By Jose Maria Sison
Author, Philippine Society and Revolution
Dear Comrades and Friends,
I wish to express warmest greetings of solidarity and gratitude to all those present at this launch of the French translation of Philippine Society and Revolution (PSR). I thank Comrade Christophe Kistler for having translated this book from English to French, the Editions Soleil Rouge for publishing it, the panel of speakers and the Redspark Collective for organizing this event.
I am honored and delighted that since it was first published in mimeograph in 1969, the book has been described as a classic revolutionary literature of the Philippines and foundation of one of the largest and oldest revolutionary movements in the world.
Since then, this book has been read and studied by Filipino mass activists and by cadres and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), because it was the first publication to analyse the principal contradictions facing the country and illuminated the path to resolve them.
While certain changes have occurred in Philippine society since the bloody Marcos dictatorship, especially due to the reign of neoliberalism, the content of the book has remained generally valid and critically relevant despite the post-Marcos series of pseudo-democratic regimes down to the increasingly retrogressive open rule of terror under the current Duterte regime.
PSR’s continued significance and relevance, not just in the Philippines, but also internationally, is evidenced by its frequent republication and translation into different languages. The sixth edition in the Philippines came out in 2016. Editions came out in Hong Kong in 1971, in Germany in 1973, in the US in 1976, in Turkey in the late 1970s and Japan in the late 1980s. Most recent editions are the Portuguese in 2017 and Spanish in June 2019 and today Editions Soleil Rouge launches the French version.
While the focus of the book is on the Philippines, summing up the history of the Filipino people, making a class analysis of semi-colonial and semi-feudal Philippine society and putting forward a program of people’s democratic revolution to overthrow imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism, its essential content holds widespread relevance to revolutionary movements all over the world.
By studying this book, one can gain considerable depth in comprehending the current flow of events in the Philippines. The analysis of current situation, well reported and analyzed by CPP publications and other revolutionary forces as well as by those of patriotic and progressive Filipino organizations and foreign friends in solidarity with the Filipino people, continues to be built from the foundation laid out by the PSR.
Luis Jalandoni of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines is highly qualified to speak at this event. He had dedicated his life to God as a priest when his study of PSR and engagement with the movement made him a revolutionary activist. His life experience of over 50 years as a staunch proletarian revolutionary is a testament to the power of the PSR to aid in the transformation of people of all walks of life, through understanding the conditions around them and thus understanding that they can change them.
Christophe Kistler, PSR’s translator and member of the Redspark Collective, has been close to the Philippine revolutionary movement, and has published other books of mine through the Foreign Languages Press, as well as translated many of my statements, articles and works into French. He is well equipped to discuss my work and its roles in the world proletarian revolution.
The Filipino people’s democratic revolution, through protracted people’s war, has been a torch bearer of the world proletarian revolution in the ongoing transition from the last 50 years of the seemingly permanent global hegemony of US imperialism to the next 50 years of intensified inter-imperialist contradictions and the resurgence of revolutionary movements on a global scale. These are well indicated by the unprecedented global scale of mass protests against the rigors of imperialist plunder and wars.
I am pleased that Berenice Bocquet, publisher of Editions Soleil Rouge will speak about communist publishing in France today. Trained as a professional editor, she contributed substantially to the editing of the French edition of PSR, as well as other Edition Soleil Rouge publications. Her contributions are aiding in the professionalization of Maoist publishing in France today. This work is vital to the French proletariat and people to continue to wage revolutionary struggles for socialism, according to concrete conditions and under the red banner of communism, the ultimate goal of the world proletarian revolution.
For the workers and other people in all countries to unite and fight against imperialism and all reaction, they must learn from each other and draw inspiration from their joint and separate revolutionary struggles. They must be highly conscious of the fact that they have common enemies to defeat and common aspirations to fulfill, such as national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism.
In fighting for national and social liberation, the Filipino people have been self-reliant but have also needed the solidarity and support of other peoples. At the same time, they always desire that their revolutionary struggle contributes to the advance of the world proletarian revolution overall and that their revolutionary forces can engage in concrete forms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and mutual support under the principles of anti-imperialist solidarity and proletarian internationalism. Thank you.###