Text and Context: Radical Philippine Historiography and Revolutionary Texts in Island Southeast Asia

Pingkian:  Journal for Emancipatory and Anti-Imperialist Education
Vol2, No.1, Pp. 9-22, August 2013

Text and Context:  Radical Philippine
Historiography and Revolutionary Texts in
Island Southeast Asia

Francis A. Gealogo
Ateneo de Manila University
Philippines

Introduction

The publication of The Philippine Society and Revolution1 by Amado Guerrero/Jose Ma. Sison2 created a new direction in the tradition of radical Philippine historiography that unapologetically and and unequivocally declared itself to be influenced and guided by the classical tradition of “Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought.” This trajectory created a generation of Philippine radical historians, social scientists and social activists who were/are appreciative of, and have a clear theoretical grounding on, the basics of Marxism as the guiding ideological principle in the
understanding of Philippine historical realities.  After being published as a series of essays in the Philippine Collegian of the University of the Philippines, Sison’s work transcended its academic origins and became part of the essential readings for mass activists and revolutionaries who sought to understand Philippine realities based on the radical mode of historical interpretation.  Taking a step farther than the ones earlier established by academic and progressive historians like Teodoro Agoncillo, Cesar Majul and Renato Constantino, Guerrero was unequivocal about his use of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought as the sole harbinger of ideological truth that brought to light a radical and revolutionary interpretation to Philippine society and history.  Moreover, the clear intent of the work  that it be utilized by social activists and revolutionaries and not simply be read by academics in the classrooms –  clearly distinguished itself from the other strands of radical nationalist Philippine
historical studies that were more often than not confined to the walls of academic debate and discussion.

Given this trajectory, most of the reviews and reactions to Guerrero’s work tended to locate the work in the light of the essentially non-Southeast Asian and historical trajectories. These had a tendency to look at the Philippine Society and Revolution as well as the other basic documents of the Communist Party of the Philippines, as but a localized Philippine edition of the basic works of Mao Tsetung and the influences of European Marxism and Russian Leninism to radical Philippine historiography. Moreover, most of the reviews of the works would usually highlight these origins (essentially European Marxism, Russian Leninism and Chinese Maoism) as the major source of ideological inspiration and philosophical motivation that convinced Jose Ma. Sison to write the book. Given this trajectory, most of the reviews and reactions to Guerrero’s work tended to locate By placing Sison’s radical national historiography as part of the continuing ideological development of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought, the work was often appreciated as part of a unilinear continuum of his ideas.

Not fully highlighted by other Sison readers, however, the Philippine Society and Revolution could also be appropriately placed and located in the historical tradition of Southeast Asian radical nationalist historiography. Foremost of which was the influence to Sison of the Indonesian communist D. N. Aidit and his work Indonesian Society and Indonesian Revolution, among others. The parallel between the two works of Southeast Asian radicals seemed to go beyond the obvious similarity of the titles of the work. The “localization” (one would say “nativization”) of radical Marxist historiography in  the context of Southeast Asian social and historical realities and the application of the theory to political action in an archipelagic context were obvious parallels.

But beyond the parallelism and the resemblance, mention must also be cited on the differences in approaches and trajectories that were also obvious in the two works. The Philippine appreciation of the “lessons” of the Indonesian experience of 1965, and the Indonesian Left’s openness to parliamentary struggle prior to the debacle, somehow cemented the idea of the inevitability of armed revolution as the only solution to the contradictions facing Philippine society. On the other hand, the earlier work on the Indonesian society and revolution tended to be still open to electoral and non-armed component of social change as viable options for the revolutionaries.

Beyond the parallelism and contrast of the two works, one must also be able to locate Guerrero’s appreciation of the Southeast Asian developments in terms of nation formation and their “collective struggle against imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism.” One may observe Guerrero’s positive and affirmative regard to the Indonesian struggle at nation formation and class-based democratic movement as something that the Philippines could emulate and follow. The references to the lessons learned from the Indonesian tragedy of 1965 clearly pointed to Guerrero’s orientation of looking at the Indonesian experience as something that may positively contribute to the understanding of the Philippine revolution. The other essays published in the compendium Struggle for National Democracy and the other party documents “Our Urgent Tasks”, “Specific Characteristics of our People’s War”, “Stand for Socialism against Modern Revisionism”, among others, indicated such an appreciation of the parallel historical experiences and social conditions of the Philippines and Indonesia ranging from the recognition of the same “archipelagic characteristics of the national geography as essential in strategizing the protracted people’s war”, as well as the recognition of the contemporary attempts of the “imperialist nations to frustrate the mass of democratic and progressive peoples from realizing their aim at national liberation in the region.”

If the contemporary Indonesian experience was something that Guerrero had a clear appreciation of, in terms of nation formation and lessons learned from the popular democratization movements of the two countries, the contrast of its reception on the national project that was Malaysia as something that should be criticized, disparaged, if not totally condemned was notable. The “colonial hand” in the project that aims at the formation of Malaysia as a nation, as well as the absence of the “people’s revolutionary movement” in the formation of that country that will serve as the catalyst to obliterate the face of the “evils of imperialism” in the region had always been noted in the early writings of Sison.

Apart from Indonesia and Malaysia, the successes of the communist movements in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia also figured prominently in Philippine communist texts. Their historical experiences were regarded as but an affirmation of the realization of the grand narrative of the historical inevitability of the victory of socialism and the eventual defeat of imperialism.

With the foregoing discussion, this paper aims to expand a reading of Amado Guerrero’s contribution to the genealogy of Philippine nationalist historiography. By locating the works of Sison as part of the genealogy of radical nationalist tradition of Southeast Asian historiography, the research aims to broaden the perspectives on the development of both Philippine and Southeast Asian historiography. At the same time, this paper also aims to contribute to the re-reading of texts and works of Southeast Asian historiography of the radical type, and possibly explain the directions, trends, and trajectories of this type of historiography, as it affected not only academic production, but more importantly, political and social movements of the region.

Moreover, this paper aims to situate the texts and works of radical Southeast Asian historiography not only as part of what was considered as its sole traditional origin from Western Marxism and its latter versions in Russia and China, but also to locate the tradition as part of post war Southeast Asian radical nationalist historiography. In doing so, the research aims to establish the modes of connectivity and

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interaction of the Southeast Asian thinkers and activists as they relate with one another and problematize the conditions of their own societies. Situating the works of Sison to the tradition of radical nationalist historiography of the region may also prove beneficial in analyzing Filipino radical nationalism during the 1960s and 1970s as having been influenced by their Southeast Asian neighbors. The varying, if not totally contrasting degrees of reception provided by Sison on Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, for example, may indicate the extent on which the genealogy of the histories of Southeast Asian nation formation was viewed, idealized and imagined by radical thinkers.

