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Mariátegui: A South American revolutionary

Originally published: Marxist Left Review on Issue no. 001, Winter 1990 (more by Marxist Left Review)

Hardly anyone in Australia has heard of José Carlos Mariátegui. Yet in South America he holds an important place in revolutionary history.

The official Communist Party of Peru claims his legacy, on the grounds that he was its virtual founder. The ferocious Shining Path guerrilla movement derives its nickname from a professed commitment to the “shining path of José Carlos Mariátegui”. And another major left party, formed by the fusion of several groups in 1984, took the name of Unified Mariáteguist Party.

At the same time others claim him as well, including the bourgeois nationalist Aprista party. So his closest collaborators made a strong statement immediately after his death to clarify where he really stood:

Mariátegui was not an “intellectual” but a proletarian ideologist, a revolutionary, a Marxist of the Third International, know it once and for all, esteemed Messrs petty bourgeois intellectuals. In the struggle we must wage…we will defend his heritage which belongs to the worker, the peasant, and the revolutionary intellectual.1

In Latin America he is widely regarded as one of the great Marxists. This is partly because that continent, despite its revolutionary traditions, has produced few major Marxist theoreticians. The Mexican writer José Arico wrote in 1978 that Mariátegui’s major work on Peruvian society “remains, fifty years after its publication, the only really significant theoretical work of Latin American Marxism.2 Be that as it may, he has certainly been a major influence, and it is a very regrettable omission that he has remained virtually unknown in the English-speaking world. This article is a first, modest attempt to remedy that.

Mariátegui (the name is accented on the second “a”) was born in the town of Moquegua in 1894. When his father abandoned the family, he and his mother were plunged into poverty. He was unable to pursue his schooling beyond the age of 15, and was obliged to enter the printing trade. Within a short time he had worked his way off the shop floor and into journalism. In 1914 he published his first item of artistic criticism under the pseudonym of Juan Croniqueur.

While his early interests were artistic, and he also showed a talent for racing coverage, he was drawn more and more toward political journalism. In 1916 he left his first employer to join a new daily, El Tiempo, which had a more leftist orientation. Two years later he launched his own magazine, only to find that the owners of El Tiempo refused to print it. This led him to break with El Tiempo and launch a newspaper called La Razón, which became his first major venture in left wing journalism.

The new paper waged a vigorous defence of the campaign then underway for a reform of the universities, and went on to become a tribunal for the defence of the young labour movement. La Razón supported a strike for the eight-hour day held in May 1919, and it reported the speech of its editor at a workers’ demonstration:

JC Mariátegui, acclaimed by the demonstrators, rose to speak. He said that for the second time the writers of La Razón had had their spirits raised by a visit from the people; that La Razón was a newspaper of the people and for the people.3

The paper’s aggressive radicalism brought it into conflict with the government, and it was rumoured that the ruling circles offered Mariátegui a choice: either go to jail, or travel to Europe with government assistance. At any rate, he departed precipitately for Europe in 1919.

The First World War had ended only a year before. At first Mariátegui, like many young South Americans of his time, had placed his hopes in the democratic ideals professed by Woodrow Wilson, but by late 1919 the realpolitik of the Versailles treaty had exploded such hopes. By this time he was more attracted to the two great revolutions of the age, those in Mexico and Russia. His arrival in Europe brought him immediately into intellectual circles close to the Communist International.

In France he established relations with the writers around the journal Clarté, edited by Henri Barbusse. But for health reasons he had to proceed quite soon to Italy. It was the experience of Italian communism and Italian fascism which decisively shaped his thought. He was in Italy during the great Turin factory occupations of 1920, and in January 1921 he was present at the Livorno Congress of the Socialist Party, where the historic split occurred which led to the formation of the Communist Party. By the time he left the country in 1922, Mussolini was already on the way to power.

The Italian experience brought Mariátegui some important insights. The first was the obvious crisis of Italian liberalism. The old methods of bourgeois politics were proving utterly ineffectual in the face of the post-war crisis. The only serious alternatives before society were socialism or fascism. And while this catastrophic situation did not apply immediately in Peru, he did take home with him the conviction that he lived in an age when bourgeois politics were bankrupt.

