otto's war room banner

otto's war room banner

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jose Marie Sison—Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines—turns 75

Jose Marie Sison was the founding chairman of the Communist Party of Phillipines (CPP). Last Saturday was his 75th birthday. Sison has quite a reputation as a political writer as well as having been a vital part of the activities of the CPP. I personally believe he is one of the better Marxist writers of our time. I used to get press releases from him in the past and his writing was always “print ready,” as news people like to say.
 This last week he has been interview and it has been published in a few blogs, such as Democracy and Class Struggle, the Kasama Project. Sison also has his own blog;
-សតិវ អតុ

Here is the interview:

Interview with Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines 
By New Culture Magazine
Communist Reconstruction Union of Brazil
What is your position towards Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism? Are there big differences between treating the theoretical contributions of Mao Zedong to scientific socialism as "Mao Zedong Thought" or "Maoism"? What would consist in taking Maoism as the third stage in the development of the theory of the practice of the proletariat? Would Maoism get in contradiction with the contributions given by other theoreticals of scientific socialism, like President Kim Il Sung with its Juche Idea?

Jose Maria Sison: There is no difference in content between Mao Zedong Thought and Maoism. When the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) used the phrase Mao Zedong Thought in 1969, all the major theoretical and practical achievements of Comrade Mao were encompassed. They are also encompassed in the word Maoism, used by the CPP since the early 1990s. The phrase Marxism-Leninism-Maoism evokes continuity and advance. The appearance of the word Maoism is symmetrical to Marxism and Leninism.

Maoism has further developed all major components of Marxism and Leninism. In philosophy, Mao explicated materialist dialectics as applied by Marx in Das Capital, and he penetrated further and elaborated on Lenin's reference to the unity of opposites as the most fundamental law of materialist dialectics. Previously, Engels had put forward the three laws of contradiction and Lenin focused on confronting empirio-criticism.

In political economy, Mao had an updated critique of monopoly capitalism up to bureaucrat monopoly capitalist in revisionist-ruled states, and improved on the previous theory and practice of socialist revolution and construction in the Soviet Union. He elaborated on the relationship of the mode of production and the superstructure in the long socialist transition to communism.

In social science, he pointed to the proletarian class struggle against the bourgeoisie as the key link in all the mass struggles to advance the socialist revolution. He put forward the rectification movement as the way to deal with serious errors, and to maintain and strengthen its integrity and effectiveness. He developed the strategic line of protracted people's war as the way for the peoples in underdeveloped countries to destroy the power of imperialism and reaction, and achieve national and social liberation.

But what brings Maoism to the level of the third stage in the development of the revolutionary theory and practice of the proletariat is Mao's theory and practice of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, in order to combat revisionism, prevent the restoration of capitalism, and consolidate socialism.

Maoism does not reject but encompasses the principle and practice of self-reliance in Kim Il Sung's idea of Juche. It can encompass variations of emphasis on certain principles and policies in the application of scientific socialism in various countries with different historical backgrounds and circumstances. It is the constant duty of communist and workers' parties to integrate theory with concrete practice in various settings.

In Brazil, the theories of Mao Zedong concerning bureaucrat capitalism were not well studied. Could you explain what bureaucrat capitalism is and how does it manifest, nowadays, in the countries oppressed by imperialism?

JMS: Bureaucrat capitalism simply means the corruption of state officials who use the state for the private accumulation of capital by themselves, their families and cronies. It may involve the state directly providing them with capital resources and privileges for their private business enterprises. It may also involve the establishment and operation of state enterprises for the benefit of private capitalists in various ways.

The government officials of the bourgeois state (and the revisionist-ruled state) are representatives and functionaries of the bourgeoisie. The high level officials are often members of the big bourgeoisie and are easily recognized as bureaucrat capitalists. These high bureaucrat capitalists recruit as their political agents and technocrats smart guys from the urban petty bourgeois intelligentsia. These hirelings can also become big bureaucrat capitalists as they rise in rank in the bureaucracy and accumulate private assets in capital and land through corrupt practices.

It is known that the landlord system is one of the main characteristics of underdeveloped countries. How is the agrarian situation of the Philippines nowadays? How does the survivor of the semi-feudal monopoly of the land in the Philippines relates with the situation of your country as a semi-colony of US imperialism?

 The Philippine social economy is still underdeveloped, agrarian, pre-industrial and semi-feudal. The countryside is still ruled by the landlord class, while the cities are ruled by the big compradors. The landlords are still the most numerous and widespread exploiting class, and the peasants are the most numerous and widespread exploited class in the Philippines. The landlords still own most of the land producing rice, corn, sugar and tobacco, even as foreign and domestic holders of land operate plantations producing pineapple, banana, palm oil and rubber.

The big compradors are the chief trading and financial agents of foreign monopoly firms, and are the wealthiest and most powerful in semi-feudal society. They themselves are often big landlords to ensure control of agricultural exports in their hands. Thus, the cream of the ruling class is often referred to as the big comprador-landlord class. This is the class that dominates the present semi-feudal economy, in contrast to the overwhelming dominance of the landlord class in the feudal economy of the past, up to the end of the 19th century.

It was the US colonial regime that started the semi-feudal economy and put the comprador big bourgeoisie in the top ruling position among the natives and mestizos at the beginning of the 20th century. By the time that the US shifted from colonial to semi-colonial rule in 1946, the semi-feudal ruling class of the big comprador-landlords had become well-developed. They became the principal trustees of the US, and their political agents took charge of the bureaucracy from top to bottom.

For the entire interview click here.

No comments: