the feudal landowners. He highlighted that the “system of State” indicates the position of the various classes within the structure of the State, which in our case means the placing of the six classes in our society: a big bourgeoisie with its bureaucratic factions, the feudal landowners, the national bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie, the peasantry and the proletariat. The “system of government,” as Marx clearly states, is “the shape in which power is organized” to exercise the dictatorship, an organization which in our case has the form of a republic sustained by the so-called “representative democracy.” This is the organizational form upon which it sought to incorporate corporative forms, but it had not succeeded fully by the new Constitution. It simply followed the process of development of the State, has sanctioned the strengthening of the Executive Power, setting down the bases for corporativization and establishing a more direct participation by the armed forces in the structure of the State and in the exercise of Power.
It also, expanded the actions of the repressive forces through the so-called states of emergency to fight against the people’s struggles and the revolution. If we keep in mind these substantive theses by President Mao Tse-tung and at the same time apply what was said about revolutionary situation and fracture of the State, then we understand clearly that as a whole, and in perspective, the Peruvian State and its organizations are weak due to the economic and social backwardness sustaining them. This is a base upon which we have six classes, of which four suffer from oppression and exploitation, mainly the two fundamental classes: the proletariat and the peasantry. Therefore, we have a broad base that is failing, a fracture of the foundations of the State upon which the big bourgeoisie and feudal landowners exercise joint dictatorship. Additionally, upon this fragile structure imperialism operates with its contentions and contradictions.
Especially today, Yankee imperialism dominates us, and Soviet social-imperialism is trying to undermine such domains, which is an inter-imperialist contention which aggravates the fragility of the system of the State in general, and especially that of the system of government itself. It is developing the contradictions between the classes which exercise dictatorship and the various factions through which the imperialists pretend to maintain their imperialist supremacy or undermine each other.
Besides the fragility of the Peruvian State, in terms of state system and government, which is essential and incurable due to its condition as a semifeudal and semicolonial country (condition that will develop further), we must add the contradictions and difficulties derived from the third restructuring of the State and its ongoing implementation, including the general elections. The general elections will be conducted after 17 years and from which a civilian government must emerge to substitute the armed forces in the exercise of Power after 12 years. This fragility is stressed by the insurmountable circumstances that continue to develop amidst the worst crisis Peru has seen in this century. This is a situation in which a new Constitution must be applied, implemented and even modified in order to confront a popular movement in development. Furthermore, the increasing protests will increase the demands for better living conditions. It will generate an overflow of the masses to meet its most basic demands, and thus will advance its political process. All of this shows us clearly the fragility of the Peruvian State and the essential fracture of its own foundations, the weakness of its basic structure, and the difficult political juncture is developing today and in the future. In the face of this reality, the State will appeal to violence and its repressive means to maintain its obsolete system, and preserve the interests of the exploiters and imperialists.
THE DEMOCRATIC ROAD: DEVELOPING THE INCREASING PEOPLE’S PROTEST
What is the situation in which those below find themselves? They are suffering a deep crisis, sunk in an increasing pauperization and misery. The following table shows the situation of this crisis:
Principal Economic Indicators (1976-1979): % Change with Respect to Previous Year
|Gross National Product (GNP)||3.0||-1.3||-2.2||1.0|
|GNP per capita||0.2||-3.9||-4.9||-0.5|
|Consumption per capita||-0.7||-2.7||-9.5||-6.3|
|Actual Wages (White Collar)||-15.5||-9.6||-18.9||-7.4|
|Actual Wages (Blue Collar)||3.2||-16.6||-15||-4.8|
|Economically Active Population+++||5332||5657||5884||6083|
SOURCE: Revista Actualidad Economica No. 17.
+ Projected for the entire year based on January-March 1979
++ March of 1979 with respect to March of 1978
+++ In thousands of workers. EAP refers to those who are able and willing to work.
