We reproduce this statement by the Editorial Board of the communist magazine “Conquest of Power” which we have received. We deeply grieve the passing away of Chairman Gonzalo and raise the call to avenge him.
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!
CHAIRMAN GONZALO‘S PLACE IN HISTORY
Conquest of Power
The Red Flag
CHAIRMAN GONZALO‘S PLACE IN HISTORY
„We are living historic moments, each of us knows that this is the case, let us not fool ourselves. In these moments we must strengthen all forces to confront difficulties and continue carrying out our tasks. And we must conquer the goals! The successes! The victory! That is what is to be done.
We are here as children of the people and we are fighting in these trenches, they are also trenches of combat, and we do it because we are communists! Because here we are defending the interests of the people, the principles of the party, and the people‘s war. That is what we do, we are doing it and will continue to do so!
We are here in these circumstances. Some think this is a great defeat. They are dreaming! We tell them to keep on dreaming. It is simply a bend, nothing more, a bend in the road! The road is long and we shall arrive. We shall triumph! You shall see it! You shall see it!“CHAIRMAN GONZALO
„You can take anything away from a man, except what he has in here [in his head]. This cannot be removed, even if he is killed. Even if they do kill him, it will remain with others.“CHAIRMAN GONZALO
„[Will there be more Chairman Gonzalos?] I think there will be many and better.“CHAIRMAN GONZALO
Today, on the 11th of September, 2021, Chairman Gonzalo, the leader of the international communist movement, the Communist Party of Peru and the Peruvian revolution, fell in the struggle for the proletarian world revolution. He had been transferred to a hospital to be treated for skin cancer inflicted upon him by the Peruvian State and imperialism through non-treatment of his psoriasis for the last 29 years of isolation and torture at the Naval Base of Callao since his arrest on September 12th, 1992. After only a few days of treatment, in early August, he was returned to his concentration camp without any sign of better health or any statement to the public. Then, today, he was found dead in his cell. Chairman Gonzalo was murdered by U.S. and other imperialism and the Peruvian reactionaries with the enthusiastic support of revisionists and opportunists all over the world.
Chairman Gonzalo fell in the struggle for the proletarian world revolution. He is a martyr of the revolution, a martyr of communism. He may not have been killed by bullets, but by cancer; he may not have fallen on the battlefield, but in prison; he may not have been martyred in the people‘s war, but 20 years after its defeat — but Chairman Gonzalo was nonetheless murdered, is nonetheless a martyr of the people‘s war. He was murdered through three decades of mental and physical torture and denial of his rights as a prisoner of war and of vital medical treatment. He was killed for his role as the leader of a revolutionary war. That is why we say that Chairman Gonzalo is a martyr of the proletarian world revolution who fell in the fight for communism.
In the name of the Editorial Board of our magazine, the Conquest of Power, we publish this document. It is the first part of a longer text about the situation of the Peruvian revolution which is being developed as a result of our investigations, which will be published soon enough. Because of that, there may be some doubts by some of our readers regarding for example talks of „Peruvian revisionism“ (and Peruvian revisionism‘s role in the so-called international communist movement) and especially regarding the liquidation of the people‘s war in Peru, which we will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt using concrete evidence with the full version of this article. We publish this with some necessary edits to reflect that Chairman Gonzalo has passed away. We believe that it is appropriate to publish this part of the coming article today.
1. THE PEOPLE‘S WAR IN PERU PROVED THAT COMMUNISM DIDN‘T DIE WITH CHAIRMAN MAO
The proletarian world revolution has gone through a long process with many bends in the road. The Paris Commune of 1871 was at the same time a great victory and a great defeat for the working class — more than 30,000 proletarians laid down their lives, but they took State power in their own hands, proving for the first time Marx‘s thesis about the dictatorship of the proletariat.
In 1905, the Russian revolution broke out — but it was smashed by the reaction (the old bourgeois-feudal, tsarist State). The revolution was thought lost — even Lenin remarked that he would never see it, so he focused his attention on the Swiss revolution instead, until 1917 came and it was clear that the October revolution had matured.
The 2nd World War was an imperialist war for the redivision of the world — but at the same time, it was imperialism‘s war against the State of workers and peasants, the Soviet Union. In the Great Patriotic War, millions laid down their lives for the defense of our State, and as a result, a whole socialist camp emerged, covering 1/6 of the surface of the Earth and 1/3 of its total population — a great victory.
Revisionism destroyed the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union and a number of European and Asian countries. But the comrades in China, Albania and other countries stood firm, fighting revisionism. Chairman Mao Tse-tung led them in this fight. But he died on the 9th of September, 1976. One month later, on the 6th of October, 1976, a counterrevolutionary State coup managed by Teng Hsiao-ping was carried out, using Hua Kuo-feng as a figurehead, which destroyed socialism in China. Chairwoman Chiang Ching was imprisoned and later assassinated in prison. Chairman Mao had warned her that same year, recalling the story of how China‘s first emperor, a feudal revolutionary against the old slave system, had been assassinated by his eunuch Chao Kao:
„I cannot help but feel, lately, an uneasy premonition. Usually, I am the optimist, but this time, it is impossible not to have bouts of pessimism. Of late, I have been unable to either sleep or eat, the path I see before the nation and the party makes me ill at heart. […] I predict that once I die, our own Hu-hai, Chao Kao, and Li Si will pop up within our party, with our own Shachiu conspiracy to seize power and tamper with my political legacy. I believe that this Chao Kao is none other than Teng Hsiao-ping, for he alone in our party has Chao Kao‘s trickery and abilities. I think that Hua Kuo-feng is Huhai, and Yeh Chien-ying is Li Si- just as Hu-hai and Li Si got played by Chao Kao and so became ghosts beneath his blade, so too will Hua Kuo-feng and Yeh Chien-ying get played by Teng Hsiao-ping and get ousted by him. Whether Teng, Hua, and Yeh will succeed like their previous incarnations in trampling over mylegacy, I do not know.“1
And in another letter later that year, he had warned her:
„I was deceived.
