Eagles and Vultures: Jacobin’s Attempts to Erase Class Struggle and Attack Chairman Gonzalo

By the Struggle Sessions Editorial Board

Within a week of the murder of Chairman Gonzalo by the Peruvian state, while class-conscious workers across the world immortalized him as the greatest communist of the current era, the American magazine Jacobin published a hit-piece on the Chairman that seeks to erase and nullify his leadership and legacy. This article, titled The Shining Path’s Abimael Guzman Helped Keep Peru in the Past by bourgeois ‘Senderologist’ Miguel La Serna, presents the lowest anti-communism and an absolute defense of American imperialism and the bureaucrat-landlord state of Peru.

The assassination of Chairman Gonzalo was a great defeat for the Peruvian state and its US imperialist master: they could not force Gonzalo to capitulate and denounce the people’s war and Maoism after almost 30 years of imprisonment, extreme isolation, and torture, and so he died maintaining his post as leader of the Peruvian People’s War and the World Proletarian Revolution. So much did they fear the ghost of Gonzalo that they could not even bury his body for fear that his grave-site would become a shrine for revolutionaries, but instead had to cremate him and disperse his ashes in a secret location. Now the imperialists seek to bury Chairman Gonzalo with a conspiracy of silence on the one hand and slander on the other, seeking in all ways to negate his political and ideological leadership which lives on in Gonzalo Thought and its universal contributions to the ideology of the proletariat.

While the Democratic Socialists of America assisted the US state in ensuring the ‘free and fair elections’ that sought to offer legitimacy to the decaying and unpopular Peruvian state under the counter-revolutionary presidency of Pedro Castillo, their aligned journal Jacobin now puts forward Castillo as “the way forward” for Peru. What is important for them is to paint counter-revolution and bureaucratic capitalism pulled by the strings of US imperialism as progressive or socialist while stripping the only force in Peru representing the workers and peasants in struggle against imperialism of all political identity—reducing Chairman Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru to simple terrorists. The social-fascism of the DSA and Jacobin which upholds and defends the US imperialist state under a ‘left’ mask is therefore intimately connected with the counter-revolution in Peru. The election of Castillo is tied up in reaction’s strategy for Peru. As the Peru People’s Movement recently commented,

The new president of the old Peruvian state, the opportunist rondero Pedro Castillo Terrones, on being sworn in before the reactionary parliament, undertook to carry out the three reactionary tasks, namely, to give new impetus to bureaucratic capitalism, to restructure the old state and to annihilate the People’s War, the fulfillment of which are a historical and political impossibility. [1]

Castillo’s presidency seeks to sanitize the Peruvian state while it continues its genocidal campaign against the people’s war, in which the assassination of Gonzalo plays a crucial role. La Serna’s writings serves these plans by obscuring the character and function of the state, posing to an American audience that the state can transform its character through a legal process, opposing the basic Marxist position that the state can only be transformed through revolution.

Castillo, for his part, laments in an interview with Jacobin Magazine of the foreign capitalists draining the wealth of Peru through extractive industries, putting on his best leftist, pro-people face for the cameras, while simultaneously assuring international monopolies that their interests in Peru will not be harmed, with even Scotia Bank assuring their investors that their investments are under no threat. [2] Meanwhile, Castillo deploys the military to various regions in Peru where the peasantry is actively resisting these imperialist mining companies. [3] Thus is the double-talk of opportunism, sugared words for the people here, and bullets for the people there.


