Revolution #439, May 16, 2016 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Please note: this page is intended for quick printing of the entire issue. Some of the links may not work when clicked, and some images may be missing. Please go to the article's permalink if you require working links and images.

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/time-to-get-organized-for-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution

Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

The Revolutionary Communist Party
IS ORGANIZING NOW TO OVERTHROW THIS
SYSTEM AT THE SOONEST POSSIBLE TIME.
Preparing to lead an actual revolution to bring
about a radically new and better society:
the New Socialist Republic in North America.

The  problem: this  system. This system drives refugees and immigrants into exploitation, horror and death. This system wages brutal wars of slaughter. This system destroys the environment. This system locks down generations of Black and Brown youth, brutalizing and incarcerating them and even blowing them away—or else setting them up to fight and kill each other, when they should be fighting the REAL enemy. This system conditions men to disrespect and brutalize women, when the fury of women must be unleashed for revolution. This system—capitalism-imperialism—must be overthrown.

The solution:  REVOLUTION–nothing less! Revolution where millions go up against, defeat and dismantle the system's armed forces of violent suppression. Revolution that sets up a totally new power, with a different economy and different ways people relate to each other.

The goal of this new revolutionary power is communism: a world where people are no longer divided into rich and poor, masters and slaves, rulers and ruled. No longer fighting and slaughtering each other, but working together for the common good. No longer locked in ignorance, but consciously understanding, and changing, the world. No longer destroying the earth, but acting as its caretakers. This is possible, humanity has developed the basis for such a world; it is the system of capitalism that is in the way.

The  leadership: Bob Avakian, BA, the leader of the RCP, has developed scientific theory on a world-class level. At the same time, BA deeply understands and connects with the most oppressed.

BA breaks down why reality is the way it is, and how people can change it for the better. He's learned from the achievements and the shortcomings of past revolutions, and brought forward a much more scientific approach to the big problems facing humanity. This is the new synthesis of communism.

Get with the Revolution Club  here

Read here | Download PDF Poster | JPG for web

BA has developed answers to why this system can't be reformed... how revolutionary forces could grow from weak to strong, and actually defeat the enemy...how people could then build a new society on the road to emancipating humanity throughout the world ...and how to wage the struggles of today to reach that goal.

BA's leadership is a huge strength for the revolution: to follow, to learn from, to defend.

How  to move  today:  The all-out struggle for power is a serious thing, and it can only be won when the system is in deep crisis and millions are ready to put everything on the line. Today is not yet that time... but today IS the time to urgently prepare for that.

1 Go to www.revcom.us every day.—the lifeline that cuts through events to reveal the need for revolution and how to move now to hasten, and prepare for, that revolution.

2 Join the Revolution Club. Revolution requires organization: the Revolution Club is where you get organized to fight the power today to STOP the horrors of the system, and to transform the people, FOR REVOLUTION.  Revolution requires a scientific approach: the Revolution Club is where you learn BA's new synthesis of communism, and how to apply it to solve the challenges we face.

The Revolution Club moves boldly and it moves wisely, up in the face of the enemy, projecting revolution into every corner of society.

All of this is part of going for a revolution that we, the RCP, have taken the responsibility to lead. There's a whole other way to live and fight and even die to change the world – a strategy to do that and a way, right now, to make that real.

Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

Download PDF Flier, 11x17", 2-sided, designed to be folded in half with title on outside

Download PDF Poster, 17x22

 

Points of Attention for the Revolution


The Revolution Club upholds, lives by and fights for the following principles:

 

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

Downloadable PDFs for printing the Points of Attention: ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/102/possibility-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/concentration-camp-called-child-care-center-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

Where Is a Concentration Camp "Rebranded" a Licensed Child Care Center? Answer: USA

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Since 2014, the U.S. has imprisoned tens of thousands of Central American refugees. Many are young women with their children, and there are many children who have come alone. These refugees—who have committed no crime—have been put into concentration camps. Now the Obama administration, in tandem with the Christian fascists who run the Texas state government, wants to “rebrand” one of these concentration camps—the “Karnes County Residential Center”—as a legally certified “care provider for children.”!

Sadistic and Systematic Child Abuse

A cell with a crib and children's toys that houses an immigrant family at a detention center in Taylor, Texas.
A cell with a crib and children's toys that houses an immigrant family at a detention center in Taylor, Texas. A similar Texas U.S. immigration concentration camp that locks up women and children, the "Karnes County Residential Center," has been "rebranded" a legally certified "care provider for children." AP photo

 OK, so let’s look at this “child care.” Two examples documented by an immigrant rights group: a soaking wet girl thrown into a freezing cell known as a hielera—ice box—with a toilet as her only drinking water. A boy strip searched, forced to stand naked in front of mocking guards, and threatened that he would be raped because a guard claimed he lied about his age. A report by Common Dreams described Karnes as “plagued with human rights abuses, including: denial of food and medical care, lack of due process, and allegations of sexual assault.” When women recently stood up against such abuse by going on a hunger strike, Karnes reacted by placing women and their children in “cuartos oscuros”—isolation in dark rooms. One of their lawyers described these rooms: “... an isolation room with a bed, a toilet, a sink from which you have to cup your hands to drink water, and lights off until meal time.”

In July 2015, a federal judge ruled that refugee children can only be held in licensed child care facilities. The government had two months to comply. That didn’t happen. Obama’s Department of Homeland Security appealed, and has schemed to sidestep the ruling. Then, in April, Texas granted a child care license to the Karnes prison. (Lawyers representing Karnes inmates appealed this decision, and a judge blocked Texas’ absurd and criminal change of Karnes' legal status. But the hold is only for two weeks.)

It should be clear that this is NOT child care at all, but torture.

The American Death and Deportation Machine

Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

 Why are people fleeing Central America to come to this country anyway—especially when they are almost certain to be imprisoned in these camps?

They are fleeing violence and poverty in countries ransacked by U.S. imperialism. In the 1980s, the U.S. sponsored genocidal wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left millions more homeless—at least 200,000 were killed in Guatemala alone. In this century, U.S.-imposed “free trade” agreements have destroyed the livelihoods of millions more. The U.S. recently paid the Mexican army $80 million to launch a “ferocious crackdown” on Central Americans trying to get to this country. Those who make it to the U.S. face a border bristling with weapons, military and police personnel, armed vigilantes, the Border Patrol, and a prison and legal apparatus designed to arrest and quickly deport them.

Last year, Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. has “to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws, or we’ll encourage more children to make that dangerous journey ... they should be sent back.” Measures Obama and Clinton implement and defend deny people their right to apply for asylum, force them to sign agreements in a language they don’t understand, deprive them of legal representation, and incarcerate them for months and years under conditions of unspeakable inhumanity.

Deport children back to the hells they tried to escape to “keep them safe”; declare that a concentration camp is a day care center—this is the false “compassion” of Clinton and Obama.

