REPORT TO THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF ILPS
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International Coordinating Committee
June 18, 2008
I wish to convey warmest greetings of solidarity to all the distinguished guests
and observers, to my colleagues in the International Coordinating Committee
(ICC), to all delegations and to all participating organizations of the International
League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS).
Let us honor and thank the recently-departed first ICC chairperson and honorary
chairperson of the ILPS Rep. Crispin Beltran and the ICC member Dr. Ahmad
Maslamani for their significant contributions to the anti-imperialist democratic
movement of the people. Let us salute all who have contributed to the
consolidation and expansion of the movement.
I wish I were in person with you today. But the the US, the Philippine and
Dutch governments have collaborated since 1988 to curtail my basic democratic
rights, including my freedom to travel. They have systematically used false charges
against me to frustrate my application for asylum and ban me from work, to put me
on the terrorist list and deprive me of social benefits and to threaten me with
imprisonment. Even then, we can avail of the technique of videoconferencing.
I wish to report today on the achievements and shortcomings of the ILPS, the
crisis of the world capitalist system, the rise of the people's resistance on a global
scale and the urgent tasks of the ILPS. I hope that all of us get a clear knowledge
of the current level of our strength, the favorable circumstances for further advance
and the bright prospects of our struggle along the anti-imperialist and democratic line.
I. Achievements and Shortcomings of the ILPS
The ILPS has become the most outstanding anti-imperialist and democratic formation
by providing political guidance to the people of the world on 18 concerns defined by
the ILPS charter. Such political guidance has been provided by the General Declaration
and resolutions of the preceding international assembly, the resolutions of the ICC
and by the timely statements of the ICC Chairperson, with the assistance of his own
staff and the study commissions.The ILPS has thus covered a wide range of major
issues, whether these arise in the imperialist countries or in the most numerous
countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. These issues are well enumerated in
reports of the chairperson to the ICC.
To mention a few, we have presented our position and called for people's action on
the imperialist policies of neoliberal globalization and global war of terror, the crisis of
the world capitalist system, environmental plunder, the continuing US occupation of
Iraq and US-Zionist occupation of Palestine, the exploitation and oppression of the
peoples, the people's wars in various countries, chauvinist, racial, gender, religious
and other forms of discrimination, the digital divide and the anti-labor, anti-immigrant
and anti-youth policies in imperialist countries. The records of the ICC, ICG and General
Secretariat can show to you all the concerns and issues covered. There is no comparable
formation that has been more articulate and militant than the ILPS.
The ILPS is the strongest formation of its kind by having attracted to its fold hundreds
of organizations with millions of members in more than 40 countries and in most of the
global regions. It has 18 study commissions. It has started organizing national chapters
and global region committees. Its current organizational base opens the possibility of
many more national chapters and global region committees in the next few years. At
every level, the study commissions are also in a position to form sectoral organizations
that are affiliated to the ILPS.
The ILPS is a united front of mass formations at the international, global region and
national levels. It brings together and coordinates the people's organizations according
to common multisectoral and sectoral interests and purposes. It initiates and launches
mass campaigns and various types of activities and seeks the cooperation of other
anti-imperialist and democratic forces. At the same time, it joins and supports their
initiatives. The united front policy allows the ILPS to gain strength beyond its given
Although it has scored many achievements, the ILPS has many shortcomings and
weaknesses. It needs to take up the major concerns and issues more promptly than
ever before. It needs to disseminate more effectively its position and calls to action in
the print and electronic mass media. It needs to increase its member-organizations and
to form the national chapters and global region committees in order to become more
politically effective. It needs to consolidate and further activate the study commissions
because they tend to be stagnant after every international assembly.
It needs to make the member-organizations pay for their annual financial obligations as
well as raise further resources. Funds have been too scarce for regular operations and
undertaking information and education campaigns. We are still far from having stable
offices of the ICC and General Secretariat, with a daily staff of compensated as well as
volunteer personnel. We are still in the stage of availing of personnel, facilities and
resources on a purely voluntary basis. At any rate, this is both our strength and weakness.
II. The Unraveling of the Policy of Neoliberal Globalization
The policy of neoliberal globalization has escalated the exploitation of the people of the
world. It has accelerated the concentralization and centralization of capital in the US and
other imperialist countries. The rapid accumulation of capital in the hands of the monopoly
bourgeoisie has been enabled by pressing down the wage levels and cutting back on social
spending on a global scale, the denationalization of the economies of semicoloies and
dependent countries, the liberalization of trade and investments, the privatization of state
assets and deregulation at the expense of the working people, women, children and the
The US-controlled world capitalist system has caused social destruction on an unprecedented
global scale. The crisis of overproduction has worsened from period to period but has been
overlaid by the wanton increases in the money supply and credit in futile attempts to
maintain a high level of imports and consumption in the US and to conjure the false illusion
of economic growth for the imperialist countries and a few so-called emerging markets like
China and India. But the limits of financial abuse for consumption and speculation are being
The worsening crisis in the real economy, which involves the contraction of the incomes
of the working people and therefore the constriction of the market, has been compounded
with the worsening of the financial crisis. This crisis has involved the prolonged abuse of
credit by the imperialist states and by the multinational firms and banks. The US national
debt has become unsustainably large, with ever growing trade and budgetary deficits
and the runaway military expenditures. The US corporate debt is at its speculative
worst in the entire history of global capitalism. The US households have been swept
into bankruptcies by a combination of industrial decline, loss of regular employment
and inveiglement into financial scams, such as the hightech bubble in the last half
of 1990s and the housing bubble in the current decade.