His experience of the rise of fascism had no obvious transferability to Peru. However it is interesting to note that in the 1920s Mariátegui was putting forward a fairly sophisticated analysis of fascism which in some ways foreshadowed Trotsky’s later writings. He recognised that fascism was a response to deep social crisis, that it based itself on the petty bourgeoisie of town and country, that it relied heavily on a cult of violence. And he understood that fascism was the price that a society in crisis paid for the failures of the left:

Italian fascism represents, clearly, the anti-revolution or, as it is usually called, the counter-revolution. The fascist offensive is explained, and is realised in Italy, as a consequence of a retreat or a defeat of the revolution.4

He responded to the whole Italian experience by forming a permanent commitment to the Communist movement, which he saw as the only serious force holding out the hope of progress to humanity in an age of world crisis.

Mariátegui was deeply impressed by the debacle of reformist socialism after 1914 and was appalled at the way in which the established socialist leaders had betrayed the workers of Turin:

The survival of the reformist spirit in the majority of functionaries and leaders of the Italian proletariat…was obvious… The revolution was sabotaged by its leaders.5

His conclusion was that independent Communist organisation was essential, and he was instrumental in the formation of the first Peruvian Communist cell, along with three countrymen, in Rome in 1921-22. It was to be short-lived, as he left Italy shortly afterwards.

Return to Peru

Mariátegui had ardently hoped to visit the Soviet Union. But family commitments (he had married an Italian woman, Ana Chiappe, and fathered a child) along with his chronically poor health rendered the trip impossible. After a tour through northern Europe, where he was struck by the poverty he found in Austria and Germany, he returned to Peru in March, 1923.

He was soon invited to lecture at the new “Popular University” on the invitation of nationalist leader Haya de la Torre. Here he delivered a series of presentations on the “History of the World Crisis”, which dealt primarily with Europe, and in which he made explicit his orientation to the working class:

Above all, I dedicate my lectures to this vanguard of the Peruvian proletariat. No one needs to study the world crisis more than the proletarian vanguard groups. I don’t intend to come to this free tribunal of a free university to teach you the history of the world crisis, but to study it alongside you.6

In these lectures Mariátegui argued that world capitalism was in terminal decline and that Peru, as a colony of imperialism, would be decisively affected. Within this crisis a new civilisation was working its way to the surface. “According to all indications, the proletarian, socialist civilisation is destined to succeed the declining, decadent, moribund capitalist civilisation”.7 But this could only happen if the workers were armed with a correct political orientation, he continued. Before the war, the European labour movement had been divided between reformist socialism and revolutionary syndicalism. In the post-war era the division was between reformists and revolutionary Communists, and the workers must follow the Communists.

He also turned his hand to journalism, writing a series of sketches of international celebrities under the title “Figures and Aspects of the World Scene”, in which he discussed Mussolini, Lloyd George, Poincaré, but also Lenin and Trotsky.

In this period, following the call of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, Mariátegui campaigned in the workers’ movement for the creation of a United Front. And while he was careful to insist that the United Front did not mean any submerging of distinctive politics, he nevertheless was prepared to engage in practical collaboration even with the nationalist Aprista party led by Haya de la Torre. It seems Mariátegui feared that any premature founding of a socialist or communist party would only lead to its being crushed by state repression.

In 1926 he launched his most famous publication, the journal Amauta. In its pages he was to publish the articles about Peruvian society which are his main theoretical legacy. Even now, he did not declare the journal a socialist publication in very explicit terms:

This review…does not represent a group. It represents, rather a movement, a spirit. Peru has felt, for some time, the existence of a current of renewal, which grows daily more vigorous and defined. The authors of this renewal are called vanguardists, socialists, revolutionaries, etc. History has not yet baptised them definitively… What they have in common [is the desire] to create a new Peru as part of a new world.8

When he was reproached with the sometimes heterogeneous nature of the journal’s content, he replied that the sense of direction shared by its central collaborators would protect it against losing its way. And indeed by 1928 the journal was ready to be more explicit about its politics:

