NewEpoch Media

PERU: Excerpt from the Interview with Chairman Gonzalo

August 5, 2019

In the light of the comrades of Dem Volke Dienen mirroring an excerpt from the Interview with Chairman Gonzalo, also referred to as the "Interview of the century" we likewise document the question and answer regarding the "cult of the personality" here:

EL DIARIO: Chairman, moving on a bit, the documents of the Communist Party establish you as the Leader of the Party and the revolution. What does this imply, and how is it different from the revisionist theory of the cult of the personality?

 

CHAIRMAN GONZALO: Here we must remember how Lenin saw the relationship between the masses, classes, the Party and leaders. We believe that the revolution, the Party, our class, generate leaders, a group of leaders. It has been like this in every revolution. If we think, for instance, about the October Revolution, we have Lenin, Stalin, Sverdlov and a few others, a small group. Similarly, in the Chinese revolution there's also a small group of leaders: Chairman Mao Tsetung, and his comrades Kang Sheng, Chiang Ching, Chang Chun-chiao, among others. All revolutions are that way, including our own. We could not be an exception. Here it's not true that there is an exception to every rule because what we're talking about here is the operation of certain laws. All such processes have leaders, but they also have a leader who stands out above the rest or who leads the rest, in accordance with the conditions. Not all leaders can be viewed in exactly the same way. Marx is Marx, Lenin is Lenin, Chairman Mao is Chairman Mao. Each is unique, and no one is going to be just like them.

 

In our Party, revolution, and people's war, the proletariat, by a combination of necessity and historical chance, has brought forth a group of leaders. In Engels' view, it is necessity that generates leaders, and a top leader, but just who that is is determined by chance, by a set of specific conditions that come together at a particular place and time. In this way, in our case too, a Great Leadership has been generated. This was first acknowledged in the Party at the Expanded National Conference of 1979. But this question involves another basic question that can't be overlooked and needs to be emphasized: there is no Great Leadership that does not base itself on a body of thought, no matter what its level of development may be. The reason that a certain person has come to speak as the Leader of the Party and the revolution, as the resolutions state, has to do with necessity and historical chance and, obviously, with Gonzalo Thought. None of us knows what the revolution and the Party will call on us to do, and when a specific task arises the only thing to do is assume the responsibility.

 

We have been acting in accordance with Lenin's view, which is correct. The cult of personality is a revisionist formulation. Lenin had warned us of the problem of negating leadership just as he emphasized the need for our class, the Party and the revolution to promote our own leaders, and more than that, top leaders, and a Great Leadership. There's a difference here that is worth emphasizing. A leader is someone who occupies a certain position, whereas a top leader and Great Leadership, as we understand it, represent the acknowledgment of Party and revolutionary authority acquired and proven in the course of arduous struggle--those who in theory and practice have shown they are capable of leading and guiding us toward victory and the attainment of the ideals of our class.

 

Khrushchev raised the issue of the cult of personality to oppose comrade Stalin. But as we allknow, this was a pretext for attacking the dictatorship of the proletariat. Today, Gorbachev again raises the issue of the cult of personality, as did the Chinese revisionists Liu Shao-chi and Deng Xiaoping. It is therefore a revisionist thesis that in essence takes aim against the proletarian dictatorship and the Great Leadership and Great Leaders of the revolutionary process in order to cut off its head. In our case it aims specifically at robbing the people's war of its leadership. We do not yet have a dictatorship of the proletariat, but we do have a New Power that is developing in accordance with the norms of new democracy, the joint dictatorship of the workers, peasants and progressives. In our case they seek to rob this process of leadership, and the reactionaries and those who serve them know very well why they do this, because it is not easy to generate Great Leaders and Great Leadership. And a people's war, like the one in this country, needs Great Leaders and a Great Leadership, someone who represents the revolution and heads it, and a group capable of leading it uncompromisingly. In sum, the cult of the personality is a sinister revisionist formulation which has nothing to do with our concept of revolutionary leaders, which conforms with Leninism.

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