Fwd: PEOPLE'S WAR IS UNIVERSA...
Godenas at aol.com
Godenas at aol.com
Fri Feb 16 18:36:55 MST 1996
From: hariette at easynet.co.uk (hariette spierings)
To: godenas at aol.com
CC: lquispe at nyxfer.blythe.org
Date: 96-02-16 15:39:29 EST
I have today posted this bit to the Marxism list. I wonder if any one of
you could confirm its arrival. Earlier, I also posted the translation of
Mariategui's article on British Socialism. Apparently it appeared rather
mangled and unreadable, acording to someone who read it in the WWW. Could
you let me know if that was the case in the list too and if I should post it
PS: Whatever happened to the JOINT document about Co-Rim?
>To: marxism at jefferson.village.virginia.edu
>From: hariette at easynet.co.uk (hariette spierings)
>Subject: PEOPLE'S WAR IS UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE PROLETARIAN STRATEGY
>Messsieurs the Trotskysts (and not only these currents, but I would include
in this category all semi-Trotskyst currents - even some that go under the
label of "Maoists") think themselves too clever by half dismissing the
People's War as the only viable strategy for the proletariat for the seizure
of power in the advanced capitalist countries and the imperialist heartlands.
>People's War is alright in Third World countries, they say, when pressed by
the undeniable evidence of the revolutionary advance of the proletariat in
leading the peasantry in revolution in these areas of the world - thus
complying with Lenin's dictum: "Marxist politics propel the proletariats to
the position of leader of the peasantry" and "the transfer of the land to
the tiller is impossible without an armed insurrection". Yes - China,
Peru, Philippines - these facts, they cannot deny, and that is why SOME (not
all of these people) seek to distort these revolutions parroting the worst
accussation of the imperialist media against the proletarian revolutionaries.
>How does the peasantry fight for ITS CLASS INTERESTS and how can the
proletariat give leadership to their fight in THEIR OWN CLASS INTEREST?
That is the central question of the revolution in the colonial and
>Well, in the last analysis, since the peasantry fights for the transferral
of the land from the landlords to the tillers - and that REQUIRES
INSURRECTION, ARMED FORCE, PEOPLE'S WAR, the peasantry fights WITH VIOLENCE
with pickaxes, staves and halbards, with whatever old gun or weapon they may
get their hands on - that has historically been its mode of struggle, even
from the time of the French revolution, the 1848 revolutions, etc. That is
why the peasant wars of National Liberation in the era of imperialism are
identified by Lenin as "bourgeois democratic revolutions".
>What does it mean the proletariat giving leadership to the peasant's
struggles? It means giving a modern leadership, content and strategy to its
ages long struggle against feudal conditions and capitalist and kulak (rich
peasant - gross bauer) exploitation. It means giving PROLETARIAN leadership
to the bourgeois democratic revolution, as the necessary and unavoidable
basis upon which to proceed - in alliance with the POOR and middle peasants
and other semi-proletarians - along the road to the socialist revolution in
the semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries.
>But, our dear fellows, think in this barren manner: Here in the
"all-powerful" imperialist world, we should fight with the elegant prose of
Leo Davidovich! It is more important to pose as pure and undiluted
revoltionaries - the vanguard of the vanguard - than to think through the
question of HOW can the class achieve political power. In the end: all will
be resolved by a General Strike anyway!.
>Therefore, most of their political activities are geared at congregating
the largest possible mob of choir singers and slogan shouters to go on
"strike duty" at every episode of the "economic guerilla warfare" that is
always on in some part or another of the stage of the class struggle.
>Thus our starry eyed friends set forth tugging at the sleeves of the old
aristocracy of labour union burocracies in order to convince these wily
gentlemen that the whole thing could be resolved overnight by "the might of
the working class" if only they were to "wake up" and "get off their knees"
and lead the workers in the "final struggle". This kind of activities they
regard as "making revolution" and "spreading socialism".
>That is why it is right to see Trotskysm as an expression of the "youth
branch" of the aristocracy of labour, for ever arguing with its "elder
statesmen" (Mssrs the Union bureaucrats) about the price of potatoes in the
>If the Union bureaucrats - concerned as they are at most with economistic
claims - demand a 10% rise for this or that sector of the workers, our
endearing "Eunuchs of the Imperial Dream Chamber" think themselves to be
"radicalising the workers struggle" by raising the stakes and calling for
immediate General Strike and a "workers insurrection" on the basis of double
or triple money or any such other unrealistic demand. When the workers tell
them to piss off with their posturing and childish exortations, and let them
get on with their OWN fight, our friends conclude that the workers are a
bunch of gits who "do not deserve to be the ruling class".
>Ergo, they begin to seach for another "revolutionary vehicle" to revive
their hopes in their acute case of impotent eroto-revolutionist-mania. That
is Trotskysm - at its most benign and harmless - in a nutshell. A case of
petty-bourgeois eclecticism swinging like a pendulum (or a vicious circle)
from uncritical workerist idolisation of the "proletariat" to a touchingly
jilted despair and a convoluted intelectualist search for a new "prothesis"
to substitute for their wilted hopes on the "revolutionary class".
>Someone has mentioned in this list the words of professor Bill Tupman (the
"expert in Marxism") in relation to "Maoism" being the coming thing since
"Trots" all they do is mill around selling newspapers in the immediacy of
workplaces in industrial disputes.
>I do not think that this appreciation of Professor Tupman - geared to
"scare the bourgeois" - is very helpful, no matter how accurate his
characterisation of Trostkysm may be. No, any "Maoist" - or for that matter
"Stalinist", or whatchmacallit - politics that were to follow they same road
of "tugging at the sleeves of the proletariat" would inevitably fall also in
the same old rut and be as innefective and barren - and laughauble - from a
>And that is not to say that while people are "waiting around" they may as
well not sell newspapers - nor do we seek to deny that some of these papers
may serve to call attention to the evils of society, the crimes of
imperialism, etc., and even fulfill other tasks that we could subsumme under
the heading of "socialist and revolutionist propaganda" and "international
>No, what me are going to address is the question of the People's War as the
strategy for the seizure of power for the class in ADVANCED CAPITALIST
(imperialist) COUNTRIES and counterpose this strategy to the strategy of our
gentlefolk, the petty bourgeois revolutionists, seeking, as always, "the
easy alternative" and that the revolutionary road be a wide and paved avenue
in the manner of the "Nevsky Prospect".
>The People's War, they say, is not for the "advanced proletariat" but only
for the backward peasant countries. here, we must continue to tug and tug at
the sleeves of the proletariat until they move in our direction, stop the
machine of capitalism, seize power and put us - the chosen vanguard - as new
leaders!. This is wrong in theory as well as in practice as we shall pass to
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