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Mariátegui, José Carlos (1894–1930)

César Germana


José Carlos Mariátegui, a self-educated journalist born into poverty and raised by a single mother, was the first Peruvian thinker to conceive of the modernization of Peru as a process of socialist democracy. The uniqueness of his political proposal can only be understood by taking into account that his work was the result of an encounter between western culture, particularly Marxism , and Andean culture. In his work Mariátegui emphasized the political importance of the Andean Indian community, or ayllu , for any future socialist project in Peru. Socialism was the basis of Mariátegui's thought as well as his political activity. Structured simultaneously as a class project and an intellectual project, Mariátegui's concerns encompassed a broad range of activities and interests: a careful monitoring of what he called the “contemporary scene,” thorough investigation of the problems of Peruvian society, cultural criticism, political activism, and union organizing. His most important legacy to Peruvian and Latin American left-wing politics was his interest in expanding working-class concerns to include both intellectuals and the peasantry, which was central to the political and intellectual renewal of socialism in Peru and Latin America in general. Mariátegui's lifelong pursuit of this socialist project can be considered in three stages. The first stage covers the period of his life ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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