On January 1962, a young Filipino intellectual who was serving as Secretary General of the Philippine Indonesian Friendship and Cultural Association went to Jakarta, Indonesia to study comparative literature and Bahasa Indonesian. The trip was the young man’s first outside of the Philippines. The young man’s name was Jose Ma. Sison.3

In the six months of his stay in Indonesia, Sison would find Jakarta a mecca for radicals and intellectuals who were interested in establishing the praxis of the revolutionary theories of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought. The ideas of national liberation and socialism were not only slogans and ideas to be studied. The Indonesians had just successfully driven out the Dutch and have made a successful campaign to drive out the vestiges of colonial occupation in West Irian. Moreover, the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) was operating in the open and was considered the biggest non-ruling communist party in the world.

Sison himself would not elaborate on the extent of the way the Indonesian radicals introduced Mao Tsetung thought to him, but analysts mentioned the extreme significance of the Indonesian experience to Sison’s formative years. For once, the writings of Mao Tse tung was not yet readily available in Manila during that time. Secondly, some of the later writings of Sison would strike a remarkable resemblance to the writings of the Indonesian communist leader Dipa Nusantara Aidit.4 By the time Sison returned to the Philippines several months after his Indonesia trip, he would be contacted by the old party cadres, thru some recommendations from the PKI cadres who were operating in the Philippines, to join the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) and would later be appointed member of the Executive Committee and head of the Youth section.

After establishing the Kabataang Makabayan (KM, Nationalist Youth) on 30 November 1964, Sison would position himself as a maverick even within the Philippine communist movement. He eventually manifested the critical stance that he had with the old guards of the party, and would be expelled from the party by April 1967. Sison insisted that they were the ones who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the old party leaders, represented by the Lava brothers and Luis Taruc, and on 26 December 1968, they “reestablished” the Communist Party of the Philippines, now ideologically guided by Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tse tung thought. With the reestablishment of the party under Sison’s leadership, radical texts were produced and reflected the ideological currents guiding the basic principles of the reestablished party. The ideological and intellectual discourses that were produced by the newly reestablished party resonated the basic formulations of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tse tung Thought. But more than a simple copy of these ideas, Sison and the newly reestablished party located the ideological positions to local Philippine conditions, and situated his points of analysis to Southeast Asian conditions.

Southeast Asian Nations and the Discourse on Unfinished Revolutions

Foremost in the emerging political discourse being formed by Sison was the idea of the emergence of the Philippine nation as a product of revolutionary movement.5 Philippine history was plotted in a radical linear trajectory, with a past characterized by revolutionary tradition, the present condition of the nation being beset by the basic problems of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism, and the possible glorious future, with the eventual victory of the national democratic revolution and its socialist perspective in the future. It is interesting to note that this tripartite perspective in history seem to be a localization of Marxism, influenced and patterned after the historical tradition of Philippine ilustrados like Jose Rizal, and even reflected in the revolutionary writings of Andres Bonifacio, who were both referred to by Sison as reflective of the ideas of the national democratic revolution of the old type.

In this formulation, the historical experience of nation formation, however, was incomplete, if not totally aborted, because of the unfinished revolution whose victory was overtaken by American colonialism and neo-colonialism. Despite the granting of independence in 1946, puppet regimes and imperialist control were retained, making the country backward and semi-colonial.

The early revolutionary tradition of the Philippines was projected as being that of the old type. This old type of revolution was radical and revolutionary, yet lacking in its socialist perspective. The reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the emergence of the ideological truths of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought made the Philippines experience a new type of national democratic revolution.

Two things could be stated as foremost in this line of analysis. One is the idea of two-line struggle maintained and retained in the course of interpreting Philippine national history. Revolutionary movements in the past succeeded or failed as a result of the struggles between correct and incorrect ideas. The failure of the early Philippine revolution was due not only to the annexation of the Philippines by the United States, but also because the collaboration of the ruling feudal lords and comprador bourgeoisie, that constituted the social base of American imperialism in the country. The ruling elites also collaborated with the Japanese in the latter period of the Second World War, while the post war, “independence” period were marked by the ascendancy of what he termed as puppet regimes. The need to “rectify the errors and rebuild the party”, the line of analysis that justified the reestablishment of the communist party, was a result of the historical trajectory of the two line struggle. The persistence of imperialist controls, feudal structures, and the general malaise of society characterized by bureaucrat capitalism, remained basic problems that should be addressed. The revolution was unfinished, semi- colonialism and semi-feudalism remained the basic characteristics of the conditions of Philippine society, and it was the task of the communist party to realize the completion of the Philippine revolution to its fullest.

Related to this was the idea that the revolutionary tradition in Philippine history pointed to the direction of the necessity of armed struggle and the historical inevitability of the revolution. Tracing the trajectory of Philippine history as necessarily characterized by the historical tradition of armed revolutionary movements, the realization of the historical experience of nation formation and the completion of the national democratic revolution must be realized as an historical inevitability, if only to complete the revolutionary cycle of society. Revolts and rebellions against imperialism and colonialism were constant features of Philippine history, according to Sison. Imperialism was the main enemy of national liberation and was presented as the main force that maintained the social base of feudalism, and the political power of the parasitic ruling class that thrived on bureaucrat capitalism. If the unfinished revolution was to be completed, according to Sison, the social scientific theory of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought must be applied, recognizing the leadership of the proletariat as well as the organized leadership of the party in realizing the revolution.

Given the above, one could say that the text Philippine Society and Revolution could be viewed as Sison’s attempts at applying the basic tenets of radical ideology such as class analysis, mode of production, revolutionary action, and similar ideas, to Philippine historiography. Moreover, locating the communist movement in the revolutionary tradition of the nation located the organization as the major force in advancing armed revolutionary change. The discourse on the nation as undeveloped and in a state of incomplete being due to the basic problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, was
12

presented as an outcome of the unfinished tasks of the revolution. Nation and revolution was presented and represented as having parallel, if not identical historical trajectories.

If the revolutionary tradition was presented as being rooted in Philippine history, so did the presentation on the formation of other Southeast Asian nations presented as conceived out of revolutionary transformations. Thus,

Ang mga magigiting na mamamayan ng Bietnam, Laos, Taylandia, Indonesya, Burma, Malaya at iba pa ay lumalaban sa imperyalismong Amerikano at pyudalismo. Mapalad ang sambayanang Pilipino at Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas na mapaloob sa sentro ng sigwa ng pandaigdigang rebolusyong proletaryo.6 (The heroic peoples of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Malaya others are combating American imperialism and feudalism. The Filipino people and the Communist Party of the Philippines are fortunate to be within the center of the storm of international proletarian revolution…)

Southeast Asian nation formation was made possible because of the revolutionary movements by the proletariat of the region. To Sison, the region was at the center of the revolutionary storm that was brewing, and would resonate in the international proletarian struggles worldwide. Southeast Asia would serve as the fulcrum of the struggles and would contribute to define the orientation of the global proletarian movement. It was because of such strategic importance that imperialist forces, just like the forces found internally in the Philippines, were as interested in retaining control of the region as they were threatened by this revolutionary storm. Thus, contemporary Southeast Asian history, according to Sison, was also characterized by imperialist manipulation and control.

