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Now Available! New Collection of Articles by Bob Avakian
The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era
This is a series of excerpts from conversations and discussions, as well as more formal talks, by Bob Avakian. As the title indicates, these excerpts address questions of literally world-historical magnitude. There is a deep analysis of the stakes of this moment â€“ and a bold and comprehensive strategy for meeting the challenges and wrestling a revolutionary future out of that challenge. Everyone and anyone at all concerned about the current direction of society should dig into this pamphlet.
Table Of Contents
- Elections, Resistance And Revolution: The Pyramid Of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down
- The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard
- Do the Masses Need Bill Cosby's Scolding or Do They Need Leadership to Put an End to Oppression?
- The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era
- The Danger of the Christian Fascists and the Challenges This Poses
- Changes in the World and the "Clash Of Civilizations" -- Within This Civilization
- The Republi-Fascistsâ€¦and the Republi-Crats: And Where Is the Real Alternative?
- On Mandates â€¦Liars â€¦And the Will of the People
- The Center -- Can It Hold? The Pyramid as Two Ladders
- A Way To Understand What's Going On: The Two Pats, And Andrew Sullivan â€¦ And Cornel West
- Bush Iâ€¦Bush IIâ€¦And Things Going To Extremes
- There Is No "They" -- But There is a Definite Direction to Things: The Dynamics Within the Ruling Class, And the Challenges For Revolutionaries
- Not Being Jerry Rubin, Or Even Dimitrov, But Actually Being Revolutionary Communists: The Challenge of Defending Fundamental Rights -- From a Communist Perspective, and No Other
- The Fascists and the Destruction Of The "Weimar Republic"â€¦And What Will Replace It
- Religion and the Right to Religion: Dark Ages Mentality and the Liberating Outlook and Method Of Communism
- Religion and Unity-Struggle-Unity with Progressive Religious Forces
- The Bible And Baby-Killing: The Right To Abortion and the Whole Direction of Society
- The Foolishness of Confusing Religion With Fundamentalist Fascism
- Religion, Moralityâ€¦Polarization, Repolarization: Two Solid Cores In Fundamental Opposition
$2 plus shipping. Available at Revolution Books stores and outlets and from RCP Publications. For individual orders and bulk ordering information:
P.O. Box 3486
Chicago, IL 60654
The World Canâ€™t Wait!
Drive Out the Bush Regime!
Mobilize for November 2, 2005!
newspaper received the following statement. The statement and news about the movement to â€œDrive Out the Bush Regimeâ€ is available on line at worldcantwait.org.
Your government, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights.
Your government is openly torturing people, and justifying it.
Your government puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.
Your government is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.
Your government suppresses the science that doesnâ€™t fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.
Your government is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.
Your government enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.
People look at all this and think of Hitlerâ€”and they are right to do so. The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.
Millions and millions are deeply disturbed and outraged by this. They recognize the need for a vehicle to express this outrage, yet they cannot find it; politics as usual cannot meet the enormity of the challenge, and people sense this.
There is not going to be some magical â€œpendulum swing.â€ People who steal elections and believe theyâ€™re on a â€œmission from Godâ€ will not go without a fight.
There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into â€œleadersâ€ who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.
But silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learnâ€” or be forcedâ€”to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it.
And there is a way. We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bushâ€™s outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regimeâ€™s program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history.
To that end, on November 2, the first anniversary of Bushâ€™s â€œre-electionâ€, we will take the first major step in this by organizing a truly massive day of resistance all over this country. People everywhere will walk out of school, they will take off work, they will come to the downtowns and town squares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to JOIN US. They will repudiate this criminal regime, making a powerful statement: â€œNO! THIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT!â€
November 2 must be a massive and public proclamation that WE REFUSE TO BE RULED IN THIS WAY. November 2 must call out to the tens of millions more who are now agonizing and disgusted. November 2 will be the beginningâ€”a giant first step in forcing Bush to step down, and a powerful announcement that we will not stop until he does soâ€”and it will join with and give support and heart to people all over the globe who so urgently need and want this regime to be stopped.
This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will to try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop.
The point is this: history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. The future is unwritten. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US.
These next two months are crucial. The call you are reading has to get out to millions right awayâ€”on the internet, passed out as flyers in communities, published as ads in newspapers. DO NOT WAIT!! GET ORGANIZED!! If you agree with this statement, add your name to it!!! And do more than that: send it to friends, get them to sign it, organize a meeting, take it to your church, your school, your union, your health club, your barber shop, to concerts and libraries and family gatherings, everywhere you go. Raise money, lots of money. Get people together, make plans to be there on November 2, and to build for it.
GET IN TOUCH WITH US AT OUR WEBSITE, worldcantwait.org
The world canâ€™t wait! Drive out the Bush Regime! Mobilize for November 2!
Mobilize: November 2
Massive Outpouring of Resistance in DC
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
We received the following information from The World Can't Wait--Drive Out the Bush Regime! about convergence points and plans and local contacts for November 2 that have been announced so far.
11 AM at Lafayette Park near the White House
RESIST OR DIE!
NO SCHOOL NOV 2!
Organize your campus. Get in touch:
TUCSON: 12 PM, Intersection of Church and Congress (downtown, by the Convention Center)
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY:
LOS ANGELES: 12 PM, Actions along Wilshire Blvd from Downtown to Santa Monica; 5:00 PM, rally at the Westwood Federal Building (Wilshire & Westwood Blvds.)
SACRAMENTO: 5 PM, Cesar Chavez Park (Downtown)
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: 12 PM, Civic Center, San Francisco
BOULDER: 12 Noon, Bandshell Park, Canyon & Broadway--line the streets!
NEW HAVEN: 4 PM, New Haven Green
ORLANDO: 12 PM, Orlando City Hall, Orange Ave & South Street
ATLANTA: 1 PM, Woodruff Park @ Five Points @ downtown Atlanta
ATLANTA UNIVERSITY CENTER COMMITTEE: Student walkouts at Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark University
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERISTY COMMITTEE
HONOLULU: 7 AM - 5 PM, Old Stadium Park (King and Isenberg)
CHICAGO: Noon, Federal Plaza (Adams and Dearborn), feeder marches from all over the city
OAK PARK: 3 PM, Columbus Park (Jackson St. and Austin Ave.), 5 PM, rally at Scoville Park (Lake St. and Oak Park Ave.)
PIONEER VALLEY, 5 COLLEGES:
DETROIT: 12 PM, Warren and Woodward
SPRINGFIELD: 12 Noon Park Central Square
NEW YORK CITY: 12 PM, Union Square (14th Street)
GREENSBORO: 5 PM, Downtown Governmental Plaza, Greene St.
CLEVELAND: 12 PM, Public Square
AUSTIN: 3 PM, State Capitol. Feeder marches: 1:15 PM -- UT students, University of Texas West Mall; 2:15 PM -- high school students, 6th & Lamar, near Whole Foods
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN
HOUSTON: 12 PM, Market Square Park at Preston and Travis
SAN ANTONIO: 4 PM at Travis Park, 301 E. Travis; 5:30 PM, Rally at Milam Park
SEATTLE: 11 AM, Brief rally at Westlake mall; 12 PM, Hit the streets!
MILWAUKEE: 5:30 PM at the blue Federal building on Wisconsin Ave.
"President Bush Doesnâ€™t Care About Black People..."
DAMN RIGHT! AND THATâ€™S NOT THE HALF OF IT
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
When Kanye West dared to tell the truth on national network television, people like Laura Bush were scandalized. . . but the rest of us were inspired. For the oppressed and for those who hate oppression, for all enemies of racism and hypocrisy, it was a great moment.
But, without taking anything away from Kanye West, the whole truth goes a lot deeper than "doesnâ€™t care." George W. Bush has a whole program for Black people that fits into his overall fascist agenda. This program has strong genocidal implications and people within it who support genocide for Black people. The outrages around Hurricane Katrina provide a glimpse of that progam--and why it is so urgent to stop it. The Bush Regime must be driven out.
First off, Bush allowed all the death and misery after Katrina to go down the way it did. He was fine with the people trapped in the city, he was fine with the bodies floating in the water, and he was fine with masses of poor and working people--in their great majority Black--forced into truly desperate and traumatic conditions. Bush knew damn well what was up when he told his head of FEMA, Michael Brown, "youâ€™re doing a great job, Brownie"--and just because he had to dump Brown a few days later in the face of mass outrage doesnâ€™t change that.
In fact, the whole government knew for years--both from their own studies and from hundreds of scientific studies and journalistic investigations--exactly what would happen. They predicted that the Black neighborhood of the 9th Ward, and the mainly working class neighborhood of St. Bernard, would be flushed away . . . and that the industrial districts and the wealthy neighborhoods would make it through. The levees were built and reinforced in such a way as to make that all but inevitable. In fact, if New Orleans had been hit with the "Category 5" storm that people were expecting, itâ€™s estimated that 85,000 to 100,000 people would have been drowned. Think about it--100,000 people. But what did they do with all their advance knowledge? Congress actually slashed the funds for the levees, and then Bush cut them some more!