We are separating into two worlds.
May each one find their peace.
These few characters may be my last message to you …
A man‘s life has limits.
But the revolution has no limits.
In the struggle of the past 10 years I have tried to reach the peak of revolution. But I have failed …
Maybe you can reach the summit
If you fail, you will fall into an unfathomable abyss. Your body will be torn to pieces, your bones will break.
No compromise with others is good.
If the blade turns, and I believe it has, against the revolution,
Then once again guerrilla warfare will be necessary…
Once again Yenan …“2
It became necessary to once more wage the people‘s war, once more conquer socialism. Chairman Gonzalo would later say:
„It must be made clear that the temporary disappearance of this socialism and the attacks on the ideology of the class have caused so much harm. But soon they have realized that what they lost was immense and it will be restored through fire and blood. It was heaven that was lost and we must reconquer it. We must storm heaven again; it is not so complicated.“3
With this conviction, Chairman Gonzalo said out to initiate the people‘s war in Peru to „storm heaven again“. At the eve of the people‘s war, in April, 1980, he held a speech in front of the directors, cadres and militants of the Communist Party of Peru at their 1st Military School, saying:
„The world is entering into a new situation, the strategic offensive of world revolution. This is of transcendental importance. As Chairman Mao said: ‚The storm draws near and the wind roars in the tower.‘ Thus, the vortex draws near, the vortex begins, and the invincible flame of the revolution grows, converting itself into lead and steel. And from the din of battle along its inextinguishable fires will come forth the light. From the darkness a light will appear and a new world will be born. The old order of reaction crackles, its old boat leaks and sinks in desperation. But comrades, nobody can expect reaction to retire gently. Marx warned us: Even while drowning, the reactionaries were capable of inflicting asphyxiating chokeholds and desperate blows in order to see us sink. That is impossible. The reaction has the hyena‘s dreams of blood. Convulsive dreams shake their somber nights.
Their hearts scheme sinister hecatombs. They arm themselves to the teeth but they cannot prevail. Their destiny is weighed and measured. The time has come for the settling of accounts. The imperialist superpowers, USA, USSR, and other powers seek to invade, penetrate, suffocate, destroy and drown everything with terror. But as Chairman Mao said, by attacking, assaulting, and launching offensives they overextend themselves and enter the powerful core of the people. The people rise up, arm themselves and rebel, putting nooses on the necks of imperialism and reaction. The people take them by the throat, threaten their lives and will strangle them out of necessity. The reactionary meat will be trimmed of fat, they will be torn to tatters and rags, the scraps sunk into mire, and the remainders burned. The ashes will be thrown to the winds of the world so that only the sinister reminder of what must never return will remain. Comrades, that is the world today. It has befallen on us to live in an extraordinary epoch.
Thus it is written, mankind never had such a heroic destiny. To the people of today, to those people who breathe, struggle, and fight, has befallen the task of sweeping reaction from the face of the Earth, the most illuminating and magnificent mission given to any generation. We find ourselves in this situation: The world revolution enters a strategic offensive. Nothing will prevail against it. The innumerable iron legions arise, and more and more will arise, inexhaustibly multiply, encircle and annihilate reaction. Reaction, which unleashes its bloody claws tearing the flesh off the people, continues to sow discord, embroil, and seeks to sate itself with the blood of the people. But the people‘s blood ascends like furious wings and the stricken flesh converts itself into a powerful vengeful lash.“4
With those words, the Communist Party of Peru embarked on the road of people‘s war — for 19 years it was waged, proving to the entire world that communism was not dead, it was not in retreat, it was a living, breathing force, capable of surmounting any challenge! Gorbachev, Teng Hsiao-ping, Enver Hoxha — all people who had betrayed the revolution were nothing but small historical footnotes to be forgotten, while the people were the real heroes, rising up in arms.
The people‘s war in Peru shook not just Peru, not just the American continent — it shook the world. Chairman Gonzalo would later be able to say:
„Our main contribution is to uphold maoism as the new, third, and higher stage of marxism, committing ourselves to help put this ideology in command of the world revolution, and as part of this to demonstrate the validity and all-encompassing perspective of maoism. Also, to demonstrate that if one sustains oneself by relying on one‘s own efforts, maintaining independence from the superpowers or any other imperialist power, it is possible to make revolution, and what‘s more, it is necessary to do it that way. And to demonstrate the power of people‘s war, which makes itself felt despite all our limitations. And if possible, to provide, as some have said, hope, which implies responsibility — to be a beacon for the world revolution, an example that can serve other communists. In this way we are serving the world revolution.“5
Chairman Gonzalo‘s most immediate and key contribution to the proletarian world revolution is then to have served as a beacon, as a torch for the communists of the entire world. The effect of the people‘s war in Peru on the entire revolutionary movement of the world in the 1980s and ‘90s is immeasurably big. Today, it still serves as the single most important inspiration for the communists to be able to themselves inspire other people.
2. THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF PERU DEFINED AND SYNTHESIZED MAOISM
Chairman Gonzalo‘s main contribution to the world revolution is to have defined and synthesized maoism as the new, third and higher stage of marxism. Like he put it, „the work leading up to the people‘s war helped us to come to understand maoism as a new, third, and higher stage of marxism“6. In that way, in 1982, the Communist Party of Peru was able to come to the conclusion that marxism-leninism-maoism was the ideology of the proletariat. The party itself explained:
„The Communist Party of Peru, through the faction led by Chairman Gonzalo, who propelled its refounding, took up marxism-leninism-Mao Tse-tung thought in 1966; in 1979 the slogan ‚Uphold, defend, and apply marxism-leninism-Mao Tse-tung thought!‘; in 1981: ‚Towards maoism!‘; and, in 1982, took maoism as an integral part and higher development of the ideology of the international proletariat: marxism-leninism-maoism. It is with the people’s war that we have understood more deeply what maoism implies and we have taken up the solemn pledge to ‚Uphold, defend, and apply marxism-leninism-maoism, mainly maoism!‘ and to work relentlessly in helping to impose it as commander and guide of the world revolution, the always red and unfading flag that is the guarantee of triumph for the proletariat, the oppressed nations, and peoples of the world in their inexorable, combative march of iron legions towards the golden and ever-shining goal of communism.“7
Without Chairman Gonzalo, there would be no maoism, no definition of it, no synthesis. Of course, maoism was created by Chairman Mao — it already existed in practice with the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. But when did it come to exist in theory? Only with Chairman Gonzalo.
In November, 2019, the renegate José Maria Sison, who lives off his prestige as former great leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, gave an interview in which he directly attacks Chairman Gonzalo as the head of a „‚Left‘-opportunist line before his capture in 1992 and Right-opportunist line soon after his capture“, which supposedly led to „the decline of the people‘s war in Peru“8, completely disregarding the actual facts of the people‘s war in Peru, the „peace letter“ conspiracy and even Sison‘s own statements in the 1990s9. In this interview, Sison states:
„Mao Zedong Thought has gained universal significance long before Gonzalo called it Maoism. The universal significance of Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism does not depend in any way on Gonzalo who has not really summed up all the great achievements of the great Mao.
The worshippers of Gonzalo use his coinage of the term Maoism to evaluate him as the greatest Maoist after Mao. […] the mystique about him as being responsible for ‚synthesizing‘ Maoism should not be used as an ax against those who continue to wage people’s war.“10
The problem here is that Sison doesn‘t see the importance of the theoretical definition and synthesis of maoism by Chairman Gonzalo, which is Gonzalo‘s main contribution to marxism. The magazine Klassenstandpunkt, or more appropriately Rattenstandpunkt11 who support the line of the German sect calling itself the „Committee Red Flag“ also wants to deny Gonzalo‘s role in synthesizing maoism. They want to make it seem like he merely defined it, stating:
„The supposed struggle of Chairman Mao against a definitional further development of marxism have we already talked about. But on this point, it should be noted that despite the understanding of some colleagues, maoism was not synthesized, but defined by Chairman Gonzalo. In the document ‚On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism‘, the component parts and the content of maoism were defined, and what happens there is no ‚new creation‘, which is what a synthesis would imply.“12 (Their emphasis.)
But such a statement in fact denies what Chairman Gonzalo himself has said about the relationship between analysis and synthesis. A synthesis does not imply a „new creation“, as these revisionists claim, but rather an understanding on a higher level produced by an investigation of „the component parts and the content“ of the topic in question. Chairman Gonzalo explained:
„Pay attention to analysis and synthesis — these are two aspects of a contradiction and synthesis is the main 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.“13
It is not a matter of „coinage“, „definition“ or „calling it maoism“ — such statements are nothing but the negation of Gonzalo‘s importance for marxism — but a matter of a systematic analysis and synthesis of Mao‘s practice and thought, as is done in the central part of the document „On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism“, leading to a synthesis of which the definition itself is only the key aspect. And the definition of maoism in the same document is key to grasping this entire synthesis. It states:
„In conclusion, the contents seen in these fundamental issues show clearly to whoever wants to see and understand that we have, therefore, a new, third, and higher stage of marxism: maoism; and that to be a marxist today demands to be a marxist-leninist-maoist and mainly maoist.
All that has been explained in the contents leads us to two questions:
What is fundamental in maoism? Political power is fundamental in maoism. Political power for the proletariat, power for the dictatorship of the proletariat, power based on an armed force led by the communist party. More explicitly:
1) Political power under the leadership of the proletariat in the democratic revolution;
2) Political power for the dictatorship of the proletariat in the socialist and cultural revolutions;
3) Political power based on an armed force led by the communist party, conquered and defended through people‘s war.
And what is maoism? Maoism is the elevation of marxism-leninism to a new, third, and higher stage in the struggle for proletarian leadership of the democratic revolution, the development of the construction of socialism and the continuation of the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat as proletarian cultural revolution; when imperialism deepens its decomposition and revolution has become the main tendency of history, amidst the most complex and largest wars seen to date and the implacable struggle against contemporary revisionism.“14
So clearly, it is not a question of „coinage“, but of defining what is main and what is fundamental in maoism, defining its historical context, its theoretical components, its ideological content and how maoism has emerged in the struggle against revisionism.
