AT this time of year, the Communist Party, its cultural bases like the University of the Philippines (UP) and its fronts celebrate what made possible that party’s rise, the so-called “First Quarter Storm” from January to March 1970 and on a much lesser scale, the “Diliman Commune” of February 1971. These two events convinced — or fooled — droves of idealistic youth that a Philippine revolution was at hand, and the Communist Party was its vanguard.
I put those events within apostrophes because there is something fake about those terms, as it is demonstrative of how Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison was a master propagandist, quick to grab credit for those historic events by tagging them with labels of communist origin. Sison plagiarized the term “First Quarter Storm” from Mao Zedong’s “January Storm” in January 1967, the uprising of his Red Guards in Shanghai that was the start of his “Great Cultural Revolution” that turned out to be a political and economic catastrophe for China.
“Diliman Commune” on the other hand was copied from the “Shanghai People’s Commune, set up also that month, which became that city’s ad hoc government during the Cultural Revolution. Thus, in the Diliman Commune, slogans, even if totally irrelevant, of the Shanghai Commune were painted on the UP walls such as “Set up rebel Committees,” “Dare to think, dare to act” and “To rebel is justified.”(more…)