We are publishing below the address sent to the 17th Congress by the Internasyonalismo group in the Philippines, which was invited to send a delegation to the Congress but which was unfortunately unable to do so for various material reasons. The comrades have been in contact and discussion with the ICC for over a year, and have undertaken to develop a left communist presence in the Philippines under the most difficult material conditions. It is thanks to their efforts that the ICC has been able to open its own web site in the Filipino language, and readers can follow and participate in the Internasyonalismo comrades' discussions on their blog.
The Congress strongly welcomed this address. Not only is it an expression of international communist solidarity both to the ICC and to all the other groups attending the Congress, but the reflections that are included in it, notably on the question of the trades unions in countries like the Philippines and on the development of China's presence as an imperialist power in the Far East, were valuable contributions to the work of the Congress as a whole.
(...) For almost 100 years, the workers in the Philippines did not know about the positions of the communist left, and more so, the revolutionaries here were not able to read and study about them especially in the 1920s and 1930s. Now, even though we are very small internationalist communist group in the Philippines, we will try our best to contribute in the collective discussions and debates in the Congress through this text.
We collectively studied and discussed the three draft documents for the 17th Congress. May we present to the Congress the following:
Generally, we agreed with the contents and positions in the three draft documents -- Draft Report on the Class Struggle, Report on the Evolution of the Crisis of Capitalism, Report on the Imperialist Conflicts. The documents are founded on internationalism and the current dynamics of the decomposing system and the class struggles, as well as on the actual interventions of the revolutionary minorities in the world scale. These are consistent with the historical materialist method of Marxism.
Draft Report on Class Struggle
"That with the actual evolution of the contradictions, the most critical question for humanity is the crystallization of a class consciousness sufficient for the emergence of the communist perspective" and "the historical importance of the emergence of a new generation of revolutionaries". (Class Struggle Report for the 16th International Congress)
On the whole, we agree that class solidarity is the most important thing for us as revolutionaries. The maturation of class consciousness can be measured on the level of class solidarity because the latter is the concrete expression of self-organization and independent movement of the proletariat. (...).
What is more important today is to seek ways for class solidarity to rise on the basis of internationalism and independent class movement. But we want to propose to the Congress to highlight the following:
1. The reactionary nature of the unions in the decadent capitalism could hinder the true development of class solidarity on the international scale.
If in the advanced countries the unions (both from the Right and the Left) have been exposed in the eyes of the workers, in the countries where capitalism is weakest the unions of the Left still have strong mystifications on many workers because generally the capitalist bosses are anti-union. For these workers, leftist unions are expressions of militancy and defender of workers' interests even though a growing number from the class are questioning the performance and promises of these leftist unions.
In times of massive struggle, when the workers' assemblies are the appropriate form of class organizations, opening these assemblies to the unions for solidarity is putting to risk the independent struggle of the class and also risking these assemblies to be transformed as tools of the unions, as well as fall victim to the inter-union conflicts of the different leftist organizations.
In the 1970s up to early 80s, the massive workers' struggles in the Philippines were led not by the unions but by the workers alliances constituted in the midst of struggles. The composition of the alliances were unionized and non-unionized workers with the support of the middle class. The unions were with the alliances, but they were not decisive. The non-unionized workers were decisive because they were the majority within the alliances.
But the unions guided by the Leftists were organizing the non-unionized workers within the alliances thus swelling their membership in a few years time. In the next wave of struggle in the mid-80s and until now, the alliances were either transformed into union federations or were placed under the control of the unions.
2. It should be highlighted that hand in hand in seeking class solidarity is the vigilant and timely resistance against any maneuvers and sabotage from the unions within the workers' assemblies so as not to derail the generalization of struggle especially in a situation like in the Philippines where sectarianism and competition within different union federations and different Leftist organizations are acute.
3. In seeking class solidarity, the broad masses of workers should also be made aware about the dangers of unionism just as we are always warning the workers about the dangers of any kind of reformism and leftism.
Report on the Evolution of the Crisis of Capitalism
We fully agree with the analysis of the evolution of the crisis of capitalism. However, we would like to stress the following:
1. That the rise of call center industry is also a manifestation of the crisis in the advance capitalist countries especially the U.S. This outsourcing industry hires hundreds of thousands of young workers both in the Philippines and India. Almost all of these workers are contractual or have precarious jobs and work long hours.
2. China is also invading the Philippine economy, but we are still gathering data of how big it is and if it is supporting a faction of the Filipino ruling class to compete against the political control of the U.S.
Chinese made RTWs, electronic chips and even a multi-billion dollar railway project have entered the country. Many Filipino-Chinese big businesses are investing in China and many government officials from local to national went to China on business observation tour. Most of these officials look up to China as model for development.
U.S. imperialism is well aware of this and it is exerting pressures on the Arroyo government on this matter.
Report on Imperialist Conflicts
This report is comprehensive and detailed. We agree that chaos and barbarism today are getting worse day by day, but the capacity of the international proletariat is not yet enough to stop them and eventually overthrow international capitalism. Thus, there is the urgent need for the communist left world-wide to exert more efforts in their interventions within the proletarian struggles.
With all these reports, there is an urgent need today that all the internationalist communists in the world should coordinate their activities and interventions in the world scale. The proletariat could only hasten its accumulation of strength and raising its class consciousness through the common efforts of the revolutionary minorities in the world. Thus, sectarianism of the other communist left organizations is very harmful to the international proletariat in its combat against its powerful class enemy (...)
For the success of the ICC 17th International Congress,
21 May 2007