hariette at easynet.co.uk
Fri Aug 9 19:34:47 MDT 1996
> >> How do you expect people to campaign for a "Yankees Go Home" position
>vis-a-vis Peru when at the same time they go around telling the masses that
>the US is in Peru helping to protect civilization from the Peruvian
>"Pol-pots", the "criminal Stalinists", etc? Aren't the masses more likely to
>ignore such campaign even if it was possible for such people to agree to bring
>it to the front burner of their own political activity? <<Adolpho O.
> Jon Flanders:
> First, I agree that some progress has been made in clarifying the issues
>around Peru. I think there was some unnecessary static at first, when you
>burst on the scene. We are all new to debate and discussion in cyberspace, and
>it is easy to put it in the eighth notch, to use an railroad term, when the
>fourth would do nicely.
> You, and others of your tendency, assumed more hostility than actually
>existed to your views, and lines in the sand were drawn prematurely. Since
>demonization, as you put it, of the PCP has piled up in the world press, it
>will take a while and some patience to make your case. In the early days of
>the Vietnam war, the NLF and VietCong had a similar problem.
Let us accept that the eight notch was used when only the fourth would have
done nicely. Alright, maybe. Maybe not? Who knows, I myself remember
quite a few eight and even twelve notch insults being hurled around at the
PCP and the Peruvian revolution by others, no longer in this list, but let
that rest, wars are wars.
However, maybe you could also admit that in all that demonisation, the
"left" is not without responsibility either. It was not just the
imperialist bourgeoisie, but quite a few people accepted and feted in the
mileus of the left as "comrades" who were in fact the validators and even
the initiators of quite a few of the black legends which are currently being
used to actually validate US intervention against the People's War in Peru.
That is why, it is good that Marxism is a "wranglism". Without a bit of
wrangling, there is no incentive to arrive at true conclussions.
All in all, the lines are open, and civility will be responded at with civility.
> In the case of the Vietnam War, those of us who came to the US Out position,
>did not couple it with denunciations of the Vietnamese. The liberals denounced
>the Vietnamese while calling for negotiations that would save a position for
>the US. Most people are full of contradictions, actually, and I am sure the
>great demonstrations against the war were full of *unclarified* souls.
> The unequivocal anti-interventionists had differing assessments on the
>politics of the Vietnamese, but united against the war. Peru, Mexico etc. will
>be no different.
> I am aware right now of US plans to send ten Huey helicopters to Turkey, and
>fifty to Mexico. How many to Peru? Columbia? These are weapons aimed straight
>at peasant rebels in third world countries. Surely here in cyberspace, where a
>fuller and more complete discussion can take place than in any newspaper, we
>can carry on in such a way that you, Hugh Rodwell and Louis Proyect can agree
>that stopping such genocidal plans can be worked on together while debating
>politics in a civil way.
Well, Jonathan, is up to you - and people of your like mind - to prove us
wrong in our assessment. If the US imperialist could be convinced by
"non-interventionist" public opinion to keep their paws from our country, no
one would be happier than the Peruvian revolutionaries.
However, as far as such a campaign getting of the ground we are still
pessimistic in this regard, because, as I said before, a proletarian led
revolution, which aims at the establishment of a new rear base area for the
world proletarian revolution is not generally the cup of tea of those
sections of the population who are not the proletariat proper. In other
words, the petty bourgeois currents receptive to this kind of solidarity
work are not, and cannot really be interested sincerely in the peruvian
revolution, except maybe in an attempt to substitute THEIR line for the line
which is proving successful in Peru.