“Mula noong matapos and Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig, sinuportahan ng papet na gubyerno ng Pilipinas ang mga pakana ng imperyalismong US sa Asya tulad ng kampanyang anti-Tsina, digmaang mapanalakay sa Korea at sa Indotsina, muling pagbuhay ng militarismong Hapones, kampanyang gawing lehitimo ang “Malaysia” na inimbento ng mga imperyalismtang US at Britaniko, at pagsuporta sa makahayop na pagsupil at pagsalakay ng pangkating Suharto sa sambayanang Indones…” 7 (Since the end of the Second World War, the puppet governments of the Philippine supported the designs of US Imperialism in Asia, like the anti-China campaign, the war of aggression in Korea and Indochina, the revival of Japanese militarism, the campaign to give legitimacy to “Malaysia” that was an invention of US and British imperialism, and the support to the brutal suppression and attacks of the Suharto clique to the Indonesian peoples…”)

If the revolutionary nations were to be revered for their historic roles, the imperialist designs of the US, Japan and Britain were viewed as stumbling blocks for the realization of the formation of genuine nations. In fact, most national democratic literature referred to non-revolutionary Malaysia as artificially constructed and invented by imperialist designs, and its evolutionary character as having been peacefully formed after the granting of independence by the British was seen as an unnatural invention. While Sison recognized the heroism of the peoples of Malaya (referring to the communist movement in the peninsula), Malaysia was to be denigrated as a colonial construct and invention. Suharto’s ascendancy to the Indonesian presidency, on the other hand, was condemned as an attack against the Indonesian peoples, as it was instrumental in the suppression of the communist movement in that country, and was notoriously identified as having been supported by the United States in its anti- communist campaigns.

13
the possible glorious future, with the eventual victory of the national democratic revolution and its socialist perspective in the future. It is interesting to note that this tripartite perspective in history seem to be a localization of Marxism, influenced and patterned after the historical tradition of Philippine ilustrados like Jose Rizal, and even reflected in the revolutionary writings of Andres Bonifacio, who were both referred to by Sison as reflective of the ideas of the national democratic revolution of the old type.

In this formulation, the historical experience of nation formation, however, was incomplete, if not totally aborted, because of the unfinished revolution whose victory was overtaken by American colonialism and neo-colonialism. Despite the granting of independence in 1946, puppet regimes and imperialist control were retained, making the country backward and semi-colonial.

The early revolutionary tradition of the Philippines was projected as being that of the old type. This old type of revolution was radical and revolutionary, yet lacking in its socialist perspective. The reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the emergence of the ideological truths of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought made the Philippines experience a new type of national democratic revolution.

Two things could be stated as foremost in this line of analysis. One is the idea of two-line struggle maintained and retained in the course of interpreting Philippine national history. Revolutionary movements in the past succeeded or failed as a result of the struggles between correct and incorrect ideas. The failure of the early Philippine revolution was due not only to the annexation of the Philippines by the United States, but also because the collaboration of the ruling feudal lords and comprador bourgeoisie, that constituted the social base of American imperialism in the country. The ruling elites also collaborated with the Japanese in the latter period of the Second World War, while the post war, “independence” period were marked by the ascendancy of what he termed as puppet regimes. The need to “rectify the errors and rebuild the party”, the line of analysis that justified the reestablishment of the communist party, was a result of the historical trajectory of the two line struggle. The persistence of imperialist controls, feudal structures, and the general malaise of society characterized by bureaucrat capitalism, remained basic problems that should be addressed. The revolution was unfinished, semi- colonialism and semi-feudalism remained the basic characteristics of the conditions of Philippine society, and it was the task of the communist party to realize the completion of the Philippine revolution to its fullest.

Related to this was the idea that the revolutionary tradition in Philippine history pointed to the direction of the necessity of armed struggle and the historical inevitability of the revolution. Tracing the trajectory of Philippine history as necessarily characterized by the historical tradition of armed revolutionary movements, the realization of the historical experience of nation formation and the completion of the national democratic revolution must be realized as an historical inevitability, if only to complete the revolutionary cycle of society. Revolts and rebellions against imperialism and colonialism were constant features of Philippine history, according to Sison. Imperialism was the main enemy of national liberation and was presented as the main force that maintained the social base of feudalism, and the political power of the parasitic ruling class that thrived on bureaucrat capitalism. If the unfinished revolution was to be completed, according to Sison, the social scientific theory of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought must be applied, recognizing the leadership of the proletariat as well as the organized leadership of the party in realizing the revolution.

Given the above, one could say that the text Philippine Society and Revolution could be viewed as Sison’s attempts at applying the basic tenets of radical ideology such as class analysis, mode of production, revolutionary action, and similar ideas, to Philippine historiography. Moreover, locating the communist movement in the revolutionary tradition of the nation located the organization as the major force in advancing armed revolutionary change. The discourse on the nation as undeveloped and in a state of incomplete being due to the basic problems of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, was

presented as an outcome of the unfinished tasks of the revolution. Nation and revolution was presented and represented as having parallel, if not identical historical trajectories.

If the revolutionary tradition was presented as being rooted in Philippine history, so did the presentation on the formation of other Southeast Asian nations presented as conceived out of revolutionary transformations. Thus,

Ang mga magigiting na mamamayan ng Bietnam, Laos, Taylandia, Indonesya, Burma, Malaya at iba pa ay lumalaban sa imperyalismong Amerikano at pyudalismo. Mapalad ang sambayanang Pilipino at Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas na mapaloob sa sentro ng sigwa ng pandaigdigang rebolusyong proletaryo.6 (The heroic peoples of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, Malaya others are combating American imperialism and feudalism. The Filipino people and the Communist Party of the Philippines are fortunate to be within the center of the storm of international proletarian revolution…)

Southeast Asian nation formation was made possible because of the revolutionary movements by the proletariat of the region. To Sison, the region was at the center of the revolutionary storm that was brewing, and would resonate in the international proletarian struggles worldwide. Southeast Asia would serve as the fulcrum of the struggles and would contribute to define the orientation of the global proletarian movement. It was because of such strategic importance that imperialist forces, just like the forces found internally in the Philippines, were as interested in retaining control of the region as they were threatened by this revolutionary storm. Thus, contemporary Southeast Asian history, according to Sison, was also characterized by imperialist manipulation and control.

