From Fourth International, March 1947, Vol.8 No.3, pp.81-86.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.
One year after the electoral victory of the National Democratic Front (FDN) you are beginning to realize that the “New Regime” has defrauded your hopes and betrayed your confidence
The Apra abetted by the Communist Party has diverted the revolutionary energies of the proletariat and the middle-class poor in support of a capitalist combination, i.e., the regime of the National Democratic Front. Both the Apra and the Communist Party declared, as they still do, that our economic and political problems do not require for their solution the revolutionary overthrow of the exploiting classes. Both the Apra and the CP promised, as they still do, that the Peruvian people would gain a freer and happier life through the new government formed by the democratic bourgeoisie and through parliamentary activities. Both the Apra and the CP once predicted, as they no longer do, that our country would evolve toward a “more just and democratic” society, overcome its feudal backwardness, and rid itself of the imperialist yoke, without infringing upon the laws and structure of the feudal-bourgeois state under which we live. To the perspective of the socialist revolution, both the Apra and the CP counterpoised the perspective of a tranquil transition through this new regime of the capitalists, imperialists and even landlords – a transition that was bound to assure the welfare, liberty and progress of the workers by the magic spell of such words as “democracy,“ “collaboration of all Peruvians of good-will,” “national unity” – and under the approving and compassionate eyes of the United Nations Organization.
Up till now the workers have thrown their unqualified support behind this Apra-CP policy. What have they gained?
The economic situation of the country is going from bad to worse. The full weight of the crisis falls on the shoulders of the proletariat and the middle-class poor. For the broad masses of workers and consumers the problem of subsistence is getting worse, verging on slow starvation. Sabotage by the so-called “producers” who exploit the country-side; profiteering by the merchants and all sorts of middle-men; the impotence and perhaps complicity of the governing officials and legislators of all parties – all this runs parallel to the scarcity of prime necessities, and produces unbridled economic and political speculation which benefits only the Peruvian landowners, the big bourgeoisie and the imperialists. Amid the constant and uncontrollable rise in the cost of living, the painfully won wage raises are insufficient not only to improve the living standard of the wage earners but even to maintain a minimum level of bearable existence. In his recent message to Congress, Bustamente declared that Peru is inseparable from the conditions of the world capitalist system. Among the most malignant manifestations of this system’s decay is inflation which grows worse daily. If the workers and the poor employees bow before the presidential edict that they be rather modest in their wage demands, the immediate result will be a further degradation of their living standards. The situation in clothing, sanitary conditions and transportation is equally critical.
On the other hand, the big imperialist enterprises and the handful of native capitalists and landowners wax richer on the misery and toil of the workers. The results of the illusion of “ ’95 without bullets” are no less disheartening on the political field. The establishment, relatively speaking, of political democracy and the promulgation by parliament of formally progressive laws on public education and agrarian property seemed to augur a democratic blossoming. But this blossoming is excluded by the fact that reactionary forces predominate on the political scene: traditional “civilismo” has reappeared under a new guise and new reactionary tendencies have arisen from among those political sectors which only yesterday were able to pose as democratic and revolutionary.
The notorious reactionary forces never lost their political strongholds, even though they were unable to organize a clearly defined party of their own. Following their defeat in the elections, they either withdrew or disguised themselves. But finding themselves unmolested, they quickly reappeared more aggressive and insolent than ever before, amid the vacillations of the self-styled democratic leaders. Their press from El Comercio to Jornada – not to mention the Haroldo and Vanguardia which are adding to the universal confusion – is busy preparing the psychologic conditions for the resumption of power by the blackest reaction.
The “New Regime” has in the meantime respected religiously the economic and political positions of “civilismo.” The relations between the government and the politicians of the former regime keep improving daily. This government no longer bothers to hide its conservative character and is evolving along reactionary lines. Bustamente approved with especial malevolence the restrictions on union organization and the right to strike, which up till now the government has denied only to federal employees, teachers and “defense” workers. In the conflicts between labor and capital, the President has sided completely with the exploiters, taking a hostile attitude toward the working class in his presidential addresses. The military bureaucracy has fortified its positions and is devouring a large share of the national income. The Ministry of Interior has been turned over to a reactionary militarist. The executive branch insists on maintaining the veto power, a detested relic of the constitutional monarchies of the last century. Foreign relations are conducted in the interests of Wall Street.
Lifted into power by the vote of the people, the government is now seeking assistance among its former enemies who only yesterday backed the candidacy of Ureta, who, in his turn, has been elevated to the rank of Marshal. The fusion of the government and the traditional reaction is only a matter of technical details.
Not only are reactionary tendencies developing through the right wing groups, not only are they expressed in the government’s orientation, but they also find their open expression among the leadership of a party that rests on a mass base, the Apra party. Once this party regained its legality, its “chief” proceeded to ignore and publicly to reject all perspectives of change in the socio-economic structure of the country. He has pledged not to deprive the imperialists and the landowners of any of their power. The Aprist leaders brag about their cordial relations with the high clergy. They proclaim their unbounded love for that self-same Army that massacred the insurgents at Trujillo, Cajamarca, Mal Paso ... They extend their hands to the butcher Flores, who replies by spewing Fascist spittle in their faces. They seek to pass laws restricting the freedom of the press, with an eye to banning the revolutionary press on the morrow. These leaders of class collaboration, from which only the exploiters profit, slander and hound workers who refuse to submit to their yellow policy in the trade unions. Yesterday’s fickle supporters of political strikes, they sabotage today every movement in defense of workers’ rights, using as a pretext reactionary plots which they themselves encourage by their waverings. Spokesmen for “Yankee Democracy” – that is, for colonial exploitation and atomic warfare – they throw their support behind the executive proposal which would assure the ‘delivery of new oil fields into the hands of Yankee imperialism; they passionately preach a holy war against the Soviet Union, and, above all, against communism. In this task they bank on the support of the Stalinist betrayers who have discredited and bled white the party that was once the party of Mariategui; who have distorted its doctrine beyond recognition and rendered it defenseless even before the cowardly irony of Haye de la Terre, the philosopher-clown.
The ex-Communist Party, which capitulated to Prado yesterday, and which is today caught between the Apra and “civilismo,” has no other way out except to deliver itself to the former or the latter. Author of the myth of Bustamentian democracy, chief advocate of “national unity,” this party, together with the Apra, represents the political force which curbs, drains and dissipates the revolutionary energies of the great exploited masses for the sole purpose of maintaining the stability of an outlived social order.
At the bottom of the crisis in Peru are two basic conditions.
First, there is the survival of socio-economic relations bequeathed by feudalism. As a result of this, our huge peasant population, lacking equipment and arable lands, has to work in conditions of semi-slavery for a handful of landowners. At the same time, the low level of industrial development drives the living standard of the urban population to the very lowest level.
Second, there is the Yankee imperialist domination of our principal natural resources. This deforms our country’s economic life and renders it anemic. It is exploited as a market for capital and commodities and serves as a source of raw materials. Thereby, the economic evolution toward nationalization and industrialization is impeded; and, conversely, the perpetuation of semi-feudal relations, as a means of exercising complete control over this semi-colony, is favored.
These two conditions explain the sluggishness of our social evolution, the horrible backwardness under which the native population lives, the shameful poverty of our cultural life, and the instability of our flimsy and decaying political institutions. Today this situation has led to a crisis. Inasmuch as the socio-economic structure of the country is in complete contradiction with the social needs, this crisis is a revolutionary crisis. It cannot he solved except through the social revolution. The remnants of feudalism must be destroyed by drastic agrarian reforms. We must win our national independence. These two tasks cannot be separated; they are intimately interrelated. Agrarian reform and national independence are the main tasks of the democratic revolution.
To carry out the tasks of the democratic revolution – this was the aim of Apra’s 5-point program; this was the program which the CP pretended to sponsor. But what have these parties done toward bringing victory to the much advertised “bourgeois-democratic revolution”? Exactly nothing. This is the lesson of the “New Regime’s” first year. And what can the Apra and the CP accomplish? Exactly nothing. The Apra and the CP cannot fulfill the tasks of the democratic revolution because instead of fighting consistently and resolutely against imperialism and against the capitalists, they preach “national unity” and support the “democratic regime,” that is, the social order which is the very negation of the democratic revolution.
