Letters from the Philippines and Australia defend Dr. Joseph Scalice’s “meticulous and painstaking research”
1 October 2020
The World Socialist Web Site is publishing messages of support for Dr. Joseph Scalice from throughout the world. Scalice 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), 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. 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.
Zhea, university instructor, Philippines:
Joma Sison’s efforts to malign Dr. Joseph Scalice by labeling him a CIA agent and informer for Duterte’s death squad is just a futile attempt to remain relevant. Sison should have known better than resorting to slanderous attacks that do not erase the fact that the CPP-NPA-NDF indeed endorsed Duterte for presidency in 2016. In fact, a quick online search about it would yield numerous reports and photos showing how they were rejoicing that Duterte won. Sison and his supporters simply cannot accept that they openly supported an authoritarian president who is now very vocal in ending the communist movement in the Philippines.
The lecture of Dr. Scalice “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce: Marcos, Duterte, and the Communist Parties of the Philippines” delivered on August 26 was objective and informative. Sison’s hostile reaction towards it only tells us that there is a part of history that they want to be covered up and forgotten. They quickly brand anyone who talks against the CPP-NPA-NDF a “fascist” and those who call out their communist activities a “red-tagger.” And this is ironic. Because if they try so hard to silence and intimidate opposing views, they are not at all different from the fascists and red-taggers they so loathe. Their ideologies are only good on paper and what they are practicing is farcical.
With this, we not only support Dr. Scalice and his scholarship but we also make it clear that we will not be silenced by any individual or group who dares to terrorize our democracy by turning us away from history.
Andrew, undergraduate political science student, Philippines:
Having actually read some of Dr. Scalice’s various works, from revisiting the “Pasyon” and some articles about Rizal, Dr. Scalice has managed to give valuable insight on Philippine history. Having to hear that he has been attacked by the founder of CPP on Facebook, it’s actually quite sad to see that, without publishing any concrete evidence of his own, Jose Maria Sison has shrunk to the level of Facebook trolls. If Sison really wants to reject Scalice’s lecture on the CPP, he really should look back on his actions in 2016 and think hard on why he supported Duterte in the first place. If he wants to validate his rejections, he should publish his own studies about it. The old Jose Maria Sison is evidently gone now, and he is currently a shell of his former past. His actions are unfortunately damaging to the real supporters and members of the Leftist and socialist movement in the Philippines that know the real situation of the country. Activists and peasant leaders are being killed by the Duterte Administration and instead of attacking academics who are trying to have an objective perception of CPP history, Sison should focus more on how to undo his mistakes in 2016.
George, Australian television producer:
I’m writing to thank Dr. Joseph Scalice for his meticulous and painstaking research—ten years work—exposing the treacherous history of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and to defend him from the vicious attacks of Joma Sison, founder of the CPP.
In the current revolutionary period, it could not be more vital to clarify the difference between Trotskyism, that is genuine revolutionary socialism, and the anti-working class politics of Stalinism.
Dr. Scalice’s analysis that the CPP’s support for the fascistic Rodrigo Duterte (and before that for Marcos, Aquino etc) flows from the Stalinist-Maoist doctrine of a two-stage revolution is an important and correct one.
Sison slanders and threatens Dr Scalice because he has no alternative.
Campbell, secondary school teacher, Australia:
As a current, practising educator, I write in support of Dr. Joseph Scalice and his thorough analysis of the role played by the Stalinist Communist Party of the Philippines, and in opposition to the threats and lies he has received from the CPP and its leader, Jose Maria Sison.
This is a contemporary example of the treacherous and rotten role that Stalinism has played in political life over the course of nearly a century. It provides us all with a clear focus on the role that Stalinism attempts to play in removing the working class from taking independent actions at resolving the crisis of capitalism around the globe.
Historical and political truths are abandoned by the CPP, for open lies, falsifications and distortions.
As Leon Trotsky stated: “The lie serves, therefore, as the fundamental ideological cement of the bureaucracy. It’s what holds the whole thing together. The more irreconcilable becomes the contradiction between the bureaucracy and the people, all the ruder becomes the lie, all the more brazenly is it converted into criminal falsification and judicial frame-up.”
Dr. Scalice’s study has simply addressed these issues as they should. Exposing the CPP for their political degeneracy is an important step moving forward in how the global working class must commence in resolving the issues of its dominance by capital.
His article has exposed the Stalinist’s lies of supporting the interests of the working class, with “cosy deals” being made with the nationalist bourgeoisie, that serve to only enrich the CPP bureaucracy. This rottenness is further exposed with the open contempt it has historically shown to its most advanced cadre, who are treated as ‘dangerous’ hence expendable tools to the movement.
The degenerative depths that these craven political cowards use to attack the truth will need to be learned as we move forward. With the increased rapidity of social dislocation occurring around the globe, and the increasing attacks on working class freedoms, these Stalinists have shown they will stop at nothing to maintain the current state of affairs.
I commend Dr. Scalice for producing a study of great importance, and openly call for his defence by the international working class, including educators, for highlighting this contemptible role played by the Sison and the CPP.