Partido Lakas ng Masa
Regional socialism conference PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:42



Successful socialism conference held in the Philippines

From Partido Lakas ng Masa, International Desk

(Conference talks uploaded in Socialist Dialogue section)


A successful ‘socialism conference’ was held in Manila from

November 27 to 28. The conference was organized by the socialist

Partido Lakas ng Masa or Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM)

and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia. The

conference was attended by 100 delegates, leaders of the PLM

from Metro Manila, and other leading socialists of the Philippine

left, as well as 13 international guests.


The international organisations represented came from the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM);

People’s Democratic Party (PRD-Indonesia); Working People’s Association (PRP-Indonesia);

Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD-Indonesia);

Socialist Alliance (Australia); The Left Party (Sweden); the General Confederation of Nepalese

Trade Unions (Gefont); the Vietnamese Union of Friendship Organisations; the Turn Left (Thailand);

and the Centre for Environment and Community Asset Development (Vietnam). Keynote speakers

at the conference included the newly appointed Cuban Ambassador to the Philippines Juan Corrales.

Greetings were also given by the representative of the Venezuelan embassy, Charge d’affaires

Manuel Iturbe.


The aim of the conference was explained by the opening speaker Reihana Mohideen, Chairperson of

Transform Asia. “We need to go beyond anti-capitalism. We have no shortage of those criticizing the

horrors of capitalism today, including the capitalists themselves, such as George Soros and even

former leaders of international finance institutions, such as Joseph Stiglitz… to NGOs, who are also

critics of the system. [But] anti-capitalism is not enough today. We need to put forward alternatives

to the capitalist system and we need to name these alternatives,as socialism. This is what this

conference aims to do,” she explained.


Conference highlights included panels and discussions on socialist strategy, the capitalist economic

crisis and socialist alternatives to the environmental crisis. Sonny Melencio Chairperson of PLM

argued that “there’s no strategy for all seasons” and that strategy is “not something constant, fixed,

once and for all.” “Strategy becomes a key question during historic turning points, when there is

intensification in the class struggle and during political crises…. [Otherwise] we face periods of

protracted organising and the preparation of the forces of the working class.”


Melencio gave some examples of such historic turning points: “While Lenin did not use the term

strategy, the question of strategy was posed in the 1905 and the 1917 Russian revolutions, when

the capture of political power by the working class was resolved through insurrection … The second

world war gave rise to national liberation movements and the strategy of Mao’s peoples war or

protracted peoples war [emerged] in China… Gramsci put forward the idea of ‘war of positions and

war of maneuvers’ which was in the context of the structure of the state in western countries.”

Melencio outlined the strategy pursued by PLM as a “combination of uprising or people's power

action and electoral intervention”, also drawing from the lessons of the revolutions in Venezuela and

Bolivia that involved insurrectionary uprisings and electoral victories.


Bui Ba Binh, from the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, described the situation in Vietnam

today under the ‘socialist oriented market economy’. He explained that the key features of this

orientation was “to consider the market as a means to achieve social development objectives…

to rationally use the market space… and to harmoniously link the market space with public,

non-market, space in other fields.” According to Binh, the ‘socialist-oriented market economy’ has

brought about real positive changes in Vietnam.


The final plenary session included a discussion on socialist internationalism and the call made by the

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela for the formation of a

Fifth International. Speaking on the proposal Arul Arutchelvan, from the Socialist Party of Malaysia,

explained the importance of the proposal. “Hugo Chavez and Venezuela have the moral authority to

call for the Fifth International because of their commitment to building socialism in the 21st century.

It’s also a non-sectarian position taken by Chavez. This is not a rigid [structure] it calls upon all left

parties and anti-imperialist groupings to come together.”


The conference concluded with a performance by the PLM cultural group Teatro Pabrika and

the singing of the Internationale.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 20:47
PLM at European Feminist Forum, Stockholm, Sweden PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 12 May 2011 14:49

PLM was invited to participate at the Feminist Forum held in Stockholm, Sweden on May 7. The talk, presented by PLM EC member Reihana Mohideen, was on "Renewing Socialist Feminism", which discussed the need for the women's movement to put forward anti-capitalist alternatives in the face of the multiple crises facing global capitalism. The conference, which is held every year, was attended by around 1000 feminists. PLM also participated in a national tour of six cities. The presentation made at the Feminist Forum can be found here: Feminist Forum, May 2011, Stockholm, Sweden

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2011 15:23
PLM International Department on Duterte's Separation From the US PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 23 October 2016 09:56

Yes, to ‘separation’ from US, but an economic anti-imperialism is also needed


President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement declaring his intentions to “separate” from the United States in both military and economic relations should be welcomed, but it’s easier said than done. Hence the President’s constant ‘backtracking’ on his statements.  Given the President’s inconsistency, the question is posed: What does it mean to be an anti-imperialist government today? And is lining up with China (and to a lesser-extent Russia) an anti-imperialist positioning?


