Statements from Australia in opposition to the Stalinist slanders of Dr. Scalice
30 October 2020
The World Socialist Web Site is publishing messages of support for Dr. Joseph Scalice from throughout the world. Dr. Scalice who has come under attack from the Philippine Stalinists for his powerful lecture, “First as Tragedy, Second as Farce: Marcos, Duterte and the Communist Parties of the Philippines,” which examined the support given by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the various organizations that follow its political line, to authoritarian Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.
Acutely sensitive to the criticism of the CPP, its founder Jose Maria Sison, without a shred of evidence, has denounced Dr. Scalice as a paid CIA agent and an informer for Duterte. Dr. Scalice, through the establishment of the historical record about the betrayals of the CPP, has done a service to the working class in the Philippines and internationally.
We urge our readers to come to the defence of Dr. Scalice, including by sending statements of support to the WSWS opposing the slanderous attack on him by the CPP and sharing his lecture widely.
Michael, a musician from Sydney, Australia
Through his doctoral dissertation and lectures, Joseph Scalice has exposed the perfidious character of Joma Sison and the Communist Party of the Philippines. The large audience Dr. Scalice has reached—unusually so for academic research—is a testament to the importance and contemporary relevance of the subject matter, his skill as a researcher, writer, and speaker, and, critically, to the historical context and global perspective he imparts.
Over and over, the CPP has betrayed the workers, peasants, and students of the Philippines, a country with a proud history of revolutionary struggle. Scalice’s work demonstrates that these betrayals did not result from momentary tactical errors, but from the party’s Stalinist program of socialism in one country and the two-stage theory.
Unable to refute Scalice’s work on factual grounds, Sison has resorted to blatant lies, slander, name-calling, and threats. Again, this is straight from the Stalinist playbook.
In circumstances of mounting unrest around the world, truth is increasingly dangerous to ruling elites and their servants, the false prophets that claim to represent the working class.
Joseph Scalice, like Julian Assange, and the principled historians who have exposed the falsifications of the 1619 Project, plays a crucial role in exposing the lies and diversions that have suppressed revolutionary struggle for decades.
I wholeheartedly applaud Scalice for his scholarship, and the World Socialist Web Site for its campaign in his defence. I am proud to join the growing number of academics, students, and workers pledging their support for Dr. Scalice.
Erika Zimmer, High School Teacher
In documenting the history of Sison and the connections of the Communist Party of the Philippines to the fascistic dictator Duterte, Joseph Scalice has undertaken a courageous service to those who have studied the bloody betrayals of Stalinism for decades as well as new layers of youth, students and academics entering into a fight against imperialism. Scalice’s lecture reveals well documented evidence of the opportunism, cynicism and degeneration of the Communist Party of the Philippines through decades. It sheds a light on the political origins of Duterte which I found very clarifying.
The lecture, predictably, resulted in howls of outrage and threats from Sison whose political life has been thoroughly exposed and discredited. The lecture has been and will be closely read by class-conscious workers and young people in the Philippines and internationally who will draw conclusions about the role of Stalinism today in countries of belated capitalist development. I applaud Scalice’s passionate lecture and his meticulously presented evidence. He has struck a blow against historical falsehood.
Carolyn Kennett, Senior Lecturer at Macquarie University
I would like to express my complete and unequivocal support for Dr. Joseph Scalice and his scholarship on the Stalinist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
The vicious and slanderous attacks by Jose Maria Sison and his supporters are an attack on academic freedom—the right and responsibility to teach, review and discuss knowledge without restriction or interference and to publish the results of their scholarly work.
With historical accuracy, using many sources, Dr. Scalice exposes the role of Stalinism and Maoism in betraying workers and subordinating them to their respective national bourgeoisies. The meticulous research Joseph has conducted is of historical and political significance for the working class in the Philippines, South East Asia and internationally.
Gabriela Zabala, English Academic
The revelations in the lecture by historian Joseph Scalice are of paramount importance in exposing not only the politically criminal role of the CPP and Sison in their efforts to subordinate the Philippine working class to its own national bourgeoisie including the brutal dictator Ferdinand Marcos, but also the CPP’s collaboration with the fascistic Duterte regime.
The research is thorough and rigorous and most importantly, it is informed by a historical understanding of Stalinism from a Marxist perspective. This is an important contribution to the development of the political consciousness of not only the Philippine, but also the international working class about the role that Stalinism has played and continues to play in politically disarming the working class. Sison and the CPP cannot answer Scalice’s research and resort to the tried and true Stalinist method of slanderous denunciations and violence to silence dissent and suppress all opposition to its opportunist alliances with capitalist regimes, including fascist ones, and its betrayal of the working class.
Scalice should enjoy the academic freedom to write, speak and lecture on his research, especially on an issue of such political relevance. As the working class is becoming increasingly radicalised it will require, as part of its political arsenal, all the historical knowledge that is available about its strategic struggles against all forms of oppression and national opportunism, including Stalinism. Scalice’s lecture, therefore, should be widely disseminated and all slanderous attacks and threats of violence against him by Sison and the CPP should not only be condemned, but must also immediately cease.
Robert, Engineering Student from Newcastle
I extend my support to Dr. Joseph Scalice’s principled campaign for Marxism in the Philippines.
It is clear to many that read through Scalice’s exhaustive research on the political history of the Philippines that the Stalinist CPP has played a rotten role in betraying the political confidence of the working class. Throughout the history of the 20th century, the ‘theory’ of socialism in one country has only served the interests of a privileged bureaucracy.
Joma Sison’s slanders—that Scalice is a CIA agent conducting a psychological operation—reflect his desperate position as a result of his own bankrupt, nationalist politics. The only way socialism can be realised is through the independent mobilisation of the working class on an international program. The working class owns no borders or property—it has a world to win.
Trotsky wrote of those parties which sacrifice the historic interests of workers for short term “parliamentary” gains with the bourgeoisie, “the great events which rush upon mankind will not leave of these outlived organizations one stone upon another.”
Today, Trotsky’s writings—particularly on the USSR—stand as a vindication. It is impossible to understand the history of the 20th century, as well as the 21st, without them. I encourage all workers throughout South East Asia to study them as part of the fight for genuine socialism, and to rally to Scalice’s defence.