The Mass Line: A Study in Revolutionary Methods of Leadership and Work (Part 2)
The mass line is method of leadership and work which was most clearly developed by Chairman Mao Zedong of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It has been described as the ”concentrate[d]…correct ideas that the masses gain in everyday life.” Mao developed it into a coherent organizing methodology which has subsequently been applied by many revolutionaries since the Chinese revolution.
I firmly believe that the application of the mass line is something that must be fundamental to how revolutionary communists carry out any and all of their work, no matter whether it is in community development initiatives, the anti-imperialist and anti-war struggle, political prisoner and prisoner of war work or other progressive struggles.While the term mass line was first coined by the Communist Party of China during the revolutionary Mao period it has in fact been employed by every single successful revolutionary movement. Like the vanguard party and the united front its validity has been proven by this success.
Because of its importance to any successful revolutionary movement I have started a short series of posts that will continue over the coming days that feature articles written by prominent revolutionary thinkers and forces on the concept of the mass line. I began by going right to the source with Mao. This second entry comes to us from the Communist Party of Peru, better known in the West as the Sendero Luminoso or Shining Path.
The Communist Party of Peru, or Senderistas as they are often called, is a Maoist revolutionary organization in Peru. In the 80s and early 90s it waged a powerful People’s War against the neocolonial state in Peru and against US imperialism. During this time it was so-called “Latin” America’s most powerful guerrilla movement and inspired revolutionary movement’s around the world, in particular the Maoists of Nepal who themselves went on to wage a near successful People’s War.
Future entries will include articles from the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The Mass Line by the Communist Party of Peru
Upholding, defending and applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, President Gonzalo has established the mass line of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP). His thesis reaffirms itself in the proletarian conception that we must have in order to evaluate the problem of the masses. He outlines the following political role of the masses in the struggle for Power by way of the People’s War and the struggle for better living conditions which must serve this end. We must principally go to the basic masses, the workers and peasants and the many fronts of struggle according to their specific demands and grievances. The only Marxist tactic is going to the deepest and most profound masses, educating them in the revolutionary violence and in the struggle against opportunism. The mass work of the Party that leads the People’s War is carried out through the people’s army. He indicates the importance of the Party generated organisms, as one of the forms of organizing the masses. They must do mass work within and for the People’s War.
1. REAFFIRMING THE PRINCIPLE “THE MASSES MAKE HISTORY”
President Gonzalo reaffirms himself in the powerful Marxist principle: “The masses make history.” This teaches us to forge our Communist conception in struggle against the bourgeois conception which is centered around the individual as the axis of history. President Gonzalo states: “The masses are the very light of the world… they are its fiber, the inexhaustable heartbeat of history… when they speak everything trembles, the old order begins to shake, the high summits bow down, the stars change their course because the masses make everything possible and are capable of anything.”
Today this reaffirmation has a great importance because it is part of the proletarian conception. It upholds the mass line and is applicable to everything. The mass line allows judgment on everything from international questions to specific policies, because it is an ideological problem. No historic fact, no transforming movement, no revolution can be made without the participation of the masses. The Party applies this principle because it has a mass character and it cannot be unlinked from them, otherwise it would be extinguished or diluted. The masses, in order to guarantee the course of their struggle must be led by the Party. The Party has masses: the militants, who as Communists must necessarily embody this principle and struggle constantly to overthrow the rotten individualism which is not a proletarian conception. It can be observed how our process of People’s War is critical to this transformation. Furthermore, one principle of leadership is “from the masses to the masses.” This also applies to the People’s War because it is a war of the masses, which are the very source of it. It is with this Marxist conception that we make the People’s War.
He particularly highlights the rebellion of the masses as the makers of history. President Gonzalo says: “Since ancient times the masses live subject to oppression and exploitation, but they have always rebelled. This is a long and inexhaustible history… Every time the masses have fought their oppressors they have always called for organizing their rebellion, their arming, their uprising, that it be led, that it be conducted. It has always been this way and it will continue to be. Even after there is another world, it will continue being this way only in another form.” “The masses clamor to organize the rebellion. Therefore, the Party, its leaders, cadre and militants today have a peremptory obligation, a destiny: To organize the disorganized Power of the masses and this can only be done with arms in hand. We must arm the masses bit by bit, part by part, until the general arming of the people. When this goal is reached, there will be no exploitation on Earth.”
