ERPI

Nuestras tesis

THESES FOR CHANGE(OUR BASIC PRINCIPLES)
 
 
[Note: This translation only includes the introduction and the text of the Theses, not the detailled explanations of the Theses as does the original.]
 
 
INTRODUCTION
THESES
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Every organization has political beliefs and, among these, a set of basic principles. These define its general characteristics for they include its goals, its guiding beliefs, and the substance of its action.
 
Our beliefs are the product of a constant confrontation between our guiding principles and theoretical concepts and the practical activities with which we seek to build tools for the revolution. Important changes in many areas have resulted from this confrontation. We ourselves have changed; when our platform has not been received by the people as we had expected, we've modified our vision, our attitudes, and our practices. And these modifications have not come about spontaneously, nor simply from our good will. Instead, the people have forced us to make them, and we have chosen to do so lest we isolate ourselves and in order to better respond to their needs.
 
How has this process occurred? Through careful reflection around our practice, in the form of self-criticism fundamentally with respect to its effectiveness. So we asked ourselves: How and why had our practices not had the results we foresaw? Our work was just not producing what we expected, neither quantitatively nor qualitatively. We were not advancing as we would have desired and we remained a traditional organization, rooted in only in a small number of groups and not in the masses. We were an organization which pretended to be in the vanguard (though we assured ourselves that we did not want this role and that we did not consider ourselves as such).
 
It would be misleading to say that only reflection on our practice helped. We must also acknowledge that there were other practical experiences which we also examined. Experiences which had achieved what we had not or which had progressed further in many areas.
 
This process of reflection led us to view some basic aspects of our activity in a new light. Among these are methodological and theoretical issues and our role vis á vis the people.
 
We revisited our methodology for we wanted to see our work methods become more effective. It was plain to observe that other efforts for change were having the results which escaped us. Perhaps the explanation was in the methods.
 
We examined our role vis á vis the people because we were not sure whether our actions were really contributing to the people controlling its own fate and whether what we were building would be in the people's benefit or whether we were mistaken and in reality we would contribute to the replacement of one form of oppression with another. For, practically speaking, we intended to lead and guide the people, but from the outside.
 
We reviewed theory hoping that our theoretical grounds would better correspond to practical needs. In truth, we lacked answers for many of the problems that reality confronted us with. We can mention, for instance, the fact that we did not fully understand the process of globalization, or the nature of the struggle in the context of a bourgeois democracy strongly rooted in parliamentary competition, or problems in the construction of a national front capable of bringing together the whole of the people, or issues around a transition to socialism. Our theoretical framework was increasingly inadequate for the real needs at hand. We failed to evolve with reality and we remained fixed on concepts of decades ago, blind to the fact that all had changed and continued to change.
 
These reflections led us to modify significantly our beliefs as we had to recognize that our goal should not be defending to the end certain theoretical concepts but to have them correspond to the people's interests and needs.
 
Thus, we made the initial changes in our work, beginning with our methods, continuing with our theory and finally with our entire set of concepts and all our practices.
 
Our beliefs thus became influenced by a set of basic principles which are present in each one of them. These principles are commitment to the people, popular sovereignty, democracy, flexibility, and humanism.
 
We are committed to the people because our very existence owes itself to this commitment which informs our convictions and practices since we believe that it goes before all others, including the commitment to the party of group.
 
Our commitment to popular sovereignty stems from its great influence on our objectives and on our methods, as well as on our organization's relationship to the people and the relationship its leadership seeks to have with its combatants.
 
We are committed to flexibility for it defines our methodology, our practice, and our work relations. It allows us to understand that these aspects as well as the theoretical concepts we maintain have a 'hard' nucleus consisting of points which should be kept, yet around which there should be a flexible band consisting of points which may vary.
 
We are committed to democracy for it is the principle political objective which our organization has set for itself and it determines our organization's relationships with the people and those among our internal structures.
 
'The time for change is now!' we say. We feel that the time has come to abandon ideas that have impeded the progress of our work and that are the manifestation of distortions that can set in when, rather than marching to the beat of reality, we seek to make reality march to our beat which is generally slower.
 
Others before us have already taken this step and have opened their mind and practices to ideas that are closer to reality. We acknowledge this and to a large extent we have learned these lessons after carefully studying their experience. And we won't stop here; we intend to keep learning.
 
 
   THESES
1. A REVOLUTIONARY'S FUNDAMENTAL COMMITMENT IS TO THE PEOPLE. NO OTHER COMMITMENT, WHETHER PERSONAL OR TO A GROUP, IS HIGHER.
 