A system that creates conditions so bad, that people risk death, imprisonment, and torture to escape... a system that builds prisons for the children of those refugees whose leaders then cynically designate that prison as a “child care center"... if that doesn’t indicate that such a system is utterly depraved, worthless, and in need of being overthrown and replaced at the soonest possible moment, what the hell does?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/sunsara-taylor-end-sexual-enslavement-dont-regulate-or-glorify-it-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

END Sexual Enslavement—Don't "Regulate" or Glorify It!
5 Myths of Making the Sex Industry "Friendly" to Women

by Sunsara Taylor

May 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following was provoked by the May 5 New York Times Magazine cover story, “Should Prostitution Be a Crime?”

We don’t need a “choice” between criminalizing women who are used and abused in the sex industry or glorifying and “regulating” this industry that perpetrates—and can only perpetrate—the sexual enslavement, rape, abuse, and dehumanization of millions and millions of women and girls.

We need a whole different world: where women and girls are never again coerced, forced, sold by starving families, or tricked into sexual slavery; where men are no longer socialized to want and feel entitled to sexually exploit, degrade, and brutalize women and girls; and where all relations between all people—including intimate and sexual relations—are based on mutual respect and equality and mutual flourishing, not domination, degradation, desperation or getting over on others.

 

 

Five myths promoted by those who claim the sex industry can be made “friendly” to women:

Myth #1: Some women are harmed by the sex industry, but others find it “empowering,” therefore it’s too complex to say for sure its overall effect.

Truth: The true character of the sex industry is simple: it enslaves women.

The Break Down: The overwhelming majority of women in the sex industry are forced into it out of desperation, poverty, war, sexual violence, kidnapping, or abuse. In the U.S. the average age of entrance into prostitution is 13 years old. These are children—overwhelmingly girls who have been raped or molested. They are also LGBT children cast out by bigoted families. In Bangladesh, girls in sexual slavery are given cow steroids so that their breasts develop early and their bodies can endure more abuse. Everywhere, women are beaten and drugged, locked in brothels and raped. Their passports are confiscated. Often, the police and militaries are the most brutal and frequent in sexually violating them. This is the overwhelming character of the sex “industry” that destroys the lives of millions and millions of women and girls each year.

Read here | Download PDF

What about the tiny fraction of women who claims to find selling sex “empowering”? As it says in A Declaration: For Women’ s Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity:

Even those who—for a time—are able to convince themselves that this “ choice ” is somehow empowering can only do so by accepting the terms that demean themselves and other women in a male-supremacist set-up. And even deeper, you don’t get the “right to be sexy” or to be the “owner of your own body as a sexual commodity” without a world that gives rise to the notion that women should be evaluated by their bodies and sexual attractiveness—and that world thrives on and mandates the shipment of women in droves across borders as human chattel, into brothels and “comfort stations” for U.S. troops, and as mail-order brides. No one should want to make peace with, or find their way in, that.

~~~~~~~~~~

Myth #2: Prostitution has always existed and will always exist, so it’s best to legalize and regulate it.

Truth: Prostitution has not always existed, and it must be ended if women are ever going to be free.

The Break Down: For tens of thousands of years, women were not bought and sold for sex. Nor was their sexuality tightly controlled. In these earliest gathering and hunting societies, people lived more or less cooperatively, without masters and slaves. It was only with the development of antagonistic classes—where one section of society ruled over and lived off the labor of others—that this began to change. Men began to strictly control women’s sexual activity to ensure that the children they bore belonged to their husbands, and that property and social positions passed to the next generation. Since then, women have been treated as property of men—either virgins until marriage and then breeders of children, or “whores.”

Read Sampler Edition | Full Edition

Capitalism has not ended this oppression, nor can it. The patriarchal family remains the basic economic unit of society and place where children are socialized. For all its claims of “progress” and even the real changes in the form of this oppression, in the U.S. patriarchy is being violently reinforced—through a Christian fascist war on birth control and abortion and through brutal woman-hating pornography and a booming sex “industry” on a scale unseen in history.

Ending this oppression—and ending the sale of women’s flesh as part of that—is not only possible, it is urgently necessary. But it is only possible by overthrowing the system of capitalism-imperialism and going on, in a new society, to dig up the division of humanity into antagonistic classes. What is needed is genuine communist revolution. As Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has analyzed, the fight to break all the chains that bind women is completely bound up with the fight to end all divisions into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited and oppressors and oppressed. It is—and must be—a driving force in the fight to emancipate all of humanity.

~~~~~~~~~~

Myth #3: It’s just human nature for men to dominate and treat women like sex objects.

Truth: This is not human nature, this is the way the system has socialized men for thousands of years—but it can, and must, change!

The Break Down: It is NOT “human nature” for men to crave the sexual degradation and domination of women. Men are not born this way, they are systematically trained in this—through the saturation of society with porn that glorifies the brutal degradation and sexual torture of women, by religious scriptures in every major religion that preach the “rightful” submission of women to men, by thousands of years of oppressive relations and traditions in which women have been reduced to property of men, breeders of children or sexual objects. And then, in huge numbers, they act on this training—raping and stalking, repressing and shaming, beating and killing, buying and discarding the humanity of women.

But this can—and must—change. Right now, men need to break with this system’s patriarchal training and recognize that women are their sisters and comrades in the struggle to end all oppression. They need to take up communist morality (see below) and join the fight to overthrow the system that requires and reinforces the oppression of women as a cornerstone in maintaining a world of savage inequality, brutal exploitation, environmental destruction, and endless oppressive wars.

~~~~~~~~~~

Myth #4: For many women, the sex industry is the best option they have so it is wrong to take this choice away.

Truth: The fact that so many other “choices” available are also degrading, exploitative and often brutal does not change the character of the sex “industry.” It points to the need for an actual revolution to overthrow all systems of exploitation and oppression, not to pick between forms of enslavement.

The Break Down: Today, the oppression and dehumanization of women is woven into and driven forward by the system of capitalism-imperialism. Capitalists scour the globe, viciously competing with each other to find the cheapest labor to exploit. They claw ahead, or get driven under. Whole countries are turned into sweatshops, people are thrown off their lands, the environment is plundered, vicious wars are waged to gain global advantage. Everywhere, capitalism preys on the oppressed and the extra vulnerable status of women, super-exploiting them in factories and fields and selling their sexual degradation and abuse as a commodity itself.

If you are horrified by the way millions of women are trapped in dangerous sweatshops, driven through dangerous migrations and separated from their children, abused and treated like slaves in their homes, raped and abused in the sex industry—and the way all of this is woven into a world of wars, racist terror, environmental destruction, and enforced ignorance—then you need to learn about and join the fight to make this total communist revolution. Don’t “choose” between forms of oppression. Fight to break ALL the chains and emancipate humanity.

~~~~~~~~~~

Myth #5: There are two moralities to pick from—either you puritanically repress women’s sexual desires and activities, or you must “loosen up” and accept the sale of sex as just another harmless transaction.

Truth: In reality, puritanical repression of women’s sexuality and the commodification of women as sexual objects are two sides of the same patriarchal coin. The real alternative is communist morality that views women—like all people everywhere—as full human beings, capable of participating fully and equally with men in all spheres of human endeavor.

