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New Left Review I/83, January-February 1974

William Pomeroy

Reply to Jonathan Fast

Dear New Left Review:

The inconsistencies which Jonathan Fast says, in his reply to my letter in nlr 81, that he finds between certain statements in writings of mine now and those of a decade or two ago have a simple explanation. A decade and more ago, because of court cases, political prisoner appeal cases, and security and tactical considerations affecting an underground movement, it was not possible to write very freely of intimate pkp-Huk policy matters and orientations without conceivable prejudice to individuals and to organizations. As a member of an illegal movement, whose statements are noted in the Philippines, I have always had to be guided by these factors in what I write. For example, in efforts to intensify repression the neo-colonial regime sought to discredit the pkp-Huk movement as being only interested in ‘violent solutions’, using this to outlaw the movement and to imprison its members for long periods; hence my emphasis then on the movement’s efforts to obtain democratic peace and to exhaust legal and non-violent means. As I have said, it is always difficult for an outsider to make proper assessments of underground movements, even from its published statements; one needs an inside access or view for this. Changes in circumstances have made it possible today to write more freely of intimate questions, and in the future assessments of greater range and depth will be made, including, I am sure, by Fast.

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William Pomeroy, ‘Reply to Jonathan Fast’, NLR I/83: £3

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