Communist Party of the Philippines
June 02, 2012
Contribution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of he Philippines
to the International Communist Seminar in Brussels, Belgium, 18 to 20 May 2012
On behalf of its general membership, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines hereby expresses warmest greetings of comradeship and revolutionary solidarity to our co-members in the Advisory Committee of the International Communist Seminar and to all delegations participating in this 21st seminar.
We are deeply pleased and highly honored to have this opportunity to share with you our views on “The Immediate Tasks of Communists and Their Struggle for Socialism.” Let us consider and discuss the urgent ideological, political and organizational tasks that communists need to carry out in order to advance towards socialism.
Immediate Ideological Tasks
The constant task of every revolutionary party of the proletariat is to propagate the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism and to apply this on the history and concrete circumstances of the people and the concrete practice of revolution in every country. Ideological work is the first requisite of building the Marxist-Leninist party.
Through ideological work the Party rank and file acquire a clear materialist and scientific outlook and materialist-dialectical method of thinking, analysis and action. Marxism-Leninism is the guide to action of the Party in leading the revolution on the basis of the current situation towards the goal of socialism and communism.
The immediacy of ideological work is underscored by the fact that such basic components of Marxism as philosophy, political economy and social science and all subsequent great developments in the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism have been obscured and vilified by the imperialist powers and their camp followers since the fall of revisionist regimes, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the full restoration of capitalism in former socialist countries in the years of 1989 to 1991, following decades of the dominance of modern revisionism.
For a long while, despite the recurrence and worsening of the crisis of capitalism, the imperialist powers headed by the US. kept boasting that humankind could no longer go beyond capitalism and liberal democracy and that socialism was dead forever. With the most unrestrained air of triumphalism, they embarked on all kinds of offensive: ideological, political, economic, military and cultural. These coincided with the conspicuous use of high technology in production, commerce, finance, communications and war.
All forms of bourgeois subjectivism and idealism ran rampant in philosophy amidst mass consumerism induced by debt financing. By political insinuation, the bourgeoisie associated and even equated communism and revolutionary movements with terrorism to set them up for repression. The neoliberal economic policy gave free reign to bourgeois greed and the denial of the working people as the real creators of social wealth. The US and NATO promoted state terrorism worldwide and launched wars of aggression at a rapid rate. Consumer products with the US brand spearheaded the imperialist cultural offensive.
The ranks of communists and the broad masses of the people are clamoring for the explanation of the root causes and consequences of the current grave crisis and more importantly for what is to be done in order to confront the crisis and carry forward the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle towards socialism. The most important ideological task of the communist and workers' parties at the moment is to explain the crisis and clarify and set forth the tasks for advancing the revolutionary struggle.
Under the neoliberal economic policy, the expansion of global capitalism seemed limitless as huge amounts of debt financing were poured on the recurrent and worsening crisis of overproduction to propel finance capitalism as the platform for conjuring the illusion of economic growth. Financial bubbles were launched only to burst one after another, dumping mountains of debt on the real economies of the imperialist countries in 2008. Since then the financial and economic crisis has resulted in a global depression.
The imperialist powers have failed to solve the crisis because they cling to the neoliberal
dogma that the state is only good for helping the monopoly bourgeoisie to accumulate capital and maximize profits. Thus they have pushed down the wage level, cut back on social services, provided tax cuts, gold-plated contracts and subsidies to the corporations and conceded everything else to the big bourgeoisie under the terms of investment and trade liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization of the less developed capitalist countries and the big mass of underdeveloped countries.
Under conditions of economic and financial collapse, the state has provided the bailouts to the big banks and corporations. It incurs higher deficits because of the bailouts, the tax cutbacks for the corporations and lessened tax revenues due to the stagnant economy. Thus, it goes into a public debt crisis,which becomes the basis for austerity measures at the expense of the people. All the while the monopoly bourgeoisie discourages the state from employing the unemployed and from engaging in any enterprise to expand production.
The imperialist powers keep on adopting measures that aggravate the crisis. They are finding it increasingly hard to abstain from Keynesian-type measures or all-out protectionism against each other in economic production. For the moment, they still find it easier to unite on shifting the burden of crisis to the proletariat and the people of the world. Nevertheless, the crisis is generating inter-imperialist contradictions in the contest to secure sources of strategic raw materials, especially oil, expand markets and sell weapons under the stimulus of the wars of aggression, civil wars and other localized or regional wars.
