Luis Quispe lquispe at blythe.org
Sat May 11 23:51:06 MDT 1996

                 ON THE PERSONALITY CULT

[From the "Interview to President Gonzalo", Central Committee of
the Communist Party of Peru, 1989. Ediciones Bandera Roja, p. 33.
English version pp. 21-22]

EL DIARIO, LIMA-PERU: President, moving on a bit, the documents
of the Communist Party establish you as the Leader of the Party
and the revolution. What does this imply, and how is it different
>from the revisionist theory of the cult of the personality?

PRESIDENT GONZALO: Here we must remember how Lenin saw the
relationship between the masses, classes, the Party and leaders.
We believe that the revolution, the Party, our class, generate
leaders, a group of leaders. It has been like this in every
revolution. If we think, for instance, about the October
Revolution, we have Lenin, Stalin, Sverdlov and a few others, a
small group. Similarly, in the Chinese revolution there's also a
small group of leaders: Chairman Mao Tsetung, and his comrades
Kang Sheng, Chiang Ching, Chang Chun-chiao, among others. All
revolutions are that way, including our own. We could not be an
exception. Here it's not true that there is an exception to every
rule because what we're talking about here is the operation of
certain laws. All such processes have leaders, but they also have
a leader who stands out above the rest or who leads the rest, in
accordance with the conditions. Not all leaders can be viewed in
exactly the same way. Marx is Marx, Lenin is Lenin, Chairman Mao
is Chairman Mao. Each is unique, and no one is going to be just
like them.

In our Party, revolution, and People's War, the proletariat, by a
combination of necessity and historical chance, has brought forth
a group of leaders. In Engels' view, it is necessity that
generates leaders, and a top leader, but just who that is is
determined by chance, by a set of specific conditions that come
together at a particular place and time. In this way, in our case
too, a leadership has been generated. This was first acknowledged
in the Party at the Expanded National Conference of 1979. But
this question involves another basic question that can't be
overlooked and needs to be emphasized: There is no Leadership
that does not base itself on a body of thought, no matter what
its level of development may be. The reason that a certain person
has come to speak as the Leader of the Party and the revolution,
as the resolutions state, has to do with necessity and historical
chance and, obviously, with Gonzalo Thought.

None of us knows what the revolution and the Party will call on
us to do, and when a specific task arises the only thing to do is
assume the responsibility.

We have been acting in accordance with Lenin's view, which is
correct. The cult of personality is a revisionist formulation.
Lenin had warned us of the problem of negating leadership just as
he emphasized the need for our class, the Party and the
revolution to promote our own leaders, and more than that, top
leaders, and a Leadership. There's a difference here that is
worth emphasizing. A leader is someone who occupies a certain
position, whereas a top leader and Leadership, as we understand
it, represent the acknowledgment of Party and revolutionary
authority acquired and proven in the course of arduous
struggle--those who in theory and practice have shown they are
capable of leading and guiding us toward victory and the
attainment of the ideals of our class.

Khrushchev raised the issue of the cult of personality to oppose
comrade Stalin. But as we all know, this was a pretext for
attacking the dictatorship of the proletariat. Today [trans.
1988] , Gorbachev again raises the issue of the cult of
personality, as did the Chinese revisionists Liu Shao-chi and
Teng Xiaoping. It is therefore a revisionist thesis that in
essence takes aim against the proletarian dictatorship and
the leadership and leaders of the revolutionary process in order
to cut off its head. In our case it aims specifically at robbing
the People's War of its Leadership. We do not yet have a
dictatorship of the proletariat, but we do have a New Power that
is developing in accordance with the norms of new democracy, the
joint dictatorship of the workers, peasants and progressives. In
our case they seek to rob this process of leadership, and the
reactionaries and those who serve them know very well why they do
this, because it is not easy to generate revolutionary leaders
and Leadership. And a People's War, like the one in this country,
needs revolutionary leaders and Leadership, someone who
represents the revolution and heads it, and a group capable of
leading it uncompromisingly. In sum, the cult of the personality
is a sinister revisionist formulation which has nothing
to do with our concept of revolutionary leaders, which conforms
with Leninism.

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E-Mail:lquispe at nyxfer.blythe.org
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