Filipino political scientist and writer Professor Jose Maria Sison’s latest volumes of selected writings were launched last 15 May 2010 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The books, Crisis of Imperialism and People’s Resistance (Volume 3) and People’s Struggle Against Imperialist Plunder and Terror (Volume 4) were launched in the wake of Prof. Sison’s legal victories against the false charges filed by the Dutch prosecution and the victory at the European Court of Justice which annulled his inclusion in the so-called terrorist blacklist of the European Union.
Prof. Sison is the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front Peace Panel in peace negotiations with the Manila government, and is currently chairperson of the global anti-imperialist alliance International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS).
The books Crisis of Imperialism and People’s Resistance, and People’s Struggle Against Imperialist Plunder and Terror, are part of a 4-volume series of Prof. Sison’s selected writings. The first two volumes namely, For Justice, Socialism and Peace (Volume 1) and For Democracy and Socialism Against Imperialist Globalization (Volume 2), were released in 2009.
In his opening statement during the launching, Prof. Sison remarked that he wrote the selected writings in the current four volumes in various capacities since 1991 as a fervent student of Marxism-Leninism, as the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as a teacher of political science, as chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front Peace Panel and as the chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle.
Prof. Sison stated: “We are living today in interesting times. A severe crisis unprecedented since the Great Depression and World War II is shaking the world capitalist system. I hope that my writings can shed light on the causes of the intolerable suffering of the proletariat and people of the world and on the road of revolutionary resistance that leads to a fundamentally new and better world.”
Dr. Mario Fumerton (Ph.D.), Research Fellow on Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Utrecht University, presented his review of Crisis of Imperialism and People’s Resistance (Volume 3), while Ms. Maitet Ledesma, Chairperson of Pinay sa Holland-Gabriela read Dr. Pao-Yu Ching’s (Ph.D.) review of People’s Struggle Against Imperialist Plunder and Terror (Volume 4). Dr. Ching, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, was unable to come for the book launching.
In his review, Dr. Mario Fumerton noted that the principal purpose of the author for penning these essays in Crisis of Imperialism and People’s Resistance (Volume 3) has been to educate his readers as to the context and necessity of people’s armed struggle for national liberation. He does so in three steps. First, he carefully situates people’s resistance within a global system of monopoly capitalism, or modern imperialism. The material contradictions, economic crises, exploitation, oppression and destitution brought by imperialism to nations throughout the world—coupled with the intransigent and violent opposition by imperialist powers and their client-states to true, meaningful change for social justice and human development—are the catalysts for the emergence and rise of armed revolutionary forces. Second, he describes in detail, with special reference to the experience of the Philippines, the organizational and mobilizational capacities of revolutionary forces as they wage a political and moral struggle against imperialism and neo-colonialism. And third, he offers reasoning and argumentation as to why the only real solution to the crisis of imperialism is militant and uncompromising armed struggle for national liberation, social justice, and socialism.
Dr. Fumerton continued: “While I was reading this essay (Contradictions in the System and the Necessity of Revolution), I thought about how suitable it was for understanding the root causes and dynamics of the current global economic crisis. I thought about the thousands of Americans who, during the credit crisis, had lost their jobs and their homes, and were reduced to living in tent cities in places like Southern California, Nevada, and Florida. I thought about how rapacious American military aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan had inadvertently provoked the multiplication of insurgent groups in other countries, like Pakistan and Yemen. Indeed, while it quickly became obvious to me that this essay can competently frame what is happening in the world today, what is truly remarkable about it is that it was an essay written back in May 2001. That his political-economic assessment of world affairs a decade ago could accurately anticipate future political, economic, and social developments attests to Professor Sison’s power of astute observation, and the explanatory potency of his method of analysis, which is based on historical-materialism.”
Dr. Fumerton pointed out that on 18 September 2001, Prof. Sison released a public statement of sympathy for the victims of 9/11 which makes clear that his fight is not against the ordinary people of America. Prof. Sison stated that terrorism from any quarter is reprehensible and must be combatted and eradicated. But according to Dr. Fumerton Prof. Sison was careful to add, however, that the state terrorism meted out by US imperialism is what provokes “…such terrorists as those responsible for the 11 September terrorist attacks to give the US a dose of its own medicine.” His outspoken criticism of US state terror and its politics of labeling have undoubtedly played a role in landing him on various terrorist lists. Such has been the price he has paid for speaking out against the hypocrisy that underlies the so-called “global war on terror.”
Dr. Pao-yu Ching, in her review of People’s Struggle Against Imperialist Plunder and Terror (Volume 4) stated that Volume 4 impressed her on the depth of Sison’s analysis and the ranges of issues he covers such as the analysis of economic and political crisis of monopoly capitalism, and how United States masquerades military aggression as “war on terror”. The range of issues that Sison covers extends from national to regional and to international so that the reader is given a knowledge of both historical and current people’s struggle against imperialism in Asia, Latin America and Africa as well as people’s struggles in imperialist countries.
To gain clarity about the current global economic crisis and what to do to push the anti-imperialist struggles forward, Dr. Ching stated that the reader will benefit from Sison’s paper on “What the People Can and Must Do about the Financial and Economic Crisis”. The paper explains not only the fundamental cause for the crisis but shows how the neo-liberal policies pushed forward by imperialist powers in the past three decades has actually intensified the crisis. On what is to be done, Sison outlines a program focusing on organizational, information and education campaigns and mass mobilization, all of which are to be carried out according to the concrete conditions of different countries.
Dr. Ching ended her review by quoting from the preface of the book: “For exercising his right to speak on the side of the people, Prof. Sison has been subjected to various forms of persecution, including the use of false charges to malign him as a “terrorist”; denial of his bid for political asylum, deprivation of employment and social benefits; imprisonment and threat of imprisonment; and threats of and attempts at assassination.”
And yet through all this adversarial situation, Dr. Ching stated that Prof. Sison thrives and his conviction and commitment to the cause of revolution shine through his writings and speeches.
A photo exhibit of Prof. Sison as gleaned through the eyes of photographers Viory Schellekens and Nwel Saturay was launched during the event. Schellekens and Saturay followed Prof. Sison’s daily activities and photographed him in different situations. Guests at the book launching gave very positive remarks on the photographs which according to them showed Prof. Sison in a very different light.
Jeffrey Guiban sang“ Pulang Saludo, Ka Joma” [Red Salute, Comrade Joma], with lyrics written by Danilo Robles and put into music by Guiban.
The program was emceed by Theo Droog, Chairperson of Committee DEFEND-Netherlands. — International Committee DEFEND