Sison and the promotion of right opportunism and liquidationism
“Despite their mantra of PPW, they have not done anything to start any kind of people’s war in Norway or assist such war if any in some other industrial capitalist country or give any significant kind of help to the people’s wars going on somewhere else in the world. They still need to grow from their small-group status and infantile mentality by doing serious mass work among the Norwegian workers and engaging in truly MLM Party-building to be able to contribute more significantly to the resurgence of the world proletarian revolution against imperialism, revisionism and all reaction.”
This is a cowards way of arguing. When Belisario is tired of arguing the principles, he wants to argue the person. From the point of Sison, it would be more understandable. Everyone knows where Sison is coming from. But who is Andy Belisario? The first articles of Kinera was not statements of organizations, but it was promoted by Tjen Folket Media and we don’t deny Kinera is a supporter of the Maoist movement of Norway. But where is PRISM based? The web page does not tell. What organization or movement does Belisario support? He does not tell. One might think his angry words against the Maoists of Norway, signalised he is in some way connected to a big and successful communist party. Who knows? As far as we can tell, he does not even say he adheres to Maoism.
The NDFP web page and the ILPS chairperson Sison promotes Belisario. Our own article does not set out to investigate or write about the people’s war in the Philippines. It is one of four people’s wars today, and we support it wholeheartedly. On the workings of Sison/ILPS/NDFP abroad, especially in the imperialist countries, we will address three points:
1. 12 members of the leadership of ILPS disclosed undemocratic and hegemonic aspirations in the ILPS, led by its leader, Jose Maria Sison in 2011, resulting in their expulsion from ILPS and furious attacks from Sison. Most known of the 12 is probably professor Saibaba of India. To underscore this fact, the well known professor Saibaba was expelled by Sison and the ILPS! Other expelled comrades represented mass organizations in the USA, Turkey, Brazil, Greece and Iran.
2. The right opportunist line of Peru is represented in the ILPS by a MOVADEF group. MOVADEF is traitors of the people’s war of Peru, but they are included and defended in the ILPS.
3. Sison does not promote the need for organizing communists or unifying under Maoism, but promote right opportunist and revisionist parties and organizations in Europe and the Americas. The right liquidationist ‘Jugendwiderstand’ and the reformist MLPD of Germany is amongst those who are supported and promoted by Sison.
In summation, the practice of Belisarios promoters in Europe and the Americas, does not differentiate between “truly MLM Party-building” and “the necessary but calibrated or discreet preparations” by Marxist-Leninists on the one hand, and legalist, reformist, right opportunist, right liquidationist and traitorous parties and cliques on the other hand. Or, they do differentiate, by attacking those who do build Maoist parties and do necessary definition and preparation, and warmly embracing and saluting all forms of right opportunism.
Even the mere Sison/NDFP-promotion of Belisarios frontal attack on Chairman Gonzalo and the theory of people’s war as universally applicable, is a prime example of what line is being promoted by this centre based in the Netherlands. We know this attitude of being soft on revisionism and aggressively attacking “Left-Communism” very well. It is a typical feature of right opportunism itself.
Again, we mean no disrespect against the Communist Party of the Philippines and the cadre and masses they organize and lead in the people’s war of the Philippines. We do not set out to criticise the revolution in the Philippines. Not that this would be principally wrong, but it is not in the scope of our capacity. Also, we emphasize our heartfelt respect for the combattants and the blood that has been shed for the new democratic revolution and proletarian world revolution. We owe a great debt to the people’s war, its combattants and martyrs. It does not however, excerpt Sison or anyone promoted by him or the NDFP web page from criticism. On the contrary, it makes it even more important, since they might promote right opportunism under disguise of supporting the people’s war or hold the people’s war up as some shield against the twoline-struggle.
Gonzalo did not create Maoism but was the first to define it
“Kinera idolizes Gonzalo to high heavens, for his role in “synthesizing” Maoism (…) These incredibly arrogant claims by Kinera (following his idol Gonzalo) is a brazen insult to Mao, who after his death apparently needed another thinker to “synthesize for the very first time” his well-known teachings and to pin on it the shiny new name Maoism. It is a historic slap at the Chinese Communist Party, which up to 1976 was led by Mao himself together with other proletarian revolutionaries, and which was guided by Mao’s theories (which was called Mao Zedong Thought and eventually Maoism).”