The Right-opportunist line in formation being propagated by the degenerate sect in Germany has now for several years been gleefully awaiting Chairman Gonzalo‘s death so that they — or other members of their modern-day 2nd International — could „synthesize gonzaloism“. They themselves have admitted this to some members of our editorial board. When they speak of there being „no synthesis“, they are preparing their own „new synthesis“, their „gonzaloism“, their „fourth stage of marxism“ which has nothing to do with the actual development of marxism. Chairman Gonzalo laid valuable foundations for the unavoidable fourth stage of marxism, but his work and life were cut short, and he was unable to found the fourth stage. His thought is universally valid and its further development will lead to a fourth stage of marxism — but there is no „gonzaloism“ and there never will be, no matter what is being claimed or will be claimed by these enemies of communism. We want communism. Communism today is Gonzalo thought, but it is within the stage of maoism. To claim otherwise is to fall into metaphysics and idealism, which can only serve sinister revisionist goals.
Chairman Gonzalo has moreover reaffirmed central theses of maoism which have been forgotten by revisionists like Sison, who for example states:
„[…] I have already pointed out that the Gonzaloites have well proven themselves as mere charlatans by claiming that protracted people’s war can be done in industrial capitalist countries and by not doing any single armed tactical offensive anywhere for decades to prove their point. The militarization of the party is an anti-Maoist notion […]“15
However, what Chairman Gonzalo states in „On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism“ is a mere reaffirmation of what Chairman Mao already said. Gonzalo writes:
„The people‘s war is the military theory of the international proletariat; in it are summarized, for the first time in a systematic and complete form, the theoretical and practical experience of the struggles, military actions, and wars waged by the proletariat, and the prolonged experience of the people’s armed struggle and especially of the incessant wars in China. It is with Chairman Mao that the proletariat attains its military theory; nevertheless, there is much confusion and misunderstanding on this issue. And much of it springs from how the people‘s war in China is seen. Generally, it is considered derisively and contemptuously simply as a guerrilla war; this alone denotes a lack of understanding. Chairman Mao pointed out that guerrilla warfare achieves a strategic feature; but due to its essential fluidity, the development of guerrilla warfare is not understood as it exists, how it develops mobility, a war of movements, of positions, how it unfolds great plans of the strategic offensive and the seizure of small, mid-sized, and big cities, with millions of inhabitants, combining the attack from outside with the insurrection from within. Thus, in conclusion, the four periods of the Chinese revolution, and mainly from the Agrarian War until the People‘s Liberation War, considering the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance between both, shows the various aspects and complexities of the revolutionary war waged during more than 20 years amidst a huge population and an immense mobilization and participation of the masses. In that war there are examples of every kind; and what is principal has been extraordinarily studied and its principles, laws, strategy, tactics, rules, etc. masterfully established. It is, therefore, in this fabulous crucible and on what was established by marxism-leninism that Chairman Mao developed the military theory of the proletariat: the people‘s war.
We must fully bear in mind that subsequently, Chairman Mao himself, aware of the existence of atomic bombs and missiles and with China already having them, sustained and developed people‘s war in order to wage it under the new conditions of nuclear weapons and of war against powers and superpowers. In synthesis, people‘s war is the weapon of the proletariat and of the people, even to confront nuclear war.
A key and decisive question is the understanding of the universal validity of people‘s war and its subsequent application taking into account the different types of revolution and the specific conditions of each revolution. To clarify this key issue it is important to consider that no insurrection like that of Petrograd has been repeated, as well as considering the anti-fascist resistance, the European guerrilla movements in the 2nd World War and the armed struggles that are presently being waged in Europe. In the final analysis, the October revolution was not only an insurrection but a revolutionary war that lasted for several years. Consequently, in the imperialist countries the revolution can only be conceived as a revolutionary war which today is simply people‘s war.
Finally, today more than ever, we communists and revolutionaries, the proletariat and the people, need to forge ourselves in: ‚Yes. We are adherents to the theory of the omnipotence of the revolutionary war. That it is not bad thing; it is good thing. It is Marxist‘; which means adhering to the invincibility of people‘s war.“16
Compare this to what the Communist Party of China already established:
„Violent revolution is the universal principle of proletarian revolution. A marxist-leninist party must adhere to this universal principle and apply it to the concrete practice of its own country. Historical experience shows that the seizure of political power by the proletariat and the oppressed people of a country and the seizure of victory in their revolution are accomplished under the leadership of a proletarian party, by acting in accordance with that country‘s specific conditions, by gradually building up the people‘s armed forces and fighting a people‘s war on the basis of arousing the broad masses to action, and by waging repeated struggles against the imperialists and reactionaries. This is true of the Russian revolution, the Chinese revolution, and the revolutions of Albania, Vietnam, Korea and other countries, and there is no exception.“17
Clearly, what we have to do with is two divergent views on what constitutes maoism — Sison‘s view, which contradicts Mao himself, and Gonzalo‘s view, which adheres to Mao‘s views. It is clear that Chairman Gonzalo‘s definition and synthesis are irreplaceable.
3. CHAIRMAN GONZALO DEVELOPED MARXISM EVEN FURTHER THAN CHAIRMAN MAO TSE-TUNG
In order to understand Chairman Gonzalo‘s place in history, we should use the metaphor of the mountain range. In this sense, the proletarian world revolution constitutes a range of mountains to scale — each one higher than the previous. As the international proletariat scales each mountain, at its head a leader generated by the struggle of scaling the mountain (the class struggle and the struggle between the Left, working class line and the Right, capitalist line inside of the working class), a flag is planted at the peaks they reach. The first peak was the Paris Commune, it was reached by Marx, its flag is marxism. The second peak was the Russian revolution, it was reached by Lenin, its flag is leninism. The third peak was the Chinese revolution and the cultural revolution, it was reached by Mao, its flag is maoism. But what is the role of the synthesis? It is that of a map, teaching us what pathways to traverse. And when one maps out the road taken by a previous pathfinder, one is bound to discover new things along the same road. So it is with marxism.