“Mula noong matapos and Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig, sinuportahan ng papet na gubyerno ng Pilipinas ang mga pakana ng imperyalismong US sa Asya tulad ng kampanyang anti-Tsina, digmaang mapanalakay sa Korea at sa Indotsina, muling pagbuhay ng militarismong Hapones, kampanyang gawing lehitimo ang “Malaysia” na inimbento ng mga imperyalismtang US at Britaniko, at pagsuporta sa makahayop na pagsupil at pagsalakay ng pangkating Suharto sa sambayanang Indones…” 7 (Since the end of the Second World War, the puppet governments of the Philippine supported the designs of US Imperialism in Asia, like the anti-China campaign, the war of aggression in Korea and Indochina, the revival of Japanese militarism, the campaign to give legitimacy to “Malaysia” that was an invention of US and British imperialism, and the support to the brutal suppression and attacks of the Suharto clique to the Indonesian peoples…”)

If the revolutionary nations were to be revered for their historic roles, the imperialist designs of the US, Japan and Britain were viewed as stumbling blocks for the realization of the formation of genuine nations. In fact, most national democratic literature referred to non-revolutionary Malaysia as artificially constructed and invented by imperialist designs, and its evolutionary character as having been peacefully formed after the granting of independence by the British was seen as an unnatural invention. While Sison recognized the heroism of the peoples of Malaya (referring to the communist movement in the peninsula), Malaysia was to be denigrated as a colonial construct and invention. Suharto’s ascendancy to the Indonesian presidency, on the other hand, was condemned as an attack against the Indonesian peoples, as it was instrumental in the suppression of the communist movement in that country, and was notoriously identified as having been supported by the United States in its anti- communist campaigns.

13 This discourse on nation and revolution in Southeast Asian communist discourse was not unique to Sison. The discourse on the unfinished revolution was also to be found in the writings of D.N. Aidit. As one expert on Indonesian communism argues,

The national revolution, Aidit argued, was not yet finished: it had not totally failed, but it had been blocked in both its national and social aspects, leaving Indonesia in a ‘semi-colonial and semi-feudal’ limbo.8

While Indonesia was successful in booting out the Dutch, nationalizing its industries, and unilaterally abrogating the unequal and traitorous agreements with the Netherlands, US and Dutch imperialism still dominated the economy and held back the development of the national industry.9 Similar to what Sison would formulate, Aidit would advance the idea of Indonesia being a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. To him, US imperialism has become the most dangerous, the No. 1 enemy of the Indonesian people, and feudal exploitation characterized the nature of Indonesian rural society. 10

While both Sison and Aidit agreed on the analysis of their respective societies as semi-feudal and semi-colonial, they differed essentially on the conduct of revolutionary transformation that the countries should take. Being an open, legal party with organized mass base and significant influence on the government, the PKI was projecting itself as ready and able to take on the responsibilities of national administration, and therefore, would not resort to revolutionary violence for so long as it was not attacked first by the ruling classes, thus,

In the struggle to realize their political convictions, the communists will not use force while the ruling class still leaves the peaceful, the parliamentary way open. If there is the use of force, the spilling of blood, a civil war, it will not be the communists who start them but the ruling class itself…”11

The Indonesian debacle, while not discussed in Philippine Society and Revolution, must have greatly affected Sison’s conviction of the inevitability of revolutionary violence and the necessity of revolutionary action. Conscious of the catastrophe and disaster that was the experience of Indonesian communists in 1965, Sison must have realized the need to be uncompromising in terms of putting forward the necessity for armed revolution as a basic characteristic of the Philippine revolution. The actuations of the Suharto government towards the communists, and its parallel policies of pro- Americanism and anti-communism that reverberated in the policies of other Southeast Asian authoritarian regimes including the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, must have affected the analysis of Sison and firmed up his belief in armed revolutionary change.

The other comparable item that could be raised was the periodization of their respective national histories as presented in the revolutionary writings of Sison and Aidit. Most of the writings on Philippine history by Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines present the following component periods in Philippine history: The People Upon the Coming of the Spanish colonialists; Spanish colonialism and Feudalism; the Philippine Revolution of 1896; The Filipino-American War; the Colonial Rule of US Imperialism; the People’s Struggle against Japanese imperialism; the present puppet Republic of the Philippines; and the Reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines. This mode of historical interpretation, while clearly applying Marxist formulations, were still reflective of the historiographical tradition found in most Philippine historiographic literature, and whose main points of periodic division was used even by non-Marxist historians, save for the last period. The difference was in its attempt to provide an outline into the development and evolution of the Philippines in historical terms – into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society with emphasis on the trajectory of history that was projected to gain full fruition with the accomplishments of the revolutionary struggles, culminating in the reestablishment of the communist party.

The Indonesian historical periodization, on the other hand, had a more manifest orientation in terms of applying Marxist historical materialist notions of social development. Most reviews of the historical development of Indonesia divide the nation’s historical periods into seven parts including, the period of primitive communes; period of slave owning system; feudal society; feudal and colonial society; colonial and semi-feudal society; independence and semi-feudal society; semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.12 It must be noted that common to both periodization was the culmination of the historical development of society as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial one, with the revolutionary experience becoming unfinished in the process. Both justified the continuation of the revolution, with Sison emphasizing more the armed component of the revolution, while Aidit emphasizing the evolution of the political plans of action of the PKI under various circumstances.

Specific Characteristics of Southeast Asian Peoples’ Wars

Another indication of the application of the principles of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought to local condition was the document written by Sison entitled “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War.”13 The document tried to offer lessons of revolutionary practice for movements in countries that were also characterized as archipelagic.

While the other countries that were able to attain revolutionary victories through protracted people’s war did so by establishing revolutionary bases in the continental rear and encircling the major cities from there, the Philippines did not have such a terrain that was conducive for revolutionary warfare.

“…our small country is cut off by seas from neighboring countries, particularly those friendly to our revolutionary cause. The Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian peoples are more fortunate than us in one sense because they share land borders with China, which serves as their powerful rear.14

While recognizing the particularities of the Philippine terrain being archipelagic, Sison brought emphasis on the revolutionary potential of such specific geographic characteristics. Guerrilla fronts could be created in the major islands forcing the enemy to disperse its forces and prevent it from concentrating its troops on major base areas. Mountain ranges that characterized most of the features of the major islands could serve as guerrilla sanctuaries and bases from which guerrilla units could maintain political and military influence on a number of provinces bordering its range.

This line of analysis was something unique to Sison’s assessment of the Philippine communist movement. Even the Indonesian communists, with its larger archipelagic terrain, did not emphasize such unique geographical characteristics. The reason might lie in the emphasis on armed revolution on the part of the Philippines, and engagement with an established regime, on the part of Indonesia. The archipelagic nature of the Indonesian struggle was mentioned only in the idea of building the PKI as a nationwide mass party, but the specific concern over such diverse geographic conditions led to different conclusions. Contemporaneous Indonesian party documents seemed to emphasize more the challenge of integrating the many nationalities and citizens of foreign descent into the revolutionary fold of the PKI as a mass party, and that emphasized the successes of the party in terms of highlighting the policy of striving for complete equality of rights for the nationalities. With this, the two traditions diverged, with one emphasizing the physical division of Philippine society according to the many islands and mountains that create diverse and separate communities, while the other addressing the issue of nationality and citizenship in the struggle. In both instances, the particular, local condition was given importance in advancing the strategies for revolutionary struggle, and the more universal Marxist categorization such as class being regarded more as a given. The differences may also reveal the manner on which the two revolutions were to be carried out. In the Philippine case, the geographic feature of the terrain was important for this would set the stage for the material conditions of the

15 This discourse on nation and revolution in Southeast Asian communist discourse was not unique to Sison. The discourse on the unfinished revolution was also to be found in the writings of D.N. Aidit. As one expert on Indonesian communism argues,

