We have seen what means the concept of “thought” ( Life, Matter, the Universe, part 7: What is a thought?); let's see here some important points about Gonzalo Thought.
The first point is the origin of the poetical prose used by Gonzalo. It is here not a question of style; using poetical prose, he wanted to show that what he says, his mind, is a product of the movement of matter, not a product of his mind alone.
The second point is the subjectivist understanding of Gonzalo Thought, that brought a lot of problems on the practical level.
Let's begin with the first point.
When reading or hearing Gonzalo, it is impossible not to notice that there is a really strong emphasis on the style. Gonzalo uses openly a poetical prose.
The document “ILA 80” - Initiation of the Armed Stuggle – 1980 is really famous for this and let's quote here another document, “We begin to topple the walls and unfold a new dawn”, which explains his conception.
Indeed, Gonzalo stresses the importance of enthusiasm. But this enthusiasm must not be brought from the outside, it must exist as an expression of the movement of matter.
Reading it as a subjectivist approach was a common error.
Here is what Gonzalo says:
“Engels taught us that there are two forces in the world, the armed force of reaction and the disorganized masses. If we organize the powerful force of the masses, their potential develops into actions, what was a possibility becomes a reality.
What is a law and a necessity becomes forceful deeds which sweep away all that is believed to be firm.
Nothing is permanent.
Everything is a house of cards, if it is not sustained by the masses.
And when the masses speak up everything shudders, the order begins to tremble, the high summits stoop and the stars change their course, because the masses are capable of anything.
We are Communists of a distinct temperament and special material, we are Communists ready for everything and we know what needs to be fought. We have already fought it and will fight it again tomorrow.
What will be confronted tomorrow will be the child of the present, it will be harder but by then we will be tempered by the past and as we forge ourselves today. We will temper our souls in the revolution, this is the only flame capable of forging us.
We need a great deal of optimism and there is a reason for it. We are the makers of tomorrow, we are guides, the garrison of the invincible triumph of the class. This is why we are optimists.
We are enthusiastic by nature. We are nurtured by the ideology of our class: Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-tung Thought. We live the life of the class. We participate in its heroic deeds. The blood of our people flow and burns within us.
We are like a powerful and palpitating blood. Let us take the unbendable iron and steel, the class, and mix it together with the unwithering light of Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-tung Thought. Enthusiasm means to participate in the force of the Gods, therefore, we are full of enthusiasm. We participate in the divinities of the real world: The masses, the class, Marxism and the revolution. That is why we have inexhaustible enthusiasm. That is why we have strength, optimism, and a vigorous spirit overflowing with enthusiasm.
And what have we seen here? Militants and leaders without optimism. Dead spirits and deciduous wills with fleeting passions. This is unacceptable. We know well their roots: Their support is not Marxism, the class, nor the masses, rather it is the corrosive individualism, the reactionary rot that makes them fearful, the sewage mold of the old order, the expression of the dying world, the lethal swamp gasses of reaction. This is why their spirits are broken, their hearts tremble, their thoughts forsake them, their nerves are destroyed, and their actions disturbed.
This has to be uprooted, it can not nest among us. It is unacceptable, inadmissible, let us burn it and blast it. This cannot be allowed in the Party, much less prevail. What have we seen in this moment? Leaders with these positions and attitudes. It is despicable. Never again should this happen. And precisely today, when we need to unfurl optimism and enthusiasm, now? That is unacceptable. It is corrosion, pure gangrene, and it should never have taken place, today it is much more unacceptable.
If the comrades don't uproot these weaknesses what type of cadres are they going to form? What kind of militants are they going to form? Apply the following: a company always reflects its leadership. To lead a company without optimism results in a company without optimism. A pusillanimous leadership makes a pusillanimous company. It will be defeated and broken before it engages in battle.
We need to unfurl optimism and overflow enthusiasm. Our powerful ideology, incisive line and Communist will must be manifested above all in the leaders.
The order of the day is: Unfurl optimism and overflow enthusiasm! May it be shared with others, with our cadres and bases not present in this meeting. May this enthusiasm manifest itself in action and motivate us in order to eliminate the crust that impedes our advance and serve to others as an example to uproot these weaknesses. May the optimism shine, and manifest in us a powerful enthusiasm. It is practical and necessary in as much as we carry it out.
No one can deny that this is a struggle between positions. We have recorded right here and the summary will be the expression of what we have seen. But in the first place, what was important in our Party? What is important now? What will be important tomorrow? It is the Left. Who cries about its defeat? The Right. They should understand that its cry is useless. They must burn their old idols, burn the old and decrepit, and place their spirits up to the these times.