On our banner we inscribe this single, simple and great word: Socialism. With this motto we affirm our absolute independence from the idea of a Nationalist Party, petty bourgeois and demagogic.9

The second sentence was a declaration that Mariátegui was breaking relations with the Aprista nationalists. At this time he also decided it was time to do some intense organising work. In 1929 he assisted in the formation of the General Confederation of Labour, whose main organised strength was in Lima and its port of Callao, and sent a number of his collaborators to attend the Latin American Trade Union Congress sponsored by the Communist International. In the same year he initiated the formation of the Socialist Party of Peru.

He argued, successfully or so it seemed, for the formation of a socialist rather than a communist party. A debate has long ranged about his grounds for doing so. Part of his reasoning was simply pragmatic: he felt that a party calling itself “socialist” might not face as much repression as one bearing the “communist” label. Some writers have argued that there was little more involved than this. Guillermo Rouillon contends that after some initial factional problems,

the party soon achieved with the guidance of José Carlos a monolithic organisation, and consequently the Bolshevik temper which characterized the Communist Party of Marxist-Leninist tendency.10

Other writers suggest Mariátegui was striving for a party less sectarian and less elitist than was intended by the Comintern, which was caught up at the time in its ultraleft “third period”. José Arico argues:

The socialist definition of the party was not a simple problem of nomenclature. It was connected to: 1) a particular conception of alliances; 2) a differing view on its class components from that of the Comintern…; 3) a rather heterodox vision of the process of constituting it…: before being the originator, it had to be the result of the actions of groups at the base.11

The Catalan socialist Josep Ferrer contends:

Mariátegui conceived the idea of a party with a wide base, though with a disciplined Communist leadership, embracing both the working class and the peasantry. in open opposition to the Comintern thesis which called for organising solely the proletariat.12

It seems clear that Mariátegui sought to build a revolutionary party, and that he had differences with the international movement, but the details are unlikely ever to be entirely clarified for lack of a clear statement from him about his views and intentions.

(Shortly after his death, the party overturned its previous decision and renamed itself Communist. It then proceeded to engage in ultra-left adventures which cost it dearly.)

By the end of the twenties, Mariátegui had completed two significant theoretical works. One was his Seven Essays of Interpretation of Peruvian Reality, of which the most important dealt with economic history and the situation of the Indian peoples. The other was his Defence of Marxism.

Unfortunately, there were to be no more. Mariátegui had been in poor health most of his life, losing a leg in 1924. Now, in 1930, he became gravely ill and died. Groups of workers attended his body all night, and the following day his burial was supervised by the trade unions. A multitude of workers raised the red flag and sang the Internationale. He was saluted by his saddened admirers as “the teacher, the artist and the most noble friend of the workers.13 And the remaining editors of Amauta declared:

Mariátegui, his memory, his life, his work belong to the proletariat… His life is our example, his work an unbreakable affirmation, his cadaver a protest.14

Mariátegui’s Marxism

Mariátegui described himself as a “man with an allegiance and a faith”15 and explained them in these words:

My sympathies are not with one nation or another. My sympathies are with the universal proletariat…my temperament is a polemical temperament, belligerent and combative… I don’t aspire to the title of an impartial man because on the contrary I pride myself on my partisanship, which places my thought, my opinions and my sentiments on the side of those men who want to construct, on the ruins of the old society, the harmonious edifice of the new society.16

As so much of his intervention in that struggle was intellectual, the roots and characteristics of his Marxist theoretical method assume a considerable importance. Mariátegui came to Marxism in Italy. His intellectual “universe” contained many of the same influences as that of Gramsci and the early Italian Communists. He was actually introduced to the works of Marx by the philosopher Benedetto Croce, whom he got to know personally in the house of his wife’s family. Croce was influenced by the syndicalist writer Georges Sorel, with whom he had worked at one time. The combined influence of Crocean “idealist Marxism” and Sorel’s ideas on the role of myth gave Mariátegui’s own thought a definite flavour. He writes at times about the socialist program as a “myth” in the Sorelian sense, his works are often littered with words such as “faith” “agony”, “mystique”, and he displays an openness to many non-Marxist currents of thought such as Freud. At times he might be taken as casting doubt on the materialist basis of Marxism. For example:

