Statements of support for Dr. Scalice from Australia and Sri Lanka

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing messages of support for Dr. Joseph Scalice from throughout the world. Dr. Scalice who has come under attack from the Philippine Stalinists for his powerful lecture, “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce: Marcos, Duterte and the Communist Parties of the Philippines,” which examined the support given by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the various organizations that follow its political line, to authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

Acutely sensitive to the criticism of the CPP, its founder Jose Maria Sison, without a shred of evidence, has denounced Dr. Scalice as a paid CIA agent and an informer for Duterte. Dr. Scalice, through the establishment of the historical record about the betrayals of the CPP, has done a service to the working class in the Philippines and internationally.

We urge our readers to come to the defence of Dr. Scalice, including by sending statements of support to the WSWS opposing the slanderous attack on him by the CPP and sharing his lecture widely.

Graeme, an Australian worker:

Historian Joseph Scalice has painstakingly combed through primary historical archives to detail the fundamental truth behind the historical phenomena known as Stalinism. The theory that socialism can be built in a single country, of the peaceful road to socialism, that the working class should support the “progressive” section of the bourgeoisie and that in the historically underdeveloped countries it is necessary to go through a period of democratic capitalist development.

The historical truth revealed by Dr Joseph Scalice’s scholarship is that Stalinism is reactionary, anti-working class and has been the primary instrument for counter-revolution for nearly a century.

He has fearlessly pieced together the historical record of the Philippines Communist Party CPP and its founder Jose Maria Sison to show that the CCP has been an essential prop in the support of the Philippines ruling class since its inception, culminating in the open support and promotion of the fascist demagogue Rodrigo Duterte to become President. A video distillation of the essence of Scalice’s study showing Sison’s support for Duterte and his open lies declaring he never supported the fascistic president can be found here .

All workers, young people and those who defend democratic rights and the search for historical truth must come to the defence of Dr Scalice against the baseless smears and implied calls to violence by Sison and the CPP against historian Dr Joseph Scalice.

Lalit, a student from Sydney:

Truth alone has the power and courage to demolish lies. But there is always a struggle to bring the truth to the surface, especially if the truth is against the lies of high-profile people. This is the case with Dr. Scalice in Philippines. Dr. Scalice is presenting the truth to the audience and workers, which will and is surely hurting and demolishing the lies spread by the CPP. The CPP is scared of Dr. Scalice and that is the reason why the CPP is using tactics of threat and fear against Dr. Scalice.

It is applaudable that Dr. Scalice is standing against those threats and fear and keeping up his good work to bring the truth to the surface, in front of workers. And this effort of his deserves a salute. I salute him.

Dilaxshan, a student and unemployed youth from Jaffna:

I am writing to condemn the slanderous attack on historian Dr. Joseph Scalice by the founder and ideological leader of the Maoist Communist party of the Philippines (CCP). Sison’s attack on Scalice is based on utter lie and I appreciate Dr. Scalice for his contribution to expose the role of the Maoist party given the experience of the Maoist parties around the world.

In Sri Lanka, where working class and oppressed masses have suffered three decades of communal war, we can see the far reaching consequences of the support by Maoist and Stalinist parties for successive governments. Since the betrayal of Trotskyism by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) by entering into the Sirimavo Bandaranaike government in 1964, the LSSP, Stalinist and Maoist communist parties have been involved in supporting oppressive bourgeois governments. The LSSP and Stalinist Communist Party (CP) were the part of the SLFP-led governments and supported the anti-Tamil communal war carried out by SLFP and UNP-led governments.

In the north as a young man, I have experienced the role played by the Maoist New Democratic Marxist Leninist Party (NDMLP) in subordinating the working class to one or another major bourgeois party.

I learnt that the New Democratic Party (NDP), the predecessor of the NDMLP, joined hands with SLFP in 1987 in the name of opposing the Indian intervention in Sri Lanka. Thus, they lined up with SLFP’s Sinhala communal campaign against the Indo-Lanka Accord, opposing any independent political mobilisation of the working class.

Since its founding in 1978, the NDP collaborated with successive capitalist governments. In 1994, along with the pseudo-left Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), it worked to bring SLFP-led coalition of Chandrika Kumaratunga to power in the name of defeating the right-wing UNP government.

Kumaratunga government resumed the war against the LTTE and carried it out in a brutal way, killing tens of thousands.

A recent example of NDMLP’s role was its backing for the Washington-orchestrated, regime-change operation, which brought the pro-US Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government to power defeating Mahinda Rajapakse in the presidential election held in January 2015.

Now after losing its support base, the NDMLP is promoting caste politics. In the recent general elections held in August 5, the NDMLP abandoned all its rhetoric about “Marxism”, “Leninism” or “working class” and established an electoral alliance with a caste-based organisation. This was an attempt to divide the working class along caste lines.

The NDMLP is peddling the caste politics in a situation where the working class in Sri Lanka—Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim alike—and also internationally are re-entering to the class struggle amid the deepening crisis of the capitalist system, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s moves to pass the 20th amendment to the constitution as a part of his plans for establishing a presidential dictatorship, the NDMLP has called on “left and democratic forces” to unite to defeat it. But the “left and democratic forces” to which the NDMLP is referring have long records of propping of the capitalist rule. Only the SEP and its predecessor, Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), have a long record of fighting to unite Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim workers in an independent movement against all parties of the political establishment.

I call workers and youth to study the program and perspective of the SEP and also Scalice’s lecture and articles on Sison’s slanders against him published on the WSWS and to come forward and write statements against those slanderous attacks.

Upali, Library Assistant, University of Peradeniya:

In his lecture delivered at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on August 26, Dr. Joseph Scalice engaged in an historical examination of Stalinist (Maoist) betrayals. The role of Communist Party of the Philippines in paving the way for autocratic regimes of Marcos and Duterte was thoroughly exposed. As a person defending the truth, I express my vehement opposition to the CPP leader Jose Maria Sison’s slanders against Dr. Scalice.

Sumith, a school teacher from Handessa in Kandy:

Dr. Scalice has clearly exposed the CPP’s role in bringing the Marcos and Duterte regimes to power, by politically analysing Stalinist politics in Philippines. In his lecture, Jose Maria Sison’s party was utterly criticised. I appreciate it. As a teacher I denounce the vicious slanders carried out by Sison against Dr. Scalice.