2. THE REVOLUTION HAS MEANING TO THE EXTENT THAT IT ALLOWS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF POPULAR POWER, FROM HERE ON, FROM BELOW, IN ALL AREAS, AND TO ITS FINAL CONSEQUENCES.
 
3. UNTIL NOW, WE HAVE BEEN CONCERNED WITH BUILDING THE PARTY'S ARMY; IT IS NOW TIME TO BUILD THE PEOPLE'S ARMY.
 
4. THE PEOPLE'S FREEDOM WILL NOT BE ATTAINED BY A SUPPOSED VANGUARD BUT RATHER BY THE PEOPLE ITSELF. FOR THIS REASON, WE DO NOT PRETEND TO BE THE VANGUARD MARCHING IN FRONT OF THE MASSES BUT TO MARCH SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE PEOPLE IN THE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM.
 
5. JUST AS THE PEOPLE'S ARMY IS ONLY SUCH IF IT IS AN ARMY OF THE MASSES, THE PEOPLE'S PARTY WILL ONLY BE SUCH IF IT IS THE PARTY OF THE MASSES. WE MUST STRIVE TO BUILD THE PEOPLE'S PARTY AND NOT 'THE REVOLUTIONARIES' PARTY' THAT CONSIDERS ITSELF TO BE ABOVE THE PEOPLE.
 
6. THE POLITICO-MILITARY NATURE OF REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS MAY LEAD, AND IN MANY CASES HAS LED, TO MAKING MILITARY STYLE DISCIPLINE A PRIORITY AND TO REDUCING THE VALUE OF DEMOCRACY IN ITS INTERNAL LIFE. WE MUST GIVE UTMOST SIGNIFICANCE TO DEMOCRACY.
 
7. REVOLUTIONARY THEORY IS A WEAPON FOR MAKING REVOLUTION, YET WHEN IT IS EMPLOYED DOGMATICALLY AND INFLEXIBLY IT HAS OFTEN BECOME AN OBSTACLE AND EVEN A WEAPON USED AGAINST THE REVOLUTION. WE MUST MAKE SURE IT REGAINS ITS PROPER PLACE.
 
8. JUST AS THEORY, WORK METHODS TEND TO FALL BEHIND REALITY AND TODAY THEY LAGS TOO FAR BEHIND. WE MUST REGAIN ITS PACE.
 
9. CONJUNCTURES ARE OPPORTUNITIES THAT HISTORY OFFERS THE PEOPLE. MANY OF THESE HAVE BEEN WASTED AND HAVE SLIPPED THROUGH OUR HANDS LIKE WATER AS WE HAVE FOUND OURSELVES UNPREPARED FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES. IN LIGHT OF THIS, WE SHOULD NOT DWELL ON THE PAST; INSTEAD WE MUST USE THIS EXPERIENCE SO THAT THE SAME DOES NOT OCCUR WHEN OTHER OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT THEMSELVES.
 
10. THE PRINCIPLES THAT AN ORGANIZATION APPLIES IN THE STRUGGLE SHOULD CORRESPOND TO REALITY'S CONCRETE CONDITIONS FOR IF THEY DO NOT, THEY WILL BE INEFFECTIVE AND MAY EVEN BECOME INSTRUMENTS OF CONTROL OF THE BASES BY THE LEADERSHIP. WE MUST SEEK PRINCIPLES THAT ARE APPROPRIATE FOR OUR SPACIAL AND TEMPORAL CONDITIONS.
 
11. JUST AS IN GENERAL THE REVOLUTIONARY PROCESS IN MEXICO REQUIRES COMBINING ALL FORMS OF STRUGGLE, ITS MILITARY ASPECT DEMANDS THE COMBINATION OF A PROLONGED WAR WITH INSURRECTIONAL STRUGGLE.
 
12. IN THE CURRENT STAGE OF THE STRUGGLE, OUR TACTICS SHOULD BE TO GUARANTEE THE PEOPLE'S SELF DEFENSE AND, SIMULTANEOUSLY, ADVANCING TOWARD THE CONSTRUCTION OF POPULAR POWER. THUS, WE MUST COMBINE SELF-DEFENSE, THE ACCUMULATION OF FORCES, AND PREPARATION FOR INSURRECTIONAL EFFORTS.
 
13. DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES HAVE SHOWN THAT THE TRIUMPH OF REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE DEPENDS ON THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE ARE ABLE TO COMBINE THE POLITICAL STRENGTH OF THE MASSES WITH THE MILITARY STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE'S ARMY. BOTH FORCES WILL BE UNITED AS AN ARMY OF THE MASSES, THE HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF WHICH IS AN ARMED PEOPLE, IS FORMED. WE MUST UNDERTAKE ITS CONSTRUCTION.
 
14. THE POLITICAL ACTIVITY OF THE FORCES THAT FIGHT FOR CHANGE SHOULD NOT BE SUBORDINATED TO CONJUNCTURAL NEEDS BUT SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO STRATEGIC PLANNING. HOWEVER, THIS PLANNING SHOULD NOT FORCE US INTO INACTIVITY OR IGNORE THE CONCRETE AND IMMEDIATE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE. NOR SHOULD IT MAKE US PASS UP OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH WHICH CERTAIN SITUATIONS MAY OFFER.
 
15. ON DIFFERENT OCCASIONS, A NUMBER OF FORCES HAVE STARTED FROM THE NOTION THAT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES, OR THE HEGEMONIC ONES, OR THE STRONGEST IN CERTAIN ASPECTS, ONLY TO FIND THAT AT DECISIVE MOMENTS THEY HAVE REMAINED ON THE SIDELINES. THEIR MARGINAL ROLES ARE DUE TO A LARGE DEGREE TO THEIR HEGEMONIC NOTIONS. MAINTAINING THESE VIEWS WILL NOT ONLY ISOLATE A PARTICULAR FORCE BUT WEAKEN THE WHOLE AS WELL. WE MUST ABANDON THESE NOTIONS.
 
16. SELF-DEFENSE IS A LEGITIMATE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE AND MUST BE EXERCISED WHEN FACED WITH CONSTANT ATTACKS. IT IS THEREFORE NECESSARY TO PERMANENTLY CARRY IT OUT. NO ARGUMENT AGAINST ITS EXERCISE IS VALID. NO ATTACK ON THE PEOPLE SHOULD GO UNPUNISHED.
 
17. HOMOGENEITY WITHIN THE REVOLUTIONARY FORCES HAS LONG BEEN A GENERAL ASPIRATION, YET PRACTICE HAS DEMONSTRATED THAT ACHIEVING IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. WE MUST RECOGNIZE THAT NOR IS IT POSSIBLE IN THE CURRENT SITUATION AND THAT RATHER THAN SEEK IT, WE MUST BEGIN BY ACCEPTING AND PROMOTING UNITY WITHIN DIVERSITY.
 
18. TRUTH IS REVOLUTIONARY AND IT IS HELD THAT A REVOLUTIONARY'S OBLIGATION IS TO SPEAK TRUTHFULLY. HOWEVER, ALL TOO OFTEN A REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION'S INTERNAL LIFE AND ITS RELATIONS TO OTHER REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS AND TO SOCIETY IN GENERAL HAVE BEEN MARKED BY THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH. WE MUST ABANDON THE NOTION OF 'REASONS OF THE PARTY' WHICH MEANS TO JUSTIFY LIES. TRUTH MUST REALLY BE BASIC PRINCIPLE OF ALL REVOLUTIONARIES.
 
19. ALL THE FORCES THAT STRUGGLE FOR CHANGE, AND MANY THAT OPPOSE IT, DEFINE THEMSELVES AS DEMOCRATIC, EVEN AS THERE IS AN ENORMOUS GAP BETWEEN THEIR IDEAS AND THEIR PRACTICE. THIS INDICATES THAT EACH ONE HAS A DIFFERENT CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY AND THAT THEIR BRAND OF DEMOCRACY IS LIMITED BY THEIR OWN INTERESTS. WE MUST TAKE THE NOTION OF DEMOCRACY TO ITS FINAL CONSEQUENCES, BOTH INSIDE THE ORGANIZATION AND OUTSIDE OF IT.
 
20. OFTEN, THE SOURCES OF IDEAS ARE PRECONCEIVED, LEADING TO A PROGRESSIVE DISTANCE WITH RESPECT TO REALITY. WE MUST BECOME RECONNECTED TO REALITY.
 
21. ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR LIMITATIONS, MANY ORGANIZATIONS HAVE OFTEN ADMITTED THAT AT CERTAIN MOMENTS REALITY HAS CAUGHT THEM UNPREPARED. BY THIS THEY MEAN NOT BEING PREPARED FOR THE LARGE AND GENERAL TASKS OF THE REVOLUTION. AT THE SAME TIME THEY ARE UNPREPARED FOR THE SMALL TASKS, CONSIDERING THEMSELVES TO BE TOO GRAND FOR THESE. THE RESULT IS NEITHER TYPE OF TASKS ARE CARRIED OUT. WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DEMAND AT ALL LEVELS.
 
22. WITHIN THE REVOLUTIONARY CAMP WE HAVE ALWAYS ACCEPTED THE LAW OF THE UNEQUAL AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL PHENOMENA. HOWEVER, WE HAVE NOT ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD HOW THIS LAW MANIFESTS ITSELF IN REVOLUTIONARY PRACTICE. IT IS OVERLOOKED IN RELATIONS AMONG ORGANIZATIONS AS WELL AS THOSE WITHIN ORGANIZATIONS, WITH EQUAL DEMANDS PLACED ON UNEQUALS, UNDERESTIMATING OTHERS, OR DEMANDING HOMOGENEITY WHERE THERE CAN BE NONE. WE MUST MOVE FROM ACCEPTANCE TO THE COMPREHENSION AND APPLICATION OF THE LAW OF UNEQUAL AND COMBINED DEVELOPMENT.
 
23. THE BELIEF THAT RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN REVOLUTIONARIES SHOULD BE EMINENTLY POLITICAL HAS IN MANY CASES LED TO DEHUMANIZATION, TO VIEWING REVOLUTIONARIES AS OBJECTS, TO TURNING THEM INTO MACHINES, AND TO THEIR SUBJECTION TO PARTY INTERESTS. WE MUST RECLAIM THE HUMANITY IN RELATIONSHIPS AMONG REVOLUTIONARIES AND WITH THE PEOPLE.
 
24. FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, AND JUSTICE ARE ONLY COMPLETE IF THEY ARE ATTAINED BOTH IN THE POLITICAL SPHERE AND THE ECONOMIC SPHERE. WE MUST BE ABLE TO INTERPRET THE PEOPLE'S ASPIRATIONS IN BOTH OF THESE ASPECTS, AND STRUGGLE, SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE PEOPLE, TO ATTAIN THEM. FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOCIOECONOMIC JUSTICE ARE ONLY COMPLETE WHEN THEY GO TOGETHER.
 
25. POLITICAL STRUGGLE WITHIN ARMED ORGANIZATIONS HAS OFTEN RESULTED IN THE ASSASSINATION OF DISSIDENTS ON THE GROUNDS OF SUPPOSED TREASON OR CONSPIRACIES. IN MANY CASES, ASSASSINATIONS HAVE BEEN THE MEANS BY WHICH POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO RESOLVE CONTRADICTIONS BETWEEN THEM. WE MUST  DEFINITIVELY ABANDON THESE METHODS ONCE AND FOR ALL.
 
26. THE DESIRE TO PROTECT ORGANIZATIONS AND REVOLUTIONARY LEADERS FROM BEING DISCREDITED HAS LED MANY TO CONSIDER IT AN OBLIGATION TO COVER UP ATROCITIES COMMITTED BY BOTH. IT IS UNETHICAL TO ACCEPT THIS OBLIGATION BECAUSE IT IS THE STUFF OF MAFIAS, NOT OF THE BUILDERS OF THE FUTURE.
 
27. WITH THE PRETEXT OF FOLLOWING ORDERS, MANY UNETHICAL ACTIONS HAVE BEEN COMMITTED; THESE HAVE OFTEN BEEN ORDERED ARGUING THAT CIRCUMSTANCES DEMAND THEM. MANY HAVE TRIED TO AVOID HAVING THEIR ACTIONS OR ORDERS PUNISHED AS CRIMES AND JUDGMENT BY THE MILITANTS AND THE PEOPLE, THUS, WITH SELF-JUSTIFICATIONS, ENCOURAGING IMPUNITY. WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT IS UNETHICAL TO OBEY CRIMINAL ORDERS AND TO GIVE THEM, AND THAT COMBATANTS THEREFORE HAVE THE RIGHT AND THE MORAL OBLIGATION TO REFUSE TO OBEY THEM.
Mexico June 15th 1999

 

Introducciòn | Documentos | El Paliacate | Contàctanos |

E.R.P.I. 2006 La informaciòn aqui publicada es de libre distribucion, siempre y cuando la fuente sea citada.