The Apra, the CP and Ravines [former CP leader] say that the “bourgeois democratic revolution” must be brought to a close because this revolution is not proletarian and socialist. It was precisely this conception, repeated to the point of boredom by the leadership of the counterfeit CP and by the renegades of Vanguardia, that originally led to the split between the petty bourgeois followers of Haya de la Torre, on the one hand, and the proletarian vanguard grouped around Mariategui on the other. This conception served the petty bourgeois politicians as a bridge to their orientation toward the native bourgeoisie and imperialism. In his day the Marxist Mariategui demolished this essentially counter-revolutionary conception. His self-styled disciples, in open violation of the teachings of the founder of the CP of Peru, have embraced this conception. They thereby reveal that they are a petty bourgeois agency at the beck and call of the Moscow bureaucracy. They are rivals of the Aprist politicians, but not their historic enemies. What separates the Apra from the CP are immediate interests. But these two parties are alike as peas in a pod in their role of agents of class collaboration. The Aprists are opposed to the class independence of the proletariat; they play the game of the bourgeoisie. The “Communists” who preach “national unity” and support the “progressive” bourgeoisie likewise play the game of the bourgeoisie. Both parties say that it is not yet time to fight for the historic objectives of the proletariat; but that instead it is necessary to fight for the “bourgeois democratic revolution,” for the development of “native capitalism,” in other words, for the consolidation of the bourgeois order. But can the native bourgeoisie lead – or even go along with – the democratic revolution to its consummation? Is it possible to envisage a bourgeois democratic development in Peru within the framework of world capitalism under the sway of imperialism? We repeat what Mariategui has already said: this is not possible.
“The Latin-American revolution will be a stage, a phase of the world revolution, and nothing else. It will be purely and simply the socialist revolution” (Mariategui.)
During the ascent of capitalism, the bourgeoisie of the advanced countries appeared as the democratic class par excellence. During the death agony of capitalism, in the era of imperialism which threatens mankind with atomic destruction, the bourgeoisie of these same countries becomes transformed into the negation of democracy.
We cannot solve democratic revolution within the national or international framework of bourgeois society. In Mariategui’s program for the proletarian party it is stated:
The international character of modern economy permits no country to escape from the processes of transformation which originate in the present-day conditions of production ...
Imperialism bars the economic program of nationalization and industrialization in every semi-colonial country which it exploits as a market for its capital and commodities, and as a source of raw materials.
We are a semi-colony of Yankee imperialism. If, in the course of the last war, Peru was a component part of the economic and diplomatic machinery at the service of Wall Street, then in the next conflict our country will fall under the direct control of imperialism and our youth will be converted into cannon fodder. This process is well on its way. In carrying out Truman’s plan of unifying the Latin-American armies under Yankee tutelage, we will lose even the semblance of national independence. The agreement with “International Petroleum,” which’ is defended by the Aprists and Bustamente and which is gleefully accepted by the CP, is another link in the chain of our complete subjugation.
Notwithstanding the fake anti-imperialist shouts of the anti-Aprist reaction, all sectors of the bourgeoisie recognize and accept our dependent position in relation to imperialism. This dependence is inescapable so long as capitalist imperialism dominates the world. This system is able to survive precisely because of the subjugation of colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries like ours.
The fate of our weak-jointed national bourgeoisie is intimately bound up with the fate of the entire world capitalist system. Its fate is the fate of a prematurely senile and obsolete class which has no other objectives except to survive. The triumph of the democratic revolution and the conquest of national independence by countries like ours would deal a mortal blow to the world capitalist system and, in consequence, to our own bourgeoisie. While the imperialist bourgeoisie fears most of all the socialist revolution, the bourgeoisie of dependent countries lives in constant dread of the democratic revolution.