Chairman Gonzalo saw the peak which Chairman Mao reached. He drew up the map for others to reach it, and as he did so, he discovered new shortcuts and changes in the terrain. He began to scale the next mountain (the Peruvian revolution), although he did not reach its peak. But what he gave us is a map — maoism — with additions — Gonzalo thought.
Gonzalo thought is the creative application of marxism-leninism-maoism to the conditions of Peru. But at the same time, it contains universally valid aspects — and these in fact constitute the main part of his thought.
Gonzalo discovered the need for militarizing the communist parties — adjusting them in whatever way necessary in order to wage people‘s war under any conditions.
He discovered how to concentrically build the party, the people‘s army and the united front — taking the party as the axis and building the united front through the people‘s army, building each in a series of layers corresponding to higher and lower levels of consciousness and organization.
He deepened our understanding of bureaucratic-comprador capitalism — the capitalism which imperialism develops in the third world on the outdated economic basis in those countries.
He defined proletarian feminism, taught us how to wage people‘s war in the city, developed the marxist theory of leadership, etc.
All of these are immortal contributions which cannot be ignored by any revolution at the danger of defeat. In this way, Chairman Gonzalo not only defined and synthesized maoism, but also gave us the guiding thought of the world revolution today — Gonzalo thought, which plays a similar role as that played by the thought of Stalin in the 1920s to ‘50s or that of Engels in the 1880s and ‘90s.
Gonzalo thought cannot be applied mechanically to the conditions of other countries. It contains aspects which are particular to Peruvian conditions. But the contributions mentioned above and many more are part of Gonzalo thought, and to apply them simply means to apply Gonzalo thought. Therefore, the ideology of the working class today is marxism-leninism-maoism-Gonzalo thought, mainly Gonzalo thought — or to put it simply: communism. Why? Because it is a single and integral unity, like Chairman Gonzalo himself said:
„For us, marxism is a process of development, and this great process has given us a new, third, and higher stage. […]
Today, tomorrow, and in these stormy decades in which we live, we can see the enormous and overriding importance that proletarian ideology has. First, although I‘m emphasizing something that is well known, it is the theory and practice of the final class in history. The ideology of the proletariat is the product of the struggle of the international proletariat. It also comprehends the study and understanding of the whole historical process of class struggle that went on before the proletariat, of the struggle of the peasantry in particular, the great heroic struggles they have waged — it represents the highest level of study and understanding that science has produced. In sum, the ideology of the proletariat, the great creation of Marx, is the highest world outlook that has ever been or ever will be seen on Earth. It is the world outlook, the scientific ideology that for the first time provided mankind, our class mainly, and the people, with a theoretical and practical instrument for transforming the world. And we have seen how everything that he predicted has come about. Marxism has been developing, it has become marxism-leninism, and today marxism-leninism-maoism. And we see how this ideology is the only one capable of transforming the world, making revolution, and leading us to the inevitable goal of communism. It is of enormous importance.
I would like to emphasize something: it is ideology, but it is scientific. Nevertheless, we must understand very well that we cannot make any concessions to the stand of the bourgeoisie which wants to reduce the ideology of the proletariat to a simple method. To do so is to debase it and deny it. Please excuse my insistence, but as Chairman Mao said, ‚it isn‘t enough to say it once, but a hundred times, it isn’t enough to say it to a few, but to many‘. Basing myself on this I say that the ideology of the proletariat, marxism-leninism-maoism and today mainly maoism, is the only all-powerful ideology because it is true, and historical facts are showing that. It is the product aside from what has already been said, of the extraordinary work of extraordinary historical figures like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Chairman Mao Tse-tung, to point out the most outstanding. But among them we give special emphasis to three: Marx, Lenin, and Chairman Mao Tse-tung as the three banners that are embodied, once again, in marxism-leninism-maoism, and mainly maoism. And what, precisely, is our task today? It is to raise up the banner of our ideology, defend, and apply it, and to struggle energetically so that it will lead and guide the world revolution. Without proletarian ideology, there is no revolution. Without proletarian ideology, there is no hope for our class and the people. Without proletarian ideology, there is no communism.“18
4. CHAIRMAN GONZALO‘S FINAL DIRECTIVE WAS TO FOUND AND REFOUND THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN EVERY COUNTRY
The most immediately important contribution by Chairman Gonzalo to the world revolution is the final directive which he gave to the international communist movement after his arrest in September, 1992 — 29 years ago this month. In his historic speech — held in a cage in front of the international press, guarded by the Peruvian military and as the reaction tried to humiliate him as much as possible — he declared:
„Finally now, listen to this. As we see in the world, maoism is marching unstoppably to lead the new wave of the proletarian world revolution. Listen well and understand! Those who have ears, use them. Those who have understanding — and we all have it — use it! Enough of this nonsense. Enough of these obscurities! Let us understand that! What is unfolding in the world? What do we need? We need maoism to be incarnated, and it is being incarnated, and by generating communist parties to drive and lead this new great wave of the proletarian world revolution that is coming.
