“If we dismiss … ideas because they seem irrational to us, we may be depriving ourselves of valuable insights into the society…."

Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down

Nowadays, in their pursuit of scientific methodology, historians of Latin America tend to ignore the vogue that spiritualism enjoyed not only in the lands south of the Río Grande but in most parts of the Western world from the late nineteenth century to the 1940s, before peaking anew as one ingredient of an international counterculture. By spiritualism I do not have in mind people assembled in dark rooms attempting to make tables rise or to commune with the shades of departed friends, relatives, and pet cats, dogs, and canaries. Rather, I am thinking of such matters as the quest for “wholeness” between “microcosm” and “macrocosm,” and the rediscovery of an “Ancient Wisdom” that reveals, purportedly, how to assert the powers of mind and spirit over matter. In its Latin American guise, spiritualism’s avowal of a connection between inward states and the outer world, its faith that the second is shaped and controlled by the first, often places a premium on uniformity of belief. In order to transform their physical milieu, people must think and “vibrate” harmoniously together; otherwise, their spiritual energies will lack focus and remain ineffectual.

In their approach to spiritualism, Latin Americans picked up on a new perception of the word that became common in England, continental Europe, and the United States around the turn of the century. Various thinkers interested in parapsychological phenomena abandoned belief in spirits "out there” as the cause of supernormal effects in the observable world. They turned instead to the possibility of a noncorporeal presence within all persons—although more readily accessible to a few especially sensitive beings than to the commonality of humans—that constituted a source of potential consciousness and cognition altogether removed from physical, neural, sensory, and mechanistic determinants. Some who speculated on the parapsychological went on to hypothesize that the spiritual presence or power found in all humans could interact with, and to some degree influence, the material world, while at the same time transmitting extrasensory messages that could be received by properly attuned individuals. A new spiritualism, without ghosts and spirits, had appeared. For a time, it found an almost respectable place—especially once Carl Jung emerged as its prophet—among the variety of intellectual currents that challenged positivism and the materialism of what then passed for “normal science,” as Thomas Kuhn has subsequently called it. Furthermore, in Latin America the new spiritualism without spirits often shared an ill-defined zone of marginal respectability with the old variety of spiritualism, replete with spirits and specters.

An adaptable and ambiguous term, spiritualism can encompass, in addition to what has already been suggested, the sort of occult humanism that figured in the Renaissance and in many earlier and later epochs. Prominent among the components of occult humanism are assumptions about circular time and the ascent of humanity through cycles of death and rebirth. In the beginning of the twentieth century, a new Renaissance seemed at hand as cyclical ascent theories surfaced in various locales. For example, a plethora of painters and composers, poets and novelists, architects and choreographers came to believe that through their art they could personally attain “cosmic consciousness.” From their exalted heights of being they could deliver a coup de grâce to the moribund bourgeois order, and then, by awakening among others what had previously been only a subliminal part of their psyches, usher in a cycle of fuller and more total life. Mirroring the pretensions and delusions of artists, political leaders appeared who fancied themselves the creators of a new order. By exercising the art of politics, they would summon their people to a great awakening. Reintroducing myth, symbolism, and ritual into the spiritually barren lives of their followers, the politicians-artists-gurus would teach the masses to cast aside the blinders of materialism and positivism so that they might have recourse to what lay both beneath and above reason. Responsive to their full capacities, new men and new women could proceed, following the example of predestined leaders, to synthesize the rational and the pararational, the corporeal and the spiritual, the conscious and the unconscious, the finite and the infinite. Thus would be achieved the archetypal objective of the esoteric quest: the harmonizing of opposites.

By promising to assuage the hunger of the masses for wholeness and transcendence, a new breed of populist leaders hoped to eclipse the appeal of the traditional churches; in the estimation of these leaders, the churches old pronouncements about ushering in the heavenly kingdom on earth had long since lost credibility. By dealing in new promises of wholeness and transcendence, politicians, as self-styled creators of a new and nonalienated humanity, thought to restore the sort of charisma that rulers in bygone times had claimed on the basis of the divine rights of kings. In Latin America, acutely plagued by problems of governmental legitimacy since the discarding of Spanish royalty, the recapture of charisma proved an especially enticing dream for politically ambitious types beguiled by spiritualism’s dazzling illusions.

Without some attention to spiritualism in its broadest implications, it seems to me impossible to re-create the lives and times of, among many others, the following figures: Mexico’s visionary leader Francisco I. Madero, who believed that a mystical community of prescient beings, living and dead, could guide humanity toward new heights; El Salvador’s theosophist President Maximiliano Hernández Martínez who, like kings in times gone by, imagined himself endowed with supernatural healing powers as well as supernormal political vision; Guatemala’s spiritualist socialist chief-executive Juan José Arévalo, many of whose ideas seem traceable to an esoteric stream of Christianity that mingles with occult humanism; Ecuador’s mystical populist José María Velasco Ibarra, whose political symbolism seemed sometimes to derive more from alchemy than from any realist system of thought; Argentina’s horoscope-infatuated Krausista President Hipólito Yrigoyen, who anticipated the reintegration of man with the cosmos; and Juan and Evita (and later Isabel) Perón, whose justicialismo can be seen in terms of the spiritualist quest of utopia through reconciling such opposites as individualism and collectivism, capitalism and socialism. Nor can Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s mystical, moral-rewards Marxism, with its stress on the powers of conciencia over matter, be fully comprehended in isolation from the spiritualist element that has infused a good deal of what passes for Marxist-Leninist thought in Latin America. Peru’s renowned José Carlos Mariátegui, moreover, with his Crocean and Sorelian brand of Marxism, which was never fully removed from esoteric Christianity, stands in many ways as the spiritual—or spiritualist—forebear of Che Guevara.

These individuals represent but a sprinkling among a host of important Latin Americans and attest to a vast spiritualist current stemming most directly from the occult thought that had contributed to the independence movement. Whether in the early nineteenth or the early to mid-twentieth century, Latin American interest in the extrarational arose in part out of indigenous sources—among them the animism and shamanism of Native and Afro-Americans—and in part out of Catholic mysticism, which by the time it crossed the seas had absorbed Jewish and Islamic, as well as Christian ingredients. Often, and perhaps particularly in the twentieth century, spiritualism has been nourished by forces from outside the continent. Thus, Latin America responded to the virtual explosion of interest in esoteric wisdom occurring in turn-of-the-century England, Western Europe, Russia, and, also, the United States and Canada. This was a peRíod when, even in “advanced” societies, occult thought—old and new—gained acceptance in many quarters as the common intellectual coin.

One of the most formidable of Latin America’s public figures whose life and political significance cannot be understood without inclusion of the spiritualist facet is Peru’s Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre (1895-1979). In dealing with an often slighted aspect of this protean pensador-político, I can only hint at spiritualism’s influence in shaping Haya’s personal life and the political movement that he founded. By means of a book now in preparation (The Politics of the Miraculous in Peru: Haya de la Torre’s Revolt against Modernity), I propose to tell the story of Haya and spiritualism in some detail. Neither in this article nor in the projected book, however, will I suggest that spiritualism explains everything or even necessarily the most important things about Haya de la Torre. In fact, spiritualism provides only one view of a remarkably complex individual who, in addition to his passionate interest in things occult, was a pragmatist and shrewd opportunist, keenly alive to the possibility of influencing the material world through material means. Furthermore, as a practical politician, Haya often responded not so much to the idealist realm of a “superstructure” as to the reality of a Peruvian “base” shaped by demography, regionalism, imperialism, and urbanization, among many other determinants.

Haya de la Torre could never have been an effective political leader if determinants originating in the base, and, including the means of production and the combined effects of incipient modernization and the Great Depression in Peru, had not produced an array of economically and politically precaRíous middle sectors and a still more precaRíous lower mass. Threatened by an adverse economic environment and by a social and political structure from which they felt alienated, many members of Peru’s unstable and vulnerable sectors stood ready to respond to Haya’s message of a great awakening unto wholeness. Undoubtedly, just as many and perhaps even more responded mainly to the promises of a better material life that Haya also offered. In this article, however, I have chosen to focus on Haya’s expectation, whether it arose out of genuine spiritualist faith or out of an opportunistic appraisal of how best to mobilize the discomfited, that Peruvians would flock to a movement that promised the chance to be born again, this time into a higher and more harmonious state of personal and social well-being.

In approaching Haya from the spiritualist point of view, I offer first a glimpse of him toward the close of his career. There follows a long flashback before the essay focuses once more on Haya in his twilight years. Whatever the peRíod of his life, visions of regeneration and millennialism loom large. Historians are understandably loath to deal with the visions, perceptions, and archetypes that arise, arguably, out of the human unconscious, and to consider how these emanations from a terra incognita interact with the material world so as to shape the fields of historical experience. If they refuse altogether to explore the interstices between two sources of cognition, however, then I fear that for Latin America at least they will be abandoning, uncontested, much in their fields to the superb surrealist novelists and poets who have flourished in recent decades. While these literary figures may enjoy a natural advantage in synthesizing two distinct fields of reality, the historian’s methodology should be sufficiently encompassing to make a contribution of its own.1

When the Peruvian military seized power in October 1968, one of the guiding motives was to deny to Haya de la Torre the possibility of gaining the presidency through the election slated for the following year. Thereby the military continued its long-sustained duel with Haya. Ten years later, though, this very man was the principal agency through which the officers managed to save face as they began the process of restoring civilian government. How was it that by 1978 the officers could derive benefit from the very man whose political hopes they had sabotaged not only in 1968 but on many previous occasions going back to the early 1930s?

As the military rulers failed to resolve the country’s social and economic problems and, in fact, probably made them worse as the 1970s wore on, public opinion turned against them and their increasingly heavy-handed methods. In these circumstances, Haya de la Torre began to refurbish the faded aura of antimilitarism once associated with him and with the populist movement that he founded in 1924 and directed from that time onward, the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana, or APRA. Haya’s criticism of the officers in the 1970s, however, remained guarded and even betrayed a tinge of admiration for their efforts. He conceded their good intentions by attributing to them the desire to enact the type of structural changes originally advocated by Apristas in the 1920s and 1930s. The trouble was, according to Haya, that the military did not know how to implement such reforms; and their clumsy efforts were leading to economic disruption and social divisiveness. Steadfastly, though, and despite the urgings of many advisers that he take a hard line, Haya maintained his more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger tone as he pointed to military shortcomings. Persistent in his criticism, he nonetheless continued to find extenuating circumstances.2 By the mid-1970s Haya was coming to be recognized as the military’s shrewdest and perhaps most constructive critic, as the kind of patient statesman who could be most effective in facilitating the return of the officers to the barracks by providing the circumstances that would permit them to do so with dignity.

In February 1976, when Apristas staged their annual birthday salute to Haya (the día de la fraternidad), tens of thousands of citizens congregated before party headquarters on Avenida Alfonso Ugarte. The homage to Haya on his eighty-first birthday turned into one of the largest “human concentrations” that Limeños had witnessed in recent years;3 this in spite of the fact that the controlled national press withheld publicity for the event and that Aprista machinery for mobilizing mass demonstrations was seRíously impaired by government harassment. During his address on this notable occasion, Haya presented his customarily guarded criticisms of the military. More significantly, though, he returned to a theme that had obsessed him throughout his life: that of death and regeneration. “A man of eighty-one years says, long live life, and after death, then long live the Aprista Revolution.”4 (To this, the multitude responded with the familiar chant, “¡El APRA nunca muere!”) In the past, Haya had professed that the death of Aprista martyrs, together with the demise of the oligarchy, would bring rebirth to the country. Now, he implied that his own death might be the essential prerequisite for Peru’s rebirth.

Close to the end of his life, then, Haya took up anew the theme on which he had dwelt since youth. But death and regeneration is a complex and ambiguous theme, and its centrality to Haya’s intellectual and political life helps explain part of the complexity and ambiguity of that life. Death and regeneration can imply, at one extreme, an apocalyptic phenomenon in which the old order is violently destroyed to make way for the new; or, it may entail the merging of opposites in which, even as the two merge into one flesh in the marital act, new life ensues from ecstatic union rather than from catastrophe. In my view, Haya’s early concept of death and rebirth may be seen in terms of a dialectical tension in which a thesis of apocalypse was steadily challenged, and occasionally absorbed, by an antithesis of conciliation. This dialectical tension contributed to the mercurial mood changes both in Haya’s personal life and in the political life of the APRA. Later in life, if my analysis is correct, Haya came to opt with increasingly undeviating steadfastness for the vision of conciliation in which opposites by peacefully merging, even at the cost of losing their own identity and being, somehow find apotheosis in a new whole that transcends its once contending elements. This transition, which makes up the central theme of my essay, brought Haya from fitful revolutionary, whose rhetoric, colored by his early infatuation with anarchist doctrine,5 caused adversaries to find in Aprismo the threat of their extermination, to a paternal symbol of national conciliation.

In June 1978, with the way smoothed for them by Haya’s conciliatory skills, the military set the stage for their return to the barracks by holding elections for a constituent assembly. Aprista candidates won the largest bloc of votes, about 36 percent of those cast, and Haya de la Torre, with some 230,000 ballots, drew the most popular support of any of the candidates.6 Shortly later, garnering 66 of the 92 votes cast, Haya was elected president of the assembly. At age eighty-three, he accepted his first public office.

The July 28, 1978, speech with which he convened the assembly may well have been Haya’s finest hour. Renewing commitment to many of the tenets that had composed the APRA program since its inception in the 1920s, he came, after about thirty minutes of his still powerful oratory, to his conclusion. Here, he saluted all who had sacrificed their lives to the goal of creating a new Peruvian nation where justice might prevail. In the past, Haya had tended to reserve praise only for Aprista martyrs. Now, he hailed well-intentioned Peruvians of all political stripes:

I remember and render homage to all the fallen and to all the heroes, to all the parties, whose men have become one with the people. It is up to us to justify the sacrifice and the hope of those who have struggled politically and socially and who, with sincerity and commitment, wished that Peru would be rebuilt upon the bases of justice and liberty….7

In effect, Haya now declared that all the heroes and martyrs of Peru’s history might, by their sacrifice, bring redemption to the country. Here was a dramatic departure from the early millennialist claims that “solo el Aprismo salvará al Perú.”8

After fifty years Haya had completed the cure of what had originally been a serious case of extremist exclusivism whose initiating germ was the conviction that through some sort of Armageddon, Apristas must definitively crush their foes. It is this protracted cure that renders Haya’s life interesting and imparts to it a measure of grandeur.9 For the moment, though, I shall focus on the early Haya, the leader of messianic exclusivism who professed, much of the time at least, that only the APRA would save Peru and that only Haya de la Torre could shape and speak for a movement of national redemption to be attained through apocalypse rather than conciliation.

Arriving in Lima in 1917, Haya had already committed himself—while in his native Trujillo—to the sort of Oedipal struggle of sons against fathers, of youth against the aged, that had been urged in Peru by Manuel González Prada and that had galvanized intellectuals and artists throughout much of the turn-of-the-century Western world into seeking without delay a new and radically different world. Haya and his associates among the so-called Trujillo Bohemians, who included the philosopher-journalist Antenor Orrego and the poet César Vallejo, had considered themselves persons of superior sensitivity and insight shunted aside by an increasingly materialistic order, bloated by massive infusions of foreign capital, that bestowed its highest rewards on cultural barbarians. Typical of the spiritualist school then peaking in Peru, the Trujillo Bohemians longed to be reunited with the ineffable that lay within, to become complete once more with the inward divinity principle,10 and to surmount the alienation that an encroaching capitalist world order threatened to impose on the country.

For the ensuing decade or two, owing to the pervasiveness of spiritualism and neo-Platonism, national history would record a remarkable saga in which a group of provincial Bohemians, together with like-minded occultist thinkers from Lima in quest of wholeness, exercised almost as much influence in guiding Peru out of its lingering nineteenth century as did emergent capitalists, technologically trained professionals, and empiricists, who hoped to address economic problems through economic means. These singular circumstances may explain more about issues of material development and underdevelopment in Peru, and elsewhere in Latin America, than all of the dependency theories spawned during the past dozen years or so. In fact, spiritualism, with its belief that the world can be improved as if by magic, may be as much responsible for contemporary underdevelopment in Latin America as traditional Catholicism, with its recurring expectations that the just would be rewarded by economic miracles, was for Spanish retardation in times gone by. Only the most hard-bitten materialist, however, could dismiss out of hand the possibility that spiritualism and the traditional faith have offered considerable intangible compensation for the material shortchanging that has characterized their effects in much of the Iberian world.

The vision of being reborn in wholeness has appealed through the centuries to those who would return to an alleged primordial harmony that has been destroyed, purportedly, by the intrusion of alien influences. About the time that Haya and his Trujillo companions began to grasp for this vision, the process of being reborn by becoming whole with the infinite resources of nature within, designated now by psychologists as the unconscious, was being rechristened “individuation,” by Carl G. Jung.11 When Haya came indirectly upon Jungian concepts through Romain Rolland and Count Hermann Keyserling,12 he found an explanation for some of his own vaguely defined longings.13 Well before this occurred, though, Haya in 1918 had his own personal experience of wholeness.

Departing Lima very shortly after his arrival there, Haya made his way to Cuzco in the service of a family friend who had just been appointed to a political post in the old Inca capital. Cuzco transformed Haya, as he attests in a 1928 essay virtually unique in his oeuvre for its autobiographical frankness. Of his transforming experience Haya wrote:

I would not have felt devotion for the indigenous race or love for the Peruvian sierra, or sorrow for social injustice, or rebelliousness before the barbarousness of the political system if I had not lived at close hand the life of Cuzco. Son of a serrano, I had not seen the sierra except for the … roads that lead to Cajamarca. But in a good hour I went to Cuzco …. Then and only then did I understand the great problem, and I decided to make myself a soldier of the cause who would struggle for the solution.

Haya now felt himself a prophet who had ascended the cosmic mountain, had his vision, and awaited only the moment of return, which, as he expressed it, “has to come soon… .”14

While living in Cuzco and observing those natural people, the Indians, increasingly threatened but still relatively free from the repression that materialistic civilization imposed on instinctual life, Haya encountered the circumstances that were conducive to plumbing his own inteRíor or natural resources. In Cuzco, Haya wrote, “the new man I bear with me” first revealed himself. What this suggests is that Haya de la Torre’s indigenismo was complementary to a psychic experience in which Indians simply came to serve as a symbol of his own unconscious. Indians, as has been the case with so many other “primitives” idealized by persons suffering excesses of inhibiting civilization, became a symbol, a metaphor for the ineffable potential of one’s own unconscious that awaits life-giving liberation from the punishing confinements of the prevailing social order.

As is often the case when non-Indians view Indians, Haya’s assessment was on the level of the “cosmically mystic.” He saw an Indian of “inflated stereotypes,” favorable in this instance, although in other times and with different white men, the same stereotyped traits are more apt to be seen as indications of savagery, rather than flesh-and-blood individual Indians.15 In line also with the white man’s customary use of indigenismo, Haya’s primary concern lay with his own rebirth and that of his non-Indian social peers through the awakening of the Indian within instead of the awakening of Indians in the outer world. More often than not, the indigenista’s belief that his concern lies with awakening “real-world” Indians is self-delusion. Still, self-delusion is a principal inspirer of action; and for a time Haya did in fact propound an Indian awakening in the external world.

Haya had had his own personal experience of rebirth through release of the new man he bore within himself; and this experience became intertwined with a vision of social regeneration of marginal beings standing in need of liberation. It now became his purpose to share this experience and this vision with the youth of Peru and indeed of all Indo-America. From this time on he insisted on the designation Indo-America, for Indians now stood for a collective unconscious, peculiar to the space-time configuration previously, and incorrectly, called Latin America. Even where they had physically disappeared, the Indians’ spiritual presence lived on, according to Haya, constituting a psychic bedrock that underlay the entire area from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego and echoing the cosmic harmony that had once obtained.16 The renewal of harmony among the living inhabitants depended upon a collective descent into the unique unconscious in which all Indo-America shared, and a discarding of accidental elements borrowed from abroad. This descent, which may be seen as a psychic journey of rebirth, was to be accompanied by a “real-world” trip of social discovery and reclamation of long-ignored human elements living in a virtually preconscious state of nature. Little success could be anticipated from undertaking only one of the journeys. Instead, fruitful results depended upon the mutual interaction of the two journeys, simultaneously undertaken. Here was a belief akin to that of alchemists, who operated on the conviction that the conversion of base elements into precious ones had to be carried on simultaneously with the liberation of an inward psychic treasure from the dross of creatureliness that had engulfed it. Analogous persuasions constitute a ubiquitous component of spiritualist, esoteric beliefs.

Having had a personal experience of psychic rediscovery, suffused with a social redemption vision, Haya described in highly metaphorical terms the rebirth that awaited Indo-America, assuming it had proper guidance. Indo-America, he wrote, found itself in the circumstances of a Nordic summer,

in which night follows the polar star and has on its left the languishing red stain of twilight and on its right the expansive gleam of the light of dawn. We march toward the north, toward our north and toward our star. The new light will illuminate our march and our shadow, only the shadow! will follow the line of the dead lights.17

This march, Haya affirmed, was to be the work of his generation; and he exulted that his generation would not suffer the tragedy of those that pass through life without being animated by a “gloRíous vision.”18 Haya described the vision that would animate his generation as that of “an integral continent of cooperation, fulfilling the postulates of justice”19 (in short, a vision of wholeness for the Indo-American continent). And justice, in the sense Haya attached to the word, meant liberation of the unconscious, of the primordial, instinctual life within from false restraints, and also liberation of natural persons, epitomized by the Indian, from the exploitations of a civilization that had fallen under the influence of foreign models unattuned to the space-time realities of Indo-America. Here was a timeless vision, of the sort that sometimes attracted even the hard-bitten Freud, of freeing civilization from the discontents engendered by a punishing, even castrating, superego.

Expelled from Peru in 1923 by the Augusto B. Leguía administration, mainly because of what were deemed his subversive activities as president of the federation of university students, Haya took to the life of the wanderer. Early points of arrival included Mexico and Russia. Both countries were in the throes of revolutionary upheavals and both vibrated to hopes of forging a new social order and, indeed, a new humanity. Exhausted and ill after his Russian sojourn, Haya entered a sanatorium in Switzerland. In this country, in 1925, he met a person destined to alter his life: Romain Rolland, eminent pacifist, popularizer of Hindu philosophy, musicologist, author of the celebrated novel Jean-Christophe, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. For some years, Rolland had seen himself as “the spokesman for India, and for Asia in general, in Europe. He could find in the East, he thought, the contemplative truths that the West had sacrificed in its search for power, and for lack of which the West was committing suicide.”20 One year before meeting Haya, Rolland completed his biography of Gandhi. In Rolland’s mind, Gandhi, together with mystics such as Ramakrishna,21 were, by entering anew into the spiritual depths that lie within, finding the inspiration and strength needed to transform the outer world,22 to raise the parts enveloped by darkness to peaks that basked in the rays of the sun. Thus, this part of the world was destined for rebirth, duplicating a process that had already occurred many times before in an ascent best depicted by a spiral staircase. In India, the “divine son” was ready once again to be reborn, in consequence of the fresh encounter of mystics with the divinity within. “It is always the same Man—the Son of Man, the eternal, Our Son, Our God reborn. With each return he reveals himself a little more fully, and more enriched by the Universe.”23

Excited by Rolland’s depiction of a reawakening East, Haya de la Torre thrilled all the more to Rolland’s subsequent prediction that Latin America in its turn was destined to achieve splendid new heights through a regeneration that would result in a synthesis of the contradictory essences of Asia and Europe.24 This idea, moreover, soon was taken up by Haya’s bosom companion of Trujillo bohemian days, Antenor Orrego. In a work that became, in a way, the Cabala or Gnostic gospels of Aprismo, Orrego developed and lavishly ornamented this theme of the fusing of opposites.25

There can be no question that Romain Rolland’s pacifism and devotion to Gandhian nonviolence provided an ideological justification for taming the temptation toward force that anarchist doctrines had helped to instill in the youthful Haya de la Torre. Beyond this, Haya’s biographer and political co-worker Luis Alberto Sanchez alleges that Rolland lured Aprismo’s jefe máximo away from the positivist and materialistic ideological strains of the Mexican and Russian Revolutions, providing the Peruvian with a healthy antidote of philosophical idealism.26 This conclusion is questionable. Rolland served primarily to reinforce a spiritualist strain in Haya’s nature apparent already in Trujillo days and strengthened by the mystical experience in Cuzco. Before the encounter with Rolland, the principal source of Haya’s philosophical idealism was Henri Bergson, whose influence then reigned supreme in Peruvian universities.27 Now, Haya had a new mentor, who nourished his fascination with neo-Platonism and with the possibility of reshaping the material world by spiritual means. This fascination grew as Haya became superficially acquainted with Einstein’s relativity and with the emerging theories of quantum mechanics. Especially the latter suggested that the old Cartesian duality between spirit and matter must yield to recognition of the consubstantiality of energy and matter. Out of the new physics emerged the possibility that the materiality, or solidness of matter, as posited by Newtonian physics, was an illusion.

Many Westerners were upset by Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle because it seemed to nullify the formerly accepted contrast between realism and idealism, between the material and the nonmaterial. But Haya de la Torre in the late 1920s accepted these consequences enthusiastically,28 sharing the excitement of Romain Rolland and spiritualists throughout the world that, as Sir James Jeans—whose works Haya often quoted29—put it, modern physics was moving in the direction of “mentalism.” The consequences of mentalism threatened to annihilate the “full-blooded matter and the forbidding materialism of the Victorian scientists.”30 The influences of mentalism were apparent when Haya declared in 1933: “To be an Aprista is to have the instinct and the capacity for the creation of a new spiritual and physical race, a new consciousness capable in turn of creating, only by its force, by its energy … another political, social, economic and cultural organization in the country.”31

Haya’s view of ultimate reality, for which he owed so much to Rolland, helps explain—to look ahead for a moment to some of APRA’s revolutionary escapades of the 1930s and 1940s—his ambivalence toward overt political violence that has puzzled many biographers. However much he might upon occasion resort to rhetorical glorification of violence (he was not, after all, immune to the lure either of anarchism or of fascism), he remained partially under the spell of nonviolence doctrines to which Rolland, the biographer of Tolstoy as well as of Gandhi, had introduced him. If not with total consistency, Haya inclined toward the faith that power over the material world could result from the control and mobilization of internal spiritual energy lying dormant. In this approach, Haya looked back to Indo-America’s shamanistic traditions and ahead to the conciencia doctrines that excited utopianists of various stripes in the 1960s and 1970s. Moreover, even if violence were to be employed, to be successful, it had to be carried out by men of supernormal energy or powers. Furthermore, there were times when these powers flowed and times when they ebbed. Thus, when it came to assuring victory for a revolution or a coup toward which his own wavering inclinations or the resolute pressures of anarchist and other direct-action elements within the APRA might have induced him, Haya virtually ignored logistical problems. Of primary concern to him, often to the exasperation of his associates, was to learn whether the times and rhythms were propitious for action. This could be ascertained by searching out astrological signs through the casting of horoscopes.32 (Herein lies another facet of Haya’s indigenismo, arising out of his admiration for the purported astrological skills of Native Americans.) Even if the signs appeared favorable, Haya might still abort scheduled revolutionary violence; for, likely as not, the claims of the pacifist route to renewal would assert themselves in his tortured mind over those of the apocalyptic route.

Returning now to the 1920s and Haya’s encounter with Romain Rolland, it is necessary to recall how the Frenchman reacted to his young disciple. Often given to emotional extremes, Rolland went overboard in his enthusiasm for a man whom he judged to possess not only the mystical powers to undergo personal rebirth but also the charisma required to lead his people toward social redemption. In a letter dated March 15, 1926, to Haya, Rolland wrote:

I see the history of humanity as a perpetual combat to elevate man from the abyss of bestiality … into which he will fall again without the supreme effort of the muscles and of the soul of the few who push him to ascend toward the sun. And you, child of the sun, bear heavily, in the ascent toward it, the disdain of your people, fallen into the depths of the night…. This is a difficult destiny. But I know that you would not exchange it for any other. For men such as ourselves, it is a joy to carry, as Christopher, on our backs, the child of humanity, and to cross the river under its weight.33

Well might Rolland’s encomium have put Haya in mind of Abraham Valdelomar’s description of how the Incas in their time had brought regeneration to a moribund Peru. Haya idolized Valdelomar and, after the popular Peruvian writer’s untimely death in 1919, carried his cane for some years as an amulet.34 Relating Manco Capac’s transfiguration on the day he founded the empire of Tahuantinsuyo, Valdelomar had written shortly before his death: “Above the mountains stood a being whose body threw out rays blinding to mortal eyes. The awed and frightened people threw themselves on the ground exclaiming: ‘The Child of the Father-Sun, the Son of Light! The Son of Father-Sun has come’.”35 Together, I believe, Rolland and Valdelomar were reinforcing Haya’s penchant for heady visions of a Peru revitalized and redeemed by a person who had attained dazzling new heights of consciousness by becoming one with the ineffable, with the divinity principle, that lay within, by reclaiming a transforming treasure from the baseness that enveloped it. Clearly, we are dealing with archetypal rebirth visions that have appealed through the centuries to a dizzying variety of mystics and prophets.

In yet another way Rolland played a crucial role in Haya’s intellectual development by introducing the exile to the works of Count Hermann Keyserling. This fascinating combination of bon vivant and mystic had published The Travel Diary of a Philosopher at just about the time Haya met Rolland. Much taken with the work, Rolland cited sections of it in The Life of Vivekananda, a biography he was writing when his friendship with Haya began.36 Convinced, like Ortega y Gasset, who published some of the Count’s material in his Revista de Occidente, that the world stood on the threshold of a new era, Keyserling reflected the spiritualist influence of such giants in the revival of esoteric enlightenment as Georges Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, and A. R. Orage.37 Keyserling’s works were instrumental in initiating Haya into the cresting stream of occult learning. In line with the teachings of Gurdjieff and his disciples, and reflecting also the esoteric, hermetic elements of Theosophy and symbolical Masonry, Keyserling stressed the mission of elites in leading the world to higher stages of consciousness through spiritual reawakening. Like Rolland (and also like Waldo Frank, who would come to exercise some influence on Haya), Keyserling delighted in employing musical metaphors to describe visions of the new world and the new humanity.38 The world suffered from tension among opposites, but this tension, Keyserling believed, could be resolved through emergence of a world rhythm—a rhythm that had ostensibly prevailed at one time in the ancient past, but that had gradually lost its integrating power.39

In addition to rhythm, harmony was all important to Keyserling and his fellow spiritualists. The tensions within any one nation-state, the Count contended, could not be completely resolved within its confines. Rather, it had to be brought into rhythm with a larger, supranational system. The result would be an all-embracing harmony in which previously antagonistic elements would enter into counterpoint relations instead of clashing with and obliterating one another.40 At the moment, though, wherever one turned his gaze “in space and time,” he observed only one-sidedness, the absence of integration, of harmony, of counterpoint, and regulating, integrating rhythm. Because the world had not approximated overall rhythmic unity and the full realization of harmony and counterpoint—at least not since some mythological time—it had remained always short of its potential for perfectibility. But this was destined to change. The materially advanced parts of the world, with their rationality and technology, contained the life-awakening spark of tension; and by penetrating into the slumbering, passive parts (like the spermatozoon into the ovum), advanced civilization would introduce a new vitality. Thereby the ovumlike parts would undergo the revitalization of their dormant spiritual, extrarational, mystical powers. Their reanimated spiritualism would then become capable of providing balance and effective counterpoint to the declining material prowess of the modern Western world. That world, Keyserling believed, in line with Oswald Spengler, was in decline. Out of its decline, though, accompanied by revitalization of those areas that had been slumbering for centuries, would come a new balance, a new harmony, a new conciliation of opposites. The melody of the awakening and ascending world would become as audible as the declining world’s refrain, and the result would be the harmony and counterpoint that heralded the advent of a new and more perfect order. This new order Keyserling compared to a great polyphonic orchestra.41

Throughout his writings on the relativity of space and time, which first began to appear in 1928 and which he regarded as the very heart of Aprista philosophy and his own most glittering intellectual accomplishment,42 Haya de la Torre harps on rhythm and harmony, on completing space by adding its time dimension, and on conciliating opposites in a new world order transcending narrow national emphasis without totally obliterating national distinctions. The one and the many would fuse in harmonious wholeness. Haya’s space-time theorizing quite obviously owes far more to Keyserling, and to esoteric, hermetic sources, whose authors in recent years had been obsessed with the topic, than to Einstein,43 whom Haya claimed as his source of inspiration—probably hoping thereby to clothe his thought in more prestigious apparel.

What Robert Lawlor wrote in 1980 applies with uncanny aptness to Keyserling, and the mystical influences he incorporated into his system of wisdom, and to the regenerationist theorizing of Haya de la Torre:

A theory of pre-established universal harmony, knowable through the mathematical sciences, moves like a wave through the history of philosophy from its mythological foundations in Egypt and India into Pythagorean Greece, then into Hebraic and Islamic worlds, and crests again in Christian Europe as an element of Gothic architecture and Renaissance art. With the emergence of field-force theories and de Broglie wave mechanics in contemporary physics, together with our rapidly growing understanding of the bioelectric basis of living systems, faith in a hidden universal harmony reaches a new peak of intensity.44

A striking symbol of the spiritualist revival of his age, Keyserling was an influential popularizer of the new Pythagoreanism; and partly through the influence of his works, Haya de la Torre found his way into the cult. Isaiah Berlin contends that many German and Russian thinkers in the nineteenth century looked to Kant, Schelling, and Hegel for proof that “it was possible to discern eternal beauty, peace and harmony” beneath the apparent disorder and cruelty of daily life.45 For his proof, I believe, Haya de la Torre looked first to Rolland and then, even more important, to Keyserling, who in turn looked to the school of Gurdjieff,46 who in turn provided a link to the hermetic wisdom going back to Gnosticism, the Cabala, and alchemy. Subsequently, Haya’s penchant for esoteric enlightenment would be nurtured by his association with symbolical Masonry, which kept alive a mystical wisdom fed by a wide diversity of sources encompassing different regions of the world and different epochs.47 Furthermore, Freemasonry’s occult elements were strengthened in the early part of this century by its close ties to Theosophism, which harked back to the ancient wisdom of the East.48

Like Romain Rolland, Hermann Keyserling came to the conclusion that Latin America might have the key role to play in the regeneration of civilization. Within the underdeveloped world it was specifically Latin America that seemed likely to emerge as the instrument of a worldwide rebirth. In that strange book South American Meditations, in many passages of which Keyserling seems intent upon insulting Latin American womanhood in general because of his pique with Victoria Ocampo for having rejected his sexual overtures,49 we read this prediction:

It is possible and even probable that the next rebirth of that spirit which made possible in ancient times the Greek miracle and which reappeared first in Provence, later in the Italian Renaissance and later, finally, in the French culture unhappily petrified today in intellectuality; it is possible, we repeat, that the next renaissance of that spirit will arise in South America, for the salvation of all men and to redeem them from brutality.50

Altering slightly Keyserling’s words, Haya de la Torre praised South American Meditations (although he registered reservations about some of the hypotheses) because of its message that “it is possible that the next rebirth of spirit will originate in Indo-America.”51

Antenor Orrego (to whose views that Latin America’s destiny lay in forging an East-West synthesis I have already alluded) was in the forefront of native Peruvian intellectuals proclaiming regeneration of their continent as the necessary prerequisite for later, world-encompassing awakenings. Latin America, he contended, stood ready for rebirth because its people had remained close to the soil, to nature. He proceeded then to develop an argument strikingly similar to Jung’s concept of individuation. Higher forms of consciousness, Orrego affirmed, resulted when consciousness was enriched by upward movements out of the unconscious, that life-giving, life-restoring womb from which Europeans had isolated themselves in their exclusive attention to what was external and apprehended through the senses.52

On Haya de la Torre’s part, faith in the imminence of regeneration, beginning in Peru, emerged as a constant theme even in his early writings and political oratory. As early as 1923 he proclaimed the need for an integral revolution that would result in the “flaming of new lights.”53 Later, in his notable Plaza de Acho (Lima) address of August 23, 1931, Haya declared that the APRA “signifies a new Peru that arises, that wants to assume its place.”54 Developing his rebirth symbolism, he posited as the supreme goal of APRA its attainment of “total Peruvianization.” Peruvianization, I believe, stands as a metaphor, suggesting the personal need to plunge into one’s innermost nature in order to be reborn, free from all the accretions of alienating influences that spawn false consciousness. The same note sounds anew in Haya’s November 12, 1933, manifesto. In this document, Haya averred that the APRA incarnated the Peru that was to be reborn, “animated by what is eternal and profound in the Peru that was. It is the interrupted work of the Incas that rises anew after four centuries of repression beneath the yoke. Therefore, with Aprismo the social justice of Tahuantinsuyo will return.”55 In this passage, Haya drew on one of the worldwide constants of regeneration mythology: the link between a golden age in the past and the new age into which a chosen people are about to emerge.

In Haya de la Torre’s view, regeneration was not to be limited to Peru. Reviving the Bolivarian dream of Latin American unity, Haya echoed Keyserling’s notion of the need to integrate national rhythms with a larger, supranational rhythm. Furthermore, in the stress he laid on the inter-Americanization of the Panama Canal, one can detect a concern with providing all of Atlantic Coast America (South as well as North) with an unencumbered route to the East. Surfacing here is the vision that inspired not only Antenor Orrego but even such North American dreamers as Walt Whitman, author of the poem “Passage to India,” who looked forward to a new humanity’s issuing from the fusion of East and West. As he played the role of prophet, Haya’s concern was often more international than national; and he was more interested in forging a new world than in tinkering with the problems of a backwater area of the present world.

As Peruvian Apristas began to undergo persecution resulting from their increasingly violent challenge to the administration of Luis M. Sánchez Cerro, who had defeated Haya de la Torre in the 1931 presidential election, Haya intensified his use of regeneration symbolism. He combined with it an emphasis on death and on the need to die in order to be reborn. In a memorable and highly mystical discourse delivered late in 1933 in Trujillo, following his release from a fifteen-month imprisonment (depicted as a netherworld confinement from which the victim had emerged reborn), Haya saluted the Apristas who had been killed in his native city following an uprising in July of 1932. His theme was that out of this martyrdom had come the birth of a new spirit. Before their persecution and death, Apristas “lacked the breath of the cosmic, of the eternal, of the high and the pure; and as they did not have it, it was necessary to seek it from the dead, it was necessary that our dead sacrifice themselves in order to give us this spirit.” What Apristas now feel, what overwhelms them, “is nothing other than the eternal thirst of spirit, of admirable transformation, of the mysteRíous incarnation of the great, of the heroic, of the sublime. Aprismo which was only lyrical impulse, youthful flesh, sacrificed itself for the great and the magnificent,” and this resulted in the resurgence of spirit, as the immortal breath of glory. “Aprismo today has its glory, a glory that will not be lost, because it lives in death.”56 The following year Haya observed that the APRA had gained strength after each spilling of blood. Thus, it had come to constitute a faith for those who had suffered heroically. Truly it was, as its hymn proclaimed, “a new religion.” Haya then quoted an unidentified worker-leader who had told him: “Only the person who has renewed his life is an Aprista.”57

One year later, in 1935, Haya employed his pet space-time relativity concepts in developing the rebirth theme. Observing that only the speed of light is constant, and that space and time are relative, Haya pointed out that for Europeans, Russia lay in the East and that World War I constituted the midnight of their century. Then, as the war approached its end, the Russian Revolution became visible in the East. Now, in the mid-1930s, the whole Western world approached another midnight. The subsequent new dawn had not yet begun to appear, although all kinds of John the Baptists from their deserts heralded its arrival. The new East, Haya then suggested (and here he seems to find inspiration in a visionary work by the seventeenth-century Lima creole Antonio Rodríguez de León Pinelo) was Indo-America. “Although we have been seen as the Old World’s West, nonetheless, owing to the relativity of space and time we are truly the Old World’s East. Thus the cradle of the new dawn can be our America.” While this was true, Haya told his readers, it was necessary always to remember that “we must seek within ourselves the actual East and discover in it the origins of our new sunrise.”58 The remainder of the analysis became still more vaporous as Haya, using a language that might have come out of medieval alchemy, developed and played variations on his theme of Indo-American regeneration. As is true of a considerable portion of his writings, Haya’s obscure, metaphorical prose in this instance is hardly the sort of exposition one might expect from a shrewd and calculating twentieth-century politician. Haya, however, regarded himself as far more than a politician, and the members of his cult saw him in the same light. This is the crucial fact of Aprismo.

Contributing to the APRA mystique were messages pouring in from Peruvians and also from foreigners, headed by Romain Rolland, hailing Haya de la Torre as a man of destiny, endowed with extraordinary, indeed supernatural, powers.59 Among the foreigners bearing witness to Haya’s larger-than-life grandeur was the Argentine Gabriel del Mazo, soul of the university reform movement that had begun in 1918 and that was characterized by its own brand of millenarian hysteria. Mazo hailed Haya de la Torre as

the inspiration of the Peruvian youth and the hope of his people. When he evokes the Inca patria, he becomes like one of the great sons of the Sun of the Andes. Once I thought that the Sun that Columbus brought on the sails of the caravels could have been the Andean Sun returning to its temple after having encompassed the world in a historic cycle.

Now, Mazo concluded, he saw Haya de la Torre as the man who brings the sun anew.60

The steady outpouring of praise could only have swelled Haya’s inherently enormous ego and nourished his faith that somehow he was a man apart. As early as 1928, he recorded his belief that a saving instinct sustained him and prevented him from falling into temptation.61 Then, in 1931, he described himself as a man of destiny, summoned by greatness.62 Moreover, it must be significant that Haya adopted the name Pachacútec (usually rendered Pachacuti in English) as his pseudonym: the name may be roughly translated as “Cataclysm.” The ninth ruler of Tahuantinsuyo, Pachacútec reformed and revitalized the empire and even moved toward adoption of a new religion—as Apristas for a time insisted they were doing.63 As the cataclysm who first destroyed in order to create his new order, Pachacútec stands out as supremely great among all Inca rulers. “No one person in all pre-Columbian history,” Burr Cartwright Brundage writes, “ever created such a large structure as he, and none so judiciously orchestrated the harmonies of both heaven and earth.”64 The man who chose to call himself Pachacútec knew that his life was special. A detractor may even have a point, given the jefe máximo’s spiritualist proclivities, in insisting that Haya actually believed himself the reincarnation of Pachacútec.65

Writing to his old friend John A. Mackay during the 1932-33 period, when he was imprisoned in Lima, Haya avowed:

If I did not know that my life is necessary for the Party, I would have preferred to die with them [the Apristas executed following the July 1932 Trujillo uprising]. Only one glory have I envied: that of our martyrs. My greatest ambition is to die as they have. If I did not know that I have to live and work, to lead and to dream, I would be now the happiest among them. But, alas, I have to live.66

Karen Horney writes, “The difference … between healthy strivings and neurotic drives for glory is one between spontaneity and compulsion….”67 By the early 1930s, Haya de la Torre knew his destiny to be to preside over Peruvian and even continental, and possibly worldwide, regeneration; and spontaneity had given way to compulsion.

Haya’s sense of possessing extraordinary, indeed supernatural, powers seemed to find confirmation in a 1937 experience that convinced him that even the dead intervened from the world beyond in his behalf. In hiding at that time in Lima as the APRA suffered another round of heavy-handed repression, Haya feared his life was in danger. But then, as he recounts it, he was visited by the shade (possibly the apparition was only a dream, he concedes) of his dear friend and closest political co-worker Manuel Arévalo—shortly after Arévalo had been brutally tortured and murdered bysecurity officials. According to Haya, Arévalo’s spirit imparted advice that, as it turned out, saved his life. From that time on, Haya (who contrived to secure Arévalo’s bones and for some time carried them about in the trunk of his car as an amulet) appeared to believe in the invulnerability of his charmed life.68

Haya’s belief in an encounter with the spirit of Arévalo, as well as other aspects of his spiritualist leanings, would not have seemed unduly bizarre in the 1930s among various social sectors, whether high or low, in Peru, or in the advanced Western countries, for that matter. This was a period whose mood was captured by Alfred North Whitehead when he wrote in the mid-1920s: “Heaven only knows that seeming nonsense may not tomorrow be common demonstrated truth.” Romain Rolland put it this way: “A new world of thought was coming to light on a wave of mysticism, explosive with enthusiasm.”69 Haya himself, writing in the early 1950s, showed that he continued to be caught up in such a mood. Approvingly, he quoted James Frazer to the effect that magic, religion, and science are only theories of thought. Just as science had supplanted its predecessors, so it in turn would be surpassed and replaced by some more total hypothesis uniting the various sources of cognition.70 Here, of course, is the very kernel of spiritualist belief in the great, harmonious reconciliation of mysticism and rationality, of introspection and empiricism, that would herald the beginning of a new human order.71

From the outset, Haya’s immediate circle of admirers and political collaborators included men and women whom modern-thinking rationalists would dismiss as far-out spiritualists, persons convinced that all was possible and gripped by faith in the imminent passage of humanity, under the tutelage of predestined elites, to a higher stage of consciousness, which in turn would produce material abundance for all. Indeed, a shared faith in a secular millennium to be attained in part by extrarational, nonmaterial means is a crucial factor in explaining cohesiveness among Aprista leaders.72 And, at the lowest level of popular support, the occult language and mystical symbolism that often surfaced in Haya’s rhetoric, as well as the lavish ritual of public assemblies, worked a certain magic on people in whom an apocalyptic faith, winding back to medieval and sixteenth-century Hispanic Catholic chiliasm and also to Indian and African lore, still held sway. Keeping in mind the enormous cultural differences (the cult of the Volk on one hand, as contrasted to that of the Indian on the other; the Jew as the scapegoat as opposed to the Yankee capitalist in league with native vendepatrias), there is nevertheless a German-Peruvian analogy to be drawn—if for no other reason than a common crisis of social unraveling facilely attributable to the alienating influences of capitalist modernization. According to James Rhodes, the one-third of the German electorate that voted for Hitler (about the same percentage of the Peruvian electorate that supported Haya and the APRA) “obviously could have done so only because [it] too had caught at least a mild case of millenarian hysteria.”73 One could just as easily draw parallels between the millenarian hysteria that brought the Bolsheviks to power in Russia and that almost swept Apristas into office some fifteen years later.

In an altogether stunning monograph, Steve Jay Stein contends that Aprismo, appearing on Peru’s political stage in 1930-31, “did not represent, as many terrified members of the elite thought at the time, the beginning of the class struggle in Peru or even an attempt at structural change.”74 Stein, I think, is basically right. But the old guard can scarcely be faulted for its terror, given the fact that a Hitlerian loomed larger than a Gandhian typology in Haya’s public persona, and given the use that Apristas and their larger-than-life leader made of death-and-regeneration mythology. The death, after all, that had to precede the new order was widely perceived as not only that of Aprista martyrs but of the old order. In many ways, Haya and the Peruvian Aprista party became the victims of their success in trading on the apocalyptic variety of regeneration mythology. When a one-time supporter grandiloquently proclaimed that Haya “brings the dawn in his arms,”75 he may have thrilled those who longed to have a charismatic hero bestow a new life upon them; but those who did not want to see the sun set on their order waxed apprehensive. One may readily understand also what a modern-thinking Peruvian capitalist would have thought of Romain Rolland’s prediction, which Haya proclaimed it his mission to fulfill, that Latin America was destined to speed the death of the capitalist world, thus preparing the way for the birth of a new world that would synthesize East and West.76

In moments when mystical hysteria runs high, there are always those who remain unaffected and look with fear and loathing upon the ones who have succumbed to the contagion. Fear and loathing, of course, inspire the resolve to guard oneself at all costs against those who are infected. If nothing else, Apristas, by trading in the symbolism of regeneration mythology, spawned paranoia among those who did not share their faith. In addition to being many other things, the APRA was a cult in which the initiated were bound together by symbols and metaphors of regeneration to which they responded often subliminally. Paranoid distrust develops among outsiders who do not respond to or understand symbols, metaphors, and obscure mystical language—or who do understand them as a clear and present danger to the established order.

Hidden by the emotional excesses and often out-and-out demagoguery of his rhetoric in the 1920s and 1930s was the fact that when Haya dealt with regeneration, he was often thinking of protracted psychic changes, rather than the instantaneous standing of the political, social, and economic orders on their heads. He was thinking of human beings individually experiencing the sort of wholeness he had felt at Cuzco and, I think, at other times in his life—times when he came to know what Rolland referred to as the “oceanic feeling,” a designation that Freud later borrowed.

In some ways the kingdom that most concerned Haya was not temporal so much as psychic; and this, too, helps explain why, as already mentioned, he often aborted endeavors to acquire political power by insurrection. Often, though, persons dealing in concepts of inward transformation are perceived by defenders of the status quo as preachers of civil sedition. The fault lies often with the prophets themselves and their inability to distinguish between personal and social rebirth owing to the fact that their visions of the first spill over—or are projected—into dreams of social regeneration.

As he approached old age, though, as I suggested at the beginning of this essay, Haya de la Torre had ceased to project the image of a man who threatened the beneficiaries of the established order. This was made abundantly clear by the conservative political stance he assumed in the 1950s and also by the description of a personal vision that he published in I960.77 Regeneration lay at the heart of this vision, though not the apocalyptic sort of regeneration preceded by catastrophe.

The future might very well still belong to Latin America, Haya maintained in 1960, because that area had always functioned at a slower tempo than Europe and the United States. In these latter, superdeveloped regions, vast domination over nature had already been achieved, a domination accomplished in the interest of individual gain and material aggrandizement. Latin America, however (by this time Haya sometimes used Latin and Indo-America interchangeably), had operated at a slower rate. Moreover, its space or geography was different from that in the developed world, often posing greater challenges to those who would master it. Consequently, the Latin American historical space-time was still comparatively undominated and undefiled by the forces of scientific technology.

Underlying Haya’s analysis, in which nature now replaced the Indian as a metaphor for the unconscious, was the suggestion that Latin America, still a virgin goddess of nature, was uniquely capable of giving birth to a new order. But she could not give birth if she chose to isolate herself from the penetration of the superdeveloped lands. Instead, Latin America, representing the passive, feminine principle associated with the Yin—though Haya did not use this Chinese terminology—had to enter into marriage with the Yang principle of advanced Western countries. Two distinct historical space-times had to be brought together, and, when this happened, a gradual, pacific process could begin in which opposites would be harmoniously reconciled. Nature, the resources of inwardness, spirituality, and intuition, would be made subject to greater domination by criteria of outward, material development, of calculation and rationality.78 This process would halt short of the extremes reached in the Western world, however, where time and space determinants had prevented nature from achieving its fair share in the mix.

Haya’s analysis in this instance employed a sexual analogy that underlay a great deal of his theorizing on United States–Latin American relations. He may well have borrowed this interpretation from Keyserling’s spermatozoon-ovum terminology,79 and from the Count’s depiction of the United States and the rest of the developed world as a stereotyped male while Latin America took the role of the stereotyped female. And Keyserling’s analogies may in turn go back to mythological archetypes that emerge in such a fairy tale as Sleeping Beauty. Be that as it may, in his use of the sexual analogy Haya showed the same tendency to identify himself—and his region—with the passive principle that he revealed as a child in bull-fighting games, when he chose always to assume the part of the bull.80 Psychiatrists might make a great deal of this, and I leave the matter to them.

Another suggestive feature inheres in the Latin American synthesis envisioned by Haya de la Torre in 1960. In this synthesis, nature would be tamed not just for individual advantage but in the interests of collective benefit. Thereby modern individualism and traditional collectivism would be harmoniously united. In this vision, Peruvian power-wielders who had absorbed some of the traits of modern capitalistic individualism were not faced with instantaneous elimination, as they had feared when appraising the APRA rhetoric of the 1930s, but merely with the long-term prospect of being balanced in mutually advantageous symbiosis by countervailing forces of community. Thus the cataclysmic elements of Haya’s earlier regenerationism had yielded to a “solidarist”81 vision of peaceful conciliation in which a new order would be attained through fusion of conflicting elements in the old order.