As we argued in our response to the 100 Flowers piece Shake the Earth, world reaction is confronted with the strategic offensive of the world proletarian revolution, facing the period of the “50 to 100 years” during which imperialism will be swept from the face of the earth. In this context, the ideological forces of imperialism dream up stories of the “end of history” and the defeat of Communism, socialism, and the world proletarian revolution. As Chairman Gonzalo describes in On the Rectification Campaign Based on the Study of the Document ‘Elections No, People’s War Yes,’ Fukuyama lays out the famous thesis of the “end of history” with the collapse of the USSR, proclaiming that the collapse of the social-imperialist power and the temporary triumph of revisionism in China means that imperialism has won finally, that history will no longer move forward, and that we are in the best of all possible worlds. Thus Fukuyama resurrects the old idealism which proclaims that what is will always be. [4]

Opposed to these illusions of the stability and triumph of imperialism is the growing wave of proletarian revolution across the world, especially in Latin America which shows itself more and more as the strategically weakest link in the imperialist chain. At the same moment that the ideologues of imperialism proclaimed their masters’ final victory, the flame of Maoism was lit in the Peruvian Andes with the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Peru on a firm Marxist basis, today meaning a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist basis, and the initiation of armed struggle for the conquest of power by the proletariat on May 17, 1980. This is a wrench thrown in the gears of reaction’s plans. It calls into question their whole ideological argument—can the world be changed? Yes, through the all-powerful ideology of Maoism it will and must be changed, proclaimed the Peruvian revolutionaries through word and through deed.

When it seemed to reaction that the people’s war in Peru was threatening to overthrow the old regime, to guide the masses in sweeping away the old state and setting up the people’s republic of new democracy, the US imperialists became afraid. This much is clear from the US military studies into the people’s war, much more sober and well-sourced than the ravings of the ‘Senderologists’ including our author La Serna.

Where does this leave us now? The ambitions of reaction in the third world are three-fold, as Chairman Gonzalo tells us: to kick-start bureaucrat capitalism, to restructure the state (with the illusions of elections and the drive for “new constitutions” as seen in countries like Peru, Columbia, etc), and to wipe out the people’s war. [5] These are the questions facing US imperialism as it attempts to strengthen its shaken dominion over the third world, particular its ‘back yard’ in Latin America. The people’s war is a definite thorn in its side, proclaiming that bureaucrat capitalism must be swept away through a new democratic revolution for Peru to develop, that the elections are a farce demanding an active boycott, and that the people’s war must develop with the current reorganization of the Party towards the conquest of power country-wide.

It is therefore tantamount for reaction to show that there is no other path than its own, and this path encompasses both the slaughter of the people and the guerrillas in the streets and the countryside, and the pushing of electoral and constitutional illusions—these tactics are used by both factions of the big bourgeoisie at play in the third world: the comprador and the bureaucrat, and these two factions in Peru are represented respectively by Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo. They are two sides of the same coin of the old order, and it is not a question of conservatism versus progress, as Jacobin and La Serna would have us believe.

Look at the so-called ‘defeat of socialism’ proclaimed by reaction—what does it add up to? This means covering up the clear path of revolution, muddying the waters, and showing only ‘color revolutions’ as remaining. By color revolutions we mean those uprisings of the people against their oppressors which are not guided by class politics, which are seeking democracy and the preservation of rights by overthrowing this or that regime, military or democratically-elected—look at Sudan, Belarus as two of many examples. The problem is that these ‘revolutions’ are not led by the proletariat, do not break the vicious cycle of oppression and exploitation, and so are doomed to come under the influence of this or that imperialist power or superpower. Someone will inevitably take the lead and manipulate the masses for their own ends unless the masses organize their vanguard leadership of the proletarian party. This illusion, that only ‘color revolutions’ remain as viable, small-scale manipulations of the current state of things, is cast into the trash can by the people’s war in Peru and by Chairman Gonzalo and his Thought, showing that the explosiveness and ingenuity of the masses, increasingly on display, can achieve anything when guided by their Communist Party.

The continued existence of people’s wars led by the proletariat therefore poses an existential threat to the ideologists of imperialism, for it continually proves that imperialism is on its death bed. It is imperative for these ideologist therefore to conceal the people’s wars under the mask of ‘terrorism’ and more importantly to conceal the core universality of the people’s wars: the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, a weapon which when wielded by the masses will bring about the final downfall of imperialism.