Belisarios text is dripping of venom. On behalf of Sison and now Mao and the Communist Party of the Philippines, he lashes out against those who he claim insults them. Like there is any insult against Mao in synthesising Maoism as a third and higher stage of Marxism-Leninism, that is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism! Listen to the “insults” against Mao, from the Communist Party of Peru:
“Three big historical landmarks must be emphasized in the present century: first, the October Revolution of 1917, which opened the era of the world proletarian revolution; second, the triumph of the Chinese Revolution, in 1949, which changed the correlation of forces in favor of socialism; and third, the great proletarian cultural revolution, which began in 1966 as the continuation of the revolution under the proletarian dictatorship in order to maintain the revolutionary course towards Communism. It is enough to emphasize that Chairman Mao led two of these glorious historical feats.”
“the key point is to see how, in this great class struggle on the world level, Gonzalo Thought considers that a third stage of the proletarian ideology arises: First, as Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung Thought; then Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought; and later, it is defined as Maoism, understanding its universal validity; and in this way reaching Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, as the present expression of Marxism.”
We hold this not to be insults but facts. Neither Mao nor the Communist Party of China synthesised what is Maoism and understood this as a the third and higher stage of proletarian ideology. It is fact. Belisario blurs this by stating the CPC “was guided by Mao’s theories (which was called Mao Zedong Thought and eventually Maoism)”. It is correct it was guided by Mao Zedong Thought. This was understood and formulated by Mao and the CPC as the concrete application of Marxism-Leninism on the particular revolution of China. But it was not understood as third and higher stage of proletarian revolution, universally applicable. This is explained masterly in the article concerning Lenin’s Thought in El Maoista, also referred to earlier in this document.
We might have made some errors in our formulations, we might have been unclear. The synthesis of Maoism is not about inventing but of revealing. To define Maoism is not to invent it, but to apply and thereby understand what is universal. And the application of Mao’s Thought led to really understanding what is universal, and understanding how he developed the proletarian ideology in all three realms, in philosophy, economy and socialism. Chairman Gonzalo did not invent Maoism, neither did he develop Maoism. Maoism was mainly forged in the people’s war in China, in the new democratic revolution, the socialist construction and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, under the leadership of Mao. But Maoism as a third and higher stage of the ideology of the proletariat was firstly understood and explained by Chairman Gonzalo. It was firstly defined by him.
The struggle against the so called cult of personality is an attack on democratic centralism
Further on, as the followers of Lenin and Mao, also the followers of Gonzalo gets our fair share of such frenetic slander as Belisario throw at us. When we uphold Gonzalo, when we define him as the greatest living Maoist, we “idolize to high heavens”. He talks of “their dear Gonzalo”, “his idol Gonzalo”, “his Gonzaloite friends” etc. So much hot air, so little substance. We do not idolize anyone, but as Mao was the greatest living communist from 1953 to 1976, Gonzalo is today. Belisario does not agree. Let him disagree and explain why, but this slander and hot air is mere distractions. Gonzalo is no demigod. He is the great leader of the people’s war of Peru and has made substantial contributions to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism by applying it on the concrete revolution of Peru, that is Gonzalo Thought. This is our position. Let us explain why. But Belisarios sneering attitude speaks to his contempt of both theory and practice, that is the people’s war of Peru.
We find this interesting, because it reminds us of how right opportunists always have attacked the leadership. Listen to the Khrushchev renegades attack on Mao and the CPC in an editorial of ‘Pravda’ named ‘The Anti-Soviet Policy of Mao Tse-tung and His Group’:
“The entire practice of the C.P.S.U. and the other Communist Parties which are consistently developing Leninst standards in inner-party life, strengthening the principles of collective leadership and strictly adhering to democratic principles in the activities of all party organisations from top to bottom, naturally creates a danger to Mao Tse-tung and his power, for Mao Tse-tung’s group has long been attacking its own party. The most elementary standards and principles of inner party life-the elective nature of party bodies, the responsibility of leaders to the party and party organisations, publicity in the discussion of the party line, etc. have been trampled underfoot in China. The cult of the personality of Mao Tse-tung has reached absurd lengths and has become actual idolatry …”
From Khrushchev’s attack on the so called “cult of personality” of Stalin, to their identical attack on the leadership of Mao, to Belisarios attack on the idolatry of Gonzalo, there is a coherent dark and reactionary thread. On their own hand, they might blur the leadership, but generally are happy to promote their own leaders in the most blatant and servile way.
The Communist Party of Peru states:
“Reaction has two principles to destroy the revolution: Annihilate its leadership and isolate the guerrilla from the masses; but in synthesis its problem is to annihilate the leadership, because that is what enables us to maintain our course and realize it.”
