On the occasion of the celebration of the 130th Anniversary of the birth of Chairman Mao of the International Communist League, we publish, for the first time in English, the MPP document: The Communist Party of Peru and Maoism.
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
The Communist Party of Peru and Maoism
Peru People’s Movement
On the Problem of the Path of Encircling the Cities from the Countryside (CCCC)
In this document, issued on the occasion of the celebration of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Peru by José Carlos Mariátegui on October 7, 1928, according to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, it is explained how Chairman Mao resolved the pending issue of specifying revolution in a country under imperialist domination with feudalism at its base and bureaucratic capitalism. It also discusses how the Communist Party of Peru, under the leadership of Chairman Gonzalo and his all-powerful Gonzalo Thought, upholds, defends, and applies it, developing it further.
How did Chairman Mao solve the problem of revolution?
Chairman Gonzalo, at the First Party Congress, summed it up with great precision:
“With the Autumn Harvest Uprising and the establishment of the strategy of encircling cities from the countryside, it was in 1936, in Problems of Strategy in China’s Revolutionary War that the law was first established: The ‘encirclement and annihilation’ campaigns and counter-campaigns became the primary form of development in the Chinese civil war.”
It is Chairman Mao, then, who resolves the pending issue. The Autumn Harvest Uprising took place on September 9, 1927; as everyone knows, he gathered soldiers, organized them into the army linked to the Party because they were within the Kuomintang army, but there were parts that obeyed the communists. He brought together those parts and formed battalions with workers and peasants; that is the Autumn Harvest Uprising. As it is known, even among them, clashes occurred, and there was a retreat. The Chairman narrowly escaped falling into the hands of Chiang Kai-shek in Hanyang. He regrouped his forces and marched to Jinggang, establishing the Power and, for the first time, the laws of people’s war in 1936, which is nine years later.
Chairman Mao created the Power in Jinggang, after having created the Red Army of workers and peasants.”
History of the Army: The formation of the People’s Liberation Army of China has been a challenging process. The Chinese Red Army (called the Eighth Army and the New Fourth Army Corps during the War of Resistance against Japan and later, the People’s Liberation Army) was born on August 1, 1927, with the Nanchang Uprising.
Regarding the above, Chairman Gonzalo continues:
“Chairman Mao, with this, he solves a pending problem because, until him, it was not known how to carry out the revolution and lead it in a country under imperialist domination with feudalism at its base and bureaucratic capitalism. This is very important because for some, simply seeing capitalist relations means the country is capitalist. Thus, Chairman Mao solved the problem, which was unresolved before; Lenin did not solve it, and neither did Stalin. It was the Chairman who solved it, and in this way, he develops the democratic revolution under the leadership of the proletariat led by the Communist Party. How can we deny this reality?
Chairman Mao Zedong once again reaffirms and advocates revolutionary violence as a universal law without any exceptions whatsoever; this is extraordinary. He specifies violence as war and the military and asserts its character as a universal law. ‘Power grows out of the barrel of a gun,’ 1927, That’s when the Chairman raised this thesis; don’t get confused because it’s in a later text.1 Chairman Mao, in the August 1927 meeting, after all the slaughter carried out by the wretch Chiang Kai-shek, raised the slogan: ‘Power grows out of the barrel of a gun,’ and it was also at that time when he proposed the issue of ‘encircling the cities from the countryside’ (CCCC).
The Chairman reaffirms once again: ‘Revolution as the violent replacement of one class by another,’ and he tells us that it is a universal law without any exceptions. Because Marx presented us with violence, but he thought that in England, given its peculiarities in the past century, it might be possible to take power without applying violence as an exception, as he clearly explained in the
19th century, as Lenin has pointed out perfectly. However, Lenin himself, after the February 1917 revolution, began to think that due to the dual power structure in old Tsarist Russia, following the bourgeois revolution of February, and considering that there were committees called soviets in which soldiers were involved, and that part of the army only moved by order of the soviets, and if not, it did not move; given the set of contradictions that made the government of Kerenski extremely fragile, he thought that, as an exception, power could be seized because it was very corrupt, a reactionary power, indeed, very corrupt. When the events of July (the Kornilov affair) occurred, the reaction violently suppressed the proletariat and the people, so Lenin said that it was not feasible, that violence had to be applied, but in order to prevent it from failing, the revolution had to be armed, the revolution had to be prepared. When everyone was saying, ‘It’s impossible now, they’ve beaten us so much.’
Regarding the specification of the revolution in backward countries, Lenin himself, at the Second Congress of the International, gathered comrades from the East and told them, including himself, that we know the revolution in capitalist countries but not in backward countries under imperialist domination; that is your task, it is pending, you have to solve it without forgetting that you are communists and that you must organize yourselves as such, as a Party, linked to the Communist International.”
