Message of Solidarity and Gratitude
To the Participants of the Launch of Reflections on Revolution and Prospects
By Jose Maria Sison
Dear Comrades and Friends,
I express to you warmest greetings of solidarity! Thank you for coming to this joint launch of Reflections on Revolution and Prospects and its German version EIn Leben im Widerstand. It is an honor and pleasure to be with you in this event.
I wish to give special thanks to my co-author Dr. Rainer Werning, our editor Julieta de Lima, the publishers International Network for Philippine Studies and the Verlag Neuer Weg, the book reviewers, the moderator Coni Ledesma and the host of this event, the NDF International Office.
I am pleased that on this occasion Rainer has ample opportunity to talk about our cooperation since we were young and his steadfast solidarity with the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
I am glad that as book reviewer Louie Jalandoni will focus on Philippine issues and refer to the 51st anniversary of the Communist party of the Philippines and Peter Weispfenning will focus on global issues in relation to German-Filipino solidarity.
The two books being launched appear to sum up my life, views and work and to say goodbye to the Philippines and to the world. But not really. I still have some years to go. I am determined to express my views on Philippine and global issues and call for militant actions by the people’s mass movement against imperialism and all reaction.
It would be a pity to say goodbye in the year 2019 when the world is on fire and great masses of people are rising up in anti-imperialist and democratic struggles against the depredations of neoliberalism, state terrorism, economic blockades, military intervention and wars of aggression.
The scale and intensity of the mass protests are unprecedented. They manifest the resistance to the extreme oppression and exploitation of the proletariat and people of the world in the hands of the imperialists and local reactionaries. I dare to foretell that these mass protests will lead either to reforms or fascism and on the whole will stimulate the growth of revolutionary movements.
Fifty years ago, it was said during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that if the problem of modern revisionism were solved, then imperialism would be be heading towards total collapse and socialism would be marching towards total victory. But Mao cautioned that it would take another 50 to 100 years for such a possibility to become real. Indeed, in the zigzag course of history, the world proletarian-socialist revolution would suffer major setbacks.
After the death of Mao in 1976, the Dengist counterrevolution seized power from the proletariat and enabled the capitalist restoration in China. In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, US imperialism became the sole superpower. But subsequently, the frequently recurrent economic and financial crisis of the US and world capitalism and the ceaseless US wars of aggression accelerated the strategic decline of US imperialism.
We are now living in a world of intensifying inter-imperialist contradictions, chiefly between the US and China which used to be the main partners in neoliberal globalization from the 1980s to the first decade of this century. But since the economic and financial crash of 2008, the smartest guys of the capitalist world have failed to solve the problem of prolonged global depression. The US is the chief instigator of neoliberalism but is increasingly protectionist and remorseful over its trade and technological concessions to China.
While the traditional and new imperialist powers are locked in a struggle for a redivision of the world, they continue to shift the burden of crisis to the proletariat and people of the world who are made to suffer the ever worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation. The accelerated capital accumulation by a few, bureaucratic corruption, military overspending and the growing tax and debt burden have aggravated the conditions of low income, unemployment and poverty among the toiling masses.
In their own homelands and in the client states, the imperialist powers push the use of state terrorism and fascism to suppress the people’s resistance and perpetuate the neoliberal methods of exploitation. They engage in military buildup, foreign military intervention and wars of aggression in order to expand their sources of cheap labor and raw materials, markets, fields of investments and
spheres of influence.
Imperialism ruins the lives of the people through class exploitation and threaten the very life of humankind with the degradation of the environment and the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. But the proletariat and people of the world can rise up and unite to fight imperialism. The current worldwide mass protests against neoliberalism, fascism, war and ruination of the environment expose the rottenness of the world capitalist system and signal the transition to a world of resurgent revolutionary struggles, characterized by mass protests, people’s wars and great victories of the cause of national liberation, democracy and socialism.
The Filipino people can be proud that they have persevered in their new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war, have overcome adversities from within the Philippines and abroad and have won significant victories. Through their revolutionary struggle, they have served as the torch bearer of the world proletarian revolution at a time that the toiling masses have taken severe punishment as a result of neocolonalism, anti-communism, revisionist betrayal of socialism, neoliberalism, state terrorism, wars of aggression and other weapons in the arsenal of imperialism.
The Filipino people have excelled at waging armed revolution and becoming stronger through struggle against escalating campaigns of military suppression designed by US imperialism and its Filipino puppets. They have overcome the Marcos fascist dictatorship and a series of
pseudo-democratic regimes. They have been able to carry out the program of new democratic revolution against the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and to build the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the people’s army, a wide array of mass organizations, alliances and the organs of democratic political power on a nationwide scale.
But since 2016, there has been a retrogression of the ruling system towards fascist dictatorship by the Duterte regime. The tyrannical, treasonous, genocidal, plundering and swindling policies and acts of this regime can only drive the Filipino people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, to raise their revolutionary strength and intensify their revolutionary struggle, as they did during the Marcos fascist dictatorship. They have the rich experience, the ample strength and abundant international solidarity and support to avail of.
Regarding the recent offer of Duterte to resume peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, I think that he has made the offer because his military efforts have failed to destroy the revolutionary movement and, by committing grievous crimes against the people, he and his military minions have instead caused this movement to grow in strength and advance. But for the peace negotiations to be resumed, the regime must agree to the reaffirmation of previous joint agreements made since 1992 and must do away with all the presidential issuances that have terminated and prevented said negotiations.
So long as there is no final agreement on a just peace that addresses the roots of the armed conflict through comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms under the principles of national independence, democracy, all-round development and social justice, the Filipino people together with all their revolutionary forces have all the sovereign right to wage all forms of revolutionary struggle until they win complete victory. Sincerity in the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations can be proven only by a willingness to agree on respect for the national and democratic rights of the Filipino people and on what is beneficial to them in clearly substantial and realizable social, economic and political terms.
I hope that the two books being launched today will contribute to the understanding of Philippine and global issues, promote the unity of the Filipino people and inspire them to raise the level of their revolutionary struggle to a new and higher level. The world capitalist system is bankrupt and breaking down, incapable of solving social and environmental problems, and is generating the conditions for anti-imperialist and democratic struggles, the upsurge of militant solidarity of all peoples and the resurgence of the world proletarian-socialist revolution. Thank you.###