In the great debate between the CPC and the CPSU, the editorial departments of chinese People’s Daily and Red Flag writes ‘On The Question Of Stalin’:
“The Central Committee of the CPC pointed out in its letter of June 14 that the “struggle against the personality cult” violates Lenin’s integral teachings on the interrelationship of leaders, party, class, and masses, and undermines the Communist principle of democratic centralism.”
There is no coincidence in the right opportunist attacks on Gonzalo and so called “idolization” and “cult of personality”, with the same words as Krustshevites once used against the great Stalin and the great Chairman. We do not here compare Gonzalo to the before mentioned great leaders, but acknowledge his role in understanding and promoting Maoism as a third and higher stage, in applying Maoism on the People’s War in Peru and in this forging Gonzalo Thought, which also have contributions of universal applicability.
On the so called “cult of personality”, Gonzalo answers like this in the ‘Interview with Chairman Gonzalo’ made by El Diario:
“Here we must remember how Lenin saw the relationship between the masses, classes, the Party and leaders. We believe that the revolution, the Party, our class, generate leaders, a group of leaders. It has been like this in every revolution. If we think, for instance, about the October Revolution, we have Lenin, Stalin, Sverdlov and a few others, a small group. Similarly, in the Chinese revolution there’s also a small group of leaders: Chairman Mao Tsetung, and his comrades Kang Sheng, Chiang Ching, Chang Chun-chiao, among others. All revolutions are that way, including our own. We could not be an exception. Here it’s not true that there is an exception to every rule because what we’re talking about here is the operation of certain laws. All such processes have leaders, but they also have a leader who stands out above the rest or who leads the rest, in accordance with the conditions. Not all leaders can be viewed in exactly the same way. Marx is Marx, Lenin is Lenin, Chairman Mao is Chairman Mao. Each is unique, and no one is going to be just like them”
The only party in the world in the vanguard of the defense of Maoism
“Kinera’s claim that PCP was the “only Maoist Party in the world in 1982” is a blatant lie, if only because the Communist Party of the Philippines had already been reestablished earlier in 1968 on the basis of its founding cadres’ firm grasp of Maoist theory and its application to concrete Philippine conditions. In Rectify Errors and Rebuild the Party (a major CPP document of reestablishment issued in 1968), Mao Zedong Thought was already repeatedly and correctly described as the acme of Marxism-Leninism in the current world era. The CPP has been assiduously building itself and achieving victories in people’s war on the basis of MLM since then, as its voluminous documents, publications, and study courses show.”
Before claiming we are liars, an honest revolutionary (then excluding Belisario), would seek to clearly define then what is a Maoist party. It is quite clear to us, that we depart from Belisario here. Of course, the Communist Party of the Philippines adhered to Mao Zedong Thought. But as we have stated, adhering to the understanding put forth by the Communist Party of Peru, Mao Zedong Thought and Maoism is not the same. As the party writes:
“Nevertheless, while Marxism-Leninism has obtained an acknowledgment of its universal validity, Maoism is not completely acknowledged as the third stage. Some simply deny its condition as such, while others only accept it as “Mao Tse-tung Thought.” In essence, both positions, with the obvious differences between them, deny the general development of Marxism made by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The denial of the “ism” character of Maoism denies its universal validity and, consequently, its condition as the third, new, and superior stage of the ideology of the international proletariat: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, that we uphold, defend, and apply.”
In the ‘International line’ of the party, they write:
“In 1980 the PCP launched the People’s War based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought; it is in the applying and developing the People’s War that the PCP has advanced further in the comprehension of Maoism as the third stage of Marxism. Hence, at the Second National Conference held in May 1982 the Party agreed that Marxism-Leninism-Maoism was the third stage of Marxism. Thus, the PCP was the only party in the world in the vanguard of the defense of Maoism, and assumed the task of struggling for the unity of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists of the world so that this ideology be the command and guide of the Peruvian and world revolutions.”
And this line also elaborates on the historical development of Maoism. Let us not make this a discussion about what was a “real” Maoist party in 1982. Let us just say we agree with the Communist Party of Peru, and state as a matter of fact, that “the PCP was the only party in the world in the vanguard of the defense of Maoism”.
We acknowledge that the Communist Party of Peru by no means was alone in adhering to Mao Zedong Thought. When the Communist Party of the Philippines was reconstituted in 1968, they stated in the preamble:
“The integration of the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought with the concrete practice of the Philippine revolution is the highest task of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The Communist Party of the Philippines is a revolutionary party of the proletariat that draws lessons from all previous revolutionary struggles of the Filipino people and from the great teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. It is in stride with the advance of the theory and practice of the world proletarian revolution guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.”