Continuing, Chairman Gonzalo, regarding the “Autumn Harvest Uprising”:
“The Chairman himself, in an interview with Edgar Snow, says: ‘In September, we had managed to organize a very broad uprising with the peasant unions of Hunan, and the first worker-peasant units of the army were formed. The recruits came from three sources: rural populations, miners from Hanvang, and insurgent troops from the Kuomintang. This initial military force of the revolution was called the ‘First Division of the First Army of Peasants and Workers”
At the First Party Congress, Chairman Gonzalo takes on the defense of the historical significance for the Chinese Revolution and the worldwide revolution of the “Autumn Harvest Uprising.” In a controversial tone, he addressed the members of the First Party Congress with a strong conviction about how the great communist leaders should act in the face of new situations they have to resolve. He said:
“I ask now, what were the great armies that Chairman Mao defeated, what were the sieges he destroyed if the sieges began on the 30th? I believe what is happening is that we don’t even know
what we’re talking about. Yes, comrades, I refer to the biography of Chairman Mao Zedong, furthermore, I refer to the history of the Communist Party of China. I do not agree with the stupidity
that the Autumn Harvest Uprising was a failure; for the idiot opportunist revisionists, for Deng, it is a failure! The classification made by the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of China in Moscow when it was said that among the uprisings in Nanchang, Autumn, and Canton, the most important was Canton, is erroneous, comrades, if we view it in the light of Maoism, we do not understand it; we cannot allow it because in ‘Peking Review,’ what does it say? The revolution was crushed, it was a defeat, but if it was the path of encircling the cities from the countryside, what the Chairman does is raise the Autumn Harvest, gather the forces after that initial clash, or perhaps they
thought they would take power the next day? They march to the Jinggang Mountain, which was a den of bandits, or weren’t they? And there, he creates the new Power. How did Chairman Jinggang find it?, the revolutionary forces were destroyed, I refer to ‘The Jinggang Mountains,’ isn’t it there? I wonder, what are we reading? What are we studying?
With the laws that the Chairman passes afterward, they are making a mistake with the laws established on the 1936, regarding how they are developed, but they are not addressing how they begin. They are confusing birth with adulthood. Do you think that’s correct? It’s like equating a baby’s first cries with a young person who votes,2 who comes up with that? I repeat, when do the “encirclement and annihilation” campaigns start? On the 30th! There are no “encirclement and annihilation” campaigns on the 27th, 28th, or 29th; the “encirclement and annihilation” campaigns strictly appear on the 30th, the problem is that then the President passes the law and confuses things. I believe, comrades, that we should never be mechanistic; mechanicism leads to opportunism. It is the Chairman himself who says this in Introducing The Communist like this: ‘Why did many comrades fall into opportunism? Due to mechanical application,’ he says. It is in a long process that the general laws are established; it is 1936 in Problems of Strategy in China’s Revolutionary War that the law is established for the first time, 9 years later. Isn’t this the very history itself? Then, with this, he resolves a pending issue because it was not known, until him, how to make the revolution and how to lead it in a country under imperialist domination with feudalism at its base and bureaucratic capitalism. This is very important, comrades, because for some, just seeing capitalist relations means the country is already capitalist. This is how the problem was resolved; it was the Chairman who resolved it, and in this way, he developed the democratic revolution under the leadership of the proletariat led by the Communist Party. How can we deny this reality?”
Chairman Gonzalo, also at the First Congress, said in this regard:
“So, the Chairman has solved the problem of the democratic revolution and its uninterrupted transition to socialism; the Chairman has resolved that. Lenin couldn’t do it because Kerenski happened to lead the democratic revolution in old Russia due to historical chance. Lenin did say that the Bolshevik Party could and should lead the democratic revolution, as he put it in his words, a ‘revolutionary government of workers and peasants.’ So, doesn’t he propose that? Remember, comrades, in Two Tactics he proposed that; but he himself acknowledges that the Party was not in a position to lead the democratic revolution, that was the reality, so we cannot say that he solved the problem, it was the Chairman. The fact that it should be uninterrupted, Lenin knew that, he knew it, it comes from Marx; from Marx comes the valuable thesis of permanent revolution, which is rarely touched upon because Trotsky, that idiot, tarnished the term, and there is fear of using it. But, comrades, the time will come when we will use it again because it is of pure Marxist origin. The Gotha Program, comrades, who made it? Marx did, that’s key. He proposed permanent revolution, a revolution after revolution until communism, he said. Of course, he didn’t list them for us, he didn’t say, ‘revolution here,’ ‘revolution there,’ ‘cultural revolution,’ no, he didn’t tell us that. Comrade Stalin, did he know this? Of course, he knew about uninterrupted revolution. Did the Communist International know? Of course they did. Many things, my dear comrades, that are in Mariátegui’s writings are from the Communist International, in case you didn’t know; I believe we don’t know our history and talk about things we don’t understand. Do you think the Communist International didn’t know that the revolution was uninterrupted? Do you think the Communist International didn’t know that? Comrade Stalin knew that perfectly well. Wasn’t Stalin a Marxist? Please, man! Let’s not forget that Mariátegui was in Europe; let’s not forget that there were recommendations from the Communist International, explicit ones. I think we don’t remember or know many things.
But it’s the Chairman who has embodied it, developed it, found its laws, and solved the issue of uninterrupted revolution by giving it an economic, political, and ideological foundation. So, he
has been, comrades.”
