By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media.
Originally published September 22, 2020.
In the General Political Line, more specifically in the Construction Line of the Three Instruments of the Revolution, the Communist Party of Peru describes six aspects of party construction. These six aspects are: (1) ideology, (2) politics, (3) organization, (4) leadership, (5) the two-line struggle, and (6) mass work. There is a logical connection between these six aspects among themselves, and between them and the Marxist theory of knowledge.
Chairman Mao writes in his article “On Practice”:
“Only social practice can be the criterion of truth. The standpoint of practice is the primary and basic standpoint in the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge.”
Who carries out social practice? Mao writes that it is the masses who write history, that it is the masses who are the driving force who change the world, and in this way, we must understand that social practice is something that primarily the masses stand responsible for. In this way, it is primarily through mass work that the social practice manifests itself. And it is from this that ideology is formed.
Chairman Mao writes further on knowledge:
“Rational knowledge depends upon perceptual knowledge and perceptual knowledge remains to be developed into rational knowledge– this is the dialectical-materialist theory of knowledge… The dialectical-materialist movement of knowledge from the perceptual to the rational holds true for a minor process of cognition (for instance, knowing a single thing or task) as well as for a major process of cognition (for instance, knowing a whole society or a revolution). But the movement of knowledge does not end here. If the dialectical-materialist movement of knowledge were to stop at rational knowledge, only half the problem would be dealt with. And as far as Marxist philosophy is concerned, only the less important half at that. Marxist philosophy holds that the most important problem does not lie in understanding the laws of the objective world and thus being able to explain it, but in applying the knowledge of these laws actively to change the world. From the Marxist viewpoint, theory is important, and its importance is fully expressed in Lenin’s statement, “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.” But Marxism emphasizes the importance of theory precisely and only because it can guide action. If we have a correct theory but merely talk about it, pigeonhole it and do not put it into practice, then that theory, however good, is of no significance. Knowledge begins with practice, and theoretical knowledge is acquired through practice and one must then return to practice. The active function of knowledge manifests itself not only in the active leap from perceptual to rational knowledge, but — and this is more important — it must manifest itself in the leap from rational knowledge to revolutionary practice. The knowledge which grasps the laws of the world, must be redirected to the practice of changing the world, must be applied anew in the practice of production, in the practice of revolutionary class struggle and revolutionary national struggle and in the practice of scientific experiment.”
This in a way, forms a spiral, where rational knowledge is generated by investigating and understanding practice, where theory is created from practice, and where one refers back to practice with this theory. Each time the cycle repeats, the rational knowledge will be enriched and improved. It will be lifted to higher levels. This is something that we can see from history’s advance, where science and thinking are constantly lifted to higher levels.
The same thing has happened with the proletariat’s ideology. It manifested first as Marxism, under the modern proletariat’s entry to the political scene in the 19th century, and with Karl Marx masterfully synthesizing of history and class struggle from the proletariat’s standpoint. It has been developed further in both small and great leaps, into Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Lenin describes this ideology as follows:
“The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true. It is comprehensive and harmonious, and provides men with an integral world outlook irreconcilable with any form of superstition, reaction, or defence of bourgeois oppression. It is the legitimate successor to the best that man produced in the nineteenth century, as represented by German philosophy, English political economy and French socialism.”
The Communist Party of Peru writes in “On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” that the construction of the party, along with the army and the front, is driven by the principle that a just and correct ideological line is decisive and that “it is on this ideological-political basis that organizational construction simultaneously develops, in the midst of the struggle between the proletarian and bourgeois lines and in the storm of the class struggle, mainly of war, as the main form of struggle, whether acting or potential.”
Party construction therefore takes as its starting point ideology, as this is the very basis of party construction. Politics are application of ideology. Therefore, politics is principal in the relation between ideology and politics, as application is always the principal side – just as practice is principal in the relation between theory and practice, even if a particular type of theory can be the basis for a particular type of practice. The politics of the party is expressed through a line, in programs, decisions, and plans.
The Communist Party of Peru writes that organization follows politics and that one must never forget that it is not enough to have a line, but that the party must construct organizational apparatuses in the organizational structure, in the organizational system, and in party work. On the organizational structure, the party writes that it bases itself upon democratic centralism, primarily centralism, and they go into more detail on this point.
Further on, they write that no class can seize and protect power without a leadership. They must create political leaders who are representatives of their vanguard. These must be able to organize the movement and to lead it. The Party writes that the foremost expression for the leadership of the Peruvian revolution is Chairman Gonzalo’s leadership, with his handling, understanding, and knowledge of revolutionary theory, history, and the practical movement. They write that the party has defined leadership as the key, that the party must defend the leadership and that reaction has two principles for destroying the revolution: liquidating the leadership and isolating the guerrillas from the masses, but that they concentrate on liquidating the leadership because it is this that keeps the movement on its course. They write that leadership is about both collective leadership and personal responsibility.
Furthermore, they write that the party itself is a contradiction and that the class struggle comes to expression in the party through the two-line struggle between left and right. Just as in society, it is the class struggle that is the primary driving force of development, and they write that it is the two-line struggle that drives the party’s development forward. They write that this must be handled correctly, such that the left can impose itself and defeat the right and the reconciliation that empowers it. They write that one wages the struggle through criticism and self-criticism, and that it must be organized with a plan.
All the five aforementioned aspects can be seen to culminate in mass work. This is the sixth aspect of party construction and it is here that the part becomes “the great lever” that mobilizes the masses. The party has written that the party leads, but the masses execute. It is the masses that give the party everything, and without the masses, the party is like a fish on land. The Communist Party of Peru writes:
“We subject ourselves to the law of the incorporation of the masses and the only Marxist tactic of “going to the deepest and most profound masses,” educating them in revolutionary violence and in the implacable struggle against revisionism. The mass work of the Party is done through the People’s Army and the masses are mobilized, politicized, organized and armed as the new Power in the countryside and in the People’s Defense Revolutionary Movement (MRDP) in the cities.”
Lenin writes in his article on Marxism’s three components:
“People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. Champions of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realise that every old institution, how ever barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is kept going by the forces of certain ruling classes. And there is only one way of smashing the resistance of those classes, and that is to find, in the very society which surrounds us, the forces which can—and, owing to their social position, must—constitute the power capable of sweeping away the old and creating the new, and to enlighten and organise those forces for the struggle.”
The ideology is generated in this struggle. In this melting pot of class struggle, as the Communist Party of Peru puts it. It is an undefeatable ideology, and it is embodied by the communists. It is made concrete through politics, and from politics into organization. This is organized by the leadership and develops through the two-line struggle. It transforms the world through mass work, where the masses are politicized, mobilized, organized, and armed, so that they may sweep away imperialism and create the new power, and develop the world from a class society to the classless society: communism.
On a final note, there is a decisive point, as the editorial staff in the periodical “El Maoista” has made: that Chairman Gonzalo smashes the revisionist perception that divided the organizational construction from its ideological-political basis and established in its place the principle of ideological-political-organizational construction.
The six aspects are integrated, and are completely interconnected, and they describe the reality of party construction the way it really is – on the basis of Maxism’s theory of knowledge.
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