The World Socialist Web Site has published the Hindi translation of the important lecture by Dr. Joseph Scalice, “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce: Marcos, Duterte and the Communist Parties of the Philippines”.
The lecture, which was sponsored by Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and delivered on August 26 online, examined in detail the support given by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) for fascistic President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. Scalice traced the historical and political roots of this betrayal to the Stalinist two-stage theory and examined the role of the CPP and rival pro-Moscow Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in paving the way for the military dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos.
Fearful of the exposure of the CPP’s support for Duterte, its founder Jose Maria Sison unleashed a slanderous campaign against Dr. Scalice, denouncing him as “a paid CIA agent”, without any substantiation. In marked contrast to Sison, Dr. Scalice meticulously demonstrated how the CPP and Sison had assisted Duterte in coming to power and initially backed his repressive rule, including with photographs and quotations from Sison himself.
The publication of Dr. Scalice’s lecture in Hindi brings important historical lessons about the treacherous role of Stalinism and its Chinese variant, Maoism, in the Philippines to workers, youths and intellectuals in India and the substantial Indian diaspora throughout the world. The CPP’s subordination of Philippine workers and youth to the so-called “progressive” wing of the bourgeoisie, on the basis of the Stalinist two-stage theory, has its parallels in India where the Indian Maoists have carried out similar betrayals based on the same reactionary politics.
Significantly Sison, in an interview with the Spanish website Descifrando la Guerra on October 15, declared that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) was the only other party in the world that upheld the doctrines of Maoism and was committed to the “armed struggle’—along with the CPP. After referring to the “crisis of socialism”—in fact, the crisis of Stalinism—with the turn to capitalist restoration in China and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Sison declared that “so far it seems only the CPP and CPI (Maoist) are carrying out armed revolutions that have a socialist perspective.”
In reality, like the CPP, the CPI (Maoist) does not fight for socialism. Rather, under the guise of a struggle for a bourgeois-democratic national “revolution” in alliance with the patriotic wing of the native capitalist class, it manoeuvres with various reactionary capitalist parties, while waging a “protracted people’s war” with the stated aim of “encircling the cities from the countryside.” The CPI (Maoist)’s “armed struggle” deliberately reduces the working class to a bystander and serves thereby to reinforce the political domination of the pro-capitalist trade unions as well as the Stalinist parliamentary parties that for decades have functioned as an integral part of the Indian political establishment, and other retrograde forces.
For several years until mid-2011, it lined up with Trinamool Congress (TMC)—a right wing, anti-communist bourgeois regional party based in West Bengal. The CPI (Maoists) justified their reactionary alliance on the basis that it was necessary to combat their Stalinist rival, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) which ruled West Bengal for decades, implementing the anti-working class, pro-market agenda demanded by the International Monetary Fund.
The Maoists closely collaborated with TMC and its leader Mamata Banerjee, helping her to gain a following among farmers in the Nandigram and Singur areas of West Bengal in 2007 who were opposing the CPM-led state government’s plans for expropriation of their lands for big business projects. Initially the CPI (Maoist) backed the TMC in West Bengal’s state assembly election in 2011, but, in a belated face-saving move, withdrew their support at the last minute and called for a boycott of the elections. By that stage, however, the political damage had been done. With the assistance of the Maoists’ promotion of the party as “progressive,” the TMC swept to power, implemented its big business policies and has brutally suppressed opposition by workers.