The Establishment of the Path of the Path of Encircling the Cities from the Country (CCCC) and the Development of the Proletarian Military Line in the Democratic Revolution in China Took Place in a Fierce Struggle Against Opposing Lines
Against the establishment of the path of the CCCC and the development of the proletarian military line in the democratic revolution in China, the bourgeois military line was expressed. In those years, after August 1927, when the right capitulationism of Chen Duxiu was swept away, as stated by the Chairman himself, it manifested as “left” lines:
“For a brief period after the defeat of the revolution in 1927, a ‘Left’ putschist tendency arose in the Communist Party. Regarding the Chinese revolution as a ‘permanent revolution’ and the revolutionary situation in China as a ‘permanent upsurge,’ the putschist comrades refused to organize an orderly retreat and, adopting the methods of commandism and relying only on a small number of Party members and a small section of the masses, erroneously attempted to stage a series of local uprisings throughout the country, which had no prospect of success. Such putschist activities were widespread at the end of 1927 but gradually subsided in the beginning of 1928, though sentiments in favour of putschism still survived among some comrades.”
The “line of Li Lisan” refers to the opportunistic “left” line that prevailed in the Party for approximately four months, starting in June 1930, and was represented by Li Lisan, the main leader of the Central Committee of the CPC at that time. This line rejected the need to prepare the masses
for revolution and denied its uneven development. It considered Chairman Mao Zedong’s ideas, which focused on creating support bases in rural areas, using the countryside to encircle the cities, and leveraging these bases to accelerate the revolution across the country, as “extremely wrong localism and conservatism characteristic of the peasant mentality.” It advocated making immediate preparations for uprisings nationwide. Based on this erroneous line, Li Lisan devised an adventurous plan to immediately organize armed uprisings in China’s major cities. At the same time, this line did not recognize the uneven development of the world revolution, claiming that the general outbreak of the Chinese revolution would inevitably lead to the world revolution and that only with the general outbreak of the world revolution could the Chinese revolution succeed. It also did not acknowledge the protracted nature of the democratic-bourgeois revolution in China, asserting that the initial victories of the revolution in one or several provinces would mark the beginning of the transition to socialism. Therefore, it formulated a series of untimely, adventurous, and “leftist” political measures. Chairman Mao Zedong defeated this erroneous line in September 1930, and Li Lisan was removed from his leadership position.
The “left” opportunists of the years 1931-1934, such as the “Li Lisan line,” also did not understand the law of the repetition of “encirclement and annihilation” campaigns. In the support base of the Jupei-Jon´an-Anhui Border Region, the so-called theory of “auxiliary forces” emerged. Some leading comrades there believed that the Kuomintang army, after its defeat in the third “encirclement and annihilation” campaign, was nothing more than an auxiliary force. They thought that for a new attack on the Red Army, the imperialists themselves would have to intervene as the main force. The strategic line based on this estimation was to launch the Red Army against Wuhan. This was in line with the opinions of comrades in Jiangxi who urged the Red Army to attack Nanchang, opposed efforts to unite support bases, opposed the tactic of luring the enemy deep into our areas, believed that capturing the capital and other major cities of a province was a guarantee of victory in the entire province, and argued that “the struggle against the fifth ’encirclement and annihilation’ campaign is the decisive battle between the revolutionary path and the colonial path,” etc. This “left” opportunism was the origin of the wrong line adopted and caused enormous losses to the Chinese revolution.
Chairman Mao’s proletarian military line was definitively imposed on the opposing lines (bourgeois military line) at the Zunyi Conference, when the CPC established a leadership headed by Chairman Mao, adhered to his line and rejected the right opportunist lines disguised as “left.” The lessons of this blood-curdling experience of the Chinese and world revolution must be studied and embodied by the Maoists of the world, primarily for those who have the task of carrying out democratic revolutions.
The history of the CPC tells us:
At the expanded meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Party held in January 1935 in Zunyi, Guizhou province, a new leadership of the Central Committee was established, led by Chairman Mao Zedong, replacing the old opportunist “left” leadership. This meeting took place during the Great March of the Red Army, where decisions were made on the most urgent military issues and organizational matters related to the Secretariat and the Revolutionary Military Commission of the Central Committee.
The Second Revolutionary Civil War
April 1927: Chiang Kai-shek carries out a counterrevolutionary coup d’´etat and crushes the masses and the Party.
August 1927: The Central Committee of the CPC rectifies the line and dismisses Chen Duxiu (Chen Duxiu’s right opportunism: capitulation on the united front).
September 1927: Second Revolutionary Civil War. Chairman Mao leads the Autumn Harvest Uprising and establishes the first revolutionary support base in the Jinggang mountains.
(...): “Left” line of Chu Chiu-pai.
1930: “Left” line of Li Lisan.
1931: “Left” line of Wang Ming.
1934: The Long March of the Red Army.
1935: At the Zunyi Conference, the CPC established a leadership headed by Chairman Mao, adhered to his line, and rejected the right opportunist lines disguised as “left.”
1935: “Left” line of Zhang Guotao of dividing the Army.
1937: War of Resistance Against Japan. United front: CPC and Kuomintang.