The national revolution, Aidit argued, was not yet finished: it had not totally failed, but it had been blocked in both its national and social aspects, leaving Indonesia in a ‘semi-colonial and semi-feudal’ limbo.8

While Indonesia was successful in booting out the Dutch, nationalizing its industries, and unilaterally abrogating the unequal and traitorous agreements with the Netherlands, US and Dutch imperialism still dominated the economy and held back the development of the national industry.9 Similar to what Sison would formulate, Aidit would advance the idea of Indonesia being a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. To him, US imperialism has become the most dangerous, the No. 1 enemy of the Indonesian people, and feudal exploitation characterized the nature of Indonesian rural society. 10

While both Sison and Aidit agreed on the analysis of their respective societies as semi-feudal and semi-colonial, they differed essentially on the conduct of revolutionary transformation that the countries should take. Being an open, legal party with organized mass base and significant influence on the government, the PKI was projecting itself as ready and able to take on the responsibilities of national administration, and therefore, would not resort to revolutionary violence for so long as it was not attacked first by the ruling classes, thus,

In the struggle to realize their political convictions, the communists will not use force while the ruling class still leaves the peaceful, the parliamentary way open. If there is the use of force, the spilling of blood, a civil war, it will not be the communists who start them but the ruling class itself…”11

The Indonesian debacle, while not discussed in Philippine Society and Revolution, must have greatly affected Sison’s conviction of the inevitability of revolutionary violence and the necessity of revolutionary action. Conscious of the catastrophe and disaster that was the experience of Indonesian communists in 1965, Sison must have realized the need to be uncompromising in terms of putting forward the necessity for armed revolution as a basic characteristic of the Philippine revolution. The actuations of the Suharto government towards the communists, and its parallel policies of pro- Americanism and anti-communism that reverberated in the policies of other Southeast Asian authoritarian regimes including the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, must have affected the analysis of Sison and firmed up his belief in armed revolutionary change.

The other comparable item that could be raised was the periodization of their respective national histories as presented in the revolutionary writings of Sison and Aidit. Most of the writings on Philippine history by Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines present the following component periods in Philippine history: The People Upon the Coming of the Spanish colonialists; Spanish colonialism and Feudalism; the Philippine Revolution of 1896; The Filipino-American War; the Colonial Rule of US Imperialism; the People’s Struggle against Japanese imperialism; the present puppet Republic of the Philippines; and the Reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines. This mode of historical interpretation, while clearly applying Marxist formulations, were still reflective of the historiographical tradition found in most Philippine historiographic literature, and whose main points of periodic division was used even by non-Marxist historians, save for the last period. The difference was in its attempt to provide an outline into the development and evolution of the Philippines in historical terms – into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society with emphasis on the trajectory of history that was projected to gain full fruition with the accomplishments of the revolutionary struggles, culminating in the reestablishment of the communist party.

The Indonesian historical periodization, on the other hand, had a more manifest orientation in terms of applying Marxist historical materialist notions of social development. Most reviews of the historical development of Indonesia divide the nation’s historical periods into seven parts including, the period of primitive communes; period of slave owning system; feudal society; feudal and colonial society; colonial and semi-feudal society; independence and semi-feudal society; semi-colonial and semi-feudal society.12 It must be noted that common to both periodization was the culmination of the historical development of society as a semi-feudal and semi-colonial one, with the revolutionary experience becoming unfinished in the process. Both justified the continuation of the revolution, with Sison emphasizing more the armed component of the revolution, while Aidit emphasizing the evolution of the political plans of action of the PKI under various circumstances.

Specific Characteristics of Southeast Asian Peoples’ Wars

Another indication of the application of the principles of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung thought to local condition was the document written by Sison entitled “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War.”13 The document tried to offer lessons of revolutionary practice for movements in countries that were also characterized as archipelagic.

While the other countries that were able to attain revolutionary victories through protracted people’s war did so by establishing revolutionary bases in the continental rear and encircling the major cities from there, the Philippines did not have such a terrain that was conducive for revolutionary warfare.

“…our small country is cut off by seas from neighboring countries, particularly those friendly to our revolutionary cause. The Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian peoples are more fortunate than us in one sense because they share land borders with China, which serves as their powerful rear.14

While recognizing the particularities of the Philippine terrain being archipelagic, Sison brought emphasis on the revolutionary potential of such specific geographic characteristics. Guerrilla fronts could be created in the major islands forcing the enemy to disperse its forces and prevent it from concentrating its troops on major base areas. Mountain ranges that characterized most of the features of the major islands could serve as guerrilla sanctuaries and bases from which guerrilla units could maintain political and military influence on a number of provinces bordering its range.

This line of analysis was something unique to Sison’s assessment of the Philippine communist movement. Even the Indonesian communists, with its larger archipelagic terrain, did not emphasize such unique geographical characteristics. The reason might lie in the emphasis on armed revolution on the part of the Philippines, and engagement with an established regime, on the part of Indonesia. The archipelagic nature of the Indonesian struggle was mentioned only in the idea of building the PKI as a nationwide mass party, but the specific concern over such diverse geographic conditions led to different conclusions. Contemporaneous Indonesian party documents seemed to emphasize more the challenge of integrating the many nationalities and citizens of foreign descent into the revolutionary fold of the PKI as a mass party, and that emphasized the successes of the party in terms of highlighting the policy of striving for complete equality of rights for the nationalities. With this, the two traditions diverged, with one emphasizing the physical division of Philippine society according to the many islands and mountains that create diverse and separate communities, while the other addressing the issue of nationality and citizenship in the struggle. In both instances, the particular, local condition was given importance in advancing the strategies for revolutionary struggle, and the more universal Marxist categorization such as class being regarded more as a given. The differences may also reveal the manner on which the two revolutions were to be carried out. In the Philippine case, the geographic feature of the terrain was important for this would set the stage for the material conditions of the
launching of an armed revolution. In the Indonesian situation, the question of diverse nationalities and citizenship of the constituent populations need to be addressed in building a mass base for a nationwide open, legal political party. So concerned was the PKI about the projecting the party as a mass national party that it opted to “place the interests of class and of the party below the national interest, or place the national interest above the interests of class and of the party.”16

Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines also tried to project the revolutionary optimism that characterized most of their writings. Locating the Philippine revolution in Southeast Asia had always been a major feature of his radical writings.

