Revolution #483, March 20, 2017 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

What's Behind the Russia-Trump Furor...And Where Do the People's Interests Lie?

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America
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What’s behind the escalating furor—in the government, the media and society—over the possible connections between Donald Trump and his close advisers and Russia—before, during and after the election? And where do the people’s interests lie?

What’s going on?

Russia has been accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential elections, including by facilitating the release of embarrassing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, and thereby affecting the outcome. This could be true. It may also be the case that key people in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in doing this, which would be even heavier and more politically explosive. Further (and heavier still), it may be the case that the Russians have compromising information about Trump (as one widely reported “dossier” claimed) that could give them leverage in their dealings with him.

Even if none of the charges of Russian interference or Trump collaboration prove to be true, there do seem to be sharp differences in the ruling class over Trump’s attitude and posture toward Russia, which touch on or concentrate differences over the shape of U.S. global strategy—including toward its alliances, and toward Europe, China, and the Middle East (and, more broadly, the Muslim-majority countries).

OK, but what attitude should people—especially those millions who hate Trump and what he represents—take toward this Russia-Trump furor?

First, we have to understand that these are conflicts among the rulers over how to advance their imperialist interests and maintain their system atop a world of exploitation and oppression—NOT over what’s best for humanity!

There is nothing on either side of this battle within the ruling class over Trump’s Russia connections and policies that represents, in any way, to any degree, the interests of humanity.

       

For the seven billion people on earth, what’s been the fruit of the U.S.-dominated world order that came out of the defeat of Germany and Japan in World War 2? The set of U.S. led-alliances that emerged enabled and enforced an era of unprecedented inhuman exploitation, from the mines of South Africa to the sweatshops of Asia to the plantations of Latin America, enforced with death squads and invasions.

What about the strengthening of U.S. imperialism after the fall of Soviet Union in the 1990s? This led to a whole other level of global exploitation, human degradation, unending war, and environmental destruction.

And what would be the fruit for those seven billion of a new Trump-Pence order?

On the other hand, we should recognize that conflicts over these reactionary interests could feed into or even spark a crisis in the ruling class, which they could have great trouble resolving. Such a crisis could interact with the struggle of millions from below to feed into a possible removal of the Trump/Pence regime by other forces in the ruling class.

But unless the struggle of the millions from below is overall led from and based on the standpoint that the Trump/Pence regime must go in the interests of humanity, because it is fascist, then even if Trump is somehow removed, that wouldn’t solve the problem we face. In fact, we could be even worse off than before—ending up with an essentially fascist regime with a different foreign policy through which the rulers pursue their imperialist interests.

However, if such conflicts at the top sharpen at a time when millions ARE in the streets demanding the removal of the regime because it is fascist, then there would be a heightened chance of real success.

This does not mean that people who see the need to drive out the Trump/Pence regime, or those outraged by the direction this regime is taking at breakneck speed, should sit around and wait for such conflicts within the ruling class to ripen. It is not necessary that such conflicts sharpen up first for it to be possible to drive the regime out. It may be the case that struggle coming from the mass of society, which demands the removal of the Trump/Pence regime because of its fascist character, powerfully develops first. Then this, in connection with conflicts among the rulers over how the Trump/Pence regime dealt with such an upheaval, along with differences over foreign policy, could compel forces in the ruling class to decide their interests required the ousting of the Trump/Pence regime (even while they maneuver within that, coming from their own interests).

In navigating through this volatile territory, it is essential to remain grounded in, and to find ways to bring to people, the basic reality: the need to drive out the Trump/Pence regime because it is fascist and a grave danger to all humanity.

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

The Middlebury Controversy: Points of Orientation

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Middlebury College students turn their backs on Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, during his lecture in Middlebury, Vermont, March 2.
Middlebury College students turn their backs on Charles Murray during his lecture in Middlebury, Vermont, March 2. His book, The Bell Curve, not only justified a whole history of vicious racist persecution of whole peoples, it very directly served a present-day program of demonization, criminalization, and incarceration of those peoples coupled with a gutting of any programs designed to overcome some of the effects of that historical and ongoing oppression and the imposing of severe cutbacks in the institutions of education, health care, etc. that served those peoples. (Photo: AP)

On March 2, students at Middlebury College in Vermont disrupted and shut down a speech by Charles Murray. A Middlebury College student group, the American Enterprise Institute Club, invited Murray to speak on Campus. Murray co-wrote The Bell Curve, a very influential book in the mid-1990’s that argued that Black, Latino, and Native American people are innately inferior in intelligence. This book utilized racist pseudo-science to make its arguments—“science” that had long since been refuted over and over again and which was refuted yet again when this book came out and was made “the flavor of the month” in U.S. intellectual life.1 In addition to being utterly wrong and absolutely spurious, these ideas had a long and ugly history, especially but not only in the U.S.—works essentially like Murray’s had been used to justify slavery, the restriction of immigration (even of European immigration during a period when it served the ruling class in this country to classify southern Europeans and Jews as inferior “races”), and the sterilization of people who did not do well on IQ tests.2

Yet this did not prevent the book from getting a huge amount of promotion in the media and academia. Indeed, the specious racism that under-girded and suffused the entire book was actually WHY it got that promotion. The Bell Curve not only justified a whole history of vicious racist persecution of whole peoples, it very directly served a present-day program of demonization, criminalization, and incarceration of those peoples coupled with a gutting of any programs designed to overcome some of the effects of that historical and ongoing oppression and the imposing of severe cutbacks in the institutions of education, health care, etc. that served those peoples.

Since the shutdown, there has been a great controversy and a lot of criticism—directed not at Murray, or toward the college group which brought him there and gave him a platform, but against the students themselves. And there has been a lot of unclarity among progressive and even radical people in the face of all this. So it’s important here to clearly demarcate right and wrong.

1) It is absolutely correct to protest, shut down, and attempt to drive off campus someone like Charles Murray, who is infamous for The Bell Curve. The Middlebury students who shut him down are now in the midst of great controversy for their righteous actions and are being sharply criticized. They should be upheld and defended!

This is NOT a First Amendment issue. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution actually states the following:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

These students did not make a law prohibiting Murray from speaking. They did not try to imprison him. The students have no state power. There is no need to “protect” a reactionary like Murray from the students’ free exercise of their right to protest and reject his spreading and legitimizing concretely harmful reactionary ideas.

But the students, who have no real power and no backing from powerful institutions, do need to be defended and protected against reprisals, and this is very important now.

2) Those who argue against the students say that students, and everyone else in society, must have the chance to learn and evaluate all sorts of concepts and positions through the free contestation of opposing ideas, by “comparing and contrasting,” and including through having the chance to hear a wide variety of opposing viewpoints put forward by their most articulate and ardent advocates. On that basis, they argue, wouldn’t it have been better to “hear out” someone like Murray and then engage and critique him rather than summarily roust him?

This point, most famously made by John Stuart Mill, is indeed very important as a matter of principle, but it cannot be treated or applied as an “absolute” that is paramount in all situations and circumstances. Most especially, this principle is critically important for the dissemination and critical evaluation of poorly known and/or unpopular ideas in general, and especially if these are ideas which the dominant forces and relations of society (including the ruling state apparatus) do not favor, and actively work to discredit, contain or actively suppress.

Many examples of these distinctions could be given. Do climate-change deniers, Holocaust deniers, Nazis and KKKers, anti-abortionists, white supremacists, creationists and so on... do they really need to be provided additional platforms and extended respectful invitations to spread their views? Under prevailing norms in this society and under this system, they already enjoy plenty of platforms and material and ideological backing from powerful and influential forces and from the whole tradition of dominant ideas in the United States. Did Middlebury need to give Murray extra help to get his message out?

Someone like a Charles Murray is the furthest thing from someone who has to struggle to “even just get a hearing” for his ideas: his books are published and promoted by big mainstream publishers, he has entree into all sorts of academic and other institutions, and it is a fact that the ideas put forward in The Bell Curve were very widely disseminated—again, this book was part of, and used extensively as an ideological basis for, attacks by powerful ruling class forces (mainly grouped in and around the Republican Party) for vicious moves to cut social programs, cuts which had deadly, even genocidal implications—and the spurious arguments in this book have been extensively engaged and, yes, also critiqued and soundly refuted by many.

Bob Avakian wrote at the time of The Bell Curve that “One after another, all kinds of ‘theories’ and ‘studies’—claiming to show that there are innate and unchangeable differences between races and genders and other groupings in society which explain why some have and really should have a privileged and dominant position over others—are spread and legitimized throughout the mass media. This, it is claimed, provides the ‘scientific explanation’ for why programs that purport to overcome such inequalities are doomed to failure and must be gutted. What it actually provides further scientific proof of is the utter bankruptcy of a system and a ruling class that is abandoning even the pretense of overcoming profound inequalities and instead is inventing ‘profound reasons’ why they cannot be overcome. And in all this, while the ‘Liberals’ have a role to play, the initiative belongs to the ‘Conservatives.’” (from Preaching from a Pulpit of Bones—We Need Morality But Not Traditional Morality”)

Is this any less true today?

       

Debunking Murray’s societally harmful and very false unscientific claims (in The Bell Curve) might, for instance, be perfectly appropriate in the context of college classrooms or even a forum debunking white supremacist and eugenicist claims. But this is not what was going on at Middlebury, where, even if a professor and some students intended to challenge him on stage or in a Q&A, what was mainly going on was that this reactionary white supremacist promoter of genetic inferiority of oppressed nationalities was being invited as a welcome and respectable (even if controversial) guest speaker, and in this way being LEGITIMIZED.

Once more, his harmful reactionary ideas have been given lots of platforms and lots of official and unofficial “backing” for years. This is not at all the same thing as when a speaker with controversial or unpopular or poorly known ideas, or ideas that are opposed by the powers that be, has to fight an uphill battle just to be heard and engaged. This is not the same thing as when students from New Trier High School try to organize a forum on civil rights and it gets attacked by a group of reactionary parents who are espousing the kind of reactionary ideas that are currently being given lots of “backing” by the dominant power structures in society and demanding “equal time” for such ideas. In that New Trier situation, it is the students and teachers who are struggling to get a hearing and organize their program who need to be defended and protected so they can in fact proceed.

It would be a different situation if Charles Murray, in the years since its publication, had REPUDIATED all the viciously harmful and demonstrably false arguments he promoted in The Bell Curve. If he’d said “I was really off on all that. I was wrong and I regret it, and I’m doing all I can to undo the harm it created, but today I’d like to come talk about something else... this new book of mine on a different subject.” IF he had done that, that would be a different situation. But he has not. He has, in fact, 20 years later insisted that his findings are backed up by science. In “‘The Bell Curve’ 20 years later: A Q&A with Charles Murray” on the American Enterprise Institute website, Murray said of what he’d put out in The Bell Curve: “Those were our confidently stated conclusions about the black-white difference in IQ, and none of them was scientifically controversial.”

Three Strikes...

3) These ideas are not just “controversial ideas” in a vacuum. Exactly because these types of ideas have so much “backing” from the traditional and longstanding institutions of society, they very concretely serve to reinforce and encourage all sorts of very concretely harmful social policies. You cannot step over the reality that white supremacy and the notion of the supposed “not quite fully human” status or inherent turpitude or overall genetic inferiority of Black people especially (as well as non-whites more generally) has been a defining and characteristic marker of U.S. society and its ruling institutions throughout its ENTIRE history, starting with the days of slavery and continuing through the era of Jim Crow and all the way up through today in the era of the New Jim Crow and now the literal fascist regime which, on a daily basis and as part of a whole strategic program, is aggressively working to reassert and intensify the notion that “white, male, native-born and Christian” is, and must remain, the core of the American national identity and “greatness,” and that anyone who doesn’t readily fit into that category needs to be either seduced or coerced into accepting those terms, or alternatively face intensified degradation, dehumanization, and outright violence.

There is a direct line to be drawn between the false ideas in a book like The Bell Curve and the official backing given to the promotion of the idea that basic Black people and Mexicans are more inclined to be “thugs and criminals,” that they are more likely deserving of incarceration or deportation than education and employment, and of course that such things like affirmative action, after-school programs, Medicaid, and various other social safety net programs should just be slashed and eliminated, and so on. A DIRECT connection! And the more things go down that path, the easier it becomes for fascists to start to go down the Final Solution road. Again, there is already a whole history in this country of forced sterilizations of minorities and of the promotion of all sorts of eugenicist schemes, which in fact directly inspired the Hitler Nazis... and all this can lead right into a view that society would be better off by altogether exterminating such “defective and dangerous parasites.” THIS is what the vile pseudo-science of a Charles Murray feeds into ultimately (and in some ways not so ultimately).

So no, this is not just about the “free expression of ideas” disconnected from harmful societal consequences. And yes, it is therefore absolutely correct to not only protest the appearance of someone like a Charles Murray at Middlebury but to chase him right off campus!!

4) Further, it is quite wrong to think that the free contestation of opposing ideas and the ability for people to engage in critical thinking and “compare and contrast” can ONLY take place through orderly respectful engagement: In cases where, in the face of disproportionate power, influence and official backing of one side of the contestation (e.g., Murray backed by the university administration and ultimately dovetailing with the prevailing ideas of the dominant institutions of society), the other side (in this case the relatively powerless students) choose to roust rather than engage in a respectful and orderly way, this can actually lead to MORE and quite vigorous engagement with the contested ideas in the period following. In other words, isn’t it possible that when such a controversy erupts as what happened at Middlebury, that many people who weren’t even there or didn’t know a thing about Murray’s views would feel compelled to inform themselves and dig into the issues, including by comparing and contrasting, in order to better discuss and evaluate the relevant issues with friends, professors and so on? Of course they would! A correct protest can definitely fuel further engagement and contestation, and it is a myth that this just serves to “suppress” ideas!

5) On the argument that now more than ever we must listen to those who disagree with us: yes and no. There must be broad investigation, discussion, debate, and theorizing over the causes and character of the problems we face and the solution to those problems; this is a life-and-death matter, of great and even extraordinary urgency right now. But there can be no tolerance for ideas that have been proven over and over again to be utterly incorrect and, moreover, the tools of a virulent fascism bent on consolidating itself as you read this. (And we cannot ignore the reality that such ideas overall reinforce the vicious oppression of whole peoples that has been the foundation of this country for centuries up to the present.) We need in fact to sharply confront those caught up in such ideas, and what was done at Middlebury needs no apology whatsoever—let alone condemnation.


1. Some key refutations of Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve include Stephen Jay Gould in Mismeasure of Man, R.C. Lewontin in Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature and a collection essays in a book titled The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America by Steven Fraser.

It should also be noted that Charles Murray argued that women are inferior to men—that  men are better at abstract thinking than women. In an essay written in 2005 titled “The Inequality Taboo,” he said: "No woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world's great philosophical traditions.” [back]

2. Study after study have shown the IQ test to be unable to test a non-quantifiable, multifaceted, and non-static quality of “native intelligence” (a category itself which is meaningless) and culturally biased. The only thing measured by an IQ test is the culturally-determined training of a specific individual to take that test on a specific day. [back]

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

To Departing Chicago U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon as He Leaves Office:

Farewell... And FUCK YOU!

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The chief federal prosecutor for the Chicago area, U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon, was told by Trump to resign. He took the sock out of his mouth to say what he really thinks needs to be done in Chicago. What words came tumbling out?

Black community members begging for "resources"—be aware:

If Trump gives you "resources," he is sinking werewolf fangs into your neck. The youth need a real solution—REVOLUTION.