In 1968, this was a correct and bold statement. But Maoism was yet to be synthesised as the third and higher stage of proletarian ideology. Even though the Communist Party of Peru state in their ‘International Line’ that they, and others, where just waiting for the Communist Party of China to make this synthesis and claim themselves.
In 1991, a couple of decades later, the chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines does not mention Mao Zedong Thought in the article ‘Reaffirm Our Basic Principles and Carry the Revolution Forward’. He only mentions Marxism-Leninism, and writes:
“The advanced level provides the Party members with a comprehensive and profound knowledge of materialist philosophy, historical materialism, political economy, scientific socialism and the world revolution as taught by such great communist thinkers and leaders as Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Ho. This provides us with the most extensive and deepgoing understanding of the basic principles of the proletarian revolution and proletarian dictatorship.”
In the latest program of the Communist Party of the Philippines, they uphold Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as universal, but also write that they:
“learns basic principles from the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Ho and other great communist thinkers”
This seamingly eclectic approach to theory is concerning. Also, we do not know what is the universally applicable contributions of Ho Chi Minh, or why he is elevated to the level of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. This is not a known or acknowledged position of Ho Chi Minh in the International Communist Movement. When we refer to Gonzalo, we can answer why we do so, even though we are not experts in Gonzalo Thought by any means. But we at least have a rudimentary understanding of what is Gonzalo Thought and what is specific to this theory.
Why does Belisario mention Ho – and also Le Duan and Bo Vo Nguyen Giap – when he speaks of the military theory of people’s war? What did they contribute to this theory? The war of national liberation in Vietnam was of immense importance. But how did this elevate the theoretical body of people’s war? In Giaps words, Vietnam differed from China in being a small country and a direct colony, but we have not investigated this thoroughly. If Belisario or others could tell us what lessons of Vietnam is different or new compared to China, and then has been applied in the Philippines, we might stand corrected.
Further, Belisario is again offended on behalf of others, this time the Communist Party of the Philippines when he writes that “Mao Zedong Thought was already repeatedly and correctly described as the acme of Marxism-Leninism in the current world era” and that the “CPP has been assiduously building itself and achieving victories in people’s war on the basis of MLM since then”, but we hold that there is a qualitative difference from applying Mao Zedong Thought, and to fight to bring Maoism into command of the world proletarian revolution. This is not a competition! It is not about who gets a medal. But we cannot understand our ideology if we are not precise and clear.
Right opportunists expose themselves
“It is laudable if indeed in 1982 Gonzalo was the very first to transcribe Mao Zedong Thought to Maoism. It is another matter whether his supposed “synthesis” of Maoism would surpass the summing up by his own loyal Chinese comrades. By itself, the transcription from Mao Zedong Thought to Maoism is not a great achievement. Marx berated Paul Lafargue in 1883 for using the term Marxism for revolutionary phrasemongering against the struggle for reforms. Even then, Karl Kautsky popularized the term Marxism and subsequently used it to deny the Marxist character of Lenin’s theory and practice which he termed as Leninism.”
Neither we nor the Communist Party of Peru claim “transcribing Mao Zedong Thought to Maoism”. What we discuss is content, not form. The form should match the content, but the ism-character of Maoism is not a question of transcribing. What is important is content, not the word, as is stated by the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction) in their document ‘Combat Liquidationism and unite the International Communist Movement under Maoism and the People’s War’ where they write:
“It is not enough to recognize that Maoism is a third stage, a correct definition of its content is necessary, without a correct definition of its fundamental elements, there can not be a correct application.”
This is what is important. This is what this discussion is about. Is the theory of people’s war part of the fundamental elements of Maoism, as the Communist Party of Peru stated, as the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction) is stating, and as is stated by the parties and organizations of Latin-America initiating the unification of the International Communist Movement under Maoism?
Belisario and Sison does not agree, and resort to sinister attacks, slander and mockery to get this point through to us and all others. They now stand exposed.
On the contributions and great leadership of chairman Gonzalo
“To differentiate “Maoism” from “Mao Zedong Thought” is to nitpick and invent a false distinction. Even Gonzalo used the phrase Mao Zedong Thought until 1982. Whichever term is used, we certainly have no need for the dubious genius of a Gonzalo to “comprehense” or “synthesize” or canonize or reinvent it anew for the world’s benefit. He could not have added to the achievements of Mao himself after his death in 1976. It is pure nonsense to make it appear that the continuous significance and consequentiality of Mao’s theory and practice depend on the words of Gonzalo.”