And what has gone on since? Masses of Black people have been driven out of New Orleans, herded into shelters and now dispersed all over the country. In an outrage recalling slavery days, many people are still separated from their loved ones. Some have been put in jail, as old warrants get run on them when they check into the shelters. Some have even been deported when they went to the shelters. People have been put into what are in fact refugee camps, far from the family ties and social networks that sustain them, where the only jobs are minimum-wage and where the authorities fan suspicion and hatred against "the newcomers." Within all this, the level of repression and control is huge and intense--from the soldiers with bayonets patrolling the streets of New Orleans to the atmosphere in the shelters, where no criticism of the government is allowed and where government agents snitch and spread lies.
At the same time, Bush has funneled money into extreme right-wing religious groups in the form of "helping them do charitable works," developing "charter schools," etc. He has suspended any affirmative action regulations in handing out contracts in New Orleans, and he has overruled federal laws that mandate a living wage for workers on federally funded projects.
Meanwhile the master plan for New Orleans--to rebuild it as a Las Vegas on the Mississippi, with just enough Black people to service the bars and casinos and the rest dispersed to who-knows-where--goes forward at warp speed. Louisiana Congressman Richard Baker let the cat out of the bag when he said, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldnâ€™t do it, but God did."
Under Bush, the floodwaters in New Orleans got harnessed to "ethnic cleansing." But again, it was and is more than that: it is a preview of the future he has in mind.
An Overall Attack
To understand this, we have to step back a bit. Despite the struggles of the â€˜60s, and despite the growth of the Black middle class, the conditions for the masses have either remained the same or actually become much much worse. This is connected to changes in global capitalism and in society as a whole. (See "The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy...And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer," by Bob Avakian, Revolutionary Worker #1255, October 17, 2004.) In the face of those changes, the ruling class as a whole--both the Democrats and Republicans--have over the past 25 years agreed on a certain agenda to deal with African-Americans. The key elements have included flooding the inner cities with drugs while unleashing police terror; massively imprisoning Black youth (from under 100,000 in 1970 to over 1 million today!); slashing social services; and then systematically blaming the masses of Black people themselves for the very situation created by the rulers.
Again, both the Democrats and Republicans agree on the key elements of this--but Bush has carried some of this further. These have included:
the further cuts in public housing andhealth care, and the plan to destroy Social Security;
the "No Child Left Behind" program, which in essence aims to drive a huge section of youth out of school and shut down public education in large parts of the inner cities--what Jonathan Kozol calls called "The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America";
the systematic elimination of any form of Black political organization not under Bushâ€™s direct control, extending to systematic attempts to deprive millions of Black people of even the right to vote, through legislation, police intimidation, and fraud--both disguised and shamelessly open.
Again, Bushâ€™s plan for the aftermath of Katrina illustrates all of this. Rebuild public housing, but in a way that actually provides decent shelter and support for people? Hell no, says Bush; instead, promise people free land and the chance to own your own homes, while in reality give the land to the big real estate interests. Increase funding for public schools, but in a way that would actually educate our children for something beyond a life in the army, low-wage jobs, prison, or all three? Hell no, says Bush; instead pour money into the "charter schools", in which kids get the same lousy education but with forced religious--and political--indoctrination added to it. Immediately find the ways to reunite families and enable people to return to their homes, and the friends and relatives who sustain them? Hell no, says Bush; promise them 2000 dollars and then disperse them to "east-hell-and-gone," where they are totally isolated--and therefore unable to speak out and act with any effectiveness.
The "Armies of Compassion," and The Buildup of a Christian Fascist Core
All this is part of a larger agenda. Bush represents forces in the ruling class of this country which wants a much more openly imperialist policy toward the world, and a fascist form of rule within the U.S. They have a built up a Christian fascist movement to serve as a battering ram for this program, and this movement has become a driving force inside the Bush Regime. Christian fascists are no ordinary Christians. They are dangerous fanatics who aim to make the U.S. a religious dictatorship and to force this upon the world. And these Christian fascists are not going to be satisfied, as Bob Avakian has written, until this country is ruled as "a Biblically based, militarized, patriarchal and male supremacist, and yes, white supremacist society--that is in essence the Christian Fascist program." (See Revolution #1, May 1, 2005, "Changes in the World and the â€˜Clash of Civilizationsâ€™â€“Within This Civilization.")
The racist and even genocidal edge of this program can again be seen in what went down after Katrina. What does it mean when a Republican Congressman says that the flood was godâ€™s attempt to get rid of public housing? What does it mean when fascists and racists are given control of the radio, as well as TV outlets like FOX News, to spread lies (like the baby-raping rumor) and incite backward white people to vigilante, Klan-type violence? What does it mean when a commander of troops in New Orleans says that he is preparing for a "little Somalia?" What does it mean when the presidentâ€™s own mother says that the ordeal of the hurricane, and the diplacement that followed, was good for "these people?" What does it mean when William Bennett, a former cabinet official in the Reagan and Bush I administrations, and a major "player" in the Republican Party, feels that he can and must float the idea that "if you wanted to reduce crime . . . you could abort every Black baby in this country?"
And what does it mean when Bush himself refuses to comment on any of these things, other than to mildly label--through a spokesperson, yet--Bennettâ€™s outrageous call for genocide "inappropriate?" It means that the Bush regime has seized on Hurricane Katrina to justify and even call for extreme and even genocidal measures against Black people, whipping up its social base and trying to make these ideas acceptable in society broadly.
What does it mean when Bush uses Katrina to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to "charities" that are nothing more than fronts for Christian Fascist organizations? To take just one example, FEMA put Pat Robertsonâ€™s charity as the number three recommended fund to give to. Robertson is not a nobody, but a major figure in the Republican Party and in the Christian Fascist movement in particular. He has called for replacing the current penal system with public whipping and the execution of people who "defile the land" and "destroy the fabric of society" through "unseemly acts." As Bob Avakian has pointed out:
"It is necessary to place this in the context of American society today, in which, through conscious governmental policy as well as the "normal operation" of the laws of capitalist accumulation and competition, whole sections of people are being consigned to the ranks of "unemployables," people for whom the only viable alternative within this system may be participation in the undergound economy. With this in mind, we cannot avoid recognizing that the logic of Robertsonâ€™s call for applying "the biblical model" for crime and punishment involves an unmistakable suggestion of a "final solution" against the masses of people in the inner cities..."
("The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy...And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer,"
Revolutionary Worker #1255, October 17, 2004.)
Itâ€™s important here to remember that things in Germany didnâ€™t just jump from Hitlerâ€™s election in 1933 to the gas chambers in 1941. There was a process and there was, to quote Richard Pryor, "a logic to the logic." And part of the process was for Hitler to let his minions get out there with the open calls to kill the Jews, while he himself played at being "above it all."
Betrayers From Within
But the Bush Regime is also building up a fascist social and political machine within the Black community. In particular, through his faith-based initiative program, as well as the machinery of the Republican Party, Bush has built up a political machine of reactionary preachers. These preachers get big financial grants to "provide services." But their main services are spreading ignorance and bigotry, and snitching for the powers-that-be.
Again, Katrina provides a good idea of what this is all about. First, Bush drew on a number of Black preachers--some who were solidly in his machine, some who were "independent"--to meet with him and even to travel with him in the shelters, as "political bodyguards." Mind you, this at a time when Bush was finally standing naked before the entire world as the smirking racist criminal he really is. But, in the words of Malcolm X, "these Uncle Toms canâ€™t pass up the coffee"--and in doing so, they provided Bush with invaluable political camouflage. This was an act of political treason to the masses.
Second, these preachers have been trying to blame the masses themselves for the hurricane. . . and to get the Bush regime off the hook! Party members and supporters around the country tell of preachers who are claiming that "God did this to punish the people of New Orleans" for--take your pick--gambling, abortions, drugs, Mardi Gras, gay pride days, or even voodoo.
This is nonsense, but it is dangerous nonsense indeed. When people question why this happened, these prostituted preachers tell the people that they brought this on themselves and somehow deserved it. When people want to struggle, these puppets instruct them to "pray to the lord" and even to "give thanks" for "new opportunities!" These bootlickers have actively organized to prevent people from struggling or even questioning, including through snitching on the people who are organizing to resist.
All this has confused and misdirected some people, it has helped the authorities in their repression, and it is nothing less than CRIMINAL BETRAYAL. There was no "divine hand" in Katrina. It was a very un -mysterious natural disaster, easily explained by science (which is another thing the Bush Regime has been attacking). What happened after it hit is also explainable: the "earthly powers" that run this system first abandoned the masses and then used the disaster to push their agenda of exploitation, oppression and fascism.
These people remind us of nothing so much as the Judenrat under the Nazis--Jews who were given special perks and power by the Nazis and who convinced themselves that things would go better for everyone if they rounded up their fellow Jews, instead of forcing the Nazis to do it. These Judenrat also told people not to resist and worked against and even snitched on those who did. Of course, by the end, the Judenrat betrayers also ended up in the Nazi gas chambers. History has judged the Judenrat harshly, and will likewise judge their present-day counterparts.
Drive Out the Bush Regime!
All this comes on top of a host of other outrages: the war in Iraq, the use and legitimation of torture, the systematic attempts to force women and gay people further into positions of oppression, and so on. The fact is this:
WE CANNOT TOLERATE THREE MORE YEARS OF THE BUSH REGIME AND ITS PROGRAM!
