If you can’t take the heat, malamang mahina ang aircon mo.
Communism in the Philippines has had a long history, existing before the establishment of the present-day Communist Party of the Philippines. As a meme, the dream of absolute equality among individuals can be traced as far back as 1930 with the founding of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-1930) in November seven of that year. It survived several attempts of being outlawed during the American period, the Japanese occupation, and during the massive repression by the privileged classes at the beginning of the Second Philippine Republic, mainly through armed struggle that officially ended in 1954. The meme evolved with the global rise of Maoist ideology in the 70‘s, and as the old Soviet-inspired model stuttered in the late 60‘s, the Maoist faction began to take center stage as the primary meme through which the Communist ideal is expressed. The PKP-1930 is alive today, but is merely a bad caricature of its former self. Kind of like David Hasselhof in all his new acting roles. As it should be — the Russian model for attaining Communism fell with the dismantling of the Soviet Union almost two decades ago
Today, with the fall of the former Soviet bloc and the abandonment of the disdain for capital in the Chinese politburo, the Communist Party of the Philippines is fighting a lonely fight for the heart and mind of the ordinary Filipino with nothing more than an ideal based on a long-dead idea whose weakest link ruined it from within
and what economically seems to be a baseless promise of a better future.
The failure of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory can be seen through the lens of the Maoist regime in North Korea (where mass famine is the norm — the government released an information pamphlet on the different ways to enjoy grass while unbeknownst to ordinary North Koreans, top government officials were dining on food aid) and Cuba — Cubans now suffer under the most severe double standard system around, skewed toward foreigners in a country that supposedly is the hallmark for Marxist-Leninist socialism.
This paper looks at how the current standard bearer for communism in the Philippines — the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army – National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) is nothing but pseudoscience shouted from a mountaintop that has systematically betrayed the proletariat, becoming a moneymaking machine for Sison and his cohorts, whose workings support their extravagant lifestyles in the Netherlands and elsewhere. In fact, their living anywhere already constitutes a more extravagant lifestyle than living on the foothills of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, battered by natural elements and elements from the 6th Infantry Battallion, Philippine Army. The paper will also show that the Communist Party of the Philippines today has nothing to do with Communism and Maoism, but is nothing more than a cult religion that seeks to siphon the pockets of its willing victims in furtherance of funding and fiscal gains.
I. Maoism, Philippine Style: Pseudoscience at Work
A characteristic of Philippine communism is that its proponents claim to know everything, and that all other points of view are tragically flawed. This is based on the proposition that on pure sociological considerations alone it is possible to predict human behavior, even if material data to the prediction is missing or is fabricated to suit a favorable outcome.
One of the criticisms of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory is that like other self-contained worldviews, it purports to contain an explanation for everything and negate contrary evidence and/or explanations with pejorative dismissals.
Other similar self-contained worldviews include Roman Catholicism, which pragmatically blames everything that is wrong on sin, which in itself is left amorphously undefined. Masturbation, for example, widely condemned by the Catholic Church, was said to be the cause of hairy palms, stunted growth and the extinction of half of the indigenous animal species in Newfoundland, Canada.
In fact, criticism has emerged to the effect that Marxist theory and all its derivatives have become grounded on nothing more than pseudoscience, as nothing that happens that is contrary to models predicted by the core arguments supporting Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory cannot be explained by ad hoc theories tailor-made to support the facts. This supplementation of ad hoc theories allows for an infinite number of contradictions to exist within the theory and still make the original, but flawed, theory still viable. Simply stated, even when plainly wrong, proponents of Marxist theories and their derivatives always seem to have an excuse that does not involve the core dogma.
According to the theory, pseudoscience can be seen when the following characteristics, known as the five-fold test, are present in a particular theory claiming to originate from scientific means:
Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims;
Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation;
Lack of openness to testing by other experts;
Lack of progress;
Personalization of issues.
In the case at bar, the main line of Communist dogma seems to fit squarely into what may be considered as pseudoscience, using this five-fold test.
A. Vague and Exaggerated Claims
CPP-NPA-NDF propagandists are prone to making vague, exaggerated, or untestable claims when discussing the economy. The 1968 core document says that the end of capitalism is near. That is equivalent to saying Jesus is coming very, very soon in the 2nd Century BCE. In other words, do not hold your breath. Of course, only those parts of the economic picture that fit their worldview are discussed when confirming their many hypotheses. When they are finally cornered with the fact that their economic model has never succeeded, they will tell you that their economic model, by its very nature can never be tested.
Check the website, for crying out loud! Reading it is like watching Eli Soriano on television. If you don’t know any better, you would think they are correct, much like saying I am right because I shout the loudest. I shout the loudest because I have a lot of people shouting the same thing I am. How enlightening.