Again dripping with venom, Belisarios stance is clear; there is no difference between Mao Zedong Thought and Maoism, and it was fully understood by the international communist movement way ahead of 1976. To further synthesize and understand, in Belisarios view, adds no value. The contributions of Mao must then simply be a summation of all his writings and efforts, or maybe the synthesis acknowledged by the Communist Party of China before the death of Mao. We do not agree, as we have made very clear.
“As dogmatists and sectarians of the worst kind, they use such expressions as “Gonzalo is the greatest after Mao”, sounding like evangelists who proclaim Jesus is the Lord. Mistaking struggle mania for revolutionary struggle, they are quick to throw invectives and do not really engage in a serious substantive debate.“Gonzalo thought”, as painted by Kinera, is not ideology but IDOLOGY.”
We do not find the word “idology” in the dictionary. Maybe the word Belisario is looking for is Khrushchev-Pravdas “idolatry”, which they slung against the Communist Party of China and their leader Mao Zedong? Belisario is not quoting us, but we adhere to the understanding of Gonzalo as the greatest living communist. Maybe the position of Belisario is that Sison is the greatest? Or maybe he is of the opinion that there has been no greatest among great communist leaders since the death of Mao? We do not know. It is the way of the right opportunist not taking a clear position.
Our position in this question is the logical conclusion from adhering to the understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, as it was made clear by the Communist Party of Peru and Chairman Gonzalo. It has nothing to do with religious metaphysics, when we uphold a communist leader to be great. The role of the Communist Party of Peru has been of great significance far from the Andes where they hoisted the red banner of Maoism in 1980. We acknowledge them to have advanced Maoism to its, by now, highest level. To hide this acknowledgment would be cowardice.
“Kinera and his fellow dogmatists and sectarians are incapable of recognizing the egotism, immodesty and arrogance of certain leaders who wish to proclaim their universal greatness even before winning the revolution in their own country and who actually brand their own theories and practices with their own names, like Gonzalo Thought, Prachanda Path and Avakian’s Synthesis (to proclaim himself the great leader of the new wave after MLM).”
Belisario, and his promoter Sison, would then equal the traitor Prachanda and the tragic figure Avakian with Chairman Gonzalo. Falsely he claim Gonzalo to proclaim himself a leader of a wave after Maoism, even though Gonzalo repeatedly states Gonzalo Thought to be Maoism applied in the peruvian revolution and thus part of the third stage, not a fourth one. Belisario calls egoism, immodesty and arrogance, since the people’s war in Peru has not yet won victory in the whole of Peru, but failing to mention that the guiding thought of Mao was acknowledged before the victory in 1949. Was this egoism and arrogance? Further on, he does not engage the reasoning made by the Communist Party of Peru, when they explain the relation between guiding thought and a great leader, and the understanding of the historical law that every revolution must produce a guiding thought and a great leadership, to be victorious, and that is is, in essence, about the concrete application of the universal Maoism on the concrete revolution.
Belisario equates Prachanda Path to Gonzalo Thought on a very superficial basis of their names. If we try to look into the essence of Prachanda Path its right opportunism is not only contrary to Gonzalo Thought. But it applies the same forms of right opportunist trickery as Sison and Belisario does. Under pretext of applying revolutionary theory to the particularities of a country, they give cover for right opportunism. And they only use the particularities to turn revolutionary struggle into legalism and reformism.
Opportunism is eclectic, and as such it does not take the same pride in its history. It dishonestly uses the achievements great communists of the past like Marx, Lenin and Mao, as well as people shedding blood for the revolution today, only as a way to put themselves in a better light. Always weaving it into their argumentation so as not to reveal the sinister attacks on the revolutionary movement they are committing. Great communists like Gonzalo build upon the great achievements and innovations of communists before them and the struggles of the masses, it is a necessity that it is so. But the opportunists have the option of eclectically rejecting the counter-revolutionary role it has played throughout history, even condemning parts of it. But if we use maoism to reveal the essence of right opportunism then it puts Prachanda Path and Belisario in the same camp, whatever Belisario claims.
And further, as the avakianists attack Maoism and negates it with their “new synthesis”, as Prachanda negates every fundamental principle of Marxism with his integration in the reactionary state, this is by far not the case of Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru. And, contrary to the avakianists, the synthesis of Gonzalo Thought is not ellusive and thus impossible to grasp. It is stated quite clearly in the documents of the party itself. While getting avakianists to explain the concept of Avakians “new synthesis” is opening up for a nonsensical mush.
