Interview with Peruvian General Sinecio Jarama (Part II

hariette spierings hariette at
Fri Sep 27 05:29:02 MDT 1996

>I think I am beginning to get it. The key to everything
>else is the new concept of revolutionary war.  Military
>action is entirely subordinate to political one.

Yes - the Party commands the gun and never shall the gun command the Party

It is
>only a scaffolding for a revolutionary organization of
>SOCIETY.  And as we don't want from our scaffolds anything
>but a bare minimum necessary to support the construction of
>the building, so THIS concept of revolutionary war implies
>only the necessary minimum of military action proper.

Well, yes. If you ignore its role of destruction of the old society without
which it is impossible to build the new.  Moreover, what is minimum?  It
depends of the concrete conditions, does it not?  But as a whole - yes - and
this also gives the mentis to the "bloodthirsty" allegations of the bogus
-i.e counter-revolutionary and pro-imperialist "Left".  It does as well
corresponds to the historical facts - which the imperialist propaganda
distorts so much:

In 16 years of People's War according to the imperialist themselves about
30.000 people have paid the price of this transformation of society.  Taken
as a whole - and leaving aside the argument of "moral" responsibility (as
General Jarama himself does) which, as it will become clear as the various
interviews unfold - belongs to the reactionary forces themselves - this
compares extremely favourably with, for example the war in El Salvador,
where guerillas (who according to the same bogus "Left" were not
bloodthirsty like "Shining Path") were held to be responsible by the same
imperialists of around 80.000 deaths, in a country with a much lower
population and in a much shorter span of time.

>Now, this concept also includes that of the state, which
>is the state in the making, the state on the move, so to
>speak. The process of revolutionary war then is nothing
>else but the growing of a new social organization WITHIN
>the womb of the old. The scaffolds fall, and behold...a
>new Revolutionary State unfolded!  That's it!

No Vladimir.  A new society with a new state (i.e. a different type of
scaffold, but a scaffold nevertheless:  i.e. a bourgeois state without the
bourgeoisie in Lenin's words.

But for the "scaffold" of the state (and the state is in essence but armed
force) to fall altogether these things are needed - destruction of the old
with simultaneous construction of the new, and an international dimension
too.  Without the triumph of the world proletarian revolution the question
of disarming, i.e. of doing away with the "scaffold" cannot arise and the
state must remain "on the move" and the "scaffold" and the state

>This opens up a very different prospective on the
>problematics of the state; at least, very different from
>that faced by Lenin.

Not so sweeping if you read what I just said.  In fact very similar to
Lenin's within a different time and place - that is under different concrete

>Now, even putting aside for a time this monumental vision
>in its entirety, this concept of revolutionary strategy
>deserves a most careful study re its applicability elsewhere.
>I'm thinking, of course, of Russian situation which I know
>better than anything else. One problem that I can see now
>is that such strategy seem to presuppose the existence of
>sufficiently autonomous enclaves within the country to serve
>as operating bases, the "backbone."

No. It does not presupose any previous existance of anything but objective
and subjective conditions for the establishment of such bases, of such a
backbone. Things do not fall from the sky.  They are built by people upon
concrete conditions. In Lenin's time, the factories and the working class
quarters could play the role of such backbone, because there were objective
and subjective conditions for that to be so.  That is how one must approach
the problem, from the general principle to the concrete application.  Look
around and you shall find, in Russia, and in any other place in the world
concrete conditions too that allow for a workable approach to the
establishment of paralell power - Lenin found it in the Soviets.  I do not
know Russian conditions of today as well as you.  Would that still be the
case?  Would other elements now prevail?

>In the first part of his interview,
>the General put considerable emphasis on the fragmented socio-
>cultural composition of the Peruvian society (his laments about
>the Spaniards and the lack of a unified national space). Russia
>does have such space, though the process of fragmentation (economic,
>administrative, and political) has set in. I have to give more
>thought to this subject.

The most interesting aspect to note is to what an extent Peruvian society is
permeated by Marxist ideas that even the ruling classes most advanced
representatives can analyse society according to the concrete conditions -
although, since they are reactionary, even the most clear headed cannot see
that the problem is in themselves, or if they see it, they have to hide that
fact or sublimate it with resolutions of "good behaviour" in the future,
since to accept it as a final and done thing would lead to them just rolling
over and giving in without a fight.  However, what concerns us - in this
list - is to see to what extent those who want to make revolution - calling
themselves marxists, revolutionaries and the like - are even one tenth
familiar with the process of concrete thinking and more importantly - even
if they are - with the concrete conditions of their own countries as this
representative of reaction is.