The spirit of the times is owned by the Left. It is consistent with the needs of our country, our people clamor for revolution. We cannot fail. If our blood and lives are claimed, our response is: we carry our lives in our hands to give them up, we put them at the service of the greatest and most just cause.
Our death for the good cause should be the seal of our revolutionary action. The constant and firm actions for our cause will be the hallmark of our lives as Communist combatants. This is what we have understood the best. That is why the positive weighs so much more in us.
We have advanced, but some think that their weaknesses have been overcome. That is a loss of vigilance, there could be a thousand "reasons", but it is only sewage. Elevate your vigilance and sweep away the errors with determination, destroy the old and decrepit through armed actions which will be the real and effective seal.
Perhaps some people think that we should only speak about the positive, but there exists light and shadow, a contradiction. We should summarize and learn lessons. This meeting is a great lesson. We will not forget it. We have an obligation to preserve the Left so that the Party can meet its objective. With the actions we are undertaking and with this excellent meeting, we begin to topple the walls and unfurl a new dawn. »
We already saw how Mariategui understood the question of romanticism and culture (see Learning the lessons of Mariategui about french fascism's romantism).
Now we understand why Gonzalo discovered Mariategui after he understood Maoism. He saw an aspect that Mariategui could not develop scientifically at that time – and he converted it practically - politically in poetical prose.
Enthusiasm is logical because the movement of matter goes to communism; so real communists must express this movement on the cultural level. Enthusiasm reflects the movement of matter.
Let's see now how this was misunderstood sometimes.
In the article “The internal is decisive - Chairman Gonzalo is inseparable from Gonzalo Thought ”, published in 2000 (Red Sun number 19), the Peru's People Movement (organism for abroad work of the Communist Party of Peru) gives its interesting point of view.
For the Peru's People Movement (MPP), Gonzalo thought has reached such a level, as matter in development, that it can not come back. There was a leap, so Gonzalo's thought (as the thought of an individual body) can not turn revisionist. The brain of Gonzalo might be destroyed by its reaction, but Gonzalo, as long as he thinks, can not betray.
Let's see what the MPP says:
“There is nothing that does not contain a contradiction.” Then one has to see which the contradiction is in Chairman Gonzalo: is it between treason towards revolution, or continuing the road of revolution? Or which is it?
He, himself, in the Interview pointed out that: “Nevertheless, there is always a contradiction between the revolutionary line that is principal in our thinking and the opposing line. Both lines exist, since no one is a hundred percent communist. In our minds a struggle between two lines is waged, and this struggle is also key in forging the cadre, aiming always at keeping the revolutionary line principal. This is what we strive for.”
It is evident that Chairman Gonzalo cannot, either, be considered a monolithic being without contradictions, understanding this is fundamental. But one, likewise, has to see the particular contradiction that he has - this is that of being Great Leadership - and understand that therein lies the contradiction, observe that we are not dealing with a formal post but a condition that has come up and been proven in revolutionary practice during various decades that has come to develop to a higher level.
Therefore, within Chairman Gonzalo, the contradiction is no longer between treason against revolution or continuing the road of revolution, it is not between applying Marxism or revising it, but the contradiction is between making a completely correct application or having errors due to confronting new problems.
This is not strange, it is not because Chairman Gonzalo is a superhuman or anything like that, it is the result of the development of class struggle, an objective result of the development of matter. Communism will inevitably impose itself in the world, this is a fundamental position that every Marxist-Leninist-Maoist necessarily assumes, it is a precondition of being Marxist; this due to, in the final analysis, that the tendency of matter is to advance; history does not develop in closed and eternal circles, history goes forward and it is impossible to turn its course backwards.
Communism cannot develop into a class society, for in communism, the classes have ceased to exist along with all the prerequisites for their existence; it is impossible for a human being to foretell how the economical, political, cultural and social relations between people will be in communism, but, it is possible to affirm with complete certainty, that there will no longer, never more, be social classes in human history when the forever golden Communism has been born.
This does not mean that there will not be contradictions in communism, evidently there will, but the contradictions that will drive the development of human society forward will no longer be between classes, but of another type. Then, if the Marxists understand it so, as we have seen in the example of how we understand Communism, the development of society: why are some not capable of understanding that the Great Leaders of the proletariat, titans like Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao, as products of the development of class struggle, have reached a level of development in which it is impossible that they can become revisionists?
Or do the gentlemen who argue that it is possible that Chairman Gonzalo may be the author of the “peace letter” because everything divides into two, also believe that the founder of Marxism, of the entire International Communist Movement, Karl Marx, would have become a partisan of Bakunin if he had been held isolated for a year and received false information from German reactions butchers?