And even further, to compare Avakians “achievements” to the people’s war of Peru would be laughable, if it did not display a cynical contempt of the shed blood of the masses and their party and leadership, which is alien to any communist and should provoke nothing but anger. Prachanda’s liquidation of the glorious people’s war of Nepal is in this matter greater than Avakian, but also more reactionary and criminal. This traitor with his diplomacy, negotiations and parliamentary cretinism should serve as a concrete warning of where the path of right opportunism and eclecticism leads. The problem was not the form of ‘Prachanda Path’, but the right opportunist content. We don’t give a damn about who is the most arrogant or most humble. If Khrushchev had lived in a shack tending to his humbelity (bear over with this fantasy for one moment), he would still be the greatest traitor of his time and a criminal in the eyes of the international communist movement.
Both in defence and offence, Belisario fails to differentiate. He fails to differentiate between great leaders, and he fails to differentiate between great criminals. And sometimes he confuses them altogether. It is nothing new. It is the way of right opportunism.
A black attack on the People’s War in Peru
“Let us focus on the idol of Kinera. Gonzalo may be praised for founding the PCP (Sendero Luminoso) in 1969 under the guidance of Mariategui and Mao Zedong Thought. But despite his belief that people’s war can be started at the drop of a hat, Kinera does not take Gonzalo to task for being a sluggard, starting the people’s war only in 1980 (eleven years after the PCP-SL founding), so different from the CP of the Philippines being founded on December 26, 1968 and starting the people’s war on March 29, 1969 (three months after the CPP founding).”
Again, one wants to ask who is this Belisario? Who came up with such a paragraph? It is impossible to engage such writing in a serious way. It shows nothing but contempt for the very real blood that has been shed, both in the Philippines and in Peru.
For the honest reader, we emphasize that the main question is not when to start, but to start. And before starting, it is about defining, contrary to not defining. That is, to pose the questioncorrectly and make the first steps towards preparation.
“Despite his gross failures at building the united front as a political weapon from 1969 to 1992 , Gonzalo may still be praised for engaging in the building of the Party and the People’s Guerrilla Army up to late 1980s when without respect for the facts of the revolutionary armed struggle he invented the illusion of “strategic equilibrium” and proceeded to seek a “Left” opportunist short cut to victory through urban insurrection. Inasmuch as he abhors stages, Kinera can praise Gonzalo for disregarding the probable stages in the development of protracted people’s war as previously defined by Mao. But Gonzalo is a gross violator of Mao’s teachings on protracted people’s war.”
Again, Belisario writes of people’s war as a yankee writes movie reviews, with the complete discontempt of the real lives and real blood, and also of the real dangers, hardships, leadership and organization. The claim of a failure to build the united front, does not correspond with reality and the large number of mass organizations and people’s committees generated and led by the party. How could they wage such a war without it? It would be impossible.
The stage of strategic equilibrium was real, as indicated by the yankee congress debating the people’s war, the direct involvement of yankee imperialism on the highest levels and the Fujimori coup of 1992. New York Times in March 22 of 1992, wrote:
“In Congress, the State Department, the Organization of American States and private research and human rights organizations, the sense is growing that the astonishing momentum being shown by the Shining Path rebellion in Peru is the toughest post-cold war policy test on the horizon for the Western Hemisphere. ‘Put out of your mind the F.M.L.N., the Sandinistas, the M-19 of Colombia and other South American insurgencies,’ Bernard W. Aronson, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, told a recent Congressional hearing. ‘Sendero Luminoso is in a category by itself.’”
When Mao define where the strategic defensive ends and the strategic stalemate begins, he writes:
“The second stage may be termed one of strategic stalemate. At the tail end of the first stage, the enemy will be forced to fix certain terminal points to his strategic offensive owing to his shortage of troops and our firm resistance, and upon reaching them he will stop his strategic offensive and enter the stage of safeguarding his occupied areas.“
This is the ‘tipping point’ of these two stages. We do not act as if we have studied the people’s war in Peru in all its aspects, but to us it does not at all seem like Chairman Gonzalo was wrong to understand the transition from strategic defensive to strategic stalemate. At least, if Belisario claim it is so, he should really explain why. At the stage he mentions, the old state was in crisis in Peru. This is known to all experts. The people’s war was raging in all parts of the country. The new power controlled almost half the country. There was armed actions in the whole country. The activity was simmering also in Lima. The yankee imperialists discussed the matter on congressional levels, deployed forces in Peru and president Fujimori made a coup to fight the people’s war more efficiently. It seems very much the enemy of the old state was entering a stage mainly “safeguarding” their areas, and thus the stage of strategic stalemate or equilibrium.
