Introduction Jose Maria Sison by liaoqinmei



People's Struggle against Imperialist Plunder and Terror is the fourth of a series of selected writings
of Prof. Jose Maria Sison spanning 1991-2009. The articles, statements, speeches and interviews
included in this volume were written from November 2006 to August 2009.

Within this period, the US financial bubble burst with the mortgage and credit derivatives meltdown
spilling beyond US borders at electronic speed and triggering the worst global financial and economic
crisis since the Great Depression. The US-led invasion of Iraq purportedly to “liberate” the Iraqis from
Saddam Hussein's rule and destroy his alleged weapons of mass destruction or WMDs was fully
exposed as a superpower grab for territory and strategic resources. The occupation of Iraq had
floundered with Bush and other US authorities admitting they had no clear plan for quelling the Iraqi
resistance and withdrawing from Iraq.

The Nepalese revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN (M)) had
gained control of most of the Nepalese countryside and emerged as the leading force in a coalition that
eventually overthrew the monarchy, formed a democratic federal republic, and won majority seats in
the new Parliamentary elections. In the Philippines, the Arroyo regime was further isolated as a broad
united front called for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's removal from power and significant sections of the
state security forces were poised to withdraw support from the Arroyo government.

The articles, presented chronologically, were mostly written and issued as commentaries on or analyses
of major events or significant developments. Prof. Sison is known to be a prolific writer who issues
statements, analyses and critiques soon after an event or even before it, with speeches, messages and
interviews requested from him on various occasions sprinkled liberally in between.

The articles here consist of only a portion of Prof. Sison's output during the period. Nonetheless, they
cover a wide range of topics that constantly shift focus, from national to regional or global issues, and
appear to jump from one issue to another. Yet as one goes over the articles, an inner logic deeper than
one of chronology unfolds as Prof. Sison delves on the dialectical development and interrelationships
of various aspects of the subject matter and on this basis makes projections on prospects and

The articles are rich in historical backgrounds: the various forces in contradiction are identified, the
particular forms and manner of their interactions as well as the external conditions that have influenced
these interactions, are traced. The current situation and its continuing development are thus shown to
be the product of these interactions, and the prospects and possibilities are discrened as far and as
precisely as the subject matter's particular law of development can be grasped.

The bigger picture, not static but alive and continually developing, emerges as relationships between
the whole and the part, the universal and the particular, the past and the present, are drawn and
impressed on the reader's mind.

This is illustrated at the outset in the first two articles (“Sison: People's War Continues “ and “Political
Landscape to 2010”) where Prof. Sison succinctly explains why people's war continues to be waged in
the Philippines and maps out the political terrain from 2006 onwards. Prof Sison cites the semifeudal
and semicolonial character of Philippine society, dominated by US imperialism in collaboration with
the local ruling classes, as the basis for carrying out a new democratic revolution, with the strategy of
encircling the cities from the countryside and with socialism as its perspective.
The revolution is led by the Communist Party of the Philippines which continues to be guided by
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, creatively applying Mao's theory of people's war to particular Philippine
conditions. The continuing relevance of the Bolshevik October Revolution and the Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution in China to the Philippine revolution is mentioned here and further elaborated on
in other articles in the volume. The advance of the Philippine revolution contributes to the broad anti-
imperialist movement and to the epochal struggle between capitalism and socialism.

The current crisis under the US-Arroyo regime and the people's struggles to overthrow the ruling
system are analyzed against this backdrop and projections are made. Prof. Sison describes the impact
of the US imperialist policies of “war on terror” and neoliberal “free market” globalization on the
Philippine political and economic crisis with the connivance of the GMA regime.

The “war on terror” provides Arroyo an excuse for escalating repressive measures and carrying out the
counter-insurgency program “Oplan Bantay Laya”. This includes rampant brutal extrajudicial killings
and other human rights violations patterned after the US-CIA's infamous “Operation Phoenix” during
the Vietnam war. Political repression is resorted to by the Arroyo regime to ensure its plunder of the
national coffers, flagrant electoral fraud, and selling out of national sovereignty and patrimony to
foreign interests.

In these and in several other articles with commentaries on the current Philippine situation, Prof. Sison
consistently highlights the rabid puppetry of the Arroyo regime to US imperialism as the key factor to
the rapid aggravation of the Philippines crisis as well as the Arroyo regime's survival despite its
extreme isolation. This is in sharp contrast to the reformists, pseudo-revolutionists and the traditional
opposition who mostly harp on the Arroyo clique's greed, abuse of power, dishonesty and blatant
prevarication, lack of delicadeza, etc. while remaining silent on the fact that the regime's destructive
economic policies and counter-revolutionary programs are all beneficial to and at the bidding or with
the blessings of US imperialism. The latter in turn guarantees the survival of its puppet regime.

