Photo by Jonjon Bustamante.

Proposal to revitalize and expand the work of the Center for Social Studies

Presented by JULIET DE LIMA-SISON

Background

The Center for Social Studies has been formed since 1991 as a center for research and training activists to counter the ideological, political, economic, cultural and military offensives of the US and its allies and puppets.

Under the direction of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, the Center has achieved a modest amount of success in organizing conferences and seminars to allow the representatives of progressive Filipino organizations to exchange ideas and experiences with the representatives of partner organizations in other countries.

Proposal

In connection with the celebration of Prof. Sison’s 55 years of service to the Filipino people and his 75th birth anniversary, we propose that a campaign be undertaken to raise financial and other resources in the next six months for the purpose of revitalizing and expanding the work of the Center of Social Studies.

The plan to is to raise enough resources in order to achieve the following:

  1. Undertake research projects on vital issues pertaining to the social, economic, cultural, political, security and environmental aspects of the global situation;

  2. Increase the number of conferences and seminars of activists from various countries and generate a common understanding of vital global issues and the courses of action to be undertaken within the frame work of mass work for effecting fundamental change; and

  3. Produce educational films and other audiovisual materials in aid of mass education and mass organizing

  4. Maintain a website in order to publish the results of research projects, conferences and seminars, and serve as the medium of information and communication among all activists interested in the work of the center.

  5. Maintain a staff to assist Prof. Sison in leading the work pertaining to Nos. 1, 2 and 3 above.

Solidarity and Cooperation

Prof, Sison is in a unique position to lead the work of the Center and to promote the solidarity and cooperation of participants because of his rich political experience since the 1960s in the work of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people to wage revolution against imperialism and the repressive local regime, and because of his long experience in promoting international solidarity and cooperation among parties and mass organizations, and his wide range of current relations in his capacity as Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.

The Center can undertake more research projects, conferences and seminars. But the main point is to design and use them as the basis, means and propellant for revolutionary mass work. The Center holds the view that political parties and mass organizations are responsible for revolutionary activities in their countries, and can effect revolutionary changes through efforts of their own people. But learning the principles, policies and methods for effecting change has no national boundaries. The main thrust of the Center is to promote mass work for the purpose of revolutionary change.

Draft Concept Project PRISM
People’s Resource for International Solidarity in Mass Mobilizing

To mark 55 years of Prof. Jose Maria Sison’s service to the people’s revolutionary cause, the Center for Social Studies has decided to establish a people’s resource for international solidarity in mass organizing with the primary objective of conducting social investigation and research to answer the practical and theoretical needs of the people’s movement for revolutionary change. It aims to enhance the capability of organized revolutionary forces and people’s organizations to confront the socioeconomic, political, and cultural dominance and control of the imperialists and all reactionaries against the interests of the people. This means confronting problems in advancing and sustaining the people’s struggle against the imperialists, other exploiting classes, and their dominant institutions.  

Raising social theory through practice

Photo by Jonjon Bustamante.We live in a world whelmed with theories and theoretical writings but lacking in practical actions to test them. This makes the practice of revolution so much more complicated as too many well meaning progressives spend more time honing their swords to prepare for revolution – churning or chasing theories – rather than to use the sword by engaging in social practice, by waging revolution.   Some well-intentioned people who see the oppressive and exploitative conditions and the need for revolutionary change go into protracted pre-party formations, simply wishing for favorable conditions to arise, rather than going among the masses and conducting social investigation as a means for arousing, organizing and mobilizing them to fight for their own interests.

The International League for Peoples’ Struggle has had some limited success in building a broad anti-imperialist united front. But its activities and direct engagement in encouraging mass organizing has been limited. It has excelled in analysis and issuing statements on what is to be done but it has not done enough in encouraging or causing the proliferation of progressive and revolutionary mass organizations. Despite the favorable conditions brought about by the crisis of monopoly capitalism, we have not seen the significant growth of organized revolutionary forces with mass support.

I therefore wish to spring a surprise on Joma as ILPS Chairperson by proposing that the League adopt PRISM as its core project, with the Center for Social Studies as initiator. I propose that such adoption be put on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting of the ILPS International Coordinating Committee set to discuss the 5th International Assembly, and that the 5th IA bring about the rebirth of the League as a vehicle for encouraging the proliferation and growth of progressive and revolutionary mass organizations and the development of ever higher levels of revolutionary theory nurtured by social practice.

PRISM shall avail of Joma as teacher, resource person, and consultant, given his rich practical experience of arousing, organizing and mobilizing people on various global and Philippine issues to advance the struggle for social liberation and democracy. If there is anything at all that Joma has instilled among our proletarian revolutionary comrades in the Philippines, it is their daring and astuteness in immediately applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in the concrete practice of the revolution, of people’s war in the Philippines. It is the capability to do this that we wish to share with all aspiring revolutionaries all over the world.

For the purpose of realizing PRISM’s core objective, we are launching a campaign to raise material resources to immediately initiate work: a limited number of staffers to maintain a website and coordinate the work; fund and other resources for conducting webinars, seminars and conferences; on-the-spot trainings on social investigation and mass organizing, including cost of travel, food and allowances. We also need volunteers willing to share their time and talent for our purposes. In the next few weeks, we shall make a detailed presentation of the specific resources that we need to raise.

PRISM shall be a vehicle for Joma to use his still youthful intellect, daring, and determination in the twilight of life to be reborn in a new dawn – the revolutionary victory of the working class and the people. This requires multitudes of individual visionaries with persistent passion and sustained stamina for revolution, ever youthful intellect, integrity, daring and determination to advance the peoples’ interests. Let us support PRISM to help in producing them.

Let us help win the battle for democracy, not as the bourgeoisie – the exploiters and oppressors – forge or fake it – but as the people themselves forge it!

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