B. Overreliance on Confirmation
One only needs to go to its showpiece for recruitment — the back alleys of the University of the Philippines in Diliman — to find just how dependent the movement is on confirmation and anecdotal evidence. All over these back alleys are signs screaming decades-old slogans proclaiming the end of the current oligarchy with the name of the current President overwritten on graffiti. You can actually tell how old the graffiti is by how many times the name has been written over.
In other instances, the old graffiti is never set aside, and the new name is simply written below the first line, so as to make the graffiti look like this:
MARCOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA
CORY HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA
RAMOS HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA
ERAP HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA
GLORIA HITLER DIKTADOR TUTA
The unfortunate result is that the reader begins to think that the author of the graffiti is an escapee from Mandaluyong. There isn’t even a coherent sentence structure. Some people have hypothesized that this is a code that is supposed to guide the reader to a place where he can find the secret keycard to open the next level in the game. In other instances, the graffiti looks like this:
IBAGSAK ANG DIKTADURANG
As you can plainly see, there are no further clues to be gained from this section of the walkthrough.
C. Lack of Openness to Testing
Another telling sign on the part of the party is that criticism from within and without is met by disdain and calls for enlightenment. I was once called an ignoramus for saying that the CPP-NPA-NDF was obsolete. There has also been no significant change or progress in the refinement of the core doctrine of the CPP-NPA-NDF since they first called for change in 1968. Holy cow! That’s almost forty years now without a change in the core theory. Not even the Roman Catholic Church is as obstinate as that.
D. Personalization of Issues
Finally, most propagandists personalize the issues whenever they can. Name-calling is a common modus operandi, as is the liquidation of all former party members who have come to develop the doctrine further and who are not named Jose Maria Sison — evidenced by the nomenclature used by Sison and his cohorts in describing those who dissent.
This is supported by anecdotal evidence: “They will call you names if you tell them they’re wrong,” says T., a former radical leftist. “Names like Trotskyite, Slut, Whore, and Puta. Good thing I got out before I got too deep and they’d have to kill me, like what they did to Popoy.” She was referring to the grisly death of urban poor organizer Popoy Lagman in UP, for crimes committed as determined by a kangaroo court. While they denounce kangaroo courts when they issue unfavorable rulings, all CPP-NPA-NDF “courts” seem to be even worse in that regard.
After all, and according to a document recovered from during the Great Purge, due process and basic civil liberties are bourgeois concepts that have no place in a Red State. This is a matter of course. What fun would it be to torture someone who is actually guilty?
II. The Apotheosis of Joma
There are two kinds of personality cults. One is a healthy personality cult, that is, to worship men like Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin; because they hold the truth in their hands. The other is a false personality cult, i.e. not analyzed and blind worship.
– Mao Zedong, 1958 Party Congress, Communist Party of China
The seeming infallibility of the Party policy-makers in the Utrecht on all issues surrounding the party only serves to bolster the hypothesis that there is a sustained focus on the personalization of the Party and all controversial issues that it faces, and nowhere is this more blatant than the apotheosis of its founder, Jose Maria Sison.
To sustain power, Sison has used what counts for mass media in the left underground to fashion for himself a larger-than-life public image that, within the Party, showers Sison with nothing but unquestioning flattery and praise. This sounds strangely like the definition of a Cult of Personality as found in Wikipedia. Coincidence? I think not!
By creating such a personality cult, Sison is able to avoid more complicated questions like whether or not he still has a sex life, considering that the Party retains one of the strictest moral codes among supposedly heathen persons. It also allows Sison to maintain an aura of aloofness not unlike the Pope in the Vatican, who is allowed an aura of infallibility not because he is himself infallible but because he is the last word in the Party itself. Oddly enough, this philosophy of granting the head of an organization almost god-like powers, has its roots in capitalism’s two basic rules:
The Boss is always right.
If the Boss is wrong, see Rule Number 1.
Substitute the word “Boss” with “Joma Sison,” and you have the basic party doctrine for the Reaffirmist Movement within the Communist Party of the Philippines:
Joma can never be wrong, especially about the Revolution and everything that goes with it, including but not limited to the eventual demise of the capitalist model.
When someone says Joma is wrong, kill him.
This Utrecht-centric administration of the Communist Party belies any and all propaganda released by the Party that promises greater autonomy and less control from Imperial Manila in the running of the daily lives of citizens. This also allows Sison to escape otherwise damning contradictions on the part of others with regard to himself and the Party; with the Party either ignoring the same or labeling the criticism as bourgeois and unworthy of a proper response. As a result, Sison’s writings, no matter how groundless, are considered as doctrine that may never, ever be questioned on pain of death.
If by reading this article, you see a man on the street giving you the evil eye, and the man approaches another on a mosquito motorbike with their facial features well-hidden, this author suggests you run and hide and once the hit squad leaves, report the incident to the nearest police station.