Revolutionary and Reactionary Violence

Jacobin cannot speak honestly about the political character of the Communist Party of Peru and the People’s War since doing so would reveal their own class character serving US imperialism. They cannot speak honestly about the ideology developed in the fire of the Peruvian revolution because of the continuing “palpable fear that, at any moment, Guzmán’s ideas could take hold and his reign of terror would return.” [6]

Jacobin traffics in Marxism seeking to misdirect the rebellion of the masses into support for imperialism through a defense of a vague ‘leftism’ abstracted from the question of class struggle. They must avoid at all costs the question of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and so construct an unbelievable tale of a single man brainwashing thousands of people into blind faith to serve his personal quest for power.

In line with this project, La Serna sanitizes the fascist military government of General Velasco, calling it a “left-leaning military government” that “attempted to address some of these structural inequities,” while simultaneously criticizing it as a “dictatorship.” [7] This lacks any meaningful political analysis as it obscures the class character of the state, focusing instead on the form of organization of bourgeois dictatorship: what is important is not proletarian political power but that bourgeois state power takes a democratic form and gives out concessions to the people in the form of social-democratic programs. If only Velasco was not so dictatorial! For his part, Chairman Gonzalo argues that one must,

[differentiate] between the state system and the system of government. They are parts of a whole; the former being the place that classes occupy within the state and the latter is the form in which power is organized. Chairman Mao taught that the main thing is to define the class character of a state, since the forms of government that are introduced can be civilian or military, with elections or by decree, liberal-democratic or fascist, but they always represent the dictatorship of the reactionary classes. To not see the old State in this way is to fall into the trap of identifying a dictatorship with a military regime and to think that a civilian government is not a dictatorship, thus tailing behind one of the factions in the big bourgeoisie behind the tale of ‘defending democracy’ or ‘avoiding military coups,’ positions that instead of destroying the old State support it and defend it. Such is the case in Peru with the revisionists and opportunists of the United Left. [8]

In fact, by 1980 at the launch of the People’s War, one thing that made the PCP at odds with the United Left was the legacy of General Velasco. While the PCP correctly saw Velasco’s measures as deepening bureaucratic capitalism, with the creation of state-owned farms among other measures, and organized against it by demanding “land to the tiller,” many sections of Peruvian revisionism saw this as a key step toward socialism. The PCP had long denounced the leading cliques of such farms (who were often part of pro-government left parties who proclaimed this as some radical move) as the “nuevo gamalismo.” [9]

Why does La Serna avoid defining the class character of the state? This is not merely a difference of opinion on how violence should be wielded, or of strategy in achieving liberation from imperialism and emancipation for the proletariat and the people of Peru. Otherwise La Serna would not so quickly seek recourse in painting the PCP and Chairman Gonzalo as simply evil, nor equate the people’s war and the violence of the state with such paltry phrases as “the state had blood on its hands as well.” This sort of equivalency, where the rhetorical weight of “the massacre” is placed in the lap of Chairman Gonzalo rather than the state, serves to paint revolution as a tragic distraction from the real issue, which in La Serna’s mind is structural adjustments and reforms to make Peru a more stable semi-colony of US imperialism. To accomplish this, he must void class politics, equating the violence of the state with the violence of the people, or more accurately by diminishing the violence of the state while painting as monstrous and condemning the violent rebellion of the people.

Thus La Serna’s article avoids the question of politics and class stand most clearly when it analyzes the people’s war. It reduces the people’s war to a “vicious guerrilla campaign” with an “extreme penchant for violence.” This is nothing but a distraction from the question of politics, intended to project an image of bloodthirsty terrorists and cult-like dogmatists instead of seriously analyzing the content of the war, the two sides of the contradiction between the old state and the new state in formation which are only resolved through the “vicious” wielding of violence.

One must ask: if the PCP was mainly characterized by senseless violence, “hacking unarmed men, women, and children with machetes, slitting their throats, and bludgeoning them to death with large stones,” as La Serna describes it, how could they manage to garner wide support and participation among the impoverished masses in the Andes—which these ‘Senderologists’ must admit—and pose such a genuine threat to the Peruvian state?