The Break Down: We need a world where women are not viewed as property of any kind—neither sex objects nor breeders of children—but as full human beings. And we need a morality that is rooted in that future and that serves bringing that future into being. This is communist morality.

Communist morality promotes mutual respect and equality between men and women and people of all genders and sexuality. It opposes imperialist domination of one nation over others and racism. It celebrates cultural diversity, prizes cooperation and the social good above cutthroat competition, and puts the needs of the humanity and safeguarding the environment above the drive to accumulate wealth. It fosters the unfettered search for the truth and critical thinking.

Bob Avakian, "A world of rape and sexual assault"

A clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States.

A key part of all this is taking on all the attacks on women—fighting the Christian fascist assault to take away birth control and abortion as well as fighting the rape culture and violent degradation of pornography and the sex “industry.” It means lifting people’s sights to a world without oppression and organizing people for an actual revolution.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Way Out:

We do not need to accept the world as it is. Lift your sights to a world without oppression or exploitation of any form, where all of humanity works together to contribute what they can and get back what they need for a decent life. Dig into the leadership and new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian. Study his compendium, Break ALL the Chains ! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution, and spread A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity. Join with the Revolution Clubs in fighting back against all the assaults on women as well as the many other crimes of this system as part of transforming the people and building up the strength to get ready for an actual revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/american-crime-case-98-1953-cia-coup-in-iran-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

American Crime

Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran:
Torture and Repression – Made in the U.S.A.

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

American Crime is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

CIA/British intelligence coup in Iran, 1953
In Tehran, Iran on August 19, 1953, mobs joined by the military took over streets chanting "Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!" They ransacked pro-Mossadegh newspapers and attacked his supporters.

THE CRIME: On August 19, 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) along with British intelligence launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s popular, elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, during an upsurge of protest against British colonialism, Mossadegh had nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Great Britain had plundered Iran’s oil wealth for decades.

Britain moved to destabilize Mossadegh’s government, including by launching an international boycott of Iranian oil. The U.S. soon joined the coup plotting, conspiring with Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah [King] Pahlavi and the military, and orchestrating an anti-Mossadegh propaganda campaign.

On August 19, mobs joined by the military took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” They ransacked pro-Mossadegh newspapers and attacked his supporters. Street battles raged. By late afternoon, military units seized control of Mossadegh’s house, breaking the resistance. By evening, 300 lay dead, as General Fazlollah Zahedi rode to Radio Tehran atop a tank and broadcast that with the Shah’s blessing, he was the new prime minister.

Iran’s nationalist upsurge was crushed. The Shah ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. Speaking out risked arrest by SAVAK, his U.S.-trained secret police. Thousands were murdered, jailed or barbarically tortured—they even threatened to torture children in front of their parents. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

THE CRIMINALS: After covering up for 60 years, the CIA admitted in 2013:

The military coup that overthrew Mosaddeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.

In the U.S., that meant President Dwight Eisenhower on down through the State Department, the CIA, and the military. In Britain, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and on down.

THE ALIBI: For decades, the U.S. and British rulers covered up and lied about having orchestrated the anti-Mossadegh coup, and their media cover story turned reality upside down. It portrayed this U.S.-led fascist military coup against a widely supported, elected leader as a popular “revolution” against a Hitler-like lunatic trying “to make himself unchallenged dictator of the country,” as the New York Times put it.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: A CIA memo spelled out U.S. goals: “to effect the fall of the Mosaddeq government; and to replace it with a pro-western government under the Shah’s leadership with [General] Zahedi as its prime minister.”

The U.S. used the 1953 coup to muscle into Iran and replace Britain as top dominator. Mossadegh’s nationalization was reversed, and U.S. oil giants were cut in on the spoils, reaping enormous profits. The coup was a warning against similar moves to nationalize imperialist companies. And it embedded Iran as a key military outpost for the U.S. against regional liberation struggles and in its Cold War clash with the Soviet Union.

REPEAT OFFENDERS: In 1979, the Shah was overthrown and replaced by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), a regime that, while reactionary, was viewed by the U.S. as an obstacle to its immediate interests. In the decades since, the U.S. has bullied, intervened, and threatened Iran. It fueled the bloody 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which left a million dead or wounded, to weaken both. In 1988, as a warning to Iran to halt the war, the U.S. warship Vincennes “accidentally” shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing all 290 on board. Since then, the U.S. has imposed punishing sanctions and threatened war repeatedly, and it still seeks to dominate and control Iran.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/crises-in-the-environment-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

Crises in the Environment: 3 Reasons Why Nothing Less Than Revolution Is Urgently Needed

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Refugees from Syria where hellish wars and climate change have made life impossible at a refugee camp in Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border. Photo: AP

 

1. In early May, researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia released a report that they have “calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that human habitability is compromised.” And that “The goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, agreed at the recent UN climate summit in Paris, will not be sufficient to prevent this scenario.” Already climate change—along with hellish wars throughout the region—is a significant factor driving millions of refugees from their homes as farmland turns to desert and heat waves kill off crops and grazing animals. And this situation would be exponentially worse if these calculations are borne out.

 

2. In late April, CNN reported that over 90 percent of the Great Barrier Reef is suffering from coral bleaching, which is a product of rising sea temperatures. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) along the northeastern coast of Australia supports or hosts one tenth of all species of marine life on earth. It nurtures fish and sea life that keep millions of people in poor countries alive. As much as 93 percent of the 1,429 miles reef suffers from some level of bleaching—an effect that indicates the corals and algae that make up the reef are endangered or dying.


Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, May 4, 2016. Fire fighters frantically battle wildfires. Hot temperatures and other products of climate change have transformed the boreal forest in much of Canada, Alaska, and Russia into tinder boxes. Photo: AP

 

3. A ferocious forest fire nearly destroyed the western Canadian city of Fort McMurray, forcing tens of thousands to flee for their lives. Climate change is degrading and destroying vast tracts of forest that ring the Northern Hemisphere across Canada, Alaska, and Russia. Those forests play a key role in regulating Earth’s temperature, and their destruction makes things much worse.

There is a moment of truth here: Nowhere, in the plans and strategic thinking of anyone in this world with any power is there anything close to coming to grips with the true immensity of this crisis and addressing it in ways that have anything to do with the interests of humanity.

Why? Because production in a capitalist system can only proceed if it is profitable; and it can only proceed through expand-or-die competition with other capitalists. This sets the terms for what is and is not possible in this system. Actually moving to deal with the level of environmental disaster we now confront would mean such huge transformations and massive dislocations and losses that there is no will to do so.

So they try to channel you into “adapting” to a world where hundreds of millions can’t survive and are driven to seek refuge. “Be grateful,” they preach to those in the richer parts of the world, that the worst of this isn’t happening to you, right now. They push you to hope—and even demand—that walls and armies, deserts and oceans will keep those desperate hundreds of millions from fucking up your life too much.

Listen: things do NOT have to be this way. A socialist society that supported revolution worldwide and that organized society’s resources to advance beyond exploitation and oppression of any kind, could develop an economy aiming to meet people’s basic needs and protect and revive the environment. Such a society would have a real basis to muster the energy, knowledge, and creativity of humanity to address this global crisis in a way that proceeds from the interests of all humanity.

Getting to that society—making revolution, and nothing less—would require sacrifice. But in the face of this crisis—and in the face of the tremendous suffering this system causes in every other sphere—is that not a sacrifice worth making?

 

Sources:

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa—Part of the Middle East and North Africa may become uninhabitable due to climate change,” Max Planck Institute, May 2, 2016

How Climate Change is Behind the Surge of Migrants to Europe,” Time, September 7, 2015

Global Warming Cited as Wildfires Increase in Fragile Boreal Forest,” New York Times, May 11, 2016

Study: Over 90% of Great Barrier Reef suffering from coral bleaching,” CNN, April 20, 2016

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/no-fbi-director-comey-no-viral-video-effect-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

No, FBI Director Comey, There Is No "Viral Video Effect"—There IS a Viral Epidemic of Murder by Police!

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Police chase down Walter Scott and murder him.
Police chase and execution of Walter Scott.

On May 11, FBI head James Comey complained in front of reporters—not for the first time—that the videos people take of police murder and brutality are affecting the way cops do their “job” by making them “less aggressive.” He called this the “viral video effect” and, based on no actual evidence, linked this to what he claimed was a spike in crime in a number of cities.

When the top pig official of the land complains that filming what cops do keeps them from what they need to do—then you have to ask: what the fuck IS their “job”?!

The answer can be seen through a piece of news the very same day that Comey made his remark. Michael Slager, the Charleston, South Carolina, cop who murdered Walter Scott in April 2015, was indicted for federal civil rights violations. He also faces state murder charges. Slager stopped Scott, an unarmed Black man, for an alleged broken brake light. Slager’s lie that he only fired his gun when attacked by Scott was blasted out of the water when a witness’s video surfaced, showing the truth of what happened. As Scott ran from his car, Slager shot at him eight times, hitting him five times in the back—killing him execution style.

This is one of the very, very rare cases when a cop ever gets charged for murder. A study by Washington Post and Bowling Green University last year showed: “Among the thousands of fatal shootings at the hands of police since 2005, only 54 officers have been charged ... most were cleared or acquitted...” And there’s been only half a dozen cases ever where cops have faced federal civil rights charges after a shooting.

In Walter Scott’s case, it was only because of the video, and the upsurge in protests across the U.S. against police terror, that state and federal authorities were forced to bring charges. But the murdering cop is still out on bail, and he’s yet to be convicted and given a serious sentence. Let’s also not forget that a police crime caught on video is no guarantee of justice. Look at the New York City cops who choked unarmed Eric Garner to death and even mugged for the camera—no charges. Or the Cleveland cops who blew away 12-year-old Tamir Rice, playing with a toy gun—no charges.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

And let’s not forget that there have been many murders by police since Walter Scott. There is no “viral video effect” that is staying the hands of the murdering cops. What IS true is that the epidemic of police terror and brutality rages on.

In this system we live under, the job of the police has always been to hammer the masses of people into “their place” in America. With this country’s whole stinking “tradition” of white supremacy, this has been directed with particular viciousness at Black people and people of other oppressed nationalities. Today, when this system has absolutely no future for those on the bottom of society, the reign of police terror comes down extremely hard on youth in the inner cities.

The upsurge in mass protests against police murder and brutality in the past two years has challenged all this. And the pigs are squealing back—as reflected in Comey’s complaint, Donald Trump’s fascist rantings, and in other ways.

We need a whole new system—with new relations between people, and security forces that reflect those relations and values, as part of emancipating all of humanity. There is a serious plan for such a new system, and a serious way to build—and intensify—the struggles against this police murder to be part of making the revolution that would bring that new system into being.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/reality-check-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

Reality Check: Guess What... There Is No Illuminati

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Tweet this!

 

Theories about the so-called “Illuminati” are made up and just plain wrong. First off, the world is way more complex than that. It’s a system, not a small group of people who can somehow predict and manipulate everything.

And the people who really run this system? The capitalist-imperialists? They are a lot more vicious... and in a lot more trouble... than those phony theories even dream of.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/bourgeois-mouthpieces-no-evidence-no-problem-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

Bourgeois Mouthpieces: No Evidence? No Problem.

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For those who uphold the crimes and interests of this PIG SYSTEM, truth and evidence go straight in the trash can. Two cases in point:

1. Chief Pig, James Comey, Director of the FBI, says there is a “viral video effect” going on—with cops wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video. He says this “could well be at the heart” of a spike in violent crime in some cities and that this is leading to less aggressive policing. Comey says he came to this conclusion after speaking with a number of police officials. But he also says he can offer no statistical proof for this. He claims “anecdotal evidence”—which is along the lines of “my cousin bought a bucket of chicken at Colonel Sanders and found a fried rat.” Yet Comey’s argument and whining about any kind of restraints being put on the police being able to do their job of murdering and brutalizing the people made headlines in newspapers all over the country and set the terms of debate for everyone. (We’ll leave aside here the point that this is like the defender of a serial killer complaining that people are making videos of the killer and making it harder for him to kill!)

A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What is New in the New Synthesis? An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA; Understanding the World, And Changing It For the Better, In the Interests of Humanity Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

2. Judith Shapiro, former president of Barnard College and currently on the faculty at American University in Washington, DC, recently reviewed Frank Dikotter’s new book, The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976 (New York Times Book Review, May 6) The first 1,000+ words of Shapiro’s review of this latest attack on the Cultural Revolution in China is a thumbs up, and she provides the readers with a preview of how the book paints a “damning portrait” of Mao; how Dikotter chronicles murders, beatings, torture, hunger, suicide, and economic disaster that are all attributed to the Cultural Revolution.

Then, after all this, in one paragraph Shapiro admits that what’s in Dikotter’s book is most likely from unreliable, disparate sources; from memoirs where “pain and the desire for revenge” are “by their very nature subjective and selective.” And she says attributions are not only sparse but there are “questionable sources” and “it is difficult to evaluate the significance of the statistics about casualties.” And then, after having said that, she says that the book “is a significant event in our understanding of modern China.” WTF!! In other words: “There is NO EVIDENCE for Dikotter’s attacks on the Cultural Revolution. In fact, his book is unsubstantiated BULLSHIT, but it comports with my prejudices so I’m going to praise it.”

*****

Comey, Shapiro, and other defenders and mouthpieces of this system should take this methodology of “Who needs evidence? Who needs facts?” and shove it.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/we-need-culture-of-revolt-against-this-revolting-culture-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

"We Need a Culture of Revolt Against This Revolting Culture!"

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a Revolution Club member in NYC

Look, we need a radically different kind of world, one where the culture actually lifts us up, challenges us, inspires us, enriches our hearts and minds, and fosters a whole different kind of morality, where human beings treat each other with mutual respect. Radically different from what exists today, in the main at least, with so much revolting shit: all this degradation and straight-up dehumanization of women in music and the ever more vicious pornography; all this “get mine” and “get money” bullshit mixed together with this American chauvinism... all of this resting on a foundation of the blood and bones of exploited and oppressed people of the world.

