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Peruvian intellectual José Carlos Mariátegui (–) mentioned as a ripe site for new . tegui calls “el problema del indio.” Mariátegui’s. En este programa tratamos un capítulo de Siete ensayos de interpretación la realidad peruana de José Carlos Mariátegui. Puedes leerlo. Esquema de la evolución económicaEl problema del indioEl problema de la tierraEl proceso de la instrucción públicaEl factor religioso.

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Those of us who approach and define the Indian problem from a Socialist point of view must start out by declaring the complete obsolescence of the humanitarian and philanthropic points of view which, like a prolongation of the apostolic battle of Las Casas, continued to motivate the old pro-Indian campaign.

We shall try to establish the basically economic character of the problem. First, we protest against the instinctive attempt of the criollo or mestizo to reduce it to an exclusively administrative, pedagogical, ethnic, or moral problem in order to avoid at all cost recognizing its economic aspect.

Therefore, it would be absurd to accuse us of being romantic or literary.

Siete ensayos de interpretación de la realidad peruana

By identifying it as primarily a socio-economic problem, we are taking the least romantic and literary position possible. We begin by categorically asserting his right to land. This thoroughly materialistic claim should suffice to distinguish us from the heirs or imitators of the evangelical fervor of the great Spanish friar, whom, on the other hand, our materialism does not prevent us from admiring and esteeming.

The problem of land is obviously too bound up with the Indian problem to be conveniently mitigated or diminished. As for myself, I shall try to present it in unmistakable and clearcut terms.

The agrarian problem is first and foremost the problem of eliminating feudalism in Peru, which should have been done by the democratic-bourgeois regime that followed the War of Independence. But in its one hundred years as a republic, Peru has not had a genuine bourgeois class, a true capitalist class. The old feudal class—camouflaged or disguised as a republican bourgeoisie—has kept its position. The policy of disentailment, initiated by the War of Independence as a logical consequence of its ideology, did not lead to the development of small property.

The old landholding class had not lost its supremacy. The survival of the latifundistas, in practice, preserved the latifundium. Disentailment struck at the Indian community. During a century of Republican rule, great agricultural property actually has grown stronger and expanded, despite the theoretical liberalism of our constitution and the practical necessities of the development of our capitalist economy.

There are two expressions of feudalism that survive: Inseparable and of the same substance, their analysis leads us to the conclusion that the servitude oppressing the indigenous race cannot be abolished unless the latifundium is abolished. When the agrarian problem is presented in these terms, it cannot be easily distorted. It appears in all its magnitude as a socio-economic, and therefore a political, problem, to be dealt with by men who move in this sphere of acts and ideas.

Books by José Carlos Mariátegui

And it is useless to try to convert it, for example, into a technical-agricultural problem for agronomists. Everyone must know that according to individualist ideology, the liberal solution to this problem would be the breaking up of the latifundium to create small property. But there is so much ignorance of the elementary principles of socialism that it is worthwhile repeating that this formula—the breaking up of the latifundium in favor of small property—is neither Utopian, nor heretical, nor revolutionary, nor Bolshevik, nor avant-garde, but orthodox, constitutional, democratic, capitalist, and bourgeois.

It is based on the same liberal body of ideas that produced the constitutional laws of all democratic-bourgeois states. In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe—Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Poland, Bulgaria, et cetera—agrarian laws have been passed limiting land ownership, in principle, to a maximum of five hundred hectares. Here, the Great War razed the last ramparts of feudalism with the sanction of the capitalist West, which since then has used precisely this bloc of anti-Bolshevik countries as a bulwark against Russia.

In keeping with my ideological position, I believe that the moment for attempting the liberal, individualist method in Peru has already passed. Aside from reasons of doctrine, I consider-that our agrarian problem has a special character due to an indisputable and concrete factor: If those who hold a democratic-liberal doctrine are truly seeking a solution to the problem of the Indian that, above all, will free him from servitude, they can turn to the Czechoslovakian or Rumanian experience rather than the Mexican example, which they may find dangerous given its inspiration and process.


For them it is still time to advocate a liberal formula. They would at least ensure that discussion of the agrarian problem by the new generation would not altogether lack the liberal philosophy that, according to written history, has governed the life of Peru since the foundation of the republic.

The problem of land sheds light on the Socialist or vanguardist attitude toward the remains of the viceroyalty. Literary perricholismo does not interest us except as an indication or reflection of economic colonialism. The colonial heritage that we want to do away with is not really the one of romantic damsels screened from sight behind shawls or shutters, but the one of a feudal system with its gamonalismo, latifundium, and servitude. Colonial literature—nostalgic evocation of the viceroyalty and its pomp—is for me only the mediocre product of a spirit engendered and nourished by that regime.

The viceroyalty does not survive in the perricholismo of troubadors and storytellers. It survives in a feudalism that contains the germs of an undeclared capitalism.

We decry not our Spanish but our feudal legacy. Spain brought us the Middle Ages: Later it brought us the Counter Reformation: We have painfully rid ourselves of most of these afflictions by assimilating Western culture, sometimes obtained through Spain itself. But we are still burdened with their economic foundations embedded in the interests of a class whose hegemony was not destroyed by the War of Independence. The roots of feudalism are intact and they are responsible for the lag in our capitalist development.

The land tenure system determines the political and administrative system of the nation. The agrarian problem, which the republic has not yet been able to solve, dominates all other problems.

Democratic and liberal institutions cannot flourish or operate in a semi-feudal economy. The subordination of the Indian problem to the problem of land is even more absolute, for special reasons. The indigenous race is a race of farmers.