For much of his life, Haya de la Torre lived only sporadically by the solidarist myth that arises out of the spiritualist vision of reconciling opposites in harmony rather than by seeking tranquility through the obliteration of one element by its antithesis. In the end, though, through a process of inward transformation that brought him a firmly based self-identity, truth came to attach to one of Haya’s favorite sayings: “If Bolívar was the Liberator, I am the Unifier.”82

By the twilight of his life, Haya marched unswervingly toward his vision of a system that would, ostensibly, accommodate the wildest diversity of opposites, including the male-female stereotypes whose merging in androgynous existence was envisaged. This predisposed Haya toward the superhuman patience he displayed in presiding over the early sessions of Peru’s 1978-79 constituent assembly, before terminal cancer forced his withdrawal.83 Membership in this assembly ranged from free-enterprise capitalists to Marxists. Yet Haya, at age eighty-three, exercising the first elective office he had ever held, managed to find a basis of rapport with virtually all members.

Haya de la Torre’s intellectual baggage was dazzling in its variety. His complex and layered view of the world combined biblical, Gnostic, Cabalisi pantheist, alchemist, and Romantic concepts with rationalist-deist ideas and quantum mechanics as well as a pragmatic reformism based on British labourite and Scandinavian social democratic principles.84 Little wonder he had trouble knowing himself. At the end, though, he gained consistency in recognizing himself as the composite of all these ingredients, and, thus, as a harbinger of the mythical man who would inhabit the mythical realm of the “peaceable kingdom” where opposites merge, where the wolf dwells with the lamb and the leopard lies down with the kid. In its final formulation, the Haya mystique embodies ideals as ancient as the human species.

Luis Alberto Sánchez, who presided over the final six months of assembly sessions following his jefe’s withdrawal, described the constitution approved shortly before Haya’s death in these terms. It was not, Sánchez insisted, altogether capitalist, or socialist, or democratic-socialist, or Christian democratic, or populist, or communist. Instead, “as all great symphonies, it has something of everything: violin, trumpet, snare drum, and bass drum.”85 What more fitting homage could the constitutional fathers have provided the departed Unifier?

The emotional circumstances surrounding death homages can obscure perspective. So, in attempting a final assessment of Haya de la Torre it is necessary to place him, and his party, in broader context. Pie-in-the-sky utopianism promising some ideal order and justifying itself by alleged elite-intuited esoteric wisdom is likely to do more harm than good when encapsulated within political movements; such movements undermine fragile bulwarks of order without providing solid building blocks for new ones. They are, in short, better at inflicting death than accomplishing rebirth. Such, I believe, was the case with Haya de la Torre’s Peruvian Aprismo during its long and checkered career, at least in those early days when destruction of, rather than accommodation with, antagonistic elements seemed the idée fixe.

To Haya for a good part of his life and to Aprismo for much of its history, the words that Isaiah Berlin directs toward certain Russian thinkers seem applicable: “What presumptuous nonsense it is to claim to perceive an order merely on the strength of believing desperately that an order must exist, when all one actually perceives is meaningless chaos.”86 Certainly, a perception of purported order, and the willingness to disrupt society so as to make it conform to the perception, was the frequent aberration of those on the cutting edge of spiritualism’s resurgence in the twentieth-century Western world—a resurgence manifesting itself not only in Haya’s Aprismo but in the anarchist, Marxist, and fascist phenomena in many parts of the globe.

Haya de la Torre was fortunate in having the chance to atone for the havoc that Aprismo’s initial pursuit of an unaccommodating new order, in which only the chosen people of exalted consciousness were assured privileged status, had inflicted on Peru. In advanced old age, he was cured of the exclusivism issuing from egomania and narcissism, and because of this cure, he came actually to be a unifier. Quite fortuitously, his cure had occurred at a time when the failure of military government during the years since 1968 had disposed the officers toward returning to the barracks and restoring power to civilians under a new constitution. The circumstances of Haya’s personal growth and of Peru’s national crisis at this moment of transition interacted in such a way as to permit Aprismo’s jefe to render his country a contribution of exalted statesmanship. Providing the mystical, transcendental justification for Haya’s statesmanship was the spiritualist vision of rebirth through reconciliation of opposites. Thus, while I must agree with Berlin that it is presumptuous nonsense to perceive an order merely on the strength of believing desperately that an order must exist, such presumptuousness, however absurd, can, under unusual circumstances, produce useful consequences. It cannot happen often. Still, no-nonsense rationalists should think twice before out-of-hand dismissal of visionaries and their visions.


Ethnohistorians and chroniclers of popular religions, with Roger Bastide, Ralph Della Cava, June Nash, and Michael T. Taussig prominent in their ranks, have in recent years contributed enormously to an understanding of the mythological and the mystical, the ritualistic, the symbolic, and the pararational as determinants and reflections of rural and even urban culture among marginal sectors in Latin America. John Phelan stands preeminent among several writers who have dealt with the millennialist visions of regeneration that inspired many of the first Franciscans to reach New Spain. Luis Villoro and Jacques Lafaye figure among several writers who have drawn attention to the visionary Christian occultism that contributed to the independence movement in New Spain. Instances of regenerationist frenzy appearing specifically among Peruvian marginals have been recorded by VittoRío Lanternari, Jeffrey L. Klaiber, S.J., and Juan Ossío. Juan Larrea, a Spanish emigré who helped found Cuadernos Americanos in Mexico shortly after the fall of the Second Republic, provides a suggestive instance of a link between leftist utopianism in Spain and Spanish America. He also figures among the many writers who have pointed to the surrealist visions of wholeness that inspired some of Latin America’s best writers and poets, among them Peru’s César Vallejo. By and large, though, the occultism and secular chiliasm flourishing up to the present among the rich, the powerful, and the sophisticated who wield political power, or aspire to do so, remain largely unexplored. One partial exception is provided by Julio Meinvielle, who, in a highly unsympathetic manner, considers facets of modern Gnosticism in his book De la Cábala al progresismo (Salta, 1970). Especially in the United States, students of Latin America’s modern, powerful, and well-to-do sectors tend to ignore the supranatural. The current popularity of quantification has probably contributed to this tendency. In earlier times, the tendency may have originated in the once widespread fallacy that secularization, ostensibly the inevitable product of modernization, relegates to the rubbish heaps of history beliefs of all kinds that lie beyond empirical verification.

Scholars focusing on regions other than Latin America have lately been demonstrating that modernization does not lead to all-encompassing secularization. Instead, it leaves ample room for the operation of supranatural and supernatural beliefs and motivations. For example, most of the articles in the Winter 1982 edition of Daedalus, devoted to the topic of religion in the contemporary world, stress the endurance of religious faith and the burgeoning of sects and cults in the most “advanced” and developed parts of the world. And R. Laurence Moore, in his admirable study In Search of White Crows: Spiritualism, Parapsychology, and American Culture (New York, 1977), argues that at various times American spiritualism has been so widespread, at all social levels, that those sympathetic to it may have outnumbered the convinced skeptics. See also Robert S. Ellwood, Alternative Altars: Unconventional and Eastern Spirituality in America (Chicago, 1979); Howard Kerr, Mediums and Spirit Rappers and Roaring Radicals: Spiritualism in American Literature, 1850-1900 (Urbana, 1972); Seymour H. Mauskopf and Michael R. McVaugh, The Elusive Science: Origins of Experimental Psychical Research (Baltimore, 1980); and James Oliver Robertson, American Myth, American Reality (New York, 1980). Robertson shows the extent to which spiritualist ideals, such as the quest for the harmonious joining of the one and the many, have inhered in national politics. These issues, then, have been subjected to extensive study in the United States. For Latin America, though, at least so far as modern, urban, politically participatory elements are concerned, they continue to be slighted. While North American witchcraft has had its John Putnam Demos, a master at dealing with forces that lie beneath or above the rational, far more significant and contemporary manifestations of the supranatural in Latin America remain largely neglected by seRíous historians.


During the years of military rule, Haya generally addressed the party faithful in September, to commemorate the date of the founding of the Peruvian Aprista party, and in February on or near his birthday (the twenty-second of that month), celebrated by Apristas as el día de la fraternidad. These speeches are included in Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, Obras completas, 7 vols. (Lima, 1976-77), VII, 323-495 (hereinafter cited as OC). As the editors acknowledge, the obras at this stage are not completas, suffering especially from inadequate sampling of Haya’s voluminous correspondence. For Haya’s criticism of the decade of military rule, see esp. OC, VII, 340-341, 374-375, and the Haya interview published in the Lima magazine Oiga, Oct. 25, 1975, pp. 16-22, and Oct. 31, 1975, pp. 18-19, 30-32. See also “El Reto de Haya de la Torre,” Oiga, Feb. 20, 1976, pp. 8-10.


Oiga, Feb. 27, 1976, estimated the crowd at between 40,000 and 50,000. Apristas claimed between 100,000 and 120,000, and the government’s estimate was 15,000.


Haya address of Feb. 20, 1976, in OC, VII, 480. In his Feb. 23, 1973, discourse Haya had also developed this theme (OC, VII, 411): “The Peruvian Aprista party proceeds with a torrential entry of youth. We are a young party, a new party. Those of us who fall, will fall. And you will continue over our graves gaining new victories.” On cue, the audience took up the chant “¡El APRA nunca muere!”


Close to Haya’s home in Trujillo stood a library of the League of Workers and Artisans of Peru, containing works by Peter Kropotkin and other anarchists, among them Peru’s own Manuel González Prada. Already by age fourteen, Haya had begun to read in this collection. While I believe the tendency toward anarchist violence was balanced, and eventually submerged, by the vision of reconciling opposites in harmony, it may never have disappeared altogether from Haya’s thought. In his Feb. 23, 1973, discourse, OC, VII, 403, Haya paid homage to the anarcho-syndicalist origins of his political ideology. Again, in the 1977 “Nota prologal” for the first volume of his Obras completas, Haya stressed the influence of anarchism on his intellectual formation (see OC, esp. I, xxiii). On anarchism’s abiding influence, see also José A. Barba, Haya de la Torre y Mariátegui frente a la historia (Lima, 1978), pp. 52-53. Given its pro-APRA biases, this work is not always reliable and some of Haya’s detractors may have a point in claiming that his professed anarchist sympathies were a pretense. Rather than a pretense, Haya’s anarchism may be seen as a source of doubt, confusion, and uncertainty, its tenets pitted against a pacifist tendency nourished by his association with Romain Rolland.


See the Lima journal Caretas, June 22, 1978, p. 13. On Haya’s enormous popularity in the 1970s, see Enrique Chirinos Soto, Historia de la República: Perú, 1821-1978 (Lima, 1977), p. 463. Notwithstanding the author’s obvious Aprista partisanship, this work is extremely valuable.


See the final two pages of the unnumbered nine-page Discurso pronunciado por el Presidente de la Asamblea Constitucional, Dr. Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, el 28 de julio de 1978, al instalar las sesiones de la Asamblea (Lima, 1978).


On the original implications of this slogan, see this author’s "Peru’s Haya de la Torre and Archetypal Regeneration Mythology,” Inter-American Economic Affairs (Washington, D.C.), 34 (1980), 49-50.


Unfortunately, I did not perceive the element of grandeur in Haya de la Torre at the time of some of my earlier publications, such as “The Old and the New APRA in Peru: Myth and Reality,” Inter-American Economic Affairs, 18 (1964), 3-45, and The Modern History of Peru (London, 1967).


The Gnostic Clement of Alexandria sums up the implications of the inward-divinity, or immanence-of-God, principle when he writes: “Therefore, as it seems, it is the greatest of all disciplines to know oneself; for when a man knows himself, he knows God” (a pronouncement of some importance for this essay in view of the number of times Haya spoke in praise of the know-thyself admonition). See Carl G. Jung, Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self, trans. R. F. C. Hull, 2d ed. (Princeton, 1968), p. 22. In addition to achieving personal, psychic oneness with the transcendent, Haya and his companions longed to forge a new community that would recapture the social wholeness, real or imagined, of a time of innocence. In an extremely revealing Dec. 12, 1970, interview with Steve Jay Stein, Haya looked back nostalgically on his native Trujillo’s patriarchal order as it waged a losing struggle against the encroachments of modernization. See Stein, Populism in Peru: The Emergence of the Masses and the Politics of Social Control (Madison, 1980), p. 156. Moreover, even before leaving his native city for Lima, Haya, in his quest for community, had already taken the first faltering steps toward identifying with Peru’s Indian past as he lingered in fascination, long and often, over the preconquest ruins of Chan Chan.


Jung’s most succinct writing on individuation may be found in his Memories, Dreams, Reflections, trans. Richard and Clara Winston, recorded and ed. by Aniele Jaffé, rev. ed. (New York, 1965), pp. 209, 296, 346, 383ff.


Rolland thought highly of Jung; and Count Hermann Keyserling not only dealt with Jungian concepts, especially in The World in the Making, trans. Maurice Samuel (New York, 1927), but sought advice from the psychiatrist through correspondence when wounded in his self-esteem by Victoria Ocampo’s rejection of his amatory advances. See Doris Meyer, Victoria Ocampo: Against the Wind and the Tide (New York, 1979), pp. 81-82.


