Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Reflections on Strategy and Tactics of Revolution

Note: This was written last August 9, 2004, as I was contemplating on the strategy and tactics on how revolution can waged. It clearly lambashes at the Sison line but upon further talks with Professor Villegas, my perspectives and prospects now are a lot more different than how it was when I wrote this piece.

I think the inevitability of the armed struggle as a prevailing strategy in the revolution is as important as setting up the ranks of the mass movement in the initial phase of the master plan. The mass movement in the cities will be crushed by the might of the reactionary state if it is not led by the liberating character of the people’s army in the intermediate and final stages of the revolution. I think it is absurd to assume that the path to revolution can be taken without the use of arms as mere chants and slogans will never suffice. The revolutionaries will end up being massacred and a whole sector of the movement quelled and immobilized. However, the relentless debate on the issue of the mode-of-production should be given due account as it might give rise to a restructuring of the revolution’s protracted strategy in ND or RJ terms. I firmly believe, with various data from thinktanks and reports from all side of the spectrum, that the Philippine economic landscape is best described still as a largely semi-feudal economy but steered by capitalist economic interests. The prevailing trend now in the countryside has been in the form of large-scale land conversions of arable land, shifting from rice, corn and sugar plantations into new residential and commercial establishments, if not, golf courses. This shows a decline in a general interest in investment in agriculture as a majority of landlords move from a concentration in agricultural capital to domestic investments in city-based industries, although backward, dirty and mostly raw/intermediate goods processing, packaging and manufacturing. But even as agriculture is in decline, a great majority of Filipinos wallow in poverty in the countryside and lament their continued landlessness and tenancy. This gives the revolution its comparative advantage in recognizing the continued poverty in the countryside as a tactical field of battle in the intermediate and final stages through escalating armed struggle. It is from the ranks of the peasants in which we can get the bulk of the membership of the people’s army while the workers ready the stage for the ensuing battle in the major cities of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The invasion of Manila can wait as critical battles are won in skirmishes in the archipelago. Isolated islands can wait also as military might can be cordoned off as a result of victories in the bigger islands. A detailed tactic might be discussed soon regarding this. Anyway, in Marxist analysis, if capitalist economic interests hold sway, in the form of Big Business and foreign monopolistic direct investments, the crux of the revolution should be centered in the cities in which it is of utter importance for the city cadres to get the support of the city-folk when the Commie partisans enter the cities and this can be done through relentless organizing and centralism in terms of forging alliances with the movement’s mass bases. The point of this piece is to underscore the importance of city-based organizing as the motive power in clinching the revolution and discredit the Sison line of overstretching the peasant revolution as the prime mover of the revolution. The army in the countryside can never enter the cities without the commie partisans mobilizing the people in the cities to carry out urban warfare in a tactical manner because even as the people’s army have neutralized the reactionary army in the fields, a great bulk of the reactionary army stays in the barracks near the cities and without popular support from the ones in the cities, the people’s army can never capture any city in the Philippines.

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