Employed are those who receive income equal or higher than the minimum vital salary and have steady work 36 or more hours per week. Sub-employed are those not perceiving that income nor working that many hours. Unemployed are those who have no work and actively seek work. The hidden unemployed are those who do not work, although they are able to work but do not actively seek work. This is the economic situation the country is living in; the reduction of production, which reflects the economic recession, can be observed in the reduction of the GNP per capita, of consumption, of investments, of imports, the rising prices or inflation, the reduction in salaries and wages, and the large and still growing unemployment.
But the problem is that the economic results of the first trimester of 1979, show equal tendencies and that, despite supposed financial advantages in international relations claimed by the regime’s propaganda, the problem of inflation continues, and the productive process is in a recession and that, despite recent measures like the National Housing Fund, the crisis has no foreseeable end in sight, and will continue to hit the masses. The following table is very expressive of this economic decline:
Income Distribution (%)
|Blue Collar Workers||23||24||25|
|White Collar Workers||23||26||22|
|Returns of Capital||24||22||29|
Let’s highlight that while compensation to workers went up from 1960 to 1968, it went down from 1968 to 1977. We also must point out that there is a constant reduction in the percentage corresponding to farmers, which goes parallel to the increase in the return to capital, which diminished from 1960 to l97l, but went up heavily from 1968 to 1977. However, it is more indicative to compare the index of real compensation to workers in 1973-1977: while wages in 1973 were 100.0, by December of 1979 they would be 49.4. In the same period salaries went from 100.0 to 71.7; while the legal minimum went from 100.0 to 60.5. These figures show the evident deterioration in the compensation of workers.
However, these data are calculated based on a rate of inflation which in reality is smaller that the real inflation rate. Therefore, the buying power of the masses of workers would still be less, and the misery and hunger would be more. Parallel to the above, the serious problem of unemployment develops: in 1976 absolute unemployment was 5.2% of the EAP and sub employment was 43.9%; by 1977 6.0% were unemployed and 46.0% sub employed; but by 1978 unemployment reached 7.27 and sub employment was 47.0%, so 54.0% of the EAP lived in the most abject poverty. Nevertheless, during this year unemployment rose again. Add to this the ever growing inflation, the constant rises in prices which flagellates the population; inflation reached 24.0% in 1975, 44.7% in 1976, 32.4% in 1977, 73.7% in 1978 and this year it is estimated it will surpass 75.0%. That is the critical situation endured by the masses of the people in our poor nation.
In this way, we see how hunger and misery, which Lenin spoke about, makes the situation of “those below” ever more unbearable, who do not want to and cannot go on living the way they do now. The countryside deserves special attention in these figures. Ten years after the Agrarian Law, the redistribution of land has reached 21.1% of the cultivated land and 7.7% of the cattle and, according to some calculations, “it would only affect about 347 of the total” of agricultural workers and “it can be said that one million of minifundia owners with less than three hectares (7.5 acres) have been totally left out in the reassignment of lands.” But the problem doesn’t end there. Today, one thousand enterprises are managed by the State (that previously was ten thousand farms or estates).
More than 50% of them are in crisis, with no profits at all, cannot even pay the minimum salaries and lack the most basic management organization. Besides, the countryside has transferred “17 billion of soles for payment of the agrarian debt, almost 10 billion in direct taxes and several billion more as ‘profit’ in enterprises such as EPSA, EPCHAT, ENCI, PNATA, ENACO,” state monopolies for the commercialization of agricultural and ranching products. All of these support, that the peasantry is oppressed and exploited by the surviving feudal strings, not to forget the 400 years old of “gamonalism.” Once again, we see what Lenin said about the exploitation and oppression of the small producers, mainly the peasantry, which is a fundamental part of “those below,” who neither want to, nor can go on living as before.
All of this is a very important part of the developing revolutionary situation in which we live in. What is implied in what we have exposed? What is implied by the crisis endured by “those below,” joined to their centuries old and still rising exploitation? Does the above show the situation of “those below” who no longer want nor can go on living as they had done for centuries? Doesn’t this situation show us the existence of the basic condition for a revolutionary situation? And how are the masses replying? Isn’t there a growing popular protest which expresses itself in an ascending strike movement, which, while it culminated in 1975, again today, after an intense repression, renews its upward development, as shown by the increase in the number of strikes in 1978 (364 with 1,389,400 strikers) and the 225 strikes in the first semester of this year?