Note: In the history of the CPC, it is stated that in his December 1935 report, Chairman Mao Zedong foresaw that contradictions among different imperialist powers could lead to a division within the ranks of the landlord class and the comprador bourgeoisie in China. Later, as the Japanese imperialist offensive in Northern China seriously clashed with the interests of Anglo-American imperialism, the Communist Party of China considered that Chiang Kai-shek’s gang, closely linked to these interests, could, by order of their masters, change their attitude towards Japan. In view of this, they adopted the policy of forcing Chiang Kai-shek to resist Japan. In May 1936, upon their return to Northern Shaanxi province from Shanxi province, the Red Army directly demanded from the Kuomintang government in Nanjing the ending of the civil war and unity against Japan. In August, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China sent a letter to the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang proposing that both parties form a united front against Japan and designate delegates to hold negotiations with this objective. However, Chiang Kai-shek rejected these proposals. It was only in December, when he was detained in Xian by Kuomintang army officers who supported an alliance with the communists to resist Japan, that Chiang Kai-shek was forced to comply with the Communist Party’s demand to end the civil war and prepare for resistance against Japan.
The Application and Development of the Path of Encircling the Cities from the Country (CCCC) by Chairman Gonzalo
(Regarding Unified People’s War)
The application of the CCCC, in the People’s War in Peru, is specified as a unified People’s War, where the countryside is primary and the city is a necessary complement. Furthermore, in the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru, Chairman Gonzalo clarified how
the path established by Chairman Mao for democratic revolutions is being applied in the People’s War in Peru. This is the path that, despite all the twists and turns, including the current ones, our People’s War will continue until conquering power throughout the country, establishing the People’s Republic of Peru, and thereby proceeding uninterruptedly to develop the socialist revolution.
In the First Congress, attention was given to work in the cities, it says: “it is very important to focus the struggle in the cities, it has to do with the insurrection; if we don’t prepare for the seizure of the cities, mainly the largest ones, to complete the final stage of the People’s War, the conquest of power in the entire country will be delayed...” It continues: “The work in Lima must be developed more, considering that it is the capital.” Very important, it sees the role of the cities and Lima in particular; it is highly relevant to take this into account. Lima is like an echo chamber, where everything that happens there has repercussions in the world.
Then, the application of the CCCC, in the people’s war in Peru, is specified as a unified people’s war, where the countryside is primary and the city is a necessary complement. How should this specification and development of Maoism by Chairman Gonzalo be understood? As we have already pointed out, to clarify this, we refer to the Central Document of the Third Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru, a historic and momentous plenum, where an assessment is made of the path taken in the 12 years of development of the people’s war in Peru.
In that plenum, Chairman Gonzalo clarified how the path established by Chairman Mao for democratic revolutions has been applied in the People’s War in Peru. This path, through all the twists and turns, through all the challenges and even the current obstacles, will continue to guide our People’s War until the democratic revolution is successfully completed, and we can immediately and uninterruptedly transition to the socialist revolution. The Chairman said:
“(...) regarding The People’s War. We have completed twelve years, we are starting the thirteenth. In everything, we always have to see the specific aspect. What does ‘the specific’ mean? It is the result of the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Peruvian reality. If this is the case in everything, it is even more urgent in warfare, which is the primary form of struggle and is generated or concretized by the primary form of organization, which is the People’s Guerrilla Army managed by the Party in terms of military line; so, we need to examine the development of the people’s war and the counterrevolutionary, counter-subversive war; that’s what we need to look at. The two hills, and see what the specific laws of our people’s war are, that is the main thing for us, that is decisive. The question of balance, how does it occur here? In the Second Plenum, it is well specified: ‘The protracted war and its three stages. The three specified stages of the protracted People’s War in Peru. The strategic equilibrium and the preparation of the counter offensive: the enemy, to recuperate positions to maintain its system. The development of the strategic offensive via the building of the conquest of power. Because of that, reaction sees the need to annihilate the People’s War and the Party while the people must build the conquest of power.’ War is a problem of military strategy; therefore, military strategy must be examined in its course, in its development, in how it stands today, and how it needs to be developed to be effective. It has to do with the construction of the People’s Guerrilla Army that needs to be strengthened, especially its main forces. It also involves how to develop our Army, which has its own characteristics like the three forces. Strategy and tactics are another field, but in these three things, the focus is on understanding what is happening here, the specifics of this war. This is what we should be concerned about (…)
The Path of Encircling the Cities from the Countryside (CCCC) and the Shifting of the Focus from the Countryside to the City
When analyzing the situation in Ayacucho, fundamental political questions were taken into consideration. At this point, the following proposition is noteworthy: ‘The strategy of encircling the cities from the countryside and the shift of power from the center to the city.’
In synthesis, Maoism teaches us that the people’s war in a country like ours follows the path of encircling the cities from the countryside, which requires placing the focus of work in the countryside for many years. As the end of the people’s war approaches, as it progresses, the conquest of power in the country, in the entire country, requires shifting the focus from the countryside to the city. It is a challenge and a perspective in every approach to encircling the cities from the countryside.
