Speech to a Forum of Activists in New York City, January 24, 2014
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Communist Party of the Philippines
Dear Compatriots and Friends,
Thank you for inviting me. I extend to you warmest greetings of solidarity and best wishes for the new year in the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle of the people.
I am deeply pleased that you are celebrating the Filipino people’s revolutionary struggle for national liberation and democracy in the last 45 years. The Communist Party of the Philippines guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism has led this struggle since 1968.
I am tasked to describe the current US and international situation, its impact on the Philippine revolution and the role of this revolution in the world proletarian revolution. The task is quite difficult to carry out in 15 minutes. May this presentation serve to ignite further discussion among you.
I. Major Points in the US and International Situation
Since the financial meltdown of 2008, the crisis of the US and world capitalist system has protracted and worsened. There is no end in sight because the imperialist powers and the monopoly bourgeoisie cling to the neoliberal economic policy. This gives free rein to the extraction of profit by capital from labor in the process of production as well as to the further accumulation of capital through the process of finance capitalism.
Under the neoliberal policy, the state is used to press down wages by all means. Thus, the crisis of overproduction recurs more often and more seriously than before. But the policy presumption is that economic stagnation can be countered by expanding the money supply and credit. The monopoly bourgeoisie has given itself the license to accumulate capital rapidly through tax cuts and supply contracts with the state, liberalization of investment, trade and finance, privatization of state assets, deregulation of any rule that protects labor, society and the environment and the denationalization of the underdeveloped and dependent economies.
The accelerated accumulation of productive and finance capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie and its finance oligarchy has resulted in a crisis of overaccumulation of capital and has aggravated and deepened the crisis of overproduction by abetting unemployment, poverty and wide disparity of income between 1 per cent and the rest of the population. Public funds have been used to bail out the giant banks and certain corporations in the military-industrial complex and to stimulate the financial markets but the entire real economy remains stagnant.
Within the imperialist countries, the monopoly bourgeoisie is waging a vicious class struggle against the proletariat and is doing everything violent and deceptive to prevent and distract the proletariat from the class struggle that it ought to wage justly against the monopoly bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, the worsening crisis conditions incite the proletariat (together with the youth, women, various communities and other people) to wage democratic and anti-imperialist struggles for its immediate benefit, to reject the capitalist system of exploitation and oppression and to fight for socialism.
The people wish to be freed from the scourge of unemployment, poverty homelessness, soaring prices of basic commodities and services and lack or dearth of social services. They are outraged that public funds are used to bail out the giant banks, fatten the military industrial complex and increase military expenditures but are withheld from the most direct forms of creating jobs and providing social services by public agencies. They are sick and tired of the dominant parties which compete in trying to mislead them and in preserving the ruling system.
The imperialist powers try to maintain their unity and pass the burden of crisis to the working people and to the underdeveloped countries. They are the source of the crisis and they themselves are gravely stricken by the crisis. They are all conspicuously beset by economic stagnation and public debt crisis. The crisis of the world capitalist system continues to induce wars. It is steadily pushing the imperialist powers to contradict each other over economic, trade, financial, political and security issues. They are increasingly engaged in a struggle for a redivision of the world,
Upon the full restoration of capitalism in China and Russia, the imperialist powers headed by the US were beside themselves with glee as they proclaimed the triumph of capitalism and death of socialism. But now they consider China and Russia as cramping the space for global domination by the US, European Union and Japan. They, especially the US, consider as threats to their traditional hegemony the capitalist development of China and Russia, for the successes of these in military research and development and the formation of the BRICS as an economic bloc economic bloc and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a security bloc. The US is most brazen in trying to contain China by making a strategic pivot to East Asia and by launching the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
II. Impact on the Philippine Revolution
The crisis of the world capitalist system is aggravating the chronic crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system in the Philippines. The value of raw material and semi-manufacture exports has drastically gone down. At the same time, the costs of importing manufactures, fuel and certain basic necessities have risen. The trade deficit is widening and is resulting in a bigger foreign debt.
The Philippine economy is trapped in the global depression. It is more stagnant than ever before. Unemployment is rising and incomes have fallen while the prices of basic commodities and services are rising. Poverty has become rampant. Social services are deteriorating and fees for these are rising.
The reactionary government is raising taxes at the expense of the toiling masses and the middle social social strata. The foreign and big comprador firms enjoy both tax cuts and tax evasion. The budgetary deficit is widening and the public debt is rising.