And there IS something to do about this. In this paper, there is the call for massive political mobilization on November 2 to actually drive out the Bush Regime. That is a day in which everyone who opposes this regime MUST act, with unity and daring. It is a serious call designed to get things to a whole other place in this country--to unite tens and then hundreds of thousands, and then millions, to actually OUST this regime. We are not putting our hopes and energies into some politician. Instead, we must rely on ourselves to draw forward the millions and tens of millions who really do hate where the society is heading and to change the whole political direction of this country. November 2 will be the beginning of that, the Day that history starts to change--"a giant first step in forcing Bush to step down and a powerful announcement that we will not stop until he does so."
Katrina tore the mask off the "compassionate conservative" and showed the real ugly face of the Bush regime. Bush is now trying to recoup, to seize on Katrina for his own reasons and with his own agenda. He is desperate, and desperate people do desperate things.
But Katrina also unleashed something else--serious outrage, serious questions and a serious new spirit of resistance. Take that outrage and spirit to the next level.
On to November 2. DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME!
A Positive Program
Many of you reading this will have gotten this paper at the Millions More events in Washington, D.C. You have come out in opposition to the oppression now going on and in the hope of a positive program. There is nothing more positive right now than getting rid of the Bush Regime. There is nothing more urgent right now than joining with the movement to do that, taking the word back to where you live and work and go to school, and mobilizing others. Read the Call to November 2 in this issue, and take hundreds of them home with you. Go to the worldcantwait.org website every day, finding out the news and getting connected to this movement. Find the people in your community who are building this . . . or start your own group. Make your plans for November 2, and organize others to go with you.
Some Questions For Those Who Say Katrina Was "Godâ€™s Punishment"
We would like to ask you respected gentlemen (and ladies) of the cloth who have said that Katrina is godâ€™s punishment: did Black people "bring slavery on themselves"? Was this too a "divine punishment?" And did Black people pray their way out of it? Or was slavery brought on by the needs of this depraved capitalist system, and ended only through a civil war in which the slaves themselves rose up and went to the very front lines, dying out of all proportion to their numbers?
Excerpted from "From Ike To Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist"
Basketball, Football...and Larger Forces
by Bob Avakian
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
The following is an excerpt from Chapter Four, "High School," in Bob Avakian's memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist.
Singing doo-wop, with ninth grade best friend.
At that time, the basketball coach at Berkeley High, Sid Scott, was a Christian fundamentalist. He was always lecturing the players about religion. He was also a big racist. Every year when I was in high school, and even before I got there, the starting team would always be three Black players and two white. My friends and I used to always talk and argue about why this was, because while sometimes there were white guys who should have been on the starting five, a lot of times you could easily see there were five Black players who should have started, or at least four. I thought that this coachâ€™s thinking went along the lines that if he had four Black players and one white on the floor, the four Black players would freeze out the white guy, so then they wouldnâ€™t all play together -- even though, of course, this was ridiculous. And if he had five Black guys out there, he figured all the discipline on the team would break and it would just be an undisciplined mess -- also ridiculous. And he couldnâ€™t have less than three Black players because it would be so outrageous, given who was on the team and how good different players were. This is how I used to analyze this.
But when I would discuss this with a lot of my Black friends, including ones on the basketball team, they would explain to me very patiently, "Look, man, itâ€™s not just Sid Scott, itâ€™s the alumni and all that kind of shit from the school, people who have more authority around the school, they donâ€™t want an all-Black team out there. So this coach, yeah, heâ€™s a racist dog and all that, but itâ€™s not just him." And then I would argue, "No itâ€™s him, heâ€™s a racist dog." And, of course, they were much more right than I was.
My friends and I would go to each otherâ€™s houses, stay overnight at each otherâ€™s houses, and weâ€™d talk about this kind of stuff all the time -- especially the more the civil rights movement was picking up and the more this carried over into all kinds of ways in which people were saying what had been on their minds for a long time but were now expressing much more openly and assertively. One time, when I was a senior in high school, our school got to play in a night football game. Now, we didnâ€™t get to play many night games. They would always be afraid thereâ€™d be a riot at the game, because of the "nature of our student body." I think this was the only night game we ever played. We went on a bus trip to Vallejo, which is maybe 20, 25 miles from Berkeley, and the bus ride took about an hour.
During that time and on the way back after the game I was sitting with some Black friends of mine on the football team, and we got into this whole deep conversation about why is there so much racism in this country, why is there so much prejudice and where does it come from, and can it ever change, and how could it change? This was mainly them talking and me listening. And I remember that very, very deeply -- I learned a lot more in that one hour than I learned in hours of classroom time, even from some of the better teachers. Things like that discussion went on all the time, on one level or another, but this bus ride was kind of a concentrated opportunity to get into all this. A lot of times when we were riding to games weâ€™d just talk about bullshit, the way kids do. But sometimes, it would get into heavy things like this, and there was something about this being a special occasion, this night game -- we were traveling through the dark, and somehow this lent itself to more serious conversation.
Resist or Die: Why We Must Act on November 2nd
by Joe Veale
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
I've been to the Houston Astrodome talking to people who were the victims of Katrina, and then victim's of Bush's genocidal response. People are asking: what the hell is going on? Are they trying to kill all the Black people?
They are on to something.
These are extreme times we are living in. And THESE times demand that on November 2nd we launch a massive, powerful, uncompromising movement to DRIVE OUT THE BUSH REGIME because, as the call puts it--THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT.
People are asking me - can we really drive out the Bush Regime? And how? An important part of the answer is the role that the basic people, kept down and on the bottom of this society can and must play on that day.
Lessons from Four Days
Special to Revolution
We saw a taste of this, something in birth, during 4 days of outrage and protest a couple of weeks ago. From Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, our Party called on people, especially the basic masses, to protest what this system did - AND IS CONTINUING TO DO - to the people of New Orleans. People wore black ribbons. They made banners to send to New Orleans. They put up the "Bush Regime WANTED" poster (on back of this issue of Revolution) everywhere. What we saw and learned tells you something about how we can drive out Bush.
More than once, when we took "Wanted Posters" of Bush to people, they were moved to tears of rage. Finally, someone was telling the truth and giving people a way to do something about it. In a Dominican neighborhood in New York City, people marched through the community after church, after a minister asked people to hold up the "Bush Regime Wanted" poster and rally the community to stand with the people of New Orleans against the murderous crimes of the Bush Regime.
In Chicago, in places like car washes and McDonalds, thousands of "Bush Regime WANTED" posters and flyers to drive out the Bush regime were taken around and posted up. People asked - did they leave thousands to suffer and die in New Orleans on purpose? In the Cabrini Green housing projects people made t-shirts out of the "Bush Regime WANTED" poster and then took flyers to drive out Bush to their churches, their jobs, and corner stores to get out to the community.
In Detroit, artists made beautiful banners of people in New Orleans, wading through hip-high water with all their possessions in a bag, saying "Stand with the People of New Orleans - don't let the system get away with murders." They took them out on the street corners and the people of Detroit wrote messages to send to New Orleans.
At DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, students wore black in solidarity with the call to resist, and sent a banner to New Orleans saying "From the BX to the New O - A Call 2 Resist." Dozens of students wrote messages including "Stay strong, New Orleans!," "Keep ya head up," and "We Can't Let Bush Stay in Office."
In Oakland, students at Laney College made black protest ribbons, and wore them in class. One Black woman student wrote on a banner to send to New Orleans, "this government doesn't care but we in Oakland do." Oakland High students put up "Bush Regime WANTED" posters, and their bus driver told them, "We need another '60s." At a flea market in Oakland, victims of Katrina were telling their stories of being driven out of New Orleans by state troopers, national guard and police, and how so-called "hoodlums" had saved people's lives.
In Watts, dozens of people from the projects and elsewhere gathered to protest and speak out on a basketball court. One woman said,
"It's unacceptable to sit back while this president stole not one election, but two. It's unacceptable for us to succumb to these types of circumstances. What has happened here is pure and blatant discrimination. And what about this radio commentator [Bennett] that talked about killing all the Black babies. That's just another example of what we face in this society... This country was built by slaves! So how is it okay that there are those who are saying we can contribute nothing but crime."
And she said,
"Look at Mrs. Bush's comments, 'They're better off now than they were before.' What kind of response is that to make, for this woman who used to be a First Ldady? How can she say that about people who are in a dome... that they are better off now than they were before?"
A Black man from the projects said,
"Now people are really starting to realize what Bush's mission is. They have a whole plan and they're moving ahead with it. This is waking up the masses. Their plan is genocide... I've seen these types of things and I know that this system has never gave a fuck about me. That is nothing new to me. It didn't take the blood down there [in New Orleans] for me to realize that the system doesn't give a fuck about me. But it took all that for a lot of other people to recognize that this is how it is."
School kids in Watts brought out a sign that said "Bush Must Go," and said,
"We were walking around the projects passing out flyers because we think that he has to go. He's letting people [in New Orleans] drown and not giving people food or something to drink. He needs to go because a lot of people are dying because of him."
In another school, students passed around a book where they wrote messages to the people in New Orleans. One Latino student wrote,
"President George Bush is a bad president, he shouldn't be representing USA. I say this because instead of sending food supplies and clean water he is just sending military troops and that's wrong."
Revolutionaries took a banner out to Harvard Square in Boston, where all kinds of people hang out on a Saturday. Not just basic people took a stand with the people in New Orleans. A Black student from Harvard Business School (HBS) signed the banner saying "HBS is With You." Tourists and people from other countries signed the banner. One middle class person signed the banner,
"You're not being ignored any more! And Bush's depraved indifference has cost him tremendously politically. Hang in there. You have the country's support!!"