“…but all other persistent armed struggles in Southeast Asia, of which our people’s war is one, promise to eventually grow in significance and effectiveness as the turmoil of the capitalist system worsens and US imperialism declines further. The revolutionary armed struggles in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have served to stress the fact that since after World War II, it has become possible for the peoples of the colonial and semicolonial countries in the East to develop over a long period of time big and small revolutionary base areas, wage long term revolutionary wars, in which the cities are encircled from the countryside and then gradually to advance on the cities and win nationwide victory. 17

The Urgent Tasks of Southeast Asian Revolutions

The revolutionary writings of Sison were clearly influenced by the emergence of new political forces and tendencies in the region. The development of pro-US authoritarian regimes would mean more repressive anti-communist governments in the region, like Marcos for the Philippines, and Suharto for Indonesia. In the document “Our Urgent Tasks” Sison outlined the immediate tasks of the revolutionary forces given to the new developments. The strategic importance of armed struggle was a constant factor mentioned in all portions of the document. The development of the armed revolutionary movement in the countryside; the revolutionary mass movement in the cities; as well as the establishment of an antifascist, anti feudal and anti imperialist united front movement were all tasks of Philippine communists living under a period of heightened political repression. The three weapons of the revolution – the party, the people’s army and the united front – were all given due importance in the document as instruments that would assure the victory of the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective in the Philippines.

The debacles of the revolutionary movements in the region such as the catastrophic defeats of the communist movements in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand were never mentioned in the document. Though it was clear that the Philippine communist movement have realized the consequences of the consolidation of pro-US regimes in the region, it chose to maintain its revolutionary optimism by emphasizing the communist victories of other countries. In contemporary Southeast Asian experiences of nation formation, “Malaysia” was to be condemned as an artificial invention of imperialist countries like the US and Britain, Indonesia initially was the hotbed of revolutionary activities but was aborted by the coup of Suharto, while the nations of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were to be regarded as models in the realization of revolutionary victories. They served as a beacon of light to socialist construction according to Sison, and had proven that small nations can be recognized as capable of contributing to world revolutions. In the words of the communist party,

“The astounding revolutionary victories of the Indochinese peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have signaled the irreversible decline of US Imperialism in Southeast Asia, in the whole of Asia, in the whole world and it its very homegrounds. We are enthusiastic that the peoples of small countries can deal so stunning a blow to US imperialism and make so great a contribution to world revolutions.18

Southeast Asian socialist revolutions, therefore, could still be launched despite its debacles and problems. The document stated its stand for the continuation of the revolution as an historical imperative that should define the nature of the contributions of the region to world socialist revolution.

Maintaining the Stand for Socialism

While the three documents highlighted the importance of particularizing the conditions of the Philippine national democratic movement to local and Southeast Asian conditions, mention must also be made of the Party’s attempts to continue explaining to itself and to the broader masses, its political stance on various issues of contemporary concern both in the local, domestic Philippine conditions, and in the international front. Foremost in this were the developments in China, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as current developments in the revolutionary societies in Southeast Asia.

In the party document “Stand for Socialism against Modern Revisionism” 19 released by the Central Committee in 1992, the party reaffirmed its basic principles and blamed modern revisionism for the debacles experienced by attempts at socialist construction in other countries and regions of the world. What failed, according to this analysis, was not socialism, but modern revisionism. Kruschov, Breszhnev and Gorbachov all created conditions in the former Soviet Union that made possible the eventual collapse of bureaucratic oriented orders that have already capitulated to the capitalist system even during the time that they were the dominant political force in the Soviet Union.

The collapse of the regimes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, according to the document, were inevitable, considering that these societies’ deviation from the basic tenets of Marxism, in seeking accommodation with the imperialist countries, and with the advancement of revisionist ideals that could be considered as treasonous to the ideals of the international socialist movement. This line of argumentation was consistent with the reading that the Soviet Union was a “social imperialist state” and should be considered equally as an enemy of the socialist man just like the imperialist forces of the United States. While the document credited the Soviet Union for its support in the revolutionary wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Angola, it was unequivocal in its criticism towards the Soviet policies in Afghanistan and Cambodia and was extremely critical of the way it promoted and participated in the arms race with the United States.

It also regarded Soviet support to Vietnam as positive commitment of aid to a fraternal socialist movement, it nonetheless was critical of the Soviet’s low priority and regard to the Vietnamese revolution, stating that even during the Kruschov era, the Soviets prioritized the selling of arms to other nations who could pay more than the Vietnamese, even to the point of hesitating to give limited support to the Indochinese revolution, and struggling not to endorse the revolutionary armed struggle of the Vietnamese peoples.20

While the document appeared to be an elaboration of the Soviet failures as external to Philippine radical and revolutionary movement, one could be more appreciative of the uncompromising criticism to “Soviet social imperialism” if one was to locate the ideological formulation of the party in the history of its development. Sison was expelled from the old party and sought to reestablish a new one because of the Philippine local communist groups’ own internal debates. While the old party remained loyal to the Soviet Union and its allies in waging the revolution, the reestablished party under Sison sought to redirect the ideological currents of the movement towards Mao Tsetung Thought. It should also be noted that the reestablished party never saw any positive move at establishing fraternal relations with the CPSU when the Soviet Union recognized both the martial law regime under Ferdinand Marcos, and the old Philippine communist party that sought to be accommodated in the martial law government, while the newly reestablished party remained vigorously anti-Marcos and against martial law. The old party and the CPSU’s analysis that the Marcos regime was not an extension of American imperialist

17 launching of an armed revolution. In the Indonesian situation, the question of diverse nationalities and citizenship of the constituent populations need to be addressed in building a mass base for a nationwide open, legal political party. So concerned was the PKI about the projecting the party as a mass national party that it opted to “place the interests of class and of the party below the national interest, or place the national interest above the interests of class and of the party.”16

Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines also tried to project the revolutionary optimism that characterized most of their writings. Locating the Philippine revolution in Southeast Asia had always been a major feature of his radical writings.

“…but all other persistent armed struggles in Southeast Asia, of which our people’s war is one, promise to eventually grow in significance and effectiveness as the turmoil of the capitalist system worsens and US imperialism declines further. The revolutionary armed struggles in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have served to stress the fact that since after World War II, it has become possible for the peoples of the colonial and semicolonial countries in the East to develop over a long period of time big and small revolutionary base areas, wage long term revolutionary wars, in which the cities are encircled from the countryside and then gradually to advance on the cities and win nationwide victory. 17

The Urgent Tasks of Southeast Asian Revolutions

The revolutionary writings of Sison were clearly influenced by the emergence of new political forces and tendencies in the region. The development of pro-US authoritarian regimes would mean more repressive anti-communist governments in the region, like Marcos for the Philippines, and Suharto for Indonesia. In the document “Our Urgent Tasks” Sison outlined the immediate tasks of the revolutionary forces given to the new developments. The strategic importance of armed struggle was a constant factor mentioned in all portions of the document. The development of the armed revolutionary movement in the countryside; the revolutionary mass movement in the cities; as well as the establishment of an antifascist, anti feudal and anti imperialist united front movement were all tasks of Philippine communists living under a period of heightened political repression. The three weapons of the revolution – the party, the people’s army and the united front – were all given due importance in the document as instruments that would assure the victory of the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective in the Philippines.

