I first stumbled onto the World Socialist Web Site eight months ago. At the time, I was a member of a Philippine national-democratic organization, searching for perspectives on the death of the country’s former president, Corazon Aquino.
My search led me to a feature article written by Joseph Santolan, a correspondent of the WSWS. My entire world was rocked by what I read. According to the article, not only had the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines written a glowing eulogy of the thoroughly reactionary former president, but it had also played a crucial role in helping her claim the presidency in the aftermath of the hated Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
It was the first time I’d ever read a critique of the left from, well, the left. I closed that browser window immediately after reading, like a child who’d just seen something he wasn’t supposed to. It was too late though. That article left a burning impression on me.
Perhaps egged on by that initial brush with the truth, I began leafing back through decisive moments in recent Philippine politics, trying to connect the dots between my organization’s actions and the outcomes of those events. It seemed as though the potential for serious offensives by workers and the rural poor had always run out of steam. What was keeping them from perceiving their true enemies and sustaining the attack for liberation?
I asked my former comrades in the movement. I was answered in conciliatory tones and appeals for patience, pragmatism. It was a statement to the effect of, “Have faith in our leaders, they will not steer you wrong.”
The WSWS had another answer. Guided by Nick Beams’ comprehensive exposé titled “The Way Forward for the Philippine Revolution”, supplemented by the most relevant articles from the web site, my eyes were slowly opened to the cesspool of confusion that was and is the Communist Party of the Philippines. Continuously prostrating themselves before the country’s ruling elite, they had betrayed the Filipino workers and rural poor since the party’s inception. Their political allegiances changed with the season.
These were not lapses in judgment, but the logical and necessary outcomes of the Stalinist and Maoist theory of two-stage revolution, which necessitated an alliance between the working class and the supposedly progressive sections of the bourgeoisie. Never mind the past experience of the Philippine Revolution of 1898, which had exposed the inability of the bourgeoisie to carry through a democratic revolution. Never mind the bloody experiences of the 20th century in China and Indonesia. The CPP was determined to realize its deluded vision. This continues to be carried out on the backs of young men and women, conscripted from among the urban and rural poor and used as fodder against the bourgeoisie’s roaming paramilitaries. The CPP leadership has nothing but contempt for the fallen, exemplified by the extent to which they heap praise upon the murderers themselves. In eulogizing former President Aquino, the CPP failed to condemn the massacre of 13 peasant activists carried out at her behest.
I’ve since become an avid reader of the WSWS. In questions of political theory, it is unashamedly and unmistakably Marxist. In matters of principle, it is unwavering. It is the sole beacon of truth in an otherwise murky gloom. The legacy and great revolutionary traditions of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, among others, are a living, breathing tapestry within the pages of the WSWS.
My education continues unabated with the help of my new comrades in the IYSSE and the SEP. I giddily anticipate our next discussions and readings, this time like a child on Christmas morning.
Three cheers for the WSWS. Long live the ICFI!