What Time Is It?
Special to Revolution
From Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, the Revolutionary Communist Party called on people to protest what this system did – AND IS CONTINUING TO DO – to the people of New Orleans. Around the country, people responded. They wore black in protest and solidarity. They made banners to send to New Orleans. They put up the WANTED poster (see back of this issue) everywhere. In Watts, people gathered at a basketball court with a sign saying “Bush Must Go.” One woman said, “It’s unacceptable to sit back while this president stole not one election, but two. It’s unacceptable for us to succumb to these types of circumstances. What has happened here is pure and blatant discrimination. And what about this radio commentator [Bennett] that talked about killing all the Black babies. that’s just another example of what we face in this society... This country was built by slaves! So how is it okay that there are those are saying we can contribute nothing but crime.” A Black man in Watts said: “Now people are really starting to realize what Bush’s mission is. They have a whole plan and they’re moving ahead with it. This is waking up the masses. Their plan is genocide.”
These stories give you a little taste of what is different about right now. Think about the person in Harvard Square who wrote, "Hang in there. You have the country's support!!" People all over the world and in this country from every part of society have been jolted awake by Hurricane Katrina. How it showed the cruel and cold impoverishment that large numbers of Black people are subjected to every day under this system, and the brutal racism they experience daily. It showed something else they always try to keep hidden. That there is one America for the rich and powerful at the top and another for the poor and powerless at the bottom. It showed everyone that this capitalist democracy with its 'free markets' that they love to brag about is an unjust, oppressive, and murderous social order.
What this means is that other people in society are listening right now in a way they usually don't and they need to and want to hear from the people who are the most victimized by this unjust social order. It gives others hope. Inspiration. And fires them with determination to carry the fight all the way through.
Why is this? Because people at the base of society - the have nots - the propertyless class of proletarians - have the potential - once they begin to act as a class - to re-make and organize society in a whole new way. To usher in a whole different future for humanity.
In issue #15 of Revolution, we made this key point:
"It's not like normal times, when people on the bottom are demonized and isolated. Now is a chance to break down that isolation, and find allies. Think about it. People all over the world and in this country, from every walk of life, have been jerked awake by the hurricane. They are thinking about what is wrong with society, in a big way. But they badly need to know how people at the very bedrock of society see this outrage in New Orleans. They need to hear the voices of the people who are usually ignored, or told to shut up, putting out their views on the problem. They need to see just how angry people are, just how intolerable this is, and they need to see people on the bottom acting. At times like this, struggle coming from the people on the bottom can change the thinking of people all through society, and it can compel them to act in a positive way.
"But moments like this don't last forever. The media works on people's minds, there is repression, there is the daily grind, and pretty soon things don't just go back--they get worse. Unless...unless all that is contested and fought (and ultimately made part of a larger movement). And that is what we are calling for."
We Have to Do This
Special to Revolution
New York City
We must not allow the Bush Regime to get away with this mass murder. We must hold them accountable. They must be made to pay for this crime. They must be made to feel people's anger. Even before Hurricane Katrina everything the Bush gang is doing had millions of people thinking about what is wrong with society and what can be done about it. Now this has intensified.
What's needed is: RESISTANCE. If we don't resist it will say the rulers can do these things to the masses and suffer no consequences.
It's like when the police beat up Rodney King. If the people had let that stand it would have made things a lot worse for people in so many ways. The police would have gone on even worse rampages than they did, and people would have felt powerless and degraded. But people DID resist and because of that not only did those cops have to do time but there was a whole new attitude amongst the people, a new spirit of resistance that spread throughout society and even around the world.
It's like taking on a bully. You can decide to do it. Knowing there is no guarantee that you are going to win. But, knowing that most everyone else hates a bully too, and if you do the right thing, that's the basis for others to step out and bring down the bully. Or you can play it safe and hope the nightmare the bully is causing you will go away. But it does not go away. Instead it gets worse and worse. There are no guarantees that we will win. But we must understand the historical moment we are acting on. A moment when the actions of thousands can call forth the actions of millions.
Look at what the actions of Cindy Sheehan touched off. One woman camped out in front of Bush's ranch in Texas after her son died in in the army in Iraq. And millions of people rallied to her side. That is just a taste of what is possible.
When you look out there trying to see this movement, it cannot be seen--not all together in one piece, and not yet. That's because we are creating something that does not yet exist. But you can see sparks of it in what I was describing during the Four Days of Protest around the country. And, building on that, we change the terms of things by what we do. We have to get out in front, in that scary place that has no guarantees.
What we have is the masses of people in their millions and millions who hate the direction the Bush Regime and the Christian fascists grouped around them are taking society - but who don't yet see a BOLD, AUDACIOUS, STRONG ALTERNATIVE representing a different way.
We got to be that alternative. If we get out there and act, take on this giant with feet of clay, other's will FEEL WHAT WE BRING TO THIS and have the chance to join us. It is in their interest to come. If we don't act others will not have a chance to act and we will never know.
Again as REVOLUTION #15 says about November 2nd:
" This plan is visionary. It is bold. It is audacious. But here's the main thing: it actually corresponds to the danger we face; and nothing else can unlock the potential energy among literally tens of millions of people that still remains dammed up. It can make a difference. Thus, in its boldness and audacity lies its strength."
What if We Do This?
Special to Revolution
Highschool students in the Bronx.
What if we succeed, all of us who see what is going on, in driving out the Bush Regime? Trip on that for a minute. Think about it...
If we bring forward a powerful movement and drive this regime out, we would be living in a changed situation. We would be in a situation where there's an aroused population prepared and able to deal with whatever the system brings against the people, instead of people who are passive and playing it safe. We will still be up against a vicious system, but it won't be that easy for the rulers of society to come in and exact revenge.
The atmosphere in society will be one where people are debating and discussing what future is possible. The separation and isolation of different sections of people will be broken down, and people will be discussing what kind of future we should be going for and how to make it real with others who before they've never discussed anything with! Communism and revolution will much more powerfully be part of that mix. If we drive out this regime, the possibilities of revolution will start to look much more realistic. A new society will be more in our reach than what it is now. And if revolutionary possibilities open up, we'll be in a much better position to seize them.
If we move in this moment, there are no guarantees of driving out Bush, but WE WILL HAVE A CHANCE. If we do nothing, there is a guarantee - that the masses of people are going to go through hell, on a whole other level than anything we've seen in our lives. The future of humanity is in our hands and we must seize the moment.
Let's go all out and bust our hearts and put all our energies into this. Into winning.
We MUST and WE CAN drive out the Bush Regime. We can because millions and millions desire it.
Revolutionary communists ready to be bornâ€¦..under these harsh and brutal conditions
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Revolution received the following letter from a prisoner.
There has been a lot of good discussions and heated debates jumping off around here lately. We have been covering a wide range of topics such as Bush and everything he stands for, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the existence of/non-existence of god (note: Iâ€˜m the only atheist in this part of the prison) and the science of revolution/evolution.
As you know, most of us here in prison are from the very bottom of society, which means that most of us have been locked out of struggling in the realm of ideas. At the same time, like I said before, I have been provided with the tools as well as the concrete means--thanks to the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian and the RCP--that not only enabled me to shatter the chains that once bound me to the walls of ignorance and powerlessness, but also challenged and inspired me to acquire a revolutionary scientific outlook and method. I now have a responsibility in getting the truth out to others. As this woman that was on a prison documentary which aired on MSNBC so poetically and aptly put it: "Prison can either be a womb or a tomb."
Yes, indeed, just think of all the potentially revolutionary communists that are ready to be born, nurtured and fully developed under these harsh and brutal conditions.
Last night I was reading "Letting Go of God Part 2" ( Revolution #15), for some reason after reading what Bush had to say at the Washington National Cathedral: "Through prayer, we look for ways to understand the arbitrary harm left by this storm and the mystery of undeserved suffering. And in our search we are reminded that godâ€™s purposes are sometimes impossible to know here on earth." I immediately thought of Niccolo Machiavelli, the Florentine statesman and political theorist. I wonder why could it be that Machiavelli regarded religion as valuable--not because it was revelation or truth but because it was socially useful. As Guiseppe Prezzolini pointed out in his book "Machiavelli": "Veneration of the supernatural is a weapon of illusion for the use of politics in the stateâ€™s fight for survival."
If possible, do you think you can send me "Letting Go of God" part 1, as well as the 4-part series "God the Original Fascist"? I would really like to be armed with these and pass them around. We have been getting hit pretty hard by these religious fundamentalists who come storming through here. In fact, I am going to enclose a recent pamphlet that we were bombarded with the other day. Itâ€™s entitled "The Evidence of God: A former atheist makes the scientific case for creation." Keep in mind this little pamphlet was directed towards me. Just like back in 2004 when the prison chaplain heard me discussing the little I knew of science of evolution, he quickly began passing out the book "Darwin Under the Microscope." But, unlike 2004, I am now able to fight back in a scientific and fun wayâ€“thanks in large part to Ardea Skybreakâ€™s "Science of Evolution" series.
Well, Iâ€™m going to cut this short. I just wanted to put you up on some of whatâ€™s been going on around here. There has been some good responses to the "World Canâ€™t Wait" and the "Hurricane Katrina" leafletsâ€¦
Keep struggling and always stay strong!