Here he expresses his absolute conviction in the masses, in their historical and political necessity to rebel, to arm themselves, their demand that they be led and organized. He calls upon the Communist Parties to complete the demand that comes from Marx and Engels who taught us that there are two powers on the Earth: The armed force of the reactionaries and the disorganized masses. President Gonzalo proposes that if we organize this power, what is only a potential will be activated, and what is a possibility will be a reality. If it is not based on the masses, everything is a house of cards. Concretely, the problem is to go from the state of disorganized masses to masses that are militarily organized.
We should organize the masses with arms in hand because they clamor to organize the rebellion. As such, we must apply the People’s War which is the principal form of struggle and organize them for the taking of Power led by the Party. This is clearly tied to the principal contradiction in the world today, the strategic offensive of the world revolution, and with the principal tendency in today’s world, revolution. As Marx indicated, the mass line also aims at forming the general arming of the people with the goal of guaranteeing the triumph of the revolution and to prevent capitalist restoration. This is a thought of great perspectives that will carry us to Communism: Only by organizing this sea of armed masses will it be possible to defend what is conquered and develop the democratic, socialist and cultural revolutions.
He refutes those who propose that the masses don’t want to make revolution or that the masses will not support the People’s War. The problem is not with the masses because they are ready to rebel, but rather it is with the Communist Parties who must assume their obligation to lead and raise them up in arms. He differentiates from those positions that today are based on “the accumulation of forces,” which propose parsimoniously binding the masses by way of the so-called “democratic spaces” or the use of legality. Such accumulation of forces doesn’t correspond to the current moment of the international and national class struggle, it doesn’t fit in the type of democratic revolution we are developing and which will have other characteristics within the socialist revolution, since we are living in a revolutionary situation of unequal development in the world. He is opposed to and condemns the opportunist positions of making the masses tail after the big bourgeoisie, an electoral path or for armed actions under the command of a super power or power.
Thus, he upholds the great slogan of Chairman Mao: “It is right to rebel,” and conceives that the problem of the masses today is that the Communist Parties mobilize, politicize, organize and arm the masses to take Power, specifying people’s war.
He specifies the necessity of the scientific organization of poverty. President Gonzalo again stresses that those most disposed to rebel, who clamor the most to organize the rebellion are the poorest masses, and we must pay particular attention to the revolutionary and scientific organization of the masses. This is not against the class criteria, because poverty has its origin in exploitation, in the class struggle: “Misery exists linked to fabulous wealth, even the Utopians knew that both are linked: A colossal and challenging wealth next to a revealing and clamorous poverty. This is because exploitation exists.”
This thesis is tied to Marx who discovered the revolutionary potential of poverty and the need to scientifically organize it for revolution. Marx taught us that the proletariat does not have property and is the creative class, the only class that will destroy property and will thus destroy itself as a class. This thesis is tied to Lenin, who taught us that social revolution does not arise from programmes but from the fact that millions of people say we prefer to die fighting for revolution rather than live as victims of hunger. This thesis is tied to Chairman Mao, who conceived that poverty will propell the yearning for change, for action, for revolution, that it is a blank piece of paper on which the newest and most beautiful words can be written.
He takes into account the specific conditions of our society. In Peru, to speak about the masses is to speak of the peasant masses, the poor peasants; that the 1920s, 1940s and 1960s demonstrate that it is the peasant struggles that shook the very foundation of the State, but that they lack a guide: The ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought. They lack a motor: The People’s War and the just and correct leadership of the Communist Party. The peasants’ struggles were not able to take the correct path to Power, and the blood they shed was used to fetter them and brand them to the old order. These were unforgettable bloodbaths which left extraordinary lessons. The 1980s show that a true mobilization of the armed peasant masses organized in the Communist Party and People’s Guerrilla Army, and that they are giving their precious blood for the new power that is blossoming and developing through the People’s War.
This particularity is strategic because it permits the comprehension that revolution in the world is defined on the side of the poorest, who constitute the majority and who are the most disposed to rebel. In each revolution we must go to the poorest applying the three requirements that the scientific organization of poverty demand: Ideology, people’s war and a Communist Party.