The debacles of the revolutionary movements in the region such as the catastrophic defeats of the communist movements in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand were never mentioned in the document. Though it was clear that the Philippine communist movement have realized the consequences of the consolidation of pro-US regimes in the region, it chose to maintain its revolutionary optimism by emphasizing the communist victories of other countries. In contemporary Southeast Asian experiences of nation formation, “Malaysia” was to be condemned as an artificial invention of imperialist countries like the US and Britain, Indonesia initially was the hotbed of revolutionary activities but was aborted by the coup of Suharto, while the nations of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were to be regarded as models in the realization of revolutionary victories. They served as a beacon of light to socialist construction according to Sison, and had proven that small nations can be recognized as capable of contributing to world revolutions. In the words of the communist party,

“The astounding revolutionary victories of the Indochinese peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have signaled the irreversible decline of US Imperialism in Southeast Asia, in the whole of Asia, in the whole world and it its very homegrounds. We are enthusiastic that the peoples of small countries can deal so stunning a blow to US imperialism and make so great a contribution to world revolutions.18

16

Southeast Asian socialist revolutions, therefore, could still be launched despite its debacles and problems. The document stated its stand for the continuation of the revolution as an historical imperative that should define the nature of the contributions of the region to world socialist revolution.

Maintaining the Stand for Socialism

While the three documents highlighted the importance of particularizing the conditions of the Philippine national democratic movement to local and Southeast Asian conditions, mention must also be made of the Party’s attempts to continue explaining to itself and to the broader masses, its political stance on various issues of contemporary concern both in the local, domestic Philippine conditions, and in the international front. Foremost in this were the developments in China, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as current developments in the revolutionary societies in Southeast Asia.

In the party document “Stand for Socialism against Modern Revisionism” 19 released by the Central Committee in 1992, the party reaffirmed its basic principles and blamed modern revisionism for the debacles experienced by attempts at socialist construction in other countries and regions of the world. What failed, according to this analysis, was not socialism, but modern revisionism. Kruschov, Breszhnev and Gorbachov all created conditions in the former Soviet Union that made possible the eventual collapse of bureaucratic oriented orders that have already capitulated to the capitalist system even during the time that they were the dominant political force in the Soviet Union.

The collapse of the regimes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, according to the document, were inevitable, considering that these societies’ deviation from the basic tenets of Marxism, in seeking accommodation with the imperialist countries, and with the advancement of revisionist ideals that could be considered as treasonous to the ideals of the international socialist movement. This line of argumentation was consistent with the reading that the Soviet Union was a “social imperialist state” and should be considered equally as an enemy of the socialist man just like the imperialist forces of the United States. While the document credited the Soviet Union for its support in the revolutionary wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Angola, it was unequivocal in its criticism towards the Soviet policies in Afghanistan and Cambodia and was extremely critical of the way it promoted and participated in the arms race with the United States.

It also regarded Soviet support to Vietnam as positive commitment of aid to a fraternal socialist movement, it nonetheless was critical of the Soviet’s low priority and regard to the Vietnamese revolution, stating that even during the Kruschov era, the Soviets prioritized the selling of arms to other nations who could pay more than the Vietnamese, even to the point of hesitating to give limited support to the Indochinese revolution, and struggling not to endorse the revolutionary armed struggle of the Vietnamese peoples.20
While the document appeared to be an elaboration of the Soviet failures as external to Philippine radical and revolutionary movement, one could be more appreciative of the uncompromising criticism to “Soviet social imperialism” if one was to locate the ideological formulation of the party in the history of its development. Sison was expelled from the old party and sought to reestablish a new one because of the Philippine local communist groups’ own internal debates. While the old party remained loyal to the Soviet Union and its allies in waging the revolution, the reestablished party under Sison sought to redirect the ideological currents of the movement towards Mao Tsetung Thought. It should also be noted that the reestablished party never saw any positive move at establishing fraternal relations with the CPSU when the Soviet Union recognized both the martial law regime under Ferdinand Marcos, and the old Philippine communist party that sought to be accommodated in the martial law government, while the newly reestablished party remained vigorously anti-Marcos and against martial law. The old party and the CPSU’s analysis that the Marcos regime was not an extension of American imperialist

17 rule, but a political representative of the local national bourgeoisie, did not create better conditions for rapproachement.

In fact, even the internal debates that wracked the national democratic movement in the period before 1992 focused not on the problems related to the survival of the regimes of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, but still to the old debate that these regimes were no longer essentially socialist because of their modern revisionist orientations and perspectives. These internal debates which led to the second major split in the Philippine communist movement, also focused on the suggested party policy of some formerly internal rival camps that sought to recognize the Soviet Union, apologize for the CPP’s labeling of it as a social imperialist and modern revisionist, and withdrawal of its criticism of Soviet policies on Cambodia and Afghanistan.21

While the Indonesian debacle was no longer mentioned in the document, one can still tangentially advance the two parties’ common criticism of Right and “Left” opportunism within the party, and the scourge of modern revisionism as potential internal threats to the integrity of the socialist movement in Southeast Asia.22

“Stand for Socialism” was a testament to the Philippine national democratic movement’s desire to retain relavant vanguard role in the revolutionary movement in Southeast Asia. Being the oldest existing armed communist movement still in operation in the region, the Communist Party of the Philippines seeks to redefine its role and its modes of analysis to national and international situations. With the publication of the document, the movement sought to gain recognition that radical nationalist ideas of the socialist type, would still be an idea to reckon with, in the light of the changing terrain of knowledge production and political action in Southeast Asia.

Postscript: Locating the Nation, Rediscovering Radical Historiography

The foregoing discussion sought to relocate the tradition of radical nationalist historiography in the Philippines as part of the development of a generation of local scholarship produced and utilized not only in the Philippines, but also in Southeast Asia. Establishing personal connections and networks, like the experience of Sison in his brief but meaningful visit to Indonesia, pointed to the direction of analysis that the production of knowledge – while attractive to be interpreted as a product of ideological revisioning of intellectuals, ideologues, and academics were often formed out of personal experiences, stimulating intellectual relationships, and mutual recognition of one’s capacity to contribute to the refinement of theory and idea.
With the foundation of ideas already in place, it was but a continuity of the deepening of the intellectual process that made Sison advance certain lines of analysis as pertaining to immediate issues being raised to him and his immediate environment. The many formulations on the varied experiences of nation formation of the countries in the region; the different modes of revolutionary action; the attempts at historicizing experiences and movements; the retreats and advances made in the application of theory to political action; the many vicissitudes and complexities of international relations all sought to play a significant role in the shaping of Sison’s radical nationalist outlook.

One may advance the idea that the recognition of the need to establish international linkages and network, as shown in the experience of Sison and the formulation of his ideas, need not necessarily emanate from the official institutional centers of knowledge production. Sison’s exposure to Indonesian politics, as well as the development of his appreciation to Southeast Asian developments, ripened at the time when he was no longer connected with any formal academic institution. His major premises on the conditions of Southeast Asian nations, as well as his analyses of the trajectories that these nations will take in the future, were at times proven wrong, but in other instances remained relevant to the study of the region. With the development of an international political and economic system characterized by

18

the preeminence of a single superpower, Sison’s ideas seemed to gain new momentum in reformulating our understanding of the structural development of the experiences of Southeast Asian nations. With the rising tide of democratization movements, the growing interconnectedness of the region’s economies, and the social and economic realities that was characteristic of what Sison would view as imperialist globalization, there is a growing relevance to the questions and issues originally raised by Sison, and his Indonesian contemporaries. The degree on which previously considered universal theories and historiographic tendencies were localized as they were put into practice also tells a lot about the development of local knowledge production and scholarship in the region. While Marxism, Leninism and Mao Tsetung Thought were regarded as non-Souhteast Asian in origin, some radical nationalist theorists and activists sought its localization to realize local theory building and knowledge expansion. Radical historiography, nationalism, and socialism, at least among those who remained within the Philippine national democratic circles, is still retained to make its claims to stake in its proper place in the production of knowledge and development of scholarship in the region.

