By Thomas van Beersum
February 11, 2014 at 1:29pm
Magandang hapon, mga kasama!
Thanks to the organizers for inviting me. I’m here to give a reaction about Joma’s new book “Building Strength Through Struggle”. The book has already been introduced so I’ll just dive in to talk about the most important parts and give some comments.
The book offers important information about the nature of the fascist dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, and gives profound insights on his schemes before and during martial law. Especially how he, with active support from US Imperialism, under the guise of building a “new society” set up an autocratic regime where he held absolute power and authority. Imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism were the three basic problems in the Philippines at the time, and they continue to be so.
It is both important and necessary to study and analyze the Marcos era in order to investigate the practical similarities and differences between the Marcos regime and the tyrannical US-backed Aquino regime, which through the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan conducts state terror against its population and indiscriminately kills, tortures, rapes, and massacres with impunity in order for foreign capital to plunder and pillage the Philippines. Can we really say that after Marcos the Philippines became a free country? Or are the same foreign and local ruling elites still in power?
Another important part of the book reaffirms the Maoist principle that principled unity can only be created through struggle and by “dividing one into two”. This part contains the staunch critiques against revisionism, adventurism, and pluralism, which are still major dangers in the International Communist Movement today. These critiques were widely used to counter the subjectivist and opportunist trends in the 1980s. Many of these reactionaries created their own groups which either immediately collapsed, or now act as armed thugs for criminal syndicates, private capitalists, or as the backbone of Aquino’s own criminal administration.
The need for a Protracted People’s War is also accurately explained and defended in the book. It is the answer to solve the fundamental question and strategic goal of the revolution, which is to capture state power. Protracted People’s War allows the people’s forces to grow from small to big and from weak to strong and gradually builds power by establishing parallel structures of government in the countryside which pave the way for the establishment of a people’s democratic republic.
Revolutionary violence can not be equated with reactionary violence by the state forces. To do so is to legitimize the status quo. Revolutionary armed struggle is counter violence. Unlike reactionary violence, it is not violence which maintains or is brought out by the most brutal manifestations of exploitative and oppressive conditions. It is violence to end it.
Armed struggle is the principle form of struggle, but it goes hand in hand with the mass movement which arouses, organizes and mobilizes the broad sections of the people to actively support and participate in the revolution. Without them, the people’s war cannot survive.
To conclude, the documents in this book are a must-read for revolutionaries not just in the Philippines, but in all countries. Its lessons and the practical application it brought out is not only a source of inspiration. It should also be studied in our own respective countries, to see what we can learn from it for our own revolutionary praxis. I would like to thank the organizers for organizing this important event and I would like to specifically thank Jose Maria Sison for his 55 years of service to the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
Ang bayani ay naglilingkod sa bayan hanggang sa kanyang huling hininga! Mabuhay!