In this regard, President Gonzalo says: “Poverty is a driving force of the revolution. The poorest are the most revolutionary, poverty is the most beautiful song; … poverty is not a disgrace, it is an honor, our mountains with their masses are the source of our revolution, who with their hands led by the Communist Party will build a new world. Our guide: Ideology. Our motor: The armed struggle. Our leadership: The Communist Party.”
2. THE PRINCIPAL ASPECT OF MASS WORK IS POLITICAL POWER, BUT THE STRUGGLE FOR ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL DEMANDS IS NECESSARY
Basing himself on Chaiman Mao’s thesis which generalized revolutionary violence as the universal law for the conquest of Power and which established that the principal form of struggle is the armed struggle and the principal form of organzation is the armed forces. Before the outbreak of a war all the struggles and organizations should serve to prepare it. President Gonzalo teaches us that in mass work the struggle for Power and the struggle for economic demands [luchas reivindicativa] are two sides of the same coin, with the struggle for Power being the first and foremost demand of the masses.
Organize the masses so that they can go beyond what is permitted by the existing legal order, so that they struggle to destroy the old order and not to maintain it. This is accomplished by use of the three instruments of the revolution: The Party where the few converge, the Army with more participants, and new State–Front which is the base which progressively aglutinates the masses through leaps. In the countryside this is achieved through People’s Committees and in the cities through the People’s Revolutionary Defense Movement. In this way the tradition of electoral fronts, which the revisionists and opportunists apply to channel the struggle of the peasantry and to divert the masses in the cities from not seizing Power through war, is destroyed.
To center on political Power also demands the organization of the masses in diverse new forms of struggle, because war imposes changes on the struggle and organization of the masses. As Lenin taught us, in revolutionary epochs, new organizations must be formed and go against the old leaders who seek to sell-out the revolution in order to accomodate themselves within the reactionary system. For that reason, the old forms of struggle and organization of the masses cannot be used.
The struggle for Power as the principal aspect does not mean that from the beginning we are going to incorporate the masses all at once. Chairman Mao teaches us that developing Base Areas and armed forces is what generates the apogee of the revolution. This has to do with the law of incorporation of the masses into the revolution, which was established by the Party in the Second Plenum of 1980, an incorporation that will be through progressive leaps; with more People’s War will come a greater incorporation of the masses. Thus, the People’s War is a political fact that continues to pound ideas into the heads of men through powerful actions, who will bit by bit come to understand their only true path, thereby developing their political consciousness. The People’s War summons all the revolutionaries and opens a trail as it develops.
The masses are avid for politics and it is incumbent upon Communists to organize and lead them. The masses have concrete problems everywhere and we must worry about them and attend to them. Mass work is done within the class struggle and not on its margins. If we do not do mass work, the reactionaries and revisionists will utilize it for their own ends, whether it be to develop fascism and to corporativize them or hand over their struggles to another imperialist master. These are two wills that are distinct and opposed.
The masses seek the voice of those who affirm and not those who doubt. In our Party, in the Initiation, President Gonzalo demanded that no one must ever doubt the masses, fighting those who are blind and deaf to the voice of the masses, listening to their faintest rumor and attending to their daily, concrete problems. The masses must never be fooled, they must never be forced, they must know the risks which they may face. They must be summoned to the long, bloody struggle for Power, but with this goal they will understand that it will be a necessary and victorious struggle.
Therefore the struggle for Power is principal but it cannot be separated from the struggle for economic and political demands, they are two sides of the same coin, and the latter struggle is necessary.
How do we understand the struggle for economic and political demands? We are accused of not having a specific line for the economic and political struggle of the masses. The fact is that we apply it differently, in other forms, with different politics than those applied by the opportunists and revisionists, a new and different way from the traditional forms. President Gonzalo teaches us that the struggle for economic and political demands is on side of a coin, which has the struggle for political Power on the other side. It is completely wrong to separate them, to talk only about the struggle for economic and political demands is revisionism. In specifying Marx’s thesis to our society President Gonzalo tells us:
“The crisis presents us with two problems: First, how to defend what has been won, because even if in the crisis the gains are lost, more would be lost if they were not defended. This is the necessity of the struggle for demands…, an economic and political struggle…, furthermore, it forges the class and the workers in their struggle for Power. Second, how to end the crisis? It cannot be ended unless the predominant social order is ended… there is a necessity for revolutionary struggle which serving the seizure of power by the armed struggle under the leadership of the Party… one cannot be separated from the other. The relationship of both problems materializes in developing the struggle for demands as a function of political Power.”