The development of world capitalism has compressed our exploiting classes into an international mould which prohibits their participating fruitfully in the democratic revolution and drives them toward the counter-revolution. Elements of capitalism are interwoven with feudalism in our economy. But the very basis of “our” capitalism, i.e., the oil industry, the key sectors of the transportation system, most of our small manufacturing industry, our financial relations – all these are the exclusive property of the imperialists and not of the native bourgeoisie. This native class, even its most favored sections, rests on extremely slender and feeble props. The real big bourgeoisie is not in Peru but in Wall Street, this fierce enemy of democratic and national revolutions.
On the other hand, the native elements which constitute the Peruvian plutocracy, namely, the factory owners and the bankers, are tied up with the exploitation of large haciendas, that is, with semi-feudalism. The alleged conflict between the industrialists and bankers, on the one side, and the landowners, on the other, is nothing else but opportunist sophistry spread by the CP. Upon reaching a certain stage of development, the bourgeoisie begins to capitalize agriculture. But wherever large estates survive, along with the forms of exploitation deriving therefrom, the bourgeoisie finds ample room for investing its capital without destroying the basis of the feudal system, and, what is more, even by fortifying and extending it. This is verified by the ruination of small farmers by the big farms on the coastal areas. The bourgeois from Lima thus unites with the lord of Huancavelica in a bourgeois-feudal brotherhood with the blessing of imperialism, their foster-father. The Peruvian plutocracy is in reality subordinated to the finance capital of Wall Street. It originated, nourished itself and thrived by turning over our basic resources to imperialism, its master. It is the natural enemy of the democratic revolution and of national independence. Such is the “progressive” bourgeoisie with whom the Stalinists have united under express orders from the Moscow bureaucracy. Up till now this class has ruled through the military cliques of Sanches Cerro and Benavidesand on occasion it has even ruled directly as in the case of Prado. Today it is being served by an avowedly bourgeois government supported by the popular parties. On the morrow it might be obliged to rule through a party of petty bourgeois origin. It will unfailingly govern against the democratic revolution.
The Aprists and the “Communists” do not dare deliver the workers openly to the political leadership of the big bourgeoisie, the ally of feudalism and tbe servant of imperialism. But they achieve the same objective by subjecting the proletariat to a petty bourgeois political perspective. By distorting the real need for a revolutionary alliance between the proletariat and the middle-class poor, they have subjected the working class to the political leadership of the petty bourgeoisie and through it to the plutocratic bourgeoisie and to imperialism.
Owing to conditions inherent in our economic development, the middle class has attained a semblance of stability and equilibrium between the two antagonistic classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Therein is the explanation for the aggressiveness and militancy in the initial stages of the Apra, the party of the petty bourgeoisie.
In all of Latin America there was not a more radical and advanced petty bourgeois party. Its maximum program, boldly democratic and revolutionary, was condensed in the famous “5 points”:
Fifteen years of opportunist yielding to the oligarchy and one year of political liberty have sufficed to disclose how impotent this party’s leadership is as a revolutionary force.
Although resting on the broad toiling masses and the militant sections of the proletariat, it was at no time able to deal decisive blows to the dictatorships by which it had been outlawed. Throughout this period, the leadership of the PAP (Peruvian Aprist Party) and in particular its “Chief” maintained permanent contact with the representatives of the various political and military factions of the oligarchy and of its governments. It was unable to organize an insurrection against the dictatorships, in spite of the numerous opportunities afforded it by the revolutionary masses. When the great uprising of Trujillo took place, the leadership openly betrayed it, because the workers of the North went over the heads of the officers who had negotiated with the Aprist leaders. The movement was deliberately restricted to Trujillo, a circumstance that permitted the most savage military repressions. On the other hand, there was not a single attempt at a military coup d’etat, reactionary and adventuristic in character, in which the Apra leadership was not involved. It is an open secret that the “Chief” had talks first with the Sancherristas and then with the Benavidistas, and, above all, with the traveling salesmen of imperialism, like Wallace. The Apra Leadership places more faith in combinations with its so-called “enemy” than in the proletarian masses who form the militant base of the party. Finally, the compromise with Benavides and Bustamente, as well as with Prado, which gave the victory to the National Democratic Front, was reached at the price of completely abandoning the “5 points”, that is, the elimination of Apra as a revolutionary petty bourgeois party.