Read more

Oink, oink, oink, put some lipstick on the pig, oink, oink, oink.

Police union officials and cop blogs applauded, saying they thought maybe he was ‘against us’ but now they know he’s really ‘one of us.’ Trump didn’t realize what a loyal servant he had in this prosecutor. An Obama appointee, Fardon’s main purpose in speaking out on his way out the door seemed to be to counter the damning Department of Justice (DOJ) report on the Chicago Police Department and to launch an attack against instituting even the very tepid reforms that the CPD is supposed to be undertaking.

Fardon was a party to the DOJ report about the racist and brutal CPD. And while he claimed to support the report’s findings, his departing words heap praise on the police, attributing any problems to a few bad apples, an entrenched culture, and lack of training. How do people like Fardon think the racist and brutal culture got so entrenched over decades? Because this is what the police are trained  to do and it corresponds to their role to occupy and brutalize whole communities.

There have been many exposés in the last few years that show how any efforts to “change the culture” from within the department have been bulldozed over. The Code of Silence documents the intense threats to two cops and their families after they tried for years to get higher-ups in the department to stop a pig-led “shakedown racket” in a housing project in Chicago. Or there is the 25-year veteran cop who became a senior investigator at the “independent police review” agency, who was fired for refusing to change a report that said the Laquan McDonald shooting was not a “good” shooting. McDonald was killed by police n 2014.

The police are highly trained—trained to kill, to think of Black people as “vermin” (former police commander Jon Burge’s words), to frame, railroad, and testi-LIE. And they are backed up by courts, city attorneys, and the government at every level. Fardon says he spent hundreds of hours on the case of the eight or so other cops on the scene of Laquan McDonald’s murder—the pigs who covered up and tampered with evidence—yet he never managed to prosecute any of them. So fuck you, Fardon!

Fardon complains that the cops were using too light a touch on the streets after the video of the police murder of McDonald was released for fear of being the next cop caught on video. He whined about the fact that police can’t make street stops without filing a report! This was an attack on an ACLU settlement reached with the CPD to end rampant racial profiling occurring at a rate far higher than when the controversial stop-and-frisk practice was going on in New York City. The ACLU found that in 2014, for example, “CPD officers conducted more than 700,000 street stops that yielded no guns and resulted in not a single arrest.” [our emphasis] The ACLU responded to Fardon’s letter: “Mr. Fardon ignores the real impact and harm of these stops ... these stops were often invasive—with officers reaching inside someone’s clothing—and intrusive, happening repeatedly to the same person. These stops also were regularly conducted without a sufficient constitutional reason....” Fardon ignores that police do not have a legal right to stop someone without reasonable suspicion nor to force people to stop and talk to them. Now on top of all this, Fardon called for violating the First Amendment right of free speech, urging heavy spying on social media and using it to prosecute youth for what they say online. So, fuck you, Fardon!

BAsics 1:13

One of the most chilling things that Fardon says while pretending to care about programs to help young people in the inner-city neighborhoods is that when kids as young as 10, 11, and 12 get affiliated with a gang, then “Once that’s happened, it’s too late; their fate is sealed.” Think about what type of stone-cold person says this about children. These children’s fate is not sealed by the streets, it is sealed before they are even born by a system that has absolutely no future for them and tells them so in a million ways. So again, fuck you, Fardon. (See BA on No More Generations of our Youth ...)

And one more thing. Fardon calls for combining all the efforts of federal agencies like the DEA, the FBI, ATF into one task force to go after the violence on the streets. If you want to see what this looks like, read about the ATF racist sting operation in the Chicago area where a Black former prisoner is worked on relentlessly to get him to agree to commit a take-down of a gang’s drug stash house. So once more, fuck you, Fardon!

And this guy was the appointee of the liberal Democrat, Obama! Fardon’s call for more police and prosecution and punishment is very hard to distinguish from what the Trump regime has in store for Black people. Fardon, on his way out of office, is launching a broadside attack on very mild reforms called for in the DOJ report and by the ACLU. The only difference between Fardon and a Trump appointee might be that Fardon says that calling in the National Guard to barricade whole neighborhoods is not a good idea because it will be seen as declaring war on the populace. Instead, he wants to flood the areas with police and federal agencies combining their resources and letting them terrorize the population with impunity. Oink, oink, oink.

So as you depart Chicago, Zachary Fardon, let us sincerely say FUCK YOU!

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Black community members begging for "resources"—be aware:

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

If Trump gives you "resources," he is sinking werewolf fangs into your neck. The youth need a real solution—REVOLUTION.

When Trump was elected. he made a lot of noise that he was bringing back jobs to the U.S. And he issued a Mafioso-style threat—“If Chicago doesn’t fix the carnage, I will send in the feds.”

Social justice activists and others in the Black community in Chicago listened to this and somehow heard an offer to send federal resources to help Chicago’s impoverished neighborhoods. At a televised MSNBC town hall titled “Chicago in the Cross Hairs,” audience members alternately implored or demanded that Trump provide resources as the solution to dealing with the horrific violence among especially the youths who are maiming and killing each other as well as bystanders. Progressive clergy at a protest called for “resources, not more police forces.”

To the people begging for resources, you need to face reality: the only way you are going to get “resources” is if the system gives them to you. You have your hand out to a system that has never had anything for Black people but super-exploitation and oppression, and that now has no future at all for them. And, its new commander in chief is actively plotting to crush them on a whole other level. The Trump/Pence regime aims to deal once and for all with what the rulers of this country see as a “Black people problem.” They want to put an end to Black people’s ability to fight their oppression as a people. So any “resources” you get from the Trump/Pence regime will come with a very steep price to pay—co-operation with this plan.

Whatever your intention, you will be setting people up to follow those who are actively roping people into carrying this out. And don’t kid yourselves, this “bargain with the devil” will change the people who take it up, not the other way around.

The Trump regime plan has three killing thrusts to it:

  1. hammer Black people into even more hellish and prison-like conditions than already exist in segregated and oppressed areas of the city and literally stuff more people into actual prisons;
  2. numb and cripple the minds of Black and Brown children with Christian fundamentalist schools that do not teach them critical thinking: how to learn about the reality of the world and ways it can be changed; and
  3. reward some Black people for being the bootlickers, enforcers, and pigs for the US empire... joining the U.S. military to bomb and kill other oppressed people or act like the slave catchers of old by tracking immigrants and ripping apart their families as they are deported.

And let’s look at the actual reality—if somehow you could get some pitiful resources this would make no difference to the masses of these youth. Look at the pathetic programs of people like Arne Duncan (Obama’s secretary of education) scrounging up a handful of jobs that pay peanuts. Or Michelle Obama’s highly publicized “corporate funding pledges” for youth programs that went absolutely nowhere after the tragic and senseless killing of Hadiya Pendelton.

But even more to the heart of things is this: Yes, these youths are killing each other and, yes, resources are sucked out of the communities of the oppressed by this capitalist and white supremacist system, while people are effectively told to rot in hell. But it goes way deeper than lack of “resources.” This system has NO FUTURE for these youths and it drills that message into them through the media, the schools designed to fail, and most of all by the police and the prisons. There is no way to have respect, to be somebody, to have a measure of worth as a human being besides the code of the street and revenge—a dead-end trap that breeds more and more of the horrific violence.

There is just one thing that can actually deal with these hundreds of years of the oppression of Black people and all the other crimes and outrages committed by this system—the oppression of women, ruining the environment, wars for empire, demonizing and deporting immigrants. Just one thing that can take that rage and defiance among these youths, as well as their creativity and courage, and give that an outlet that would mean something extremely positive not just for them but for all of humanity. And that is the solution we need—revolution.

It is in the course of fighting for this, a revolution aimed at nothing less than a whole new society, a new state power, a society far better than this on the road to a truly communist world without exploitation or any kind of oppression, that these youths can transform themselves as they fight to bring into being a far better world.

Chicago right now is used twice by the rulers of this country—on the one hand, as a “lab” to carry out vicious repression that lays the foundations for genocide; and on the other, as an object lesson to the world. The growth of a real revolution—in which the youths who today are fighting and killing each other over what is really in the end nothing, take up instead the real fight against oppression—this could make all the difference not just for Chicago but for the world. You can be part of making that happen or you can end up as a tool of Trump, even if you talk very militantly all the while.

The overall plan for this revolution has been charted by Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution. There is a blueprint, an actual Constitution for this new socialist society. And BA deeply gets that these very same youths who are now cast off and whose anger is being expressed in very negative and harmful ways against each other can in fact transform themselves into becoming emancipators of humanity. This is why BA never ceases challenging and fighting for them to get out of the shit they are caught up in and GET INTO THE REVOLUTION. This is a key part of the strategy BA has led in developing, “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.”

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. An updated pre-publication PDF of this major work—now including the appendices—is available here.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "IV. The Leadership We Need."

Excerpt from the section:
Working Back from "On the Possibility"—Another Application of "Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core"

Here is something that needs to be very clearly and firmly grasped: It is a matter of strategic importance to develop a large core of experienced and tested leaders—not just “tens” but at least hundreds of such leaders, on all levels—firmly grounded in the line, above all the scientific method and approach of the new synthesis, and capable, on that basis, of taking initiative to lead, including in situations of sharpening contradictions and the intensification of repression and even attempts at violent suppression by the powers-that-be, throughout the process of advancing the “three prepares”; and then, when the conditions come into being, this core of tested leaders needs to be capable of giving direction to thousands, and in turn millions, to fight all-out, in a unified way, for the seizure of power. Whether or not such a cadre of leaders—in the hundreds, at least—is developed, will have a significant bearing on whether or not all the work we are doing now is really preparing for revolution, and whether there is a real chance of winning when the time comes.

So, in conclusion: makers of revolution, emancipators of humanity—that, and nothing less, is what we are called on to be, and to bring forward in greater and greater numbers. A vanguard of the future, not a residue of the past—that is the challenge that must be met, and the struggle that must be waged. Going forward from what we’re doing here, back out into the world—the world of the movement for revolution and the Party as its leading core but, beyond that, the larger world, and its transformation, which is the scope and the purpose of what this revolution and this Party are, and must be, all about: bringing alive, applying in a living way, propagating and fighting in a compelling way for, what has been grappled with and learned here, and the revolutionary line and leadership it represents—to consistently build for an actual revolution, concretely accumulate organized forces for this revolution, and continue to further transform and strengthen the Party as the force at the core of this revolution. This is what we must be all about, what we must be determined to do.

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Internationalism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

From A World to Win News Service

Editorial:
Introducing a transformed AWTWNS

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

March 14, 2017. A World to Win News Service. With great joy, the editors of A World To Win News Service announce its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. 

AWTW News Service first saw life in January 2003, at a critical juncture when under the banner of their global “war on terror” the U.S.-led imperialists had launched and were expanding what was in fact a war for empire. After invading Afghanistan, they were preparing to invade Iraq. It was a time when a powerful people’s war was surging forward in Nepal, led by revolutionaries who were participants in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. RIM gathered communists from around the world who, in the wake of the defeat of the revolution in China following the death of Mao Tsetung, banded together from the five continents to strengthen the struggle to do away with the capitalist system through revolution.

AWTW News Service was inspired by RIM, which based itself on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). During the years since then, the news service untiringly exposed the crimes of the imperialists in many corners of the globe, bringing to light stories of popular resistance against oppression, analyzing how all oppression was ultimately rooted in the system of capitalism-imperialism, and pointing to the need for the solution, revolution.

These past fourteen years have seen major developments, including the collapse of RIM itself. Not only are some of the forces previously united in RIM now sharply opposed to each other, the previous understanding of revolutionary communism itself has, to borrow Mao Zedong’s term, “divided into two.” One strand of the old Maoism has wound up in a social-democratic liquidation of the core revolutionary principles of Marxism, exemplified tragically in the capitulation of the Maoist leadership in Nepal and the termination of the revolutionary war there. Others from the previous MLM movement are stuck in a dogmatist, religious-like upholding of sterile “Maoist” formulas that are equally devoid of revolutionary content. In opposition to this, Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism has fully emerged, rescuing the scientific kernel of communism while criticizing and repudiating those secondary aspects in the past understanding and actions of communists that have actually gone against communism’s liberatory nature. The result is that we now have a qualitatively more scientific framework for understanding the world and changing it through revolution, which is gaining adherents from among forces previously part of RIM as well as others more recently attracted to communism. (For more on RIM, its history, its collapse and the division of Maoism into two, see Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage—A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and Letter to Participating Parties and Organizations of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.)

And how the world cries out for revolution! Everywhere inequality has intensified, women face the violent intensification of patriarchy and degradation, and whole states in parts of the Third World are written off as “failed” and left to rot. The hopes of millions worldwide that soared as U.S.-backed dictators were toppled by mass uprisings in the “Arab Spring” were dashed with the re-consolidation of reactionary rule. War has ripped gaping wounds in the Middle East as the Western imperialists and their local allies contend with reactionary Islamic jihadists, trapping the masses in a vortex of terror and despair. Millions have been driven from their homes, and thousands drown in desperate attempts to cross the Mediterranean to safety—while those few who make it face ever higher walls erected by these same imperialists to keep them out, physical walls as well as the walls of hatred being whipped up against them. Now, after years of normalizing mounting levels of nationalist jingoism, racism and misogyny, the dynamics of this system have propelled the fascist Donald Trump into the post of commander-in-chief of U.S. imperialism. This in turn is giving major impetus to fascist movements that have been steadily gnawing their way into the political mainstream of Europe—in Austria, Hungary and Poland, and now the Netherlands, France, Germany and elsewhere. Throughout the oppressed nations too, the rise of “strong men” like India’s Modi, Turkey’s Erdoğan, Duterte in the Philippines and others, tells the same story: the post-World War 2 order is rapidly coming apart at the seams.

The most fundamental question facing humanity today is whether this great turmoil will give rise to the establishment of regimes that are far more repressive and reactionary than even those today, with an unprecedented intensification of oppression and inequality, the unleashing of war and famine, environmental catastrophe and potentially far worse, or whether the oppressed can be enabled to rise, led by a core of conscious revolutionaries, and dismantle the existing state apparatuses in key parts of the world and establish radically new state powers that begin to do away with all oppression and exploitation. This has everything to do with how well hundreds and thousands today can be armed with a scientific approach to reality and act on that basis. Today this means transforming AWTW News Service into one firmly based on Avakian’s new communism, a task that is proudly being assumed by the communists who have been the driving force in it over these years—a task that you are being asked to join in, in countless ways: reposting, distributing, writing, reporting, debating and corresponding with it, to name but a few.

Articles are needed that lay bare how the source of every kind of oppression in every country is ultimately rooted in the capitalist-imperialist system, whether it be through analyzing the coup d’etat in Turkey, the failure of the Syriza experiment in Greece, the rise of fascism in the U.S. and Europe, etc.

The news service needs analysis that lays bare the major fault lines ripping through every class-divided society and propelling millions into questioning and resistance, to help increasing numbers make the leap from being fighters on one front against capitalist oppression to fighters on every front. To take just one example, it needs to highlight the many different ways that brave forces are stepping outside normal channels to resist the draconian measures being enacted against migrants, exposing how it is the capitalist-imperialist system that is driving immigration and clamping down on migrants. It has to help establish a powerful internationalist current around this burning issue—showing why and how it is essential that the “whole world comes first,” rather than “what does this mean for me and my country” —so as to bridge borders between peoples, to change not only what people think but how they think, to train them in the communist line and outlook. Or, in relation to patriarchy, to bring out why you cannot break all the links in the chain of capitalist oppression except one, why leaving male supremacy unchallenged quickly opens the door to the strengthening of every form of division and inequality. All this is part of the process of “fighting the power and transforming the people, for revolution”—and not least of all, bringing forth a new generation of revolutionary leaders in this process, who can use this news service to help identify and bring together more revolutionary forces wherever they may be.

It is critical to expose the system and its institutions and structures, but it is also vital to put forward the solution, a new kind of state power and a new way of organizing the society and economy to meet people’s needs in the broadest, most liberating sense, and step-by-step enable people to make the transition, through revolution, to a whole new world of flourishing humanity, armed with critical thinking and free of the shackles of class, patriarchy and all social divisions and inequalities. To do this we need to take on and tear apart the reactionary verdict on revolution and socialism. Otherwise, our criticism of the existing system loses force and purpose. Furthermore, based on the new synthesis summation of the socialist experiences of the 20th century, we need to show the necessity, possibility and desirability of Avakian’s re-envisaged socialist society—how it not only meets the basic needs of the people, but will be a vibrant society marked by an unprecedented flourishing of intellectual and cultural life.

Without BA’s new communism and the understanding that has developed on the basis of his approach and method, even for those who have vital elements of understanding about how thoroughly rotten all that exists really is, it is difficult to understand that the world doesn’t have to be the way it is, that the potential for a radically different way of living for all humanity lies entangled in today’s web of contradictions that are driving society, trapping oppressed humanity in dog-eat-dog relations, and threatening unprecedented disasters. Avakian’s visionary understanding of the goal of communism shows how that is not only possible, but an urgent necessity, crying out for action right now.

With this understanding as the solid foundation of the news service, its pages will be open to others who, from different perspectives and approaches, bring to the light of day otherwise hidden stories of resistance and opposition to the prevailing order, shed light on the crimes of the system and how it works, reveal the complexity of the forces at work, and do all this in a way that compels others to turn to this site as a vibrant hub of critical analysis and debate. To truly become a weapon for revolution in growing parts of the world, articles need to be shared, correspondence is needed, key articles translated into different languages, and more. To further this, the news service will rupture from its weekly edition format that has been more oriented to the print media epoch, and instead focus on releasing articles on the Web hot on the heels of major events in the world. We need contributions from all those able to help so that the now far too narrow scope of our articles, limited by our current abilities, can begin to better match the needs of what must necessarily be a global revolutionary process.

Hard truths need to be stated clearly from the outset: the strength of the forces worldwide fighting for communist revolution pales in comparison to the immense challenges before us. But it is an even more important truth that never before in history has there existed a clearer and more scientific understanding of the source of oppression and what is needed to do away with it. On this foundation, A World To Win News Service can and must become a powerful tool serving all those who long for an end to oppression and exploitation, drawing forward and training thousands and influencing millions in many countries around the world, hastening the day when humanity can break free of the shackles that have enchained it for all too long.

 

       

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

From A World To Win News Service

Exhibition review:
Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932

An exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London through 17 April 2017.

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

March 14, 2017. A World to Win News Service. By Sam Albert. How is it that a show of artworks from a century ago is not only so exciting and thought-provoking but so thoroughly fresh? Surely this is because of the exhibition’s subject, the art produced during an unprecedented explosion of creativity following the 1917 Russian revolution, as well as the fact that no recent show has so well reflected the breathtaking variety of styles, techniques, genres and media in the early Soviet visual arts.

Although the arts in Russia had rippled with the same effervescence stirring the rest of Europe in the decade before the revolution, this torrent of path-breaking, high-quality work cannot be separated from the overall revolutionary process and many artists’ fervent desire to contribute to that. Large numbers of them shared the spirit that marked those times, a spirit of dedication to radical change, self-sacrifice even during the most difficult days, the determination to serve the common good and the emancipation of humanity that gripped Soviet society.

This advanced art was all the more remarkable because Russia was an extremely backward country. Until 1861, within living memory, much of the country’s population had been serfs, peasants who were virtually the property of noble landlords. Still kept in brutally enforced ignorance and worn out by the age of 40, the peasants and workers just emerging from the villages were considered dangerous and sometimes subject to arrest simply for knowing how to read.

The revolution lifted the censorship and police supervision of Tsarist rule overnight. Immediately, the revolutionary government’s Ministry of Education and Enlightenment began supporting the arts, commissioning artworks, organizing exhibitions and subsidizing publications as a myriad of competing artistic schools and trends arose. It sent colorfully decorated trains loaded with artworks, films and projectors, photo and graphic arts exhibits, posters and other materials—and artists, educators and political activists—to the most remote and oppressed corners of the former Russian empire. With the support of the new revolutionary state, whose officials included artists themselves, artists gave free rein to their creativity as an essential part of the transformation that turned backward, ultra-reactionary Russia into the world’s most socially advanced country at that time.

All this was part of a massive effort to break down the abyss separating the relatively tiny educated classes and the vast majority of people, who had been cut off from scientific knowledge, culture, politics and the wide world of ideas in general, not only by repression but even more by their place in society as beasts of burden, and their restricted experiences, religious training and customs. As these masses at the base of society were allowed and encouraged to lift their eyes, artists were also encouraged, organized and financed to play a leading role in the extraordinary social ferment. For the first time in history, they were also free to take culture and their own work to the most downtrodden people, join with them, learn from them, and train them as appreciators and makers of art. With the revolution, the whole society escaped from its prison.

What makes the Royal Academy show so special is that it allows visitors to see and feel what this process of revolutionary transformation was like—what made the Soviet Union “the place to be,” looked to by vast millions of people all over the world, and also a place and time that many visitors, perhaps to their surprise, find themselves wishing they could experience today.

The Royal Academy is one of many museums around the world that have chosen to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Russian revolution, including the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). But unlike that and other shows, most of the 200 pieces in the Royal Academy exhibition were drawn from Russian museums and private collections, much of which has never before been seen abroad. In addition to all sorts of paintings, some classical oils on canvas and others on pieces of wood and almost anything else imaginable, it also features sculpture, architecture models and the particular media in which Soviet artists made world breakthroughs, such as photos and photo-montage (a kind of Photoshopping by hand), graphic arts (both high-concept art pieces and humble items like rationing coupons), the design of homes and industrially-made products, typography and film.

This work is generally well contextualized in its times, without making the show overly historical and textual rather than visual. We see and feel something of the enormous hardships that were, paradoxically, the setting for such sustained creativity. The reasons for these hardships, however, are not always sufficiently spelled out. A complex civil war, starting shortly after the October Revolution and lasting for five years, was fueled by eight invading armies seeking to crush the revolution before it spread, killing and maiming many millions of people, mostly civilians. This destruction and a trade blockade caused an economic collapse that killed many more. The challenges faced by the young socialist state are brought to life by The Defence of Petrograd, by Alexander Deineka, a powerful figural work (stylized and not strictly realistic painting) giving a sense of ordinary men and women in arms defending their revolution, Kazimir Malevich’s even more stylized The Red Calvary, El Lissitzky’s famous geometric Beat the Whites [the counter-revolutionary armies] with the Red Wedge, and the equally abstract work by the pioneering multiple-media artist Alexander Rodchenko. Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin’s realistic Still Life with a Herring, a table neatly set with two small potatoes, a tiny wedge of bread and one thin, very dried fish, conveys a time when hunger was so severe that everything made of paper had to be protected from starving rats.

We also see celebrations of the spirit of the times, like the pure color paintings of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the world’s first abstract painters, who became a Soviet political leader in the arts and a teacher, and the dream-like work of Marc Chagall, also a successful artist, who returned to Russia after the revolution to help lead cultural work and education. His Promenade, a luminous declaration of his love for his wife on the occasion of their marriage, conveys the intoxicating sense of freedom felt by Soviet Jews, liberated from the villages, small towns and professions where they had been confined, their previously repressed culture now receiving state support. Equally powerful are many of the pieces made during the industrialization of the country, beginning in 1928 with the first Five Year Plan. This was the first time in world history that, instead of being ruled by the needs of capitalists who squeezed the life out of their workers and society in a merciless competition for profit, a country’s economy moved forward in a planned way to meet the physical, cultural and other needs of the people.

This section of the exhibition brings out the degree to which the leap in the industrialization of Russia was achieved by men and women breaking their backs. But here, too, this generally excellent exhibition tends to look at that industrialization without seeing the context and content. The Russian revolution came out of a world war, by far the most massive slaughter in human history to that date, carried out by capitalist-imperialist powers in their rivalry to divide the world. Then the new socialist state faced the threat of another world war and an even more devastating invasion.

With Ekaterina Zernova’s graphically stunning Tomato Paste Factory, Deineka’s free spirit young women Textile Workers, and the many pieces honoring the shock brigades of workers who volunteered for the hardest jobs with little rest, you can get a sense of not only the economic transformation of a backward country that was important for the revolution to survive and succeed, but also, in some ways, the transformation of its people. Women and men were working not just to eat, but were beginning to consciously take responsibility for their own emancipation and that of the whole world’s oppressed and exploited. No generation before them was free to dream such dreams and fight for them. Less realistic paintings convey the same idea. Petrov-Vodkin’s Fantasy shows a barefoot peasant riding bareback on a bright red horse, galloping resolutely forward at breakneck speed and at the same time gazing backward, contemplating the village life and the world left behind.

Early Soviet art was very much connected with Western art in general, both influenced by it and strongly influencing it for many decades to come. The Soviet avant-garde art movements were part of the overall rupture with past culture sought by many Western intellectuals—an attempted radical rejection of previous art and literature in the years before World War 1 and especially in its wake. Soviet breakthroughs in new media and art forms gave further impetus to this development everywhere. But content matters—innovation for what goals? For instance, compare the American film pioneer D. W. Griffith, on the one hand, and the Soviet filmmakers Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov on the other. In both cases, they made history-making technically innovative films with political and social agendas, and in both cases received state support (Griffith’s Birth of a Nation was the first movie to be shown at the U.S. White House). But Griffith celebrated and served the stinking persistence of the old world, specifically the rising Ku Klux Klan and its goal of keeping Black people in conditions not so different than Russian serfs, while the Soviet filmmakers wanted to revolutionize the film medium to help overturn the old order and bring about a world freed of exploitation and oppression.

Or, take the role and portrayal of women. Here there is a stark contrast between Soviet artists and their Western avant-garde contemporaries. For one thing, many women artists are represented in this show, at a time when very few women were able to become professional artists in the capitalist countries. Even those few were more known, at least in their own times, as “the mistress of so and so” than for their work. Unlike in the USSR, Western women were denied the right to divorce, abortion, the vote, political life, an independent social life, careers in most professions and even their own checkbooks until decades later. In late 19th- and most 20th-century European art, the artists most radical in their formal and stylistic experimentation still did not break with the age-old patriarchal outlook in the content of their work. Their paintings and photos consider women’s bodies as objects of men’s desire, erotic commodities, not the bodies of actual people. Even when these artists sympathized with revolution, they did not generally link their art to a project to develop a liberating revolutionary culture as part of revolutionizing human relations and people’s thinking.

The work on view in the exhibition does not adequately reflect the way that the Russian revolution consciously grappled with the question of overcoming patriarchy, even if the communist movement did not yet fully grasp the potential of the struggle for women’s liberation in propelling total social change. But these Soviet paintings of women workers, peasants, agitators and athletes are a breath of fresh air. Alexander Samokhvalov’s Sportswoman with a shot-put, a strong, independent, vibrant individual, represented an important step forward out of the pre-revolutionary era where sports were restricted to the upper classes and women athletes were inconceivable.

The Royal Academy show cannot, of course, escape the anti-communism so pervasive today, although its mainly objective presentation of Soviet art has earned it the wrath of some reviewers. The wall texts and especially the visitor’s guide contain some unmerited, knee-jerk swipes at Soviet society and art that stand out all the more because the show itself provides so much visual evidence to the contrary. After proclaiming, “A revolution that changed everything. A time when the possibilities seemed endless and art thrived across every medium,” the show’s Website headline warns, “But that optimism was not to last.”

The show concludes that the lights went out on the Soviet visual arts scene in 1932, when the Communist Party adopted the line that the style of art it called Socialist Realism should prevail in the visual arts. While this cut-off date seems arbitrarily early and too absolute, the lights did definitely dim during that decade. We are led to believe that this was just a caprice by a too powerful leader, Stalin. The unspoken but unmistakable implication is that darkness is the ineluctable result of any revolutionary change in state power, and especially socialism. Although an art exhibition may not be suited to thoroughly explore the issues involved, which have to be examined in their own right and in depth, still, because of the prejudices and misknowledge visitors inevitably bring with them, this is very misleading. The effect is to throw cold water on many visitors’ excitement about this art and the experience it represented.

The show itself demonstrates that socialism and artistic ferment and greatness are not incompatible. In fact, the establishment of the revolutionary socialist state was the precondition for the art it celebrates. It’s not logically consistent to blame the socialist state’s policies for the negative turn in the arts starting in the mid-1930s without giving it credit for the blossoming of Soviet arts before then. In particular, it’s not true, as a catalogue text explicitly argues, that art flourished in the Soviet Union in the early years because the revolution was so much under attack that its communist leadership was too busy to interfere in the arts. This view is undercut by evidence in the show itself. The new revolutionary state devoted enormous importance and resources to the arts as part of emancipating a population in sore need of it, even when resources were most scarce. And not just Soviet art—the Museum of Modern Western Art in Moscow that opened in 1923 was the world’s first museum of twentieth century art, long before the “advanced” capitalist countries.

Yet there’s more to it than that. Without socialism and moving toward the abolition of classes, it’s impossible for human beings to fully flourish, either individually or collectively. At the same time, this cannot happen without broad social discussions, debate, dissent, etc., which presupposes individual rights and freedom of expression, including artistic freedom.

In developing what has been called the “new communism” today, Bob Avakian has deeply studied and analyzed the socialist experience in the USSR and Mao’s China. He concludes that the kind of diversity, ferment and debate that makes this show so dazzling, as well as dissent and more general contention about outlook and values, are indispensable for the process through which people change themselves and the world. Without that approach to politics, culture, the sciences and other areas of human knowledge and thinking, it’s not possible to fully investigate and increasingly understand reality, and change it, including transforming people’s thinking. All art, no matter what style or genre, from the most realistic to the most purely abstract, is a way of engaging with reality.

       

During the early Soviet years there was confusion about “proletarian art.” Lenin, who died in 1924, opposed the idea that one or another particular form or style of art could be inherently revolutionary. He argued against the contention that there could be an entirely new culture particular to the workers, just as he argued against the view that there is no knowable reality independent of how it’s looked at. Many people—including not just political leaders but both the Suprematists and Constructivists, the main radical trends among the artists themselves—wrongly argued that art should serve purely political and utilitarian purposes. Identifying “proletarian” art as art mainly about workers and peasants, these positions wrongly pushed for a totally instrumentalized art, and at the same time tended to limit the goal of proletarian revolution.

That goal is not to narrowly serve “the workers” or “the workers and peasants” but to abolish all classes, the exploitative economic relations that characterize classes, the oppressive social relations prevailing on that basis, and the backward and oppressive ideas that arise from and help perpetuate societies based on exploitation and oppression. That means communism, the emancipation of all humanity. The common, stubborn claim that certain forms of art were inherently revolutionary, and the confusion about the need for real revolutionary change in the content of both art and overall social relations and not just changes in their forms, was a problem also shared by avant-garde artistic movements in the capitalist countries.

This was not well enough understood by the communist movement under Stalin’s leadership. This show misses an obvious point, that its cut-off period marked the coming to power of the Nazis, whose program called for invading the USSR and grabbing its resources in a bid for dominance among the imperialist powers, and the dashing of Soviet hopes that a revolution in Germany would come to their aid. This was a situation that had to be faced. Stalin led in defending the revolution, as he was to continue to do until his death in 1953. But there were important problems in general, and not just the arts, in the way the communists led by Stalin understood these challenges and consequently the way he dealt with them.

In an interview about this question, Avakian said, “The more that Stalin felt that they had to go through a breakneck pace to industrialize and arm themselves in a heavy way to be able to deal with this military threat, the more there wasn’t any air to breathe or room allowed for experimentation, for criticism, for dissent, for people trying to strike out in different directions and see how that could all be part of the process, and for the masses to get involved in struggling out what really is the way forward out of all this. And not just THE WAY (with a capital T, capital W), as if there’s only one way, but many different pathways which all ultimately have to be directed toward, or have to find their way toward and be led toward the goal you have, but [people] may find a lot of different pathways there. I don’t think that you can advance through those processes that I’m talking about by one straight, narrow highway. I think that was an understanding that Stalin didn’t have or increasingly lost sight of.”

The draft proposal for a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Avakian, is a proposed concrete blueprint for a new kind of state and a society where today’s people would want to live. Especially relevant to this review is the section on “solid core with lots of elasticity” on page 5, and the specific policies about the arts laid out on pp. 40-43.

Even the most rabid anti-communists would find it difficult to plausibly argue that the capitalism prevailing in Russia for many decades now has solved the problems the country’s peoples set out to solve a century ago, for themselves and humanity. The contrast between the great advances toward the liberation of humanity represented by socialism, so powerfully visible in this fascinating, rich and lively art, and the world we live in today, seems to be what most impresses visitors about this show. In conversations as they left, many revealed a head full of questions about art, society and the experience and possibility of revolution in today’s cynical, fearful and dark times.

Many can’t help thinking about “the right to the future,” as it has been called by artists today who refuse to accept the oppression and destruction of people and the Earth, and dare to consider the possibility of what Soviet artists called “a new planet.” These artists—and many, many others—are rebelling against today’s dominant culture and working to produce something very different. One reason for this show’s impact is that the role played by art and artists in the world’s first successful socialist revolution seems very relevant today. And Avakian’s re-envisioning of socialism and communism provides unprecedented scope for understanding and acting upon the importance of freeing the realms of arts and culture and the reciprocal relationship between that and liberating humanity.

(Also see “You Don’t Know What You Think You ‘Know’ About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future“)

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

From A World To Win News Service

India: Outrageous Life Sentence Against Revolutionary GN Saibaba

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

March 14, 2017. A World to Win News Service. The dedicated revolutionary activist and Delhi University academic G. N. Saibaba and five others charged with “criminal conspiracy and waging war against the nation” have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in the Indian state of Maharashtra. In his 7 March statement, the judge even went so far as to state, “though he [Saibaba] is physically handicapped, he is mentally fit” and that “imprisonment for life is not a sufficient punishment to the accused.”

Saibaba was the joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front and convener of the Forum against the War on the People, which resolutely opposed the Indian government’s counterinsurgency campaign called Operation Greenhunt that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Adivasi (tribal people). He also organized fact-finding missions to look into state violence in rural areas.

No stranger to the dungeons of India, this is the third time Saibaba has been jailed for his courageous exposure of Indian state violence against the country’s poor and for his alleged links with the Communist Party of India (Maoist). During past imprisonment, he was refused any assistance needed due to his being paralyzed from the waist down, and denied required medications. Fourteen months of that time was spent in isolation, with all this contributing to his serious physical deterioration.

Many rights organizations and intellectuals waged major protests against his incarceration, considering it an attempt to intimidate free speech and free association. Among them was well-known writer Arundhati Roy, who pointed out that with “evidence” of the kind the state presented against Saibaba, the Indian government could arrest anyone they want and hold them indefinitely—which has happened to many activists who have been charged not for their actions but their alleged associations. Roy herself was then charged with contempt of court for a lacerating exposure of the court’s hypocritical rulings.

As the evidence against Saibaba was meager indeed, the Indian Supreme Court released him in 2015 and again in 2016 on medical grounds, claiming the lower court had been unfairly harassing him. He had been repeatedly interrogated and his home ransacked on several occasions, and he was fired from his university position. However, the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems hell-bent on silencing him and putting others like him on notice that this could happen to them as well.

Saibaba’s lawyer and wife are calling on people to oppose this outrageous sentence and fight for his release and are appealing the verdict to the next highest court.

 

       

 

 


 

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Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

From A World to Win News Service

The world’s peoples need to rise against the global threat of a fascist America

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

What Is Fascism?

March 14, 2017. A World to Win News Service. In the wake of the installation of Donald Trump as president of the United States and the furious massive protests against this in the U.S. and around the world, A World To Win News Service urges its readers to follow the websites of Revolution newspaper www.revcom.us and of www.RefuseFascism.org as closely as possible. Under the battle cry, "In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!," these sites have emphasized:

“With the dizzying and aggressive pace of the Trump regime’s lies, threats, and vicious assaults on whole groupings of people here and around the world—and on the planet itself, these two points are essential to understand:

One, that this regime is indeed fascist and as such poses a mortal threat and must be defeated. And two, that there are people—millions and tens of millions—who can potentially be mobilized to fight against it and who must be led to step outside the confines of politics-as-usual (including protest-as-usual) to actually OUST this horrendous monstrosity.

The Trump regime is xenophobic, misogynist, racist, cruel, but it is much more than all that—it is fascist. As revcom.us explains:

Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as "enemies", "undesirables", or "dangers to society".

The Trump regime is a product of the system of capitalist-imperialism, and it is ramping up the everyday horrors characteristic of that system to whole new levels: against immigrants, Muslims, women, Black people, Mexicans, homosexuals and other minority groupings. It is hammering into place openly white supremacist rule, rapidly shoving aside the previously prevailing liberal democratic norms. It is stepping up U.S. intervention in the Middle East and other parts of the world, threatening new wars on top of the ones continuing from Obama and Bush, and openly brandishing the use of nuclear weapons; it is clamping down brutally on critical thinking and attacking the concept of truth itself. And the U.S. ruling class is—some grudgingly and some enthusiastically—either going along with all this or at most offering petty amendments.

The situation is extremely serious for the planet and its people, and what is happening and what to do about it have become questions millions of people are grappling with in every part of the world. As Carl Dix, Sunsara Taylor, and Andy Zee, the three people who initiated RefuseFascism.org, wrote in a January 25 open letter about the situation in the U.S.:

Every day they carry through some new outrage, be it in the realm of reactionary and repressive executive orders or appointments or proposed legislation, in threats of war or the re-legalization of torture, or in the almost equally dangerous assertion of their "alternative facts" (that is, their lies) as the truth. They surely have more, and worse, yet to come....

Precisely because this regime is fascist and a qualitative change from the "normal workings" of this system, and because millions of people—correctly—view this regime as utterly illegitimate, the possibility of crisis erupting at any time is great.

There could be some new outrage—an attack from the Trump-Pence fascists on some section of the people which calls forth resistance and pushes people into the streets in a mushrooming sort of dynamic. There could be a conflict within the ruling class brought on by some move of Trump deemed by others at the top to be too risky, posing too much of a threat to the functioning of the established order and to what they see as their imperialist interests. We should all keep this in mind and remain tense and attuned to seize on even the hints of such possibilities.

To take just one example of what even a seemingly small initiative can accomplish in this taut situation, a march of several thousand in Manchester, one of many throughout the UK on January 30, including 20,000 people outside Prime Minister Theresa May’s Downing Street office to protest her government’s complicity with Donald Trump, was initiated 48 hours beforehand by a lone young man who said he was inspired by this tweet originating from the U.S.:

Remember sitting in history, thinking, “If I was alive then... ?” You’re alive now. Whatever you’re doing is what you would have done.

This reference to the Nazi era—and the lack of sufficient resistance to stop it—has resonated deeply and broadly around the world, with the installation or rise of similar fascist movements in more and more places. We must not underestimate the powerful resonances of protests in different parts of the world against the rise of this fascist regime in the most powerful and most dangerous imperialist power in history.

People across Europe and everywhere should go to revcom.us and RefuseFascism.org to closely follow developments and build the most powerful protests possible in their own countries right now and report on these to RefuseFascism.org, revcom.us or aworldtowinns@yahoo.co.uk.

To understand the roots and dynamics of this, get into these two pieces by Bob Avakian:

The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer

The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/awtwns-france-putting-the-interests-of-humanity-first-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

From A World To Win News Service

France: Putting the interests of humanity first

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In one day in June, 1,000 refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in unsafe dinghys to reach Europe were rescued at sea by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and Sea Watch humanitarian groups.
In one day in June 2016, 1,000 refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in unsafe dinghys to reach Europe were rescued at sea by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and Sea Watch humanitarian groups. Photo: MSF

March 14, 2017. A World to Win News Service. Cédric Herrou, a 37-year-old olive farmer, took on a mission. Driving his van through back roads and villages and along railway tracks in France’s Roya Valley adjoining Italy, he has picked up refugees, often youth and children, who have walked across the border. He is the most prominent among people in and around the city of Nice, some individuals acting on spontaneous moral impulse and others members of loosely organized networks, sometimes acting clandestinely and others in the media spotlight, who have been defying laws prohibiting assistance to people the government deems “illegal.”

For this Herrou has been arrested three times so far. On February 10, after demonstrators in support of him and other “solidarity criminals” in Nice, Paris and elsewhere, Herrou was sentenced to pay a 3,000 euro fine, suspended unless—or until—he is arrested again. While the court turned down the prosecution’s bid to send Herrou to prison this time, it ruled that helping people in immediate danger, which is a legal obligation under French law, is illegal when it comes to some people. On several occasions, armed police have seized immigrant children he has taken in and dumped them on the Italian border. This is a case of illegal child neglect, Herrou argues, but the courts have punished him, not the police and the authorities behind them.

No one, not even the most cold-hearted officials, can deny that the mostly African refugees trapped at the French-Italian border, huddled on the rocks between the highway and the ocean or crammed into camps under police supervision, need help desperately.

They are among the lucky ones who survived the crossing of the Mediterranean, where thousands have drowned. If they were saved from a capsized boat, they more likely owe that to NGOs and civilian vessels and not the European governments who have officially abandoned their search and rescue operations. If they made it to the Italian island of Lampedusa, they may have been brought ashore by fishermen and volunteers. Their determination carried them as they made their way from Eritrea, Sudan, the Gambia and Nigeria and up the Italian Peninsula, but many would not have survived without the help of other human beings, each other, first of all, and other strangers.

At a previous trial, Herrou told a rally of hundreds of supporters, “If we have to break the law to help people, let’s do it. Our role is to help people overcome danger, and the danger is this border.” (January 5, 2017, Guardian)

Previous attempts to set an example had not ended well for the authorities. In late 2015, a woman was hit with a huge fine for transporting people without papers. When she had heard on her car radio that police were blocking Africans from the main Nice train station, she rushed there, invited people to get in her car and drove them to a less-guarded stop. Contributions poured in overnight to pay her fine.

Nor are such people isolated. In a poll held by the local daily, Nice Matin, readers chose Herrou as the French Riviera’s “person of the year.” This is a remarkable counter-current to the prevailing political climate. Nice was one of the first cities to ban Muslim religious garb on its beaches in the wake of a horrendous Islamist terrorist attack last year. The region has long been a stronghold of the right and far right, in a country where the right and “left” parties that have alternately governed are largely competing with the outright fascists in promoting nationalism and anti-immigrant venom. In a response published in that newspaper, the top local official angrily denounced Herrou for “endangering our country”, “insulting police” and “aiding possible terrorists.”

For or against refugees and immigrants? This is becoming one of the most important issues of our time. When some people see a refugee family struggling along the road, in danger of being hit by a car or dying more slowly, they stop and take them further from the border, or home for the night. Others call the police. This is not just an issue along the borders. In Paris, governed by the Socialist party, the authorities have ordered volunteers to stop distributing food to refugees gathering on the streets. They put up barricades so that the tents and sleeping bags donated by NGOs cannot be used to sleep under bridges. A century and a quarter ago the writer Anatole France sarcastically pointed out, “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges [and] beg in the streets.” That is literally true of capitalist democracy in France today, where the state, whose purpose is to enforce an intolerable status quo, forbids and punishes a morality based on something other than living one’s life in the service of narrow, self and national interests.

Further, the current outrage and many protests against the police beating and rape of Theo, a young black man in a working class suburb of Paris, are not isolated from the state’s campaign to wall off immigrants from countries crushed by today’s world order. They are examples of “French People First,” an ideology and policy that consider certain national origins a problem or even a crime, and seek to redefine and further organize society along ethnic and religious lines. This slogan is openly put forward by the Trump-loving, fascist National Front, but this outlook has been legitimized by all the major parties. Millions of people, no matter where they were born, are deemed a threat to societies that have fattened off a worldwide system of exploitation and oppression.

Now, in the time of Trump, governments and political movements are dropping the thin veneer of the values and morals that they have claimed to stand for and that have generally lulled people whose lives are somewhat comfortable in the countries where the wealth produced by the planet’s people is concentrated. At some point French society could split: for or against the foreigners perceived to be massed at the borders and people in its midst considered less than really “French.”

When people put their personal interests at risk for what they see are the broader interests of justice and humanity, whatever their ideas about the nature of the system they face and the causes and solutions, their refusal to accept one of the greatest injustices of our time is a huge contribution, and not only to those they help. It brings them into conflict with criminal governments that are responsible for this situation and whose solution is to criminalize the victims. It could help build a challenge to the legitimacy of the political and economic order whose interests are in opposition to the interests of humanity.

It is extremely important for more people to be outraged and determined to act right now, and for them to be willing to follow that outrage to its logical conclusion, in their thinking and understanding, so that their actions can become even more sustained and determined as they understand the breadth and depth of the problem and the solution.

 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/trumps-america-first-budget-like-trump-himself-a-fascist-racist-warmongering-piece-of-shit-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Trump's "America First" Budget Is Like Trump Himself: A Fascist, Racist, Warmongering Piece of Shit That Puts the Whole Planet in Danger!!

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime unveiled its first budget on March 16. Titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” it has an intro by Trump saying that the U.S. budget is “one of the most important ways the Federal Government sets priorities.” Indeed, two overall figures in the budget make clear what the “priorities” of the Trump/Pence regime are: a $54 billion increase in funding for the military—matched by $54 billion in cuts; cuts that will threaten every aspect of the lives of the people at the bottom of this society, especially Black, Latino, Native, and other oppressed people, and women, and accelerate the destruction of the environment as well.

The $54 billion jump in military spending is a key part of Trump’s vow to put “America First,” a fascist slogan from the 1940s that he revived in his Hitlerian inaugural speech and has now been stamped on the title page of his budget. Trump and his regime have made clear they intend to aggressively threaten the entire world with raw American power and war, including using nuclear weapons. Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director Mike Mulvaney said, “This is a hard power budget, and that was done intentionally. The President very clearly wants to send a message to our allies and to our potential adversaries that this is a strong power administration.”