At any rate, the crisis is worsening and is hitting hard both the imperialist countries and the dominated countries, with the latter countries continuing to suffer the crisis more than the former. It is already comparable to the Great Depression in terms of the massive destruction of productive forces, wide scale social degradation, the growth of ultra-reactionary currents, the increasing aggressiveness of the imperialist powers and the rise of both organized and spontaneous popular resistance.
While the crisis of the world capitalist system is worsening, the science of Marxism-Leninism stands as a beacon for us to understand the problems brought about by the monopoly bourgeoisie and its financial oligarchy and to provide the revolutionary solution that the working class and its advanced detachment can adopt and develop, together with the rest of the exploited and oppressed people.
With the aid of Marxism-Leninism, the proletarian revolutionaries of today are answering the questions regarding the course of advance for the socialist cause, how to overthrow the bourgeois state and how to establish and develop the socialist state. The questions and answers cover the historical experience and new circumstances of the proletariat and people and extend to how to build socialism, strengthen it and consolidate it, combat opportunism and revisionism and move steadfastly towards the ultimate goal of communism.
Immediate Political Tasks
The immediate political tasks of all communist and workers' parties involve arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses on current issues generated by the global and domestic crisis of capitalism. Issues that immediately have a political character involve the demands for anti-imperialist and class struggle, the violations of human rights, brutal acts of repression and wars of aggression.
Issues such as unemployment, wage freeze, homelessness, soaring prices of basic goods and services, deteriorating social services, and so on arise at first as economic issues. But they can easily become political issues when the revolutionary party of the proletariat and the people raise them as issues in the anti-imperialist and class struggle.
The imperialists, the ruling class and the state are held responsible for the people's economic suffering and become the targets of the people's outrage. The exploiters themselves unwittingly incite the people to rise up when they oppress them by vilifying and suppressing the mass protests. In the course of the political struggle, both tactical demands for basic reforms and the strategic call for revolutionary change are made.
Whatever is the state of economic and political development in a country and whatever is the corresponding character of the revolutionary movement, the revolutionary party of the proletariat and the people must win the battle for democracy by taking the mass line. This involves arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people in their millions according to their interests, trusting and relying on them, asserting and exercising their democratic rights and opposing political repression by the state and exploitation by the ruling classes.
In the course of fighting for immediate demands and aiming for socialism in the industrial capitalist countries, the revolutionary forces and the people must be vigilant and militant against the attempts to suppress the mass movement. The monopoly bourgeoisie does not hesitate to employ fascism against those who aim for socialism. In a clever way, it also imposes violence on the people by accelerating the recruitment of military troops, police and intelligence agents from the ranks of the people, especially the unemployed, for the purpose of so-called homeland security, civil war or wars of aggression.
In an underdeveloped country like the Philippines, the exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords are ever active in using both persuasive and violent means of the reactionary state to suppress the people's movement for a new democratic revolution with a socialist perspective. The battle for democracy here entails not only the political mobilization of the people by asserting and exercising democratic rights but also emphatically by struggling for the liberation of the millions of peasants from feudal and semi-feudal conditions.
The crisis of the world capitalist system and the crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system in the Philippines are distinct from each other and are at the same time closely interrelated. The Philippine ruling system has its own frailties due to its underdevelopment but is so dependent on the world capitalist system, especially the US, that the current crisis of global capitalism impacts violently on the Philippines from the outside and at the same times aggravates the chronic crisis that is due to its underdevelopment.
The Philippine economy is so dependent on the production of raw materials (agricultural and mineral) and the semi-manufacture of certain consumer products for export as well as the export of cheap labor in the form of overseas contract workers. It goes awry and goes into deeper crisis as a result of lesser demand and lower prices for such exports upon the worsening of the crisis of global capitalism. The worsening of the Philippine crisis results in great suffering for the Filipino people and at the same in the intensification of contradictions among the reactionaries themselves and between the people and the ruling system.
The Communist Party of the Philippines has set the general line of new democratic revolution at the current stage of the Philippine revolution in order to take into account and oppose the semicolonial and semifeudal character of Philippine society. The current stage of democratic revolution under the leadership of the working class is preparation for the subsequent stage of socialist revolution, which begins upon the basic completion of the new democratic revolution through the nationwide seizure of political war as a result of the protracted people's war.
The general line of new democratic revolution with a socialist perspective sets the direction of the Philippine revolution and guides the Party and the masses in sorting out the welter of economic, social, political, cultural, environmental and moral issues that arise from oppression and exploitation and their aggravation as a result of crisis. The working class is the leading class in the revolution for being the most advanced productive and political force. It relies mainly on its basic alliance with the peasantry, wins over the urban petty bourgeoisie as a major ally, further wins over the middle bourgeoisie and takes advantage of the contradictions among the reactionaries in order to isolate and destroy one enemy after another.
