To say that a thought is necessary, in each country as synthesis of social reality, to make the revolution, is certainly absolutely necessary. Nevertheless, it is useful to make some precisions about the formation of the thought.
As the Afghani comrades pointed out, a thought like Gonzalo thought is a really high developped thought; it is a thought which managed to develop itself until the universal aspect of People’s War.
But some thoughts may exist without being that developped. A thought may also be carried through different steps. This has to do with the fact that the thought is the reflect of the social development of reality.
If we take a look at Gonzalo’s interview given in 1988, we can find two explanations helping us in this question of the levels of the thought.
“It is the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Peruvian revolution that has produced Gonzalo Thought.
Gonzalo Thought has been forged in the class struggle of our people, mainly the proletariat, in the incessant struggles of the peasantry, and in the larger framework of the world revolution, in the midst of these earthshaking battles, applying as faithfully as possible the universal truths to the concrete conditions of our country.
Previously we called it the Guiding Thought.
And if today the Party, through its Congress, has sanctioned the term Gonzalo Thought, it’s because a leap has been made in the Guiding Thought through the development of the people’s war.
In sum, Gonzalo Thought is none other than the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to our concrete reality. This means that it is principal specifically for our Party, for the people’s war and for the revolution in our country, and I want to emphasize that.
But for us, looking at our ideology in universal terms, I emphasize once again, it is Maoism that is principal.”
We find also this, in the interview:
“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 [Jefatura] 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 [Jefatura] 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.”
Here, Gonzalo explains two things interesting us for the question of the level:
* first, there was a guiding thought, that knew a leap (with People’s War);
* then, there is this very important sentence: “there is no Great Leadership [Jefatura] that does not base itself on a body of thought, no matter what its level of development may be.”
So, we can make a hierarchy of the development of the thought:
1.Applying as faithfully as possible the universal truths to the concrete conditions of a country gives birth to the guiding thought.
2.This guiding thought knows different stages.
3.At its highest stage, it knows a final leap with people’s war, elevating itself to the question of the universal.
Here, we must stress the importance of the fact that Gonzalo explains that to build a direction – and without a direction, there is nothing practically, all efforts are vain – there is the absolute need for a “body of thought”.
And he tells us also that this body of thought must not be really or fully developed to already exist. It can exist at a low level of development.
There are two aspects. First, this is all a reminder of the correct lessons of Kautsky and Lenin on the absolute need for a theory, a direction, based on the correct ideology. This is the correct point of view opposed to all liquidationist trends (“communism of council”, revolutionary syndicalism, spontaneism even disguised as “Maoism”, etc.).
The second aspect is that it gives an indication to the first tasks that communists must do. In a given country, to make the revolution the communists need people’s war, and to have people’s war they need the developed thought.
To have this developed thought, they need a guiding thought, and to have this guiding thought, they need to forge it.
Without this, they have nothing. That’s the central point: the forging of the thought, of the correct ideology in a given country, is the main battle – without this, there can be no development of communism.