What is important to us is that this is no longer a perspective, it is a reality that we are implementing and need to develop. The work of the Party and the development of the war clearly show that the path of encircling the cities from the countryside is coming to an end, to that encirclement of the cities and the capital itself. It is obvious to understand that this encirclement and development are not equal, it is uneven, but it is happening. The work and development in Lima are clear evidence that what was once a perspective is now a reality, and we must strive intensively to advance this direction so that the weight is shifted from the countryside to the city. This requires intense work and time; it is related to our own efforts and the development of the class struggle. We must understand with great precision that it is not that the city is already the center, but the shift has already begun, and we must work to make that shift a reality. However, this shift requires tasks to be fulfilled, such as strengthening and further developing the work in the countryside, which is still where the weight of the Party and the people’s war lies, particularly developing work in the Principal areas, in the Fundamental areas, in the Fundamental Committees, in what is known as the Sierra in the country, in the jungle’s edge, and in the Coast; promoting work in the cities but starting by expanding it in the countryside, taking into account small, medium, and large cities, and especially the capital itself.
So, we have the shift as our perspective, and it is already a reality. The weight of the Party that is in the countryside must be shifted; this phenomenon has already begun. Let the tasks we have just outlined be fulfilled, and we will achieve it. It is an indispensable condition for conquering power throughout the country, and the center of this weight should be in the city. It is not lost on anyone that this is a complex, tough, and arduous task, but it is the right one, no matter how much we might wish it weren’t. Well, the objective prevails, our problem is that the subjective aligns with the objective. It is important to insist that this is of great importance.”
The Changes of Contradiction in the Development of the Democratic Revolution
The main contradiction, Chairman Gonzalo said, is between the popular masses and semi-feudalism; that’s the main one. However, there are three contradictions: the other one is against bureaucratic capitalism and against imperialism. These are three contradictions that exist in the country. But, with the development of the people’s war, a change in contradiction will necessarily occur.
The Second Revolutionary Civil War, as Chairman Mao himself specified, was carried out under the leadership of the CPC from 1927 to 1936, paving the way for the War of Resistance against Japan from 1937 to 1945, which was also led by Chairman Mao and the CPC. From the end of the War of Resistance against Japan until the founding of the People’s Republic of China, it encompasses the historical period of the War of People’s Liberation, or the Third Revolutionary Civil War against Chiang Kai-shek, supported by American imperialism. Chiang Kai-shek represented the interests of large landowners and the bourgeoisie in the country, who sought to snatch the fruits of victory in the War of Resistance from the hands of the people and keep China as a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country under their dictatorship. On the one hand, the Communist Party of China, representing the interests of the proletariat and the masses, resolutely defended the gains of the people’s struggle and worked towards the creation of a new China, a China of new democracy for the broad masses under the leadership of the proletariat. Thanks to the correct leadership of the Communist Party, the Chinese people achieved a great national victory in just four years of struggle: the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek and the establishment of a new China.
Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of correctly managing the fundamental contradictions of the democratic revolution and the changes that occur in their interrelation. Because in the initial phase of the democratic revolution, the contradiction between the masses and feudalism is the primary contradiction, which we emphasize because failing to recognize this will inevitably lead to failures and costs in the development of the revolution. Then, with the development of the revolution, due to the intervention of imperialism, it changes, polarization occurs, and the primary contradiction shifts, as we have just seen in the previous paragraph, as it happened in China.
In the same document of the Third Plenum, Chairman Gonzalo, in this regard, states:
“Rectification Campaign. Specific documentation. Let’s also highlight that, as in other cases, the Ayacucho Zonal Committee has been asked to study certain documents. We are all studying three documents in the Rectification Campaign: Regarding Our Policy, Quotations on the People’s War by Chairman Mao, and The Construction of the Party, the document by Bandera Roja. However, each committee is being instructed to study specific documents or consider such experiences and lessons from Marxism for their own work. In this case, the Ayacucho Zonal Committee has been tasked with studying three documents by Chairman Mao that form a unit. They are titled The Role of the Communist Party of China in the National War (the first one), The Issue of Independence and Initiative Within the United Front (the second one), and Problems of War and Strategy (the third one). These documents are the result of the same meeting of the CPC’s leadership, during which Chairman Mao analyzed these three issues for the direction and guidance of the anti-Japanese war. This occurred when there was a shift in the contradiction, which became a contradiction between the Chinese nation and Japanese imperialism. One might wonder: but we are not precisely in that contradiction. That’s true; our primary contradiction is between the popular masses and semi-feudalism. That is the main one. However, there are three contradictions; the other two are against bureaucratic capitalism and imperialism. These are three contradictions that exist in the country. While that is the main point, we must consider that the development of people’s war, the issue of seizing power throughout the country, inevitably leads to clashes with imperialism. Inevitably, it’s like two plus two equals four. Therefore, this contradiction will become primary. Why? Imperialism could not, in any way, tolerate us taking power while they simply watched. They could not allow that, especially in America. This is a specific issue to consider, seeing American imperialism as the major enforcer aiming to become the sole hegemonic superpower. Imperialism always fights against the seizure of power and strives to crush the revolution, especially where the danger is greater. Where does the danger arise in Latin America? In Peru, that’s the fact. Latin America is the direct sphere of influence, the very foundation of its power to exploit and oppress this continent, and