Notes
1 Amado Guerrero.  Philippine Society and Revolution.  Oakland:  International Association of Filipino Patriots, 1979.
2 The adopted nom de guerre of Jose Maria Sison, founder of the reestablished Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968.  The two names will be used interchangeably in this paper.
3 Jose Ma. Sison.  Rebolusyong Pilipino:  Tanaw Mula sa Loob.  Quezon City:  Lagda Publishing, 1994,
33.  See also Rosca, Ninotchka.  Jose Ma. Sison:  At Home in the World  Portrait of a Revolutionary.  Manila:  Ibon Books, 2004.  pp. 13, 40.
4 Kathleen Weekley. The Communist Party of the Philippines, 1968-1993:  A Story of its Theory and Practice.  Quezon City:  University of the Philippines Press, 2001, p. 21. See also Justus van der Kroef, “The Philippine Maoists,” Orbis XVI, (4), winter, 1973, p. 910.  I am grateful to Victor Sumsky for leading me to this analysis.  See Victor Sumsky.”Philippine Society and Revolution” in the Early 1970s and Now Through Russian Eyes,”  paper presented to the 7th International
Conference on Philippine Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands, June 2004.
5 Philippine Society and Revolution, op. cit., 1-61.
6 Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas.  “Programa para sa Demokratikong Rebolusyon ng Bayan sa Pilipinas,” Kongreso ng Muling Pagtatatag ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, 26 Disyembre 1968, in Unang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido: Pagbubuo ng Partido.  Manila:  Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000.
.
7 Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas,  Ikalawang Aklat ng Batayang Kurso ng Partido:  Kasaysayan ng Pilipinas.  Manila:  Palimbagang Sentral ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, 1998.
8 Ruth McVey, “Nationalism, Revolution and Organization in Indonesian Communism,” in Daniel S. Lev and Ruth McVey, (eds.).  Making Indonesia.  New York:  Cornell University Press, 1996. 107.9Aidit, D.N.  The Indonesian Revolution and the Immediate Tasks of the Communist Party of Indonesia.  Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1964, pp. 8-9.

10 Op. cit., 10-12.
11 As cited in Donald Hindley, The Communist Party of Indonesia.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1966, pp. 126-27.
12 Aidit, D.N.  The Indonesian Revolution and the Immediate Tasks of the Communist Party of Indonesia.  Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1964, pp. 2-3.
13 Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War,” in Ikalawang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido:  Pagbubuo ng Hukbo.  Manila: Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000.

19

14 Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War,” in Ikalawang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido:  Pagbubuo ng Hukbo.  Manila:  Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000, 48
15Aidit, D.N.  The Indonesian Revolution and the Immediate Tasks of the Communist Party of Indonesia.  Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1964, pp. 23.
16 Hindley, op. cit., 126
17Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War,” in Ikalawang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido:  Pagbubuo ng Hukbo.  Manila: Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000, 71-72.
18Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. “Our Urgent Tasks,”in Unang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido:  Pagbubuo ng Partido.  Manila:  Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000,  95.
19Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. “Manindigan Para sa Sosyalismo laban sa Modernong Rebisyonismo,” in Batayang Kurso ng Partido, Aklat III (Ikalawang Bahagi).  Manila:  Palimbagang Sentral ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, 2001.  155-209.
20 “Manindigan, op. cit.,… p. 175
21 Ibid., 161
22 See Aidit, op. Cit.

Bibliography

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Chapman, William.  Inside the Philippine Revolution.  New York:  WW Norton and Co., 1987.

Davis, Leonard.  Revolutionary Struggle in the Philippines.  London:  McMillan, 1989.

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Hindley, Donald. The Communist Party of Indonesia.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1966.

McVey, Ruth.  “Nationalism, Revolution and Organization in Indonesian Communism,” in Daniel S. Lev and Ruth McVey, (eds.).  Making Indonesia.  New York:  Cornell University Press, 1996. 96-117.

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20

___________________________.  “Programa para sa Demokratikong Rebolusyon ng Bayan sa Pilipinas,” Kongreso ng Muling Pagtatatag ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas, 26 Disyembre 1968, in Unang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido:  Pagbubuo ng Partido.  Manila:  Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000.  25-47.

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___________________________. “Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War,” in Ikalawang Bahagi ng Intermedyang Kurso ng Partido:  Pagbubuo ng Hukbo.  Manila:  Pambansang Komisyong ng Nagkakaisang Prente, 2000, 37-78

Rosca, Ninotchka.  Jose Ma. Sison:  At Home in the World — Portrait of a Revolutionary.  Manila:  Ibon Books, 2004.

Sison, Jose Ma.  Krisis at Rebolusyong Pilipino.  Manila:  Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center, Inc., 1998.

____________________.  Rebolusyong Pilipino:  Tanaw Mula sa Loob.  Quezon City:  Lagda Publishing, 1994.

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____________________ and Julieta de Lima. Philippine Economy and Politics.  N.p.:  Aklat ng Bayan Publishing House, 1998.

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van der Kroef, Justus. “The Philippine Maoists,” Orbis XVI, (4), winter, 1973.

Weekley, Kathleen. The Communist Party of the Philippines, 1968-1993:  A Story of its Theory and Practice.  Quezon City:  University of the Philippines Press, 2001.

Rosca, Ninotchka.  Jose Ma. Sison:  At Home in the World — Portrait of a Revolutionary.  Manila:  Ibon Books, 2004.

Sison, Jose Ma.  Krisis at Rebolusyong Pilipino.  Manila:  Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center, Inc., 1998.

____________________.  Rebolusyong Pilipino:  Tanaw Mula sa Loob.  Quezon City:  Lagda Publishing, 1994.

___________________. Struggle for National Democracy.  (3rd ed.). Quezon City:  Lagda Publishing, 1995.

____________________ and Julieta de Lima. Philippine Economy and Politics.  N.p.:  Aklat ng Bayan Publishing House, 1998.

Sumsky, Victor. ‘“Philippine Society and Revolution’” in the Early 1970s and Now Through Russian Eyes,” paper presented to the 7th International Conference on Philippine Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands, June 2004

van der Kroef, Justus. “The Philippine Maoists,” Orbis XVI, (4), winter, 1973.

Weekley, Kathleen. The Communist Party of the Philippines, 1968-1993:  A Story of its Theory and Practice.  Quezon City:  University of the Philippines Press, 2001.

21