SO how do we collectively refer to organizations with such diverse avowed aims as feminism (Gabriela), youth welfare (Anakbayan), trade unionism (KMU) or “people’s economics” (Ibon Foundation)?
There is something certainly common to them, and therefore, they are a class that deserves its own name: they are all against any administration; they all adhere to the program first espoused by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as the struggle for “national democracy,” which will put an end to the evils of “imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism.”
Don’t call them “progressives,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s preferred term for them, which is really an indication of that paper’s sympathy and even admiration for them. That’s an old, old term that disguised the nascent communist movement, which CPP founder Jose Ma. Sison in the 1960s used to camouflage his political views drawn from his readings of Mao Zedong. In fact, his first printed venue for such writings on this was titled The Progressive Journal.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “progressive” as “making use of or interested in new ideas, findings or opportunities.” Progressive may have been appropriate in the 1960s to describe the kind of views Claro M. Recto espoused, which was for the country to move out of the American colonizers’ economic, political and cultural hold.
In this day and age, however, there is nothing “progressive” in the political program that the CPP and its fronts espouse, which is to establish the party’s dictatorship and implement a Cuba or North Korea kind of system.
How can Marxism-Leninism be progressive, when it has been thrown to the dustbin after causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of East Europeans when they were under the USSR and Chinese under Mao due to the disastrous economic and political programs it espoused?
Even the term the Left uses for its supposed program, “national democracy” with its three evils of “imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism” is such an outdated term, first used by Mao Zedong to describe (quite accurately at that time) China whose coastal areas were grabbed by European imperialists, whose main form of economic organization was a medieval-type of feudalism and its huge bureaucracy to run a vast country.
The Left’s bible, Philippine Society and Revolution (PSR) was written by Sison in 1968, plagiarized from Indonesian communist leader’s D.N. Aidit’s 1957 work Indonesian Society and Indonesian Revolution. To this day, PSR has not been changed in the slightest. How can such an analysis and prescription for Philippine society written 52 years ago, from which the Red fronts deduce their stand on all issues facing us today be “progressive”? Haven’t they noticed tectonic changes in the Philippines and in the world?
Don’t call them “nationalists,” which is simply their expropriation of a term that created our nation and inspired our heroes. How can these Red organizations be “nationalists” when they haven’t gone against the colossal telecoms, power and infrastructure conglomerate owned by a foreigner, Anthoni Salim, through his First Pacific conglomerate? Why haven’t they demonstrated against Globe Telecoms whose major stockholder is Singtel, owned by Singapore’s investment fund Temasek Holdings? Or is their nationalism for sale, especially to telecoms which need to secure their cell sites in far-flung areas the New People’s Army can easily destroy?
They claim to be nationalists in protesting against China’s alleged encroachment on our exclusive economic zones. But they refuse to see that it is their old enemy, US imperialism, which maneuvered the stupid Aquino regime into adapting a belligerent stance against China and file a suit against it.
Why did the US do so? Because China is an emerging superpower in Asia, and for the first time, US imperialist hegemony is being challenged.
“Militant” may be an appropriate term for these Red fronts, as that adjective means “combative, violent, or confrontational” which they certainly have proven again and again in their street demonstrations in which they try to provoke police violence. They are also undoubtedly espousing the violent overthrow of our democratic government. The word’s etymology is from the Latin “militare,” meaning “serving as a soldier” — the term reminding us that they are serving the New People’s Army.
But they are not the only militants here. The secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, before they agreed to lay down their arms, and the still-existing Abu Sayyaf are certainly militants. If we ever use that word to describe the Red fronts, we have to be more precise and describe them as communist militants or Red militants with the Abu Sayyaf as “jihadist” (or Islamic) militants.
“Activist” could be another appropriate term for these Red fronts, as that “means a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.” But then there are activists of all kind, from tree-huggers, to animal lovers, to revolutionary-government proponents, to gay rights activists, to even anti-oligarch Duterte lovers. Many columnists really are activists in this sense.
So, if we ever use that term, we have to qualify it, that is, “communist-led activists” or “Red activists”. Leftist writers use “natdem” activists, which of course is another way of concealing their being communist-led: There is just no national democrats independent of the party or its fronts.
“National democracy” is the CPP’s bait to lure people to support its cause. But the CPP’s “Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution” clearly categorically states that the people’s democratic government will be led by the party, a euphemism for its dictatorship.
It is Sison himself though who provided us with a list of the organizations the party leads or controls, one which is so publicly known as to be in a website (ilps.info/en/) accessible to anyone.
In 2007, he organized the so-called International League of People’s Struggles. Because of his bloated ego, he wanted to be viewed not just as the supreme leader of the Philippine communist movement but as the leader of current communist-led struggles in the world.
It was also one of Sison’s many ways to fool armchair revolutionaries all around the world to give him money for his upkeep in the Netherlands. Member-organizations were charged a membership fee of $50 for organizations in developing countries, and $150 for those in developed ones.
To organize the ILPS, Sison ordered all of the organizations that the CPP controlled to become members of the “league,” excluding the formal members of the National Democratic Front (NDF) so as to conceal its true nature as a party-controlled entity. Sison was its chairman from 2001 to 2019, when he retired to be designated as chairman emeritus, the same title he has in the CPP now.
Its Philippine members are in the list accompanying this column. Call it red-tagging or whatever, I extracted it from the publicly accessible ILPS website. If your organization is not a member, write Sison to demand that your group be deleted from the list, and cc me your letter.
So, would these Red fronts prefer to be called “Sisonites”? That octogenarian megalomaniac in Utrecht would love that. “Stupid Sisonites” would have a nice, alliterative ring and quite accurate.