As the Trump/Pence regime puts the world in their crosshairs, they are moving quickly and decisively to change the form of rule in this country to fascism. The domestic spending outlined in the Trump budget is part of this. The significant increases in domestic spending are dedicated to dramatically ramping up and unleashing the armed enforcers of law and order. That means pouring more money into intensifying the repression against immigrants through the building of the U.S.-Mexico border wall; hiring 1,500 more “immigration enforcement” cops for the Department of Homeland Security; building more immigrant detention centers; and more. And it also means increased spending on local law enforcement.

Cruel Cuts Target the People

But for the rest of government, draconian cuts are the order of the day—hitting government agencies and programs in every department, which will have cruel, devastating effects on the lives of tens of millions of people—especially the poor, elderly, women, and oppressed Black, Latino, Native, and other nationalities who are already living on the edge under this system. The cold-hearted cuts will also mean more suffering for poor white people—including in the very places like the Appalachian Region where some were misled into voting for Trump.

These budget cuts go along with other measures being carried out in Congress, like the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act set up under Obama, which is projected to result in 14 million people losing any kind of health insurance by next year, including people on Medicaid. Again, this hits the elderly, poor, and oppressed and women the hardest; for instance, half of all births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. The Trump/Pence regime has also set its sights on de-funding Planned Parenthood—which is a major attack on women’s right to abortion and birth control but also on a range of health care, especially for millions of poor women and women from Black, Latino, and other oppressed groups.

The Trump budget cuts are also aimed at gutting or eliminating altogether crucial research and programs related to climate change and other scientific endeavors, as well as non-commercial art and broadcasting.

Trump's budget plan will cut $1.2 billion from funding after-school programs that involve more than 2 million kids.  Here kids in a Kentucky after-school program, 2012. Trump's budget plan will cut $1.2 billion from funding after-school programs that involve more than 2 million kids. Here, kids in a Kentucky after-school program, 2012. (Photo: AP)

 

Family shops in Lafayette, Indiana, with Women, Infants and Children(WIC) checks for specific food items that meet certain guidelines. Trump's budget cuts will reduce funding for the Special Nutrition Program for WIC.
Family shops in Lafayette, Indiana, with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) checks for specific food items that meet certain guidelines. Trump's budget cuts will reduce funding for the Special Nutrition Program for WIC. (Photo: AP)

In this system of capitalism-imperialism we live in, there is no “right to eat” or “right to housing” or “right to health care”—if people can’t earn wages by being profitably exploited or find some other ways to provide for their means, they are left to be hungry, homeless, or be deprived of medical care, no matter how dire the need. While this was certainly so under Obama, there was at the same time rhetoric from officials about concern for people in desperate situations, and some formal acknowledgement that there continued to be inequality and discrimination in society that affect minorities and women. And there were some steps taken to provide minimum levels of a social “safety net” for the poor, as inadequate as this was.

Now, the cuts in domestic programs mandated in the Trump budget point to a very different approach. Here are just some of the Trump cuts:

The list of such mean-spirited cuts, affecting the most oppressed in society the hardest and in horrid ways, goes on and on. And they are in line with the Trump/Pence regime’s moves to reassert open white supremacy as the “norm” in society, as part of its overall fascist agenda.

Removing Restraints on Rapacious Environmental Destruction

Under Obama, while the capitalist system continued to carry out environmental destruction like pumping out greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels that is driving the globe toward a climate catastrophe, there was rhetoric about the need to deal with global warming and some secondary steps taken to enact some limits on emissions and enter into international climate agreements. Now, the Trump budget basically disembowels the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 30 percent cut in funds. These cuts will affect things that the EPA is supposedly responsible for, like cleaning up lead contamination—which will mean more people poisoned and neurologically damaged, like the children in Flint, Michigan. And the cuts will affect programs relating to climate change—like the one to monitor emissions of methane from the oil and gas industry. Cuts in other agencies under the Trump budget aim to basically shut down government research on climate change. If allowed to continue, this will be a complete nightmare for the planet and human well-being at a time when segments of the natural world are already collapsing.

       

Yet another cut in the Trump budget aims the fire at both the health of the people and scientific research—a 20 percent drop in funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which supports research on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other medical problems that affect many, many people here and around the world. The vice chancellor for science policy at the University of California, San Francisco, a leading medical research facility that carries out significant NIH-funded work, called the cuts “tremendously shocking.”

Killing Public Arts and Broadcasting

While U.S. capitalism-imperialism has always been characterized by white supremacist and patriarchal relations, Obama and the section of the ruling class associated with the Democrats claim to uphold, and to some extent give expression to, “multiculturalism,” “inclusiveness,” and liberal secularism. These are now under full-scale assault by the Trump/Pence fascists, who are nakedly promoting and mobilizing a fascist social base around a rabid “America First” celebration of American military might and a violently repressive attitude toward all those who do not “fit in,” or submit to, the new white Christian fascist 'norm' that they are trying to impose on society.

In the Trump budget, one way this finds expression is in the complete elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and wiping out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Trump/Pence fascists portray such public cultural and broadcasting programs as “wasteful.” But the fundamental reason why they are under the gun is that the fascists see them as arms of other sections of the ruling class that they have some sharp conflicts with, even as they share the overall goals of protecting and extending the U.S. empire. And the fascists want to squash these institutions and areas in society where progressive and radical artists, filmmakers, and others have had some limited but still important space to do their work and reach audiences.

A Fascist Juggernaut

Some Points on Strategic Orientatin for the Next Period
Read this

These savage cuts in social programs, environment protection, public arts and broadcasting, and so on are unprecedented. And the Trump/Pence regime intends them to be deliberately shocking. This is part of the logic of this fascist juggernaut. In order to press forward with their agenda and what they see as the only solution to the deep and urgent contradictions and dangers facing U.S. capitalism-imperialism, they face the necessity of smashing what were previously considered the “norms” in society.

As “Some Points on Strategic Orientation for the Next Period“ from the Central Committee, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, says:

The imposition of different and more oppressive cohering norms in society, the escalated, violent, and viciously cruel attacks on sections of people, the trampling of civil and legal rights, the mobilization of violent fascist social bases, require, contribute to and are part of this dynamic and momentum of the fascist juggernaut. Precisely because of this dynamic, the scope and space for protest and even dissent is undermined by a fascist juggernaut on the move, with a constantly weakening basis for the masses of people to fight, to resist―even as the horrors of fascism accelerate and accentuate!

For these reasons above, the fascist regime needs to be DRIVEN OUT before it consolidates! This is the NECESSITY of the moment!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/navy-seal-raid-in-yemen-securing-our-nation-by-slaughtering-children-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Navy SEAL Raid in Yemen:
"Securing Our Nation" by Slaughtering Children

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Residents inspect a house that was damaged during a January 29 U.S. raid on the tiny village of Yakla, in central Yemen.
Residents inspect a house that was damaged during a January 29 U.S. Navy SEAL raid on the tiny village of al Ghayil, in central Yemen. U.S. helicopters indiscriminately bombarded the entire village, destroying stone huts as families slept and gunning people down as they fled, even wiping out people’s livestock. About 23 unarmed civilians were killed, including at least nine children under age 13. (AP Photo) (AP Photo)

In the dusty highlands of Yemen sits the tiny village of al Ghayil. On January 29, with a fleet of drones and helicopters swarming above, about 30 U.S. Navy SEALs descended from the sky to attack two houses in al Ghayil. People were used to the sound of U.S. drones circling above, a constant menace in Yemen. But the approach of helicopters set off alarms. People grabbed their weapons and rushed to defend the village from unknown attackers.

The U.S. military responded by indiscriminately bombarding the entire village, destroying stone huts as families slept and gunning people down as they fled, even wiping out people’s livestock. About 23 unarmed civilians were killed, including at least nine children under the age of 13, one of them three months old. Between six and nine women were killed, including one who was pregnant, and one shot in the back of the head as she fled with her wounded baby in her arms. Unarmed men, including elders, were also killed.

Eleven-year-old Ahmed Abdelilah al Dahab was the first to die—stepping outside his home he asked the Americans, “Who are you?” and was fatally shot.

Eight-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki bled to death after being shot in the neck.

Mohammed al-Ameri’s three children, ages 4, 5 and 7, all died when their home was destroyed by an air strike.

Abdallah al-Ameri, a 65-year-old subsistence farmer, was gunned down standing unarmed outside his home in al Ghayil.

One villager told Middle East Eye, “We all thought we would die that night. I’m so lucky that no one in my family was killed—but it’s so sad to see my neighbours killed without sin.” Others added: “You can’t imagine the forces that were dropped from the helicopters, and you can’t imagine the destruction to the village.”

Most al Ghayil residents fled after the first raid, having lost their cattle and their sense of security, but some stayed. On March 2, U.S. drones and helicopters came back and launched what a resident described as “indiscriminate shelling” of the ruined village. Later that day the U.S. launched air strikes in 20 locations in Yemen. On March 3, an air strike hit the home of Abdulelah, the surviving brother of the target of the January 29 raid, killing three members of his family. Late that night a drone strike hit a car he was in, killing four passengers, and possibly Abdulelah as well. On March 5, the U.S. again attacked al Ghayil. After that one of the last families fled and now lives under trees a few miles away.

Beatification of a War Criminal

In the course of the January 29 hour-long episode of mass murder, one U.S. Navy SEAL (Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens) was killed. (In addition, at least three others were wounded, and at least one $72 million Osprey helicopter was destroyed.) In the U.S. media and ruling class political circles, that was the “tragedy” of the al Ghayil raid. Owens was virtually elevated to sainthood by Trump when he spoke to the joint session of Congress in late February, declaring that he “died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero—battling against terrorism and securing our nation. ... Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity.” Democrats and Republicans rose to their feet as one for a 90-second-long ovation. Dozens of dead Yemeni civilians were just “collateral damage,” not even worthy of mention.

Lying Justifications

Al Ghayil is so small and remote that there are no population figures, nor indeed any statistics available, even on U.S. intelligence websites. That did not stop the U.S. military from making outrageous claims that al Ghayil was a heavily fortified terrorist military base, “defended by prepared emplacements and machinegun nests, and ringed by minefields.” (Middle East Eye) The military described one of the people they targeted as the leader of an al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula cell and said his home was a “fortified compound.” They claimed that the women they killed were armed combatants. They claimed to have uncovered a treasure trove of “intelligence” that will be used to “save American lives.”

But their whole narrative is filled with outright lies. Journalists have now visited al Ghayil and report that there are no fortified compounds, minefields, or machine gun nests. They have recorded detailed descriptions by villagers of how unarmed women and children were gunned down in, or fleeing, their homes.

And given that al Ghayil had neither electricity nor cell phone coverage, the idea that it was some nerve center of international terrorism is ridiculous. In the six weeks since the raid, the only “intelligence” the U.S. has been able to point to is an al-Qaeda instructional video, which has been available on the Internet for several years!

Yemen and its people have been plunged into a complex hell of civil war and foreign invasion, as reactionary forces battle for control, while the U.S. and its close ally Saudi Arabia back some of them with weapons and troops. In this complex situation, guns and the pervasive conflict between armed reactionary groups is part of the intolerable terrain that the U.S. helped create. And this has created conditions for reactionary fundamentalist Islamic jihadist groups to gain a following.

But under any circumstances, the idea that it doesn’t matter how many Yemeni children you massacre as long as you can claim that somewhere down the road it will save American lives—is immoral and opens the door to the most depraved crimes against humanity.

Bridge Between a Murderous Past and a Genocidal Future

On one level, the SEALs’ raid was not an “aberration”; it was a continuation of the violence that the U.S. has rained down on Yemen for many years.

In 2013, a U.S. drone strike on a wedding convoy in al Ghayil killed 11 or 12 civilians. The groom at that wedding survived but was murdered on January 29.

Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki, the eight-year-old who was killed in al Ghayil, was the daughter of an American citizen who was a propagandist for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and was assassinated in a drone strike in September 2011. A few weeks later, his 16-year-old son—Nawar’s older brother, who had no connection to AQAP—was also murdered in a drone strike. Now Nawar, too, has been killed.

On a national scale, 10,000 civilians have been killed in the U.S.-fueled civil war, mostly through massive Saudi bombing raids that have devastated crowded markets, hospitals, mosques, and funerals. And the Saudi blockade of fuel and other essential material going into Yemen has caused a famine—almost three quarters of Yemen’s 24 million people are now either “food insecure” or facing outright starvation.

But as criminal as past U.S. violence in Yemen has been, the al Ghayil raid seems to mark a pivot to a whole other level of carnage, foretold by Trump’s pledge to “exterminate” U.S. foes in the Middle East, and fueled by his regime’s open hostility to the Muslim world.

Under Obama, the U.S. sought to supplement military dominance with winning some sections of the people to politically support the U.S., and for that reason, the military was at least formally required to take steps to ensure with “near certainty” that there would be no civilian casualties in raids and drone attacks. However, the U.S. automatically defined all men of fighting age killed by the U.S. as “terrorists” (and therefore “not civilians”). And while these “precautions” were in effect there were numerous atrocities, including the attack on the wedding convoy mentioned here.

But the Trump/Pence fascist regime has a different approach to insuring U.S. dominance of the Middle East, one based very heavily on open terror and overwhelming force, a “kill them all and let god sort it out approach,” as expressed in Trump’s open pledges to torture opponents, to kill their families, to seize their oil, etc.

And since the al Ghayil raid, the U.S. military has been granted authority to declare more parts of Yemen “areas of active hostility,” where there is officially not even a pretense of trying to avoid civilian casualties. The new “standard” is merely that civilian casualties should be “proportionate”—an open-ended phrase that could justify any amount of slaughter.

What we seem to be seeing, then, is the U.S. turning down the path of open warfare against the people of Yemen, even while it is also escalating military actions and committing new atrocities in other parts of the region, particularly in Syria. This is an ominous development that cries out for condemnation and opposition by people in the U.S. and should fuel our determination and escalation of the struggle to drive out this regime as soon as possible, before the blood begins to flow in rivers.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/american-crime-case-65-the-first-barbary-war-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

American Crime

Case #65: The First Barbary War, 1801-1805

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

In that light, and in that spirit, "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.

 

 

THE CRIME: In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson dispatched the Navy and Marines to blockade and then invade Tripoli (then part of the Ottoman empire, now known as Libya), launching the First Barbary War that culminated in 1805 in the brutal Battle of Derne. Jefferson did so in the name of combating "piracy" and fostering "free commerce," after Tripoli's Muslim ruler, Yusuf Karamanli, renounced his 1797 treaty with the U.S. and demanded a lump-sum payment of $225,000 plus $20,000 each year for allowing U.S. ships to transit waters off the coast and deliver and pick up cargo at Tripoli’s port.

Jefferson declared America's response to Tripoli's ruler was "sent by squadron," dispatching war ships to the northern coast of Africa to blockade the port of Tripoli, where naval battles between U.S. and Tripolitan ships ensued. In 1803, after the U.S. frigate Philadelphia ran aground while chasing a Tripolitan ship and the crew of 307 was taken hostage, Jefferson sent five frigates, including the USS Constitution along with the Marines to "subdue, seize and make prize of all vessels, goods, and effects" in Tripoli.

In 1804, the U.S. tried to remove Karamanli from power and put his brother Hamet, then exiled in Egypt, on the throne. U.S. warships bombarded Tripoli. U.S. Army Lieutenant William Eaton led a small force of Marines along with 500 Arab and Greek mercenaries to march across the desert from Alexandria, Egypt, to the port city of Derne (now known as Derna, Libya), the second largest city in Libya.