The struggle for socialism raises the workers, who take part in it with extreme energy and absolute conviction, to an asceticism such that it is totally ridiculous to throw their materialist creed into their faces in the name of a theoretical and philosophical morality… The materialist, if he professes and serves his faith religiously, can only by a linguistic convention be distinguished from and counterposed to an idealist.17

Statements of this sort have been seized on by non-socialist critics and used to argue that Mariátegui was not really a Marxist. These arguments, however, are based on a narrow view of Marxism. The statement quoted is reminiscent of Lenin’s view that “Intelligent idealism is nearer to intelligent materialism than is stupid materialism”.18 It must also be seen within the context of his work as a whole, in which there is no shortage of statements affirming his agreement with classical Marxism and with Bolshevism.

One may look, for example, to the statement entitled “Programmatic Principles of the Socialist Party” which he drafted for the party’s organising committee in 1928. Here we find references to the “international character of the modem economy” which makes national solutions to the capitalist crisis unviable, to the need for a world revolutionary movement, and to the imperialist stage in the development of capitalism. “The practice of Marxist socialism in this period is that of Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is the revolutionary method of the stage of imperialism and monopolies. The Socialist Party of Peru adopts it as its method of struggle.”19

His most substantial work dealing with theoretical method is his Defence of Marxism, written in 1928. At the time he felt the need to put his views into coherent form, not least because of the attacks on Marxism which he had experienced in Peru. He seized upon the appearance of Henri de Man’s book Beyond Marxism as a suitable opportunity.

Henri de Man was a Belgian social democrat who became disillusioned with the Marxism he was familiar with and turned instead toward psychological theories of social change (the German edition of his book was entitled On the Psychology of Socialism). De Man located the main source of the class struggle in a “social inferiority complex” suffered by the working class, arguing that what the workers resented about the bourgeoisie was less their wealth than their power. In the course of his work de Man struck some telling blows against vulgar materialism (a genuinely revolutionary workers’ movement does indeed focus more on the issue of power than on the wealth of the ruling class) and against social democratic reformism, whose theoretical poverty he exposed. Mariátegui is quick to point out that “the most important thing about Beyond Marxism is undoubtedly its critique of reformist politics”.20

At the same time, however, de Man raised numerous mistaken criticisms of Marxism itself. He accused it of mechanical determinism, of lacking moral strength, of ignoring the psychological dimension. Mariátegui seeks to refute the charges, and in doing so confronts not only the work of de Man but also various other writers including Max Eastman and Émile Vandervelde.

His starting point is the charge of economic determinism. The economic question is at the heart of the Marxist method, Mariátegui writes, and a “revision let alone a liquidation of Marxism which does not attempt first of all a documented and original correction of Marxist economics is inconceivable”.21 This however is a general question of method and not a matter of crude and automatic correlations. The Marxist method “only seeks the economic cause in the last analysis”.22 We shall see in discussing his work on Peruvian society that he pays considerable regard to that “last analysis”, but at this point he is concerned to refute the accusation that Marx saw the economic factors as automatically determining consciousness and events:

Marx…took to its limits his demonstration that the process of capitalist economy itself, where most fully and vigorously carried out, leads to socialism; but he understood always as a prior condition of the new order, the spiritual and intellectual training of the proletariat to realise it, through the class struggle.23

Mariátegui quotes an unnamed friend as worrying that Marxism is not spiritual enough, and makes an indignant reply:

Do those who aspire to a spiritualisation of Marxism believe that the creative spirit is less present and active in the actions of those who struggle in the world for a new social order than in the moneylenders or industrialists of New York who, in a case of capitalist weariness, abandon a strong Nietzschean ethic–the sublimated morality of capitalism–in order to flirt with fakirs and practitioners of the occult?24

He does not hesitate to speak of an “ethical function” of socialism, but this must be sought in the creation of a “morality of producers”. The source of this morality, in turn, he locates in classical Marxist fashion in the class struggle at the point of production.