To carry forward the struggle for demands, the union and strike are used. These are the principal form of the economic struggle of the proletariat which are developed into guerrilla warfare. That is how the class is educated in the struggle for Power and elevate it through concrete armed actions which strengthens this form of struggle, giving it a higher quality.
In sum, the struggle for demands must be developed serving the conquest of Power. This is a political principle of doing mass work.
3. WHAT MASSES DO WE GO TO?
We must start from the class criteria to resolve which masses to go to. It is very important to note that the masses are organized according to the common interests of the classes they belong to. President Gonzalo teaches us that this approach is essential to combat those who pretend to separate masses from classes with tales of “unity,” and of those who betray the true interests of the masses by trafficking with their struggles. Also because it allows us to understand that the masses are always an arena of struggle where the bourgeoisie and proletariat clash to lead them. However, only the Communist Party is capable of leading them because it is the only one that can represent them and struggle for their interests. Those who talk about “mass democracy” or who create open mass organisms as if they were a form of Power without violence are merely upholding bourgeois positions that negate the leadership of the proletariat and its dictatorship.
Starting from a class criteria has to do with the character of the revolution, with the classes that make up the people who should be united under the leadership of the proletariat. In our case of the democratic revolution, the proletariat leads, the peasantry is principal, the petty bourgeoisie is a firm ally and the middle bourgeoisie has a dual character. The basic masses which we must go to are the proletariat and the peasantry, principally the poor peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie and also the middle bourgeoisie.
Keeping in mind the specific demands of the masses, we should differentiate between those sectors of the masses which suffer more oppression with the goal of organizing them so that they will struggle to achieve conquests and resolve their specific contradiction. This refers to the mass fronts in which we must work. These are: The workers, the proletariat, the leading class of all revolutions, a class whose principal and decisive political objective is the conquest of Power through the People’s War to emancipate itself, emancipate the other classes and finally to destroy itself as a class. Its specific demands are the winning of conquests and rights like increased wages, a shorter work day and better working conditions. Towards this end, the workers’ movement, its struggles, mobilizations, marches, agitation, and strikes must be developed with armed actions. “Worry about the fundamental problems of the class and also of the workers, their general and concrete problems which they fight for daily.”
The peasants are the principal force, especially the poor peasants, who struggle for the conquest of land through armed struggle under the leadership of the Communist Party. Not seeing it this way leads to the “land seizures” [the take-over of non-arable land and others promoted by the government, revionists and the Church.–Trans.] and conforming to the old order. Further develop the peasant movement applying the “three withs”: live with, work with and struggle with them, thus forging peasants with a proletarian mentality.
Women which make up half the world and develop the feminine movement for the emancipation of women, a task which is the work of women themselves but under the leadership of the Party. We must combat the bourgeois thesis of women’s liberation. Women struggle against the constant increase in the cost of living which affects the physical integrity of the class and the people. The Party mobilizes the working, peasant and intellectual women, etc.
The intellectuals so that they may fulfill their role as revolutionary intellectuals serving the proletariat and peasantry within the People’s War. Among them are the high school students, university students and professional occupations, etc. See their specific demands, the defense of their conquests, aiming at a new national, scientific and mass culture, making them conscious that they can only achieve this with the revolution.
Mobilize the poor masses in the cities, in the shantytowns and slums against hunger and misery, so that they fight for the revolution’s programme, summon them to the People’s War so that they may seize their conquests and rights which are trampled under foot more everyday. Do not allow that they be struck with impunity and teach them how to defend themselves, so that they can resist the enemy’s aggression using all the available means at their disposal. Apply “Combat and Resist”, which is the common slogan for the class.
Mobilize the youth so that they directly participate in the front lines of the combat trenches of the People’s War. Let young workers, peasants and students develop their struggles for a new world, their right to an education, against unemployment and other ills that wracks them.
Make the children active participants in the People’s War. They can carry out many tasks which will help them understand the necessity of transforming the world. They are the future and in the end they will live in the new world. Change their ideology so that they adopt the proletariat’s.