Now, the worst of economic conditions since the Great Depression have arisen.
The neoliberal policy pushed by the US is conspicuously unraveling. It has undermined
the US as the long touted engine of global economic growth and market of last
resort. A credit crunch and decreasing import orders from the imperialist countries
are victimizing the so-called emerging markets like China, India and entire Southeast
Asia.The overwhelming majority of the people of the world living in Asia, Africa and
Latin America are suffering the most.
They have long suffered the main brunt of exploitation through the global glut in
the production of raw materials, the trade deficits, foreign debt and superprofit-taking
by the imperialists. They stand to suffer further from the schemes of the imperialist
firms and banks to take advantage of their monopoly of economic and financial
resources, hype both real and imaginary scarcities of primary commodities and to
generate for themselves a boom and an opportunity for price-gouging in such
commodities, including fuel, food and minerals.
We see today a global landscape in which entire peoples are suffering from economic
and social devastation and degradation. These include the high rate of mass unemployment,
the further depression of wages, the soaring prices of basic commodities, mass hunger
and malnutriton and the rapid deterioration of social services in education, health and
housing. The imperialist and puppet states are becoming increasinly repressive and
are always trying to head off or preempt the people's resistance with laws and
brutal actions of state terrorism under the pretext of combating terrorism.
III. US Overextension in US Global War of Terror
In previous rounds of economic and financial crisis, the US has sought to use military
production and the actual launching of wars of aggression (as in the Balkans and
the Middle East) in order to stimulate the increasingly stagnant US and global
capitalist economy. Since September 11, 2001, the US has found the pretext
to adopt the policy of a global permanent and preemptive "war on terror" and
has vowed to blacklist and attack not only the suspected Al Qaida perpetrators
of 9/11 but all the anti-imperialist forces and elements in the world.
States invoking national independence, national liberation movements, revolutionary
communist parties and progressive organizations and leaders have been blacklisted
and have become the targets of various forms of attacks, including economic
sanctions, subversion, nuclear blackmail, bombardments and wars of aggression.
The US-instigated global war of terror has escalated the oppression of the people
of the world. It has emboldened repression and fascism by imperialist and
puppet states, acts of military intervention and massive wars of aggression as
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, the US aggressors, its imperialist allies and their puppets find themselves
sinking in quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan. They face the unrelenting armed
resistance of the people. Next to foreign debt due to trade deficits and sale
of securities, military spending is growing as a big chunk of the US national debt.
The American people consider unbearable the costs of aggression in terms of the
number of American troops being killed and wounded, the misuse of resources
against the American and other peoples and worst of all the ignominy of terrorism
perpetrated by the US government exceeding so many times by far the crimes it
had previously ascribed to the Saddam regime.
The imperialist powers continue to collude with each other in oppressing and
exploiting the peoples of the world. But the rapidly worsening crisis of the world
capitalist system is pressing them to compete with each other and redivide the
world among themselves. They are ever maneuvering and contending with each
other in order to acquire, keep and control sources of raw materials and cheap
labor, markets, fields of investments and spheres of influence. The inter-imperialist
contradictions are showing breaches in the anti-people front of the imperialist
As a consequence of the betrayal of socialism by revisionism and the full restoration
of capitalism in former socialist countries, the world capitalist system has become
overwhelmingly dominant and the US has emerged as the sole imperialist superpower.
But the increase of imperialist powers and the continuous worsening of crisis from one
stage to another in the world capitalist system have generated conditions for the
weakening of the US and other imperialist powers and the resurgence of the
anti-imperialist and democratic resistance of the people of the world.
IV. The Resistance of the Peoples of the World
The people of the world detest and resist the U.S. as the No. 1 punderer, oppressor
and terrorist of the world. It is the No. 1 enemy of the people of the world. It is
the constant target of the anti-imperialist and democratc mass movements in the
imperialist countries and in Asia, Africa and Latin America even as the other imperialist
powers and reactionary forces are also held accountable. In various parts of the world,
imperialism and local reaction may take different concrete forms in oppressing and
exploiting the people and rousing the people to wage various forms of resistance.
The peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America are the most oppressed and exploited
by imperialism and reaction. They are therefore the most inclined to wage armed
revolution and other forms of struggle along the line of national liberation and democracy.
There are revolutionary armed struggles, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia,
Peru, Brazil, Nigeria, Philippines, Turkey, India and other South Asian countries. These
are highly important because they assert and stress the necessity of seizing political
power by the people. They can inspire the spread of armed revolution on a wide
scale upon the worsening of the crisis of the world capitalist sytem.
We may describe as main contradition the contradiction between the imperialist
powers and the oppressed peoples and nations. This refers to the extreme conditions
of the people's suffering, the current level of revolutionary resistance and the high
potential of a far wider spread of revolutionary armed struggles in various continents.