Chairman Mao has long ago settled the matter on the question of violence and revolution: “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous.” It cannot be anything else. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a bloodless revolution. All written history is the history of violent class struggle. To condemn the violence of revolution is to condemn revolution itself—which is exactly what La Serna does in his attack on the People’s War in Peru and Chairman Gonzalo. It negates the summary of Marxism in the slogan “It is right to rebel,” claiming it is not right to to rebel—that it is the realm of lunatics who cannot accept their rightful place in the world.

La Serna claims that “beginning in 1983, peasants throughout Ayacucho began revolting against the Shining Path.” By peasants La Serna is referring to the ‘ronderos’ made up of the most backwards masses organized by the Peruvian military, often at gunpoint, to counter the PCP as part of the counter-insurgency tactic of turning masses against masses. While avoiding mentioning the peasant base which supported and joined the People’s Guerilla Army, La Serna recognizes the section of the peasantry that opposed the people’s war. In his perspective, the peasants are invisible when they support the people’s war, but should be exemplified when the support the old state. This shows his class stand by identifying paramilitaries of the bureaucrat state as the forces of revolt and the revolutionary forces as terrorists without a cause: those fighting to defend the old order are the heroes while those fighting to overthrow the old order and install the new are villains.

Struggle Sessions dealt with this conception before on the question of Lucanamarca, described in lavish detail by La Serna. Our article states:

The events at Lucanamarca were not a question of the masses striking at the wrong time, and the Party standing beside them, but of the Party mobilizing the masses fully to carry out a devastating blow against reaction, one that will never be forgotten. There are of course those people who with a rubber stamp actually switch up who the masses were. They frame the annihilation of a reactionary village as ‘killing the masses,’ and of course they are quite happy to ignore the fact that the masses also participated in the annihilation, supported the Party directive to carry it out, and populated the militias and the EGP [People’s Guerrilla Army]. By confusing who the masses are, they confuse revolutionary violence for reactionary violence.

… These liberal humanists will decry the violence of 1983 and in doing this they decry the [people’s war] in Peru and denounce its leader, Chairman Gonzalo. They insist with no regard to historical materialism or the most accessible facts that this ‘massacre’ alienated the peasant base and actually bolstered the number of death squad recruits, harming the revolution itself. This is nothing but a fabrication. The masses themselves understood this action, supported it, and themselves carried it out at the behest of the Party. This was not the activity of ‘outside agitators,’ shadowy Party agents from alien backgrounds. Much as with the rationale used by other liberals to dismiss the most rebellious activity of the US masses, the liberal mind makes fairytales and conjures ghosts. The Party is, in the liberal mind only, understood as divorced fully from the revolutionary masses, carrying out massacres nearly unprovoked based solely on a metaphysical bloodlust. [10]

La Serna does not go deep into the myths of the Senderologists in his short essay, but does describe a brief litany of violence against civilians, always saying against the “indigenous”, in order to paint the PCP as simply bloodthirsty monsters. A simple story, but it is disingenuous to write only of the indigenous Peruvians killed by revolutionaries when the revolutionaries were themselves indigenous peasants, and when the Peruvian government was arming “native against native” through the conscription of villagers into paramilitary ‘ronderos’ for use as cannon-fodder.

One of the myths repeated by ‘Senderologists’ is that the PCP moved operations into Lima because they were driven out of the countryside by the very peasantry the Party sought to organize for the people’s war—this is used for instance by Ivan Degregori to argue that the PCP could only mobilize people through terror and threats of violence, and thus that their path of surrounding the cities from the countryside had failed. The opposite is the case, as even US Military research shows. Gordon H. McCormick writes:

Where Mariategui [the founder of the PCP] writes of an enduring conflict between the sierra and the coast, Sendero speaks of a longstanding conflict between the countryside and the city. This view, considered within a framework of class analysis, not only underlies Sendero’s interpretation of the structure of Peruvian society, it has also contributed to the movement’s basic theory of revolutionary takeover. The sierra, in this view, will serve as the cockpit of the revolution. Having consolidated its gains in the highlands, Sendero will move to extend its reach into the lowlands and the major metropolitan centers of the coast… this was to be completed by surrounding and choking off the country’s major cities from the interior. By the mid-1980s, this early strategy had been modified to incorporate a meaningful role for SL’s growing infrastructure in the cities themselves. …Even though it has self-consciously retained its original rural orientation, the cities have played an increasing, contributory role in Shining Path planning. [11]

McCormick mentions that the theory of protracted people’s war, the military theory of the international proletariat formulated by Chairman Mao, was modified in its creative application to Peru considering the importance and growing population of the mega-city Lima. This is called the theory of Unified People’s War, where the countryside is principal but the theater of war of the city plays an important auxiliary component. He further argues that the Peruvian old state was entering a period of profound crisis, was preparing to make a desperate bid to crush the people’s war, and that it was necessary to establish an urban campaign to fully exploit the crisis in the interests of developing the people’s war [12].

Nowhere is there a sign of the PCP’s weakness or of the guerrilla being “expelled” from the countryside by the people. The US military has a greater interest in studying the real causes and strengths of the people’s war than bourgeois academics, as the former is looking at resolving matters militarily while the latter is looking to influence public opinion, and military operations do not respond well to lies and distortions.

That said, public opinion is also key in war, as war is politics by other means.

Chairman Gonzalo explains in the document Elections No, People’s War Yes that the US government became afraid of the people’s war, and thus concocted a plan to win public opinion in the US for intervention—this plan rested on painting the guerrilla and the aspirations of the masses of Peru in the darkest colors, equating the guerrilla with drug cartels. By now this is an old trick, linked to the War on Drugs and not likely to succeed easily in turning public opinion in the US against revolutionaries in Peru or anywhere else. Even the ‘Senderologists’ are forced to paint this as a farce, showing in their studies that when the PCP entered the coca-growing regions of Peru it fought against the drug cartels, defended the coca-growing peasants from them and the narco-state, and organized the fight for higher prices and wages for coca. [13] This is part and parcel of the strategy of people’s war, of winning the masses over to the proletarian project for the conquest of state power, and of linking all the people’s various struggles into a single, mighty torrent with the people’s war, guided by the Party, as its lead.

Later in his essay, La Serna brings in another well-worn story used to portray Chairman Gonzalo and the PCP as bogeymen. He paints mayor Maria Elena Moyano as a “black activist, community organizer and fellow leftist” who was killed by the PCP only for being “vocal in her criticism of Shining Path’s terror tactics.” In fact Moyano was a servant of the old state leading a low-level counter-insurgency program, directly opposing the revolutionary movement not only in word but in deed. She was killed only after receiving several warnings to stop her counter-revolutionary activities. La Serna traffics in Moyano’s identity and obscures the reasoning behind the guerillas’ decisions in order to incite an emotional response from a US audience separated from Peru’s reality.

Moyano was the representative of a pro-government party in Villa El Salvador and she was operating at the center of an internationally-funded NGO that was called the Glass of Milk program. Following the tactics of soft counterinsurgency, supplies of milk were used to develop networks among women in the shantytowns that were intended to build pro-government political networks (under the slogan of “civil society”), and in this case, there was an informant network embedded within that service provision. In a letter addressed to the clandestine Lima newspaper El Diario, pro-PCP prisoners accused Moyano of being personally responsible for the deaths of at least 15 shanty town residents whose names and addresses she systematically handed over to the authorities as suspected rebel sympathizers. She was also on public record as offering her support for President Fujimori’s plan to establish paramilitary patrols in the slums using people dependent on government handouts. Despite all this, the PCP did not oppose the glass of milk scheme tout court, but only the police activities of some of its leaders. La Serna of course ignores that Moyano was a leading figure of a government waging a counterinsurgency in alliance with US imperialism, taking up a very visible and public role in calling for the defeat of the People’s War and in surrendering the sons and daughters of her own community members over to death squads. [14]

