Check out the first in a series of short interviews with comrade Joma Sison! He is the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines and currently he is chief consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

We talked to him about a variety of topics. Here Joma shines his light on the dialectical relationship between theory and practice.

Next up: Joma talks about power & socialist transition, the mass line, serving the people and becoming a partisan to the working class. Stay tuned!

Full transcript below the video.

Full transcript:

Joma Sison: ‘To have a revolutionary movement you must have theory. And of course its not enough to have theory. Neither can you make revolution without the mass movement. So there is a dialectical relationship between theory and the practice of building a mass movement. Now, when I say that you must have theory, you know, suitable to the era of modern imperialism and proletarian revolution, which aims at proletarian socialist revolution, you need to have the theory of Marx and Engels, through Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Mao is very imprtant because he answers the questions of modern revisionism. When people try to impress you, discourage you that “socialism is dead”. No, it’s capitalism that’s dying! Socialism will resurge.

You need to know how to take care of problems that will crop up in new socialist societies. Because you are told “oh, impossible! It is only for a short while.” But all new things, especially big new things like new social formations sometimes have some setbacks. The French Revolution occured in the later part of the 18th century [but] the French realized many of their democratic rights only in the 1920’s. Because after the French Revolution you have the Thermidorian Reaction, the empire building by Napoleon and then the restauration of the monarchy. So, you must have theory. That’s ideological work.

It’s not enough to have ideological work, you must do political work. The party itself, or the pre-party formation if there is no party yet, has to recruit more members. But you are after the masses. Those who join the pre-party formation or the full pledged party must be able to work within certain mass organizations. The mass organizations are for various types of people, classes of people and sectors, they have to be formed because they become the hardcore of the mass movement. The mass movement always includes the advanced part, organized, highly concious, according to the general political line. Then those in the middle, they still need to develop. And then there are the backward, the sponteneaus, they join when they see an issue is interesting to them. The challenge is for you to win [all of] them over. To keep them steady in the mass movement.’


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