There is no national industrialization and no genuine land reform. What is passed off as development consists of the accelerated landgrabbing and plunder by mining, plantation and logging companies, highly speculative private construction enterprises and business call centers. The incomes of these plus the foreign exchange remittances of the overseas Filipinos workers are not enough as basis for the claims of significant economic growth by the reactionary government. The illusion of growth has been conjured by the inflow of hot money (foreign portfolio investments) into the stock and other financial markets.
Due to the serious socio-economic crisis, the political crisis of the ruling system is worsening. Despite the attempt of the US and the local exploiting classes to unify the reactionary political forces to escalate the counterrevolution, the wranglings among them have intensified, in the wake of the exposure of the pork barrel scams and other cases of bureaucratic corruption. The broad masses of the people are outraged that colossal amounts of public funds are stolen by government officials.
The mass protest movement is expected to intensify and spread as the Aquino regime is being denounced as a puppet of US imperialism, exploitative, corrupt and brutal. This regime follows the dictates of the US in carrying out the neoliberal economic policy to exploit the people and in unleashing Oplan Bayanihan to suppress the movement of the toiling masses and violate their human rights with impunity. The military and police campaigns of suppression have served to drive the people to take up arms against the ruling system.
The armed revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines is well on the way to advancing from the stage of the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate. In concrete terms, the Party aims to increase its membership to 250,000, the Red fighters of the New People’s Army to 25,000, the guerrilla fronts to 200 and the membership of mass organizations and the coverage of the local organs of political power to a greater number in millions.
III. Role of the Philippine Revolution in the World Proletarian Revolution
The people’s democratic revolution led by the CPP plays a major role in the revitalization and resurgence of the world proletarian revolution. It is a striking example of revolutionary movement led by a genuine communist party that has grown in strength through struggles against imperialism, revisionism and reaction. It has stood its ground and advanced despite the dominance of neocolonialism in most underdeveloped countries, the full restoration of capitalism in the former revisionist-ruled countries and the global sway of the US-instigated neoliberal economic offensive and wars of aggression in the last more than three decades.
Since 1968, the CPP has demonstrated that the ideological line of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is invincible. It has applied materialist dialectics in understanding the history and concrete conditions of the Philippines and in deciding what to do in the concrete practice of the Philippine revolution. It consciously combats the errors of subjectivism, be it in the form of dogmatism and empiricism. It avails of the rich theoretical and practical legacy of proletarian revolution, from Marx to Mao. It uses this as guide to the self-reliant revolutionary struggle of the proletariat and people against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes.
The CPP has adopted the general line of people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war, for the purpose of overthrowing the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and completing the struggle for national and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. The leading class in the revolution is the proletariat and the main force is the peasantry. Armed struggle is the main form of struggle and the united front is employed to mobilize the masses in their millions in order to isolate and destroy the enemy. The victory of the people’s democratic revolution leads to the socialist revolution.
US imperialism has used all forms of violence and deception, short of a war of aggression in a futile attempt to destroy the people’s democratic revolution. It instigated the Marcos fascist dictatorship but this served only to fan the flames of revolution and strengthen the forces of the people’s war. It has shifted to the use of the pseudo-democratic regimes of the big comprador-landlord politicians since 1986. But these have also failed to destroy the armed revolution.
The US is now increasing its military intervention in the Philippines and is posing the danger of aggression. But it is being debilitated by crisis of global capitalism and by imperial overreach. The wars of aggression unleashed by the US have only served to further destabilize the world and allow its rivals to take advantage of its mistakes and weaknesses. The crisis of the world capitalist system has brought about global depression. It is inflicting terrible suffering on the people of the world and at the same time goading them to wage all forms of struggle.
The perseverance and victories of the Philippine revolution are highly appreciated by communist and workers’ parties, national liberation movements, various progressive forces and the people of the world. The CPP has always pointed out that the revolutionary achievements of the Filipino proletariat and people are contributions to the revitalization and resurgence of the anti-imperialist movement, the international communist movement and the world proletarian revolution.
As you can observe from its internet publications, the CPP is ever willing to share ideas and experiences with other revolutionary forces through publications, bilateral meetings, exchange of study tours, seminars and conferences. It regards mutual understanding on issues as the path to revolutionary solidarity and practical cooperation. ###