Haya felt much like Arnold Toynbee vis-à-vis Jung. Toynbee, Haya notes, acknowledged that had he known Jung’s work earlier, he could have spared himself a great deal of his exploration of the mythological and symbolical as keys to understanding history. See Haya de la Torre, Toynbee, in OC, VII, 122.


Ibid., II, 57-59. The essay appeared originally in Haya’s Construyendo el Aprismo: Artículos y cartas desde el exilio (Buenos Aires, 1933).


The quoted phrases are from Michael A. Dorris. “The Grass Still Grows, the Rivers Still Flow: Contemporary Native Americans,” Daedalus (Spring 1981), 46. On the degree to which stereotyped Indian traits have often served as a basis for dismissing the Native American on the grounds of his savagery, see Richard Drinnon, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building (Minneapolis, 1980). The ambiguity of Indian stereotypes is brilliantly discussed by Ray Allen Billington, Land of Savagery, Land of Promise: The European Image of the American Frontier in the Nineteenth Century (New York, 1981); and Richard Slotkin, Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 (Middletown, Conn., 1973). See also Raymond W, Stedman, Shadow of the Indian: Stereotypes in American Culture (Norman, 1982). These are among the numerous works on the “Indian problem” in the United States that are useful in understanding the psychological background to the formation of Haya de la Torre’s indigenismo. On stereotypes of the Indian in colonial Peru, see Steve J. Stern, Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640 (Madison, 1982), chap. 3. See also this author’s Modern History of Peru, esp. pp. 7-13.


Haya’s most notable indigenista essay was written in Berlin in 1930 and published first in ¿A dónde va Indoamérica? (Santiago de Chile, 1935), a work reproduced in OC, II, 85-341. In this essay he concurred with Keyserling’s application of Jungian theories to the Indians of America and referred approvingly to similar views propounded by Waldo Frank. “The subconscious Indian lives in all of us,” Haya averred (OC, II, 106). He added: “The new revolution of our America will be the revolution from the Indian foundation” (p. 109). This suggests Haya’s equating of psychic with social revolutions, both of which must emanate from the foundation, from the unconscious—whether pertaining to the psyche or to the unaware components of society. In another essay, written in 1927 (OC, I, 188), Haya declared: “I submit that the force of American unity lies not in the European elements that envelop us but in the Indian elements in which we are rooted.” In yet another essay (1924, OC, I, 42-45), Haya asserted that Indians still lived on the level of what Miguel de Unamuno (whom Haya knew and admired in Paris during the mid-1920s) termed infrahistoria: the level lacking the historical awareness and also the recognition by history that distinguishes higher elements of society. Using an analysis similar to Jung’s, Unamuno wrote of the need to raise infrahistoria into consciousness in order to accomplish national regeneration. For Indo-America, in Haya’s analysis, such a process entailed raising Indians to levels of social awareness so that they might be assimilated into the wholeness of a new order. Haya also believed that the Indian had determined the “rhythm” of Indo-America, and that always it is rhythm that imposes identity on the individual and a culture. In part, Indians set the Indo-American rhythm by determining the phonetic style: in Indo-America, everyone speaks or “sings according “to the Indian phonetical rhythm” (OC, IV, 283).


OC, II, 59. Haya’s reference to the shadow is suggestive. In Jungian phraseology, the shadow refers to undesirable psychic traits that people try to keep repressed within their personal unconscious. Conceivably, then, Haya’s vision of the ideal new order was one in which humans discarded, once and for all, the shadow. When first beginning in the early 1960s to read all of Haya’s available works, I used to skim lightly over the visionary, opaque, spiritualist passages—like the one just quoted. In rereading his works in recent years, I have become convinced that these passages constitute the most revealing part of his work. Certainly Haya himself judged them to be the most important element in his published oeuvre.


Ibid., II, 59.


Ibid., p. 58.


Martin B. Green, The Challenge of the Mahatmas (New York, 1978), pp. 210-11. While he deals primarily with Tolstoy and Gandhi, Green is enormously perceptive in his treatment of Rolland.


See Rolland, The Life of Ramakrishna. Vol. I: Ramakrishna, the Man-Gods, and the Universal Gospel of Vivekananda: A Study of Mysticism and Action in Living India, and Vol. 2: The Life of Vivekananda and the Universal Gospel, trans. E. Ft. Malcolm Smith, 7th ed. (Calcutta, 1960); these were originally published in 1929.


See Rolland, Mahatma Gandhi: The Man Who Became One with the Universal Being, trans. Catherine D. Groth (New Delhi, 1968), pp. 17-18. The work was first published in London and Paris in 1924.


Rolland, Ramakrishna, pp. 11-12.


OC, II, 320-323.


Antenor Orrego, El pueblo continente: Ensayos para una interpretación de la América Latina (Santiago de Chile, 1939).


Luis Alberto Sánchez, Apuntes para una biografía del APRA, 2 vols. (Lima, 1978), I, 45. Notwithstanding their obvious partisanship, molded by a lifetime of service to the APRA that resulted in prolonged peRíods of exile, the works by this prolific and controversial man of letters and politics are indispensable to students of Peru’s political and intellectual history.


On the influence of Bergson in Peru, see Jorge Basadre, La vida y la historia: Ensayos sobre personas, lugares y problemas (Lima, 1975), p. 199; and Luis Alberto Sánchez, Testimonio personal: Memorias de un peruana del siglo xx, 4 vols. (Lima, 1969-76), I, 136-138. On Bergson’s worldwide influence, see H. Stuart Hughes, Consciousness and Society: The Reorientation of European Social Thought, 1890-1930 (New York, 1958), passim.


On Haya’s admiration for and claims of friendship with Heisenberg, see Eduardo Jibaja, Coloquios de Haya de la Torre (Lima, 1977), pp. 55-56. Jibaja wrote under the pseudonym Ignacio Campos. The cited work is an abridged version of his Coloquios de Haya de la Torre, 3 vols. (Lima, 1965).


See, for example, Haya de la Torre’s essay written in 1942 and published in Y después de la guerra ¿qué? (Lima, 1946), a book included in OC, VI, 11-244. Citing Sir James Jeans’s Nuevos fundamentos de la ciencia (Madrid, 1936), Haya observes (OC, VI, 175) that matter has lost the permanency that physicists and philosophers once ascribed to it. Since the early twentieth century, a great number of writers have made the case that quantum mechanics confirms the view of esoteric wisdom: that spirit is more real than matter, which is really not material after all; that all components of the cosmos, animate and inanimate, are in essence the same; that man the microcosm is one with the universe, or macrocosm; that the whole world, God included, truly is in a blade of grass. Jeremy Bernstein, “Scientific Amusements,” New York Times Book Review, Sept. 6, 1981, p. 5, notes, and dismisses, this view. He consigns to the category of “not worth the effort” all those semipopular science books “that attempt to link quantum mechanics and elementary particle physics to oriental mysticism.” Nevertheless, the books keep appearing. And there can be no question that Haya de la Torre was among a veritable army of thinkers from the first half of the twentieth century who believed in the link. For sophisticated expression of more recent faith in the link, see Gary Zukav, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (New York, 1979), esp. pp. 176–177.


Sir James Jeans, Physics and Philosophy (New York, 1943), pp. 215-216. Haya also admired the works of Alfred North Whitehead, who observed in Science and the Modern World (New York, 1925), pp. 160-161: “The note of the present epoch is that so many complexities have developed regarding matter, space, time, and energy, that the simple security of the old orthodox assumptions has vanished. It is obvious that they will not do as Newton left them.” And Bertrand Russell, of whose friendship Haya liked to boast (see Haya de la Torre, fundador del Aprismo: Rasgos biográficos, opiniones, anécdotas. Homenaje en el Día de Fraternidad [Lima, 1959], pp. 42-43), stresses throughout his book The Analysis of Matter (London, 1927), that the old dualism between matter and spirit was disappearing. In the light of new discoveries in physics, the assertion by Count Hermann Keyserling in America Set Free (New York, 1929), p. 595, that “ultimately, man is nothing but spirit” was beginning to make sense to many persons and certainly contributed to the cresting of a new wave of neo-Platonism. Kirk Varnadoe, “In Detail: Rodin and Balzac,” Portfolio (New York) (May/June 1982), p. 96, captures very well the mood of the turn of the century: “Amid the general crisis of values …, physical science itself, the very cornerstone of the edifice of nineteenth-century confidence, was shaken by a massive subversion of its premises; the spread of electricity and the discoveries of radium and X-rays seemed to affirm that the physical appearances of the world were only deceptive veils obscuring a fundamental realm of energies more occult than rational.”


Haya de la Torre’s Dec. 1933, Trujillo address, in OC, V, 337.


On Haya’s passion for horoscopes, see Luis Eduardo Enríquez, Haya de la Torre: La estafa política más grande de América (Lima, 1951), p. 45. Before his 1948 break with Aprismo, Enríquez was on close terms with Haya and knew whereof he spoke in depicting the jefe’s preoccupation with astrology. See also the work of another Aprista defector, Victor Villanueva, El APRA en busca del poder, 1930-1940 (Lima, 1975), p. 58. Representative of the anarcho-syndicalist element in the APRA that believed in direct action, Villanueva had no time for a “shamanistic” approach to the making of revolution through mystical powers. A further evidence of Haya’s spiritualism is the fact that he and other Apristas were deeply involved with the principal esoteric and occult centers of Lima. See Eduardo Sierralta Lorca, El APRA y la sombra (Mexico City, 1957), passim. This fascinating autobiographical novel by a person who for a time knew Haya intimately is dismissed by most Apristas as worthless. I believe, though, that it is often reliable in depicting Aprismo’s occult connections. See, too, the Thomas M. Davies, Jr., and Victor Villanueva introduction to their edited work, 300 documentos para la historia del APRA (Lima, 1978), esp. pp. 19-21. Initially it was Professor Davies who interested me in Haya’s spiritualism, just as he has been instrumental in shaping so many other aspects of my understanding of Peruvian history.


Quoted in Luis Alberto Sánchez, Haya de la Torre o el político: Crónica de una vida sin tregua, 2d ed. (Santiago de Chile, 1936), p. 133. Originally published as a letterprolog to Haya’s first book, Por la emancipación de America Latina: Artículos, mensajes, discursos (1923-1927) (Buenos Aires, 1927), Rolland’s letter recalls the ending of his celebrated Jean-Christophe, a novel that abounds in imagery of the dawn of a new era. As translated by Gilbert Canan for the Modern Library edition (New York, 1937[?]), the ending reads: “Saint Christopher has crossed the river. All night long he has marched against the stream. … On his shoulders is the Child, frail and heavy… . Those who saw him set out vowed that he would never win through, and for a long time their mockery and their laughter followed him. Then the night fell and they grew weary. Now Christopher is too far away for the cries of those standing on the water’s brink to reach him. Through the roar of the torrent he hears only the tranquil voice of the Child, clasping a lock of hair on the giant’s forehead in his little hand, and crying: 'March on.' And with bowed back, eyes fixed straight in front of him on the dark bank whose towering slopes are beginning to gleam white, he marches on. Suddenly the Angelus sounds, and the flock of bells suddenly springs into wakefulness. It is the new dawn! Behind the sheer black cliff rises the golden glory of the invisible sun. Almost falling Christopher at last reaches the bank, and he says to the Child: ‘Here we are! How heavy thou wert! Child, who art thou?’ And the Child answers: ‘I am the day soon to be born’.”


Sánchez, Apuntes, II, 100. A picture of Haya taken in Germany in 1926 shows him with the cane (it appears to be bamboo) in hand. See the unpaginated pamphlet by Felipe Cossío del Pomar, Datos biográficos de Haya de la Torre (Lima, 1946). Haya lost the cane two years later in a border-crossing incident when entering El Salvador.


See Abraham Valdelomar, Our Children of the Sun: A Suite of Inca Legends from Peru, trans. Merritt Moore Thompson (Carbondale, Ill., 1968), p. 22.


See Rolland, Vivekananda, pp. 41, 163.


The best study of these high priests of the early twentieth-century spiritualist revival, about whom there is a copious literature, is James Webb, The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, and Their Followers (New York, 1980). See also James Webb’s The Occult Underground (La Salle, Ill., 1974).


Waldo Frank, for example, writes of “America Hispana”: “Although it is full of the themes of a magnificent music, it has as yet no rhythm, which means that it is not organically living.” See his America Hispana: A Portrait and a Prospect (New York, 1931), p. 339. For a brief introduction to the attitudes of esoteric wisdom on music, wholeness, and cosmic harmony, see The American Theosophist (Wheaton, Ill.), 70 (May 1982), a special issue dedicated to “The Spiritual in the Arts,” and Parabola (New York), 5 (1980), an issue devoted to “Music, Sound, Science.” Also instructive is David Sices, Music and the Musician in “Jean-Christophe”: The Harmony of Contrasts (New Haven, 1968), as well as works by Peter M. Hamel, Hans Kayser, Ernest McClain, and Guy Murchie. Restrained in its conclusions and a classic in this genre is Wilfred H. Meilers, Bach and the Dance of God (New York, 1980).


Count Hermann Keyserling, The Recovery of Truth, trans. Paul Fohr in collaboration with the author (New York, 1929), p. 6.


Ibid., p. 12.


Ibid., p. 67.