We can look further at the rhetorical moves of La Serna’s article, which seek to personalize Gonzalo’s leadership: the goal of “his war” was to replace the Peruvian state with “a Communist government built in his image.” The purpose of La Serna’s writing here is to negate political leadership of the proletariat through its Communist Party, painting Chairman Gonzalo as a religious figure, avoiding the actual ideology that Chairman Gonzalo developed that inspired millions as even the RAND reports soberly admit, covering over the fact that the PCP at the time of Chairman Gonzalo’s capture had developed deep roots and support among the proletariat and peasantry and represented the proletariat through its political line, and that greater and greater sectors of the people of Peru were coming to support the Party and the people’s war [15].

If La Serna dealt with this reality, he would lose his article’s driving force: to argue that Chairman Gonzalo’s death is a great victory for reformism and defeat for revolution. The problems of Peruvian society that Chairman Gonzalo describes and the solutions and path which Gonzalo Thought prescribes are as operative as ever. Semi-feudalism and semi-colonialism continue to dominate Peru, the central government is wracked with crisis, the peasantry fight for their land and their rights, and so on.

In Summary

La Serna argues that the death of Chairman Gonzalo will stop the Peruvian state and its armed forces from labeling progressives as terrorists, and thus an important obstacle to progress has been overcome. This arguments rests on the assumption that the people, rebellious and bothersome, get in the way of progress and stir up reaction. Meanwhile, Marxism shows that it is the masses who make history, and that “violence is the midwife of history.” Opportunist ideologues like La Serna paint communists in the blackest of colors and thus prove their loyalty to the old order while preserving a veneer of progressivism in an attempt to deceive the people with the tale that revolution is not necessary. The US has a rich revisionist history; we can study it to recognize this tactic and denounce it as such. Consider that William Z. Foster appeared before the House of Un-American Activities Commission and pledged that he and the US Communist movement was not seeking to overthrow the US Government or to install the dictatorship of the proletariat. These supposed captains of the people abandon ship totally when things get tough; look at the rat Miriam and the Right Opportunist Line in Peru who painted the people’s war first as defeated, and then switched tactics and said the people’s war was already victorious and there is no more bureaucrat capitalism or semi-feudalism in Peru, thus still attacking the people’s war and slandering Chairman Gonzalo by posing that there’s no longer a need to fight.

Chairman Gonzalo kept Peru in the past, according to La Serna, because the nation had “never fully recovered from its internal armed conflict.” But the armed struggle and the conditions that gave rise to it have not been resolved: Peru remains “in the past” because it has not overthrown its semi-feudal semi-colonial base. The contradictions within which the Communist Party of Peru was reconstituted have not been resolved and have only grown sharper, and only by taking up the revolutionary path can these contradictions be resolved. This much is hinted at by La Serna himself if we read carefully: the Peruvian state feared enshrining the objects of the PCP into a sort of “museum of revolution” after they captured Chairman Gonzalo and so they buried them deep in their military fortresses. And the memorial set up in 2016 to the heroic fighting prisoners of the Shining Trenches of Combat who fell defeating the genocidal plans of the old state to crush the people’s war in the prisons was bulldozed by the state two years later, in the face of protest and resistance. What does this show us? The truth which Chairman Gonzalo describes with his Thought, of the contradictions which shape Peru and the path to overcoming those contradictions, has not passed with the Chairman’s assassination; the Peruvian state knows this, hence their evident fears referenced above. It is La Serna who does not understand this, because he wants to paint the problem in Peru as simply bloodthirsty megalomaniacs stirring up a passive, mindless population and getting in the way of peaceful, technocratic solutions.

