Impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall on the Communist Party of the Philippines

Interview with Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairperson, Communist Party of the Philippines

By FERNANDO DEL MUNDO
Chief of Investigative Team
For a Special Report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer

The 1989 fall of the Berlin wall signalled the disintegration of the Soviet Union and all the revisionist regimes in the Soviet bloc. It has vindicated the antirevisionist position of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). At its reestablishment in 1968, the CPP adopted the fundamental line of upholding Marxism-Leninism and opposing the modern revisionism that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) had been spreading since Khrushchov came to power in 1956. The CPP had long observed the revisionist character, mistakes and weaknesses of the ruling parties in the Soviet bloc countries and anticipated the disintegration of the revisionist regimes. Please refer to the CPP founding documents of 1968 and the 1992 document, Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism, adopted by the 10th Plenum of the CPP Central Committee.

Interview with Professor JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairperson, Communist Party of the Philippines

By FERNANDO DEL MUNDO
Chief of Investigative Team
for a Special Report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer

1.  What is the impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall on the Communist Party of the Philippines?

The 1989 fall of the Berlin wall signalled the disintegration of the Soviet Union and all the revisionist regimes in the Soviet bloc. It has vindicated the antirevisionist position of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). At its reestablishment in 1968, the CPP adopted the fundamental line of upholding Marxism-Leninism and opposing the modern revisionism that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) had been spreading since Khrushchov came to power in 1956. The CPP had long observed the revisionist character, mistakes and weaknesses of the ruling parties in the Soviet bloc countries and anticipated the disintegration of the revisionist regimes. Please refer to the CPP founding documents of 1968 and the 1992 document, Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism, adopted by the 10th Plenum of the CPP Central Committee.

The fall of the Berlin wall has adversely impacted on the Filipino revisionist followers of the Soviet Union in the old communist party. They are the ones demoralized and debilitated by the fall of the Berlin wall. Not the CPP as it has continued to this day. Guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, the CPP has dared to oppose not only the Soviet-centered phenomenon of modern revisionism but also the reversal of socialism in China. The CPP is glad that among serious revolutionaries revisionism is thoroughly exposed as the road to the restoration of capitalism, at first in a disguised way from 1956 onwards in the Soviet Union and ultimately in a barefaced way in the 1989-1991 period.

The anti-communist alliance of the imperialists headed by the US won a temporary victory against the socialist cause because of the pernicious work of the revisionists. But since the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the revisionist regimes, the crisis of the world capitalist system has further deepened and aggravated. The rapidly worsening conditions of imperialist plunder, repression and wars of aggression are generating the re-emergence and resurgence of the people’s movement for national liberation, democracy and socialism against imperialism, reaction and revisionism. The people are rising up against “neoliberal globalization”, state terrorism and the US wars of aggression and are aspiring for a world better than one dominated by imperialism and reaction.

2.  Where is the CPP headed now? What does it hope to accomplish? Is it still relevant?

In the concrete conditions of the Philippines, the CPP is playing an important role in leading the working class and the rest of the people in the national democratic revolution against US imperialism and the local reactionaries. It is a significant, relevant and consequential force in the struggle against the exploiters and oppressors and against the semi-colonial and semi-feudal conditions. It is the most powerful political force among the revolutionary forces because it leads a people’s army and wages people’s war. In a backhanded way, the reactionary government considers the CPP and the NPA as the most dangerous threat to “national security”. In the interest of the Filipino people and the people of the world, the CPP is at the forefront of the global anti-imperialist movement, and has excelled in opposing “neoliberal globalization”, state terrorism and the wars of aggression unleashed by US imperialism and its cohorts.

So long as the system of oppression and exploitation continues, there is material ground and just cause for the CPP to continue and grow in strength as a revolutionary party of the proletariat. It deals with the “here and now” when it fights for genuine national independence and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords and when it contributes to the current global anti-imperialist movement.

The problem of building socialism continuously for an entire historical epoch is something to solve in the future. The prospective solution for that is indicated by Mao’s theory of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship to combat revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism and consolidate socialism. But meanwhile, the CPP and the Filipino people must fight for national liberation and democracy. These are immediately desirable, necessary and realizable objectives. When these are achieved under the class leadership of the proletariat, then the people and revolutionary forces can move on to socialist revolution and construction.

For having a socialist perspective, the CPP goes beyond the confines of the world capitalist system and the local reactionary system. The CPP is a party that can take advantage of the growing polarization between the imperialist powers and the oppressed peoples, between the imperialist powers and recalcitrant dominated states, among the imperialist powers and between the bourgeoisie and working class in imperialist countries.

At any rate, the epochal struggle between the proletariat and bourgeoisie, between socialism and capitalism, will take a long time, hundreds of years, with ups and downs, twists and turns. In the last 150 years, since the Communist Manifesto, the revolutionary proletariat has won great victories every fifty years after some big defeat. I invite you to read my address to the New Communist Party of Netherlands on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto in 1998.

This article traces how the Paris Commune of 1871 won and was defeated only to be followed by the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia. The Nazi aggression almost destroyed the Soviet Union. But after World War II, more socialist countries and many national liberation movements arose. A big defeat or big attack inflicted on the revolutionary proletariat can be followed in due time by an unprecedentedly bigger victory of the proletariat and the people.

3.  Why is it that the above-ground Left are being targeted by extra-judicial killings?

We are confronted today by a world capitalist system and a local reactionary system that are in severe crisis. The US has taken advantage of its sole superpower status and the 9/11 incident in order to try to override its problems by pushing further neoliberalism, pump-priming the US economy with military contracts, unleashing wars of aggression and whipping up repression and fascism in the name of anti-terrorism.

For political survival amidst charges of massive corruption, electoral fraud and other wrongdoings, the Arroyo regime finds it expedient to follow the dictates of the US, especially the Bushite policy of “war on terror”, which is actually a war of terror against the people. In this regard, the regime has made since 2001 the National Internal Security Plan and specifically Oplan Bantay Laya to concentrate military attack forces on a number of selected guerrilla fronts at every given time and to engage in assassinations against what you call the aboveground Left.

These assassinations of more than 760 unarmed leaders of progressive party list groups and mass organizations (of workers, peasants, youth, women and others), journalists, church people, lawyers, human rights activists and peace advocates are aimed at destroying the suspected political infrastructure of the revolutionary movement. This mode of attack is patterned after the infamous Phoenix Program of the US in Vietnam during the late 1960s. Philcag and martial rule veteran General Eduardo Ermita and the clerico-fascist Norberto Gonzales are the key planners of the US and the Arroyo regime in the campaign of assassinations, abductions and torture.

Arroyo and her cabinet oversight committee on internal security and the presidential anti-terrorism task force believe that waging an all-out war policy against the CPP, NPA and other forces of the Left would unite the fractious military and police and emasculate the broad united front of opposition forces. They believe that they must kill communists and communist suspects in order to sow terror among the people. But the wanton extrajudicial killings are arousing popular indignation and driving the people to wage all possible forms of resistance, including mass protests and armed struggle.

Arroyo is aiming for a monopoly of political power. Her regime seeks to use the charter-change scheme to make her an autocrat like Marcos, to curtail democratic rights, to sell out the national patrimony and to allow the US to operate military bases in the Philippines and bring weapons of mass destruction. The regime is also hell-bent on enacting the Anti-Terrorism Law to suppress not only the armed revolutionary movement but also the broad legal opposition. The stakes are high. The Arroyo regime wants to destroy with brute force any obstacle in its way. But the broad masses of the people are rising up and will ultimately get rid of the regime.

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