Opinion: Communist Party of the Philippines Shows Reluctance to Fight until Victory

By Ed Dalton

In a December 8 article, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) press agent Marco Valbuena published a reluctant stance to continue the armed struggle until victory. Valbuena’s headline says it all: “Duterte Is Obsessed with Prolonging the Civil War.” Continuing a civil war is a military necessity for any belligerent who refuses surrender or power-sharing. A revolutionary civil war, such as that being waged by the CPP, is fought until victory, in this case the realization of new democratic revolution and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, with no option for power-sharing. Following Valbuena’s logic, there is some other peaceful solution to the civil war that does not realize new democratic revolution.

The world has seen how Valbuena’s logic has played out in Nepal, where a glorious People’s War was waged for a decade, only to seek a ‘peaceful solution’ with the ruling class, the inclusion of the ‘Maoists’ in parliament, and the continuation of the bourgeois dictatorship over a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country.

Valbuena states, “Duterte’s declaration that there will be no more ceasefires with the revolutionary movement comes as no surprise. His government’s policies have always been shaped by military generals who are obsessed with prolonging the civil war. They are addicted to war because of the profits they pocket from it.”

The Old State in the Philippines, like all states, is a dictatorship of a class or classes, and the very purpose of the state is to suppress other classes and maintain the existing class rule. It is not a matter of “prolonging the civil war” but of maintaining power for the landlords and big bourgeoisie beholden to mainly US imperialism.

While the CPP has argued that their ‘peace talks’ are only tactics to gain concessions from the Filipino ruling class, Valbuena’s article clearly implies something else—a desire to prematurely end the civil war. The article in question makes no mention of the completion of new democratic revolution, the socialist revolution, or Communism. It focuses on blaming the old state for not negotiating an end to the armed conflict, and therefore defends the idea that the conflict can end without victory for the people.

The CPP would have its readers believe that “Duterte has time and again proved himself opposed to any effort to end the civil war in the country through peace negotiations,” and would treat this as a demerit. The CPP would be correct if they stated clearly and honestly that they too must be opposed to ending the civil war through peace talks, unless those talks amount to the surrender of the old state and establishment of the new, headed by the CPP. All revolutionaries, anywhere in the world, must stand opposed to ending the civil war through peace talks that do not result in a Communist victory, meaning the surrender of the old state and the decaying classes it represents. The contradiction between the old state and the new state is antagonistic, and it is irreconcilable. No amount of dressing this up in humanistic terms of ‘peace talks’ can mask this relationship. It is not enough to leave the old state intact—it must be smashed and replaced. This is a basic and fundamental principle of Leninism, which is embodied in Maoism.

It is military theory that has long been proven in practice that one negotiates successfully only for what was already confirmed in battle. Since the armed struggle in the Philippines has not progressed past the first stage—the strategic defensive, in which the people’s forces are relatively weak and the forces of reaction are relatively strong—victory is not in sight, and as such ‘peace talks’ can amount only to a test drive of capitulation, with Duterte at the wheel. When the old state is battered into submission, when the war progresses to strategic equilibrium, and finally to the strategic offensive of the people’s forces, the old state will be breaking down the doors begging for peace talks and looking for some way to hold on to their dwindling power. This is where the bad habit of ‘tactical peace talks’ poses the greatest threat, and all talk of ending the civil war through them becomes more transparent. In such a situation, the dictatorship of the oppressed classes (of the proletariat, peasantry, and petty bourgeoisie, respecting the interests of the bourgeoisie who oppose imperialism), on its way to the dictatorship of the proletariat, is threatened—because some ‘power-sharing’ option can only ever mean a continuation of the dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie. This is why Chairman Mao Zedong theorized new democratic revolution, which is applicable to all countries oppressed by imperialism.

Valbuena cannot help but state the obvious when he says, “They [the Old State] have no interest in the long-term future of the country.” The Old State, and those who have made their careers selling out their homelands to foreign imperialism, cannot claim to have any real interest in the long-term futures of their countries, and this has absolutely nothing to do with their willingness to end revolutions through peace talks or through armed repression. The end of the civil war is constrained by the law outlined by the great Lenin that without power, everything is illusion. This leaves little to the imagination regarding what is behind the propaganda of the CPP.

Valbuena does manage to state something true: the New People’s Army (NPA) will outlive the Duterte administration. Its longevity however is dependent on the seizure and maintenance of power through the dictatorship of the proletariat and the non-stopped transition from new democratic to socialist revolution, and the continuation of socialist revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Anything else is an illusion and would result in a short life for the NPA, which would be a blow to the world proletarian revolution.

The angle behind Valbuena’s article is clear: it is a posture toward ‘peace’ without bringing up the fundamental and central question of power, in order to influence the middle elements to support some other homeland-selling big bourgeoisie, and call this a victory. This is the same line taken by Valbuena and the CPP on the US elections. What lurks beneath the surface, and is clear for those who look honestly, is a professed desire to end the armed struggle prematurely through compromise with the existing ruling class, short of its overthrow. International sentiment must be raised against this: the armed struggle must be defended and carried out until total victory.

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