And as far as the peasants movement, isn’t it true that it continues to fight indefatigably since the 1960s, and repression cannot contain it, despite mass slaughters like the last one in the Department of Cajamarca? And as far as the people’s movement in general, isn’t it true that it is showing a growing development, as we have seen from 1976 to this day, with real uprisings in many towns and cities in the country, even in some sectors that appeared to be sleepy? All of this is just the development of a growing popular protest that is a consequence of the existence of a revolutionary situation in the country.
That is the conclusion derived from the most elementary analysis of the situation of our reality, of the situation of “those below,” of the masses of the people, of the peasantry, and of the proletariat of our country. In that way, if we analyze, in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, the objective situation, the objective conditions of the country, the situation of “those above” who no longer are able to rule or administer things the way they used to, and the situation of “those below” who no longer can, nor want to continue living in the same way they used to live up to now, and the growing popular protest, we conclude the following: In our country there is a revolutionary situation in development and this is the starting point in determining all politics, especially strategy and tactic serving the proletariat, the people and the revolution. And a situation like this, can never be the basis to center the political activity of the people on electoral processes since these, in the circumstances in which we live in, only disorient the masses away from the revolutionary road. Confronting those who pretend to attach the class and the people to the tail-end of the reactionary plan of the third State restructuring and of general elections claiming a supposedly democratic process, let’s oppose this with what Lenin said about bourgeois democracy and elections: “Marx highlighted magnificently this essential feature of capitalist democracy by saying, . . . `that every so many years the oppressed are authorized to choose which members of the oppressor class would represent them, and crush them in the parliament!”
What must be the center of political activity of the working class and the people right now? The answer is simple and concrete: to develop the growing popular protest which has become the principal contradiction between the popular masses and the government (by government we mean the organized expression of Power of the Peruvian State), pointing to an overflow of the people, that is, to the development of the struggle of the masses to go beyond what is allowed by the reactionary State order, surpassing the legal order of the existing system; all in function of initiating the armed struggle and thus elevate the democratic-national revolution to the superior form of the struggle: the People’s War that following the road of encircling the cities from the countryside, will create revolutionary support bases, progressively destroying the old reactionary landowning-bureaucratic State so as to create a Republic of New Democracy.
This is not an easy task but Marx taught us: “Obviously making history would be too comfortable if we wouldn’t start the struggle unless our probabilities make victory absolutely certain.” Let’s keep in mind those words by the founder of Marxism and starting from the existence of a revolutionary situation in development, let’s center ourselves on developing the subjective conditions of our revolution, and on the instruments to carry it forward: Party, United Front and armed struggle, mainly on the first, since it is “the heroic fighter” who commands the other two, with the criterion that the united front is to serve the armed struggle and this one is the crucible in which we forge and develop the united front and the Party itself.
In that way, then, the crux of the matter is to develop the political activity of the masses, especially of the poor peasantry in the function of initiating the armed struggle. There is no other road nor any other perspective. President Mao Tse-tung wrote on this matter: “In China, the main form of struggle is war, and the principal form of organization is the army. All the other forms, such as organizations and struggles of the masses of people, are also very important and absolutely indispensable, and in no way should they are cast aside. However, but the objective of all of them is to serve the war. Before the war starts, the objective of all organizations and struggles is to prepare the war.” These wise words, without forgetting our specific conditions, are completely valid for us: The problem in Peru is to initiate the armed struggle. It will be the start of the superior form of struggle and the definitive struggle to fulfill the national-democratic revolution. The beginning of the armed struggle is the guiding light of the political action of the communists and revolutionaries today. Our immediate task, then, today, is to develop the increasing popular protest in function of initiating the armed struggle.
LET’S DEVELOP THE INCREASING PEOPLE’S PROTEST!
September, 1979 PCP-CENTRAL COMMITTEE