The Battle of Derne was brutal and vicious. The American-led mercenary force killed 800 and wounded 1,200, while suffering a handful of casualties in taking the fortress at Derne—and hoisting an American flag in triumph—and then holding it in a fierce battle with Karamanli's troops.

Eaton's forces then started marching on the port of Tripoli, threatening even greater casualties. Yusuf Karamanli agreed to a new treaty ending hostilities against the U.S. and returning all U.S. citizens he held captive in return for a U.S. payment of $60,000.

This was the first time an American flag was planted on soil across the Atlantic Ocean, the first war for the U.S. outside the Americas, and was the first U.S.-military enforced political change in that part of the world. This First Barbary War has been hailed ever since as a just and heroic action, enshrined in the Marine Hymn "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli," and deeply embedded in the military ethos of the U.S.

       

“Attack on Derna” by Charles Waterhouse

THE CRIMINALS: The main criminal was U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, who was the commander in chief in this war. Jefferson expanded the U.S. Navy and Marines for this war, dispatching ships to Tripoli declaring that "peace" in the Middle East was attainable solely "through the medium of war."

Other criminals were Samuel Barron, the U.S. Commodore in the Mediterranean, who led the naval blockade of Tripoli; U.S. Navy Captain Edward Preble, who commanded the expanded U.S. Navy and Marine force; and U.S. Army Lieutenant William Eaton and U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Presley Neville O'Bannon who led the murderous attack in the battle at Derna.

THE ALIBI: Thomas Jefferson called Tripoli's renunciation of the 1797 treaty and its demand for payment "groundless and insolent," and that he was deploying the U.S. Navy and Marines to stop piracy against American merchant ships along the Barbary Coast (Northern Africa, in particular: Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis), and to protect American economic interests and those manning the American merchant ships.

The Barbary War of 1801-1805 and the Battle of Derne were hailed in the press as great American victories. The Louisville Courier-Journal would later write about America's new hero, William Eaton, "Kentucky Officer First to Carry Stars and Stripes to Victory in Foreign Country."

THE REAL MOTIVE: Jefferson called Tripoli's demands "groundless and insolent." In reality, piracy for ransom or tribute had been taking place along the Barbary Coast of Northern Africa (Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli) since the 1500s, and in the 18th century, the rulers of the Barbary countries began to demand payments from countries wishing to send cargo ships through their waters as a way to levy tariffs for goods being brought into these countries and the Ottoman Empire they were part of.

For years, American shipping was safe because Britain regularly made these payments. However, after the American Revolution, American vessels were no longer protected by British payments. At that time, the U.S. government agreed to take over the payments and then began to negotiate treaties with the Barbary countries. As part of the treaty agreements, the U.S. promised to make tribute payments to these countries. In 1797 the U.S. and Yusuf Karamanli agreed on the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary, which was negotiated by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Karamanli believed he was owed $6,000 from the U.S. for agreeing to the treaty.

But it was the U.S. which apparently didn't uphold its end of the bargain, and by 1801 the U.S. still hadn't paid the $6,000. This and other considerations prompted Karamanli to repudiate the 1797 treaty and demand a lump sum of $225,000 plus $20,000 a year.

Jefferson seized upon the incident to move aggressively and wage war outside the Americas for the first time for a number of reasons.

1798-1808 was a period of tremendous economic growth in the U.S., sparked in large part by the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 and the expansion of slavery. This brought a huge increase in U.S. exports, particularly cotton and wheat, to other parts of the world that were carried there by merchant ships. Between 1793 and 1801 there was an almost a five-fold increase in the value of U.S. exports and in earnings from the trade in goods and slaves internationally. By 1807, the value of U.S. exports had risen to over $108 million, over five times higher than in 1790.

U.S. trade in the Mediterranean was significant enough that pirates and the Barbary states were considered “a major annoyance,” according to one scholar. For example, payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20 percent of U.S. government annual expenditures in 1800. In weighing whether to pay tributes or go to war, Jefferson saw this as a challenge to U.S. trade and commerce around the world: "If we wish our commerce to be free and uninsulated, we must let these nations see that we have an energy, which at present they disbelieve." (In 1784, when he was minister to France, Jefferson was already contemplating building a navy, including for use in North Africa. "Why not begin a navy...and decide on war?" he said. "We cannot begin in a better cause nor against a weaker foe.")

This First Barbary War was part of enshrining America's self-proclaimed "right" to flex its military power in every part of the world—with devastating consequences for humanity.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

American invasions, Canada to Afghanistan 1775 to 2014, Dr. Rocky M. Mirza, iUniverse, 2010

“Battle of Derne, Wikipedia

First Barbary War (1801-1805), adapted from The American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History, by John Mack F. Faragher, Henry Holt and Co., 1998

HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS: Avast! How the US Built a Navy, Sent In the Marines, and Faced Down the Barbary Pirates, by Christopher L. Miller

Piracy and Maritime Crime: Historical and Modern Case Studies, by Bruce A. Elleman, Andrew Forbes and David Rosenberg, Naval War College Press, 2010; see Thomas F Turner's chapter on "President Thomas Jefferson and the Barbary Pirates."

The Economic Growth of the U.S., 1790-1860, by Douglas C. North, Prentice Hall, 1961

The First Barbary War, Monticello.org

War and Commercial Independence, 1790-1815 (Overview), Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, Thomson Gale publisher, 1999

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/april-29-peoples-climate-march-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

April 29 People's Climate March: "We will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet"

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dozens of environmental and environmental justice groups have been joined by faith groups, unions, and others in calling for a march for climate, jobs, and justice on April 29 in Washington, DC. Satellite marches will be held across the country. The march is a continuation of the “People’s Climate Movement” that brought 400,000 people into the streets of New York City in September 2014 in response to the climate crisis. And it is taking place a week after the March for Science that is to take place in DC and other cities around the country and the world on April 22.

The call for the march states:

On the 100th Day of the Trump Administration, we will be in the streets of Washington D.C. to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet.

We will come together from across the United States to strengthen our movement. We will demonstrate our power and resistance at the gates of the White House. We will bring our solutions to the climate crisis and the problems that affect our communities to our leaders in Congress to demand action.

The march demands action and solutions to the climate crisis rooted in racial and social justice, protecting clean air, water and land, and a world at peace. Very importantly, the demands to protect the environment are joined with demanding an immediate stop to attacks on immigrants, communities of color, and indigenous peoples, and for protecting basic rights of freedom of the press, speech, and protest.

At the People's Climate March, September 21, 2014. Photo special to revcom.us/Revolution

This call happens as the Trump/Pence regime has launched a savage all-out war on the environment at a moment of planetary environmental peril. Trump’s budget calls for a massive 31 percent evisceration of the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency that will deeply set back climate protections and research, greatly damage efforts to safeguard air, water and land, and hamstring environmental science. The same day this was announced, coral reef scientists reported that vast sections of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia—perhaps the richest ocean ecosystem on earth—are already dead, killed off by ocean warming and carbon dioxide pollution.

The fascist Trump/Pence regime and its supporters in Congress have already killed a rule that restricted coal companies from dumping waste in streams, rolled back clean water stream rules, ended monitoring of methane emissions by the oil and gas industry, and promised to get rid of new vehicle fuel efficiency standards. They’re moving to allow killing of bear cubs and wolf pups in wildlife refuges, and to undermine the Endangered Species Act that has helped stop extinction of likely hundreds of threatened species in the U.S. They have silenced officials, and scrubbed information from government agencies charged with protecting the environment and public lands. They’re on a mission to eliminate any regulations limiting the ability of capitalist businesses to plunder the natural world. And all this is joined with an overall fascist consolidation of society that threatens oppressed people and all of humanity.

The April 29 march is a welcome call to bring people into the streets to stop this dagger aimed at the heart of our planet and its people—and needs to be linked with and be part of strengthening the very urgent fight to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/president-of-south-korea-ousted-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

President of South Korea Ousted After Months of Determined Protests

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People filled the streets of Seoul, South Korea, on December 3, 2016 to demand that South Korean President Park must get out of office. This was the sixth straight weekend of massive protests.
People filled the streets of Seoul, South Korea, on December 3, 2016 to demand that South Korean President Park must get out of office. This was the sixth straight weekend of massive protests. Photo: AP

On March 10, in an unprecedented move in the country’s history, a South Korean court removed the president from office. This came after months of determined protests with millions of people taking to the streets all over the country, week after week, demanding that President Park Geun-hye resign in the face of a growing corruption scandal.

In December, Park had been stripped of her presidential powers after a legislative vote to impeach her. Now a constitutional court has unanimously decided that Park has committed “acts that violated the Constitution and laws” and must step down. As a civilian, Park no longer has presidential immunity and prosecutors are now seeking to charge her with bribery, extortion, and abuse of power. Hwang Kyo-ahn, an ally of Park, will serve as acting president until the country elects a new president, which it is required to do within 60 days.

Months of Determined Protests

Week after week, for many months, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the capital city of Seoul and in other cities in South Korea. These protests were determined—expressing in words and deeds the stance that just because a regime is in power, it doesn’t have to stay in power—that just because someone is elected for a five-year term doesn’t mean they can’t be forced out before that.

These protests were initially sparked by a corruption scandal, centered on how Park let her friend Choi Soon-sil use the government to extort tens of millions of dollars from businesses. But all kinds of things about Park’s presidency have angered people and, as many analysts have noted, people were not just seeking to remove a leader but also rebelling against a dictatorial political order that had ruled in South Korea for decades.

Park Geun-hye’s father, Park Chung-hee, seized power in a military coup in 1961 and ruled as a brutal president and military general until he was assassinated in 1979. His is a hated legacy Park Geun-hye continued in her presidency.

       

Park attacked the labor movement, including the left-wing Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union. She maintained a blacklist of cultural figures who spoke out against government policies or supported opposition politicians. In 2015, she announced that school textbooks produced by private publishers would be replaced with government-issued ones – which were full of not only factual errors, but right-wing bias. In April 2014, there was the tragic Sewol ferry disaster, where more than 300 people died, 250 of them high school students. Many looked at the callous way Park handled this as a concentration of how the president just didn’t care about the people. Together with all this, there was also widespread and deep dissatisfaction with persistent, deep inequalities in society in things like education and employment—which people felt Park was only reinforcing. Under these circumstances, powerful forces in the South Korean ruling class made a call that Park should go.

Celebrating Park’s Downfall

On Saturday, March 11, in Seoul, tens of thousands rallied to mark the downfall of Park—up against over 20,000 police. People were there to celebrate—but also to demand that Park be arrested and imprisoned. Someone had made a replica of a jail cell with cardboard cutouts of Park and others who had been implicated in the corruption scandal and people took turns taking selfies in front of it, while people snacked on a “prison bread” that had been specially packaged for the occasion. Some expressed anger that Park was still in the presidential Blue House. A 24-year-old protester, a web designer, said, “I want her dragged out because that’s what’s right.” A 37-year-old law school graduate carried a sign that said, “Park Geun-hye must immediately move out. The place she belongs is prison.” A former supporter of Park who had turned against her, a 73-year-old woman who came with her son and daughter-in-law, said, “I used to like Park Geun-hye, but I think I was mistaken. Young people know what’s happening now, but we old people were living in the past.”

For months, millions of people took to the streets, determined to keep protesting until Park was forced from office. At the massive evening demonstrations, they carried candles and began to call themselves the Candle Force. Now, as tens of thousands occupied the streets in downtown Seoul to celebrate their victory in bringing about the ouster of Park, they shouted, “The candles have won!”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/billboard-in-phoenix-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Uproar and Threats in Phoenix Over Anti-Trump Billboard:

"I got the opportunity to have a platform to say something, and I took that opportunity"

March 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Billboard in Phoenix, Arizona

On March 17, artist Karen Fiorito with the help of Hugh Gran put up two billboard posters on the 1000 block of Grand Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona, just in time for the four-day Art Detour event in downtown Phoenix. One side of the billboard depicts five hands of all races spelling out U N I T Y in sign language, while the other side depicts Trump with Nazi flag-esque money signs that resemble swastikas and mushroom cloud nuclear explosions going off behind him on both sides.

The Limited Liability Corporation, an organization in Phoenix that supports the art and artists, gave Karen Fiorito a platform to make a statement about the Trump regime. When asked about why she did the pieces, she explained to Fox 10 Arizona, “I got the opportunity to have a platform to say something, and I took that opportunity, and I take full responsibility for it,” and “There’s a lot of tension right now in the air, and I’m trying to express that for a lot of people who feel they don’t have a voice right now.” She expanded further that “I do feel like we are headed down a road of destruction,”... “So, that’s my expression and I think I have the right to say that, and they do believe me.”

Her Facebook page, “Karen Fiorito’s Art Page,” as well as the Facebook page for a Phoenix business “Kooky Kraft Shop” that helped share the images of the billboards. are under attack by Trump supporters. Death threats and other forms of harassment can be seen on both Facebook pages.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/demand-nypd-stop-surveillance-and-political-suppression-of-revolution-club-and-refuse-fascism-activists-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Demand the NYPD stop the surveillance and political suppression of Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism activists!
Demand the DA drop these outrageous charges immediately

March 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There is a pattern of NYPD stalking and surveilling political speech coming to light— from the moment Refuse Fascism first published a full page ad in the New York Times individuals have been targeted for political and legal persecution for spreading the urgently needed political message, “NO! In The Name Of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America!”

On January 4, the day that Refuse Fascism printed a full-page ad in the New York Times, Refuse Fascism activists including several Revolution Club members went outside Fox News headquarters in New York City with a five-foot tall enlargement of the New York Times ad. As they were marching down the sidewalk towards the subway they were followed by NYPD vans, flashing their lights, and an entourage of around 8-12 NYPD officers. These stalkers followed them throughout the city, and all the way 35+ blocks downtown to a Refuse Fascism meeting happening in Greenwich Village, making sure to switch to cops from a different precinct as they got closer downtown and entered that precinct’s jurisdiction on the way to the meeting.

On January 12, New York police [from the 6th precinct] stalked, arrested, and brutalized a young person associated with Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club. She and a friend were walking through Greenwich Village, on their way to a publicly announced Refuse Fascism event. She was carrying Refuse Fascism posters tucked under her arm. When her friend went into a store to pick up some food, a woman walking behind her read her sign aloud: “Stop Trump/Pence.” Seconds later, this woman—an NYPD cop in plainclothes—and two other cops, also not in full police uniform, grabbed the young woman and began manhandling her. Several police cars arrived, and the assembled NYPD force pushed her up against a car, and shoved her face against the trunk. The police subjected this woman to hours of abuse—political, physical, sexual, and psychological. And in addition to this she has been charged with three misdemeanors facing up to a year in jail. To read the fuller account, go to revcom.us. 

On February 4, 2017, as the "LGBT Solidarity Rally" at the historic Stonewall Inn was drawing to a close, four people, revolutionaries with the NYC Revolution Club, and volunteers with Refuse Fascism, were brutally attacked and arrested by the NYPD. They are being charged with seven misdemeanor crimes carrying up to a year’s sentence on Rikers Island.


New York City, Stonewall Inn. Members of the LGBT community and many others rally to stand with immigrants. (Photo: Twitter/@Samynemir)

In a statement Noche Diaz and the other defendants said, “We were at Stonewall to stand with people against the first iteration of the inhumane "Muslim Ban. We challenged and connected people with the need to confront the fascist nature and direction of this regime, and that protest alone would not be enough; we need to build a movement and drive the regime from power, and do so not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity. We were attacked for bringing out this message. We have previously been stalked and arrested by the authorities, followed, and harassed by police and Trump fanatics.”

