Statements of support for historian Joseph Scalice from Australia and New Zealand

By our correspondents
3 September 2020

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing statements of support from Australia and New Zealand for historian Joseph Scalice, who was slanderously attacked by the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, over a lecture that he delivered on August 26 exposing the role of the CPP and of its Maoist ideology.

On the day prior to the lecture, the CPP took the extraordinary step of publishing a special edition of its newspaper Ang Bayan devoted entirely to an interview with Sison denouncing Scalice as a paid CIA agent, for which he provided not a shred of evidence.

Sison was reacting in particular to the parallel that Scalice demonstrated between the CPP’s support for the fascistic Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the support of an earlier Stalinist party for the Marcos dictatorship. In his lecture, Scalice comprehensively refuted Sison’s blatant lie that the CPP had never supported Duterte and established that the party’s repeated orientation to bourgeois politicians stemmed from the counter-revolutionary Stalinist perspective of the two-stage theory.

We call on our readers to come to the defence of Scalice by sending statements of support to the WSWS. By establishing the historical truth about the treacherous record of the CPP in the Philippines and the underlying reasons for its betrayals, Scalice has done a service to the working class in that country and internationally.

Neil Gurnett, an Australian school teacher, wrote:

The recently published lecture by Joseph Scalice, an historian and academic, clearly outlines the Stalinist ideology that has hindered socialism in the Philippines and instead has assisted in bringing to power dictator after dictator, the most recent being Duterte. For a people that have struggled under imperialistic rule for so long, the lecture provides a well-deserved insight into the way in which the CPP, led by Sison, has subverted the political will of the people and betrayed the working class. The reaction of Sison himself in accusing Scalice of being a CIA operative is testament to the tactics of the CPP over the past several decades to maintain its position of power.

Scalice is to be commended on the contents of the lecture. The objectivity and evidence provided (predominantly from CPP sources) provides a clear narrative of the historical support given to Duterte and his predecessors. The images and quotes used throughout the lecture are utilised as primary sources and given context by Scalice through his expert knowledge. The nuances of the relationships between different political entities are explained by Scalice in a way that assists even those not familiar with Philippine history.

At a time in which global pressures are putting a significant strain on politics and capitalism, Scalice has done what others must continue to do; educate the working class as to the workings of the capitalist system; and have the courage to call out political parties and figures that continue to subvert the name of socialism for their own interests.

A young worker Tom K, New Zealand:

Scalice’s work is crucially important in shedding light on how the working class in the Philippines and all around the world has been betrayed time and time again. In his passionate lecture he shows, with voluminous evidence, that Jose Maria Sison has repeatedly supported authoritarian capitalist leaders who go on to brutally crush the poor. Workers must resist the lies of nationalists and unite across countries to defeat the capitalist system.

Daniel, a worker in Wellington, New Zealand :

I found Joseph’s talk very interesting. I know very little about the history of the Philippines and nothing about the CPP. Joseph’s talk clearly demonstrated the role the CPP has played in supporting Duterte coming to power. The CPP is a Stalinist party with a history of supporting bourgeois and violent reactionary politics. Joseph mentioned on several occasions the importance of the defence of historical truth. This is something that I think the WSWS does very well.

A Chinese student in Australia :

In order to establish an independent class consciousness of the proletariat, the working class must be organised through the understanding of its historical role and historical experiences. The Stalinist-Maoist attacks and slanders against historian Joseph Scalice precisely show that they cannot refute historical experience and can only suppress the voice of opposition by slandering the opponent’s personality.

The Stalinists used their opportunism to alienate the masses of workers from socialism. At the same time, they have distorted the true history of the struggle of the working class by misinterpreting the basic concepts of Marxism and Leninism.

The essence of Stalinism is opportunism based on nationalism. The Stalinists used their “bloc of four classes” theory to betray the Chinese working class during the Chinese Revolution from 1926 to 1927, causing the revolutionary forces of the working class to be brutally suppressed. The students of Stalinism, the Maoists not only did not learn any lessons from such a betrayal, but instead accepted the opportunist dogma in its entirety: the only criticism of Stalin by the Maoists was that Stalin ignored the “special national conditions of China.” Furthermore, Maoists continued to carry forward this opportunist view.

Sison’s analysis of the various classes in Philippine society is a complete copy of Mao Zedong’s analysis of various classes in Chinese society. In the end, he also came to exactly the same conclusion: the country does not have the conditions to realise socialism, and it must support “progress” through a “revolution” of the national bourgeoisie. Through this conclusion, the Stalinists directed the working class away from the struggle for socialism. They have completely shifted the energy of the working class to the search for an alliance of classes. In other words, this is a betrayal of the independent consciousness and independent power of the working class.

Stalin’s defense of nationalism was fully inherited by the Maoists. Mao Zedong’s “three worlds” theory has completely become the basis for his defense of nationalism, and even portrayed the betrayal of internationalism as “revolutionary nationalism.” It not only completely copied Stalin’s betrayal of the international revolutionary forces, but also intensified its praise of nationalism.

This also makes it easy for us to understand the CPP’s enthusiasm for Philippine nationalism, so much so that the CPP regarded Duterte as a suitable nationalist leader to worship. Joseph Scalice’s lecture effectively exposed the betrayal of the Filipino Stalinists-Maoists to the Filipino working class, and it also more clearly revealed to us how the opportunists of our age are degenerating and collapsing step by step.

Dane, from Auckland, New Zealand

Thank you Joseph Scalice for your thorough and detailed lecture. It is a powerful statement in the defence of historical truth and an extremely valuable asset to the development of the consciousness of the international working class. Your explanation of the class origins of Jose Maria Sison and the CPP is fascinating and insightful. You have shown incredible bravery for delivering this lecture and your efforts will not go unnoticed.