On the night of May 6, 2016, the NYC Revolution Club hosted an open mic night entitled “Future People Open Mic” with the theme of “Rebellion.” We built for it with the poem on this page. This open mic was part of fighting for that radically different ethos, or as Bob Avakian has put it, “a culture of radical opposition,” as a necessary part of building a movement for revolution. Without a real liberating culture, drawing from real-world experience, while at the same time inspiring people to imagine a world beyond what is, we will never make a revolution, and get to a communist world without all forms of exploitation and oppression. At the same time, we need to give space to people who do not necessarily agree with the need for revolution and communism, but want to contribute their artistic expressions to the movement, and work together with revolutionaries, and others, who do want a different kind of world.

The night itself put forward a vision of “future people” in an important and beginning way, really representing what is out there in society, with the youth especially, but at the same time pointing to a whole other way. A young Black student performed a poem rejecting all the ways men are trained in this society to “be a man.” A young woman, who mobilized her church congregation for Rise Up October, performed a song/poem about her own process of learning to love herself, becoming a critical thinker, and rejecting the ways women are taught to hate themselves. Two high school youths performed poems combining love with scientific terminology, which was so sweet and clever! An ex-prisoner, who spent more than half of his life in prison and came out a revolutionary, shared some personal experience and read a poem which reflected his thirst for knowledge of past revolutions, and his deep appreciation for Bob Avakian. A Revolution Club member performed an original piece called “Ahmed Muhammad,” about the youth who was arrested for building a clock. Overall, the theme of “Rebellion” was expressed in many thoughtful and diverse ways throughout the evening.


Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the Revolution Club  here

Join the REVOLUTION CLUB!

The night ended with another Revolution Club member reading two quotes by Bob Avakian on art and culture from BAsics (which appear on this page). One of the quotes gave a vision of the kind of liberating culture we could have in a revolutionary society, in contrast to today’s putrid one; and the other quote more emphasized the need to build today a culture of revolt and get it way out there in society, as part of building a movement for revolution. The club member challenged people to get more into this, to get with the Revolution Club, to be those “Future People” starting today.

The whole open mic experience, with people coming together on the basis of opposing this putrid culture and opening up, mixing it up, and embracing each other’s differences while getting exposed to a whole revolutionary outlook, marked a very important beginning. We need more!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/438/textbook-definition-what-is-a-pig-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

Textbook Definition: What Is a Pig?...

Updated August 1, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Scroll down for earlier entries.

July 20, 2016. Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist was bringing back a young autistic man who had wandered away from his group home. Cops arrive, point their guns at Kinsey and order him to lie on his back with his hands up. Kinsey complies. The autistic man is sitting next to him and Kinsey shouts, “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home,” and, “There is no need for firearms.” The pigs shoot Kinsey—who is still on his back and hands in the air—in the leg, then rush over and handcuff both Kinsey and the young autistic man. What kind of sick, depraved racist shoots a Black man who lies down on his back, puts his hands up in the air and makes it very clear that he is a professional, caring for an autistic young man?

July 28, 2016. 18-year-old Paul O’Neal is shot in the back by Chicago cops after he drives away from a traffic stop. Police admit no gun was found at the scene and that the shooting violates their own regulations—that prohibit officers from shooting at moving vehicles if no weapons are being used against police.

What kind of murderous group armed by the U.S. government stops Black people all the time for “routine traffic stops,” and then ends up killing them in cold blood, many times, shooting them in the back?


 

 


July 25, 2016. People were hanging out together in the Nickerson Gardens housing projects in Watts. LAPD came on the scene and people began to run away. The cops shot and killed 18-year-old Richard Risher who was unarmed and running away. Risher stumbled after he was shot, the police kept shooting, and then they came over and kicked and spit on Risher as he lay dying. After this, the police sealed off the entire neighborhood and forced whole families to stand out in the street while they went through their homes, supposedly searching for a “shooter.”

What kind of monsters with badges and guns—chase a young man who is unarmed, shoot at him, then when he falls down, keep shooting and then as he’s dying come over and kick and spit on him?

What kind? Here’s an excerpt of how the Black Panther Party once defined a pig:

What is a pig? A low natured beast that has no regard for law, justice, or the rights of people:..a foul, depraved traducer, usually found masquerading as the victim of an unprovoked attack.

...And What Should They Do?

Here’s what Bob Avakian said in 2002, responding to the murder by police of the unarmed and unconscious young woman Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California:

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

BAsics 2:16

 

 


Earlier entries:

June 2016. At least 14 Oakland cops are under investigation for having sex with an 18-year-old woman; three of them allegedly had sex with her when she was 17. The woman, the daughter of police dispatchers, says she had sex with the officers in exchange for money and protection. Some of the cops sent obscene, sexually explicit photos to the woman’s phone. Other police departments are also implicated: The woman says she got “referrals” from cops for other pigs from nearby cities as well as from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. There is evidence the Oakland police chief knew this was happening but looked the other way.

What kind of sick pack of animals use their position of force and power to prey on a young woman—passing her around and abusing her in what amounts to long-term serial gang rape?

Squeals and Oinks from NYPD Commissioner Bratton in New York City and the State Government of Louisiana:

On May 25, after yet another NYPD cop was caught on video brutalizing someone in Harlem and pointing his gun at and then punching and arresting the videographer(!), NYC head pig Bill Bratton said: "When you interfere with a police officer making a lawful arrest, you with your cameras attempt to really get into it ... then you are creating circumstances that are dangerous for the public and dangerous for the police officers.... This has become a very serious—I would almost describe it as an epidemic in this country."

What kind of depraved individual would preside over an institution whose members are repeatedly exposed brutalizing and murdering Black and Brown people with impunity and immunity and then say those who videotape this brutality and murder are the problem—and even the reason people get beaten and killed?

The Louisiana state government just passed and signed into law legislation that puts police on the list of those protected under state hate crime laws supposedly designed to protect victims of acts of conscious prejudice because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. Those who back the Louisiana law claim law enforcement nationwide is under attack.

Reality: The FBI documents 41 on-duty police were killed in 2015, one of the lowest numbers in decades. For the same year, the Guardian newspaper documented at least 1,000 people killed by police in the U.S. nationwide, nearly 100 unarmed. The police who commit these murders are routinely defended and even praised as heroes.

What kind of vile governing body presiding over what kind of sick system would unleash and defend racist murdering pigs, then make up a lie and pass legislation that claims the police are the victims?

Good riddance to rotten pork. Police Chief Greg Suhr, pictured above, was driven from office this week by mass outrage and struggle in San Francisco. Suhr had risen through porcine ranks by personally supervising the April 6, 1996 murder of Mark Garcia.

 

Racist vigilante George Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun he used to murder Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman says proceeds from the sale will be used to “fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers.” Last year Zimmerman tweeted “Cops lives matter, black slime doesnt [sic].”

What kind of sick motherfucker tries to sell the weapon he used to murder an unarmed young Black man, portrays the epidemic of police terror and murder against Black people as “violence against law enforcement officers,” openly dehumanizes Black people and brays that their lives do not matter?

Steve Loomis is the head of the Cleveland Police Union. He represented the cops who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice for playing with a toy gun—in a playground. Now he’s demanding Tamir’s family use money from their wrongful death lawsuit settlement to “educate” youth about how to play with toy guns.

What kind of a heartless motherfucker has the gall to back child murderers, blame the totally innocent child for his own death, and then demand his heartbroken parents pay up or be blamed when police murder other kids with toy guns?

 

 

Tom Angel, the No. 2 cop in Burbank, California, and then the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s chief of staff, was hired to reform departments riddled with police brutality, racism, and sexual harassment. All that time he was emailing racist, degrading “jokes” mocking Black people, Latinos, Muslims, women, and homeless people: “I took my Biology exam last Friday, I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently ‘Blacks’ and ‘Mexicans’ were NOT the correct answers.”

What kind of sick, depraved animal pretends to be cleaning out racism and sexism but all the while spreading vile racist, chauvinist, sexist contempt for the people, unleashing his minions to wreck mayhem on those his department claims to “serve and protect”?

San Francisco cops Jason Lai, Curtis Liu, and Keith Ybarreta sent racist texts calling people of color “barbarians,” “cockroaches,” and “a pack of wild animals on the loose,” and containing dehumanizing anti-woman and anti-gay insults. A few: “I hate that beaner, but I think that nig is worse.” “Indian people are disgusting.” “Burn down walgreens and kill the bums.”

What kind of vile scumbags heap contempt and abuse—even wish for death—on those over whom they hold the power of life and death?

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/438/judge-rules-stealing-food-not-crime-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

Department of "Man Bites Dog"

Why There Can Be No Right to Eat—Under Capitalism

May 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Hungry children line up to receive banana porridge in Peru, 2015. AP photoAbove: Hungry children line up to receive banana porridge in Peru, 2015. Below: A girl holds a malnourished child outside a center that works with malnourished children in Mumbai, India (2012). Forty-two percent of children in India younger than 5 are underweight and nearly 60 percent are stunted. One-third of the world’s malnourished children younger than 3 lives in India. AP photos

A girl holds a malnourished child outside a center that works with malnourished children in Mumbai, India (2012).

In February, a homeless man in Rome, Italy, was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $114 for shoplifting $4.70 worth of cheese and sausage. Italy’s highest court of appeals then threw out the conviction, saying that stealing small amounts of food in the face of the essential need for nourishment does not constitute a crime.

It’s been said that “it ain’t news if a dog bites a man. But if a man bites a dog, it’s BIG news” because it’s SO unusual. This story hit headlines in countries all over the world and became a “man bites dog” story exactly because it is extremely RARE that a court says it should NOT be a crime when a poor person takes something necessary for survival. MOST OF THE TIME, hungry people who steal food are arrested, convicted and go to jail.

In the U.S., people get locked up all the time for stealing food. In 1995, under the “3 strikes” sentencing laws, 27-year-old Jerry Dewayne Williams in Los Angeles was given 25 years to life for stealing a slice of pizza. In 2013, a jury in Waco, Texas, took two minutes to convict 43-year-old Willie Smith Ward for stealing a rack of ribs and gave him 50 years in prison—which means if he serves his whole sentence for the “crime” of stealing food, he will get out when he’s 93 years old. Last year, Raynette Turner, a mother of eight, died in a Mount Vernon, New York, jail cell after being arrested for allegedly shoplifting crab legs from a grocery store. Think for a minute about those “crimes” and those “sentences” and how this is multiplied over and over and over. The court’s decision in Italy really IS the exception that proves the rule, the one-in-a-million. And let us note that the articles about this case made the point that the court’s decision was not binding and did not set a precedent.

But there’s a deeper lesson here, on why this is such a glaring exception. Bob Avakian has pointed out:

One example that I’ve cited before...is the question of the “right to eat.” Or why, in reality, under this system, there is not a “right to eat.” Now, people can proclaim the “right to eat,” but there is no such right with the workings of this system. You cannot actually implement that as a right, given the dynamics of capitalism and the way in which, as we’ve seen illustrated very dramatically of late, it creates unemployment. It creates and maintains massive impoverishment. (To a certain extent, even while there is significant poverty in the imperialist countries, that is to some degree offset and masked by the extent of parasitism there; imperialism “feeds off” the extreme exploitation of people in the Third World in particular, and some of the “spoils” from this “filter down” in significant ways to the middle strata especially. But, if you look at the world as a whole, capitalism creates and maintains tremendous impoverishment.)

BAsics

Get into BAsics, the handbook for the revolution.

Many, many people cannot find enough to eat and cannot eat in a way that enables them to be healthy—and in general they cannot maintain conditions that enable them to be healthy. So even right down to something as basic as “the right to eat”—people don’t have that right under capitalism.  If you were to declare it as a right, and people were to act on this and simply started going to where the food is sold as commodities and declaring “we have a more fundamental right than your right to distribute things as commodities and to accumulate capital—we have a right to eat”—and if they started taking the food, well then we know what would happen, and what has happened whenever people do this: “looters, shoot them down in the street.”
BAsics 1:20

Enough food is actually produced in the world to feed everyone. But some 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, with children dying most often. In 2013, there were 161 million children under five years old whose growth had been stunted because of malnutrition. In the past two years, 795 million people, or one out of every nine people who live on this planet, suffered from chronic undernourishment.

So just imagine if hungry people took the words from this Italian court seriously. What if lots of people just went out one night to the supermarket and took what they needed so their kids could get one healthy meal? What if they didn’t do it for just one night, but for a whole month? What would happen to those stores? And what would happen if this were done not just in one city, but all over the world?

Well, to finish this thought experiment we have to look at how food ends up in the stores to begin with. As Bob Avakian has discussed, in order for something to get produced under capitalism, even for social needs like food, clothing, and shelter there has to be a “preliminary transformation into capital.” So let’s look at what this means. There has to be an investment of money in a way that turns that investment into capital. So for example, if a particular capitalist wants to make bread to sell, he’s got to take money, (perhaps with a loan from a bank) and invest this in the raw materials that go into the bread, like flour, sugar, oil, etc. He’s got to invest in the factory building, the ovens, the packaging materials, the trucks for transportation. And most importantly, if he doesn’t do this all himself, he has to hire workers—he has to invest in the purchase, the control, and the use of labor power (of people whose work adds value to all this). The capitalist is not primarily motivated by feeding the hungry, but by the objective need to make a profit and accumulate more capital. He has to stay afloat, while at the same time competing with many other capitalists also making bread and trying to accumulate more profit by gaining a bigger share of the market. These are the driving dynamics of this system, to which the capitalists themselves are subject.

