[Marxism] Ollanta Humala interview
Paul H. Dillon
illonph at pacbell.net
Wed Apr 5 14:03:39 MDT 2006
Any analysis of what is happening Peru that overlooks what Mariategui called
the "Indian Question" will be off the mark. Humala's support comes from the
South and Central highlands and all of the highland immigrants in Lima,
primarily. This isn't a "nationalist" issue at all since the north of Peru
which is completely mestizo with NO significant indigenous groups at all and
will support APRA and Alan Garcia as it has supported APRA since the time of
Haya de la Torre. The same is basically true of the Amazonian parts of Peru
(la selva, in contrast to la costa and la sierra in terms of traditional
Peruvian geographers) although there are amazonian native groups, their
identification with the highland natives is more symbolic than real since
they share neither similar languages nor cultural traditions.
What is happening in Bolivia has certainly not been lost on Quechua speakers
throughout the Peruvian Andes -- but there is no "single" Peru within which
one can identify a connected class struggle of any kind. The traditional
left in Peru has been in shambles since the time of Sendero and it has never
been strong in the north coast and highlands. The indigenous movement isn't
a nationalism in the traditional sense of the term . . . it is an ethnic
question and a form of messianism (el mito de Inkarri). This thread is
central to what is going on in Bolivia as well: it was the basis of the
movements of 1780-81 as well as a signficant element of the 1952 revolution.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: "Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition"
<marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2006 11:13 AM
Subject: RE: [Marxism] Ollanta Humala interview
>>LET'S BE CLEAR: I have no idea what is in the mind of Ollanta
>>Humala, nor do I make any predictions about what he will do if
>>he is elected president of Peru. I do know, however, that the
>>habit of making political proyections from formal declarations
>>has made fools out of more than one political trend, such as
>>the one who famously declared that "the main danger to the
>>Cuban Revolution is in its own leadership", thirteen MONTHS
>>after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. They found fault
>>with Fidel Castro for what was left out of Fidel's political
>>program, from HISTORY WILL ABSOLVE ME.
>>Castro's revolutionary critics declared:
> Walter, from a metaphysical standpoint we can never predict anything with
> total certainty. For example, I suppose that we can't rule out that
> Hillary Clinton might become the next President of the USA and change the
> constitution to abolish private property. I mean, after all, her husband
> did propose that Cuba solidarity activist Johnetta Cole head the Justice
> Department's Civil Rights Commission.
> However, just because the SWP found fault with Fidel Castro 46 years ago,
> this does not mean we are obligated to hold out the hope that just about
> anybody can become the next leader of a socialist revolution.
> We, after all, can benefit from hindsight and understand that the SWP did
> not fully understand the dynamics of the Cuban revolution, although they
> would eventually.
> Now that we have such a hindsight, we understand that there was a
> well-organized *vanguard* in Cuba although it did not march under the
> hammer-and-sickle. It was determined to break Cuba free of the chains of
> colonialism and achieve true democracy even if it meant breaking with
> capitalism and imperialism.
> So, understanding what we know now about what was about to happen in Cuba
> in 1959 through 1961, how does that apply to Peru? Because Humala decries
> neoliberalism, does this mean that there is a good chance that capitalism
> will be abolished in Peru once he takes office? Frankly, the reason I keep
> bringing up the need to apply Marxism to situations such as these is
> because it is rooted in class relationships. What are the class dynamics
> at work in Peru today? How are the peasants and workers mobilized and what
> are their relationships to Humala? Is there something analogous to the
> July 26th Movement in Peru? Unless you can begin to roll up your sleeves
> and dig into the nitty-gritty of Peruvian society, you are probably better
> off saying nothing than engage in idle speculation.
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