Everything they told us, the empty and silly chatter of the famous ‚new age of peace‘. Where is it now? What about Yugoslavia? What about other places? That is a lie; everything became politicized. Today there is one reality; the same contenders of the 1st and 2nd World War are preparing a new 3rd World War. We should know this and we, as the children of an oppressed nation, are part of the booty. We cannot consent to this! Enough imperialist exploitation! We must finish with them! We are of the 3rd World and the 3rd World is the base of the proletarian world revolution, with one condition, that the communist parties brandish and lead! That is what we must do!“19
In these clear words, Gonzalo told us, directed us, to found or refound the communist party in every country, in order to wage people‘s war to complete the revolutions, destroy imperialism and prevent the impending catastrophe of a 3rd World War — today, we could add prevent the complete destruction of the Earth through climate change caused by imperialism.
And this directive is so important for us! In Switzerland, the communist party was founded as a genuine marxist-leninist party by Leonie Kascher and Jakob Herzog, great leaders of the workers, in May, 1919. But it was taken over and destroyed by the revisionists who today call themselves the „Party of Labor“ or „Worker‘s and People‘s Party“. We have to refound the party of Kascher and Herzog, not just as it was when they were alive, not just as it was when it waged armed struggle in the 1940s, but by developing it further, up until today, as a militarized communist party for class war! That is the task — and Chairman Gonzalo gave it to us.
In every other country, it is the same task which is on the agenda. The revisionist German sect „Committee Red Flag“ traffics with the refounding of the Communist Party of Germany, but they do nothing to identify, retake and develop the Left in the history of the party. What do they say about Luxemburg and Liebknecht? Nothing which Lenin did not already say. What do they say about Thälmann? They have not evaluated him.20 What about the liquidation of the party, clandestinity, fascism, „greater“ German chauvinism, the 2nd World War? Nothing! Not even more recent experiences, like the Communist Party of Germany / Marxist-Leninist, mean anything to them. For them, it is not about fulfilling Gonzalo‘s final directive, but instead doing precisely what he warned against!
„Lenin said that there comes a time when it‘s necessary for a genuinely revolutionary faction to rebuild the party. This is the task that the faction assumed. Here one might ask, why did the faction shoulder the task of refounding the party? Why didn‘t it found another party as was the fashion, and still is today? The first reason is because the party was founded in 1928 on a clear marxist-leninist basis, and so it had a great deal of experience, experience drawn from both positive and negative lessons. What‘s more, Lenin said that when one is in a party that is deviating, moving off course, or falling headlong into opportunism, one has the duty to strive to put it back on the right course. Not to do so is a political crime. So the importance of the faction is that it carried out this role, contributing to the refounding of the party, beginning with laying the ideological and political foundation. We based ourselves on maoism, which at that time was called Mao Tse-tung thought, and on the establishment of a general political line. The faction has the great distinction of having reconstituted the party, and once that was done, the instrument then existed: the ‚heroic warrior‘; the communist party of a new type, marxist-leninist-maoist; the organized political vanguard — and not a ‚political-military organization‘ as it is often incorrectly put, but the party required to launch the struggle to seize power with arms in hand through people‘s war.“21
Chairman Gonzalo made it very clear that „the refounding of the party […] is, in sum, a struggle against revisionism“22 — historic revisionism (which liquidated the party), contemporary revisionism (which still acts internationally and domestically) and mainly internal revisionism (in our own ranks and minds). It is a process of two-line struggle through which the Left and the Right, the red and the black, the correct and the incorrect are separated from each other and clear ideological and political foundations are laid. This is what Chairman Gonzalo taught us in documents as varied as the quoted Interview, his articles in Red Flag, in the Preparatory Session of the 2nd Plenum of the 1st Central Committee (October-November 1990), even in remarks made after his arrest (which should be studied alongside his speech), such as the lengthy interview on ideological and political topics he gave during a filmed interrogation.23 For instance, he made the following point:
„[…] you should not be confused by false earthquakes, after all, if there is an earthquake, the whole house falls down, you remove the rubble and continue working, it is a principle. By then the faction said it this way: the problem is that the party is the party, and if the party is destroyed you have to build it once more and that‘s it, if it is destroyed 10 times you get up 11 times and if it is 11 times, then 12. It has always been like that […] it is the firm resolution of the class, I think it is important.“24
Without understanding these points, it is impossible to understand Chairman Gonzalo‘s final directive to the international communist movement, it is impossible to understand the task facing the Left in Peru today, and it is impossible to understand just how dangerous German revisionism is — which negates the refounding of the parties in the countries where it operates at every step of the way.
5. THE PEOPLE‘S WAR IN PERU CONQUERED STATE POWER IN 40% OF THE COUNTRY WITHOUT SUBORDINATING ITSELF TO ANY IMPERIALIST SUPERPOWER OR POWER
Finally, it is important to mention a key contribution by the Communist Party of Peru, which is that it proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that people‘s war can be waged without subjecting oneself to any imperialist superpower or power. We already quoted Chairman Gonzalo on this topic above, but it is important to emphasize it.
Drawing out lessons from the other revolutionary movements in Latin America and the world generally speaking, Gonzalo made very important remarks about the importance of independence. Concerning Nicaragua, he put forward:
„I would like to state what I said once when I was talking about these problems with some friends. Nicaragua carried out an incomplete revolution and their problem is that they didn‘t destroy the power of the whole big bourgeoisie. They focused on being anti-Somoza. I believe that is one problem. A democratic revolution must wipe out the three mountains, and in Nicaragua that has not been done. Another thing is that the revolution has developed within the Cuban framework, readjusted in recent years. And this simply leads, in the end, to dependence on the Soviet Union. How can we prove this? Because the fate of Nicaragua, like Afghanistan or the Middle-East, is discussed, manipulated, and dealt with in conversations between representatives of the two superpowers. The moves and countermoves they have made are indicative — the measures that are adopted in Nicaragua with regard to the ‚contras‘ coincide closely with meetings and agreements between the superpowers.