At every given time, the enemy is the worst of the reactionaries, acting as chief puppet of the imperialists and as chief representative of the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class. It wages a vicious counterrevolutionary war against the people and the revolutionary forces. In the light of international law, it can be said that a civil war is going on in the Philippines. But the US is increasing its military intervention because it is driven by the aggressive character and grave crisis of imperialism and its current scheme to refocus its attention on East Asia. The possibility looms for the civil war to become a national war of liberation against foreign aggression.
In times of grave crisis, the issues abound for the Filipino people to take up in accordance with national and class interests along the general line of new democratic revolution. There are several types of mass organizations that must be developed in order to solidify the mass of patriotic and progressive activists. The larger the membership of the mass organizations, the easier it becomes to reach and mobilize the people in their millions.
The patriotic and progressive legal mass organizations can arise and grow by asserting and exercising their democratic rights against the exploitation and oppression of the people and against both the blatant and subtle acts of suppression by regimes that hypocritically claim to be democratic and different from the fallen Marcos fascist dictatorship. The working class has trade unions, with the Kilusang Mayo Uno as the strongest labor center. The peasants and farm workers have the Pambansang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas; the fisher folk, the Pamalakaya; and the government employees, COURAGE, to cite only the major mass formations of the toiling masses.
There are various types of sectoral mass organizations, like those of students, teachers, health workers, lawyers., scientists and technologists, writers and artists, progressive religious, patriotic businessmen and so on. There are also mass organizations based on such concerns and causes as national independence, democracy, human rights, land reform and national industrialization, indigenous people, labor rights, youth rights, women's rights, children's rights, patriotic and progressive culture, environment, just and lasting peace, international solidarity against imperialist plunder and war, and so on.
By way of employing the policy of the united front, the patriotic and progressive mass organizations have developed sectoral alliances (within classes and occupational categories) and the multisectoral alliances like the BAYAN (New Patriotic Alliance) which is the largest of its kind. These alliances have served to augment, amplify and expand the strength and influence of the national democratic movement in campaigns and various kinds of activities on major longstanding issues as well as on burning issues of the day.
The legal mass organizations and alliances make it a point to assert their independence from the Communist Party of the Philippines and the illegal revolutionary mass organizations. They do so obviously to counter the anti-communist witch hunts, that have become more vicious than ever under the so-called antiterrorism law. They are closely related to progressive party list groups that participate in electoral struggles within the ruling system.
Of course, the Communist Party of the Philippines has developed various types of illegal mass organizations. The most important of these in terms of waging the protracted people's war is the New People's Army. It is led by the Party and the working class and most of the Red commanders and fighters come from the peasantry. At the moment, the NPA is engaged in the five-year strategic plan to advance the people's war from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
There is a comprehensive array of underground mass organizations for workers, peasants, youth, women, cultural workers, lawyers, scientists and technologies. And there are underground alliances of the peoples of Cordillera, Moros and the Lumads and the progressive religious, especially the Christians for National Liberation. All the aforesaid underground revolutionary forces are dedicated to the people's war. Together with the CPP and NPA, they belong to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
The NDFP is a revolutionary united front organization, with its own program of people's democratic revolution and constitution harmonious with those of the CPP. The NDFP consists of the mass formations of the toiling masses and the urban petty bourgeoisie. But it is ever ready to broaden the united front so as to include the middle bourgeoisie and even the temporary and unreliable allies from among the ranks of the reactionaries who oppose the worst of the reactionaries as the enemy.
The NDFP has gone so far as to engage in peace negotiations with a series of reactionary regimes in order to assert its status of belligerency under international law and to demand that the roots of the armed conflict be addressed to lay the basis for a just and lasting peace. To avert confusion among the revolutionaries and people, the CPP and NDFP have always made it clear that the line for a just and lasting peace is no different from the line of the new democratic revolution. The reactionary regimes have failed to come to an agreement on a just and lasting peace because of their extreme subservience to US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords.
The patriotic and progressive mass organizations and alliances have been responsible for well-sustained campaigns on highly significant issues and for large scale mobilizations that have resulted in the overthrow of the Marcos fascist dictatorship and the corrupt Estrada regime. They generate the campaigns and activities that carry the general line of new democratic revolution and express the protests and demands of the people. In turn, they are strengthened by these acts of mass mobilization which bring forward mass activists on a large scale.
The strategic line of protracted people's war in the Philippines is now greatly favored by the terrible conditions of oppression and exploitation generated by the crisis of the world capitalist system. All forms of people's resistance, including general strikes and mass protest rallies and armed revolutionary movements, are spreading and growing in strength.