The next two articles, “US Militarism and 'war of Terror' in Asia-Pacific” and “Keynote Address to the
East Asia and Oceania Consultative Conference”) provide comprehensive analyses of the economic and
political situation in the entire Asia-Pacific or East Asia-Oceania region, and the tasks in building a
strong anti-imperialist formation in the region such as the International League of Peoples' Struggle
(ILPS) since its founding in 2001. Again, the dominant role of US imperialism in the region, its
plunder and aggression from its beginnings at the turn of the 20th century up to the current “war of
terror”, is described. The various people's struggles for national liberation and emancipation against
imperialism and all local reaction, as well as the complex dynamics among the states are likewise

In “Notes on the People's Wars in Southeast Asia”, Prof. Sison elaborates on the history of and outlook
for people's war in different Southeast Asian countries: the particular circumstances in the
establishment of the communist party, the general political line pursued by each party, how and when it
decided to wage people's war, its shortcomings and victories, and the prospects of continuing or
resuming the armed revolutionary struggle. These are discussed in stages – from the formative years in
the 1920's and 30s to the anti-fascist resistance during the World War II, post war and the current period
– thus giving the reader a picture of the over-all development of the armed revolutionary forces in the
region, the unevenness in such development, and the underlying reasons for these.

In another pair of articles, “ILPS Congratulates the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Nepali
People for Victory of Democratic Cause” and “Message to Comrade Prachanda”, Prof. Sison cites the
significant achievements of the revolutionary forces in Nepal under the leadership of the Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN(M)). More importantly, he outlines the remaining tasks to complete the
new democratic revolution in Nepal after the CPN(M) set aside people's war in order to form a broad
coalition that eventually overthrew the monarchy.

A large portion of this volume deals mainly on the global financial and economic crisis as well as its
impact and implications on the global political crisis. For more than two decades Prof. Sison has
written extensively on the chronic crisis of overproduction of the world capitalist system as the current
manifestation of the inherent contradictions in the capitalist system, and how the shift from
Keynesianism to neoliberal policies of “globalization” had not solved but has aggravated this crisis.

At the outset, when “globalization” came in vogue and the bourgeois propagandists were trumpeting
the advent of a new world in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern European
regimes, Prof. Sison asserted that “globalization” is merely a spruced up signboard for the old
economic and social order gone worse. Rather than disproving Lenin's thesis on imperialism being the
highest and moribund stage of capitalism, “neoliberal free-market globalization” in fact validated
Lenin's analysis of the basic feature of modern imperialism or monopoly capitalism.

Prof. Sison clearly outlined the phases which the general crisis of capitalism had undergone since free
market capitalism transformed into monopoly capitalism or imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.
He described the two phases that led to the two world wars and the rise and spread of socialism until it
encompassed one third of the world's population, then the phase of national liberation struggles and the
struggles against modern revisionism culminating in the victorious liberation of Indochinese countries
and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and finally the current phase of chronic crisis of
overproduction and the contraction of the market resulting from rapid advances in technology and the
drive to depress wages in order to squeeze out more superprofits.

As early as 1998, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis and while bourgeois economists claimed that
the crisis was over and the major industrial economies had been spared, Prof. Sison warned that on the
contrary, the financial crisis was bound to get even worse and afflict the entire global capitalist system,
until within the imperialist countries private firms and banks are bailed out with public funds. (Sison, p
139, Vol 2 For Democracy and Socialism Against Imperialist Globalization).

It was only in 2006, with the crisis about to burst wide open, that mainstream financial and economic
experts started sounding the alarm for an impending financial meltdown of undeterminable gravity and
extent. When the US financial bubble finally burst, bourgeois and even some progressive analysts
attributed it to the greed-driven abuse, and lack of regulation of financial derivatives, particularly of
housing mortgage, credit default swap and other financial schemes.

Prof. Sison explained and stressed the fact that the finance oligarchs, with the connivance of state
agencies and institutions, had turned to such deregulations and abuse of the financial system as a quick
way to earn superprofits given the lower profitability of investments in the overcrowded and
oversaturated manufacturing industries. The latter is precisely the result of the crisis of overproduction
which the monopoly capitalists and their ideological defenders have been denying and covering up all
along. The financial schemes such as subprime mortgages and credit default swaps at the same time
conjured an illusion of a vibrant market and sound economy along with increased consumer purchasing

Subsequent events, have validated beyond doubt the correctness and prescience of Prof. Sison's earlier
analyses and projections.