4. PERSIST IN THE ONLY MARXIST-LENINIST TACTIC
Starting from Engel’s thesis: “In a country with an old political and workers’ movement, there is always a colossal heap of garbage inherited by tradition that must be cleaned step by step”. Lenin established: “The only Marxist line in the world proletarian movement consists in explaining to the masses that the split with opportunism is inevitable and indispensible, educating them in revolution through a merciless struggle against it”. Chairman Mao indicated that a period of struggle against imperialism and revisionism was opening, with revisionism being one of the principal sources of imperialist wars and a danger within the Party for Communists in general. President Gonzalo calls for persisting in the only Marxist tactic which implies four issues:
First, sweep away the colossal heap of garbage that is revisionism and opportunism, principally electoralism. None of these revisionists and opportunists, nor any of their variaties, can represent, much less defend, the masses. Now as before they only defend the exploiters in turn, yesterday they were merely a boxcar at the tail of the fascist and corporativist Aprista government, sinisterly dragging along the union organizations under their influence. [This practice of revisionism has continued under Fujimori.–Trans.] All these political and union organizations and their leaders do not represent the people but that crust of the labor aristocracy. The union bureaucracy and the bourgeois workers’ parties that always try to swerve the masses from their revoluionary path and are no more than part of that colossal heap of garbage which must be gradually swept away as Engels said.
Second, go to the deepest and most profound masses which constitute the majority, which in our country are the workers and principally poor peasants, the petty bourgeoisie and also keep the national bourgeoisie in mind. Of these, the most important are the workers and principally poor peasantry, and we must go mainly to them in both the countryside and city. We must propell their movement, lead it, mobilize them for Power so as to topple and overthrow the old State. This is the principle issue of the tactic. Among the masses it is necessary to distinguish the superficial scum which is the crust that serves the bourgeoisie from the immense majority of deep and profound masses which will emerge more and more until the destruction of the decrepit state, even more so when a People’s War starts to crumble the old Peruvian state.
Third, the masses must be educated in the People’s War, in its theory and practice. Thus, educating them in the peace of bayonets is to allow them to be slaughtered. The masses should no longer shed their blood with impunity only to be betrayed by their false leaders, for capitulation, rather this precious blood should serve the conquest of Power for the class and the people.
Fourth, it is necessary to struggle implacibly against revisionism and opportunism, combatting it as a dangerous cancer within and outside the Party and among the very masses themselves, or else they will not solidify their revolutionary path. This is a struggle which we have been waging since the reconstitution of the Party and which today in open People’s War is more urgent and implacable because of the increasingly treacherous way they act against us, the people and the revolution, especially if social-imperialism is operating behind them within their policy of collusion and contention with Yankee imperialism for global hegemony. This is applicable to revisionism and opportunism of all breeds no matter who their representatives are.
Regarding this President Gonzalo tells us: “Rise above this miasma, this superficial revisionism, opportunism and electoralism whic rides on the masses. The main thing is that below this the most colossal and self-impelled force agitates, upon which we operate with the most powerful instrument of the rebellion which exists on the Earth: Armed action. We are the cry that says: ‘It is right to rebel’.”
5. ORGANIZING THE MASSES
President Gonzalo starting from the ideological and political bases and along with the organizational construction, established the forms of struggle and the forms of organizing the masses. He teaches us the process in which the mass work of the Party developed.
In the Constitution. [of the PCP–Trans.] He tells us that Mariátegui outlined the bases for the mass work of the Party and determined specific lines by unleashing the two-line struggle against anarchism which sidestepped the necessity of the Party and also against Apra which negated the Marxist-Leninist conception and the capacity of the class to constitute itself into a Communist Party, through its work in the Front.
Once Mariátegui died in the 1930s, his line was abandoned. The work is centered around the masses, putting them at the tail of the big bourgeoisie, deviating them towards “frontism”, elections and revisionism which weighs down on the efforts of the red line to oppose them. These erroneous tactics last more than 30 years.