La Serna hopes that “with Abimael’s shadow no longer looming in the background, the nation can finally begin to heal.” This is a vain hope: Chairman Gonzalo shines because his leadership and legacy are solidified as Peruvian revolutionaries take up his name and his Thought, and across the world new revolutionaries take up his universally valid contributions to the ideology of the proletariat. His true shadow, the all-powerful ideology of Gonzalo Thought will never stop looming but like a specter will haunt Peru as the Peruvian proletariat takes it up and wields it against the “left-wing government” which keeps Peru under the thumb of US imperialism. The Communist Party of Brazil (Red Fraction) wrote,

No party can advance the central and principal task of reconstituting or constituting a Communist Party to initiate the People’s War, without understanding and assuming the contributions of universal validity of Gonzalo Thought, as an inseparable and indispensable part for the application of Maoism as ideological-political embodiment.

Gonzalo Thought is the creative application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Revolution in Peru through People’s War, without which we could not understand Maoism. So that today, in order to attack Maoism, revisionism in its most varied expressions points increasingly and centrally against Gonzalo Thought, in order to prevent a correct assimilation of Maoism, to empty and reduce its content, and to sterilize it. So the campaign in defense of Chairman Gonzalo and the campaign for Maoism are two strategic and inseparable campaigns. [16]

Revisionism is the main danger to the world proletarian revolution and we see here the pernicious role of the right-opportunist line which acts in league with the imperialists to destroy the peoples war, in this case seeking to destroy it spiritually. It was the right-opportunist line which spread the lies of the ‘peace letters’ and the end of the people’s war in Peru, lies still spread by revisionism to attack Maoism, most notably by the traitorous RCP-USA but promoted in disguised form by opportunism claiming that the people’s war has been defeated or liquidated, and in the revisionist cult of personality thesis which is echoed in different words by La Serna.

As the World Proletarian Revolution advances through the current era of strategic offense, as imperialist crisis deepens, we will see bourgeois states move desperately toward reactionization in futile attempts to survive, reorganizing their states and becoming closer to fascism. The revisionists of all flavors have their role to play in these political situations: they serve reaction and will constantly use the same old tricks to attack the Party, the People’s War and its Great Leadership. This is inescapable, and must be implacably combated by revolutionaries at every turn. La Serna fulfills his role too, having picked the side of reaction aiming to convince an American audience that the Communist bogeyman is gone, yet even a cursory look at reality unmasks such tactics. As long as proletarian revolutionaries exist, the truth will always assert itself, and when brought to the people the truth becomes weapons in their hands to conquer power for the proletariat.


[1] Peru People’s Movement, Political Situation and The Task of the Defense of President Gonzalo, CI-IC Online Newspaper

[2] Peru: Castillo Marginal Victory in a New Phase of Social Confrontation, retrieved at kkeml.gr

[3] Peru: Reactionary Government Headed by the Genocidal Opportunist Pedro Castillo Terrones Hands Over Control of Internal Order to the Armed Forces, CI-IC Online Newspaper

[4] On the Rectification Campaign Based on the Study of the Document ‘Elections No! People’s War Yes!‘, A World to Win Magazine #19, retrieved at bannedthought.net

[5] Ibid.

[6] The Shining Path’s Abimael Guzman Helped Keep Peru in the Past, Miguel La Serna, Jacobin Magazine

[7] Ibid.

[8] General Political Line of the Communist Party of Peru

[9] Ibid.

[10] Asi Mueren Los Enemigos De La Clase, Struggle Sessions

[11] From the Sierra to the Cities: The Urban Campaign of the Shining Path, RAND National Defense Research Institute, 1992

[12] Ibid

[13] Overcoming Terrorism in Peru Without Negotiation or Reconciliation, David Scott Palmer.

[14] Maria Elena Moyano’s Assassination, Carol Andreas, retrieved at https://nacla.org/article/letters-1

[15] The Shining Path and the Future of Peru, RAND National Defense Research Institute, 1990

[16] Combat liquidationism and unite the ICM under Maoism and the People’s War: On the criticism of the Communist Party (Maoist) Afghanistan to the Joint Declaration of May 1, 2018, available on the Struggle Sessions blog.