thus use it as a base to establish hegemony worldwide, to be the sole hegemonist. Because it needs its own base of influence to exercise it all over the globe. Just as others have dreams, the American dream is the same, and it has been exercising that power and influence in America since the 1910s. This is something we must consider. They themselves say that Peru is a danger to American imperialism, and it is true, and it is a growing, ever-increasing danger. In synthesis, the fact that the people’s war is unfolding in a strategic equilibrium, preparing for a strategic offensive to seize power, leads to a change in contradiction, to the intervention of imperialism, mainly Yankee (referring to U.S. imperialism). We are in the midst of this transition; contradictions must be viewed differently because there is polarization occurring in Peru. I believe this needs to be acknowledged. In Peru, polarization is taking place; this polarization implies that on one side, there is imperialism and the Peruvian reactionaries, which includes bureaucratic capitalism, landowners, and all reactionaries. On the other side, there is the people led by the Party as the representative of the proletariat. This is a class struggle issue, with all reactionaries and pro-imperialists on one side, led by the bourgeoisie, and on the other side, all the classes that make up the people, led by the proletariat. That is the problem. To understand this, one must remember or revisit what Chairman Mao says about contradiction in Volume 1, on page 354 and the following page. He states: ‘In a semi-colonial country such as China, the relationship between the principal contradiction and the non-principal contradictions presents a complicated picture.’ He presents three possibilities: the first one is ‘When imperialism launches a war of aggression against such a country, all its various classes, except for some traitors, can temporarily unite in a national war against imperialism.’ This is the first case, and it is indeed the case when imperialists unleash an aggression, invading a country. For example, when Japan invaded China, when Japan invaded Korea, or when the United States invaded Vietnam, or when the socialimperialism led by the USSR invaded Afghanistan, in those situations, the contradiction is between the nation and imperialism. However, what distinguishes them is the aggression; they aim to conquer and subjugate for their global interests. In other words, it does not involve a revolution. This is the third case, where there is aggression in line with their global struggles, attacking a country and taking possession of it. That’s the first one, he says.
‘But in another situation,’ says the Chairman, ‘When imperialism carries on its oppression not by war, but by milder means – political, economic and cultural - the ruling classes in semi-colonial countries capitulate to imperialism, and the two form an alliance for the joint oppression of the masses of the people.’ When it doesn’t engage in military aggression, when there’s no direct attack, it uses other means - political, economic, and cultural. ‘At such a time,’ he continues, ‘the masses often resort to civil war against the alliance of imperialism and the feudal classes, while imperialism often employs indirect methods rather than direct action in helping the reactionaries in the semi-colonial countries to oppress the people, and thus the internal contradictions become particularly sharp.’ An example is the Revolutionary War of 1911 in China and the ten-year Agrarian Revolutionary War that began in 1927. This is our case; we have initiated an agrarian war, and it must be remembered. That’s why the principal contradiction is against semifeudalism. However, since there are three fundamental contradictions in Peru, we also fight against bureaucratic capitalism and imperialism, but not as the principal one. There has been an objective issue for some time regarding how this has been changing, and it even seems that the Party-Armed Forces contradiction is emerging in perspective. In other words, we have considered that there is a change in contradictions, but the decisive issue remains semifeudalism - combating feudalism in its general form in Peru remains the principal contradiction, masses versus semifeudalism, that’s the problem. This is how it has played out in Peru.
Then the Chairman says, ‘When a revolutionary civil war develops to the point of threatening the very existence of imperialism and its running dogs, the domestic reactionaries, imperialism often adopts other methods in order to maintain its rule; it either tries to split the revolutionary front from within or sends armed forces to help the domestic reactionaries directly. At such a time, foreign imperialism and domestic reaction stand quite openly at one pole while the masses of the people stand at the other pole, thus forming the principal contradiction which determines or influences the development of the other contradictions.’ That’s what needs to happen. So, the issue at hand is the question of the third point, in the meeting of the Political Bureau of 1990, there we already raised the issue of polarization, this needs to be looked at, if I remember correctly, I think we also discussed polarization in the First Plenary Session, we said that polarization is occurring, and that’s the direction we are heading towards.
So then, we need to consider the three scenarios presented by the Chairman. Firstly, when imperialism invades and unleashes aggression without there being a revolution. This was a predominant case in the previous century, carried out by all major powers. It still occurs in this century when there is no revolution, but imperialism, due to its hegemonic conflicts, leads to this situation. This is how it happens. The second scenario he presents is when imperialism doesn’t intervene directly but indirectly. In this case, if the revolution progresses, develops, and ignites a people’s war, how does it do so? Through armed struggle, specifically agrarian warfare. Why? Because we are talking about semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries. When discussing the relationship with imperialism, what we need to emphasize is the semi-colonial nature of these countries. This is a crucial consideration. The issue with regards to imperialism is that it’s semi-colonial, and that’s why there is imperialist dominance – that’s the crux of the matter. The third circumstance he mentions is when the revolution advances, and imperialism has to intervene. That’s the problem he’s pointing out. Imperialism intervenes, leading to polarization. What’s important to note here is that imperialism can intervene directly by sending a large number of troops, or it can intervene directly as an advisor with fewer troops. It can even intervene by mobilizing others as a multinational force or by using puppet regimes, neighboring states with appetites, to achieve its goals. However, this doesn’t change the fact that it’s still imperialistic aggression, as it’s ultimately imperialism pulling the strings. In other words, there are various forms of intervention, and based on this, the contradictions are defined.