A morality of producers as Sorel conceives it, as Kautsky conceives it, does not arise mechanically from economic interests: it is formed in the class struggle, carried out with a heroic spirit and passionate will. It is absurd to seek the ethical sentiment of socialism in the bourgeoisified trade unions…or in parliamentary groups, spiritually assimilated to the enemy.25

Thus Mariátegui’s basic method assumes a complex dialectic between “material” and “ideal” factors in the historical process. That his starting point remains materialist should be clear. If not, the point will be reinforced when we look at his study of Peruvian society.

Before turning to that work however, we must consider one other matter: his views on developments in the Soviet Union at the end of the 1920s. It appears that in devoting himself heavily to Peruvian questions after his return to that country, Mariátegui failed to develop his ideas to meet the challenge of new developments in Europe. He was slow to modify his highly optimistic views on the prospects for revolution in Europe, and made no materialist analysis of developments in the USSR whatsoever.

Finally in 1928, Trotsky’s expulsion from the Soviet Communist Party forced him to respond to Russian events. In doing so he displayed a certain familiarity with inner party developments in that country, discussing Trotsky’s problems as an outsider in the Bolshevik organisation and the origins of the Stalin-Trotsky conflict, which he traced back to 1924. However he made no attempt to set the conflict against the background of social forces: the isolation of the revolution, the power of the peasantry, the growth of bureaucracy. Trotsky, he wrote, has an “international sense of the socialist revolution”, which is a fine thing, but it “weakens him at the moment in the practicalities of Russian politics”.

It is not a matter of establishing socialism in the world but of creating it in a nation which, though it is a nation of 130 million inhabitants spread across two continents, is nevertheless geographically and historically a unit. It is logical that in this stage, the Russian revolution should be represented by those men who most deeply sense its national character and problems. Stalin, pure Slav, is one of these men.26

To his credit, Mariátegui continued to regard Trotsky as a genuine socialist, and clearly did not swallow the lies about his being a counter-revolutionary. At the same time, his whole analysis was limited to a superficial and pragmatic study in realpolitik, which was unworthy of his intellect and which opened him to exploitation by the later Stalinist tradition in his own country, to which his Marxism was not inherently congenial.

Analysing Peruvian society

In his book Seven Essays of Interpretation of Peruvian Reality, Mariátegui made the first attempt ever at a materialist analysis of a Latin American society. Beginning with a sketch of the country’s economic history, the book proceeds rapidly to a discussion of the “Indian problem”, which Mariátegui locates firmly in the “land problem”. Other chapters consider public education, religion, regionalism and centralism, and literature, but a consideration of these would take us beyond the scope of this article.

The arriving Spanish conquistadors found, and destroyed, the great empire of the Incas. But they failed to replace it with a progressive new form of society, Mariátegui argues.

Spain did not send to Peru…a dense mass of colonisers. The weakness of Spanish imperialism rested precisely on its character and structure as more of a military and ecclesiastical enterprise than a political and economical one.27

Rather than make use of the Indians, the Spaniards seemed to seek their extermination. The importation of black slaves to work on haciendas (large landholdings) created a strange mixture of feudal and slave economy in the coastal areas, while the conquerors, who disliked the mountains, regarded them simply as an area to be plundered for gold.

The colonial regime throttled the country’s commercial expansion by denying it the right to trade to any country except Spain, resulting eventually in an independence struggle as “the natural impulse of the productive forces of the colonies struggled to break this tie”.28 But the independence struggle reflected the interests of the criollo (ethnic Spanish) elite, rather than those of the Indian masses, and consequently it merely resulted in the country being tied to a new imperialist trading partner: Britain.

