Comments by Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines
& Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
June 27, 2021
As Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), I welcome the Commentary of the Christians for National Liberation (CNL) on the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which calls on all Christians to participate in the transformation of social realities in the new millennium and which proposes “an integral and solidary humanism” capable of creating a new social, economic and political order founded on the dignity and freedom of every human person.
I commend and congratulate the CNL for responding to the call and proposal of the Compendium and for seeking to consolidate the ranks of Christians in accordance with their love of God and their brethren for the purpose of greater service to the Filipino people in their struggle for national and social liberation against foreign monopoly capitalism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
I fully agree with the democratic and ecumenical proposition that Christian believers and nonbelievers can enjoy in common the freedom of belief and thought; and at the same time dialogue and cooperate in order to analyze social issues, formulate the program or course of action and strive to achieve the common good of the people. We can differ on the First Great Commandment but we can easily agree on the Second Great Commandment and work together in loving and serving the people.
The CNL is excellently qualified to put forward its Commentary on the basis of its long experience, sustained work, sacrifices and achievements in working with other revolutionary forces within the NDFP and with the broad masses of the people since 1972 in the people’s democratic revolution against the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system dominated by US imperialism and administered by the state functionaries of the local exploiting classes of big compradors,landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.
I appreciate that the CNL inspired by the love of God is critical of how hatred of atheism and communism has been used to limit and slant the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in favor of monopoly capitalism and deny the common good in scientific socialism. The CNL explains very well the history and contexts of the papal encyclicals, the phenomenon of modern revisionism, the intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions, the recrudescence of fascism in tandem with neoliberalism, the rise of anti-imperialist and democratic mass struggles and the resurgence of the irrepressible forces for national liberation, democracy and socialism.
It is just for the CNL to heed the demand of the masses and call for the end of the system of exploitation and oppression that cause poverty and the violation of human rights. Under the neoliberal policy regime, the poor, deprived and oppressed toiling masses have increasingly suffered in the last more than four decades. Thus, the CNL proposes interrelated mass movements in the struggle against poverty and inequality.
So long as the social doctrine of the Church limits the possibility of social transformation within the confines of monopoly capitalism, the common good cannot be attained and the dignity, unity and equality of all the people cannot be fulfilled. The economic systems and political structures of capitalism and the earlier forms of exploitative societies (slave and feudal) have run counter to the original egalitarianism of Jesus Christ and Christianity.
Christians and non-Christians can agree on how the contradiction between capital and labor runs and how it can be resolved. The social character of production has been rising tremendously, with collective labor and higher technology, but the private character of appropriating the product of labor by the monopoly capitalists has become even more rapacious. Therefore, the only way to resolve the contradiction is to intensify the economic and political struggles in order to defeat imperialism and establish socialism.
The neoliberal policy of imperialist globalization has rampaged for so long and victimized the proletariat in the industrial countries and peoples in underdeveloped countries like the Philippines. Under these circumstances, the call of the Church for a “humanism of work” cannot be achieved within the framework of monopoly capitalism. Christians and non-Christians must unite to end the globalized system of exploitation and oppression in the Philippines and in other countries being carried out by the multinational and transnational corporations.
The escalating conditions of exploitation and oppression of the people of the world have included the worst forms of terrorism by the US and other imperialist powers in the form of puppet tyrannies, military intervention and wars of aggression. These have destroyed the lives of more than 25 million people as well as their social infrastructure in many countries since the end of World War II. But the imperialists and their puppets like Marcos and Duterte hype as the worst terrorists all those who oppose the atrocities and do the painstaking work of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses.
In the face of the intolerable and degrading conditions of oppression and exploitation, the suffering people have no choice but to defend themselves and fight back in accordance with the biblical teaching on just war against tyranny, oppression and the daily violence of exploitation. The unjust violence of imperialism and the reactionary states has become so intense and widespread that the people are reasonably justified to wage revolutionary armed struggle for national liberation, democracy and socialism in the Philippines and in other countries, especially in the global South. In any case, the common objective of Christians and non-Christians is to build and establish worldwide peace by liberating humanity from any form of national and class exploitation, oppression and enslavement.
