Fwd: Louis Godena on the PCP

Godenas at aol.com Godenas at aol.com
Tue Feb 13 15:14:10 MST 1996

Forwarded message:
Subj:    Louis Godena on the PCP
Date:    96-02-13 13:09:36 EST
From:    Godenas

To:      marxism at jefferson.village.virginia.edu
CC:      lnp3 at columbia.edu

Louis, let me first of all suggest that you read, or re-read, Lenin's Preface
to the Russian translalation of Marx's Letters to L. Kugelmann.  Please pay
special attention to his remarks on Plekhanov's actions in at first urging,
and then abandoning ("They should not have taken up arms") the revolution in
1905.  In the meantime, please allow me to quote:
"In September 1870, six months before the Commune, Marx gave a direct warning
to the French workers: insurrection would be an act of desperate folly...He
exposed in advance the nationalistic illusions of the possibility of a
movement in the spirit of 1792.  He was able to say, not after the event, but
many months before: `Don't take up arms.'
"And how did he behave when this HOPELESS cause, as he himself had called it
in September, began to take practical shape in March 1871?....in April 1871,
when he saw the mass movement of the people, he watched it with the keen
attention of a participant in great events marking a step forward in the
historic revolutionary movement.
"This is an attempt, he says, to smash the bureaucratic military machine, and
not simply to transfer it to different hands.  And he has words of the
highest praise for the `heroic' Paris workers...`What elasticity,' he writes,
`what historical initiative, what a capacity for sacrifice in these
"The HISTORICAL INITIATIVE of the masses was what Marx prized above
everything else....
"Compare the homage paid to the HISTORICAL INITIATIVE of the masses by a
profound thinker...and the lifeless, soulless, pedantic: `They should not
have taken up arms'!  Are these not as far apart as heaven and earth?"
Louis, we are witnessing a great historical moment right here in the
Americas.  It is incumbent upon all of us, as Marxists, as revolutionaries,
to lend critical support to the "heroic" masses of Peru.  True, we may
disagree on individual features of this or that policy, but I, for one,
prefer the position of Marx to that Plekhanov.  The Peruvian communists are
creating a viable alternative to the neo-liberal "new world order."  In so
doing, they have, to use their own words, "set the oppressor's teeth to
chattering."  For that reason alone, they deserve our support.
                                                        Louis Godena

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