If the Apra has hitherto been able to deceive the masses with its “5 point” promises, it can no longer do so today with its slogan “Let us not take away from those who possess but let us rather create new wealth.” If the petty bourgeois party was hitherto able to evade a clear definition of its position in the struggle between capital and labor, now that it has capitulated to the bourgeoisie, it no longer bothers to hide its true class character and openly preaches the idea of collaboration between capital and labor, even going so far in its cynicism as to “deny” the class struggle for “this period in our history.”
The picture of Haya de la Torre surrounded by representatives of oil imperialism, shows Apra in the camp of those whom it used in the beginning to denounce as its worst enemies. The petty bourgeois anti-imperialists of the Twenties have been transformed into bourgeois pro-imperialists of the Forties. The leading elements of this party consort with the landowning circles. The revolutionary students of the heroic days ride in luxurious limousines; their wives frequent “high society” and the salons of the oldest aristocrats. Eager to demonstrate good will toward the feudal bourgeoisie, the “Chief” orders the deletion from the party program of the demand to separate the church from the state, a basic democratic demand, and as the supreme expression of his servility he hastens to worship publicly the image of “Blessed Humay.” This is what “Aprist democracy” has come to.
The course of the PAP is incontrovertible proof of the inability of the middle class to serve as a leading revolutionary group. Under an illusion, perhaps sincerely entertained, that it could realize an historic destiny independently of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and imperialism, the Aprist petty bourgeoisie served as a blind instrument in forming a party serviceable to the plutocracy. The feudalists and the bourgeoisie were unable to build their own party with their forces. The Apra came to their aid, preferring them a party ready-made and anxious to serve.
The crisis of the world capitalist system which rests on private property which must be replaced by socialized property relations, deprives the middle class, as an independent class, of the possibility to carry through a democratic policy to its conclusion. This is the reason for the evolution of the Aprist organization, for the ideology and trends toward totalitarian and anti-working class forms. Adherence to the bourgeois social order implies inexorably and ultimately the resort to fascist or proto-fascist policy, and, at all events, to anti-democratic and counter-revolutionary policy. All efforts to reconstruct a movement on the same social and ideological basis as Apra did fifteen years ago will suffer the same fate.
The petty bourgeoisie must cast its lot either with the bourgeoisie or with the proletariat. With the bourgeoisie it can march only toward economic and political oppression. Only by subordinating itself to the historic perspectives of the world working class, will the middle class achieve the realization of its democratic dreams.
The Democratic Revolution Is the Task of the Proletarian Revolution
Workers! The evolution of Peruvian classes in recent years is still another confirmation of the superiority of Marxist thought, the weapon for the final liberation of mankind. Twenty years ago the founders of the Marxist movement in Peru told us:
The pre-capitalist economy of Peru cannot be purged of the vices and vestiges of colonial feudalism by a bourgeois regime which is subordinated to imperialist interests and which enters into collusion with the feudal landowners and the clergy ... The country’s economic emancipation can be achieved only through the action of the proletarian masses in solidarity with the world anti-imperialist struggle. Only proletarian action can undertake and carry out the tasks of the bourgeois democratic revolution, which the bourgeoisie is incapable of promoting or fulfilling.
The crushing majority of our population consists of peasants. Originally expropriated by the Spanish conquerors and later, during the colonial period and that of the Republic, by the Creole aristocracy, the peasantry has been reduced to semi-servility in conditions of material and moral barbarism. It is atomized in isolated communities, huddles in its miserable huts and suffers from national oppression maintained alike by the Peruvian exploiters and imperialist overlords. In a country so backward as ours, so semi-feudal and so dependent on imperialism, the agrarian problem and the national question destine the peasantry to play a basic role in the democratic revolution.
