Strategy means the conjunction of principles and laws, which direct the development of the struggle towards a certain goal. Revolutionary strategy aims at the seizure of power and the building up of socialism as its goal. In order to adequately describe the principles and laws of our struggle, we must first examine the character of Peruvian society, its class composition, and its position within the global capitalist system. This will allow us to differentiate between our main enemy and more minor enemies; to recognize our strategic and tactical partners; and to determine the program which we must follow on our path.
In order to correctly determine our strategy, three sectors of the revolutionary class must be differentiated: the strategic leadership (the party), the armed forces, and the masses. Another important element is a corresponding international politics. The cooperation of the various forces is primarily determined by the political context, but at all times we must maintain the party as the leader of the other forces.
The strategic leadership, this party, is the central instrument of the revolutionary strategy. It speaks for the other instruments, and gives them meaning and holds them together. The revolutionary party is the vanguard of the proletariat and the masses, and it is comprised of the progressive sectors in the society. The revolutionary party leads the struggles of the people and interprets the wishes of the masses. In order to clarify the question of power: the party leads the process of the building up of socialism. But we must emphasize that the party does not exist in and of itself, rather it is simply a means in the struggle for power and the building up of socialism.
2. The Armed Forces
The armed forces build an alternative military power. They are in a position to resist the military power of the bourgeoisie and to destroy it. They are a part of the struggle of the masses. Their growth, both quantitative and qualitative, increases their influence. During this growth, major strides can be made when the crisis of bourgeois society becomes more intense and the armed forces experience a rapid development and political-military advance. The armed forces consist of the militias (the people in arms) and the regular revolutionary army.
The armed forces develop in both the rural areas as well as in the cities, starting with forces of an irregular character. But it is in the rural areas where regular forces with a higher degree of military capability will develop. The party is at the leadership of all levels of the armed forces. The party presents the political goals of the military actions, relates these to the masses, and oversees the political education of the fighters.
3. The Masses
The masses are organized in various forms at different levels. Gradually - depending on the speed at which the war develops - the masses and their organizations achieve great political goals (the seizure of power and socialism). The political alliance which participates in the revolution, which the political forces are involved in, is the power of the people, comprised of organizations and the alternative power of the people which arises through the struggle. The struggle in the political arena is adapted to the actual conditions of the class struggle at that time. The party is present in all structures and at all levels, it is the leadership, it understands the true opinions of the masses and continually orients the masses to better forms of organization and participation in the revolution.
4. International Politics
International politics determine strategic and tactical alliances on the path to revolution. These alliances result in a broad front of struggle against imperialism. Furthermore, international politics places the Peruvian revolution in a continental context.
2. The struggle for power encompasses all areas of class struggle and is expressed in the expansion of the boundaries of people's power. Although some aspects of this new power may appear during the struggle for state power, true people's power can only be realized in a new, revolutionary institutionalized state, after the bourgeois state has been destroyed.
3. In Peru, the Front for Popular Defence (FEDIP) and other neighborhood and peasant associations, as well as the National People's Assembly, the forms of organization and instruments of struggle which are in the beginning stages of this new democratic-revolutionary power. This people's power is still in its early stages, it represents a social level and political unity of the people, but it can only develop as fast as the masses make advances in consciousness and organization. (These must not be mere means of applying pressure on the bourgeois state, rather they must seek to overtake state functions.) This is supported by the political-military power, which supports the people's power in the confrontation with the bourgeois state and its military apparatus.
The power of the people and the power of the bourgeoisie exclude one another. The existence of the one demands the destruction of the other. So it is not sufficient for these organs to concentrate on the social and political power of the people. Military power is needed as well, in order to survive and to provide strength for things to develop. In rural areas, the organs of the people's power - supported by the revolutionary military forces - will develop quickest. There, these organs can assume the functions of the state if they destroy the local control of the bourgeoisie. This political-military power of the people is constituted in the struggle, when they oppose and destroy the forces of counter-revolution.
4. The process of establishing these political-military forces is the revolutionary war of the people, it is a complex and integral part of the intertwining of different struggles and forms of organization, oriented around the strategic pillar of armed struggle, which leads to the creation of a new balance of power between the classes and the destruction of counter-revolution.
That is why we define the strategy of the Peruvian revolution as a revolutionary people's war.
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