Colombia and Ireland

Owen Jones owen.jones at
Thu Oct 28 15:13:10 MDT 1999

> George: The comments of Owen's above do not square with his comments below.
> The posting, consequently, has a schizoid character --an irrational character.

 Hmm.... And of course your mainly irrelevant ultra-sectarian ranting is
rational. No doubt you believe the only true communist group in the world is
your 'Communist Think-Tank', of whom I know of only one member (is there
two?) Sorry to be so schizoid (and at such a young age), but you have
completely missed the point.

> If FARC cannot by its very nature serve the interests of the proletariant
> then how can he proceed to claim in the latter part of his posting that it
> can.

 At present the FARC and other armies such as the ELN represent the peasant
masses. As you may know, in Colombia these are a very oppressed class, at
present suffering at the hands of extremely exploitative landowners (sort of
kulaks), ruthless paramilitaries who are keen to put down the peasant
rebellion on behalf of the landowners, and the present economic situation in

 Yes, at the moment, the FARC and the other armies represent the peasantry.
But to seize power these armies need the support of the industrial
proletariat. It is all very well to overthrow the landowners, but they won't
have succeeded in crushing the Colombian State. Inevitably, for victory,
they are going to have to gain the support of the urban proletariat, or they
will be destroyed. It is similar to the Cuban Revolution - that began as a
petty bourgeois nationalist revolution, led by the peasantry, but developed
into a socialist revolution which by necessity gained the support and
leadership of the proletariat.

 Why do you say FARC cannot by its nature serve the interests of the
proletariat? I never said that or even implied it. Considering the FARC is
strengthening so rapidly in rural Colombia, we shall soon see it appealing
to the working masses. Already we have seen indications of this...for
example, in the recent general strike. The FARC aren't stupid. They know
what they are going to have to do. The question is, will they achieve it?



>> Clearly, a guerrilla army is not a Marxist or Leninist way to emancipate
>> the masses. Indeed, such a tactic in itself is a petty-bourgeois deviation.
>> These armies serve the interests of the peasantry, not the proletariat. The
>> methods of individual terror should not be supported. Simply achieving land
>> reform for the peasants is not enough - that is a demand of the bourgeois
>> revolution, last time I checked, and the liberal Russian "Socialist"
>> Revolutionaries demanded the same. Neither can there ever be a compromise
>> between the masses and the bourgeoisie - a Marxist organisation representing
>> the masses should not even bring up the possibility of allowing continued
>> bourgeois rule and the maintaining of the capitalist system, (though I
>> believe the "peace" talks are merely a tactic used by the FARC to gradually
>> seize power). Not only that, but it is the historical task of the
>> proletariat - not the peasantry - to overthrow the bourgeoisie and build
>> Socialism.


>> But we have no choice in the matter. To continue its existence, and to have
>> any chance of smashing the bourgeois state, it is unquestionable that the
>> FARC is going to have to gain the support of the proletariat in the cities,
>> from whom they have next to none at present. This class could then play the
>> decisive role in the revolution. The FARC played an interesting role in a
>> recent general strike against the monetarist policies of Pastrana, by
>> seizing a power station. We need a little more of that.
>>  Critical support of FARC and such armies as the ELN should be maintained.
>> They're far from perfect, but better than nothing. They could inspire a
>> revival of revolutionary consciousness in Latin America. Note the fact
>> Castro wants the armies to disarm after a compromise which would keep the
>> capitalist system in place, and recently said that the era of guerrilla
>> warfare was over. I wouldn't be so annoyed at such a statement if he hadn't
>> issued another one recently after a meeting with some Iranian official
>> proposing the Islamic system as a possible alternative to the present system
>> in the West.

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