However Peru was located on the wrong coast to benefit greatly from trade with Britain, and remained a backwater except for the temporary boom in sales of guano (excrement of seafowl, used as manure). Guano sales allowed the formation of a stronger bourgeoisie along the coast, but when control of the guano deposits were lost to Chile in the War of the Pacific, this “revealed to us in tragic fashion the danger of an economic prosperity based almost exclusively on the possession of a natural resource”.29

Peru faced an “almost absolute collapse of the productive forces”30 and the shattered bourgeoisie temporarily lost political power to the military. However when the economy revived it did so partly on the basis of modem industry. The Panama Canal had shortened trade lines. And the new industry found itself supplying another new imperialist power: the United States.

Still, the economy remained overwhelmingly agricultural. In addition to the small scale cultivation of the Indians, there was the semi-feudal agriculture of the coastal haciendas. The imperialist connection continued to hinder the development of bourgeois society:

In feudal Europe…the countryside needed the services of the town…whereas the coastal hacienda produces cotton or cane for distant markets. Once assured transport for these products, its communication with the local community only interests it secondarily.31

The consequence was a weak urban bourgeoisie, unable to dominate the landowners.

Having sketched this background, Mariátegui turns to his main concern, the country’s Indian population. The second chapter is devoted to a critique of various false approaches.

He condemns as inadequate any attempt to protect the oppressed population of the country by merely passing laws and decrees, which are simply ignored by the dominant groups. Similarly he makes short shrift of those who argue, much like white Australia once did, that only racial assimilation can remove the difficulty. As for humanitarian teachings, they have “never held back or embarrassed imperialism”,32 while religious leaders have already proved bankrupt. Education might seem a more hopeful approach, but it cannot hope to challenge entrenched vested interests:

Socio-economic factors condition the teacher’s work inexorably. Gamonalismo [economic domination by large landowners] is fundamentally incompatible with the education of the Indians. Its survival depends as much on maintaining their ignorance as on cultivating their alcoholism.33

Thus only an economic approach can deal with the problem, and for the Indian the central economic issue is the land:

We are not content to demand the Indian’s right to education, culture, progress love and heaven. We begin by demanding his right to the land.34

Feudal relations in the countryside persisted despite the Latin American “revolution” (i.e. war of independence) because the revolution was not a confrontation between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy, as it was in France, nor did it take on the dimensions of a mass struggle:

If the revolution had been a movement of the indigenous masses…it would necessarily have had an “agrarianist” physiognomy…the French revolution particularly benefited the rural class, which it had to rely on for support to avoid the return of the old regime. This phenomenon also seems to apply both to the bourgeois and the socialist revolution, to judge by…Russia.35

Given this blocking of Peru’s social development, Mariátegui concludes that the bourgeoisie had missed its chance to take the country forward. “I think the time for trying liberal methods…has passed”.36 He looks to the working class, but also argues for a revolutionary strategy which sees the Indian population as a force for socialism. Not only will the Indians fight for land, as the French and Russian peasants did, but the Indians still retain elements of communist consciousness from earlier times.

At the base of Inca civilisation had been an “agrarian communism” which yielded economic results superior to those of colonial Peru:

Against all the reproaches which…can be made against the Inca regime…it assured the survival and growth of a population which, when the conquistadors arrived in Peru, was up to ten millions and which, in three centuries of Spanish rule, fell to one million.37

After the independence struggle, the urban and rural ruling classes attacked collective property, but this did not mean creating a freeholding peasantry. Rather, because of the domination of the rural elite, it simply turned out to be a means of imposing semi-feudal relations on a wider area.

Those Indians who retained their land farmed communally, while those deprived of it formed communities of whatever type they could, such as labour gangs contracting collectively. A range of different forms of communalism emerged:

These differences have developed not through evolution…but under the influence of laws directed at the individualisation of property… They demonstrate the vitality of indigenous communism which invariably impels the aborigines to various forms of cooperation and association. The Indian, despite the laws of a hundred years of the republic, has not become an individualist… Individualism cannot prosper, or even effectively exist, except under a regime of free competition. And the Indian has never felt less free than when he has felt alone.38

Such arguments are reminiscent of the hopes held by some nineteenth century revolutionaries and partly shared by Marx, that Russian peasant communes could become (in Marx’s words) “the direct starting point of the economic system toward which modem society is tending”–that is, socialism.39

The rapid development of capitalism rendered these hopes obsolete, with the Russian peasants moving decisively towards demands for private ownership of the land. However, the long term underdevelopment of Peru’s countryside has meant that the consciousness of the rural population has retained elements of rural communism to this day, which could be important for revolutionary strategy.