So, in Peru, we are in the process of polarization, and that’s why the imperialist question comes into play. How is it intervening today? Through its low-intensity warfare. Don’t they have advisors? However, its actions will either increase; they can send in many troops or a few troops and bring in troops from neighboring countries or send multinational troops. That’s the problem. And what’s the consequence? It endangers us. And what does endanger mean? It means moving towards the conquest of power throughout the country. That’s the danger. Therefore, studying these documents, keeping in mind, without forgetting for a moment, that the Chairman is already talking about the anti-Japanese war, which means that the nation-imperialism contradiction is well-defined, will be very useful for us. We can handle them well, use them to apply. Later on, we’ll have to analyze other issues to see the polarization mentioned in Volume 4. It’s not the problem at this moment. So, this serves us in perspective. This is how we are prepared. Remember that we have been raising the issue of Yankee aggression and intervention for a long time. All of this prepares us.”
The process of polarization raises the two poles at each stage of the revolution and the change of contradiction. This is about identifying who our main enemies are and who our friends are. This leads us to the problem of the front of the revolution, and there is leftism and rightism in the implementation of the policy to unite all forces that can be united. In the cited document, the Chairman says:
“Specific Documentation. (...) On Policy. This text has been agreed to be studied in the Rectification Campaign, in Volume 2, page 461. The first issue that the Chairman analyzes here is the change in situation and change in policy, that is, how the contradiction changes, as we discussed this morning, remember? It refers to how the contradiction changes; a change in contradiction leads to changes in policy. This means that just as in China, they shifted from agrarian warfare to anti-Japanese warfare, it implied a change. Similarly, for us, the transition towards seizing power implies a shift, a change, the situation changes, and this leads to changes in policy. And in these changes in policy, we must always persist in keeping in mind the fundamental characteristics of the revolution. It says that the Chinese revolution has characteristics; it is a democratic-bourgeois revolution in a semi-colonial country and a prolonged revolution. These are the same characteristics that we have. It’s on page 461, very important. On the other hand, the Chairman tells us that in the struggle in China, in those stages and those changes, in the agrarian revolution, in the anti-Japanese revolution, or in the agrarian revolution itself, there are moments that occur of opportunist ‘left’ line contrary to the opportunist right line. He says we must take this into account, so both leftism and rightism occur. He says that if one looks at the problem head-on during the time of Cheng Tusiu, the alliance was everything and the struggle meant nothing. Cheng Tusiu represents a rightist line, around the year 1927, meaning the alliance with the Kuomintang was everything, and the struggle meant nothing. However, he says that in the ‘leftist’ line of the agrarian revolution, the struggle was everything, and the alliance meant nothing. In other words, while some saw unity, unity without struggle, others saw struggle, struggle. This phenomenon always occurs, and we must draw lessons from it. This allows us to analyze our own reality (...).
On page 464, the Chairman talks about deviations and the development of policy, that is, how to combat deviations, how to prevent them. He says, ‘To correct the lop-sided views of many Party cadres on the question of tactics and their consequent vacillations between ‘Left’ and Right, we must help them to acquire an all-round and integrated understanding of the changes and developments in the Party’s policy, past and present.’ Here lies the problem; it’s important. In other words, the deviations themselves. We need to learn that. That’s what it says: to forge, to assist, to understand the Party’s policy and the deviations it has had in the past, and what the current policy is, what deviations it might have. And why focus on the cadres? Because cadres are the ones who convey the Party’s policy to the members and, consequently, to all the masses. ‘In the Kuomintang areas, there are many people who cannot seriously carry out the policy of having well-selected cadres working underground for a long period, of accumulating strength and biding our time, because they underestimate the gravity of the Kuomintang’s anti-Communist policy.’ Why, you ask? They cannot maintain a Party following those rules of secrecy, compact organization, selectivity, effectiveness, staying concealed, accumulating strength, and waiting for the right moment. In other words, why don’t they keep the Party hidden, secret, with the five necessities when developing their actions in the cities? Why? Because they don’t understand, they underestimate the severity of this government’s reactionary policy. That’s the reason; it’s not for any other. So, the concern is to make them understand. Then he tells us, ‘...many others who cannot carry out the policy of expanding the united front,’ another problem, why? ‘because they over-simplify matters and consider the entire Kuomintang to be quite hopeless and are therefore at a loss what to do.’ why does he mention the Kuomintang? Because the problem for him was that the Kuomintang allied with the CPC to pursue an anti-Japanese policy. Our problem is not like that; it’s not our situation. So, we need to differentiate. Our problem is how to handle class divergences and how to unite various classes. But what happens? For example, some think that the national bourgeoisie should not participate; they think it’s corrupt, it belongs to the other camp, the opposite camp, that’s what they think. There are various criteria within the Party that express this. They don’t understand that there can also be contradictions within the bourgeoisie itself. They don’t understand, they don’t grasp that, and therefore, they don’t understand how to penetrate them. And if imperialism directly invades, directly or indirectly with other international forces, within the bourgeoisie itself, there are individuals who, out of patriotism, defend the homeland, just like within he upper layers of the bourgeoisie, what the Chairman called ‘enlightened gentry,’ the very top layers of the middle bourgeoisie, further their national sense. Our situation is not like that today, alright, but in the case of the national bourgeoisie, their incorporation is necessary and not well understood, it gets confused. On the other hand, I repeat, class divergences are not seen, nor are they differentiated, nor is it seen how to use these contradictions within the big bourgeoisie, nor are groups seen, so a single monolithic block is seen, one must know how to classify, then.