We believe that Nicaragua, in order to follow the correct path that the heroic Nicaraguan people certainly deserve, must develop the democratic revolution completely, and this demands a people‘s war. They must break with dependence on the Soviet Union, take their destiny in their own hands, and defend their independent class interests. This requires a party which, of course, adopts a proletarian outlook. Otherwise, they will, lamentably, continue being a pawn. We believe that the Nicaraguan people have demonstrated a great fighting spirit, and their historic destiny can lie nowhere but in developing the revolution as it must be developed, with a party based on marxism-leninism-maoism and people‘s war, developing independently without the tutelage of any power, whether it be a nearby or distant one.“25
The same key point was emphasized regarding Vietnam:
„If we look at Vietnam, the road it is following is that of an instrument of the Soviet Union that today clamors for imperialist aid with an economy in crisis and ruin. So much blood, for what? It‘s because there, there was Ho Chi Minh, a centrist, as can be seen in his famous testament, where he says he regrets seeing conflict within the international communist movement, when the question was which side he would take in the struggle between marxism and revisionism. A communist has but one solution, to stand on the side of marxism. Ho Chi Minh never did. Later came Le Duan, a rotten revisionist. Hence, the present situation in Vietnam.“26
And finally making a point which is key for those new communists and proletarian revolutionaries who may feel tempted to follow the line of some „greater“ organization, like the Swiss communists once followed the Committee Red Flag27:
„Basing ourselves on these criteria we have resolved the problem and we will continue to resolve it by relying on the masses. It is the masses of our people, the proletarisat, our class — because this is our class — to which we owe our existence and which we serve; our peasantry, mainly the poor peasants; the intellectuals; the petty bourgeoisie; the advanced; the revolutionaries, those who want a radical transformation, in a word, revolution — that‘s who sustains the party. It is mainly the peasantry and the proletariat who sustain it. And taking it further, the poor peasants especially are the ones who go without to give us food from their tables, who share their blanket with us, and make a little place for us in their hut. They are the ones who sustain us, support us and even give us their own blood, as does the proletariat, as do the intellectuals. This is how we are developing. This is what we base ourselves on.
This problem brings us to the following questions. Since we start from this basis it allows us to be independent, to be under no one‘s command. Because in the international communist movement it became the habit to obey commands. Khrushchev was a champion at issuing commands, as is Gorbachev today, or that sinister character Teng. Independence, because each communist party must decide for itself since it is responsible for its own revolution, not in order to separate it from the world revolution, but precisely in order to serve it. This allows us to make our own decisions, to decide for ourselves. Chairman Mao said it like this: we were given a lot of advice, some good, some bad. We accepted the good and rejected the bad. But if we had accepted some erroneous principle, the responsibility would not have belonged to those who gave the advice, but to us. Why? Because we make our own decisions. That comes with independence, and it leads to self-sufficiency, to self-reliance.“28
In the international communist movement, once more, it is becoming the habit to obey commands. The Swiss were once forced to obey the Committee Red Flag‘s commands. Today, the Danish and other sectlets are forced to obey these commands. These Germans obey Peruvian revisionist commands. This, quite obviousy, contradicts Gonzalo thought.
With the policy of self-sufficiency, self-reliance and independence, it was possible for the Communist Party of Peru to take State power in 40% of Peru and to threaten the very existence of the old order. Why can we not do the same in Switzerland or any other country?
6. CHAIRMAN GONZALO WILL LIVE FOREVER IN THE STRUGGLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT, THE TOILING MASSES OF EVERY COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD FOR NEW DEMOCRACY, SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM
Chairman Gonzalo has passed away, but he is not dead. The bourgeois-democratic revolutionary Benjamin Franklin once said: „A man dies twice. The first time when he is laid in the ground. The second time when he passes out of human memory.“ This revolutionary truth applies very well. Chairman Gonzalo has died, but he has not passed out of memory — and he never will. Chairman Gonzalo has become immortal by dying the martyr‘s death in the international proletarian revolutionary struggle for new democracy, socialism and communism.
Chairman Mao said:
„All men must die, but death can vary in its significance. The ancient Chinese writer Szuma Chien said: ‚Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather.‘ To die for the people is weightier than Mount Tai, but to work for the fascists and die for the exploiters and oppressors is lighter than a feather.“29
Chairman Gonzalo died for the people, and his death weighs heavier than the Andes.
Chairman Gonzalo said:
„It has been taught to us very precisely by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, that war has a quota, that is the basic principle of war that makes us see how the good of everyone demands necessarily the sacrifice of a part. In these eight years that it, the people‘s war, will turn, the blood has been generously shed; directors, cadres and militants of the Party, fighters of the People‘s Guerilla Army and children of the masses that worked closest with us have given their life, their blood; but never in these lands was it so heroically and historically shed, never have these lands seen how a blood as red as ours, of revolutionaries and communists, has flown to make the new power fertile among us, but it has also generously flown to illuminate the world, because it is doing so. Many young lives have been cut short, but the reactionaries dream if they think that they simply mowed them down; it has been the heroic, conscious dedication to the cause undertaken that has led comrades, fighters and children of the people to reach the maximal expression that one can give to affirm what one believes in: giving one‘s own life. These are heroic lives, well lived, gloriously spent and, above all, sealed on the battlefield by sowing communism.“30
Chairman Gonzalo‘s place in history has been cemented as that of a great communist leader, a revolutionary icon and martyr, and the sixth classic of marxism-leninism-maoism. Chairman Gonzalo was the greatest communist of our time, the continuator of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung.