Further to note how far have the reactionaries come - even in Peru - in
advancing their own defence of the old order by updating their plans and
strategies in accordance with something very akin to a "black marxism", and
how that tallies with revisionism and the bogus Left and their functioning
even in this list.  Moreover for the "red Marxists" too, the lesson is
clear:  This are no longer cossack Generals obeying the Czar or Kerensky.
Everyone - all the protagonists of the class struggle - have come a long way
>from 1917. Heh?

>In any case, the concept of the armed strike or other type of
>action can and must be introduced to industrial action in Russia.
>Could you describe what it involves and give a concrete example
>of an armed strike?  After 1905, Russian Maximalists used
>industrial and agrarian forms of terror.  But this was something
>different. Above all, these acts were not integrated into a
>strategic POLITICAL plan.  No wonder they had no lasting
>political effect and only helped reaction.

I hope that all the necessary explanations will arise from the interviews
themselves.  As the interview we just read indicates, the PCP has
successfully implemented this weapon - which is in essence simply strikes in
which the stoppage of economic life is inscribed within a frame work of
military actions confronting the state.  They are concrete forms of making
the masses aware of their own capacity to successfully confront the old
system and inscribe themselves within the concept of preparations for
general insurrection".

>Strategy and plan is everything.

However, in order not to be one sided, Vladimir, you should bear in mind
this thesis of the PCP: "A plan is an ideology"!  Which should be taken to
mean that a plan (or a strategy) is an embodiment of certain ideological
principles applied to concrete problems.  Moreover, a though worth exploting
would also be to what an extent an ideology already implies a plan,
specially when this ideology revolves around the principle of appplication
of itself to concrete reality?

 Now, the question is what
>OBJECTIVE conditions of Peruvian society and the state in their
>internal and international relations made it possible to
>develop a strategy and a plan that could be acted upon for
>over 16 years?

Well, the objective conditions cannot be understood without the SUBJECTIVE
CONDITIONS, since in order to act sucessfully upon objective conditions you
must be able to apprehend those conditions. Here, what we have to lok up is
to both, and to the history of the Communist Party of Peru, which implies to
look at its ideology, which is the factor that detremines its strategy and
its plans.  Would you not accept this as a reasonable complement?

(If the General is right in saying that the
>"Shining Path has not abandoned anything"). Such long term
>strategy and plan seem to be viable only under condition
>that the ruling class will not be able to provide a strategic
>response to an insurgency, i.e. to deeply reconstruct social
>relations and achieve relative economic prosperity.  Unless,
>of course,  such strategy and plan imply the concept of
>preventing any strategic response of this sort. Actually,
>I see now how certain measures can seriously counteract
>even a substantial attempt from the outside to help
>the regime in developing such initiative.

Of course, each class strives to firm its own ground while undermining the
other.  That is what class struggle is all about, and conscious class
struggle in particular.

>There are some other and more concrete themes, like relations
>between PCP and the peasantry ("forcible process"), and
>especially, the new shantytown proletariat. which I would like to
>address. But it's a bit too early. Let's listen to the General some

Obviously, you did not expect the General to say anything different in
relation to this?  In any case, let us hear all sides in this DEVELOPING
PROCESS.  Note here, that even the general admits that the greatest
"compulsion agent" is the crisis and the social situation of the oppressed
classes.  I think that phenomena should not be looked statically but
dynamically - and the dynamics of the revolution in Peru point towrsds
growth in conscioussness and voluntary action of the masses, and the PCP
works with this development in mind, thus the struggle against "close
doorism" and for the United Front for the Revolution - this is anew stage in
the development of the people's War in Peru.  Later, we shall see how all
this ties to the "Quispe" question too.  I.e. to the question of the
capitulationists serving the counter-insurgency plans of the regime from
sectarian quarters.

>Adolfovich, just keep translating!
>This is all increadably interesting and important.
>I'd like to write about this for Russian comrades.

I will Vladimir. And I am really impressed by your own capacity to raise
your sights from "conspiracy theories" about my attitude to this list, and
pay sharp attention when useful things are brought before you.

We have time, and also we have no time.  We have time for this kind of
understanding and debate, but no much time for frivolity and self-promotion.
Should Bob malecki learn even a little about that, this list would be spared
not only his interminable postings, but all the moanings and groanings that
these elicit.


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