Such people (who constitute the majority of the "non-interbventionist left"
at present, will always be a dead weight resisting such orientation in
"their movement" and will always deprive the "unequivocal
anti-interventionists" of the necessary platforms for their views to prevent
imperialist involvement. As a matter of fact, the US is already fighting in
Peru at a level not that dissimilar to that of its early involvement in the
Vietnam war. It has been so for quite a number of years and is already
However, the rationale "war on drugs" - when validated by "leftists" which
would repeat such US propaganda and on top of that echo it, magnify and
sanctify it portraying the Peruvian guerillas as "blood-thirsty criminals
and drug dealers" is - in my opinion - a very good explanation of why this
intervention has been going on, is going on, and as far as I can see, will
continue to go on, right up to the seizure of power in Peru, or at least the
imminence of it in such a manner that a massive escalation of the *current*
intervention takes place. At that point, whether the "non-interventionist
left" wants it or not, the proletariat will carry out its internationalist
duty, if not immediately, pretty much as soon as the body bags start piling
up! This is how we see the question of the winning of public opinion.
Public opinion FOR the revolution!
In fact, the only possibility of a shift in the direction of the radicals
within the left on the matter of the Maoist led revolutions, lays with the
manner in which fascism is developing and offering such a stark dicotomy for
the future of democracy in general. And at that point in which the
direction of the "Left" would change in favour of its current radical wing,
the proletarian left will in fact have made its appearence on the stage and
the proletariat proper will have taken the field in precisely that regard,
while the road of "peaceful" struggle against intervention would have given
way to the road of revolutionary action to defeat fascism, and imperialist war.
That is why we see as crucial the winning of public opinion, not for the
Peruvian revolution like some people may want it to be, but for the peruvian
revolution like it actually is, a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist led revolution
which regards itself as part and parcel of the world proletarian revolution
and as a clarion call to the working people of all countries to throw down
the hated rule of the bourgeoisie everywhere.
> ps. my wife, who speaks and reads Spanish fluently, is reading Vargas-Llosa's
>"Light in the Andes" I shrink just thinking about your reaction to that
Actually, is that a new work by Vargas Llosa? He is a Rightist and even a
Thatcherite if you like. However, he is a very entertaining and competent
writer. If the work "Light in the Andes" is the same as "The Story of
Mayta", I have read it already and had a good laugh too.
The case is that Vargas Llosa was once a "leftist" too and a member of the
Young Communist League in the 50s to boot! Once, in the early 60s, he was
among many intellectuals accussed by the Security Services of "being in the
pay of Castro" and has always have an anti-military streak as well, even to
His class position today is that of the imperialist bourgeoisie in essence,
although he criticises left right and center and some-times is a sort of a
loose cannon with a curse on both your houses - and everybody's houses too -
sort of attitude. Politically, he is strongly oppossed to Fujimori and the
current military dictatorship - or at least he was until the last time I
read any of his articles (he writes for El Pais, the Spanish paper), but
then Vargas is not known for consistency in any thing, and he might have
changed his tune in the last year or so in which I have lost track a bit of
When the Fujimori tyranny, early in 1995 engineered a military confrontation
with Ecuador, Vargas Llosa, and principally his son, Alvaro, who now a days
is a sort of political viceroy for his famous father, had a very good
political position, miles above of that from the bogus "Left" in Peru who
took the road of open and disgusting flag waving and militaristic
chauvinism. Fujimori was then calling him a "traitor" to the country and I
heard that attempts were made to impound one or other of his properties. I
do not exactly know how that saga ended. Of course, all these are quarrels
among the bourgeois, and as to the Communist Party, Vargas Llosa is quite an
enemy of the People's War, like all big bourgeois politicians are.
In "The Story of Mayta" in which he aims his satyrist's pen against the
revolution making a historical melange mixing a Trotskyst group in the 50s
with the PCP of the 80s, putting the whole lot in the same pot and stirring
it, he manages to entertain the reader while adding a lot to the confussion
and, from the point of view of the revolution, spreading of course false
impressions which contribute too to the black legend and serving the
reactionaries which he represents vis-a-vis the social revolution.
In a way, the "Story of Mayta" could well be renamed the "Story of Quispe".
Fortunately, neither Mayta, nor "Quispe" (Mr. Palomino) have nothing to do
with the PCP, with Maoism, or with the People's War in Peru, and come to
think of it, they both seem to be characters out of one of Vargas Llosa's
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