Chairman Gonzalo will live on forever in the hearts and minds, in the red flags and rifles of the communists, revolutionaries, workers, masses and people of the entire world. He will never pass out of human memory. When all of humanity enters communism together, he will forever be remembered as a „harbinger of the new society“31.
We should remember our Chairman‘s words, now and for all of eternity:
„[…] Communism will arise for all time. We should unfurl optimism and overflow with enthusiasm, futhermore thinking that we serve to carry out a task that will last forevermore. We humans are mere fragments of time and heart beats, but our deeds will remain for centuries stamped on generation after generation. Men march inevitably towards their end, but humanity, the working class and their creations will never end. We will populate the Earth with light and happiness. With us, with our armed struggle, the authentic and only true liberty begins to be born. We are trumpets of the future, the inextinguishable fire that crackles in the stormy present.“32
ETERNAL HONOR AND GLORY TO CHAIRMAN GONZALO!
CHAIRMAN GONZALO AND HIS THOUGHT LIVE ON IN OUR STRUGGLE!
THEY CAN KILL COMMUNISTS, BUT NOT COMMUNISM!
CONQUEST OF POWER
1Letter from Mao Tse-tung to Chiang Ching, 30.04.1976.
2Letter from Mao Tse-tung to Chiang Ching, May-June 1976.
33rd Plenum of the 1st Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Central Document“, March 1992.
4Expanded Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „We Are the Initiators“, 19.04.1980.
5Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Interview With Chairman Gonzalo“, July 1988.
71st Congress of the Communist Party of Peru: „Fundamental Documents“, 1988.
9See the statements in support of Chairman Gonzalo in 1993 in the documentary film „You Must Tell the World…“: „Dr. Guzmán and I have the same experience. […] Amidst the so-called integration of the entire world under the unquestionable, or seemingly unquestionable, hegemony of the United States, there are these revolutionary movements now, in Peru and the Philippines, demonstrating to the world that it is possible to fight imperialism and the reactionaries.“
11Class Position, or, more appropriately, Rat Position: Please see the document „Repression and Resistance: Clear Evidence that the Committee Red Flag Conducts Police Work In- and Outside of Germany Against Its Political Rivals“.
12Class Position No. 18, January 2021: „Maoism: What It Is and What It Is Not“.
13Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „On the Rectification Campaign With ‚Elections, No! People‘s War, Yes!‘“, August 1991.
141st Congress of the Communist Party of Peru: „Fundamental Documents“, 1988.
161st Congress of the Communist Party of Peru: „Fundamental Documents“, 1988.
17Editorial Departments of People‘s Daily, Red Flag and Liberation Army Daily: „Long Live the Victory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat!“, 18.03.1871.
18Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Interview With Chairman Gonzalo“, July 1988.
19Lima Base, Communist Party of Peru: „Chairman Gonzalo‘s Speech Shines Victoriously and Powerfully Before the World!“, October 1992.
20The remarks made by the Committee Red Flag about the party they want to „refound“ are extremely sparse. Most likely, this is due to their lumpen attitude that: „Everybody in this country is an expert on the history of the Communist Party of Germany, except for us. But that‘s a good thing!“ (See Red Star Switzerland: „Down With the Politics of Social-Imperialism! Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!“, December 2020.) For instance, about Thälmann, all one can read is: „It is necessary to underscore, that we don‘t consider Comrade Thälmann to be a revisionist. He was a true defender of Comrade Stalin, he was a militant of the 3rd International, he showed great valor and heroism by giving his whole live to the service of the proletarian world revolution. But even so, he did not have the necessary stature in front of the historical necessity. He was not the leader the class needed, he did not know how to apply marxism-leninism with independence and under his leadership, the Communist Party of Germany took a series of Rightist positions, it is necessary to investigate more, so to be able to conclude if these constituted a structural Right-opportunist line or not, this work is a part of the process in which the communists in formation in the Federal Republic of Germany are going ahead with in the struggle for the refounding of our party. In this sense, the criticism made by Comrade Alfred Klahr are very important to keep in mind and give us good indications to follow.“ (See Committee Red Flag: „Regarding the Thought of Lenin“, The Maoist No. 2, October 2018.)
21Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Interview With Chairman Gonzalo“, July 1988.
23Unfortunately, the video interview in question has been removed from most websites. It is a pending task to produce a version with English and German subtitles for a non-Spanish-speaking audience in the near-to-mid future.
24Video Interview With Chairman Gonzalo, September 1992.
25Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Interview With Chairman Gonzalo“, July 1988.
27See the documents: (1) „Down With the Politics of Social-Imperialism! Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!“. (2) „Repression and Resistance: Clear Evidence that the Committee Red Flag Conducts Police Work Against Its Political Rivals In- and Outside of Germany“.
29Mao Tse-tung: „Serve the People“, 1944.
301st Congress of the Communist Party of Peru, 1988-89.
31Karl Marx, quoted in „Long Live the Victory of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat!“.
32Expanded Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „We Are the Initiators“, 24.08.1980.