The 1928 essay employing space-time concepts was published in Haya de la Torre, El antiimperialismo y el APRA (Santiago de Chile, 1936). Haya’s major work on this subject is Espacio-Tiempo-Histórico: Cinco ensayos y tres diálagos (Lima, 1948), reproduced in OC, IV, 375-518. For an English translation of some of Haya’s writings on the subject, see Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, Aprismo: The Ideas and Doctrines of Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, trans, and ed. Robert J. Alexander (Kent, Ohio, 1973), pp. 34-85.


Following the example of their jefe máximo, Apristas wildly exaggerate the closeness of the bonds between Haya de la Torre and Einstein; see, for example, MaRío Peláez Bazán, Haya de la Torre y la unidad de América Latina (Lima, 1977), pp. 46-47. According to Aprista conventional wisdom, Haya’s space-time theorizing constitutes one of the great breakthroughs in the history of human thought; see Jesús Véliz Lizarraga, Principios fundamentales del Aprismo: Filosofía, doctrina y programa (Lima, 1956), pp. 17-45, 55-64, and Gabriel del Mazo, Vida de un político argentino: Convocatoria de recuerdos (Buenos Aires, 1976), p. 224. Haya’s theory, which he consistently employed in justifying APRA’s rejection of Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy, may initially have been inspired by his reading of Spengler, who engaged in a great deal of space-time conceptualization; see Bruce Mazlish, The Riddle of History: The Great Speculators from Vico to Freud (New York, 1966), esp. pp. 315-329, and Franz Borkenau, End and Beginnings: On the Generation of Culture and the Origins of the West, ed. by Richard Lowenthal (New York, 1981). It may even have sprung from Haya’s study of Pythagoras (Felipe Cossío del Pomar, Víctor Raúl: Biografía, 2 vols. [Lima, 1969-70], I, 313), that favorite source of symbolism among “revolutionary Masons” (see James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith [New York, 1980], p. 100). Also, I suspect a part of Haya’s space-time theorizing found initial inspiration in Indian concepts of the coexistence, overlapping, and interpenetration of different periods or layers of time. Furthermore, Haya knew and admired H. G. Wells’s novel of 1895, The Time Machine. Moreover, no one who read the spiritualist, occult literature of the period could have failed to come away with space-time concepts or with the notion of time as the fourth dimension of space. See, for example, works by the American theosophist Claude Bragdon and the Englishman C. H. Hinton, as well as Edmund Wilson’s Axel’s Castle: A Study in the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930 (New York, 1931), pp. 156-157, dealing with Marcel Proust’s speculations on space-time as influenced by Bergson. Given the imagery that found its way into his rhetoric and writing, there can be no doubt that Haya was familiar with much of this literature. Haya himself admitted in 1946 that his historical space-time concept seemed “somewhat Cabalistic” (OC, I, 304). Specifically, though, those who read some of Haya’s formulations of historical space-time theory and note how he uses this theory as the foundation for his visions of international harmony and synchronous rhythm (see OC, I, 239-241, 322-323; IV, 214, 329, 376-381, 392-393, 418-419, 513; V, 368-372), and then compare this treatment to Keyserling’s The Recovery of Truth, pp. 6-30, 60-67, may agree with me that Haya’s main influence—extending close to the point of plagiarization—is the colorful Count. The Recovery of Truth appeared in Germany in 1928 and Haya probably read it during the 1929-31 period of his exile, spent largely in that country. Finally, to understand the intellectual background against which Haya operated, one should consult Linda Dalrymple Henderson, “The Artist, ‘The Fourth Dimension,’ and Non-Euclidean Geometry, 1900-1930: A Romance of Many Dimensions,” (Ph.D. Diss., Yale University, 1975), and Robert C. Williams, Artists in Revolution: Portraits of the Russian Avant Garde, 1905-1925 (Bloomington, Ind., 1978), passim.


Robert Lawlor, “The Resounding Cosmos and the Myth of Desire,” Parabola, 5 (1980), 78.


Isaiah Berlin, Russian Thinkers (New York, 1978), p. 142.


For the extent to which Keyserling borrowed his system of wisdom from Gurdjieff, see Rodney Collin-Smith (a spiritualist who maintained contact with esoteric circles in Mexico and Peru and who met his death in Cuzco), The Theory of Celestial Influence: Man, the Universe, and Cosmic Mystery (New York, 1975), pp. 138-155. The work was first published in 1954.


Sharing in mysticism’s immanence-of-the-divine approach with its stress on “know thyself,” symbolic Masonry—becoming more important than Masonry’s secular, practical approach in many Latin American lodges in the first half of the twentieth century—descended from neo-Platonic influences and claimed to embody an ancient wisdom deriving from Heraclitus (a thinker Haya often quoted), Pythagoras, and alchemy, among other sources. See, for example, Boletín de Masonería Boliviana (La Paz), no. 26 (1947), 71-72, 74, 80-81. Other numbers of the Boletín are equally valuable for providing insights into symbolic Masonry, which was also prevalent in eighteenth-century France (see Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men, p. 100) and in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Russia (see Andrzej Walicki, A History of Russian Thought from the Enlightenment to Marxism, trans. Hilda Andrews-Rusiecke [Stanford, 1979], esp. pp. 74-80) as a contributing factor to utopianist unrest. Just as Marxism, Masonry has its “hard” and its “soft” perspectives, the first stressing practical, material considerations; the second emphasizing intellectual and even mystical and spiritual determinants. When proclaiming the need to remake their world, Latin American pensadores have often found inspiration and justification in “soft” Masonry, even as revolutionaries since World War I have frequently turned to “soft” Marxism, stressing the “superstructure” rather than the economic “base,” to provide the justifying and energizing myth for their actions. In any event, Haya de la Torre joined the Lodge “Chilam Balam” in Mérida, Yucatán, in 1924 (Enríquez, Haya de la Torre, p. 67), and much of Aprista symbolism and ritual derived, I believe, from Masonic inspiration. On influences of Masonry on other Aprista leaders, see Luis Heysen, Yo soy un Túpac (Lima, 1962), a work also revealing that Haya’s brother Edmundo had preceded Heysen as Venerable Master in Lima’s Túpac Amaru Lodge; Luis Alberto Sánchez, Testimonio, I, 226, and III, 973; and Percy Murillo Garacochea, Historia del APRA, 1919-1945 (Lima, 1976), p. 121.


On Theosophism, see Bruce F. Campbell, Ancient Wisdom Revived: A History of the Theosophical Movement (Berkeley, 1980); and Marion Meade, Madame Blavatsky: The Woman behind the Myth (New York, 1980).


See Victoria Ocampo, El viajero y una de sus sombras (Keyserling en mis memorias) (Buenos Aires, 1951), passim.


Keyserling, Meditaciones suramericanas, trans. Luis López-Ballesteros y de la Torres (Santiago de Chile, 1931), p. 59. An English edition, South American Meditations, trans. Theresa Duerr, was published in New York in 1932.


OC, IV, 281, reproducing a 1938 article originally published in La defensa continental (Buenos Aires, 1942).


Orrego, Pueblo continente, pp. 22-23, 154-155.


Apr. 29, 1923, letter from Haya to Luis Velazco Aragón in Cuzco, in Haya de la Torre, Dos cartas (Lima, 1923), p. 23.


OC, V, 78.


Ibid., pp. 148-149.


Ibid., p. 331. Later in the address (p. 338), Haya returned to this theme, avowing that Apristas, by dying, had made possible Peru’s regeneration.


“El llamado del APRA a la América Latina,” in OC, I, 273.


“Deslumbramiento y alumbramiento,” in OC, I, 239-241. My suspicions as to where Haya found inspiration for this passage stem from Jacques Lafaye’s treatment of Antonio Rodríguez de León Pinelo and his work El Paraíso en el nuevo mundo, published finally in two volumes in Lima in 1943. In Quetzalcóatl and Guadalupe: The Formation of Mexican National Consciousness, 1531-1815, trans. Benjamin Keen (Chicago, 1976), pp. 205-206, Lafaye writes: “… Antonio de León Pinelo, offers an example of the preoccupation with proving that the West was the new ‘East.’ Seeking to reconcile his faith in an ‘American Paradise’ with revealed truth, he recalled that Moses had written his description of the earthly paradise while he was in exile in the desert to which he had led the people of God. Although Moses had placed his paradise in the East, León Pinelo did not regard this statement as incompatible with his own claim that Paradise was in America; it sufficed to make a simple calculation of longitude: ‘One can state with all geographic precision that Mexico was in the eastern hemisphere in relation to Moses when he was writing on the Sinai.’ If the grass was always green on the ‘road of Saint Thomas,’ the American prolongation of the ‘road of Saint James,’ it was because the star which had arisen in the East of the Judaic eschatology had accomplished in sixteen centuries its revolution to the West, [becoming] the new ‘North Star’ of Christian Hope.” Inner quotes are from Antonio Rodríguez de León Pinelo, El Paraíso, I, 330. On this matter, Lafaye also cites Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, S.J., Conquista espiritual hecha por los religiosos de la Compañía de Jesús en las provincias del Paraguay, Panamá, Uruguay y Tape (Bilbao, 1892), chap. 22.


See, for example, Orrego’s salute to Haya de la Torre on the latter’s return to Trujillo (July 27, 1931) following his European exile, quoted by Alcides Spelucín Vega (a poet and one of the Trujillo Bohemians) in his introduction to El. proceso Haya de la Torre, originally published in Guayaquil in 1933, in OC, V, 233-234. Spelucin renders his own homage; idem, p. 226. See also Antenor Orrego, “Haya de la Torre: El hombre acción,” in Radiografía de Haya de la Torre (Lima, 1946), p. 29, as well as: Serafín Delmar (a poet and important figure in the early APRA), “Haya de la Torre,” in Alberto Hidalgo et al., Cantos de la revolución (Lima, 1934), p. 39, concluding that “all of us are small before him … purifying us as the rain and the sun purify the soil”; Alberto Hidalgo (a Peruvian writer who figured prominently among the intellectuals initially attracted to the APRA, who subsequently broke with the movement and spewed forth diatribes against Haya that were as obscene as his early praise was hagiographic), Diario de mi sentimiento, 1922-1936 (Buenos Aires, 1937), pp. 46-47; and “Haya de la Torre en su víspera,” in Radiografía, p. 9; Pablo Silva Villacorta, ¿A dónde van las ideas de Haya de la Torre? Una nueva visión sobre las ideas que conforman a la doctrina del APRA (Lima, 1966), showing that the style of adulation in the 1960s was much as it had been in the 1930s, as he observes that Haya’s thoughts, given their sublime qualities, could only have issued from “a predestined soul”; and “Vals Ideal,” in Cancionero Aprista (Lima, 1941), without pagination, referring to Haya as “the apostle of the new humanity.”


Gabriel del Mazo, Reforma universitaria y cultura nacional, 4th ed. (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 31. For praise in a similar vein, see Mazo, Vida de un político argentino: Convocatoria de recuerdos (Buenos Aires, 1976), p. 219.


OC, II, 88-89, originally published in ¿A dónde va Indoamérica?


Mar. 11, 1931, reply of Haya to a letter from Hidalgo hailing him as a man of destiny, in OC, I, 224-226. In this letter, remarkable for its portentous tone, Haya clearly reveals his conviction that he is embarked upon the performing of earthshaking deeds.


Stein, Populism in Peru, p. 175, writes: “Apparently the use of religious rhetoric had a significant impact on Aprista followers, who began to refer to themselves as the dedicated ‘disciples’ of a predestined, Christ-like Haya de la Torre.” In his long poem “Frente Aprista,” Serafín Delmar refers to Aprismo—as does the movement’s hymn—as a new religion. At one point in the poem, he writes: “Christ, the invincible revolutionary, will not return to the heavens, if he has not first made men happy on earth. This is what the New Religion says” (in Hidalgo et al., Cantos de la revolución, p. 47). Aprista leader Juan Seoane relates how a jailed party member told him, “I have aprismo as my religion”; Seoane, Hombres y rejas (Santiago de Chile, 1937), p. 283. In casting Aprismo in the guise of a new civil religion promising redemption on earth, Haya may have been influenced by the new anthropology to which he was exposed as a university student in England in the mid-1920s, specifically through his professors Bronislaw Malinowski and B. R. Marett (see OC, VII, 91-92n.29). Both men stressed the functional need for religion, myth, and magic, especially in times of crisis, in making society manageable. See Bronislaw Malinowski, Magic, Science and Religion and Other Essays (New York, 1948) and also his Myth in Primitive Psychology (New York, 1926); and R. R. Marett, Head, Heart, and Hands in Human Evolution (New York, 1935). Marett asserts (pp. 13-14) that “far more real than the passive [material] conditions that must be overcome and transformed” before dreams can come true are the values in which men come to believe. History must be regarded as “the progressive triumph of spirit over matter.” Religious forces, Marett concluded, provide men with the energy, the spark, to change the world by bringing it closer to their ideal. Having learned what the new anthropology had to say about the religious mystique, and having absorbed essentially the same message through spiritualist sources and even his dabbling in the new physics, Haya apparently determined to form his own brand of a new religion. His goal was to canalize, rather than to repress, as empiricists and positivists urged, the extrarational forces of human nature.