The Philippine revolutionary movement is contributing what it can in order to expand and intensify the revolutionary movements of the people of the world against imperialism and for national liberation, democracy and socialism. At the same time, it is benefited by the expansion and intensification of revolutionary movements abroad.
The imperialist powers can be dizzied and weakened by the great number of what they consider as trouble spots. In all continents and in so many countries, including the imperialist countries, the grave all-round crisis has resulted in an upsurge of mass movements. The entire world is in ferment. We are on the eve of great social upheavals and revolutionary advances.
Thanks to the use of higher technology, the monopoly bourgeoisie has accelerated not only the accumulation of capital and profit-making but also the recurrence and worsening of the crisis of overproduction and the abuse of monopoly finance capital. It has produced the rapid means of communications that the revolutionary forces can also avail of.
Revolutionary propaganda and agitation, the organization of people in various types of mass formations and mass mobilizations have been facilitated and accelerated by use of the internet, cellphone, audio-visuals and social networks. But of f course, we presume that the revolutionary forces use these means very intelligently and effectively, mindful that the the enemy uses the same means against the revolutionary movement.
Immediate Organizational Tasks
The Communist Party of the Philippines is guided by democratic centralism as its basic organizational principle. This means centralized leadership based on democracy and democracy guided by centralized leadership. It is an effective way of giving full play to democratic debates and taking decisions at every level and from the lowest level to the highest and concentrating promptly the will of the entire Party in the Central Committee.
At the base of the Party are the Party branches and groups or fractions within mass organizations and institutions. On the basis of facts and discussions, they give reports and recommendations to the section committee. Section committees make reports and recommendations to the district committee; the district committees to the provincial committee; the provincial committees to the regional committee; and the regional committees to the Central Committee. Decisions of the Central Committee go down from level to level.
The individual Party members are subordinate to the entire Party and the Central Committee. At any level, decisions are taken by majority vote or consensus after full discussion of an issue. The lower organ is subordinate to the higher organ. The essence of centralized leadership is upholding Marxism-Leninism as guide to action and applying it on concrete issues and circumstances. In the first place, the Party is constituted as a Marxist-Leninist party and its members are educated, trained and act as Marxist-Leninists.
The Party recruits its members from the ranks of the advanced mass activists. These are considered advanced because they have a relatively high level of political consciousness, are militant and conscientiously perform their tasks. Most important of all, they are willing to join the Party. They enter the Party first as candidate members. The period of candidature for workers and peasants is six months and for the urban petty bourgeoisie, one year.
The mass movement is growing fast because of the severity and protraction of the economic, social and political crisis and because the Party and the mass organizations are intensifying propaganda and agitation, mass organizing of various types and mass mobilizations on the burning issues. On the basis of the fast growing mass movement, the Party can recruit fast and carry out the policy of expanding the Party boldly without letting in a single undesirable element. The honesty of every applicant for Party membership is of crucial importance and is verified.
The rapid expansion of the Party is required by the worsening crisis and by the need of the Party to strengthen itself for its current strategic plan of advancing from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in the people's war. The Party is resolved to make an accelerated advance on the basis of more than 43 years of building the Party, the mass organizations in both urban and rural areas and the organs of political power in the countryside.
The cadres of the Party are in leading organs of the Party itself as well as in those of the New People's Army, the mass organizations and the people's government. They have developed into cadres by virtue of their ability to lead ideological, political and organizational work and to accomplish the expansion and consolidation of the Party organizations to which they are assigned. The rapid expansion of the Party that is now being carried out is expected to result in the rapid development of cadres.
All Party cadres and members are acutely conscious of the need to fulfil the central task of the revolution, which is to seize political power, and of the decisive role of the Party in leading the revolutionary process. The Party serves as the coordinator of the forces of the New People's Army and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the various forms of struggle in both the urban and rural areas.
Party cadres and members in the urban areas are conscious of developing the legal mass movement in order to support and complement the revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside and they encourage the workers and educated youth to join the people's army. Those in the rural areas, especially in the people's army, are conscious of advancing the people's war in order to bring about ultimately the nationwide seizure of political power .
The broad masses of the Filipino people and the revolutionary led by the Communist Party of the Philippines are confident of completing the stage of the new democratic revolution and proceeding to the stage of socialist revolution. Their confidence is based on adherence to the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism, awareness of the chronic crisis and losing course of the domestic ruling system and the world capitalist system, learning lessons from the experiences of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines and abroad and undertaking all the necessary hard work and struggle to advance the revolution from one stage to another. ###