Godena on Gina's Response to the WMC

Rubyg580 at aol.com Rubyg580 at aol.com
Tue Jun 4 18:29:34 MDT 1996

In a message dated 96-06-03 12:22:50 EDT, louisgodena at ids.net (Louis R
Godena) writes:

> Gina, on Monday, June 3rd, you wrote
>... the WMC is much more
>>focused on fighting against "fake supporters" of the PCP and the
>>People's War than it is on either defeating the ideology that leads
>>to capitulation, or to doing general work among the masses to
>>spread understanding and support for the Peruvian revolution.
>I see the work of the WMC encompassing all of those objectives
>simultaneously; they cannot be separated.    Doing "general work" among the
>"masses", by its very nature, is a struggle against the anarchism/trotskyism
>of MIM, Avakian, and the New Flag.    The trajectory of "ultra-leftism" is
>always the same, and has been since the days of the Russian Socialist
>Revolutionaries; left opportunism always in the end leads to capitulation.

I hope you actually do end up doing general work among the masses.
My point is that the Call itself makes no mention of it, nor does it
mention anything about promoting the ideology and line of the PCP
among the masses, nor does mention anything concrete about HOW
its work will be carried out, what means there will be to involve the
masses, etc.

And the critical question about ultra-leftism, is, who do you define as
ultra-left and why?  Obviously, you and I are defining this term differently
and therefore seeing different forces as falling into the category.

>>No, not a few hours, Lou, it was a couple of weeks, in early april if
>>I'm not mistaken.
>Yes, Gina, as a matter of fact you are mistaken.    The WMC Call was issued
>on March 28th; you had already endorsed it when you showed up in Rhode
>Island on the evening of the 29th.

No, again you are mistaken.  Check the record.  The endorsement
of the PSC/Detroit is dated April 6, 1996, and it was e-mailed to you
on april 7.  I did not endorse it as an individual.  I may have expressed
my approval of it when we spoke in Rhode Island, but that does not
constitute a formal endorsement.
>Yes, I was jazzed by the anti-Avakian stand it
>Yes, Gina, you were.    I remember that; I also recall discussing with you
>that the "anti-Avakian" "stand" was not the gist of the Call, though it
>represented an important component of it.    The thrust of the WMC is to
>BROADEN support for the People's War

However, the Call itself does not make this assertion; it is your
own interpretation of it.

> and to pick up the flag of the support
>movement from where it has fallen into the clutches of opportunists and
>traffickers like MIM, Avakian, and "Quispe".
>(You will remember that PSC/Detroit added a paragraph
>>indicting the RCP-USA as the representative of the "2 line struggle"
>>hoax in the US) That focus blinded me to the shortcomings of the
>>call itself, and when I re-read the call a month later, those
>>shortcomings stood out sharply.
>Perhaps, Gina, you should not have waited a "month" to "re-read" it.    Your
>excuses sound a little disingenuous.

Sorry, dude, but however "disengenuous" my excuse sounds to
you, it is in fact the truth.  I did not re-read the Call after our formal
endorsement, until well into the debate over it.  I made a point to
re-read it when I realized that I was defending the political line of
the call document, and mainly raising questions about how it would
be led and structured, and in fact I did not really remember exactly
what the line of the call was.

It was upon this re-reading that I saw the defensiveness of the text,
and the similarity to the "rally to the defense..." line of the CoRIM.
Then just a few days ago, after I withdrew from PSC, I looked at it
once again, because I wanted to directly contrast the defensiveness
and pessimistic outlook of the Call with the profound optimism I have
found to be the theme running throughout the documents of the PCP.

It was then that I realized the extent to which the text was in fact
focused on, not building understanding and support for the People's
War and the PCP, not educating the masses as to what is M-L-M, GT,
not opposing imperialist intervention in Peru, but very narowly opposing
those within the support movement who are deemed to be "false
supporters".  It is this "unmasking" of "false supporters" that has been
going on on this list, with all sorts of individuals and groups being
labled as "Avakian clone" "Avakian's secret weapon", and various other
creative names for "false supporters", all with the flimsiest evidence.

That, dear friend does not constitute BROADENING support.
>>Also, the manner in which the main representative of WMC on this
>>list,Adolfo Oleachea, handled the questions that were raised about
>>the line and leadership of the WMC showed me that something was
>>indeed very wrong with its focus.
>So you signed a document a few hours after it was released knowing nothing
>about its "line and leadership", only bringing up the matter a "month" or so
>later.    This sounds a little like adventurism.

No,sir, I merely praised it a few hours after it was released. But
you're right, it was hasty and somewhat adventuristic.  I did sign
it too quickly, without studying it sufficiently or considering its line
thoroughly enough. But, as you already know, I have broken with
this adventurism and have withdrawn my support for the WMC, by
withdrawing from the PSC/Detroit, since the other two members
could not be won to also breaking with the adventurism.

>>I certainly agree that broadening support for the People's War and the
>>PCP is the key task of all those who want to see justice in the world,
>>especially those who want to see world proletarian revolution.  That is
>>precisely where I see the shortcomings of the WMC: it is much too
>>narrowly focused on one issue: defeating the "2-line struggle over
>>peace talks" hoax.
>Again, Gina, the movement against the two-line struggle, against the
>opportunists and traffickers, against those who would turn the struggle of
>the PCP into a Cult of Scientology with a High Priest and Infallible
>Doctrines, all of this cannot be separated from the struggle to BROADEN

say anything like this:
>>The focus of support work needs to be on the LINE and IDEOLOGY
>>of the PCP: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought; and on the
>>events on the ground that they lead and are responsible for bringing
>>into being: the political and military advances of the People's War, and
>>the building of the New Power in the countryside; the preparation for
>>the seizure of power throughout the country.
>Without reaching out to the broad masses in the West and elsewhere, to
>progressives, communists, the working class, this is just empty

Then why doesn't the Call give any suggestion of how to do that?
Or even mention the necessity of doing it?  Why hasn't that been a
constant theme of the supporters of the WMC? Why has all the
attention been on labeling anyone who questions the WMC a "fake"
or "Agent of Avakian" at best and a "cop" or "CIA/SIN" and "agent
of Fujimori" at worst?

