marxism-digest V1 #1233

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Aug 18 18:08:59 MDT 1999

>What I know about the PCP comes from such people, along with Peruvian
>leftists, including members of groups who have been slandered, threatened
>and in some cases killed by the PCP.  Take a look, for instance, at the PCP
>diatribes against the MRTA (not to mention their attitude to people like
>Hugo Blanco) and then ask if you yourself would really like to be a
>Peruvian worker, peasant and/or leftist with the Guzmanites in power in

I don't know about workers in and leftist intellectuals in Lima. But I have
very little doubt that peasants in PCP controlled areas were able to feel a
kind of freedom from oppression that they had never felt before. The first
thing that PCP guerrillas did was haul brutal plantation owners, overseers
and cops to the village square, try them and then execute them. This is the
testimony of people who are hostile to the PCP.

The tragedy of the PCP--and it is a tragedy--is that they had no clue as to
how to hook up with workers and the left intelligentsia who are of course
essential to any revolution. If you weren't into the whole Maoist trip and
had some sympathies for Garcia, then you just couldn't co-exist with the
PCP. The central contradiction of the Peruvian revolution, of course, is
that it was launched against a "leftist" President affiliated with the APRA
party, one of Latin America's paradigmatic left-nationalist formations. The
PCP claimed that it was following the legacy of Mariategui, who struggled
against the founder of the APRA, Haya de la Torre. Their ties to Mariategui
were tenuous to say the least. Mariategui was an admirer of Trotsky (check
his archive at and extremely eclectic politically. He
tried to mix Sorel with Marx, wrote favorably about existentialism,
believed in indigenismo, etc. My kind of guy.

Louis Proyect

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