More statements defending Dr. Joseph Scalice against Stalinist attacks

By our reporters
15 September 2020

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing more messages of support for Dr. Joseph Scalice, who has come under attack from the Philippine Stalinists for his powerful August 26 lecture, “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce: Marcos, Duterte and the Communist Parties of the Philippines.” The lecture examined the support given by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the various organizations that follow its political line, for Philippine Pre sident 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. Dr. 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.

We call on our readers to come to the defence of Scalice by sending statements of support to the WSWS opposing the slanderous attack on him by the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Sneha, a student from Sydney:

“All forms of progressive thought and culture are inspired by the conviction that there is nothing more powerful than truth”—David North

Dr. Joseph Scalice

Academic Joseph Scalice, in his rigorous and meticulous scholarship of the CPP and its allied front organisations, uncovers historical truths that illuminate the opportunist politics that were complicit in the rise of Rodrigo Duterte and his blood-drenched regime. Scalice’s compelling lecture—“First as tragedy, second as farce”—lays bare the truth that despite the CPP’s split from the PKP, a similarly Stalinist political program of its leadership has ultimately played no small part in yet another imposition of Martial Law—and another harrowing chapter in the history of the Philippines. Scalice unpacks the nationalist outlook of Joma Sison; an outlook that is a clear and inevitable expression of rapacious class interests that do not align with that of the working class.

As such, the CPP, despite its proclamations, is no ally to the Philippines’ working class. Duterte’s “war on drugs” served and serves only as a murderous assault on the most impoverished and vulnerable strata of the nation’s population. Sison’s obfuscating denials and acts of slander against Scalice are seen now as yet another set of political manoeuvres in his betrayal of the people of the Philippines. The knowledge of these undeniable truths however—to which Joseph Scalice is a noble torchbearer—sets the stage for the working class of the Philippines in their emancipation from Stalinist and Maoist forces in their independent mobilisation.

Dr. William Briggs, Melbourne, Australia:

I would like to add my voice to those condemning the attacks on the integrity of Joseph Scalice. Having both watched his address and read the text of his lecture, I have nothing but admiration for his scholarship, courage and honesty. In attacking his work with such “vigour” the Communist Party of the Philippines shows to the world that the politics of Stalinism and Maoism remains unchanged. Embedded in these attacks is an entire worldview that remains hostile, both to the truth and to the quest for truth. Stalin might have died 67 years ago, but his heirs have learned their ‘theory’ well. For the better part of a century, Stalinism has sought to throttle the voice of classical Marxism. That voice has not been silenced. Scalice attests to that. The stain of Stalin remains but with each attack that the rump of this ideology unleash they further show to the world the paucity of their ideas.

Dmitri, a student from Adelaide, Australia:

I condemn the actions of Jose Maria Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines and would like to put forward my statement of support for Dr Joseph Scalice’s scholarship, his excellent lecture, and his right to freedom of speech. Libellously and incoherently, Dr. Scalice was accused by the Maoist politician in exile, Jose Maria Sison, of being a “pathologically rabid anti-communist and CIA psywar agent posing as an academic Trotskyite” within the pages of the CPP’s newspaper, Ang Bayan. Dr. Scalice shows that Sison himself has neither had ties to the working-class nor obtained working-class character, since Sison admitted in his autobiography his grandfather “owned eighty per cent of my own town” and his mother said: “he ordered maids around.” I would like to highlight this class character in lieu of Sison’s support of industrialists, nationalism, capitalism and dictatorship.

Stageism—a distortion of Marxism—is the view that a country must progress through a bourgeois revolution before reaching a socialist revolution. The CPP uses this perspective in order to support the ruling elite and Rodrigo Duterte, which Dr Scalice deftly compared to their earlier support of dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Although the CPP, like many other thuggish Stalinist organisations, attempt to distance themselves from the truth and hide their past actions, Dr Scalice has done a commendable service for humanity and the working class in his pursuit of historical truth by uncovering this. Through meticulous use of evidence and erudite expression, Dr Scalice cuts through the lies and deception of the dishonest vulgarisation of both Marxism and history from the Stalinists and Maoists.

Roderick, a student in Newcastle, Australia:

Joseph Scalice’s lecture was an immensely important exposure of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), exploding the lies made by the party leader, Jose Maria Sison that they did not support the election of Duterte in 2016. Scalice shows how the party has paved the way for authoritarian forms of rule in the Philippines and the betrayal of the Filipino working class and peasantry as a product of its Stalinist/Maoist program.

Sison has come out and attacked Scalice calling him a CIA agent and imperialist hack, there is no evidence for any of these allegations. I oppose this attack against Joseph, he has stood for historical truth which is a weapon against the CPP’s lies that seek to disorientate the working class. The clarification of the role of the CPP will be a valuable contribution to the struggle against Stalinism and Maoism throughout South-East Asia. Scalice’s lecture shows that the only organization that seeks to expose this record and orientate the working class in the coming revolutionary struggle is the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Lachlan, a student in Newcastle:

I condemn the actions of the CPP, Jose Maria Sison and Rodrigo Duterte. I would like to express my full support for Joseph Scalice, who has worked tirelessly for the truth to be known about the Stalinist ideology and practices of the CPP, and the criminal actions of Duterte and his government. I am a strong advocate for academic and press freedom, and to see the works of Scalice covered up is something I find extremely concerning. I was aware of the strict and militaristic approach towards the war on drugs in the Philippines, but if it wasn’t for Scalice’s lecture, I would not have been aware of Duterte’s use of the war on drugs to murder and silence political opposition.