There is not a single communist in the Philippines. I can swear to that. Even with the existence of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and notwithstanding the thousands of members of this Marxist political party. Membership in the CPP does not make one a communist. I honestly believe no man or woman in its ranks can yet qualify to be called a true communist. But maybe the CPP members are all aspiring to become communists.
But why? Are not all card-bearing members of the CPP aptly labeled communists? Yes, they are labeled or tagged as communists— not without vile malice, not without the sheer purpose of demonizing them as undesirables. But there’s a world of difference between being a true communist and being labeled as a communist in all its derogatory attributions.
The “communist” individual is one of the rarest species of humans ever to evolve from genus homo sapiens. To be a true communist is to be “absolutely selfless”. By that he has shed off all manifestations of self-interest in his lifestyle — that is, he has stripped himself of any form of greed and selfishness. Necessarily he shuns the glitter of money and all other material possessions. His supreme interest and highest aim in life is to partake in the task of building a completely humanized society. He is one human who has successfully and happily vanquished his selfish petty bourgeois individualism, totally dedicating his whole being—body , heart and soul— to the construction of socialism as a transitional state towards Communism. Indeed, all his energies, all his talents and abilities, all his unique virtues, are in the service of the Communist Dream of liberating humankind from all forms of slavery, oppression and exploitation. Scientific-mindedness constitutes his cultural mold, all forms of superstition and obscurantist thinking are anathema to his mental frame. His is the world outlook or weltanschaung of the advanced contingent of the revolutionary proletariat. Science—the only source of verifiable truths—is his religion. In sum, the communist man or woman is a well-rounded human individual.
One might ask: Is there no one in the ranks of the CPP who qualifies to being a true communist? I am sure there are many who are in conscious combat against their own selves — seriously struggling against their own individualist flaws and weaknesses— in order to become communists. One is very far from this ideal human being if he has so many selfishnesses — if he is guilty of such selfishness as being proud of his own opinions, claims authorship of certain ideas, demands praises for his physical virtues, intellectual abilities, talents, artistic deeds or feats; and if he rejects criticisms and refuses to admit mistakes, refuses to share accomplishments with others, desirous of popularity and fame, aspires for promotion to stand above others as though to serve the revolution is a career to boost one’s social rank and position in the organization, and so many other big and small manifestations of egotistic self-centeredness and personal greed. These are all forms of petty bourgeois individualism, opportunism and liberalism which pose as hindrances to one’s unconditional service to the revolution.
Individualism is the polar opposite of that sterling virtue of absolute selflessness of a true communist. A true communist totally denies himself in complete self-sacrifice for the advance and glory of the revolution.
All genuine revolutionaries are engaged in an arduous ideological struggle against all individualist tendencies that they inherit from the society they come from. In fairness to all the CPP cadres and political activists, young and old, who have hitherto served the Philippine national democratic revolution and are still in the thick of the struggle for the advance of the ongoing revolution—they are rightfully true revolutionaries, short of being accomplished communists.
Truly, it is a very demanding self-imposed injunction for one to go through a kind of death of his former petty-bourgeois self in order to be born as a new communist human. But he is in full knowledge and awareness that only the demands of incessant revolutionary theory and praxis can condition one’s total remoulding to a communist human being. To immerse one’s life in the revolution is to afford himself the rare opportunity to attain thorough remoulding which ensues as the paramount benefit of the revolutionary.
The communist man or woman that emerges as a thoroughly remoulded human person through the crucible of revolutionary praxis becomes the most well-rounded individual ever to exist in this troubled world. Indeed, he is such a marvelous human, admirable and worthy to be emulated.
And yet the enemies of the revolution— the ruling elite, the pseudo-leaders in government, the bureaucrat capitalists, the reactionary politicians, and the misinformed intelligentsia — oh yes, it’s so easy for them to tag even an ordinary protester among the masses a communist. Isn’t that a compliment? It is a negative compliment, because it carries the slanderous ugly connotations of the word. It could be a compliment only if it comes from the heart and lips of a true revolutionary comrade in ascribing its pure significance to another true revolutionary comrade, albeit it may yet be premature or undeserved.
As to why the word ”communist” has acquired an ugly connotation is the handiwork of the capitalist class, the most greedy and most selfish species of humans on earth. [This will be the subject of our next discussion in this column.]