If the goal truly is to BROADEN support for the People's War, then
why has all the attention so far been on who to exclude, on who to
consider enemies, and none on who to include and how?  on how
to reach new sections of the people? on how to create new friends?
Again I point out:
>>To attempt to "expose" and "unmask" the "fake supporters" without
>>promoting these things is doomed to failure. Not only will it NOT
>>defeat those whose support is only skin deep, or is covering more
>>opportunist or even sinister motives; it will inevitably point the finger
>>at many whose errors have nothing to do with how genuine is their
>>support for the People's War in Peru and for the world revolution.
>>That, in my opinion, is what we have seen borne out on this list
>>very vividly in the past two months.
>Gina, in a very important sense, the Call of the WMC, far from being "doomed
>to failure" has already accomplished a number of salutary exercises,
>including unmasking "Quispe" and his so-called New Flag.    First Avakian,
>and now "Quispe".    Gina, you need to choose your allegiances more
>>Sorry, Lou, but Oleachea himself has characterized his concern as
>>beingover "plagerism", i.e. bourgeois property rights to intellectual
>>property.  He was not concerned that Janet Talavera (who gave her
>>young life for the revolution) be credited for her role in the "Interview
>>With Chairman Gonzalo", just his colleague in the WMC, Luis Arce
>>Borja.  That's not simply a principled concern for proper attribution.
>Gina, it was Luis Arce Borja and Janet  Talavera who conducted the interview
>with President Gonzalo.   Oleachea only pointed out Luis Arce's role
<<<But Not Janet Talavera"s>>>
> after
>"Quispe" took it upon himself to publish excerpts without giving proper
>credit. In fact, the impression was created that it was "Quispe" himself who
>did the interview-

I hardly think so; Quispe has never claimed to have worked for El
Diario. The NF post of the Interview exerpts credit "El Diario-Lima",
not the individual journalists.  If Adolfo's concern was primarily for
the "accuracy of the historical record" as he claims, then he certainly
would have mentioned Janet Talavera as well as Arce Borja.  The very
fact that he mentions ONLY Arce indicates to me that his concern is
less for historical accuracy and more for the present-day promotion
of his WMC collaborator.

Talavera paid with her life for her part in this interview (murdered by
the regime in the 1992 genocide against the political and war prisoners
in Cantogrande prison)  The fact that Oleachea leaves her out of his
"correction of the historical record" does not, I'm afraid, lend much
credibility to his professed motivation.

>this at a time when he was a paid employee of the PCP's
>most bitter enemy on the left--and while carrying on a sustained campaign of
>slander against Luis Arce on this list and elsewhere.

WOAH, BABY!!!  "Paid employee of the PCP's most bitter enemy
on the left"???  What the F*** are you talking about??? You no more
know what Quispe was doing in 1988 than you know the address of
the tooth fairy.
>There is practically nothing in New Flag to relate the struggle being waged
>by the PCP IN PERU, NOT IN QUEENS, with the struggles of the American
>working class.   It is more or less a collection of "news"--many months old
>and culled from the reactionary Peruvian press--badly translated PCP
>documents,  semi-literate "editorials" by "Quispe" (encompassing everything
>from trotskyism, anarchism, and New Age), and distortions and even outright
>forgeries of "letters" and other documents.    It is about on the level, as
>a useful political document, with Rupert Murdoch's Weekly World News, and
>not nearly as entertaining.

I think your characterization here is completely spurious.  Yes,
there's some real problems connected with the New Flag, it's timing,
the quality of the translations, connecting the struggle in Peru with
that in this country, etc.  These are problems that face ANY revolution
that is trying to present its experience to the rest of the world.  Lenin
spoke about this problem to the 4th Congress of the Comintern
(pp.430-32, Vol.33, Collected Works)

You know as well as I do that the NF does not employ professional
translators; professionals could not do the job anyway; you can't
translate what you don't understand.  You know that the translation
is done by volunteers, most of whom have day jobs and many of whose
first language is Spanish, not English (and whose primary cultural
experience has been outside U.S. Anglo culture).

The real question is, is this primarily a good thing because it represents
a major step to systematically make the experience and ideology of
the Peruvian revolution accessible to the English-speaking masses in
the U.S. and around the world?  Or is it mainly a bad thing because it
is not instantly the perfect medium to reach the broadest possible
audience, even the more centrist sections of the population such as
the New England workers you mention?

Obviously, you and I have come to opposite conclusions in answer
to these quesitons.

>I will repeat what I said in my earlier post:
>The workers in the US, at least here in New England, are not maoist
>revolutionaries; they are ordinary
>people who want to be told the truth about what is happening in a
>cogent,respectful, and understanding way.   That is the role that a magazine
>like New Flag needed to fill.
>As for Chris "B".   We all remember his taking a series of sound thrashings
>from AO a while back.   He has gone off to sulk and now returns, in his
>familiar garb as "objective observer", to become an ally of "Quispe".    If
>AO had not exposed this swindler,  Mr Burford would have had no use for
>"Quispe" at all.

Like, how the hell did Chris get dragged into this arguement???
>          Louis Godena

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