Recently, the drumbeaters of monopoly capitalism have started to announce that the worst is over and
that individual economies, or at least the major industrial economies, and the global economy as a
whole are on the road to recovery. Prof. Sison debunks this false claim with the plain fact that the
stimulus packages – trillions of dollars of people's money – failed to spur industrial production, create
more jobs and revitalize the economy in any of the imperialist countries. Instead the funds were poured
into refilling the culprit bankers' pockets and rescuing the erring banks. A false image of economic
recovery is being conjured with fresh investments being poured into the derivatives market, inflating a
new finance bubble that is bound to burst as well. Meanwhile the third world and dependent countries
continue to sink in ever worsening depression.

But this is not the most important feature in Prof. Sison's writings thus makes them essential reading
for anyone who is interested in the political economy of imperialist crisis and revolution. It is Prof.
Sison's assiduous application of the Marxist principle that the whole point in explaining and
understanding the world is to change it. In discussing the current global financial and economic crisis,
Prof. Sison painstakingly, systematically and tirelessly underscores the implications and impact of the
global economic crisis on the political situation. As Lenin pointed out in “Imperialism the Highest
Stage of Capitalism” it is important to understand the economic features of imperialism, but it is even
more important to grasp its political features as a decadent and moribund system, all the better to fight
against it and bring about its downfall.

Thus, a common refrain in Prof. Sison's essays on the global economic crisis and other articles dealing
with the world situation is the inexorable intensification of the major contradictions in the world today
as a result of the worst global financial and economic crisis in 80 years – between imperialism and the
oppressed nations and peoples of the Third World, between imperialism and countries asserting their
independence and sovereignty, among imperialist powers compelled to expand their spheres of
influence as they compete for global supremacy, and between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the
imperialist countries.

The US-led “war on terror” is revealed in this light to be a dire consequence of the world capitalist
crisis and, in particular, US imperialism's drive to maintain its global supremacy by expanding and
consolidating its hegemony while trying to revive and prop up its floundering economy. The US had
always resorted to war and war production to achieve the dual purpose of pump-priming its economy
while ensuring its supremacy in the competition among imperialist powers to redivide the world.
Supposedly governed by the neoliberal doctrine that eschews government intervention in whatever
form, the US state monopoly capitalists have used military Keynesianism to favor the military
industrial complex with lucrative contracts, tax privileges and state subsidies.

But war production could not adequately provide employment and boost domestic consumption, thus
falling far short of reviving the US economy in the long run. Moreover, US-led wars of aggression and
military intervention could not prevent attacks on the US over the long term as the brutality and
injustice, the gross disregard for human rights and the trampling of international law and the
sovereignty of nations have only served to incite protest, enmity, condemnation of and resistance to US

Prof. Sison points out in “Implications and Consequences of the Global Financial Crisis to the People's
Anti-Imperialist Movement” that the worsening of these contradictions are favorable to the resurgence
and advance of people's resistance and revolutionary movements. The peoples in the third world
countries as well as the proletariat in imperialist countries are pushed to fight back as increased
oppression and exploitation become more and more intolerable. Likewise, revolutionary movements
can take advantage of the growing rivalry among imperialist powers with the contraction of the world
market. “The increasing conditions of oppression and exploitation, chauvinism, racism, religious
bigotry, fascism and wars of aggression,” Prof. Sison writes, “serve to generate revolutionary resistance
among the people.”

Prof. Sison makes a bold assertion, if not forecast, that with the global economic crisis already reaching
unprecedented proportions and still relentlessly intensifying, dramatic advances in the people's
struggles against imperialist plunder and terror are achievable in the next decade or so. The objective
basis for this revolutionary optimism lies in the unprecedented and increasingly intolerable exploitation
and oppression of the world's peoples, and the heightened competition among the imperialist powers.

He emphasizes, however, that this will require a corresponding intensification of the work of arousing,
organizing and mobilizing the people in order to take advantage of the favorable objective conditions
and wage all forms of revolutionary struggle. No matter how decadent and moribund, the world
capitalist system will not collapse on its own weight, nor will it be overturned in one fell swoop.

One of the positive consequences of the global economic and financial crisis is that not a few political
analysts, some of them prominent political figures, have questioned the viability of capitalism as an
economic and social order. Calls have been issued loud and clear for revisiting socialism as a desirable
and viable alternative. Prof. Sison goes further and declares socialism is not only that, it is the
inevitable and only alternative to capitalism.