Certainly, a triumph of the working class in the cities and the creation of a collective democracy in industry is the central pre-condition for an advance towards socialism. Yet the elements of collectivism among Peruvian Indians could be an important factor in cementing an alliance between the working people of town and country. This became clear in the late 1960s when stormy struggles arose among the mountain dwellers of Peru. At that time one of their leaders, Hugo Blanco, wrote:

The communal, collective system of the ayllu (peasant commune) has, to be sure, deteriorated fundamentally in the face of advancing capitalism. Nevertheless, the ayllus maintain many communal features. Although the private ownership of plots is now generally established, the ayllu still makes efforts to prevent the sale of land to outsiders and to redistribute uncultivated land… The contribution of work is reciprocal: work is reimbursed with work (hayni). Work for the common benefit is carried out collectively. The communal organization is preserved, although every day it deteriorates more because of official regulation.

The ayllu is acquiring strength with the revolutionary upsurge; it rediscovers itself. It is possible that the ayllu will become one of the basic forms of the future workers’ and peasants’ government.40

If so, that government will look back on José Carlos Mariátegui as one of its greatest forebears.


1 All translations are my own. Diego Meseguer Illan, José Carlos Mariátegui y su pensamiento revolucionario, Lima, 1974, p224.

2 José Arico, “Mariátegui y el marxismo latinoamericano”, Socialismo y Participación, 5, Lima, December 1978, p16.

3 Quoted in Meseguer, José Carlos Mariátegui y su pensamiento revolucionario, p23.

4 José Carlos Mariátegui, La escena contemporanea, Lima, 1959, p18.

5 ibid., p16.

6 José Carlos Mariátegui, Historia de la crisis mundial, Lima 1959, p18.

7 ibid, p16.

8 Quoted in Maria Wiese, José Carlos Mariátegui: etapas de su vida, Lima 1980, p39.

9 Hugo Neira (ed.), José Carlos Mariátegui en sus textos, Lima, 1973, Vol. 1, p109.

10 Guillermo Rouillon, La creación heroica de José Carlos Mariátegui: la edad revolucionaria, Lima, 1984, p433.

11 Arico, “Mariátegui y el marxismo latinoamericano”, p25.

12 Josep Ferrer, “Un original marxismo americano”, Hacer, Madrid, 30 March 1989.

13 Quoted in Meseguer, José Carlos Mariátegui y su pensamiento revolucionario, p17.

14 Quoted in ibid, p224.

15 Quoted in Wiese, José Carlos Mariátegui: etapas de su vida, p55.

16 Mariátegui, Historia de la crisis mundial, p118.

17 José Carlos Mariátegui, Defensa del marxismo, Lima, 1981, p223.

18 V.I. Lenin, quoted in John Daniels (ed.), Extracts from Lenin’s Philosophical Notebook, Nottingham, n.d.

19 Neira, José Carlos Mariátegui en sus textos, Vol. 1, p114.

20 Mariátegui, Defensa del marxismo, pp22-23.

21 ibid., p31.

22 ibid., p27.

23 ibid., p67.

24 ibid., p105.

25 ibid., p59.

26 Neira, José Carlos Mariátegui en sus textos, Vol. 2, pp72-3.

27 José Carlos Mariátegui, Siete ensayos de interpretación de la realidad peruana, Lima, 1984, p14.

28 ibid., p17.

29 ibid., p23.

30 ibid. p24.

31 ibid., p31.

32 ibid., p41.

33 ibid., p43.

34 ibid., p50.

35 ibid., p66.

36 ibid., p52.

37 ibid., p55.

38 ibid., p83.

39 Quoted in Hal Draper, Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution, Vol. 2, “The Politics of Social Classes”, New York, 1978, p432.

40 Hugo Blanco, Land or death, the peasant struggle in Peru, New York, 1972, p28.

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