In the Reconstruction. President Gonzalo establishes the mass line of the Party and the organic forms. This is in a period of over 15 years of hard two-line struggle which achieve partial leaps. [Refers to successes–Trans.] In the first political strategy of the Reconstruction he develops the initiation of the mass work of the Party, all the militants in Ayacucho did peasant work including the civil construction workers, for example, also with the intellectuals and poor masses of the slums. They supported the land seizures, carried out peasant events, organized the I Regional Convention of Peasants of Ayacucho where the agrarian program was established; this was a transcendental event. He led the historic struggles of June 20, 21 and 22 in 1969 in Ayacucho and Huanta, mobilizing the masses of high school students, parents and families against Decree 006 of General Velasco which we defeated. The PCP organized the People’s Defense Front of Ayacucho, reorganized the Revolutionary Student Front (FER), created the Popular Feminine Movement (MFP), the Center for Mariátegui’s Intellectual Work (CETIM), the Revolutionary High School Student Front (FRES) and above all the Poor Peasants Movement (MCP). Thus, new politics were developed through mass work, new forms of struggle and new organic forms came to exist.
In the two-line struggle, President Gonzalo fought against revisionism which led the masses towards electoralism and against revolutionary violence to preserve the old order. He fought against Patria Roja, a form of revisionism which trafficked, like it does today, with the slogan “power grows from a barrel of a gun”, negating semi-feudalism, focussing its work around the petty-bourgeoisie, especially students and teachers. He also defeated the right liquidationism that diluted the Party’s leadership among the masses, preaching legalism and saying everything could be done through the Peasant Confederation of Peru (CCP), that the peasants didn’t understand confiscation but they did understand expropriation, and that the fascist and corporativist measures of the Velasco government [Military dictatorship from 1968-1972–Trans.] should be deepened.
In the second political strategy of the Reconstitution, he established the Generated Organisms agreed upon in the Third Plenum of 1973: “The actual movements as organizations generated by the proletariat in the different fronts of work. Their three characteristics:
1) Adherence to Mariátegui,
2) Mass organizations and
3) practicing democratic centralism.”
He founded the character, content and role of the Generated Organisms applying Lenin’s thesis on a clandestine Party and points of Party support in the masses, leasned from the Chinese experience on open and secret work. He specified the necessity, that in order to develop the Reconstitution of the Party, of opening the Party to the masses more, that in order to agree on a policy and carry it out effectively needed to defeat the left liquidationism that believed fascism sweeps everything away, aiming at the Party’s extinction by isolating it from the masses, and showing contempt for the peasantry and proletariat and preaching that “line is enough.”
With the defeat of the left liquidationist line the ties with the masses grew and People’s Schools were formed, schools which politicized the masses with the conception and line of the Party, which played an important role in the agitation and propaganda by linking the struggle for demands with the struggle for political Power. They completed a systematic and planned study of base workplans, unleashing the two-line struggle and developing the mass work.
The advance of the work of the Generated Organisms led to President Gonzalo proposing their development into one avalanche, under the political guide of initiating the armed struggle. This led to the forming of zonal works. The Metropolitan Coordination was established for the cities, applying Lenin’s thesis for open work, Chairman Mao’s thesis for work in the cities and that the struggle of the masses should be developed in a reasonable, advantageous and measurable way. Their application allowed us to keep the Party clandestine, entrenched in the masses, moving in a good number of activists, distribute propaganda in a short time and facitilated agitation and mobilization under a centralized Party plan.
All of this is what we called “the three little feet” for mass work in the cities: Generated Organisms, People’s Schools and the Metropolitan Coordination. For the countryside the first two forms were applied.
In the third political strategy of the Reconstitution, the Party widely developed its mass work in the zones of the Sierra, linking itself with the poor peasants primarily in the cities with the proletariat and masses in the slums and shantytowns. The generated organisms have played a good role within the culmination of the reconstitution and building bases for the armed struggle. The specific lines were developed even further, so that the Classist Movement of Workers and Laborers (MOTC) proposed 15 basic theses for the workers’ movement; the Poor Peasant Movement (MCP) politicized the peasants with the agrarian program specified for new conditions; in the Shantytown Classist Movement (MCB) the list of denunciations and demands of the people are published; the Student Revolutionary Front (FER) develops the thesis of the Defense of the University against fascism; the Revolutionary High School Student Front (FRES) impelled the struggle of students for popular education; the Popular Feminine Movement (MFP) raised the thesis of women’s Emancipation, propelling the mobilization of working women, peasants women, shantytown dwellers and students. Furthermore, there was participation in the United Synidicate of Peruvian Educational Workers (SUTEP)which led to its specific class line being adopted in the 1970s. The National Federation of Peruvian University Teachers (FENTUP) was also formed. All of this work entered into a wide ideological-political mobilization to initiate the People’s War.
