by International Minister
El Diario International has reported that Carol Andreas of Colorado died at age 71 on December 7 of a cerebral aneurism. She was a professor and revolutionary. The people of Peru and Amerika both have special reason to mourn.
Although in the 1960s there were over 1 million self-described revolutionaries among u.$. college students, by 1976, the number of people still active in revolutionary struggle in the united $tates fell to about 0.1% of its previous level. El Diario International led by Luis Arce Borja mentioned her support for the People's War in 1980 and after, but Carol Andreas has international significance to Maoism as well.
In 1976, when most of the world's communists fell for Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping after the death of Mao, Carol Andreas held firm. Her study group immediately published a book upon the death of Mao upholding the Cultural Revolution and denouncing the capitalist restoration. This should have been unremarkable given the preparation Mao and the "Gang of Four" gave the world for capitalist restoration in China, but in practice relative to others, Carol Andreas proved to have great foresight and firmness on this question while most of the world's communists temporarily fell off course. It was only in succeeding years that Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping revisionism went into the minority in parties outside China.
As El Diario International correctly pointed out, Carol Andreas also held firm in 1992-1993 when the "peace accords" controversy in Peru arose. MIM will add that Carol Andreas confided to MIM that we should uphold Luis Arce Borja in exile against others arising at the time to diminish his stature outside Peru. In knowing what's what in 1976 and 1992, no one can do better than Carol Andreas did.
MIM also conducted activity to support the Cultural Revolution and Luis Arce Borja, so the question arises about the unity of Carol Andreas and MIM. One would guess that the issue dividing us would be the labor aristocracy, and we're still not entirely convinced she accorded this issue the proper weight, but Carol Andreas claimed not so much to disagree with MIM on this point. In fact, she pointed out that even in Peru the labor aristocracy was quite a problem. She stressed repeatedly that she had read all of Lenin's Collected Works and she knew where MIM was getting all those suspicions about the oppressor nation workers. With regard to others agitating for labor aristocracy demands she said, "let them bang their heads against the wall."
In print, a newsletter published by Carol Andreas on Peru openly debated MIM's contributions in passing. She reported that she had spoken with those who had found MIM to be a rejuvenation of Maoism in Amerika and integration of Maoism with U.$. conditions while others say MIM made no contribution to the struggle in Peru.
Our criticisms of Carol Andreas were public before she died. What we have not reported before is that she told MIM she "did not have energy" for inner party struggle and democratic centralism anymore. Her attitude was something like "been there, done that."
We do not doubt that Carol Andreas told Luis Arce Borja there is no vanguard party in Amerika, but we only criticize Carol Andreas and some Third World comrades for a liquidationist line. Carol Andreas was an articulate activist regarding the Cultural Revolution and Peru and this translated into invitations to speak to international communist conferences. In this practice of promoting individual personages at conferences, MIM has found a liquidationist attitude catering to the imperialist country petty-bourgeoisie. Some have gone so far as to invite Carol Andreas as an individual to speak while excluding parties.
Sartre spent his most correct years criticizing intellectuals who refuse vanguard parties. Intellectuals chafe against discipline for their own persynal mental needs at the expense of the international proletariat.
The disease of petty-bourgeois intellectuals obtains orthodox aid from those who have quoted Stalin on vanguard parties in the West against MIM. Stalin made a list of conditions organizations must meet to call themselves vanguard parties. Yet we challenge our critics to find in Stalin anywhere that it is OK not to join a party until it meets those conditions and if Stalin did any such liquidationist thing, then he was wrong. Our international comrades do a disservice to the international proletariat with cynical comments denying the need to take sides and join organizations. That does nothing to encourage youth in countries where no one claims to be Maoist either.
The relationship of Carol Andreas to the vanguard party idea and Stalin's theses on vanguard parties raise a basic question of materialism. The problem in the day of Lenin and Stalin was to choose among parties or factions wishing to join the Comintern especially from Germany, but also typically from Italy. These factions Lenin and Stalin could choose among had five and six digit memberships. That sort of luxury does not apply today in the imperialist countries. When we materialists are choosing among factions and parties, we can use conditions like those prepared by Stalin for use in the Comintern.
The decision on how to recognize one faction or party over another discussed by Stalin is completely different than what Carol Andreas and some of her international admirers have done-- which is to deny any choice at all. If we have a choice between factions or parties, we can compile a list of conditions. When we find ourselves saying there is no vanguard party at all when at least one claims to be one, then we have fallen into liquidationism.
There is always a most advanced line in any society--a basic fact of materialism. If Carol Andreas did not like MIM or other organizations, she should have declared herself vanguard in Amerika and forced the issue. The passive attitude that no one else has already established nicely running vanguard parties that we can join as cogs in the machine must be banished as anti-Leninist and fatal to this stage when so many countries need to form vanguard parties.
One thing we like about what Carol Andreas did is that she took a liquidationist line which she made up for to some extent with internationalism. In her last decade or so she could not see straight to leading revolution in the united $tates, but she gave her energy to the revolution in Peru.
Comrades who would like to remember Carol Andreas should read her book Peru: When Women Rebel. And if anyone clings to any stereotypes about wimmin not being able to hold firm lines, digest Lenin or lead politically, we point to Carol Andreas. No one in Amerika, male or female did any better than Carol Andreas did in 1976 and 1992.