On the sinister claim that Gonzalo has capitulated
“After his capture in 1992, Gonzalo was quick to captitulate [sic] to the Fujimori regime and become a Right opportunist by offering peace negotiations and peace agreement with the regime, causing costly splits among the members and supporters of the PCP-SL. Since then, the infantile Maoists have made a blanket denial of Gonzalo’s capitulation and Right opportunism despite subsequent manifestations of the truth since 1993, such as his public TV appearance, confirmation by his wife and testimonies of his lawyer who visited him weekly. On this basis, RIM started to become critical of Gonzalo’s behavior.”
Our position is one with the position of the International Communist Movement, as in the statement ‘In defence of the life of Chairman Gonzalo, hoist higher the flag of Maoism!’ of 2018:
“There are those that until now insist on spreading the counterrevolutionary hoax (that Chairman Gonzalo is the head of the opportunist, revisionist and capitulationist right opportunist line,). They argue with what was stated by traitors (“he told me” or “he embraced me” and other gossip), with what is controlled by imperialism and the psychological warfare of the reaction (“courts” and “filtered” videos). Anything that comes from whoever wants to throw mud at Chairman Gonzalo supposedly has to be taken very seriously, has to be “analyzed” and has to break our heads to enter into a discussion “whether or not it is him”. They are wrong, because they do not understand that “the debate” has already been closed, the communists have already taken a position and the matter is settled: It was demonstrated that Chairman Gonzalo has not denied the Party Unity Base of the PCP for a moment. He is the Great Leader of the Party and the revolution, the greatest living Marxist-Leninist-Maoist on the face of earth, keeping on struggling to transform the concentration camp of Callao Navy Base into the most Shining Trench of Combat of the People’s War. What corresponds is to defend his life with People’s War. 26 years have already passed in which Chairman Gonzalo could not directly communicate with the Party or the ICM; 26 years of absolute isolation, this is what it concretely is. That imperialism, the reaction and revisionism will continue to plot intrigues is clear, the contrary would be that they have changed their nature (a thesis of the disciples of the sacred Avakian, which is impossible), but we must not allow that these intrigues stop the advance of the communists.”
The Maoist Communist Party of France writes, on this question in the article ‘To defend the life of Chairman Gonzalo is to defend Maoism!’:
“One year after Chairman Gonzalo’s arrest in 1992. In 1993, Peru’s Chairman, Alberto Fujimori (now imprisoned for crimes against humanity, responsible for a genocidal policy against the revolutionary movement, including the forced sterilization of thousands of indigenous women accused of procreating communists!) presented false letters of peace attributed to Gonzalo and soon after, counterfeit videos (this was evident to all communists and was revealed later by the secret services). The entire international Maoist movement led an intense campaign for the release of Chairman Gonzalo after his arrest. All requests by prominent progressive personalities to visit Chairman Gonzalo were rejected.”
We add, on our own note, that it is a matter of principle to us, not to accept any capitulation from comrades in the hands of the enemy. We will view all such messages as false. If we did not, this would place an impossible burden on the movement, to sort out what is true and what is false, as long as our comrades are in the sole hands of the enemy. Secondly, it would place all our prisoners of war in immense danger. If the enemy knew the movement to accept such statements, they would apply all types of pressure on the prisoners. Parties and organizations who accept such “capitulation” should be prepared to bear an enormous responsibility. They might end up with blood on their hands and heavy weights of responsibility on their shoulders.
In the final report of the bourgeois so-called ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ (TRC), even these lap dogs of the old state admit the torture practices of the police:
“The TRC concludes that the fight against subversion reinforced pre-existing authoritarian and repressive practices among members of the police. Torture during interrogations and undue detentions, which had been frequent in addressing common delinquency, acquired a massive character during the counter-subversive action. Additionally, the TRC has established that the most serious human rights violations by military agents were: extrajudicial executions, forced disappearance of persons, torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The TRC particularly condemns the extensive practice of sexual violence against women.”
The TRC admit massacres and other atrocities, and the massacres of heroic fighting revolutionaries in the prisons is well known to us and will forever be remembered as the ‘Day of Heroism’. Just to put emphasis on the character of the old state, we quote the bourgeois Human Rights Watch who writes:
“In 2015, the government created a national registry of victims of forced sterilizations committed between 1995 and 2001. More than 5,000 victims had been registered at time of writing.”