The revolutionary forces of the people need to arise where they do not yet exist
and be developed further where they exist. Conscious and vigorous efforts are
needed to generate the resurgence of the anti-imperialist and democratic movement
on a global scale after the success of imperialism and revisionism in inflicting a temporary
defeat on the world proletarian revolution and the anti-imperialist movement since
three decades ago.
As a consequence of the national liberation movements and socialist revolutions of
the past and the current demands of the oppressed peoples and nations, there are
states that invoke national sovereignty and national independence in order to counter
the worst impositions of imperialism and to keep or win the support of the people.
Such states may be motivated merely by bourgeois nationalism or some religious fervor
or may pay lip service to socialism. Whether we like them or not or whether they like
us or not, we must be able to study and take advantage of contradictions that arise
between them and the imperialist powers in the same way that we study and take
advantage of the contradictions among imperialist states.
If correctly applied, the policy and tactics of the united front at the national and
international levels do not constitute opportunism. They are necessary for the
revolutionary forces to grow from weak to strong, to expand their mass following
and influence at any stage, split the counterrevolutionary forces and defeat them
one after the other. A genuine revolutionary force can apply the united front policy
and tactics only if in the first place it has its revolutionary integrity, develops its own
strength and exercises its own initiative and independence in order to isolate and
destroy the enemy. Thus, it can amplify its own strength and influence by using
directly or indirectly and in various ways the contradictions between the enemy in
a given period and those various forces on the opposite side. Such forces opposed
to the enemy (an imperialist power and/or the ruling reactionary clique) include
mass organizations, movements, parties, institutions and states or sections thereof.
As in the 20th century, before, during and after World Wars I and II, contradictions
among the imperialist states themselves have resulted in concrete conditions
conducive to the emergence and rise of revolutionary mass movements and possibly
the establishment of people's democracies and socialist states in the future. The
sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions can acquire more importance inasmuch
as the anti-imperialist and democratic movememts are striving to grow in strength
and advance under conditions comparable to those when there was yet no socialist
state before World War I.
The class struggle between the monopoly bourgeoisie and the proletariat is increasingly
coming to the surface in the imperialist countries. The proletariat is rising up up against
the protracted vicious pressing down of their wage and living conditions and the
suppression of their trade union and basic democratic rights. The proletariat and
the rest of the people are often mobilizing against chauvinism, racism, religious
bigotry and fascism and against policies and laws that discriminate against the
immigrants, women and youth. Under conditions of economic crisis, fascism and
war, they can be moved to undertake resistance more than when the monopoly
bourgeoisie can still bring home the bacon from super-exploitation of peoples abroad.
V. The Urgent Tasks of the ILPS
It is a matter of high importance and urgent necessity that the Third International
Assembly make deliberations and decisions in accordance with the theme, "Strengthen
the people's struggle, unite to build a new world against imperialist aggression, state
terrorism, plunder and social destruction!"
We must avail of the TIA to exchange experiences, sum them up, draw lessons and
define the urgent tasks of the ILPS. We must amend the Charter in order to reflect
the status, potential and aspirations of the ILPS. We must discuss matters that are
intramural to the ILPS as well as the wide-ranging topics brought up by a distinguished
array of distinguished guest speakers and resource persons.
Benefiting from thorough discussions in the workshops of the study commissions, we
must issue a new General Declaration, consisting of the introduction proposed by the
ICC and the comprehensive resolution on 18 concerns proposed by the study commssions.
We can supplement this with specific resolutions. And we must put forward plans of
action. We can be confident that after the TIA the anti-imperialist and democratic
line of advance is more clear than ever before. We must perform more effectively
than ever before the task of political education.
We must be determined to use all available means for agitating, informing and educating
the people along the anti-imperialist and democratic line. We must use conversations ,
letters, indoor and outdoor public meetings, seminars and conferences to propagate
our line and attract more member-organizations and supporters. We must issue our
publications promptly in print and electronic media. We must take advantage of the
economy and efficiency in spreading our statements, resolutions and plans of action
through the internet.
We must carry out our organizational tasks better than ever before by drawing lessons
from our experience and making the necessary amendments in the ILPS Charter. We
must draw in more member-organizations through existing ones, through organizing
committees and conferences, through the national chapters and through the global
region committees .The 18 concerns are the lifeblood of the ILPS. Thus, the study
commissions must continually undertake studies, develop plans of actions, hold conferences
and seminars, and issue timely statements and resolutions.
The ILPS must attract mass formations to become member-organizations of the ILPS
at an accelerated rate. Thus, it becomes more capable of raising personnel and
resources for the offices of the ICC and General Secretariat and for carrying out
the task of undertaking mass campaigns on various concerns and issues and mobilizing
ever larger masses of the people.
Through the mass campaigns, the ILPS must further draw more mass organizations
to join its fold. It must take the initiative in conceiving of and launching mass campaigns
and seeking the cooperation of other entities. It must also join and support those mass
campaigns initiated by other entities. In all cases, it must follow and apply the policy of
the united front along the anti-imperialist and democratic line. ###