Interview with Peruvian General Sinecio Jarama (Part III)

Vladimir Bilenkin "achekhov at unity.ncsu.edu" at ncsu.edu
Fri Sep 27 22:33:21 MDT 1996


1.Scaffolding is a sloppy metaphor, I take it back.

2. Your comparison of human losses in Peru and Salvador is good
for international propaganda as well.

3. >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>>

 But this goes without saying, i.e. that it is the
ARMED Revolutionary State.  I meant to say that the
revolutionary war not only destroys the old but creates
the new in its very process and prior to the final victory
over the old state. Don't you create a new society and a new
state by organizing economic, administrative, political, AND
MILITARY aspects of life on liberated territories ALREADY NOW?

This is very different from Russian road (and, perhaps, even
China's). Russian revolutionary state was born out of
a very short period of dual power. It had nothing but the Old
apparatus of the state at its disposal.  According to Vizquerra,
there are 30,000 "subversive teachers" in the country already now.
And what Soviet goverment had was 100,000 teachers-SABOTEURS.
Will you have to deal with the problem of OLD state apparatus
(bureaucracy, "specialists") as the Soviet goverment did?
Or you create the cadres and organization for a NEW
state in the very process of your revolutionary war? This is
what I meant by a new state and society growing in the womb of
the old.

But then your revolution is perhaps more of a February than an
October vintage, if am not mistaken. Russian teachers were
very enthusiastic about the former. Heh?

>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?>>

I agree. These places exist in Russia already now, but they cannot
serve as a "backbone" for a 16 year-long sustained
military-political effort, in the process of which quantity becomes
quality.  There are towns where de facto dual power situation exist
already. In the mining province of Vorkuta, the Workers Council
can take power anytime. But the government will not even have to
use military force to destroy it, because Vorkuta cannot survive
on its own economically for more than a week. This is why I emphasised
the fragmentation of Peru's national space and therefore relative
economic autonomy of her parts.

But you are absolutely right. There are no "hopeless" objective
situations. The idea of the Soviets is the only political idea
that has stood the test of time in the consciousness of the masses
in Russia.  But it is an empty form. There is no revolutionary
organization in the country.  Our problem is entirely of subjective
nature (organization, ideology, concrete analysis, etc). Above
all, we do not have seasoned class fighters.  Instead, we have
a half of million workers going on strike with the single
demand to the bourgeois government to pay their back wages!

The class still does not exit politically.  After 70 years of
"Soviet" power! Workers learn, of course. But without real
communist organization, most of the class' political energy
is wasted, which means demoralization.

<<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? >>

Well, we never were against marxist education for upper classes.
But they seem to be learning a bit too fast.  I must say that
I would hate to BEGIN a revolutionary work in Russia with
generals like yours working in Moscow.  Hopefully, so far they
are as inefficient as we are.

Generally speaking,
front-line warriors of the ruling classes were always good students
of revolutionaries. Zubatov is only one, most well-known example.
But many in Okhrana were very knowledgeble of the doctrine,
the politics of class struggle and history of the movement.
Moreover, one often finds in their memoires a certain sympathy
to the revolutionaries they were after, and their ideals,
together with a very sober, even cynical evaluation of the class
they defend.

<<GC - In my view this has several aspects, essentially political ones.  We
should not overlook the fact that the rebellion has been planned from the
time of the military regime (1968-1980) and that it raises its head during
the constitutional government.  We knew that they were recruiting people.
We had detected several people and knew something about the organisation.
But we could not act against that which had not yet presented any problems.>>

Is this a fair account?  If it is, What was the significance of this
legal period in the history of the organization.  Better, did the
organization have a stage of mostly party building without any
substantial interventions in current polical process?

Both generals are not happy with the new generation of army
officers and their more mundane "values."  Jarama's story of a
captain - who leaves a "pacified" area only to come back a few
months later to start all over again - suggests a degree of
demoralisation of the army. What is its social composition?
Is there a possibility for revolutionary propaganda in the army?
I always had impression that Latin-American armies
were separated from society and monolithic. No mutinies, and the
like.  Yet it seems there must be a significant class difference
between the officer corp and lower ranks.

Vladimir


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