Australian and Sri Lankan academics defend Dr Joseph Scalice from Philippine Stalinist attacks

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing more messages of support for Dr. Joseph 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.” The lecture 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.

Dr. Joseph Scalice

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 broadly.

Professor Michael Head, Western Sydney University:

The vicious and ludicrous slanders issued by Joma Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, against Dr. Joseph Scalice are, first of all, a serious attack on academic freedom. It is the right and responsibility of historians and other academics to research and publish, in the interests of historical truth, without being vilified by political parties—especially those with a violent record like the CPP.

Second, Sison’s accusations that Dr. Scalice is a CIA agent are chillingly reminiscent of Joseph Stalin’s slanderous denunciations of Leon Trotsky, the co-leader of the 1917 Soviet revolution, as a fascist for exposing the crimes and pro-capitalist policy of the Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union. Unable to answer Dr. Scalice, Sison has explicitly hailed Stalin, who ordered Trotsky’s assassination in 1940!

Third, Dr. Scalice has performed an invaluable service in not only exposing the CCP’s enthusiastic support for the installation of the fascistic Rodrigo Duterte as Philippines president, but also in providing the explanation for that support: the Stalinist-Maoist doctrine of “two-stage” revolution. This doctrine, which has been the pretext for backing repressive capitalist regimes internationally since the 1920s, has been responsible for terrible betrayals and defeats inflicted on the working class, not least in the Philippines, China and Indonesia.

Statement in support of Dr. Joseph Scalice by Dr. Ludmilla K. Robinson, Barrister, Lecturer in Law, University of Western Sydney:

It is hard to believe that in the twenty-first century, those who seek to disseminate the truth in relation to dictators and ‘false prophets’ are still being persecuted in the name of ‘Communism.’ Shame on Jose Maria Sison for bringing into disrepute the ideals in which so many of us believe—equality, truth, honesty and justice. Attacks like that of Sison on Dr. Joseph Scalice are reminiscent of the worst days of Stalin’s iniquitous regime: a time when those who dared to speak the truth were denounced and vilified.

Sison’s defence of the Duterte regime highlights the extent to which such people will go to protect their flagrant self-interest and perpetrate intellectual terrorism. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a free society. It allows for open and respectful debate and strips away the cover from the hypocrites who would oppress and deceive. Suppression of free speech is the hallmark of dictators and their lackeys.

The treatment of Dr. Scalice has been abominable. The more virulent and unsubstantiated the attacks on him, the more credible his claims become. Dr. Scalice has dared to speak truth to power and is a true hero of our time.

Dr. Desmond Mallikarachchi, a former Department of Philosophy and Psychology senior professor at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka:

I oppose the reactionary response by the founder and ideological leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, Jose Maria Sison, through various media, against the online lecture delivered by historian Joseph Scalice at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on August 26, exposing the reactionary nature of Stalinism and Maoism.

The role played by the Maoist Communist Party, supporting the rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and especially of the murderous dictator Duterte, has been thoroughly exposed by the lecture of Dr. Scalice. I strongly denounce the brutal, amoral and anti-democratic response accusing Dr. Scalice as being a “rabid anti-communist.”

Piyasiri Jayathilake, painter and a sculptor:

The idea brought forward by the lecture of Dr. Joseph Scalice is the need for basing politics upon an international socialist perspective against Maoist-Stalinist politics, which have led the international working class to immense defeats. The attempt made by the lecture to powerfully expose the treacherous role of the Communist Party of the Philippines to bring to power Duterte, the current fascist dictator in the Philippines, and maintain his rule, must be appreciated. Sison’s accusation that Dr. Scalice is a “Trotskyite paid by the CIA” is a resort to lies to cover up his own criminal politics. I highly appreciate this Trotskyist perspective, which provides the correct path for the international working class amidst the deep economic and political crisis confronting the imperialist ruling classes and their political agents.