But this class has been so oppressed socially that a peasant movement and even less so a peasant party have never arisen, despite many heroic manifestations of elemental rebellion. The native bourgeoisie cannot and will not adopt the demands of the peasant masses. As regards the peasantry itself, its lack of’ economic independence and its profound internal differentiation “which enables its upper layers to ally themselves with the big bourgeoisie in the course of decisive events, above all during wars and revolutions, while its lower layers ally themselves with the proletariat” (Trotsky) – this peasantry cannot build an independent revolutionary party. It was for this reason that the peasant revolution in the Nineteenth Century triumphed as part of the bourgeois revolution, while the peasant revolution in Russia, the democratic revolution, triumphed in October through the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The Peruvian peasant revolution will reach its goal under the political leadership of the working class.
Proletarians! The historic collapse of our native bourgeoisie places upon our class a great revolutionary mission. By accepting bourgeois political leadership in “national unity” or in “Aprist unity” we not only abandon our immediate interests as an exploited class, but also place ourselves in opposition to progress. The same circumstances that condition the organic weakness of the bourgeoisie have invested the proletariat with the decisive role, owing both to its greater numerical strength and greater class homogeneity. By comparison to us, the bourgeoisie is weak. It is not the master of the key capitalist enterprises. The extractive industry (mines, oil, etc.) and many manufacturing industries belong not to the native bourgeoisie but to imperialism. But the development of these industries, which added nothing to the strength of our bourgeoisie, has resulted in the growth of the proletariat, the truly productive class.
We, the proletariat, have the real power. Owing to industrial backwardness we are a minority, but this minority is compact, cohesive and organized. No ties bind us to the past, to feudalism, to imperialism. If we learn how to organise ourselves into a cohesive force, we can place ourselves at the head of the peasants. We alone, the socialist class par excellence, can bring about the triumph of the democratic revolution.
Only the proletariat can carry out the tasks of the democratic revolution. But by this token, the fulfillment of these tasks will not signify a fuller national development for the bourgeoisie and for capitalism as all the Ravines and the pseudo-Communist Party pretend. It will signify just the contrary.
Reactionary classes do not yield their power voluntarily. The triumph of the democratic revolution is unthinkable without the crushing of the landlords and the bourgeoisie. The democratic revolution can triumph only through the dictatorship of the proletariat, resting on an alliance with the peasantry. This is the only way to destroy the feudal-bourgeois counter-revolution. Let us not forget that the democratic revolution in Russia was not brought to its completion by the petty bourgeois Mensheviks or “democrats” but by the dictatorship of the proletariat. By ignoring this lesson, the Communist Party of China, whom the Stalinist leadership betrayed, precipitated the defeat of the democratic revolution and led to the victory of the bourgeois counter-revolution with Chiang Kai-shek at the head.
The dictatorship of the proletariat, however, will find itself immediately faced with tasks which will oblige it to transgress upon bourgeois property rights. “In the course of its development, the democratic revolution passes directly into the socialist revolution and thus it becomes the permanent revolution” (Trotsky).
Our revolution, simultaneously democratic and socialist, cannot develop and triumph within the narrow framework of the national state. It cannot triumph unless imperialism is crushed. It cannot triumph without the assistance of revolutionary victories in other Latin-American countries. Our revolution is more than a part of the Latin-American revolution. Like that of the other colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries, the Latin-American revolution is simply a part of the world revolution of the oppressed. Our democratic and socialist revolution will end in the triumph of the classless society on the whole planet. Our call is the same as that issued by the Second World Congress of the Communist International, which approved Lenin’s report on the national and colonial question. We call upon the Peruvian proletariat to fight for its historic objectives, for world communism, in the confidence that “the masses of the backward countries, led by the conscious proletariat of the advanced countries, will achieve communism without having to pass through the different stages of capitalist development.” (Supplementary Theses on the Colonial and National Question, adopted by the Second World Congress of the CI)
The objective social and economic conditions necessary for the triumph of the revolution are historically here. Nevertheless the revolution remains paralyzed, while our poverty and oppression grow worse daily. The revolution does not advance because the masses have been made captives of the ideology and political parties of the class enemy. The role of the Apra and the CP has been to retard the development of lucid revolutionary consciousness among the proletariat. Failing this lucid consciousness of its historic goals and its political necessities, the proletariat falls easy prey to the exploiters.