The stakes of these cases are very high—a key part of fascism is the trampling on and tearing up of civil and legal rights, and there are moves across the country to further criminalize protest, to erode and eliminate the room to even oppose the moves by the regime against the people and the planet. [Read more]

Should the NYPD be able to get away with stalking, harassing and arresting those people who are putting before society the horrors facing humanity with the installation and consolidation of the fascist Trump/Pence regime? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

Should the message of Refuse Fascism—the necessity to drive out this fascist regime—be politically and legally suppressed? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

Should those people who recognize the horrific consequences for humanity and the planet and are acting to bring this to millions more be surveilled, targeted, brutalized and thrown into prison? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND!

Should the message of those revolutionaries who while doing this sharply put before people the real history of this country, the nature of the system and how things could be radically different, be silenced and suppressed? NO! THIS CANNOT STAND! 

This struggle against repression is an important part of the overall struggle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime and YOU are needed.

We are calling on all people of conscience to express their outrage at the illegitimate suppression of political speech, to demand that these charges be dropped, and the surveillance, in particular by the 6th precinct, of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club members be STOPPED.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-neil-gorsuch-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

4 Things You Need to Know About Neil Gorsuch—Trump's Nominee for the Supreme Court

March 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

1) GORSUCH IS A CHEERLEADER FOR TORTURE

During Gorsuch's 14 months as Principal Deputy to the Associate Attorney General from 2005 to 2006, he was a crucial architect of the legal defenses for Bush's "War on Terror" policies following 9/11. Gorsuch articulated legal justifications of Bush's order to wiretap Americans' international phone calls and emails without warrants, and of the administration's practice of suspending habeas corpus for some detainees, The New York Times reported last week. He also visited Guantánamo Bay, and praised the prison commander for having implemented "standards and imposed a degree of professionalism that the nation can be proud of." 

2) GORSUCH ASSOCIATED THE RIGHT TO ABORTION WITH A RIGHT TO “POLYGAMY, DUELS, PROSTITUTION AND ILLEGAL DRUGS”

During his campaign, Trump declared “I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.” In other words, justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade, making the right to abortion limited to states that allow it. Gorsuch has avoided overtly publicly stating his position on overturning Roe v. Wade, but he has upheld the right of corporations to refuse to provide women employees with insurance that covers birth control based on the corporation’s religious beliefs (in the “Hobby Lobby” case). He has a record of questioning court rulings upheld while restricting a woman’s right to an abortion. In a critique of one such ruling (Planned Parenthood vs. Casey), Gorsuch wrote that the logic invoked by a plurality of Supreme Court justices in that case of upholding Roe v. Wade  could also lead to respecting the right to “polygamy, consensual duels, prostitution, and, indeed, the use of illicit drugs” (See “The Gorsuch Record - Alliance for Justice.”)

3) GORSUCH IS AGAINST SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE 

Gorsuch has gone to extreme lengths to fight for tearing down the separation of church and state. Serving on the 10th Circuit Court, he vigorously opposed a majority ruling that displaying the Ten Commandments in a monument on a courthouse lawn violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution (that prohibits the establishment of a state religion.). Similarly, he was in the minority objecting to a court ruling that when the Utah Highway Patrol erected 12 foot high crosses, that violated the establishment clause. 

4) GORSUCH UPHOLDS POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER

As summarized in The Gorsuch Record : “Whether upholding summary judgment in favor of a school district where a boy with mental and physical disabilities was abused and repeatedly subjected to confinement in a small room... or holding that a police officer had not used excessive force against a nine-year-old when she put him in a twist-lock hold that broke the child’s collarbone... Judge Gorsuch repeatedly forgives constitutional abuses by government officials.” Gorsuch has issued rulings and opinions that upheld the conviction of a defendant on the basis of statements he made without getting the Miranda warning, and the conviction of a man on a Native American reservation after a prosecutor improperly advised the jury this conviction would “end the cycle of violence” on the reservation. And over and over he has upheld police brutality and murder. He upheld police putting painful handcuffs on a middle school student accused of making fake burping noises in class. He has consistently upheld murder by police in cases where there was no credible threat to the life of safety of anyone. 

 

       

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/teach-in-the-refuse-fascism-call-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

A RefuseFascism.org Teach-In

What is fascism . . . What it means for humanity that the Trump/Pence Regime is fascist And, Why It Must Be Driven Out.

A talk by Andy Zee

Advisory Board of RefuseFascism.org

 

Updated March 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This is a talk given by Andy Zee of the Advisory Board of RefuseFascism.org, at the teach-in in New York City, March 17. It has been slightly edited for publication.

Q&A—RefuseFascism.org Teach-In with Andy Zee, March 17, 2017

Thank you and welcome Live Stream and video audience. Tonight I am going to take some time to get deeply into the Refuse Fascism Call to Action. Then, we will have a discussion and then the local chapter has a plan for some smaller discussions, which will not be livestreamed.

It is my intention that this talk provide a deeper understanding of what we face with the Trump/Pence regime and what we need to do to stop it. This talk should spark other teach-ins, dialogues, salons, forums, short YouTubes as well as provide impetus for planning and organizing to develop the ways and means to drive out the regime. So, let’s begin.

A Call to Action:

NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime!

The Trump/Pence regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is. For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence. Because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, the Trump/Pence regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.

So begins the Call to Action of Refuse Fascism. Today we are going to deeply dig into the import and significance of this Call to Action.

After the Call makes the case for how and why the Trump/Pence regime is fascist and what this fascism means including why it poses a grave threat to humanity; it shows the process through which fascism develops; it sharply puts forth why people must not normalize or collaborate with a fascist regime; and, then in conclusion, the Call puts forward four broad objectives and tasks to stop it by driving out the regime. So I am going to break down the Call to discuss the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime; the process through which it unfolds; the danger of normalization, conciliation and collaboration; and the program of Refuse Fascism in the bold strokes of the four objectives at the Call’s conclusion.

The First of these Objectives is that OUR SINGLE UNIFYING MISSION MUST BE TO DRIVE OUT THE Trump/Pence regime.

Today we will answer: Why is this, DRIVING OUT THE REGIME, the unifying mission and objective of Refuse Fascism?

And, why must this become the goal for the millions of people who are agonized over what the Trump/Pence administration is doing... for the millions who took to the streets in the largest protest in U.S. history on January 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration.

And, in that context,

Why is the NO! and why is the Refuse Fascism Call to Action, a key guide to understanding what it is that humanity faces with the Trump/Pence regime and a broad framework of orientation and principles for stopping this fascist regime by getting to and achieving the single objective of ousting Trump/Pence from power. The Call, without mincing words, starkly puts forward what is at stake should we fail to do so.

The short answer to WHY is because they are bringing fascism. This is not hype or exaggeration, but what it is. And fascism when it is fully consolidated leaves little to no recourse for change.

A vignette from the Atlantic Monthly:

Stephanie Delgado-Garcia had volunteered for Clinton in Pennsylvania and went to vote with her formerly undocumented immigrant parents. She took a picture of her mother wearing a Hillary button in the voting booth. “I felt like I lost my country that night,” she said. “Here was a man who essentially told the American public that the America I thought was great was in fact broken for making my story possible,” she said.

Stephanie is not alone in her sense of loss. It’s personal for her, yet its cause and solution is societal. A week after the election I was at a brunch meet-up in Harlem and a older man from the neighborhood said that he couldn’t leave his house for three days after the election and didn’t look or speak to another person for the whole week until that brunch at a local restaurant. Mental health professionals report an increase in people seeking help from the trauma of the elections.

But this is not the worst of it. In Phoenix, Arizona, Guadalupe García de Rayos, who came to the U.S. when she was 14 and has lived here for 22 years and is now a 36-yr old mother of two children was arrested inside the U.S. Immigration office after she had reported to them, just as she had been doing every month for six years.The ICE agents had to bust their way through 100 immigrant rights defenders who had mobilized to defend the immigrants. They used their bodies to block the van, but it got through and Guadalupe was driven to the border and sent back to Mexico.

Millions of families now live in terror. Native Americans defending their tribal lands at Standing Rock, North Dakota—struggling in the cold of winter to prevent the water of the Missouri River from being poisoned by an oil spill—Native peoples who through their heroic and just struggle inspired thousands to join them were shut down by the Trump/Pence regime as the DAPL pipeline was approved.

Then, and this is crucial to understand, feeling unleashed by the new Trump/Pence fascist regime, the North Dakota state government passed a draconian law that basically says it is OK for drivers to run over protesters who are blocking a road in non-violent civil disobedience. Thirteen other states passed similar laws including Arizona where the state can now seize your house, car, any assets you have if you take part in a political protest that the police, the police, call a riot—before you are convicted of any crime. THIS IS A COMING ATTRACTION OF THE FUTURE THAT LIFE UNDER FASCISM WILL BE. 

Yes, Fascism can happen here. It has begun. A fascist regime is in power. With the Republican Party in control of both houses of Congress, in control of the majority of most state legislatures and governorships, and soon possibly in dominant control of the Supreme Court, the danger is real. And, let’s be clear the Republican Party has been a fascist party for a long time now. And, as we will discuss later as we dig into the Refuse Fascism Call, the Democrats will normalize and collaborate with the regime because keeping the system going is more important to them than what this regime will mean for the masses of people and the future of humanity.

The anguish people feel is just. The actions of millions righteous. But, if people don’t know what they are up against, the nature of the beast we confront, then their actions will fall short of what is necessary.

If you treat a cancer with only painkillers and don’t get rid of the cells that are mutating and destroying your body, it will destroy your body. We face a political cancer. It must be driven from power.

PEOPLE ACT ON WHAT THEY UNDERSTAND. The KEY to opening up the possibility of Driving Out the Trump/Pence regime is how people understand the reality we face. If we understand the necessity we face with this draconian fascist form of rule, then, with leadership, people in their masses can find the will and the way to act to drive this cancer from power.

The Refuse Fascism Call is the sharpest analysis of what has changed with the assumption to power of the Trump/Pence regime. There is nothing else that identifies the problem as fascism so sharply and succinctly, and nothing else that provides a way forward commensurate with what humanity faces.

The Call is controversial. It is not what most people are already thinking and doing—even as we have seen that the Call really resonates with what people do know about the Trump/Pence regime. And, the Call reflects a different approach from how most people conceive of building a movement.

Typical “movement thought and process” is you figure out what most people already want to protest around and call a protest. Then repeat. It doesn’t matter whether your protest is actually addressing the problem people face, or if it will lead people to better understand that problem, or if it will enable them to see more clearly what will redress or solve the problem.

The point I am making is that if you tell people only what they already know, you will leave them, and the terrible situation they are in, right where they already are.

What we are doing with this Call is tapping into the huge reservoir of people who feel, as Eddy Grant once sang, that “deep in my heart, I abhor” what this regime represents, and who have stood up, who continue to protest, and it leads them and millions more to see the nature of the beast we are up against and therefore, what must be done.

Let’s go back to the CALL and see what it says about the Fascist Regime:

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime!

The Trump/Pence regime is a Fascist Regime. Not insult or exaggeration, this is what it is. For the future of humanity and the planet, we, the people, must drive this regime out.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have assembled a vicious cabal that has put forth positions and begun initiatives which demonstrate that they fully intend to shred political and social norms with catastrophic consequence. Because Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, the Trump/Pence regime is more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.

Let’s stop here—TRUMP is even MORE dangerous than Hitler... Trump has said... if we have nuclear weapons, why don’t we use them? He has said, then “let’s have a nuclear arms race”... this at a moment when tensions around the world are extremely tense from the Mideast to North Korea.

His strategic adviser, Stephen Bannon, who Trump has put on the main committee that deals with matters of the national security, the National Security Council, who calls himself an economic nationalist—with his Alt-Right platform, Breitbart... and let’s dispense with euphemisms, he is a FASCIST with a program that echoes very closely the Nazi Party, that he sees a war that could last decades between Judeo Christian Civilization and Islam, which is thinly veiled as a war of the WHITE north.

Yes, Trump is more dangerous. Hitler could only dream of such a weapon.

Continuing from the Call:

Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

... (I’m going to skip a paragraph)

In the first weeks of the Trump/Pence regime they have begun subverting the separation of powers, the separation of Church and State, called for a new nuclear arms race, demonized the press, dismissed the very concept of truth substituting their own fabricated “alternative facts.” It can already be said of Trump/Pence that “first they came for” the Muslims, then the Mexicans, then all refugees, then women, then Black and Latino people, LGBTQ persons, the environment, and anyone who doesn’t conform or submit to their vision and plan for a nation cohered around white supremacy and a political form of Christian fundamentalism, that should rightly be called Christian Fascism.

Three points:

[1] Fascism has direction and momentum: Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. I have spoken some about this but we should be clear that there is a method to this madness—destroy all credibility in what is objectively true, make everything a matter of opinion and narrative, create a narrative of an aggrieved section of the people—the true Americans (read white people who get behind Trump’s America First fascist movement, and those people from other groups who can be compelled to fight and die to defend Trump's vision of America while demonizing and preparing for war against every “OTHER” group of people), and ENFORCE this by [a] criminalizing dissent—including having the state (that is the police) lock people up and worse for what has been, at least formally, a protected right to free speech; and [b] mobilizing his mob to beat people up and “take them out on a stretcher.” Make no mistake: the murder of a man from India at a bar after work in Kansas, is already happening and is a forewarning of what is to come.

[2] The Call says: “First they came for the Muslims, the Mexicans, then all refugees and immigrants...

THIS THEY HAVE BEGUN. Communities are terrorized... Families torn apart. But, this is madness with an objective—to demonize, drive people to live in the margins in constant fear, and more fundamentally to drive millions out, if not actually throw them out... And at the same time, to enlist the whole country in a morality and ethos of complicity to stay silent or to join in.

The groundwork was laid before... “If you see something say something.” Mass deportations—three million deported under Obama... but, the program of Trump/Pence is a leap beyond.

Let’s be clear of yet another method to the madness—so that we can understand the way that the whole society gets re-molded with fascism. Note the step-by-step progression... of “First they came for the Muslims... then they came for the Mexicans.” What happens: First, the “undesirables,” to the fascists that is, get demonized, driven under ground, locked up and thrown out, if not ultimately worse. Then, everyone else who goes along with this becomes part of the problem—complicit and paving the way for a whole society to be a part of fascist order. And, three, all this prepares the people for aggression and war against people all over the world to assert American Empire in a different way than has been the dominant way that the U.S. has gone about this.

[3] That paragraph ends with the vision of a “nation cohered around white supremacy and a political form of Christian fundamentalism, that should rightly be called Christian Fascism.”

Now you might think that Donald Trump, a lifelong vile sexual predator, and the Christian Fundamentalist movement are complete opposites. But, what they share is a thoroughly misogynist view of women—a view and horrific practices that objectify, degrade, control, brutalize, and cost women not only the ability to live full lives as people, but even their very lives.

So, we need to understand the roots of what has coalesced in the Trump/Pence regime.

What we are dealing with is not just another really repressive and reactionary Republican administration, not principally a vile narcissist with a twitter feed with a bunch of racist billionaires surrounding him, but a regime that has brought together what has been developing—fascist movements, white supremacist KKK/militia and Tea Party movements that overlap with a huge Christian Fascist movement—that have been taking root inside of and outside of the power structures for several decades now, which have been brought together under the Trump/Pence regime that will codify—that is cement—into law a fascist America and change life as we have known it in ways that you can’t imagine. Donald Trump has become the vehicle to political power for a whole ugly range of fascist movements that have been growing with their separate media, culture, arms and militia, as well as being infused up into the military and especially various formations of special forces.