A Voice that Should be Heard
Berkeley Celebrates Bob Avakian Day
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
October 6 was "Honor Bob Avakian Day" in the city of Berkeley. The day was called by the Bob Avakian Promo Committee in the Bay Area and others to recognize Bob Avakian on the occasion of the publication of his memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond.Their press release said, "We give recognition to Bob Avakian as an important and unique voice on the political scene today who dares to go for the truth. His voice and work are an important reference point for debate and discussion over how to thoroughly root out all oppression and social injustice."
The theme of the day was "Honor Bob Avakian: A Voice that Should Be Heard." In building for the day dozens of small business owners, clerks, artists, and poets signed a statement supporting the day, and many donated. A florist, who was originally from Iran, after hearing about the role Avakian played during the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Iran, donated a beautiful floral arrangement with a red rose in the center.
On Oct. 6, the day began with the hanging of a large banner high above Telegraph Avenue, the main street leading into the University of California campus. Revolution Books set up a large book table at Sproul Plaza at U.C. and played Revolution DVD selections over loud speakers. A motor home decked out with banners and posters cruised through multinational communities in South and West Berkeley. At Berkeley High, students stopped to listen to a rap remix of the song "Ghetto," featuring a sample from a speech by Avakian, while taking flyers and Revolution newspapers.
A highlight of the day was a reception in the Berkeley City Hall hosted by two members of the City Council, Kriss Worthington and Dona Spring, whose basic theme was "A voice that should be heard." From different angles people discussed how to carry forward efforts to enable his voice to be heard on a broad societal level. Raymond Lotta, Maoist political economist and writer, spoke about what Bob Avakian represents and concentrates and his deep ties with Berkeley.
The evening brought together a mix of people: city officials, teachers, lawyers, activists, historians, and revolutionaries. Some were getting introduced to Bob Avakian for the first time, while others have already been spreading the word to others. Many came together because they see the great need and potential to reach many more people throughout the society who want Avakian's voice to be heard on a far grander scale than it is today. The mood of the crowd was upbeat and excited to be present at such a significant and timely gathering.
The following are statements and interviews from the reception:
"Iâ€™m thrilled that I am able to be here and be part of this event and to introduce some of our speakers for the day. At a time of such right-wing reactionary policies at the national, state, and to some extent on the local level, we need to listen to the voices of everybody who is willing to stand up, speak out, protest and fight for peace and justice. I'm glad to be part of this...we should listen (to) and respect people - whatever brand of communism and revolution they subscribe to. We need those voices to be part of our civil society."
Berkeley City Council Member Kriss Worthington
"I do consider myself a revolutionary because our system is more rotten now than it's ever been in the history of humanity. I know I'm preaching to the choir when I talk about the multinational corporate grip that this whole planet is under and what a threat it is to our future existence. Environmentally, we know that global warming and ocean pollution is beginning to kill the very ecosystems we depend on for our life. We know that power and control of resources is concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people...We need those people who can break through the corporate controlled media and their message... I think that the message of Bob Avakian is even more relevant today because we need to wake people up to how we need a totally different system.
Berkeley City Council Member Dona Spring
"A lot of people ask, 'where did the '60s go?' A lot of what Bob represents and concentrates represents exactly where the 1960s went in its most advanced expression. Bob never gave up on revolution. But he never stood still in terms of an understanding of what revolution is about and what it will take to make it. Bob summed up the experiences of the 1960s and he went on to develop a much deeper understanding of what it would take to make revolution in this society and in this world.... He has extended the horizons of Marxism by analyzing more deeply what that future world could be like and would look like and how that world could be brought into being. Bob has brought forward a vision of a vibrant socialist and communist society, one in which people's most basic needs are met, in which exploitation and oppression have been put an end to. A society that unleashes as well the creativity of people. A society that brings the downtrodden, the proletarians, who have been locked out of the spheres of art and culture, that these proletarians can and must enter into these spheres of society, the arts and the sciences. And at the same time he's bringing forward a vision of socialism in which there is scope and space for the intellectuals, and the artists and the scientists. A society which is teeming with creativity. Which is teeming with questioning and the critical spirit.
"I think Berkeley has historically distinguished itself as a place where people do take brave positions. Where people do challenge the status quo and injustice. I think here in Berkeley itâ€™s very important that people take up this effort to defend his voice and to allow his voice to be heard as widely as possible."
Raymond Lotta, Maoist political economist and writer
"What I find compelling about Bob Avakian is that he has central themes that are applicable right now and that he has an historic presence. His approach is something that I can grab onto, beyond going to the ballot box. I've always voted Democratic, but the Democratic Party has no solutions and I'm looking for something I can grasp onto and I think that Bob and the Revolutionary Communist Party has the two core elements I'm looking for: immediacy and relevancy. I work in a personnel department so I interact with hundreds of employees of all economic wages and educational backgrounds and all are saying, 'I'm not making it, I can't make my house payment, my rent, health care is eroding.' And no one is addressing these issues in a real way, like Bob does. What Bob is saying makes sense right now and it ties into the lives of working class people. What Bob and the Revolutionary Communist Party has something they can grasp onto right now. It's not cryptic.
Someone who was first introduced to Bob Avakian at the premiere of the film Revolution in Berkeley
"I'm in tune with Bob Avakian's kind of work. I was an activist back in Detroit, Michigan so when I came to Berkeley in 1979 I felt very at home because of people like Mario Savio and Bob Avakian. I have to tell you that this is my introduction to his books, but I am a member of the Berkeley Historical Society. We carry his memoir and I am looking forward to reading it."
An older woman with the Berkeley Historical Society
"I think that Bob Avakian is a great individual, but one of the most important things to me is that he is in our midst. He went to our schools, Berkeley High. He went to Cal. And he is a great force for egalitarianism in society. As someone involved in city government, I think it's critical that we honor people that are great voices that are right here in our community. We have to be the ones to promote them. We can't allow this voice to be silenced. He's right here and he's ours."
A Black man who works on A Commission for the City of Berkeley
Bush, Torture, and No Referee
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Has there ever been a regime, in the history of the world, that openly declared its right to apply "torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment?"
Yes-- the Bush Regime.
There are many regimes that carry out torture--most of them are linked to and working for the United States (many trained at places like the notorious U.S. Army School of Assasins). But these regimes claim, at least, to follow the Geneva Conventionâ€™s rules against "torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
With the world shocked by images of torture at Abu Ghraib, and hellish conditions at Guantanamo, Senator John McCain introduced an ammendment to a bill in Congress authorizing billions for the war on Iraq, stating that the money would not be used for "torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." McCain, a former (shot down) carpet-bomber/mass murderer bomber pilot in the Vietnam war, explained on ABCâ€™s "This Week" that his issue with all this is that "It is hurting Americaâ€™s image abroad."
Bushâ€™s response: So what. His Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced that Bush would veto any bill with such language because "It would limit the Presidentâ€™s ability as Commander-in-Chief to effectively carry out the war on terrorism."
Two things this tells you:
1. The current regime is headed by a president who believes his "hands would be tied" if he couldnâ€™t openly have his operatives and thugs running around torturing people.
2. There is no "referee" here. Bush is utterly unaccountable to international law, world (or domestic) public opinion, or anything else that might restrain him. He must be driven from office and if itâ€™s going to happen, itâ€™s people like YOU who have to do it.
The New York City Subway Scare
"Threats," Clampdowns, and Torture
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
On Thursday October 6, New York City Mayor Bloomberg announced a "threat to NYC subways." Thousands of extra police officers took over the cityâ€™s subway system, pulling people out of rush-hour crowds, racially profiling travelers, rifling through peopleâ€™s bags, backpacks, and briefcases. Days after the supposed threat was to take place, and even though the supposed threat had nothing to do with any sporting event, police will blanket Game Four of the American League playoffs at Yankee Stadium with teams of "counter-terror" officers. NYPD "Atlas teams" will board trains bound for the game and patrol around the stadium.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff--fresh from "protecting" the people of New Orleans--applauded the crackdown, saying "The security precautions being taken by Mayor Bloomberg and other New York officials are absolutely an appropriate response."
Mayor Bloomberg called the threat, on which he based the clampdown, the most specific terrorist threat that New York officials had received. But the Department of Homeland Security memo said that Homeland Security and FBI agents doubted the credibility of the threat.
Next, think about the source of the "information" on which this crackdown was based. Supposedly acting on an "anonymous tip," the U.S. authorities arrested three Iraqis -- and the "details" of the "threat" were then extracted from them.
How do you suppose this "information," whatever that would mean, was obtained from these "captured Iraqis"? Bush is currently threatening to veto a law that would even in words prohibit U.S. troops and agents from carrying out "torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." (see "Bush, Torture, and No Referee" on page 7).The San Francisco Chronicle reported that at least 45 detainees in Iraq have died in U.S. custody since Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was informed of the abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16, 2004. And the torture that takes place in the many U.S. secret detention centers around Iraq and in the region is reportedly much worse than even the horrors that have been revealed in the photos from Abu Ghraib.
