Contribution to the 14th International Communist Seminar
By the International Department
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is leading the Filipino proletariat and people in two stages of the Philippine revolution. The current stage is that of the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. The next stage, which is the socialist revolution, can commence upon the basic completion of the new-democratic revolution through the nationwide seizure of political power.
At the core of the people’s democratic state system, based on the worker-peasant alliance, is the dictatorship of the proletariat. This has for its main component the people’s army under the direction and control of the working class through its revolutionary party. The transition from capitalism to socialism can be achieved only through the dictatorship of the proletariat for a whole historical epoch.
In carrying out the Philippine revolution, the CPP, the proletariat and entire people perform simultaneously tasks that are distinguishably national revolutionary and internationalist in character. The performance and fulfilment of both tasks advance the world people’s struggle against imperialism and the world proletarian revolution for socialism and communism.
The revolutionary struggle of Filipino communists, the proletarians and semiproletarians in the Philippines, is part and parcel of the revolutionary struggle of the world proletariat and people and contributes to the advance of the global anti-imperialist movement and the world proletarian-socialist revolution. Our victories are the victories of the world proletariat and people. So are their victories our victories.
Before and after the reestablishment of the CPP in 1968, the Filipino proletarian revolutionaries and the masses that they lead have undertaken militant propaganda and mass actions in support of all and each one of the revolutionary struggles against imperialism and reaction. In certain instances, the CPP has provided some limited number of cadres and technical assistance to help other parties. But the most significant support that the CPP and the Filipino have so far extended to other people’s revolutionary movements is the advance of the Philippine revolution.
The CPP has received significant moral and material support from parties that uphold the principles of proletarian class struggle and revolution, class dictatorship of the proletariat and proletarian internationalism. The support includes cadre training and some material and technical assistance. But no amount of foreign assistance can ever be comparable to the sweat and blood of the Filipino revolutionaries and masses. Foreign assistance could even be harmful and counterproductive if it comes under wrong conditionalities, if it is inappropriate or if it is indigestible.
In strategic terms, material support that we have received from abroad has hardly amounted to one per cent of the total resources that we have raised self-reliantly through fighting and mass work. In fact, our biggest though unwitting foreign supplier of weapons is the Pentagon. We capture the US-supplied weapons in the course of our tactical offensives against the military, police and paramilitary forces of the enemy.
Sense of history
We Filipino communists have an acute sense of history. We are always conscious of the need to draw principles, lessons and inspiration from revolutionary theory and practice as developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and other revolutionary thinkers and leaders and by the great revolutionary masses of the proletariat and semiproletariat.
On the basis of the revolutionary experience of the Filipino people and the Philippine trade union movement, Crisanto Evangelista and other comrades founded the CPP for the first time in 1930. They were inspired by the Great October Socialist Revolution and the Third International. But they had no explicit directive from the Third International for the founding even as American and Chinese cadres of the Third International had since the 1920s encouraged and facilitated the participation of worker and peasant delegates in conferences in Moscow, Canton and Shanghai.
Under the guidance of the antifascist Popular Front policy of the Third International, cadres of the Communist Party of the USA made representations to the US-Commonwealth government of Quezon in 1936-37 for the release of communist leaders from prison and exile. They also advised the formation of the Communist and Socialist Merger Party (CSMP) in 1938 that combined the communist and socialist parties and their respective worker and peasant mass followings.
The Right opportunist influence of Earl Browder penetrated the CPP not because of the Third International but because of the influence of the CPUSA on the CSMP general secretary Dr. Vicente Lava, who was a former CPUSA member. The Browderite line of “peace and democracy” undermined the revolutionary resolve of the Communist-Socialist Merger Party (CSMP) after the dissolution of the Third International in 1943.
The CSMP had a limited knowledge of the struggle against Titoite revisionism in the Communist Information Bureau from 1948 onwards. It was preoccupied with domestic issues, the growing attacks on the revolutionary forces and people and eventually the outbreak of civil war. The second Lava brother to become general secretary, Jose Lava, sought to carry out the “Left” opportunist line of quick military victory in two years’ time, without painstaking mass work and solid mass organizing. Within the same two years, from 1950 to 1952, this line resulted in the destruction of the main units of the people’s army based in camps in the unpopulated Sierra Madre.
The third Lava brother to become the general secretary, Dr. Jesus Lava, adopted a Right opportunist line under the weight of defeat and pessimism. Subsequently, he increasingly came under the influence of Khruschovite revisionism. The CSMP continuously weakened as a result of the 1955 policy seeking to liquidate the people’s army and the 1957 single-file policy seeking to liquidate the CSMP. Before 1960, the CSMP was practically dead, with the general secretary merely hiding himself in Manila and with no party branch and revolutionary mass movement left.
Dr. Jesus Lava took interest in forming an “executive committee” to revive the CSMP in 1962 only after becoming encouraged by a student demonstration of 5000 students that literally broke up the 1961 anticommunist congressional hearings against “subversive” writings in university publications in 1961. He invited Comrade Amado Guerrero to represent the youth in the committee in 1962, after he came from a few months of open language study and clandestine revolutionary studies in Indonesia.
The young proletarian revolutionary cadres led by Comrade Amado Guerrero had studied Marxism-Leninism independently of the CSMP. They studied Philippine history and current circumstances and the secretly available writings of Filipino communists since Crisanto Evangelista. They gained access to Marxist-Leninist literature and to the Soviet and Chinese literature through Indonesia. They studied the Moscow Declaration of 1957 and Moscow Statement of 1960 and the developing ideological debate and other contradictions between the CPSU and the Communist Party of China (CPC).
In 1967, the contradictions between the proletarian revolutionaries and the Lava revisionist clique came to a head principally over questions of Party history and strategy and tactics and secondarily over questions in the Sino-Soviet ideological debate. The proletarian revolutionaries had gained the majority of young and senior Party cadres and members.
They published their Marxist-Leninist position in Beijing Review on May 1, 1967. The Lava faction published their revisionist position in the Prague-based pro-Soviet Information Bulletin.
Comrade Amado Guerrero and other proletarian revolutionaries reestablished the CPP under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought in 1968. The congress of reestablishment was grounded on a thoroughgoing critique of the ideological, political and organizational errors of the Lava brothers from 1942 onwards and the phenomenon of modern revisionism centred in the CPSU. Our Party declared its adherence to the principle of proletarian internationalism and regarded its revolutionary struggle and victories as contribution to the world anti-imperialist struggle and the world proletarian revolution.
We criticized and repudiated the revisionist notion that the proletariat had already accomplished its historic mission in the Soviet Union. We denounced as bourgeois populism the Kruschovite ideas of “party of the whole people” and “state of the whole people” and as bourgeois pacifism and reformism the slogans of “peaceful transition”, “peaceful economic competition” and “peaceful coexistence” (harped on as the general line as opposed to proletarian internationalism in international relations).
When Brezhnev was in power from 1964 to 1982, our Party exposed him for extending the work of Khrushchov in bourgeoisifying the politics, economy, culture, defense and international relations of the Soviet Union. From 1966 onwards, we upheld and supported Mao’s theory and practice of continuing revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat in order to combat revisionism, prevent capitalist restoration and consolidate socialism through the great proletarian cultural revolution.
Our Party holds the view that the revisionist line gained ascendance in the CPSU under Khrushchov and Brezhnev and paved the way for Gorbachov to destroy every semblance of socialism under his regime. Likewise in China, Right opportunism and revisionism gained ascendance as to allow the Right opportunists and revisionists to sabotage the cultural revolution and pave the way for the reversal of the proletarian revolutionary line of Mao and for the restoration of capitalism soon after his death.
More than any other factor, it is the ideological and political degeneration of the ruling party and state bureaucracy that has destroyed socialism. We must recognize this fact and study how for a number of decades socialism could be built against tremendous odds and how for another number of decades the gradual peaceful restoration of capitalism could occur through the ideological and political degeneration of the party and state bureaucracy. We need to use the Marxist-Leninist principles explicated by Lenin, Stalin and Mao to examine the growth of revisionism and the consequent destruction of socialism.