The CPP has a long and interesting history of struggle in the Philippines. In its heyday, it was associated with the armed struggle, centred in the countryside, mostly through the New Peoples Army, as well as working through trade unions and workers struggles. The CPP had a hard time moving out of the period of armed struggle in the countryside, to the mostly open political agitation and organization of urban mass movements. In the current period, with increasing government repression, this is even more difficult.
In the past couple of years another, extremely serious issue has been raised. There have been allegations made by members of the NGO and global justice community that people from the CPP have threatened to assassinate those who have renounced the revolutionary road to social transformation. It is difficult to see exactly what has been happening with this and it certainly creates a cloud over the current situation with the CPP.
As for Canada, in every country, forms of struggle vary and class struggle includes working in different terrains. In countries where the struggle against authoritarian forms of political rule are dominant, open, legal and non-violent forms of struggle are more difficult, and can become subordinate to organizing armed resistance. This is especially true in environments where rural power is exercised through landlord militias or armed policy and armies that directly repress rural workers or peasants. Even in these instances, political organizing is the key to mobilizing people, either through armed activity or open political activity.
Class rule by capital and its allies always combines reliance on economic coercion and oppression, ideological "hegemonic" forms of rule (where people are convinced that there cannot be any alternative to the existing system) and repression. In developed countries with long traditions of capitalist democracy, the "hegemonic" component is clearly dominant. But it is also tied to peoples' acceptance of the legitimacy and autonomy of the rules of the capitalist economy and forms of direct repression. For the most part, in a country like Canada the issue is not armed struggle, but organizing working people as a class to struggle through trade unions and other open mass institutions that democracy allows and, to win them over to a critical understanding of capitalism, their role in challenging it and the possibility of an alternative society.
In this context, talk of "armed struggle" does not make sense. We don't even have a separate working class party or parties at this moment. But even more, the approach that most revolutionary Marxists have in developed countries like Canada involve developing a socialist program, building a base for it amongst the masses, developing our capacity as a class to organize, mobilize and challenge capital in workplaces, communities and political institutions. Perhaps, someday we will create different political institutions of worker political power and transform the way that current political institutions work for capital. That is in the future.
This is different than in many developing countries. It is up to your own working class parties and organizations to develop their own strategies. There is no single strategy - or balance between "convincing" and working through institutions on the one hand, and armed struggle on the other hand.
The CPP website is here: www.philippinerevolution.org
A good Marxist resource on the internet is Marx.org. They offer an archive of their website on DVD.
|^ Back to Top ^|