Since the formation of the Philippine republic every single Philippine President has visited the US seeking ‘assistance’ and ‘guidance’. This has been an indication of the Philippines being subservient to US interests in both foreign and domestic policy and the successive elite-controlled governments acting as proxy for US interests, from Korea (1950-1955) to Vietnam (1964-1968), when Philippine troops fought with or assisted the invading US forces. Duterte, despite the backtracking, is the only President who has declared, on several occasions, his intentions to pursue a foreign policy independent of the US, thus signifying an important and even historical shift. This significance has not been lost on the trapo elite, those both allied with and opposing Duterte, who have come out criticizing the President’s statement. This includes former President Fidel Ramos, who is considered to be an ally of the President.


Neoliberal globalization has increased the importance of economic imperialism vis-à-vis political/military imperialism. Neoliberalism has consolidated imperialist domination of Third World economies. Regimes that have been politically independent from Western imperialism, have been part of the Western-dominated neoliberal economy, such as Syria and Libya (2000-2011) and Vietnam (since the early 2000s). Interestingly, in the case of Vietnam this has lead to a state that fought a 30-year war for independence against the US increasingly becoming a US ally.


The Cuban revolution and the Hugo Chavez project of 21st Century Socialism in Venezuela sit in contrast to these examples. The Cuban revolutions anti-imperialism began in the domestic front when Fidel Castro declared in 1960 that the revolutionary government would expropriate US corporations “down to the nails in their boots” and then started a program of nationalization of the key sectors of the Cuban economy, such as sugar and tobacco. Likewise, Hugo Chavez’s anti-imperialism was primarily waged on the economic front, further socializing the country’s oil assets and embarking on an anti-neoliberal economic program with the stated intention of transitioning towards socialism, despite the current challenges faced in the consistency of the implementation of this program. In both cases, key to the success of this economic and subsequent political anti-imperialism of these revolutionary governments was the mobilizing of the masses around an ‘all-sided’ anti-imperialist program.


If Philippines remains a neoliberal economy, and especially if it remains dependent on export of labor as a major income-generator, it will be easy for the US to either pressure a backdown from Duterte or effect regime change. The country will be at mercy of international financial institutions and vulnerable to economic sanctions, official and unofficial. The pro-US elite, which is the overwhelming majority, will be a ‘fifth column’ supporting US interests, along with the top echelons of the AFP loyal to the US high command.  Whether the masses will line up behind a popular President when the going gets tougher, is a question mark. As we know from our own historical experience and can observe in the case of the progressive governments in Latin America today, the US has a long history of manipulating the class struggle for its own ends


An economy dependent on the export of labor is extremely vulnerable to international pressure. US Ambassador Philip Goldberg’s statement on the importance of OFW remittances to the Philippine economy and the decline in the value of the peso in the last few weeks are indicators of the government’s economic vulnerability. Economic independence, therefore, would have to end the export of labor as a major sector of the economy. This would necessitate serious development of the means of production, that is, a sustainable industrialization of the economy. The campaign by the labor organizations against contractualization needs to be viewed in this light. It’s an important part of the struggle to end neoliberal economic dependence. It should be viewed as a key part of the struggle for an economic anti-imperialism.


The rise of neoliberal imperialism or global capitalism has also involved the rise of China as an economic power. This is extremely contradictory because the US still controls the world economy and China's economic growth is intertwined with neoliberalism. Chinese manufacturing is dependent on Western markets, which is why after 2008 financial crisis China did all it could to stabilize global capitalism. Therefore, the President aligning himself with China, while indicating a direction towards an independent foreign policy in the political arena, is not an indication of an anti-imperialist policy in the economic arena.


Obama's “pivot to Asia” was the idea that surrounding China with countries willing to maintain a US military presence or relationship with the US would be a more effective way of projecting power than Middle East wars which can get out of control and end up having an effect opposite to what was intended, i.e., Bush's fiasco in Iraq ended up damaging US military and political prestige. China had to do a bit of military projection of its own to respond. Hence the increase in assertiveness over territories claimed by other nations in the region. The US is upset about Duterte's ‘defection’ to China because this sabotage of “pivot to Asia” would weaken US in its global competition with China.


President Duterte’s ‘political’ anti-imperialism has to be matched, both with the scrapping of the military agreements such as the VFA, the EDCA, and the RP-US Military Treaty, and an ‘economic’ anti-imperialism. This requires pursuing an anti-neoliberal program and mobilizing the masses around such a program. Supporting the struggle for a comprehensive end to contractualization will be an important step forward in this regard.#


Rei Melencio,

International Department

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)





October 7, 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Friday, 07 October 2016 20:25

100 days of Duterte administration. Workers and supporters launched a rally at Mendiola to protest the non-implementation of the anti-contractualization pronouncements of President Duterte. PLM also marked the event by supporting the rally and calling for the reversal of the neo-liberal policies of the government and the implementation of all promised reforms.


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Haiti: Regional Solidarity Statement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 24 January 2010 09:13

Haiti: Solidarity and Aid! Freedom and National Sovereignty! No to US Occupation!

On January 13, 2010, a 7.3 Richter scale earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.  The earthquake caused great destruction and 200,000 people are thought to be dead. Further, 3 million Haitians have been rendered homeless by the quake, which also damaged many public service buildings, such as hospitals and schools.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2010 13:11
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