Some argue there is a "trade-off" between the increasing control over peopleâ€™s lives, and "security." Instead, this whole incident reveals an agenda to manufacture and maintain a constant state of "terror alerts" to get the populace to go along with having police rifle through their bags and run their lives. And beneath that, a global network of torture backed by presidential veto. Does accepting all this involve a "trade-off between security and civil liberties?" Or a pact with the devil?
Support Our Troops?
U.S. Soldiers Trade Atrocity Pics for Porn
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
U.S. soldiers have been posting pictures of dead Iraqis and Afghanis, many horribly mutilated, on an internet porn site in exchange for free access to the site.
One picture posed on the site shows a dead man lying in a pool of his own brains and internal organs. The caption for the photo reads, "What every Iraqi should look like." In another photo, six U.S. soldiers in fatigues stand over a human body burnt to charcoal black--this one is titled "Cooked Iraqi." Other photos challenge visitors to the site to "name that body part."
Many of the dead shown in the pictures are clearly civilians. A series of photos--showing two men slumped over in a truck with nothing visible above their shoulders except a red mass of brain matter and shattered bone--is described as "an Iraqi driver that tried to run a checkpoint during the first part of OIF." [OIF is Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S. militaryâ€™s name for the war in Iraq.] The post goes on to say that "the only bad thing about shooting them is that we have to clean it up."
That these photos are being displayed alongside pornography shows the link between the degradation of women and the dehumanizing of "the enemy." Both are held out as "rewards" for soldiers fighting an unjust war.
The siteâ€™s owner claims that there are about 150,000 registered users on the site, 45,000 of whom are U.S. military personnel. The site gets 130,000 unique visitors every day, of which 39,000 are members of the U.S. military.
Aan Army spokesperson said, "Centcom has no specific policy on taking pictures of the deceased." A Defense Department spokesperson noted that internet technology has been beneficial for combat troops, allowing them to share information about "lessons learned" on the battlefield. At the same time, the Bush regime has been trying to censor photos of the returning coffins of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib, and the bodies of those killed in New Orleans because of Bushâ€™s criminal neglect.
In light of this obscene celebration of murder and pornography, we have to ask those who raise the slogan "support our troops, not the war": how is that any different from witnessing a rape and saying, "I support the rapist, but not the rape"?
6 Immigrants Murdered in Georgia
A Sign of Intolerable Times
by Sunsara Taylor
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Deep in the lynching belt:
Six Mexican immigrant men just outside Tifton, Georgia were killed overnight on September 30: beaten with an aluminum bat and shot. One immigrant woman was raped. Several others were critically injured. There have been 20 other similar incidents in this area recently.
The New York Times only gave this story 61 words, and most mainstream press did not even report it. Can you imagine five white businessmen beaten to death with an aluminum bat in their own homes not becoming front-page news in every single paper?
I read that Texas passed a new ordinance against parking or camping along the road outside Dubyaâ€™s Crawford ranch to prevent another war-mother from asking him simple questions. Anyone feel like holding their breath to see if there will be a peep from any legislators to prevent racist thugs from spewing their bigotry and inciting vigilante violence?
Oh wait--last I checked those in power WERE the ones singing the praises of the racist vigilantes.
Remember Schwarzenegger, the Nazi-sympathizing California governor, and others praising the Minutemen?
How about FEMAâ€™s current policy to report (and help deport) immigrant victims of Katrina, preventing many from collecting aid, claiming their dead, or even being counted in the official death count?
What about the reports from towns like St. Helena where racist residents talk openly about wanting to keep the Black evacuees from New Orleans out of "their towns"?
Nope, last I heard, there was no outcry or denunciation from the highest offices in the land.
Last I checked, the illegitimate commander-in-chief was still smirking and bragging about the "great traditions" of this country and prancing around in a cowboy hat.
Just as the rise of extra-legal attacks on Jewish people in the late 1930â€™s in Germany was a glimpse of the future spurred on by government policy, this attack in Tifton is more the new norm than an anomaly.
Basta! Enough! As it says in the Call for The World Canâ€™t Wait--Drive Out the Bush Regime, "That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn--or be forced--to accept."
Donâ€™t be a "good German"!
The Bush regime must be driven from power and the whole atmosphere of resurgent racism, bigotry, vigilantism, and brutal ignorance must be shattered and reversed.
The world cannot wait! Immigrants cannot wait!
Mobilize for November 2nd like the lives and futures of millions depend on it. They do.
(The original version of this article appeared online at worldcantwait.org)
Call for National Day of Protest on October 22nd
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
We received this call from the October 22nd Coalition.
Call for October 22, 2005
Tenth Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation
In July 2005, an 18-month-old baby is killed in her fatherâ€™s arms by Los Angeles police. Police justification of this--that they were trying to "save" the baby--reminds people of the famous Vietnam era military quote--"We had to destroy the village in order to save the village." In Compton, police surround a truck where a man gave them the finger and fire 100 shots. In the last two years since Cau Bich Tran (a young Vietnamese mother of two) was killed while holding a vegetable peeler, there have been about a dozen police-involved killings in the San Jose area alone. Rudy Cardenas was one of those stolen lives, and state drug agent Walker who shot him in the back is going to trial for manslaughter in September. Amnesty International released a report last November documenting over 70 deaths by tasers since 2001. The Stolen Lives Project has documented an alarming escalation nationwide in the numbers of people killed by law enforcement agents. These killings march hand-in-hand with the repression, searches and seizures legalized by todayâ€™s USA PATRIOT Act, which evoke remembrances of the COINTELPRO days of the 1960s and 70s.
Around the country, thousands of Muslim, Arab and South Asian immigrants are arrested, detained, and/or deported without legal recourse. Two New York city officials openly call for racial profiling to be used in the bag searches in the subways, a councilman asserting, "Plain and simply, young Arab fundamentalists are the individuals undertaking these acts of terror" and that they are "[a] particular group of people who are engaging in these terrorist activities. And theyâ€™re not skinny, balding Italian-Americans from Staten Island."
In Minneapolis, a police consultant, proposing a racial profiling program, brands youth of color as "domestic terrorists." Seattleâ€™s ex-police chief goes on a speaking tour to promote his new book in which he lies about police "restraint" in handling the 1999 WTO protests and justifies the use of lethal force against protesters "when necessary." The North Carolina October 22nd Coalition website (http://ncoct22.org) asks, "Notice how todayâ€™s police look like a member of an urban military? They use military weapons against you, the civilian."
In New York, Juanita Young (mother of Malcolm Ferguson, killed by NYPD in March 2000) is persecuted by the DA on a bogus charge of criminal trespass for the "crime" of speaking out against police brutality. Her lawyer, Lynne Stewart, another outspoken activist, is subject to 45 years in prison for defending one of her clientsâ€™ rights to lawyer-client confidentiality. In Mississippi, peopleâ€™s lawyer Chokwe Lumumba is suspended for demanding equal justice for poor Blacks and using his 1st Amendment right to criticize judges and the legal system. On May 2nd, the U.S. and New Jersey State governments raise the bounty on the head of the former Black Panther currently exiled in Cuba, Assata Shakur. Attorney General Gonzales, author of the torture memo justifying Abu Ghraib prison, announces the $1 million reward and lists her as "a domestic terrorist."
What can we do about all this increased repression and brutality?
Nicholas Heyward, Sr. (father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr., killed by NYC housing police in 1994) says,
"Police brutality has always existed in poor and oppressed neighborhoods. But since September 11, 2001, it has gotten much worse. In order for any justice to be done, it takes a mass number of people coming together for a common cause. Police brutality affects everyone and has to stop. We need as many people as possible to come out this year on October 22nd to support the families of victims of police brutality."
Juanita Young adds that resistance is critical:
"You canâ€™t give in. They will try to make an example out of you, try to break your spirit. If you donâ€™t resist and keep on fighting, they will be able to get away with what theyâ€™re trying to do to us."
Norma Martinez (mother of Gonzalo Martinez, killed with 31 shots by LAPD in 2001), writes:
"Since Gonzalo died, more than 25 people have died at the hands of police. Not too long ago, young Devin Brown (13) was killed by LAPD. David Viera was killed by the city of El Monte, shot 11 times. Twenty-two year old Javier Quezada was killed, shot 11 times, right in front of his mother when he was suffering an anxiety attack. No police are in jail. We need justice."
October 22nd is the day when people all over the country come together to STOP police violence, repression, and the criminalization of a generation. Across the country, in different cities and through different means of expression, we raise a resounding "NO" to their steadily increasing moves towards a police state. We resist so that we will not be crushed. Link up to the nationwide protests through the October 22nd website, http://october22.org.
Email information on your plans to email@example.com.
Endorse this call, give financially, and spread the word.
Join the struggle!
On October 22nd, wear black!
October 22nd Coalition
P.O. Box 2627, New York NY 10009
Assembly Points for Oct. 22, 2005
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Los Angeles, California
1 p.m., Olympic & Broadway
San Jose, California
11 a.m., Assemble at Emma Prusch Farm Park, marching into neighborhoods and back to Emma Prusch at 647 S. King, near Story Road
New York City, New York
2 p.m., Madison Square Park at 23rd Street and Broadway, Manhattan.