III. Communism, Inc.
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary … For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.
– George Orwell, 1984
At its very root, Communism is defined as an “ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization, based on common ownership of the means of production.” That is a textbook definition of Communism. This is of course, differentiated from Communion in the Catholic sense in that where Communism is an ideal goal for mankind, Communion is what St. Thomas More took before divining the ideal world he found in Utopia (no relation to the fraternity).
This statement is nothing more than a political goal that is as broad and ambiguous as the terms “heaven”, “hell”, and “world peace.” Everyone knows that Communism is just an ideal that people eventually will want to reach. It’s just the getting there that’s difficult. The devil is of course, in the details. Because of this ambiguity, many so-called communist leaders have offered divergent paths to the attainment of this goal, with some paths being more violently assertive than others. Usually it’s the more assertive individuals that get to rule. Mao did say that power comes from the business end of a gun. Leon Trotsky, who disagreed with Stalin because of his more orthodox views, has his name live on as a pejorative for someone in the left who just “doesn’t get it.”
If anything is common among them, it is the exhortation that the oppressed, no matter how few they may be in number, must always be the center of advocacy. When, as those who wish to bring about a change in the system, such that the former bourgeoisie are beneath or on at least some similar level as the proletariat, there is nevertheless a feeling of resentment at the loss of what is perceived to be material wealth fairly gained among the said bourgeoisie. This resentment and favoritism towards those formerly of the proletariat reveal that in such an altered society, the former bourgeoisie are now a class below and victims of mass resentment, if not reprisal against actions they may or may have done against the said proletariat. If the oppressed are the center of the advocacy, then a role reversal where the bourgeoisie become the oppressed creates a dilemma: if one were to side with the oppressed, in this case, the bourgeoisie, then that would be siding with the former oppressors, which is in itself unforgivable.
To erase the possibility of the creation of another oppressed class by the formerly oppressed, the convenient solution, as with all of fiction, is to kill the character that causes the discord – in this case, the bourgeoisie. Even the progenitors of communist theory, Marx and Engels, have pointed out the impossibility of finding the path toward the utopian future of which they speak without resorting to this convenient deus ex machina (quite literally, God through a machine – a plot device that lets the resolution of the conflict come from a machine). In this case, the machine is a gun killing all those who may be oppressed in the future. After all, isn’t it more humane to put one person out of his suffering than to expose him to the fact of his entire family wasting away in some gulag just because he can think.
This doublespeak, as it were, is a convenient forgetting of harsh reality that is contrary to what is expected or hoped is an essential ingredient to the uniquely Philippine brand of Communism that is derived from Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideologies. A document purporting to be from the Communist Party of the Philippines proclaims Maoist theory to be the most ideal form of Marxist theory and thus the way to go with the then-proudly proclaimed impending fall of Western capitalism, which obviously hasn’t happened. Duh. As a result, the often contradictory stances that Communist dogma takes as a result of this postulate sometimes makes for sweeping policy reversals that are often summary, harsh, and ultimately superficial. In fact, the history of communism is one littered with attempts to create a unified society, with nothing but scorn, contempt, and death for any and all dissenters, even if the dissent is studied and noteworthy.
Communist propagandists will tell you that the human sacrifice thus made was a necessary tool for maintaining social order, because in maintaining social order, the dignity of human life plays only second fiddle. Did I mention that only the evil and hateful capitalists are capable of taking the dignity of human life away from the common man? Of course, only the Communists actually care about you and me. As history is written by the victors, and the victors in each and every case laid down here have, in their own fashion in order to preserve the ideology of the “revolution” itself, whitewashed instances of these purges – these fanatical, reactionary, and paranoid actions – by calling them “creative works of the capitalist propaganda movement” or “closed chapters in the history of the Party with those responsible already put to account.”
Criticisms falling under the former category are subject to outright dismissal, because anything produced by the evil businessman, no matter how true, grounded in fact, or scientific, is false; while those in the latter are simply ignored. How exactly, those responsible are put to account is not clear and is included in the whitewash. What is clear is that if the purported abuses were to have happened with the government as the perpetrator, the Communist Party of the Philippines would waste no time in calling for the resignation of those duly elected as a display of command responsibility. On the other hand, the Politburo in the Netherlands has remained practically unchanged since the beginning of their exile.
Nowhere is this doublespeak more apparent than as regards human rights, the Communist Party of the Philippines maintains that it places human rights violations at the top of its advocacy. Considering classical Maoist tactical strategy, it makes perfect sense for the CPP-NPA-NDF to align itself with human rights advocacies. Chairman Mao himself was never above using his friends and comrades to make himself look better even though he was the person primarily responsible for the failure of the Communist Party in China to make any significant headway vis-à-vis other socio-economic models.