He underscores the lessons learned from past achievements and shortcomings of socialist revolution
and construction as an important source of knowledge for the future task of building socialism. The
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and especially Mao's theory of continuing revolution under
proletarian dictatorship, provide basic principles and methods for developing socialism and countering
revisionism “until the entire humankind can reach the goal of communism upon the worldwide defeat
of imperialism.”

It is not an exaggeration to say that Prof. Sison's ideas and works, part of which are contained in this
volume, have served to enlighten, educate and inspire tens of thousands of revolutionaries and social
activists not only in the Philippines but all over the world. To many, Prof. Sison's writings have served
as a useful and indispensable guide to revolutionary action.

Because Prof. Sison's writings give comprehensive historical background and analysis on current issues
and major developments, these are well read by a wide range of activists and revolutionaries who are
interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the current situation, grasping the significance of
developments and desirous of undertaking actions in order to intervene and bring about changes in the
situation. Thus gaining familiarity with and grasping Prof. Sison's standpoint, viewpoint and method of
analysis through his works can provide a suitable framework by which one can analyze the situation
and even make one's own projections of prospects and possibilities.

The articles written by Prof. Sison in his capacity as ILPS Chairperson, in particular, serve to provide
the ILPS member organizations and other allied organizations in the anti-imperialist front worldwide
such analyses and guide to action. Like wise, it will be observed that other analytical essays and
speeches written for various symposia, and interviews are seldom without calls to action if not specific
suggestions on what can be done or how to take advantage of the situation to advance the peoples'
struggle against imperialist plunder and terror. These are all explained by the fact that for the past half
century, Prof. Sison has continuously immersed himself and played a key role in the revolutionary
movement in the Philippines and abroad.

Not surpisingly, Prof. Sison himself is a celebrated victim of demonization, vilification and persecution
by US imperialism and its reactionary allies. This is a clear indication of how effective has been in
exposing and leading the struggle against US imperialism, in particular the neoliberal policies of
“globalization” and the “war on terror” . He has been singled out and tagged as a “foreign terrorist”
despite his categorical and consistent condemnation of terrorist acts, whether by the imperialist powers
and their client states or by such groups as the Al Qaeda and the Abu Sayaff.

In August 2007, Prof. Sison was arrested by Dutch authorities and his residence raided and ransacked,
along with the NDFP office and six other residences of the NDFP negotiating panel members and staff
under the pretext of investigating and charging Prof. Sison with the crime of inciting to murder. The
US and Philippine governments with the connivance of the Dutch government aim to isolate and
neutralize Prof. Sison and at least keep him busy defending himself from the vicious attacks on his
person and his reputation.

Such repressive measures have evidently been to no avail. On the contrary, Prof. Sison has succeeded
in turning the tables on the US, Philippine and Dutch governments by using the defense of his political
and civil rights as a platform for further exposing imperialism and reaction. He has formed a
formidable legal team composed of high-calibre lawyers from different European countries as well as
from the Philippines to argue his case in various fora including the Dutch and European courts. Pickets
and other protest actions were held before Dutch embassies all over the world to condemn the political
persecution of Prof. Sison and other Filipino progressives in the Netherlands.

Released from detention on September 13, 2007 after a Dutch court decision that there was insufficient
evidence to charge him with inciting to murder, Prof. Sison went on to win a major legal and moral
victory on September 30, 2009. The European Court of First Instance ruled that there was no legal
basis for including Prof. Sison in the “terrorist” list of the Council of the European Union and imposing
sanctions on him as such. This was followed by his removal last December 2009 from the said
“terrorist” list. Despite these, the Dutch government persists in persecuting Prof. Sison by its
continuing refusal to grant his long-overdue asylum application, withholding his state allowances and
freezing his accounts, depriving him of his rights to seek gainful livelihood and to travel freely in and
out of the Netherlands.

Prof. Sison writes on his persecution, arrest and imprisonment while in exile with the same dialectical
method and revolutionary standpoint, explaining the historical circumstances and logic of repression
and resistance. He underscores the part played by the defense of civil and political rights in the
campaign to expose and oppose the US militarism and the “war on terror”, which have become the
main prod to the attacks on civil and political rights . Repressive measures undertaken by the US and
its allied states under the pretext of “anti-terrorism” and “counterterrorism” must be exposed and

Prof Sison writes with an ever brimming confidence and contagious optimism that persevering in just
struggle will inevitably bring about the people's victory over imperialism and all reaction. As much as,
and along with grasping the content of Prof. Sison's analyses and discourse, a most important benefit
for the reader is to imbibe his perseverance, enthusiasm and optimism in the revolutionary struggle.
Rey Claro C. Casambre

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