In synthesis, all the mass work of the Party in the Reconstitution was to prepare the initiation of the People’s War. As Chairman Mao taught us, before initiating the war, everything is preparation for it, and once it has begun everything serves to develop it. President Gonzalo has applied and firmly developed this principle.
In the leadership of the People’s War there was a great leap in the mass work of the Party, a qualitative leap, which shapes the principal form of struggle: The People’s War and the principal form of organization: The People’s Guerrilla Army. [which developed into the People’s Army of Liberation in 1992–Trans.] This highest task was carried out by way of the militarization of the Party, and with respect to the mass work means that all the mass work is done through the People’s Guerrilla Army, which as an army of a new type that fulls three tasks: Combat, mobilize and produce. We conceive that the second task of the army implies mobilizing, politicizing, organizing and arming the masses, a task which is not counterposed to fighting, which is the principal task, because the principle of concentrating for combat and dispersing for mobilization is applied. In addition, the masses are educated in the war. This is a principle which governs the three forces: Principal ones, local ones and in the bases where various degrees of actions are specified.
For the mobilization of masses, the Party through the EGP carries forward the People’s Schools, forms the Generated Organisms, the support groups, a policy that applied particularly one way in the countryside, because that is where the New Power is being formed, and in another way in the cities. In the cities, the Revolutionary Defense Movement of the People was formed, aiming at the future insurrection.
In the countryside, where we have Power, Base Areas and People’s Committees, we see to it that all the masses engage in armed participation, organized in the Party, Army and Front-State. If all the masses are not organized the New Power will not be able to sustain itself for long. Amorphous masses or Power without masses organized under the leadership of the Party is not enougn.
In the cities, the mass work is carried out by the Army as well, and the main thing is the struggle for Power through the People’s War, with the struggle for demands serving political Power as a necessary complement. Obviously, this happens with many armed actions with the goal of materializing the new forms of organization. We formed the Peoples’s Revolutionary Defense Movement (MRDP), which attracts masses from the workers, peasants, shantytowns and petty bourgeoisie, neutralizing the middle bourgeoisie, aiming at the democratic forces which support the People’s War. The objective is to lead the masses towards the resistance and to the elevation of their struggles into People’s War, to hinder, undermine and perturb the old State and serve the insurrection , preparing the cities with People’s War in a complementary way. We use the double policy of developing our own forms, which is principal, and penetrate all type of organizations. We apply Combat and Resist!
Regarding the Generated Organisms, in the People’s War they have expressed developement and their characteristics have changed. They continue being mass organizations of the Party and today:
- They are guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought;
- They are governed by democratic centralism, and
- They serve the development of the People’s War.
In the countryside, the Generated Organisms are militarized; in the cities many degrees of militarization can be applied. Today, we have the following: MOTC, MCP, MCB, MFP, MJP [youth movement–Trans.], MIP. [intellectual movement–Trans.] Peru People’s Aid is also important which has upsurged in the People’s War as part of the struggle for prisoners of war and dissappeared. For the Party’s overseas work the Peru People’s Movement (MPP) has been formed with its specific tasks.
Today, after nearly eight years of People’s War the Party has made a great leap in its mass work, proving that it is just and correct to develop mass work within and for the People’s War. As a result of its application our people are learning each day that the class struggle necessarily leads to the struggle for Power. Their growing participation in the People’s War is very expressive, and even if not everyone reaches an understanding of it, they see in it the concrete hope of their emancipation. They are developing their struggles with new forms of struggle and organization, and the class struggle in Peru has been elevated to its principal form: The People’s War. The masses are organized in People’s War and are the base and sustenance of it. They are organized in a Communist Party, into a People’s Guerrilla Army and principally in the New Power, the principal conquest of the People’s War in which the workers, peasants and petty-bourgeoisie participate, excercising political power like never before in History.
These are qualitative leaps which give rise to conditions for a new chapter in mass work within and for the People’s War until the conquest of Power countrywide.
Those who uphold Marxism-Leninsm-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought, assume the embodyment of the mass line of the Party and apply it giving up our lives so that the Party seizes Power throughout the country and serves the world revolution.