So what happens if instead of the bread getting sold, hungry people “exercise” a “right to eat” and just take it? The capitalist won’t make a profit and possibly won’t even recoup the initial investment he put in to make the bread. And if this keeps happening, he won’t be able to pay back loans to the bank, he won’t have funds for further investment to produce more bread, he won’t be able to pay his rent or his workers. He will go out of business. And if hungry people go into stores and take bread and other food without paying for it, not just one day and not just in one city or country, then supermarkets will go out of business, producers of food will go out of business, and a very basic part of the capitalist economy (the production of food) will start falling apart, drastically affecting the whole capitalist system.

There is already enough food being produced to provide everyone on the planet with a healthy diet. The only reason people are going hungry and dying of starvation is because of this capitalist mode of production.

In contrast, a socialist society has a radically different economy, free of the constraints of having to produce everything through the preliminary transformation into capital. With this, it aims primarily to meet the social needs of all the people, in line with and as part of getting rid of all relations of exploitation and emancipating all of humanity. This does not mean that there would not be a need to figure out how to do this in a way that did not plunder the planet and to substantially remake how agriculture is done in order to feed everyone. Nor does it mean that care would not have to be taken to figure out adjustments in other parts of the economy, so that people could really HAVE this right—so that the necessities of life would be available to all. But it could be done—and all this has not just been outlined but gone into in some depth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

So think again of those 21,000 people who will die today of hunger or hunger-related causes. Think again of how most of these are children. Think again of 161 million children whose growth will be stunted from malnutrition—picture just one of them as she goes to bed hungry tonight. Then think about how the only thing making that happen is this system and how this could be eradicated through communist revolution.

What are you gonna do?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/439/awtwns-colombia-peace-accords-en.html

Revolution #439 May 16, 2016

From A World to Win News Service

Colombia: The peace accords will bring about the changes the country needs—so that nothing changes

May 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

May 9, 2016. A World to Win News Service. The following text, dated May 1, 2016, was posted on Aurora Comunista (acgcr.org), the Website of the Revolutionary Communist Group (GCR) of Colombia. We have added explanations in brackets. The parentheses are from the original.

By way of background: Civil war has raged in the countryside of Colombia repeatedly during the last centuries and almost without interruption for the last seven decades.

The years 1948-58 saw rural warfare between the Conservative and Liberal parties in which many thousands of peasants and rural labourers died. After a pact between these two parties brought an end to that war, government forces soon launched assaults on rural areas that had become strongholds of the Communist Party. In 1964, that party formed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which at one time controlled or contested much of the country. The current round of peace negotiations between the government and the FARC began in Oslo in 2012 and is continuing in Cuba. Although the negotiators missed their self-imposed March 2016 deadline, both sides say they are in the final phase of reaching a comprehensive agreement. The National Liberation Army (ELN), a guerrilla organization formed in 1967, began separate public negotiations with the government in March.

The Colombian state and the FARC guerrilla army, which announced they were entering peace talks in late 2012, are about to reach a final agreement. Despite the tug of war of the last few days, the peace talks with the ELN, announced a few weeks ago, will reach the same end point before too long.

THE NEW SYNTHESIS OF COMMUNISM: FUNDAMENTAL ORIENTATION, METHOD AND APPROACH, AND CORE ELEMENTS

by Bob Avakian, Chairman,
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Summer 2015

Read more

The fact that the accords have reached this juncture has begun to calm the contradictions among the ruling classes (and their political and literary representatives) regarding whether or not to bring about a negotiated end to the “conflict” (which sometimes seems to be the well-known “good cop/bad cop” game). But on the other hand questions are continuing to grow among the masses of people, not only about the peace negotiations but also about the struggle FARC and the ELN have been waging for half a century. In order to clear up some very widespread confusion about basic issues, the following points have to be made:

***

• Humanity’s suffering is the result of the imperialist capitalist system that integrates billions of people into production networks (networks of exploitation, actually) that are highly coordinated on the world level. All the wealth is accumulated by a handful of people in a handful of countries, without planning to satisfy the needs of humanity and consideration of the environmental impact. Each bloc of capital is compelled to concentrate greater riches, to expand or die, in competition with other blocs of capital, not only in clashes between corporations and big business but also rivalries between imperialist countries that reach the point of war.

A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What is New in the New Synthesis? An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA; Understanding the World, And Changing It For the Better, In the Interests of Humanity Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

• Imperialism is not just a set of policies. It does not just mean the extraction of wealth by means of unfair trade or the open looting of third world countries; although it does mean that, too. It is a system in which monopolies and financial institutions control the economy and political structures in their home country, such as the US, and the whole world. The economies and lives of the people in the countries oppressed by imperialism, which are actually semi- or neo-colonies, like Colombia, are subordinated to the accumulation of capital based in the imperialist countries.

• Imperialism is not just “external” to the semi- (or neo-) colonial countries, nor are the multinational companies. Even where capitalist relations have been widely introduced in the oppressed countries, they are not on the road to independent capitalist development and their economies are increasingly disarticulated and distorted, while at the same time sectors of these economies are increasingly articulated to the imperialist system. Thus the development of capitalism in the oppressed countries means the development of imperialist capital.

• National agricultural systems have been transformed into globalized components of transnational production and marketing networks. Agriculture is increasingly losing its “fundamental” role in many third world economies. Imperialism has led in the conversion of land previously used to produce food into land used to produce ethanol and other forms of agriculturally-based fuels, which exacerbates these tendencies even further.

by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Part 1: REVOLUTION AND THE STATE

Part 2: BUILDING THE MOVEMENT FOR REVOLUTION

• Among other kinds of distortions produced by this kind of development, it expropriates a large part of the peasantry and other traditional classes without being able to profitably employ them. The result is an enormous “marginal” urban population that finds itself underemployed or permanently unemployed, and an enormous waste of labouring people in the countryside. Colombia, for example, imports more than ten million tonnes of food per year.

• Under the logic of this profit-driven system, it is “normal” that while the world produces enough food to feed one and a half times its present population, hunger stalks more than a billion of the planet’s seven billion people. This happens in what we are told is the best of all possible worlds!

***

Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage

Available in English, Spanish, Farsi, Turkish, German, Portuguese, Arabic (draft)

• The elites of these countries use violence by the military, police and/or paramilitaries to clear the ground for big agro-industrial projects, and mining, energy and infrastructural schemes.

Colombia has more internally displaced people than any other country except Syria, about six million. Millions more have emigrated to neighbouring countries, as well as North America and Europe.

• Colombia is distinguished as a country of regions that have revolved around four big cities. The urban elites delegate the specific functioning of the rural and peripheral areas to local elites through a mutually beneficial, reciprocal system: the local elites get to rule as they like and have representation in Congress in return for guaranteeing their political support and acceptance without in any way really defying the overall rules of the game established by the elites in the capital or nationally. A combination of strong centralism in essence and a “decentralization” in management of the territories. This explains the existence of regional chiefdoms.

• Today’s state, despite its democratic rhetoric and electoral prancing, is basically a dictatorship of the ruling classes (local and foreign big companies and landlords), as proved by tens of thousands of cases of political repression, forced disappearance and the rape and murder of innocent people perpetrated by the armed forces and police no matter which political party is in power.