The CNL is admirable for answering the call of the Compendium to safeguard the environment as a common good and a common responsibility. The multinational and transnational corporations of monopoly capitalism extract superprofits and keep the Philippines underdeveloped and impoverished by plundering the natural resources of the Philippines and the cheap labor of the toiling masses. They pose threats to the very existence of the the planet Earth. These include global warming or climate change, depletion of the ozone layer, habitat destruction and extinction of species, air pollution, water pollution, groundwater depletion and contamination, chemical risks, and dumping of industrial garbage to underdeveloped countries.
It is an essential task of all Filipinos, Christians or otherwise, to protect and rehabilitate the environment from the depredations of the imperialists and their local collaborators. It is for the common good that all the Christian churches in the Philippines and the Filipino revolutionary organizations through the NDFP complement one another in order to safeguard the Philippine environment from being devastated further.
Even as the Christians and Marxists differ on belief and thought, they can complement one another and cooperate in the building of human societies where truth, justice, peace, love, equality and liberation would exist for the economic, political, cultural and comprehensive development of the toiling masses of workers, peasants and national minorities. We have have seen the cooperation of Christians and Marxists in the people’s war as well as in the process of peace negotiations in promoting the social, economic and political reforms needed to lay the foundation of a just and lasting peace.
I admire the CNL for condemning imperialism as the Beast of the Apocalypse pictured in the Book of Revelation, a global satanic power that is sucking the sweat and blood of billions of the world’s toiling masses and that is being served by the “false prophets”, such as the US Central intelligence Agency, the bourgeois politicians and businessmen, the reactionary army and police of the imperialist powers and their fascist puppet states, the pseudo-Christian and pro-imperialist evangelists of today.
I appreciate the CNL for criticizing and repudiating such pseudo-Christians as those who belong to the Partido Demokratiko-Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP) and who play with such catch phrases as Christian “democracy” or “social democracy” and Christian “socialism” or “democratic socialism” to mislead Filipino Christians towards hating and denouncing Marxism, the people’s democratic revolution, scientific socialism and communism. The PDSP serves as an instrument of US imperialism, feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and state fascism in maligning and suppressing the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
Both Christians and Communists have a long sense of history. But the Christians have an indefinitely longer one in which Christianity is supposed to provide daily inspiration to the lives of its following and the spiritual comfort to those who are in the throes of pain, suffering or death in any future society. Communists concede that their party and the socialist state are no longer needed after socialism graduates into the classless society of communism. But of course, both Christians and Communists are fulfilled that whatever contribution they make for the common good of mankind run beyond their mortal lives, whatever are the prognostications about the longevity of Christianity and Marxism.
There are rabid anti-communists who try to frighten the Christians by claiming that on the way to socialism communists engage them in a united front only to persecute and suppress them in socialist society. Let us always remember that Friedrich Engels severely scolded Herr Eugen Dühring when he invoked science and socialism to suggest that forcible means be used to do away with religion. Engels categorically declared that it is precisely in violation of science and socialism to do violence to the fundamental right and freedom of belief and thought.
When Marx and Engels said that religion is the opium of the people, it was to criticize and repudiate the misappropriation of religion by the exploiting classes to befuddle the exploited and render them powerless. We are all happy that the CNL has both the religious and scientific optimism and looks forward to working and cooperating with communists in the entire epoch of socialist society that follows the people’s democratic revolution.
Socialist states have always guaranteed in their Constitution this right and freedom. Christians and Communists have worked together well in socialist societies. They are never bothered by projections and speculations about the future after socialism. They are not obsessed with personal and sectional rewards and are in fact willing to pay the supreme sacrifice for the just cause whenever necessary.They are confident that whatever they contribute to the current common good and to the further social development of humanity will continue as indestructible creative energy in the lives of the people generation after generation. ###