Burr Cartwright Brundage, Empire of the Inca (Norman, 1963), p. 209.


Sierralta, El APRA y la sombra, p. 162. Haya had first begun to read the Royal Commentaries of Garcilaso de la Vega while in Cuzco, at the time of his mystical experience. In a 1917 letter to his father, he noted that he had just finished reading this work for the second time and was especially impressed by the sections dealing with Pachacútec. See Haya de la Torre, fundador del Aprismo, p. 47.


Quoted by Felipe Cossío del Pomar, Haya de la Torre, el Indoamericano (Mexico City, 1939), pp. 254-255.


Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle toward Self-Realization (New York, 1950), p. 38.


See Murillo Garaycochea, Historia del APRA, pp. 368ff. As Haya’s friend and political disciple, Murillo would not have published this account without the jefe’s imprimatur. On Haya’s carrying the bones of Arevalo in the trunk of his automobile, see Davies and Villanueva, eds., 300 documentos, pp. 19-20. See also Gustavo Valcárcel, Apología de un hombre, Haya de la Torre [y] Manuel Arévalo (Lima, 1945), without pagination. To place the Arévalo matter in context, one must recall that throughout much of provincial Peru, the conditions described by William A. Christian, Jr., in Local Religions in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Princeton, 1981) still obtained. In rural Castile, Christian notes, and in much of western Europe, “All through the early modern period and up to the present … there have been people revered while alive and venerated after death, whose bodies are seen as working miracles. The reports mention a number of these local, uncanonized saints ….’’ (p. 130). Belief in the protective powers of special departed personages could also have come to Haya through the residue of preconquest beliefs that lingered on in Trujillo, in part through a vital shamanistic tradition. Alma M. Karlin, The Death-Thorn: Magic, Superstitions, and Beliefs of Urban Indians and Negroes in Panama and Peru, trans. Bernard Miall (Detroit, 1971), p. 67, notes that Trujillo was celebrated for producing some of the best “magicians” in Peru. The work is a reprint of the original English edition published under the title The Death-Thorn and Other Strange Experiences in Peru and Panama (London, 1934).


Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (New York, 1925), p. 61; Romain Rolland, Peguy, 2 vols. (Paris, 1945), I, 17.


OC, VII, 126.


In explaining the appeal of Theosophism among people for whom religion was still important but who had become estranged from established churches, Campbell, Ancient Wisdom, p. 35, writes: “The ideas of a wisdom-religion, a universal and ageless occult knowledge derived from a civilization in which there was a unity between science and religion, suggests a possible common ground between science and religion, and a way to integrate the insights of the various faiths into a grand synthesis.”


Mysticism and occult beliefs abound in the thought of Antenor Orrego, next to Haya himself the leading philosopher of APRA and known as the movement’s Amauta (among the Incas, Amautas were the wise men who guarded the purity of sacred beliefs). This is apparent throughout his best-known book, Pueblo continente, and perhaps even more so in his prolog to Alcides Spelucin Vega, Antología poética, comp. Pedro Morán Obiol (Bahía Blanca, Argentina, 1971), pp. 17-36. The prolog provides revealing insights into the mystical ties that united Haya’s coterie during youthful days in Trujillo. Orrego once assured Victor Villanueva (see the latter’s La tragedia de un pueblo y de un partido: Páginas para la historia del APRA [Santiago de Chile, 1954], p. 50) that Haya “was hypersensitive: that is to say, a marvelous receiver of the fluids of other worlds.” He went on to assert that Haya’s trances were frequent and that in them he received political solutions dictated by higher spirits, which, at such times, became incarnate in the jefe. Alcides Spelucín leaned toward mystical imagery, as in his “Las paralelas sedientes” (1938). In this poem he envisions violent extremes joined in harmony in a single person, encompassing the most material and the most divine; and he alludes to persons who once lived in “supreme consubstantiation of life and death.” In modern times, such persons suffered the fate of separation or alienation. Apparently, though, Spelucín looked forward to the day when humanity might again become whole. Manuel Alejandro Seoane, for years the number-two man in the APRA (after the death of Arévalo), once, when addressing a large crowd, saluted Haya de la Torre in the name of the mystical wonders of the Aprista Heart—borrowing apparently from Sacred-Heart-of-Jesus lore (see the pro-APRA study by Peláez Bazán, Haya de la Torre y la unidad de América Latina [Lima, 1977], pp. 437-439). Seoane alluded also to Manuel Arévalo, “who has returned from death with his clear green eyes to say in the name of all those who undertake this voyage without return: ‘We too are present with you, companion chief’”. Manuel Seoane’s Las seis dimensiones de la revolución mundial (Santiago de Chile, 1960) is shot through with numerological references to threes, fours, sixes, and twelves that have to be highly suggestive to anyone initiated into some of the lore of occult and eschatological thought. See, for example, the section on the twelve wheels of progress (pp. 190-193). Party leaders Luis Heysen and Luis Alberto Sánchez may have been bound to Haya in part through common ties of symbolic Masonry. Moreover, Sánchez’s interest in regeneration comes out in his ‘Garcilaso y Vasconcelos,” Mundial (Lima), no. 364, June 3, 1927. Sánchez admires Garcilaso de la Vega, “el Inca,” for his ability to synthesize opposites, and for the fact that he symbolizes a bridge toward a new American humanity. Predictably, Sánchez also responded warmly to the prophetic, utopian regeneration ideas of Waldo Frank. See his comments on the occasion of Frank’s receipt of an honorary doctorate from the University of San Marcos in 1929, in Instituto de las Españas en los Estados Unidos, Waldo Frank in America Hispana (New York, 1930), pp. 115ff. Carlos Manuel Cox, responsible for much of the APRA’s economic program, was passionately interested in German idealism and convinced of the emergence in the Western hemisphere of a new era of humanity. He also admired the Incas for their recognition of the influence of the movement of heavenly bodies on human affairs and for their mastery of astrology. See Carlos Manuel Cox, Dinámica económica del Aprismo (Lima, 1948), pp. 11, 214-216, and also his Utopía y realidad en el Inca Garcilaso: Pensamiento económico, interpretación histórica (Lima, 1965). Struggling in behalf of Aprista principles, and exiles, in Buenos Aires, Gabriel del Mazo believed in “the primacy of spirits as sculptors of life” as compared to material forces, and saw the nation as “a psychological entity that transforms the physical medium … by the fecund, magical, and selective action of the spirit.” He also saw Haya’s life as “a vast, passionate, and harmonious symphony” in which diverse themes and variations were integrated by the quest of “spiritual autonomy,” meaning liberation from the restraints of a materialistic civilization. See Mazo, Vida de un político, pp. 240, 219.

This is but a brief and woefully incomplete sampling of material I have gathered on the spiritualist regeneration thought that helped provide cohesiveness among Aprista elites. To lend perspective and to remind us that we are not dealing with foibles confined to Latin American deviates, it is helpful to quote from Ronald Newton’s comments on an earlier version of this article: “As for the political spiritualists, the recently opened diaries of Canada’s wartime Prime Minister, W. L. Mackenzie King, have caused a lot of embarrassed amusement, for they suggest that King—the compeer of Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt—regularly consulted the shades, including that of his little dog, for advice on the management of the Dominion’s affairs in some of its direst moments.”


James M. Rhodes, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution (Stanford, 1980), p. 193. Applicable also to Aprismo, as well as to fascism, Bolshevism, and some strains of anarchism, is what Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down (New York, 1972), p. 274, writes about a seventeenth-century English sect: “The Ranters’ emphasis on life is perhaps mainly a negative reaction to nascent capitalism, a cry for human brotherhood, freedom and unity against the divisive forces of a harsh ethic, enforced by the harsh discipline of the market, as hitherto masterless men are drawn into the meshes of the harsh competitive society.”


Stein, Populism in Peru, p. 157.


These words are attributed to the poet Alberto Guillén, who later turned against Haya. See OC, I, p. 21.


See the June 1930, Haya de la Torre essay written in Berlin, and titled “El destino de nuestra América, según Romain Rolland,” in ibid., II, 323.


Haya de la Torre, “Reflexiones en un breve viaje,” in ibid., I, 264-267. Written in Rome in 1960, the essay was first published in Haya de la Torre, Pensamiento político de Haya de la Torre (Lima, 1961).


Haya’s analysis is much in line with one developed by his North American friend Waldo Frank, another of those self-imagined prophet figures destined to bring the New World into a higher stage of being through reconciliation of opposites. Frank in the early 1940s dwelt on the concept of a “Deep War,” by which he meant the struggle that exists between the rationalistic, mechanistic, materialistic way of life said to characterize much of Western culture, and the intuitive, spiritual life-style that provided hope for man’s future destiny. See Frank, “La guerra simple y la guerra profunda: Prefacio a la edición castellana,” in Frank, Rumbas para América (Nuestra misión en el nuevo mundo), trans. María Zambrano, Luis Orsetti, and José Basiglio Agosti (Buenos Aires, 1942), pp. 15-21. This is the Spanish edition of Frank’s Chart for Rough Waters: Our Role in a New World (New York, 1940). On Frank, see Michael Ogorzaly, “Waldo Frank: Prophet of Hispanic Regeneration,” (Ph.D. Diss., University of Notre Dame, 1982). Similarly inspired by his vision of a new humanity destined to emerge through American hemisphere synthesis was Carleton Beals, another North American admirer of Haya de la Torre. See his Fire on the Andes (Philadelphia, 1934). In this book graced by the marvelous drawings of Peru’s indigenista artist José Sabogal that stress water along with fire the preferred symbol for purification and rebirth—Beals writes (p. 431): “… the coming epic of [South] American history will be an organic evolution out of native culture and tradition, the fusing of elements long warring in open contradiction.” What he foresees is the fusing, among other elements, of the Indian’s traditional collectivism with the thrusting individualism of modernity. Small wonder that Beals later came to admire Perón’s justicialismo, which aimed at accomplishing the same objectives. For perspectives on these themes, see Bede Griffiths, The Marriage of East and West (Springfield, Ill., 1982) and F. S. C. Northrop’s treatment of Mexico in The Meeting of East and West: An Inquiry Concerning World Understanding (New York, 1966).


Orrego, Pueblo continente, p. 35, depicts the Indian as the egg, Europe as the sperm. The two had united to produce a new civilization at the time of conquest; but now that civilization had lost its vitality, and the Indian egg awaited refertilization that would replicate the great cosmic drama in which, at the beginning of the Empire of Tahuantinsuyo, Inti or Father Sun, in the role of logos spermatikus, had fertilized Pacha Mama, the sacred earth (pp. 162-163). Indians awaited their new Inti, Orrego believed. Based on some of his other writings (see n. 59 supra), it is clear that he cast Haya de la Torre as the new Inti. Orrego’s imagery seems borrowed from Keyserling’s Meditaciones suramericanas, without acknowledgment. Rather than plagiarism, what may be involved is the predilection of mystical writers to use sexual union as a metaphor for the spiritual ecstasy resulting from the joining of opposites.


Felipe Cossío del Pomar, Víctor Raúl: Biografía de Haya de la Torre, primera parte (Mexico City, 1961), p. 34.


Solidarism, which, like corporatism, envisions a merging of the distinguishing features of capitalism with those of socialism, was associated with Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois (d. 1925) in France; and it is likely that Haya became acquainted with its tenets during his sojourns in Paris in the mid-1920s. In the pacifist tradition out of which Rolland emerged, Bourgeois developed his faith in the coming of universal peace in Pour la société des nations (Paris, 1910), a work pervaded by the conviction that ideas are as powerful as material forces, and that the purportedly realistic approach to international affairs, ignoring as it does the power of faith and ideas, is grossly incomplete (p. 23).


Quoted in Enríquez, Haya de Torre, p. 144.


On Haya’s patience and conciliatory genius at this time, see Luis Alberto Sánchez, “Notas sobre Haya de la Torre,” Caretas (Lima), Aug. 13, 1979, pp. 24B-24C. See also the political report in idem, Sept. 18, 1978, p. 21.


Haya’s contacts with the British Labour party had resulted in publication in its journal of an article in which he provided the first exposition of APRA’s basic program: “What is the APRA?” The Labour Monthly: A Magazine for International Labour (London), 8 (1926), 75-76. Haya fell especially under the influence, and remained so for all of his life, of George Douglas Howard Cole, from whom he took a course in economics and acquired much of his early knowledge of Marxism. In his book What Marx Really Meant (London, 1934), Cole developed a thesis that obviously appealed to Haya. Marx, according to Cole, never fully escaped the influence of Hegelian idealism. As a result, he was neither purely a philosophical idealist nor purely a materialist. Instead, he pursued a dualist approach in which the two opposites merged. On Haya’s later praise of Scandinavian countries, arising from the same attitudes that had predisposed him favorably toward the British Labour party and corporatist-solidarist principles, see his Mensaje de la Europa nórdica, in OC, III, 237-450.


Luis Alberto Sánchez, “¿Constitución de qué clase?” Caretas, July 2, 1979, p. 32.


Berlin, Russian Thinkers, p. 56.

Author notes


This article has benefited from the remarks (some of which are incorporated into the present text) of Ronald C. Newton and Leon G. Campbell. A 1981 National Endowment for the Humanities grant helped make possible research on which part of this paper is based.