Do these gentlemen believe that the great Lenin would have become one of the treacherous rats of the II International if he had been held isolated for a year and received false information from the gendarmes of the Czar? Do the intellectualoids believe that Chairman Mao would have transformed into a capitulator if he had been held isolated for a year and received false information from the genocidal forces of Japanese imperialism?
It is evident that no one who knows the work of these three unfading peaks can consider the mere speculation on their firmness and absolute dedication to the World Leadership Proletarian Revolution as anything but coarse and stupid; for Marx, Lenin and Chairman Mao, are Great Leaderships, and even though we do not say that Chairman Gonzalo may be the fourth sword of Marxism, he too, is Great Leadership.
But, like a drunkard grasps for something in order not to fall, our “Maoist theoreticians” also come with their “argument” on torture and “brainwash” in order to give their coarse position foundations; this is too much!
It is impossible that a comrade who has understood a pinch of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism could think that a human being, through brain- wash, can change his way of thinking and elaborate a new ideological-political line without having the antecedents beforehand.
What they can do with torture and brainwash is to kill a persons brain, producing a vegetal state in him, but it is not possible to achieve that the person begins to, on his own, build up a new ideological-political line.
If the foundation for the coarse position that “Chairman Gonzalo may be behind the letters” is that imperialism and reaction, with the support from the rats of the ROL, have “brainwashed” Chairman Gonzalo, this means, in other words, that they have assassinated him; all this, then,
are speculations that only serve the enemy's plans and it is necessary for the Maoists of the world to unmask and crush them because they are based on “the external motive force” not on the fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal; it lies in the contradictoriness within the thing and as a consequence they do not understand the correct interrelation between the internal and external causes which is that: “external causes are the condition of change and internal causes are the basis of change, and that external causes become operative through internal causes.”
Therefore the philosophical foundation for the position that it is possible that Chairman Gonzalo may be is anti-Marxist, it is an utterance of a metaphysical conception that gives room to subjectivism, one-sidedness and superficiality."
We have here to note that this idealist misinterpretation - the idea “orders” the matter, which is the same conception as Hegel - played a great role in the bend in the road in Peru. One aspect of it is the concept of “Great Leadership” focused on the political person instead of the ideological content of the person as a method that can continue without the person and continue analyzing the world.
The MPP, for example, considers here that it is materially impossible that Gonzalo, as a person, changes his thought, even in new situations. Gonzalo could her not change at all, like Lenin could not change if he would been arrested, tortured, etc.
But “if” is not marxist. In France, it is said: “with if, you can put Paris in a bottle.” It means that with “if” it is possible to pretend anything.
But the fact is that Lenin was not arrested, tortured, etc. If it happened, than leninism would have look differently. Because the mind reflects the matter, and because rationality is founded on reality. No “if” exist here.
We must see that there is a confusion of the person – with his brain - and the thought, even if of course it is to stress that Gonzalo did not, for what we know, change his thought.
The MPP considers that the brain of Gonzalo in jail either still defends the thought or became vegetative: this is idealistic: a thing can transform itself in its contrary if the dialectical situation is not correctly understood. In France, we can count two main leaders of the Maoist movement in the 1960's-1970's whose thought became its contrary.
The first went insane, the second a rabbi. Does it mean that they were reactionary before? No, but the problems in their thought is also a reflection of a specific situation in France, and a lack of dialectical materialism to face the complexity.
Nothing is static. Nothing is indivisible. Of course that Gonzalo's thought – as a thought of a body – changed. It has maybe changed in an intellectual-cultural way, like Gramsci did in jail, with his amazingly interesting analyzes. Maybe it went in another direction. But it changed.
And can there be a settle back? Not pretending that yes would mean reject the two line struggle. Any communist can turn a revisionist – it is only in seeing that that it is possible to avoid mistakes.
It is the same with the fact that the MPP says that the PCP is still in “strategic equilibrium” even after numerous defeats. This is unilateral and it considers progress as unilateral, with no turning back – which it is not true until the big revolutionary leap. A revolutionary party can progress and be des troyed due to anti-dialectical errors – when destroyed, it is destroyed and it doesn't stay at the last level reached, like for example somebody in a video game.
In Nepal for example, the revolution will not simply stay at the same level it was when the People's War stopped.
Not seeing this would bring a mechanical thought.
So, the concept of Great Leadership is totally correct as a conclusion of the thought, but with a slight error it can turn in an obligation to be politically stuck in the past, to the person in the past carrying the thought, which is ideologically correct but doesn't mean that time stood still.
Gonzalo's Thought is correct for Peru, but Gonzalo itself is a secondary aspect of it. Certainly, he did not change his mind in jail. But even he did, this would not mean at all that Gonzalo Thought would be wrong. The movement of matter reflects itself ideologically in thoughts, but the thought is not the movement of matter.