The Inca people were peasants, normally engaged in agriculture and shepherding. Their industries and arts were typically domestic and rural. The principle that life springs from the soil was truer in the Peru of the Incas ;roblema in any other country.

The most notable public works and collective enterprises of Tawantinsuyo were for military, religious or agricultural purposes. The irrigation jariategui of the sierra and the coast and the agricultural terraces of the Andes remain the best evidence of the degree of economic organization reached by Inca Peru.

Its civilization was agrarian in all its important I aspects. Land provides all wealth.

Jose Carlos Mariategui: Seven Interpretative Essays on Peruvian Reality Essay 3,

The cult of Mama Pacha is on a par with the worship of the sun and, like the sun, Mother Earth represents no one in particular. Joined in the aboriginal ideology, these two concepts gave birth to agrarianism, which combines communal ownership of land and the universal religion of the sun.

Inca communism, which cannot be negated or disparaged for having developed under imdio autocratic regime of the Incas, is therefore designated as agrarian communism. The essential traits of the Inca economy, according to the careful definition of our historical process by Cesar Ugarte, were the following:. Collective ownership of farmland by the ayllu or group of related families, although the property was divided into individual and non-transferable lots; collective ownership of waters, pasture, and woodlands by the marca or tribe, or the federation of ayllus settled magiategui a village; cooperative labor; individual allotment of harvests and produce.

Colonization unquestionably must bear the responsibility for the disappearance of this economy, together with the culture it nourished, not because it destroyed autochthonous forms but because it brought no superior substitutes.

The colonial regime disrupted and demolished the Inca agrarian economy without replacing it with an economy of higher yields. Under the indigenous aristocracy, the natives made up a nation of ten million men, with an integrated government that efficiently ruled all its territory; under a foreign aristocracy, the natives became a scattered and anarchic mass of a million men reduced to servitude and peonage.

In this respect, demographic data are the most convincing and decisive. Although the Inca regime may be censured in the name of modern liberal concepts of liberty and justice, the positive and material historical fact is that it assured the subsistence and growth of a population prroblema came to ten million when the conquistadors arrived mariatevui Peru, and that this population after three centuries of Spanish domination had fallen to one million.


Colonization stands condemned not from any abstract, theoretical, or moral standpoint of justice, but from the practical, concrete, and material standpoint of utility. Colonization, failing to organize even a feudal economy in Peru, introduced elements of a slave economy. It is easy to explain why the Spanish colonial regime was incapable of organizing a purely feudal economy in Peru.

It is impossible to organize an economy without a clear understanding and sure appreciation, if not of its principles, at least of its needs.

An indigenous, integrated economy develops alone. It spontaneously determines its own institutions. But a colonial economy is established on bases that are in part artificial and foreign, subordinate to the interests of the colonizer. The Spanish colonizer conspicuously lacked this ability. He had an exaggerated idea of the economic value of natural wealth and absolutely no idea of the economic value of man.

With the practice of exterminating the indigenous population and destroying its institutions, the conquistadors impoverished and bled, more than they could realize, the fabulous country they had won for the king of Spain.

Later, a nineteenth-century South American statesman, impressed by the spectacle of a semi-deserted continent, was to prescribe an economic principle for his epoch: The persecution and enslavement of the Indian rapidly consumed resources that had been unbelievably underestimated by the colonizers: As the Spaniards found that they daily needed more labor for the exploitation of the wealth they had conquered, they resorted to the most antisocial and primitive system of colonization: The colonizer thereby renounced, on the other hand, an undertaking that the conquistador had thought feasible: The Negro race he imported had to serve, among other things, to reduce the demographic imbalance between white and Indian.

José Carlos Mariátegui by Lesly Palomino on Prezi

The greed for precious metals—entirely logical in a century when distant lands could not send Europe any other product drove the Spaniards to engage principally in mining. Therefore, they sought to convert to mining a people who had been essentially agricultural under the Inca and even before, and they ended by having to subject the Indian to the harsh law of slavery.

Agricultural labor, under a naturally feudal system, would have made the Indian a serf bound to the land. Labor in mines and cities was to turn him into a slave. With the mita, the Spaniards established a system of inddio labor and uprooted the Indian from his soil and his customs. The importation of Negro slaves, which supplied laborers and domestic servants mariagegui the Spanish population on the coast, where the viceroyal court was located, helped mask its economic prob,ema political error from Spain.

Slavery was injected into the regime, corrupting and weakening it. In his study of the social situation in colonial Peru, Professor Javier Prado, whose premises I naturally do mariatrgui share, reached conclusions that deal with an aspect of precisely this failure of colonization:.

The Negro, considered as commercial merchandise and imported to America as a human labor machine, was to water the earth with the sweat of his brow, but without making it fruitful. It is dsl pattern of elimination followed by civilization in the history of all peoples. The slave mariategi unproductive in his labor, as he was in the Indiio Empire and as he has been in Peru. In the social organism he is a cancer that erodes national sentiments and ideals. In this way, the slave has disappeared from Peru, leaving behind barren mariatebui.

The colonizer was not guilty of having brought an inferior race—this was the customary reproach of sociologists of fifty years ago—but of having brought slaves. Slavery was doomed to fail, both as a means of economic exploitation and organization of the colony and as a reinforcement of a regime based only on conquest and force. Coastal agriculture still has not rid itself of its colonial defects, which derive largely from the slave system.

The coastal lati-fundista never has asked for men, but for labor, to till his fields. Therefore, when he ran out of Negro slaves he found their successors in Chinese coolies.