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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To Understand Mariátegui - Peruvian Revolutionary

By Chairman Gonzalo
José Carlos Mariátegui La Chira (14 June 1894– 16 April 1930) 
was a Peruvian journalist, political philosopher, and activist. A prolific writer before his early death at age 35, he is considered one of the most influential Latin American socialists of the 20th century. Mariátegui's most famous work, Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928), is still widely read in South America. An avowed, self-taught Marxist, he insisted that a socialist revolution should evolve organically in Latin America on the basis of local conditions and practices, not the result of mechanically applying a European formula

It has been a little more than three years since we had the occasion to talk from this place. At the time, we spoke about the problem of education and shared our thoughts on this important issue. It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with you. Today, once again, we have the opportunity to speak with you, but the circumstances are somewhat different.

We are going to speak about José Carlos Mariátegui, of the actuality of his thought, and this task which I have been assigned to address, is not in itself an easy task, at least not to me. First of all, we believe that Mariategui must be approached with respect, and secondly, we must approach him from a clear and precise position, because otherwise it is not possible in any way to understand the actuality and richness of his thought.

Of course, Mariátegui has been physically dead for many years, but his thought is still profoundly alive, just as it was in the 1930s. It is still vibrant, still current and still a perspective for Perú, while other thoughts of people who are still alive are truly dead.

It is difficult in an hour more or less, to talk on all Mariátegui's thought, so for this reason we want to focus on a few concrete problems and emphasize on what should do facing the image of this great Peruvian. First, we uphold the figure of Mariátegui as a proletarian intellectual. We will not get into detailed dates or other matters which are not of interest now. We will get into central problems set forth by the actuality of the thought of José Carlos Mariátegui.

After having tried to bury him in silence, much has been written about Mariátegui. Of course, we also see Mariátegui as very highly spoken of, so as to mystify him, to systematically try to twist him, to try to "better" him with senseless pedantry. It has been said in the first place about Mariátegui that he was not a convicted and confessed Marxist and whose thought was not sustained by Marxism-Leninism.

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