“The fight here is not just to defend Dr. Scalice’s works but to oppose continuing historical revisionism”
More letters from the Philippines defending Dr. Joseph Scalice against libellous allegations by Communist Party founder Sison
29 September 2020
The World Socialist Web Site is publishing messages of support for Dr. Joseph Scalice from around the world. Dr. Scalice 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, has without a shred of evidence, denounced Dr. Scalice as a paid CIA agent and an informer for Duterte’s death squads. Dr. Scalice, by establishing the historical record of 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.
Frankie, student: As an undergraduate student of Political Science, I am most exposed to intensive readings. Once, I came across Dr. Scalice’s works while doing minimal research for resources. In connection, I have been delving into civil-military relations here in the Philippines, taking into account how the military is extending their services to youth civic participation. However, Dr. Scalice’s works had struck me into the long inquiry that is staying inside my head for a long time—the CPP’s participation in the Philippine Politics and history. I was able to watch his lecture after a colleague from an advocacy organization sent me a link to his discussion. It was his 10-year study looking into how the group built a way for an authoritarian regime.
Facts are laid down. Ironically Jose Maria Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines resorts to slanderous and libelous attacks rather than answering the historical study and analysis of Dr. Scalice in a profound/formal way. Dr. Scalice was a scholar of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. If his study was based on an objective to antagonize the party and merely to create a fiasco it would be a dishonor towards the academy. If so, Sison must give a substantial dispute to Scalice’s works if the claim was ever false.
How can Sison consider himself as revolutionary if his origins and alliances are with nationalist capitalists in the country? Sison’s statements are a direct attack on the significance of a scholarly work and leaning into a drastic historical revisionism.
Quoting Leon Trotsky, “Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of history!”
The fight here is not just to defend Dr. Scalice’s works, but to oppose continuing historical revisionism.
Noe E., filmmaker: I have greatly enjoyed following the lectures of Dr. Scalice about his profound research on CPP-NPA-NDF. It’s a refreshing, academic take of this side of Philippine history, from the outside looking in, yet knowing the nuances of the Filipino culture. The attacks of Joma Sison against Dr Scalice are simply preposterous given the arguments that the latter presented are in an organized and inarguable manner. While the former sits in his comfortable home in Utrecht wondering how he can attack back at the person who has, as the French would say, “put his nose against his own shit” thru ad hominems, calling his trolls to rally up against an academic who has spent his life studying him and his cohorts.
I am mostly frustrated at how Sison, given how he is purportedly a genius, can be so shallow. He has become a paradox of his own ideology whence he should welcome critics and improve from it. But no, he has become the dictator, the fascist he has long fought against. His words have become their law and so should his followers. I too believe in the revolution. In change. But a bloodless one. We have done and proven it in two EDSA revolutions. F Sionil Jose once interviewed the last of the Huk commanders (Taruc, et al) said, “the reason why their revolution did not succeed was because of ego. EGO- was what mattered to them instead of their cause.”
Would it really hurt to admit they have made a mistake in supporting Duterte? They may have put all their cards on him hoping for the revolution they have aspired to but he reneged on a promise? Thousands have staked their lives in the cause of their ideology—violent and outdated. In the end, whatever–isms, or –ists you belong to, there is always space for clear, concise, and respectable platform to argue, to agree to disagree, which no doubt Sison has negated to appease himself and his followers.
Charles, Diplomacy and Governance Graduate from the Philippines: It is never new and surprising that the Philippine Maoist Left retains intimidation and scare tactics as part of their usual routines when it comes to dissent. However, it can be argued that it is one of their least horrifying practices in dealing with dissent, many of which met their fates in infamous killing fields especially those of their fellow brethren that they have alleged to be “Deep Penetration Agents.” As we all can see, McCarthyism is also a norm in the Extreme Left. Whenever scholars such as Joseph Scalice, Lisandro “Leloy” Claudio, and Walden Bello, to name a few, expose or even just memorialize what seems to be obvious truths about the Maoist Left, they squirm and resort to dirty and dishonest methods. And this sets a dangerous precedent to their career, and even to their lives as well.
To what aim the Maoist Left does this? Are they simply embarrassed of their erroneous steps in the past or they seek to rid the Philippine Academe of free diversity of thought, and establish their dominance in it, to ensure control of young and next generations to come? We applaud scholars such as Joseph Scalice and others in remaining steadfast and undaunted in their pursuit of truth and knowledge despite the dangers associated with such fascistic behaviors.
Erickson, student: Dr. Joseph Scalice is a kind of academic that has always gone into different and academic discourse. Labeling him as a paid Central Intelligence Agency agent and Trotskyite are sorts of inanities by an opposition whose intention is to proliferate libelous allegations towards a scholar. Here manifests and betokens an ad hominem fallacy which intends to attack Scalice with obscure and incoherent arguments by defaming the good reputation of Scalice and his scholarship. As an undergraduate student, I have been monitoring Scalice on Facebook and his critical observations re Communist Party of the Philippines are great and have undergone critical scrutiny by experts which I thought have been recognized in the academe as peer-reviewed work.
Thus, his approaches are scholarly, factual and evidence-based. If Scalice’s work was mere propaganda or defamation, it would not have been [recognised] in the academe. It is undeniable that Scalice substantiates the veracity about Communist Party of the Philippines and its allied legal organizations. A true scholar may be obfuscated and thrown flaks by scandalmongers but his rectitude and argument will remain intact and cogent—people who affirm for his credibility are his corroborators.