What happened here, it tells us in the history of the CPC? ‘...those who held such views used to stress alliance to the exclusion of struggle and overestimate one of the aspects of the Kuomintang...’ if you look at the history of the Party, it has always been ‘uniting with the bourgeoisie,’ and with whom? The pretext for uniting with the national bourgeoisie was essentially to align with the big bourgeoisie, one of its factions. That is the history of the Party, that is the history of Peru, until the split in 1965, that was the prevailing criterion; so, ‘[they] rejected the policy of independence and initiative within the united front,’ isn’t that the policy they advocate in the frontism we criticized this morning? That’s it. Well, thus, ‘they did not dare to boldly expand the anti-Japanese revolutionary forces,’ anti-communists, ‘[nor] conducting resolute struggle against the Kuomintang’s policy of opposing and restricting the Communist Party.’ that is the tradition of Peru, that is frontism, they do not fight decisively with the bourgeoisie; what other deviation was there? ‘an ultra-Left tendency has cropped up in many places as a result of the anti-Communist ‘friction’ engineered by the Kuomintang’ an ultra-left deviation of not uniting due to the frictions that existed,
so they could not unite for the anti-Japanese struggle; thus, we must always consider ‘rightism’ and ‘ultra-leftism,’ I think that is what matters most in this case for the Committee (…)”
The Relationship Between the Class Struggle and the National Struggle
“We do not deny the class struggle, we adjust it.”
- Chairman Mao.
“We are communists, our goal is communism, but now, why are we fighting? (...) the objective of the war is to conquer power in order to culminate the Democratic Revolution and continue it as Socialist.”
- Chairman Gonzalo.
Finally, we quote from the Central Document of the Third Plenum, page 31:
“On page 206, Chairman Mao presents to us ‘MAINTAIN BOTH THE UNITED FRONT AND THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE PARTY,’ Once again, he emphasizes the issue of the Front. What does the Front’s policy demand? It demands the preservation of ideological, political, and organizational independence, and one should not waver on that. Those who participate in the Front raise issues, says Chairman Mao: ‘To speak of unity alone while-denying independence is to abandon the Principle of Democracy... independence within the united front is relative and not absolute’ Of course, if it were absolute, there would never be unity. So here, he analyzes the issue of the Front. Here, on page 207, he tells us that everything mentioned earlier ‘...The same is true of the relationship between the class struggle and the national struggle. It is an established principle that in the War of Resistance everything must be subordinated to the interests of resistance. Therefore, the interests of the class struggle must be subordinated to, and must not conflict with, the interests of the War...’ of course, because it’s war that decides everything; everything is subordinated to the interests of war. Why? Because that war is aimed at the central task, the central problem of everything, which is Power, the conquest of Power that will solve all the issues. Furthermore, war is the primary means to resolve higher contradictions; everything is subordinated to it. So, when four classes unite, the interests of all four are subordinated to maintaining the war. But maintaining the war implies keeping it with its objectives, and the goal of the war is to conquer Power in order to culminate the Democratic Revolution and continue it as a Socialist one. That’s the problem. Therefore, we cannot renounce the class’s interests, its objectives, or its goals. That’s why the Chairman tells us, ‘But classes and the class struggle are facts, and those people who deny the fact of class struggle are wrong. The theory which attempts to deny this fact is utterly wrong. We do not deny the class struggle, we adjust it.’ So, we start from the perspective that it’s a class front where these classes contend and fight, but they must set aside their interests in favor of the common goal, the war. For example, we are communists, and our goal is communism. But now, why do we fight? To conquer and establish a People’s Republic of Peru, that’s what we want—the People’s Republic, in other words, to culminate the Democratic Revolution. And that’s what the peasantry wants, what the petty bourgeoisie wants, what the national bourgeoisie wants; that’s their interest. But since we do not renounce the class struggle, we persist and remain independent ideologically and organizationally to then continue and lead. And because that interest is the only one that can save all of humanity, we organize and manage everything in order to achieve that because otherwise, the other classes cannot be emancipated. That’s how we act, but for each stage, we have our objectives. That’s why the Chairman says, ‘We do not renounce the class struggle; what we do is readjust it according to the objectives.”
Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism!
Long live the 31st Anniversary of the Speech of Chairman Gonzalo!
Long live the 95th Anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of Peru!
Celebrate the 130th Anniversary of the birth of Chairman Mao!
Peru People's Movement