You know the Pointy-Haired Boss in Dilbert? The one who takes all the credit if something goes right and none of the blame if anything went wrong? Chairman Mao, according to many sources including those who knew him best, was like that. Of course, the followers of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory will never agree to that assessment, partially because of Mao’s enduring cult of personality. Someone even tried to build on that cult by creating a Chinese restaurant in Robinson’s Galleria based on the late dictator. Like the Great Leap Forward, the venture in Hunan cooking failed after only a few months.
It is then obvious that the biggest contradiction facing the Communist Party of the Philippines is that while it denies everything related to being capitalist, its advocacies and workings all have the hallmarks of State Capitalism. State Capitalism is defined as an economic system where the State is the prime owner of the modes of production.
For as early as the Party has been in existence, the Party has engaged in capitalist activity, where the primary source of revenue for the Party has been through the sale of illegal drugs, primarily marijuana. This is because marijuana and other soft drugs raise money rather quickly, considering its widespread use in the counterculture underground in which their urban operatives move and enjoy a rather large influence. The secondary source of income for the Party is the collection of revolutionary taxes, which is in the form of rent-seeking and extortion —at reminiscent of American organized criminal organizations, disguised in the form of protection services offered to those affected. This is evidenced by two facts:
- Instead of being smuggled into China, as were the rest of his comrades, Sison was smuggled into the Netherlands, where, up to this day, marijuana possession does not warrant a bullet to the head.
- The known major growth areas of marijuana in the Philippines are located in alleged CPP-NDF strongholds; specifically, the hinterlands of Benguet and Bukidnon.
Later, Russian apparatchiks operating in Afghanistan would use the same strategy in the Russian occupation of Afghanistan by using whatever arable land there is in the Afghan desert to cultivate opium poppies, with much success. The Taliban further utilized this success when they started creating their own business model, and now Afghanistan is the world’s leading supplier of opium.
To this day, government has been slow to catch up. According to recently released declassified documents, the National Bureau of Investigation launched its investigation only in 1997 after successfully decoding a message transmitted through Manila radio station DWNU 107.5 on public air. The message, allegedly from an American band called Cake, contained the message “How do you afford your rock and roll. Life. Style?” The investigation eventually fizzled when it was discovered that the lead investigator was connected to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and was using funds derived from his association with the same to fund a shabu habit. Nevertheless, the connection remains, and marijuana use has always been central to Party dogma.
Indeed, a source from High Times has an unconfirmed report that the National Democratic Front, facing a severe cash shortage as a result of increased resistance to the payment of revolutionary taxes, which, in turn came about from territorial gains on the ground from newly equipped government forces and Islamic jihadists, was forced to turn to several persons in the West for funding; in particular, rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, who in 1996 negotiated for the purchase of a minority stake in the National Democratic Front, who insisted on the official name of the united front of the Party being changed from National Democratic Front to Nasty Dope Fiends, with seats in the Politburo in the Netherlands automatically assigned to Snoop Dogg’s posse of Long Beach Crips (LBC), with control over local operations to be overseen by above-ground members of the Crips playing as imports in the Philippine Basketball Association.
However, when the CPP sought to enforce revolutionary taxes on the Crips members in the Philippines collecting on their share in the marijuana sales, an intense gunfight ensued in the mountains of Mt. Guting-Guting in Mindoro that placed heavy casualties on both sides. Eyewitnesses to the incident have reported shouts of “Westside!” and “Mamatay na ang mga egoy!” ringing throughout. The incident caused a great deal of embarrassment on the part of the United States embassy that news of the incident was suppressed for fear of international recrimination.
The CPP-NDF has also been used as a tax shield for Joma and his fellow exiles in the Netherlands. Under the Welfare State provisions in Dutch law, the giving of money and other possessions for the disposal of a non-profit entity, no matter where and how organized can be deducted as a loss from personal income, and any money received from such organizations cannot be counted as income. This has allowed Sison and his ilk to launder, according to some estimates, an inordinate amount of money sourced from revolutionary taxes and drug sales. In turn, this has allowed Sison to live a lavish life of luxury while his cadres facing the government in the trenches have to live in the forest, often starving for lack of available food.
In the final analysis, the Communist Party of the Philippines has betrayed the interest of the common person by exploiting the ignorant and poor to support Sison’s lifestyle in the liberal Netherlands. Sison achieves this by creating a corporation whose main objective is to obtain money and other property from private individuals in the guise of “taxes” and should they refuse to comply, extort money from them through any violent means necessary. No one is allowed to question this doctrine and other pronouncements from Utrecht under pain of death, even if the doctrine in question has been proven to be false by unanimous acclaim throughout the world; even if no one really cares whether they win or lose outside of the Philippines. In fact, inside the Philippines, no one cares, especially in Ateneo. Besides, everyone leaves the “movement” once they begin to have children.