2 p.m., Armory Park Ballroom, 220 S 6th Avenue
Migra Patrol-Copwatch 520-770-1373
3:30 p.m., Tower City, Public Square, marching to Justice Center and City Hall
11 a.m., Freedom Corner (Centre Avenue & Crawford)
12 p.m., Westlake Park (4th and Pine)
10 a.m., North side meet at Ziegler Union Square (4th & Michigan), South side meet at the Cesar Chavez Center (718 S. 6th St.); Rally at 6th St. Viaduct
After the Sea Stood Up
The Women Workers of Sri Lanka's Free Trade Zone
by Michael Slate
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
In March and April this year, Revolution
correspondent Michael Slate traveled all over Sri Lanka, one of the places hardest hit by the devastating tsunami of December 2004. Slate talked to many different people about the tsunami and the oppression and suffering that continue to unfold. This is the fourth in a series of reports from that trip. Previous installments are available at revcom.us. While in Sri Lanka, Slate visited a "free trade zone," where tens of thousands of mostly women workers produce clothing under brutal conditions, for $40/month, and filed this report:
Double fence around free trade zone, the inside fence is electrified, both fences used to be electrified, but too many people got hurt, so they changed to only having the interior fence electrified (Mukai)
We were 30 kilometers north of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, by Bandaranaike International Airport, when our driver took a sharp turn to the right. Five minutes later we began to see streams of people growing thicker as we went on.
Then I saw huge buildings surrounded by high cyclone fences were set back off the road. The fences were usually topped with barbed wire. Sometimes there were two fences with a dirt path between them. Armed guards stood at the gates. I was certain we were at a prison compound.
The only odd thing were the people walking through the gates and streaming along the roads--there were thousands of them by this point.
I suddenly noticed the strangest thing--the vast majority of the people on the street were young women. A few men were hanging out on corners or tending to the vendors stalls.
Our companion notice my confusion. Anton Marcus, the General Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union, laughed and announced that we had arrived at our destination--the Katunayake Free Trade Zone.
As I prepared for this trip, back in the States, I had gone shopping for clothes to wear in the hot and humid climate. Many of the clothing I saw were high-end "outdoors wear" carrying labels like Columbia--and they cost an arm and a leg--like $90 for a quick drying shirt with built-in mosquito repellant. The tiny labels inside often read "Made in Sri Lanka."
When I told this story to Anton, he explained that there are now 830 garment factories in Sri Lanka today employing 450,000 workers directly and another 100,000 indirectly. Maximum profit has been assured by the establishment of more than a dozen Free Trade Zones throughout Sri Lanka in 1978.
These zones were designed to create the most efficient and profitable conditions possible for capitalists to exploit the labor of the people: Special laws, special access to resources like electricity, special attention from police and authorities (including to prevent revolutionary and trade union organizing).
Young women from Sri Lanka are often desperate enough to sign up to go to Europe or the Middle East to do domestic work--where they are often treated as slaves or sexually abused. This is the main source of "foreign exchange income" for the country. The garment industry runs a close second--and it too is based on exploiting the lives and labor of the young women workers.
The Most Modern Imperialist Methods of Exploitation
The massive factories resemble the maquiladoras sweatshops along the U.S.-Mexican border. Workers there assemble the pre-cut cloth that is shipped into the country.
The workers here make about $40 a month.
Anton described some of the other hellish conditions:
"The major issue is the target system. The workers have to perform this target within a limited time. And sometimes if they do not meet this target they will be fined. Sometimes they deduct form the workersâ€™ wages and sometimes the workers have to keep working without pay until they meet the targetâ€¦. After the workers achieve these targets then they are raised higher. Day by day they increase the target so the workers cannot achieve it. In one factory the supervisor came behind one woman worker--and pushed her head telling her to do more to meet the target. When he pushed her head, a machine rod went into her eye and she was blinded.
"The workers do not drink water at work because if they go to toilet they cannot meet the target. If they take time to eat then they cannot meet the target. So because of this terrible target system the workers cannot work more than two to three years. The maximum would be 5 years because after 5 years they can get a gratuity payment [a bonus]. But after 5 years they are exhausted and they have a lot of health problems."
Anton used my experience buying clothes as an example:
"The monthly salary is $40. One pair of trousers sells in the U.S. for $59, and one factory line will produce more than a hundred dozens of trousers in one day. So that means that in one day of production they can pay one monthâ€™s salary for all of their workers. All of the other production days are profit for the employer."
The workers themselves get almost nothing--and then at each step as the products move across the world, a succession of capitalists seize their cut--at the factory, at the ships lines, at the banks making business loans, at the retail end.
Young Women--Controlled, Exploited, Suspected
After driving around the factories in the zone, Anton took us into the surrounding neighborhood. It was really strange, a huge village of women had sprung up. Tens of thousands of young women lived here as part of their job. The workers in the zone are almost all women between the ages of 18 and 28; it was rare to see an older woman or a man. Another condition of their employment is that they are unmarried.
Deepa is one of the "elders" in the zone and her story is typical:
"My village is 120 kilometers from here, itâ€™s just past Negombo. Most of the people in my village do agriculture, some people do pot-making and there are also garment factories and people go there to work. I have my mother, father, two sisters and a brother. My father farms and my mother works in another place. I left my village to come here 8 years ago. I am 26 years old. I left the village because of economic problems. I didnâ€™t want to be a burden for my family and I wanted to earn for myself. We have to come to the Free Trade Zones to find work because there is no other place to go. I had to come here, otherwise I would have to go abroad. This is what a lot of the young women in my village do."
Many of the women who come to work in order to save up for their dowry â€“- an oppressive tradition that requires paying money to the husbandâ€™s family. But thatâ€™s not how it works out: Few are able to save any money. And they all get a "bad reputation" back home--because they have been living on their own, outside family supervision of their "virtue." And so few can return to the villages anyway, or expect to get married there.
I visited one of the private boarding houses surrounding the zone--the kind that all the women workers live in. Ten women sometimes lived in 10 foot by 12 foot rooms--separated by the other rooms by cardboard walls. Cooking is done on a row of wood burning stoves in a long and narrow hut with no ventilation. Two outside wells provided water for drinking and bathing. The men who "watched over" the house often watched the women bathe after work.
A young woman, Lalitha, told me about her living conditions:
"Whenever we go out we have to get permission from the boarding house owner because they suspect us when we go out. If we have a light on then the owner comes and wants to know why we have the light on for so long. So we cannot even read. When we go out they think we are going for some other things because of this environment. There are about 50 women living in my boarding house. And when we go to work and when we are coming back to work â€“- going to and from the factory--there are problems along the road. Some men touch us or come with the bike and try to hit us."
Deepa described her house to me:
"There are 70 people living in my boarding house. There are three people in my room and each of us has to pay 900 rupees per month and when we have to go out of the boarding house we have to sign a book and mention the time and where we are going. And when we come back we have to sign again. There is not enough water, and only one toilet for at least 9 women. Sometimes there are mixed boarding houses--men and women living there--and when they come after work the men come to them and sometimes rape the women. On salary day sometimes the men come and take away our salary."
Although few of the women will speak publicly about such attacks by gangs of men--sexual harassment and rape are common in the factories and surrounding areas.
Deepa explained how sick she felt after 8 yearsâ€™ work and how she had only slim hope of doing another two years and coming out alive. And it was heartbreaking and enraging to hear her explain that, despite it all, she still felt she had to tell her sister about the "opportunity" in the zones: "Even though we donâ€™t want to do this work here and we do not want to bring others to work here, but because of the economic problems we do it."
After the Tsunami, Business as Usual
We finished our tea and Deepa went to finish cooking her meal. Anton suggested we head back to the city. As we walked to the car Anton reminded me of a story he told when we first met. He felt it concentrated the life of the garment workers in Sri Lanka today:
"Many of the garment workers were affected by the tsunami. One women worker couldnâ€™t come to work for 12 days after the tsunami because she didnâ€™t have anything to wear. She lost everything. When she reported to work after 12 days the employer asked her to take her own leave for the time she missed. They never considered her situation. These employers, even the tsunami they want to use to maximize their profit."
God: The Original Fascist
Part 3b: God Consolidates His Rule Through Total Fear and Terror
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
a series submitted by A. Brooks, a reader of REVOLUTION newspaper
EDITORâ€™S NOTE: This series of articles was submitted by a reader who was inspired by Bob Avakianâ€™s writings and talks on religion and, further provoked by discussions and arguments with friends about the Bible, engaged in a systematic study of the first five books of the Bible. These books, which are known as the "Mosaic Books" (and which contain such crucial passages as that outlining the Ten Commandments), lay out the foundation for some of the Bibleâ€™s most important themes. After having read these five, Mosaic books of the Bible, the reader was struck even more deeply by how profoundly the essence of the Bibleâ€™s message has been distorted and hidden.
The Bible's opening books describe, over and over again, how God torments the people -- with plagues, hunger or bloody murder -- for any doubt or disobedience. In this old Bible picture (above) -- reproduced on a modern fundamentalist internet site -- Moses leads the cold-blooded execution of 3,000 Israelites for questioning him and his God. And God follows up by killing even more with a plague. No mercy, no compassion, no forgiveness -- just death for disobedience. If such rules were imposed today, it would be a nightmarish tyranny and horror for the people.
Part 3a, in the previous issue of Revolution, ended with a quote from the book of Leviticus where God details how he will "smite" the Israelites completely, just as he did the Egyptians, if his laws are not followed.
