A Critical examination of the influences of the new democratic revolutionary theory of Mao Zedong on the political philosophy of Jose Maria Sison


Tianhong Yu

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Feorillo Petronillo Demeterio, III

Defense Panel Chair

Napoleon Mabaquiao, Jr.

Defense Panel Member

Elenita Garcia
Maxell Aranilla
Maxwell Felicilda
Hazel Biana


This dissertation grapples with the problem: what are the influences of the new democratic revolutionary theory of Mao Zedong to the political philosophy of Jose Maria Sison? It does this by looking at the six sub-problems: 1) what is the new democratic revolutionary theory of Mao? 2) what is Sisons communist political philosophy? 3) what are the themes that Sison directly borrowed from Mao? 4) what are the themes that Sison appropriated from Mao and adapted to suit the demands of the Philippine context? 5) what are the themes that Sison misappropriated from Mao? and 6) what are the themes that Sison ignored from Mao?

Maos new democratic revolutionary theory is tackled in this dissertation by examining his discourses on the nature of the Chinese society and revolution, the targets of the revolution, the power, the steps and the leadership of the new democratic revolution, the revolutionary road, the revolutionary program, and the three big magic weapons. While Sisons political philosophy is explored by examining his theoretical and praxiological labors throughout the four stages of his life: his periods of legal struggle, armed struggle, detention, and exile.

The influences of Mao on Sison is traced by looking at Sisons direct application of some of Maos ideas, his creative and active appropriation of some of Maos ideas, his misuse of some of Maos ideas, and his ignoring of some of Maos ideas. More specifically, Sison directly applied Maos ideas on the nature of the revolution, the steps of the revolution, and the basic programs of the new democratic revolution. He actively and creatively appropriated Maos ideas on the revolutionary leadership, the revolutionary motivation, the revolutionary targets, and the analysis of the Chinese society. Sison misused Maos ideas concerning the united front, the armed struggle, and party building. Lastly, Sison ignored some crucial details that proved to be significant to Mao, such as the conditions for the viability and effectiveness of the strategy of encircling the cities from the countryside, the possibility of a parliamentary struggle, and the key importance of land reform program to the peoples revolution.

This dissertation is a thorough Maoist critique of the political philosophy Sison. It addresses the gap in as far as the philosophical study of Sison’s political theory and add to the further understanding of the communist movement in the Philippines as well as add more depth to the study of the application of Mao’s theories to systems of thought outside China, specifically the Philippines.

This dissertation is significant in the sense that this will enrich Mao scholarship specifically in the aspect of reflecting why Mao succeeded in China while other world leaders, such as Sison, failed in their own countries. This could inspire more Chinese about embracing and developing further the thoughts of Mao. On the other hand its critique of Sison’s theory could inspire a more thorough reflection and eventual revision of Philippine communist theorizing.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

leaves ; 4 3/4 in.

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