Book Review by Consie Lozano, M.A.
Good afternoon, everyone. I would like to thank Professor Jose Maria Sison for asking me to make a review of his latest book, Crisis Generates Resistance. It is an honour and a privilege. A first of the series of compilation of his selected writings from 2009 to 2015 entitled People’s Struggles Against Oppression and Exploitation, this book consists of articles he wrote from January 2009 to June 2010.
Given the time limitation and to avoid spoiling your excitement to find the other gems in it yourselves, I have focused my discussion on its relevance in understanding the global crisis, conflict and people’s resistance.
As already known, Professor Sison is an exemplary writer and political analyst. The temporal structure of the book shows how quick and sharp Professor Sison responds to pressing political events and issues of the day be it in the international or local scene. At the same time, as the articles are presented temporally rather than thematically, one can easily spot how frequent and prolific Professor Sison writes. For instance, in January 2009, he wrote six papers such as statements, a solidarity message and a conference paper. On the whole, in 2009, he wrote 53 articles, which is an average of 4.4 articles per month, and in the half of 2010, he wrote 34 articles, which is an average of 5.6 articles per month, and to think that these are only selected writings!
More importantly, his writings are fashioned in an expose – oppose – propose style and written from a historical and dialectical materialist perspective. As an activist and social scientist, particularly, as a conflict studies and human rights scholar, this is where I greatly appreciate his work and find it invaluable in understanding the global crisis, conflict and people’s resistance. Most analysts in the field of International Relations, Politics and Policies that I have read though explain why there is crisis and conflict, and why there is resistance, they hardly unearth its root causes.
Professor Sison does the opposite by placing conflicts in the context of the crisis in the historical epoch of monopoly capitalism thereby illustrating his mastery of historical materialism.
Furthermore, some analysts certainly propose how to deal with the current crisis and conflict. They offer tools, for instance, how to do humanitarian and military intervention in conflict-torn areas, yet it remains lacking in terms of people’s participation and relying on their organized strength to change their situation. Also, as they come from different theoretical and political perspectives, they certainly offer various answers as to why people resist naming factors such as economic deprivation, mobilization of resources, state violence, personal and ideological motivations. Each explanation tries to debunk the other while at the same time the role of Imperialists and the ruling classes as perpetrators of crisis therefore generating resistance is conveniently circumvented.
The beauty of Professor Sison’s analysis in his writings in this book lies in his clear and consistent exposition of US Imperialism, its allies and the monopoly capitalist system, opposition to its anti-people policies, and proposition to the people how to resist and pave the road to socialism. By doing so, this book exhibits his mastery of dialectical materialism.
Using such perspective, the book forebodes the continuation of crisis and more conflict in the future, but also believe in the power of people’s resistance and hope for socialism as in the past. Such foreboding creates the timeless characteristic of the book that though the articles were written six years ago, they remain valid and relevant until today. Thus, for engaged social scientists and scholars and anyone who want to understand the complexities of the current global crisis, conflict, and people’s resistance as well as the need to take actions and be agents of change, the book is a valuable resource and reference material. While for activists and the masses, this is another gem in the great library of People’s resistance.
Thank you very much.