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Jose Carlos Mariategui

Jose Carlos Mariategui La Chira (14 June 1894 16 April 1930) was a Peruvian journalist, political philosopher, and activist. A prolific writer before his early death at age 35, he is considered one of the most influential Latin American socialists of the 20th century. Mariategui's most famous work, Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928), is still widely read in South America. An avowed, self-taught Marxist, he insisted that a socialist revolution should evolve organically in Latin America on the basis of local conditions and practices, not the result of mechanically applying a European formula.

Mariategui was born in Moquegua. His father, Francisco Javier Mariategui Requejo, was a grandson of Francisco Javier Mariategui Telleria, one of the original signers of Peru's declaration of independence in 1821. Mariategui Requejo abandoned his family when Jose Carlos was young; to support his children, his mother, Maria Amalia La Chira Ballejos, moved first to Lima, then to Huacho, where she had more relatives that helped her make a living. Jose Carlos had a brother and a sister: Julio Cesar and Guillermina. In 1902, as a young schoolboy, he badly injured his left leg, and was moved to a hospital in Lima. Despite a four-year-long convalescence, his leg remained fragile and he was unable to continue his studies. The injury led to severe health problems later in life.

The newspaper led by Mariategui waged a vigorous defense of the campaign then underway for reform of the universities, and went on to become a tribunal for the defense of the young labour movement. La Razon supported a strike for the eight-hour day held in May 1919, along with lowering the cost of subsistence goods. The papers aggressive radicalism brought it into conflict with the Leguia government, and it was rumoured that the ruling circles offered Mariategui a choice: either go to jail, or travel to Europe with government assistance. In any event, Mariategui left for Europe in 1920, traveling through France, Germany, Austria and eventually living in Italy for two years, where he married an Italian woman, Ana Chiappe, with whom he had four children. He was in Italy during the Turin factory occupations of 1920, and in January 1921 he was present at the Livorno Congress of the Italian Socialist Party, where the historic split occurred that led to the formation of the Communist Party. By the time he left the country in 1922, Mussolini was already on his way to power.

Related websites

Autobiographical Note

Jose Carlos Mariategui Main Internet Portal

Jose Carlos Mariategui Internet Archive

"The Problem of the Indian" (1928)

"Jose Carlos Mariategui: Latin Americas forgotten Marxist"

Indigenous Resistance in the Americas and the Legacy of Mariategui

Complete Works of Jose Carlos Mariategui in spanish

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