Really, I could probably end this section of the discussion here and have effectively made the point that Godâ€™s rule was one based on complete fear and terror directed at all those who dared to dissent from his laws. But what the heck, letâ€™s continue. The book of Numbers describes how the armies of Godâ€™s people begin assembling and then marching towards Canaan, prepared to battle and annihilate those who are already dwelling on the land (this annihilation and the philosophy of total conquest behind it will be discussed in much greater detail in the final installments of this series).
But at a certain point, hard times fall upon the armies and troop morale becomes low. The troops begin lamenting to Moses that their conditions are dire, that they do not have enough food to eat. So what is Godâ€™s response? Well, being the "compassionate God, slow to anger" that is mentioned in Exodus 34, the Lord undoubtedly responds by blessing the Israelites with food so that they are no longer starving, right? WRONG! God instead responds by initially giving his people food, but then, "The meat was still between their teeth, nor yet chewed, when the anger of the Lord blazed forth against the people and the Lord struck the people with a severe plague." (Numbers 11) All this perpetrated upon a people who did nothing more than simply complain that they were starving!
Apparently, God has some kind of fetish for plagues. Numbers 14 refers to yet another plague unleashed by God upon the Israelites. This time, the "crime" of the condemned was that they went on a scouting mission to Canaan and Sunsacame back with reports that the people who currently dwelled there were very powerful and capable. God describes the fate of these men: "In this very wilderness they [the Israelites] shall die to the last man. As for the men whom Moses sent to scout the land, those [who] came back and caused the community to mount against him by spreading calumnies about the land...died of the plague, by will of the Lord." (Numbers 14)
Eventually, some of the Israelites become so exasperated with the tyrannical rule of Moses that they launch a rebellion against his tyranny. God responds to this rebellion by annihilating the rebels--he opens the earth and swallows them whole, consuming 250 men in a great fire. (Numbers 16) The next day, the entire Israelite community is up in arms about what God, acting through Moses and Aaron, has done to them. So God, being "a compassionate God, slow to anger," naturally responds by profusely apologizing, recognizing his brutality, and promising never to repeat it, right? WRONG AGAIN! God responds with more brutality: He kills 14,700 Israelites in (you guessed it) a plague!
Further on in Numbers, God articulates to the Israelites the basic principle of "kill or be killed." He tells Moses, "Speak to the Israelite people, and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall dispossess all the inhabitants of the land; you shall destroy their figured objects; you shall destroy all their molten images; you shall demolish all their cult palaces....If you do not dispossess the inhabitants of the land, those whom you allow to remain shall be stings in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you live; so that I will do to you what I planned to do to them." (Numbers 34)
It is not hard to see how, from passages like this, the Christian fascists of today would conceive of current global conflicts in terms of a literal "Holy War" where they must conquer or perish. In addition, it is important to keep in mind, again, that the God of the Bible is supposed to be all-powerful. There is no way that the peoples God is describing could be "stings in the eyes or thorns in the sides" of the Israelites unless God willed it that way. Thus, we see another instance where human carnage and suffering is clearly presented as nothing more than another one of Godâ€™s sick games.
In addition to enforcing his own laws and Commandments with the utmost of brutality, God often relies on his top foot soldier, Moses, to do the same. One of the earliest examples of this comes in Exodus, in a passage mentioned in part 2 of this series. Moses returns from Mount Sinai to find that many people have violated Godâ€™s Commandment outlawing the worship of any other Gods; they have built an idol in the form of a golden calf. In response, "Moses stood up in the gate of the camp and said, â€˜Whoever is for the Lord come here!â€™ And all the Levites rallied to him. He said to them, â€˜Thus says the Lord, the god of Israel, each of you put your sword on thigh, go back and forth from gate to camp, and slay brother, neighbor, and kin.â€™ The Levites did as Moses commanded them, and three thousand fell that day." (Exodus 32) And the reader will recall that this brutal action follows after another one: when Moses ground the golden calf into dust and made the Israelites drink it."
The Lord then follows up the slaughter of 3,000 Israelites with still another atrocity--by now, the reader can probably imagine what that was: Yep, a plague! (Exodus 32)
In Numbers, Moses utters a "kill or be killed" phrase similar to that referenced a few paragraphs above and uttered by God: "Moses said to them [the Israelites], â€˜If you do this, if you go to battle as shock troops, at the instance of the Lord, and every shock fighter among you crosses the Jordan, at the instance of the Lord, until He has dispossessed his enemies before him, and the land has been subdued at the instance of the Lord, and then you return--you shall be clear before the Lord and this land shall be your holding under the Lord. But if you do not do so, you will have sinned against the Lord; and know that the Lord will overtake you." (Numbers 32)
In Deuteronomy (which, again, Moses is said to have written himself) he repeatedly describes the consequences for those who do not follow and worship God. In Deuteronomy 4, he says, "When you have begotten children and childrenâ€™s children and are long established in the land, should you act wickedly, and make for yourself a sculptured image in any likeness, causing the Lord your God displeasure and vexation, I call heaven and earth against you that you shall certainly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess; you shall not long endure on it, but shall be utterly wiped out." (Deuteronomy 4) This point is repeated in Deuteronomy 8, when Moses says, "If you do forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve them or bow down to them, I warn you this day that you shall certainly perish."
Then, in Deuteronomy 12, Moses utters the phrase quoted at the beginning of this series, one that certainly calls to mind the "youâ€™re either with us or against us" logic of George W. Bushâ€™s infamous speeches. Moses says, "See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin upon you, and curse if you donâ€™t obey the Lord your God, but turn away from the path that I enjoin upon you this day and follow other Gods." (Deuteronomy 12)
Considering the actual nature of Godâ€™s laws and Commandments, the idea that whether someone will be blessed or cursed depends entirely on whether they follow these laws can only be described as chilling!
In short, then, the Bible repeatedly shows that Godâ€™s rule is anything but "compassionate," and that he is anything but "slow to anger." Rather, Godâ€™s rule, as laid out in the Bible, took shape as a society characterized by totalitarian brutality against which both distortions of Communist leaders such as Stalin and Mao--and even the practices of actual brutal human dictators throughout history--would pale in comparison. Taken literally, the "Holy" Bible is a ruthless tale of conquest, a blueprint for unleashing tremendous persecution and suffering against all those who will not fall in line and persecute others. Again I must ask: Does this sound familiar? Indeed, it is precisely the logic of Holy Conquest, plunder, and total subordination to oneâ€™s rulers that "Dubya" and his team of fascists are seeking to implement right now in the "real world."
In the next and final installments of this series, we will examine in greater detail what was only hinted at in this section: The theme of conquering other peoples in the name of God. Or, as it might be termed, a Biblical Manifest Destiny.
To be continued--Part 4a: Holy Wars--Manifest Destiny in a Biblical Setting
Send us your comments.
From Set the Record Straight
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Is Communism?
What Is Its Real History?
What Does It Have to Do with the World Today?
Revolution #018, October 16, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Revolution is running this FAQ in four parts. Contact Set the Record Straight for the full FAQ.
Q What is communism?
A Communism is a worldwide society in which all classes and class distinctions have been overcome; all systems and relations of exploitation abolished; all oppressive social institutions and relations of social inequality, like racial discrimination and the domination of women by men, put an end to; and all oppressive and backward ideas and values cast off. Communism is a world of abundance where people together hold all of societyâ€™s resources in common. Communism also refers to the comprehensive outlook and scientific method of the proletariat for understanding and changing the world.
Q But I always hear that communism is dull and dreary.
A Imagine a society where people consciously learn about and transform the worldâ€¦where people are no longer imprisoned by the chains of tradition and ignoranceâ€¦where people not only cooperatively work to produce the necessities of life, but get into art and culture and science--and have fun doing itâ€¦where the scientific outlook and the flight of imagination strengthen and inspire each other...where there is unity and diversity, far-ranging debate, and ideological struggle over the direction and development of society--but no longer stamped by social antagonismâ€¦where people interact with each other based on mutual respect, concern, and love for humanity. A world that takes care of the environment. That is communism.
Q How is socialism different from communism?
A Socialism is the crucial step in getting towards communism, which has yet to be achieved in the world. A socialist revolution overthrows the capitalist class and establishes the system of political rule of the working class: the dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletariat, together with its allies making up the great majority of society, begins to transform society. Socialist revolution creates an economy based on social ownership and meeting social need. But socialism also inherits social and economic inequalities from capitalism. It still contains classes. There is still class struggle over the direction of society. And for some time, socialist societies will be confronted by hostile capitalist powers. Socialism is a historical period of continuing revolution, and the worldwide advance towards communism is a complex and protracted process of revolution and counterrevolution.
Part 2: Stalin and socialism in the Soviet Union; Mao and the Cultural Revolution
To Learn More About Socialism and Communism
Read the Writings of Bob Avakian
"Dictatorship and Democracy, and the Socialist Transition to Communism," at revcom.us
Phony Communism Is Dead... Long Live Real Communism, at amazon.com
Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy, at amazon.com
"REVOLUTION: Why Itâ€™s Necessary â€¢ Why Itâ€™s Possible â€¢ What Itâ€™s All About" DVD at threeqvideo.com
Contact Set the Record Straight: SettheRecordStraight@hotmail.com
Set the Record Straight
P.O. Box 981,
Chicago, IL 60690-0981
Come hear Raymond Lotta speak on why and how "Socialism Is Much Better than Capitalism, and Communism Will Be a Far Better World"
Tour dates and locations at www.thisiscommunism.org