• The state is extremely corrupt, working hand in glove with organized crime and servile toward imperialism, particularly US imperialism. But this is not essentially due to the character of the individuals in power. Rather, the state as such serves and must serve to defend and reproduce the relations of exploitation and oppression of the vast majority of people by a tiny minority. It serves to defend and reproduce the current system that is principally capitalist (intertwined with elements of semi-feudalism) and subordinated to imperialism. No change in the persons or parties in the existing state is going to change its basically repressive character. This is the state that FARC wants to be part of.

***

• The peasant resistance that gave rise to FARC a half century ago was just. It is more than right to rebel against the injustices of this system. And it is normal that this rebellion reach the level of armed struggle. But that’s not enough.

• FARC was born “resisting the oligarchical violence that political crime systematically uses to liquidate the democratic and revolutionary opposition, and as a peasant and people’s response to the aggression of the feudal and other landowners that drenched the fields of Colombia in blood as they stole the lands of peasants and settlers.” ([FARC commander Alfonso] Cano, quoted by [FARC negotiations team head] Ivan Marquez in October 2012 in Oslo). Thus, since the beginning FARC did not seek to get to the root of the problem.

• What the FARC has sought is more like “capitalism with a human face”, a more equitable distribution of wealth and the “perfection” of democracy. In Marquez’s words, what they seek is “a peace that brings about a profound demilitarization of the state and radical socio-economic reforms based on true democracy, justice and freedom... Let us hold high the banners of change and social justice”, “expose the criminality of finance capital, indicting neoliberalism [free market economics]”, and achieve “the efficacious and transparent agrarian reform for which the armed people have been struggling for years” (October 2012). Thus FARC’s target has not been capitalism, semi-feudalism and imperialism, but “unfettered capitalism”, “the neo-liberal model”, “Imperial interference”, inequity, etc.

• FARC’s ambitions in regard to the land question are even lower than those of [Liberal Party president Alfonso] López Pumarejo during the 1930s and [Liberal Party president Carlos] Lleras Restrepo in the 1960s, and even the proposals of the early 1950s World Bank mission whose architect was Lauchlin Currie [former economics advisor to US president Franklin Roosevelt].

• What FARC has sought is to “create a socialism that is not like those that have failed or are barely surviving, (but) one in which all Colombians have a place... as well as entrepreneurs and foreign capital, like the Scandinavian systems, in Norway and Sweden, where relations between the state, owners and workers are very good, with high living standards and social benefits... What we want is a more just and egalitarian society... where big employers make money but also contribute to social development.” (Raul Reyes, interview in Clarin, October 1999). This so-called Nordic “socialism” has a name: imperialist capitalism. The “contributions to social development” made by “big employers” come from the exploitation of children, women and men of third-world countries.

***

• The world has changed enormously over the last half century and these changes have had an effect on FARC, although not decisively.

• The fall of the Soviet social-imperialist bloc in 1989-91 made it possible, under the leadership of Yankee imperialism itself, for pro-Soviet guerrillas to fulfil their political programme by non-armed means. Central America provided a “successful” case of this. Nevertheless, the Colombian ruling classes and imperialism aborted the peace process of that period. FARC continued its armed struggle while holding on to the hope of finding a negotiated solution and becoming part of the system when more favourable conditions arose.

• Colombia went from having an economy based on the export of coffee to one based on dollars from oil sales, and, to no small degree, drug trafficking. Today it is a predominantly urban country. Capitalism has thoroughly penetrated the countryside and cities.

• Over the last few decades the Colombian armed forces have been built up enormously. The paramilitary groups have become more powerful and integrated into the system on a national level to clear the way for increased imperialist penetration.

• These and other changes in the country and the world do not make a real revolution less necessary, less possible or less desirable. They make it even more urgent.

***

• To take on the repressive forces of the Establishment requires courage and sacrifice, but that does not define the correctness or incorrectness of anyone’s ideological and political line. Many people give primary emphasis to the sacrifice and devotion to the cause of those who put their life on the line in armed struggle, even if their aims are narrow. But sacrifices, no matter how great, and intentions, as good as they may be, are not enough to get to a truly new country and world. We can’t fall for the false alternatives offered by the country’s current polarization, which would have us believe that anyone who does not agree with the line of the traditional guerrilla forces is part of the system (or echoing the reactionaries).

• The choice of means to achieve political power is not what defines the character of a struggle or organization. It must be made clear that radical ends require radical means, including revolutionary violence, but what’s decisive is: for whom and for what?

• It has to be clearly and frankly stated: FARC (like the ELN) does not and has not represented revolution. They have not represented the struggle for radical transformation, the struggle for real socialism as a society in transition to what was well defined by Marx (and popularized in Mao’s China) as “the four alls”: the abolition of all class distinctions, all the production relations on which they rest, all the social relations that correspond to those relations of production and the revolutionization of all the ideas that correspond to those social relations.

• The peace negotiations process has served and will serve to (further) legitimate the current system and reformism, and to de-legitimate the choice of revolution in the eyes of the people, a delegitimization taken to an unprecedented level by the reactionary offensive after the fall of the Soviet Union and its fake socialism. But it is also an important occasion for many more people to be able to compare and contrast all the aspects of the revolution we need with the true objectives of the forces that have sought to reform the system by radical (armed) means and those trying to do the same thing within the legality of the current system. None of them have truly radical aims.

***

• Yes, many changes will be launched. But the changes due to the peace agreements are changes whose purpose is to allow the system to continue functioning as always. The same thing would happen if FARC or the ELN were to come to power. Different changes, a different kind of changes, are needed, to move toward a repolarization of society, developing a truly revolutionary pole.

What is the change we really need? Actually, what we need is a revolution, but a real revolution. Sooner or later, everyone who is serious about stopping the outrages perpetrated by imperialist capitalism will have to break with this system’s institutions, representatives and way of thinking, and get organized to really do that. The important thing is that a solution to the problem DOES exist, and people have to engage with it and get into it. A better world IS possible. And FARC and the ELN are part of the problem standing in the way of our reaching this better world. They are NOT part of the solution.

For those people who long for a completely different world without the madness and horrors this system brings every day, those who have dared to hope that such a world could be possible, and even those who would like to see this happen but until now have ended up accepting the idea that it could never happen: there is a place for you, there is a role to play, and it’s necessary that thousands, and, over time, millions of people contribute to building a movement for revolution, in many different ways—with your ideas and practical participation, with your help and your questions and criticisms.

To stop being victims of deception and self-deception, everyone—workers in the countryside and cities, youth in the shantytowns, women, indigenous people, African-Colombians, environmentalists—has to take up the scientific method and approach that allows a much better understanding than before of the workings of this system and how to get free of it, and more systematically apply this method and approach to reality in general and the revolutionary struggle in particular. Nothing gives life greater meaning than setting our sights on a goal that is both the greatest challenge and enormously inspiring and liberating, as well as necessary and possible: the emancipation of humanity through revolution and moving toward a communist world, a world free of exploitation and oppression.

What’s needed is Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism!

What’s needed is a real revolution—nothing less!