The revolution is not advancing because the proletariat has no party of its own to lead it to victory. We need a class party that will provide a real revolutionary leadership; that will prepare and organize the future struggles, that will raise the consciousness of all the exploited layers enabling them to grasp correctly the current political problems. We need a party that knows how to awaken the revolutionary energies of the peasantry and to destroy the capitalist influence over the poor middle-class; a party that will guide and bring us to the necessary alliance of the proletariat, poor middle class and the disinherited peasantry and forge it into a real fighting alliance and not into a surrender to petty bourgeois impotence. We need a party prepared for the task of establishing a revolutionary government, a party able to march in step with the international proletarian revolution.
The formation of this authentic revolutionary proletarian party is the task of the hour facing the workers’ vanguard. Unless we take this first step, and take it right away, we shall not be able to move forward. Comrades! This party does not exist as yet. The Apra, as its bourgeois leadership has explicitly declared, is not a working class party. Nor is the CP a revolutionary party. The Party of Mariategui is dead, assassinated by its petty bourgeois leadership who have sold out to Stalinism and to the native bourgeoisie.
What clearer proof could here be of its betrayal than the abandonment of the revolutionary position and the adoption of the thesis of “the bourgeois democratic revolution;’ of the “progressive national bourgeoisie” and of “national unity” between the exploited and the exploiters? What better proof of its betrayal do we need than the Stalinist renunciation of the perspective of the dictatorship of the proletariat and its replacement by the bourgeois governments of Prado and Bustamente? What better proof could there be of this betrayal than the collusion between the Stalinists and the Peruvian reactionaries to rid themselves of their Aprist rivals?
There is perfect harmony between the policies of the Peruvian Stalinists and their role of flunkeys to the counter-revolutionary bureaucracy of Moscow. The party founded by Mariategui has ceased be a workers’ and a communist party because the international Communist movement has been perverted through the bureaucratic degeneration of the USSR.
The socialist revolution is international, or else it is not socialist at all. The Russian Revolution was nothing else but the prelude to the world revolution. Only the victory of the proletariat in the most important countries could have assured the harmonious evolution of the USSR, a predominantly peasant country, with a poor and backward economy. The defeat of the first world revolutionary wave after the First World War made it impossible for socialism to blossom in one-sixth of the world and at the same time it gave birth to a bureaucratic caste which ended by destroying the very semblance of the proletarian dictatorship and by assassinating the very founders of the first workers’ state in the world. This has provided the basis for the opportunist tendencies in the Communist parties throughout the world and has converted the Communist International into a pawn in the diplomatic chess game of the “Soviet” bureaucracy.
To be with the Stalinist bureaucracy is to be against the world revolution.
Aware that the world socialist revolution would put an end to his rule, Stalin has attempted to maintain a status quo between the capitalist world and the degenerated workers’ state. The price of this policy has been the suppression of revolutionary movements throughout the world. The list of betrayals by the Stalinist parties in various countries is endless. Is it necessary to recite the defeats of so many proletarian revolutions in the interval between the two world wars? After the second butchery are we not eye. witnesses to Stalin’s alliance with imperialism in order to defeat the revolutions that loom in France, Italy, Central Europe, Germany and in the colonies? Aren’t we still trembling with indignation at the way in which the Stalinist bureaucracy abandoned the Greek proletariat to the bullets of English imperialism and the Greek capitalists?
The power of the Stalinist bureaucracy confronts two enemies. On the one side there is the international proletariat and especially the Soviet proletariat which regards the bureaucracy as its worst internal enemy, as the saboteur of the world socialist revolution. On the other side there is imperialism which hopes to solve its crisis and find new markets by subjecting one sixth of the world to its exclusive domination. The world proletariat has not yet succeeded in recuperating from the opportunist Stalinist degeneration. Meanwhile with the disappearance of the German-Japanese axis, imperialism is presenting a united front with a view to extirpating the last vestiges of the October conquests – collectivized and planned economy – and is conducting a major campaign against this very same Russian bureaucracy. This danger forces Stalin to resume the use of stronger language toward capitalists, exclusively for the purpose of gaining support among the workers in the defense of his bureaucratic power. This is the meaning of the false neo-leftism of the “Communist” parties. This type of politics has nothing in common with the interests of the proletariat, it serves only for the defense of the counter-revolutionary bureaucracy.
