[January 3, 2019] Communism is a failure. It has failed historically in every form it takes, regardless of the political environment, an abundance of resources, the power of its leadership, or strength of its citizens. And so it is with the communist movement known as Shining Path Maoist Marxists who nearly brought the country of Peru to its knees economically, socially, and politically.
“Communism possesses a language which every people can understand; its elements are hunger, envy, and death.” – Heinrich Heine, German-Jewish poet
I’m beginning this New Year with an emphasis on relearning old lessons of the past. My mother once told me that she enjoyed taking history courses at the college level because “only serious students were there.” She believed that the study of history in an academic setting was tedious and mind-numbing; so only those who ‘wanted’ to be there were willing to come to class and learn.
If we were to look at the country of Peru and study its relationship with Shining Path guerrillas during their war in the 1990s, we could discover the real truth behind communism. This past Saturday, Peruvian government authorities were responsible for destroying a mausoleum holding the bodies of eight Shining Path rebels killed during a prison massacre that occurred more than three decades ago.
That bit of news is what I read about in several major newspapers. But the ‘rest of the story’ is of greater interest and not covered by the mainstream press.
First, Peruvians have an appetite for their culture and it is on display for anyone who has ever visited their country and thus their desire for artifacts that remind them of their heritage. Peru is a proud country and its political leadership works to maintain their culture and traditions.
Second, Shining Path communists attempted a takeover of Peru starting in the 1980s that lead to an unprecedented level of the brutalization of the population and destruction of their culture. When the Shining Path moved into villages, they randomly executed people, confiscated property, and even hung people’s pets in a show of power. Therefore, it is no surprise that the peoples of Peru remain sensitive to the horrors of communism and are prone to de-romanticize it.
Peruvians are rejecting communism especially that which gave rise to the Shining Path Maoist Marist variety. No “Marxist measles” for Peru, because the Peruvians are refusing to stand for it; they know where it leads.1