PERU: Revolution & Peasant Rondas (I)

Zeynep Tufekcioglu zeynept at
Thu Aug 22 15:09:00 MDT 1996

Let me take this opportunity to express a few thoughts about such postings.
I think we have to separate a the issues here.

While everyone on this list knows my attitude towards Quispe & Co., but when
they post articles like that, I find it beneficial. True, they are suitable
not for a discussion list, but a news mailing group in line with Rahul's
proposal, which is now possible under the Spoons perestroika.

As for interpreting such articles: Part of the problem is the pressure
groups like PCP feel due to all the misinformation directed at them. A key
part of the "low intensity warfare" strategy is convincing the people that
the revolutionary group is defeated, is weak, won't ever make it, etc. There
are a few counter-approaches to this.

The articles as the one posted by Quispe & Co. claim the opposite. The
struggle is unstoppable, there are no set-backs, nothing wrong has been
done, etc. I think that internally, they are probably analyzing and
wondering over what may have been wrong moves, etc. Otherwise, they'd have
been crushed long ago, no movement can advance without learning. The recent
welcome manifestations of increased PCP activity suggests a rebound. If
there was a proper international revolutionary coordination and a proper way
of countering imperialist propaganda, PCP would find it much easier to enter
a more constructive dialogue with other groups, including those providing
critical support. Currently, any admission to a weakness or an error is
bound to be turned and twisted by the imperialists and published widely. Any
news of advances, improvements, etc. will be killed by silence.

A second approach is the one taken up by the EZLN - it is honest
self-criticism, but it borders on adopting a language deliberately inviting
constant pity, as a way of obtaining solidarity. That also corresponds to a
pretty objective situation, the EZLN is militarily cornered, and without the
international attention and solidarity, they'd stand much less a chance. The
positive side to their approach is their attempt to use the sympathy they
invoked as a way of mobilizing a bigger, coordinated movement against

A third approach, I've seen in Turkey is owning up to mistakes in a much
more balanced fashion. The larger groups own up every action carried out,
even if later they regret it, or if it was carried out under the initiative
of a local group without central approval. I think the IRA also has such an
approach. Sometimes, self-criticism and apologies are issued by the
revolutionary groups if they believe that they have acted in a wrong manner.
The bigger the group, the more responsible an attitude towards the mistakes.

Sum up, I believe that an international paper, with real news and analysis,
not over-"propaganda" would take much pressure of many groups in regards for
the need to exaggrate. A Turkish phrase, "Objective subjectivity" or "Taking
Sides Objectively" fits well. We must respect the facts and resist the
tendency to paint dreamy pictures, not just for ethical reasons, because
"conjuring the enemy away in imagination" does not conjure them away in real


>On Thu, 22 Aug 1996, Luis Quispe wrote:
>>                Part 1 of a series of 2 articles.
>Louis: Thank god we won't be treated to any more of this. By the way,
>Quispe, if we ever meet up in person (NY is a small place), I'd like you
>to see you make a jew-baiting remark to my face. What the fuck gave
>you the nerve to call me a "zionist" on a Marxism list. You might as well
>have called me a kike and gotten straight to the heart of the matter. I
>have worked politically with Palestinians in NY for over 10 years now and
>I resented your racist remarks completely.

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