To be with Stalinism, that is with the Russian bureaucracy, is to play definitely the game of capitalism. This is so obvious that many of the Stalinist cadres are going over to the direct service of their respective bourgeoisie. This is the case with Ravines in our own country. Trained by Moscow, he refuses to depend on any one but Lima.
We, the workers of Peru, can be neither with Moscow nor with Lima; neither with the Russian nor the Peruvian counter-revolution. We are with the international proletarian revolution and against all its enemies.
Proletarian organization is essentially international. None of the problems of the proletariat can be solved on a national scale, hence the necessity for an international workers’ party.
The Second and Third Internationals foundered in the course of this war. But the party of the world revolution has emerged with the red flag flying from its masthead. Reaffirming the program and experience of the Third International of Lenin and Trotsky, the revolutionists of the principal countries repudiated the Stalinized Comintern at a time when it became converted into a mere pawn in Moscow’s diplomatic maneuvers. The Fourth International was founded under the leadership of Leon Trotsky, organizer of victory in October, organizer of the Red Army, Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet and comrade-in-arms of Lenin. The GPU assassinated Trotsky and many of our militants, but the Fourth International stood up under the repressions of Stalinism and of capitalism; it stood up against the patriotic delirium in wartime. Today the Fourth International is the only international party of the proletariat. It is the world party of the socialist revolution: our place is in its ranks.
Comrade Workers! The Marxist Workers Group, an authentic proletarian Marxist grouping, directs this solemn call to you:
Build with us the authentic party of the Peruvian proletariat, Peruvian section of the Fourth International!
All revolutionists must leave the ranks of rotten Stalinism and of the Apra, these tools of the bourgeoisie. No confidence whatever in these traitors! We are confident that the most conscientious proletarian militants, the workers vanguard, will join with us to lay the foundation of the proletarian party. In the meantime, the Marxist Workers Group makes its contribution to this great task with this Manifesto, appraising the revolutionary situation from the Leninist viewpoint, advancing the correct historical perspective and explaining the program of the revolution.
The struggle will be hard. Your Aprist and Communist leaders will tell you that our program is not realizable in life. Yes, Comrades, it cannot be realized under the conditions of the present situation. But what they will not tell you is that this situation can be overcome only through the struggle for the revolutionary program. Who are the enemies of this program? The imperialists, the landowners, the bourgeoisie and its Aprist and Stalinist agents, the opportunists. The struggle against these class enemies is therefore part of the struggle for the program, for the revolution, and, in the first place, for the building of the party.
Our program combines the tasks of the democratic revolution and of socialism. It takes as its starting point the immediate tasks and rises to the great objectives of the proletarian revolution. Beginning with an appraisal of the existing possibilities within bourgeois society it goes on to the final necessity of abolishing the power of the exploiters.
We will tirelessly repeat that the immediate and primary condition of the revolutionary program is the building of our class party, the Peruvian section of the Fourth International. To this task our Manifesto is dedicated. But we summon you to build this party on the basis of certain immediate and transitional demands which will serve as a nucleus for the definitive program. We call upon you to discuss them democratically with us, within the MWG, as the first step toward the formation of the party.
Workers who suffer from capitalist exploitation! Peasants who are sucked dry by the Landowners! Poor petty bourgeois who sweat in your miserable little shops, or on a small piece of land or in an office – you, too, in your miserable existence are victims of capitalist oppression! Your only salvation lies in the program of the MWG and in the general program of the Fourth International.
Let us organize a powerful proletarian party! Let us build the Peruvian section of the Fourth International!
Long live the socialist revolution which will carry out the tasks of the democratic revolution! Long live international socialism!
Workers of the world unite in the Fourth International!
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Last updated on 12.2.2009