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.
Sakuntha, a student at University of Sri Jayewardenepura:
Denounce the slanders against Dr. Joseph Scalice!
As a university student, I am very much interested in the series of articles in the World Socialist Web Site on the exposure of the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) by the historian Dr. Joseph Scalice.
I got the opportunity to listen to Scalice’s lecture “First as a tragedy, second as a farce” held on August 26th. I would like to emphasise that this lecture provided a powerful exposure of the catastrophic consequences bequeathed to the international working class by Stalinism and its extension Maoism. It provides an inspiration for youth, including myself, to study the history of the international working class.
It was through the WSWS that I came to know of the attack launched by the CPP’s founding leader Jose Maria Sison against Dr. Scalice and Trotskyism. His attacks involved various slanders and threats. As the WSWS has already explained, Sison’s slanders are outright lies and not based on any historical substantiation.
Denouncing the slanders and threats by Sison and the CPP, I express my complete support for the work carried out by Dr. Joseph Scalice, the WSWS and Socialist Equality Parties to establish historical truth.
Scalice’s lecture resolved one of my long-lasting questions as to why the struggles of the international working class, which were enormous in number, were unable to overthrow the capitalist system during the period of over a hundred years after the Russian Revolution in 1917. It drew my attention to the counterrevolutionary role of Stalinism and Maoism.
Scalice’s lecture made clear the role played by the Maoist CPP and the Stalinist Communist Parties in subordinating the working class to the capitalist class in the Philippines. The lecture helped me understand the Stalinists’ support for Ferdinand Marcos, who establish a military dictatorship in 1970s, and the CPP’s backing of Duterte into power in 2016. Both events paved the way for mass genocide.
As Scalice pointed out, offering progressive credentials to the bourgeoisie has enormous consequences. The working class and the peasant masses have paid the price for this betrayal with their very lives.
Scalice’s lecture also explained how the “theory of two-stage revolution,” advocated by Stalinists and Maoists, helped the capitalist system to save its life.
Scalice’s exposures are valid not only for the CPP, but for all the parties based on those reactionary theories. That is because Stalinism and Maoism are a worldwide phenomenon.
When studying the role of CPP, what has come to my mind is record of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party, which was founded in Sri Lanka in the 1960s. The JVP promoted Maoist theories and has now transformed into a party of the capitalist establishment. Through the SEP’s literature, I have studied how the JVP dragged the masses into catastrophes based on these theories. The exposures by Scalice will help youth and workers in Sri Lanka to break from these type of parties.
The global economic crisis, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, has generated a new wave of working class struggles internationally. The response of the ruling class in every country has been to turn to fascist and military-police forms of rule, in order to crush these struggles. All over the world, parties based on Stalinism and Maoism once again seek to confuse and subordinate the opposition of the workers to these authoritarian rulers.
Under these conditions, exposing these parties and defending the historical truth will play a vital role in helping the workers to stave off these capitalist traps and prepare their future struggles. In this sense, Scalice’s contributions serve the workers and youth who are coming into struggle. That is why the CPP are so angry with his exposures.
Dr. Scalice’s work is fascinating in an era where exposing Stalinism and Maoism, and the parties based on them, is a burning necessity for the working class. His work is based on historical truth, pointing to the lessons of history, exposing the Stalinist and Maoist parties which will provide a burning animation and inspiration for the workers, scholars and youth who are interested in them.
The essential lesson of the past struggles of the workers is that the working class cannot win without a revolutionary Trotskyist party. I appeal to workers and youth in Sri Lanka, the Philippines and other countries to build up the sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International.
Keo, a health worker who came to Australia as a young boy with his family from Laos in 1981:
I am writing to support Dr. Scalice in his exposure of the bankruptcy of the CPP in the Philippines and defend his right to disseminate his work as widely as possible, without interference and threats from Sison and his followers.
The lecture by Dr. Scalice revealed the connection between the policy of Stalinism in Asia and the betrayal of the struggles of the working class and the poor peasants who fought against Imperialism to establish a better world under the banner of Socialism.
Dr. Scalice, in his lecture, established concretely the connection between form and content, between the political perspective of Socialism in one country and the betrayal of permanent revolution.
As Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution theory states, countries of belated capitalist development under the domination of imperialism, require a revolutionary struggle led by the working class for democracy and socialism as part of an international program.
Dr. Scalice’s rigorous scholarly work has gone unanswered, whilst his opponents falsely accuse him of being a CIA agent without any proof. This is reminiscent of the lies and purges carried out by Stalin. Only charlatans who stand in the way of historical truth behave in this way.
Dr. Scalice’s work has opened up a way forward for the working class to clarify the role of Stalinism in Asia in blocking the political consciousness of the masses.
Adam, a worker from Victoria in Australia:
I write to give my support to Dr. Joseph Scalice for his important research into the recent political history of the Philippines. I would like to also thank him for sharing this research in exposing key circumstances and demonstrating the pathway to Duterte’s rule of today.
His findings make a compelling case against the Communist Party of the Philippines in subverting the interests of the working class with its political relationship and policy towards the ruling elite.
I also condemn the anti-intellectual attacks from the CPP on his truth telling, that focuses on slandering his political/historian bona fides and character assassination rather than addressing the findings of his research. This is to be expected with a reactionary Stalinist party, which the CPP most definitely is.
David, a teacher from rural NSW in Australia:
Dr. Joseph Scalice’s scholarship of the Communist Party of the Philippines has produced a vitally important chronicle of the CPP’s betrayal of workers in the region. His work has cast light upon the blatant lies of the CPP and revealed the extent of their traitorous collaboration with the murderous and fascistic Duterte government. The accusations from CPP leader Jose Sison that Scalice is a CIA operative, and the very real threats Sison has made on Scalice’s life reveal the fears within the CPP that workers will discover the Party’s support of Duterte.
Dr. Scalice requires the support of all people who value historical truth. The fight Scalice has entered with the CPP is crucial. As capitalism continues to collapse and give rise to fascistic forms of rule, the defence of historical truth will become global in scope. We must unequivocally denounce the CPP and their actions against the workers of the Philippines and against Scalice, collectively exposing their betrayal of workers and their support of the criminal Duterte Government.