In this context, Belisario states “Gonzalo was quick to capitulate to the Fujimori regime and become a Right opportunist”. And by quick, he is referring to a year in solitary isolation, in a cell defined as ’spartan’ by the butcher-president Fujimori himself, his to be wife and several comrades in other cells, in the hands of the same torturing enemy. And this filth is being promoted by the ILPS chairman and NDFP advisor José Maria Sison.
Against empiricism, subjectivism and dogmatism
If we move from Belisarios criticism to summing up the main problem of his right opportunist method, we want to address his empiricism, which in essence is anti-Maoist. It is basic Marxism that practice is principal in the contradiction of theory and practice. Knowledge develops from practice, this is principal. But this should not be understood as putting no emphasis at all on theory or rational knowledge. It is basic Maoism that “from the particular to the general”, but this is but the first of two processes whereas the second is “from the general to the particular”, as Mao explained in ‘On Contradiction’.
A one-sided emphasis on the particular, on the ‘concrete socio-economic characteristics’, on the ‘objective conditions’, on the ‘revolutionary situation’, does not develop rational knowledge from the practice. It does not do what Mao describes like this:
“Thus cognition always moves in cycles and (so long as scientific method is strictly adhered to) each cycle advances human knowledge a step higher and so makes it more and more profound.“
Chairman Gonzalo also address this question when he states:
“Pay attention to analysis and synthesis — these are two aspects of a contradiction and synthesis is the principal one. Analysis allows us to break down and set elements apart in order to achieve a better understanding, but this is only one aspect. It is not, nor can it ever be, the entire process of knowledge. It requires its other aspect — synthesis. It is synthesis which enables us to grasp the essence of knowledge. If there is no synthesis there is no qualitative leap in knowledge. Synthesis is the decisive aspect, the main aspect, the one which enables the formulation of objective laws.”
Belisario and Sison ends up in short-wiring the whole Marxist cycle of knowledge, when they refuse to work seriously with the question of what is general, what is universal. Belisario boldly declares, in defiance tho the whole Marxist method:
“these communist leaders did not set out to ‘synthesize’ a ‘universally applicable theory’”
And he pretend there is an antagonistic contradiction between such synthesis (a word he puts in squeremarks, as if he even question the mere concept of synthesis!) and the “’concrete analysis of concrete conditions’ and carefully applied theory”.
This is a total rejection of the Marxist theory of knowledge, a serious error, and ends up as a blatant rejection of the entire body of work produced by the great communists Marx, Lenin, Mao – and Gonzalo.
And at the same time, there is hardly any concrete and precise socio-economical analysis in the articles put forth by Belisario and Sison. All this talk of concrete analysis of the concrete situation is simply replacing such, and not followed by such. The empiricist error thus transforms into dogmatism. We see this when Belisario eclectically handpicks quotes from Lenin’s ‘Left-Wing Communism’, without even a sentence on the concrete socio-economical situation and the historical context in which it was written. Neither does he address the context of this work in relation to the subjective forces, where this pamphlet was part of Lenin’s struggle against anarcho-syndicalism, national bolshevism and different “anti authoritarian” factionalists and splitters in Russia, Germany and Britain in 1920, a situation where Marxism had won the most advanced proletarians and the task at hand was to combat factionalism and, as Mao said, ‘raise the level of the intermediate’. This is a concrete situation that has not been replicated in the imperialist fortresses for many decades. Or does Belisario really believe we are in a similar situation in imperialist Europe 2019, as Lenin and the communists of 1920?
But in the end, what the pamphlet on ‘Left-Wing Communism’ absolutely is not, is a critique of people’s war theory as the universally applicable military theory of the proletariat…
Neither Belisario nor Sison seem interested in solving any problems. They seem focused on inventing new problems and making the least amount of real investigation. They thus again discard the Marxist theory of knowledge, where Mao states that to investigate a problem is to solve it. They criticise others for dogmatism and phrase-mongering, but they themselves have little other than empty talk to present. They attack form, person and words, instead of bringing real matters to discussion. They talk about concrete analysis, but replace any analysis with hollowed out phrases and nasty words.
Again, Belisario and Sison is totally embedded in empiricism in this matter, that is the matter of proletarian military theory and universality of people’s war. They are subjective and one-sided. And this transforms into dogmatism at the first theoretical obstacle.
It is good that they expose themselves. But it is of no use if this is not acknowledged and understood in the International Communist Movement. The wrecking ways is dangerous if one let them get their foot inside the door. We will learn this lesson and be vigilant in the future.