Stephen Bannon has said that America is not just a nation with an economy, but at the center core of what “we believe” is that “We are a nation with a culture and reason for being.” And, this culture is white, Christian against all others. This is why immigration is central to the start of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. And, we should be clear that they will work to enlist Black people and immigrants into their fascist America as enforcers here and around the world of this horrific program by making these the only choices to avoid destitution, incarceration, or deportation, or even worse.

Christian Fascism and Donald Trump may not be a perfect fit, but they don’t have to be.

For an in depth understanding of this whole process I recommend that you get into the “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer” by Bob Avakan, the leader of the RCP who has developed a new synthesis of communism.

All of this comes together in the next paragraph of the Call, which concentrates the most defining features of fascism... and as such ties together what I have been speaking about:

Fascism is not just a gross combination of horrific reactionary policies. It is a qualitative change in how society is governed. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive “traditional values.” In Trump’s election campaign he encouraged and fed on the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. In his inaugural address he pledged allegiance only to this movement. What is crucial to understand is that once in power fascism essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights.                                

The Trump/Pence regime has brought together under the banner of “Make America Great” all of these things: racism, xenophobia (fear and hatred of others), hatred of women and differently gendered people, a re-institution of traditional values... but what is essential to understand is that this will create tremendous misery for masses of people here, and around the world, and what is most important to understand is that with fascism’s basic elimination of what have been democratic rights—the right to dissent, not papering over the repression that normally goes on against opposition forces in this society—what fascism discards in traditional rights, will make it immeasurably harder to fight for any kind of better future. In most countries where fascism has been fully consolidated, it has only been removed by an outside force, such as defeat in war.

So I have taken some time to go into the sections of the Call that succinctly describe fascism. To put this another way, fascism is a qualitative change in how a capitalist/imperialist society is governed, including what the societal norms have been—which means what the values, morality, and customary way that people relate to each other and to different groups in society has been. The Trump ethic of bullying and to the victors belong the spoils—whether in how predatory men like him relate to women, or white people relate to everyone else, or his doctrine of war—which is really straight up undisguised colonialism—and I quote Mein Trumpf: “to the victors belong the spoils.”

Fascism means the virtual elimination of basic democratic rights, including the right to dissent. Yes, these such rights have been severely limited and curtailed for whole sections of the people from the foundation of this country, and increasingly so (with 2.3 million still incarcerated and 3 million people deported by Obama last year), but fascism, what Trump/Pence are preparing to bring down on society, is on a whole other level.

Fascism uses violence of the mob and of the state to demonize, attack, destroy and divide people to accomplish these objectives. Fascism makes the whole society complicit in horrific immoral crimes. A whole society of what people have rightly called “Good Germans” referring to the millions of German people who looked the other way as first communists and radicals were hauled away, then gypsies, then people with disabilities, then the Jews were rounded up and slaughtered.

Not only does the Refuse Fascism Call to Act starkly put forth what is the essence of fascism, which we have just gone into, but it goes into what kind of struggle is necessary.

So, I am going to go back to a crucial paragraph that I left out that comes early in the Call:

After it says:

Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

The next paragraph reads:

Millions of people, outraged by this regime, took to the streets delivering a stinging rebuke to Trump the day after the inauguration. Protest and resistance continues against the many attacks on the people by the Trump/Pence administration. This must grow broader, deeper, and more determined. This resistance is righteous and necessary, but it is not sufficient. We must recognize that the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

This is a critical paragraph in this call. I want to highlight Two Points:

[1] Millions took to the streets and millions are still agonizing over what this regime means for the future and want to act. And, there are thousands, who continue to act.

Everyone who has a heart for the people, who recognizes the danger of this regime should welcome and uphold righteous acts of resistance and protest. This resistance must grow broader, deeper, and more determined. Refuse Fascism should unite with such resistance, talk and work with people, as well as at times, call actions itself so that the resistance involves more and more people, so that it reaches into sections of the people who have not as yet been active—this is one of the reasons why the Refuse Fascism Tour that is now in Texas at SXSW is traveling the country and why we need more such tours, and the protest needs to become more determined. If the future depends on what people do now, and it does, our actions should reflect that. Determination is not just tactics employed in a protest, but the serious commitment to resist until victory is won.

The Call next says: This resistance is righteous and necessary, but it is not sufficient.” And goes on to give the reason for this:

... the character of fascism is that it can absorb separate acts of resistance while continually throwing the opposition off balance by rapidly moving its agenda forward. The Trump/Pence regime will repeatedly launch new highly repressive measures, eventually clamping down on all resistance and remaking the law... IF THEY ARE NOT DRIVEN FROM POWER.

This identifies a crucial understanding that even if particular measures are partially rolled back or stymied, even if Trump sends out nice tweets and reads from a teleprompter for an evening... even if there are partial pushbacks on one or another front... as long as the regime has its hands on power, they can move very quickly to change the rules of the game. If we just look at the way they summarily dismissed all of the U.S. Attorneys from the Obama administration on a Friday morning calling for them to be out by the end of the day, whether or not there was a replacement or a crucial case pending; or the way they fired the Acting Attorney General when she defied Trump, gives you a glimpse of why and how they can in an instant change the rules of the game. For now, they are reluctantly and only more or less “obeying” the rulings that have stayed the Travel Ban—but they fully intend to make this the law.

Stephen Miller, Attorney General Sessions’ former staff member and now key adviser to Trump—a person, by the way, who is a protégé of and recommended by David Horowitz, a reactionary fascist who has made it his life’s work to purge the universities of critical thinking and progressive thought—said: “The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” (Emphasis added)

If you don’t get that what we are dealing with is not just another really repressive and reactionary Republican administration, but an emerging fascist regime, your fight will be rearguard—your fight will be only in reaction to whatever they do, and misleading people into what will be a disaster.

If you don’t get this nature of what we are up against you will be pulled to other easier solutions other than what it will take for the people to put a stop to this and why stopping this regime requires that the people be mobilized to Drive Out the Regime.

Instead, you will wait it out, or work for the next election, or look to just create a safe space—an enclave to escape and hope against reality to survive; or, you will fight the good fight and even see this as a great opportunity to “build your movement” against one or another or even many abuses... UNTIL ONE DAY THE Trump/Pence regime SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT.

The Trump/Pence regime IS IN POWER. That has real meaning and stakes. They have a riled up social base and they have the Republi-Fascist Party in power in Congress and a majority of State Houses. If that is the case, why do we say that it is still possible to STOP them? That it is Possible to Drive Them Out. Because there is a WINDOW for us to act NOW. That window is open, not wide, but open, and it could slam shut crushing and much more thoroughly closing off the possibility to put a stop to the fascist program.

Let’s go to the next section of the Call:

Don’t Normalize... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Conciliate...

Don’t Collaborate...

There is method to Trump’s madness that echoes Hitler. Fascism advances in stages through outrage, shock and intimidation, followed by brief periods of normalization where people accommodate to the new situation the regime has imposed.

 After the election, Obama said of Trump: “We are now all rooting for his success.” NO! If Trump succeeds, humanity loses. Bernie Sanders has said that he will work with Trump on jobs or where they agree. NO! If you work with fascists you normalize the road to horror.

This is not just a pendulum swing Democrat to Republican, but a regime that is moving to establish a fascist order under the signboard of “America First.” Acting as if the election in 2018 or 2020 is the way to deal with this regime is folly, betraying a lack of understanding of just how fast, furious, and profoundly this regime will change the rules, cement its rule, destroy lives and crush spirits.

You cannot try to “wait things out.” Those who lived through Nazi Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler demonized, criminalized, and eventually rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes.

You cannot wait and see with fascists.

Let’s break this down:

» FASCISM HAS A TRAJECTORY—it is a serious restructuring and remaking of society while still within the framework of the system of capitalism and imperialism and for the objective of strengthening that system as seen by one faction, which itself is fractious—divided and fighting amongst themselves even as more fundamentally they move with haste to implement their program—a fractious, fascist faction of a powerful section of the ruling class who now have control of all three branches of the Federal government and the majority of state governments, and, as we saw in the election, they have a huge base in the police forces, the border patrol, and significant influence in the intelligence apparatus and the military.

Yet, it is extremely important to recognize that, even as they have captured the Presidency and established a regime of ghoulish thugs, nonetheless, to hammer their full agenda, to implement their full fascist vision and program, they are not on a clear playing field. It will be a fight that they have to wage... which they are doing—seizing initiative everyday even as they create new problems for themselves as they bulldoze ahead. It is important to learn from history and from what they have said and what they are doing that the regime will unfold their program in steps but with an overall pace and method of unrelenting shock and awe. There is method to the madness. But, most important, we need to understand that this is a fight that the Trump/Pence regimes has to wage in opposition to:            

» Struggle within the ranks of the rulers... They must target their opposites grouped mainly in the Democratic Party, but not only... and, as the section I just read sharply makes clear, for the Democrats, preserving the system is more important than stopping fascism. This struggle is sharp: Think about the chant “Lock her up” or maybe the Second Amendment people will take care of it...

» The fascist regime, even as it attempts to shatter previous world relations and norms, nonetheless does so in a situation of real world events that are beyond their control. There are many other players on the field.

» Even natural disasters can impact (Katrina) but even more, the actions of other forces who aren’t in power e.g., from reactionaries (such as ISIS), to the righteous struggle of people around the world (such as the Arab Spring).

» And, in what is decisive and central for us here in Refuse Fascism but really for all the people who want to see this regime gone, they must implement their full agenda in relation to the people of this country (and the world). And what the people do and don’t do in relationship to the measures they are taking and in response to their regime. What the people are led to do, what we lead them to do, to be able understand what the problem is that they face and how to respond, will have a lot to do about whether or not the regime is able to force people to comply with its edicts and how it distracts, bribes, and divides people.

Every section of society will be “in the field” putting forward different programs and viewpoints and advocating different courses of action.

This is the ground, the field, the terrain, that the Regime must contend with and it is the field that we are acting onworking to lead people to understand in very basic terms the problem and act in a way that can winby driving out this fascist regime.

Back to the CALL:

Fascism advances in stages through outrage, shock and intimidation, followed by brief periods of normalization where people accommodate to the new situation the regime has imposed.

I am going to just read the Bold Face...

If you work with fascists you normalize the road to horror.

This is not just a pendulum swing Democrat to Republican, but a regime that is moving to establish a fascist order under the signboard of “America First.”

You cannot try to “wait things out.

Obama once again led the way in demobilizing and ideologically disarming people. The fact is, for the same underlying reasons that give rise to the move from one faction of the rulers—the Republicans—to embrace a full out fascist program, is also the underlying reason that Obama and the Democrats could not and would not meet the real needs of the people who see them as representing their interests. This is why there are still no jobs for the masses of people, why Obama deported three million people, why mass incarceration stayed at genocidal levels. There are larger forces and imperatives of their system and empire that compel this. Then you have people like Bernie Sanders, and there are others, who want to sit down at the table to work with the fascists once again for bribes and jobs. Was it OK to work on re-building the factories and infrastructure in Germany in the early 1930s? Hitler did put people to work. But at what cost to humanity?

I can’t take the time here to discuss the media in any depth—all the ways and reasons they are under attack from Trump—fundamentally, as indicated earlier, to create a population that can’t think critically, that believes the narrative of its choice, all the while the regime creates a new reality that one day you MUST accept. And, while there is some resistance from the media, including a few real stands of principle, the norm is to treat this just as more partisan politics—with a nut case on one side who can’t resist mouthing off in person or on Twitter, all the while disarming people to understand the real deal.

There must be total non-compliance with this regime. Period. Scientists are now furiously copying scientific data so that a science-denying regime doesn’t destroy years of human knowledge even as they are rapidly moving to reverse even the grossly insufficient measures that have been taken thus far in the last few decades to protect the environment.

Last, on this section warning against normalization that leads to collaboration... be clear that is a slippery slope that gets fast quick, and the longer this regime is in power, the slicker and steeper and the faster and the more difficult it will get to put on the brakes and to get off the track of cooperating with a regime that is illegitimate, immoral and a mortal threat to humanity and the planet.

Once again, from the Call:

Those who lived through Nazi Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as Hitler demonized, criminalized, and eventually rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes.

At this point the CALL to Action says:

All of this is what renders the Trump/Pence regime illegitimate and a grave threat to people all over the world. Therefore, we resolve:

[1] Our single unifying mission must be to Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime.

[2] We must manifest the power of NO! everywhere: on signs, billboards, walls, social media and the news. NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America must resound.

[3] Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.

[4] We must ORGANIZE: working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence regime Is Driven from Power.

I have been speaking to the single unifying mission of Driving Out the Regime throughout this talk and will say a few more things when we get to point four on organizing for the kind of situation where the regime can be driven out. First I want to speak to Point 2: We must manifest the power of NO! everywhere: on signs, billboards, walls, social media and the news. NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America must resound. And, also, in this context the importance of getting out this Call to Action.

Through the getting the NO! known everywhere in this country... and through getting this Call wherever people are questioning, agonizing standing up, fighting back, resisting Trump and Pence... having it discussed and debated in and on the media and social media... in forums in the universities, the Town Squares and Town Halls as well as the classrooms and religious institutions... All of this spreading the NO! And Spreading the Call! When COMBINED with organizing, organizing people into Refuse Fascism, including uniting with struggles, as I discussed earlier, including Refuse Fascism itself calling for specific mass resistance and outpourings... all of this contributes to broadly raising consciousness, changing how people think, even if initially by introducing a new, different, and more accurate understanding of the problem and the way out... all of this contributes to that one single unifying mission to DRIVE OUT THE Trump/Pence regime because we Refuse to Accept a Fascist America—not just for people here in the U.S., but in the name of humanity.

All of this... together with things that are beyond our control, things that develop in the world everyday, some that the Trump regime does and the resistance that their actions call forth—as well as things that they or we don’t initiate but which every force has to respond to... all of this is part of the process of change... how people see the problem we face—what they think—and therefore what they see as necessary and possible to do.

Once again, people act on what they understand. Especially so when they face extreme situations. And, they need leadership—they need people who see the problem and the way out and who ACT and Lead on that understanding.

I've given the example of a fire. You know, if you are in a burning building, or you are just outside a building that's on fire, and don't know anything about it, about fire that is, and its properties, you could commit a big mistake. You could just start running around through the building, not knowing that most people die in fires of smoke inhalation.

But if you were a professional firefighter or you had learned something about this, you would understand that the first thing you've got to do is see if you can find some water, wrap it around a cloth and wrap it around your face and nose, and wrap similar pieces around other people's faces who are trapped in the fire, and then crawl out, getting below the level of the smoke since it rises. Because most people die of smoke inhalation and suffocation in that way. And yes, you would have to keep your eye out to be sure that the burning ceiling didn't fall in, or the floor didn't collapse. So those are things that you would have to know. But if you had experience in this you would have a chance to get people out of a desperate situation. But if you don't know what you are facing, you could make a grave error or run in terror when there are people who could be saved.

So that's by analogy. Right now people are acting against what the Trump/Pence regime is doing. They hate his despicable character. But they don't yet, en masse, meaning in their millions, understand the qualitative changes that this regime is going to bring and why only driving it out can bring it to a halt. Which is why they do protest, but why we are in a struggle to get people to understand what they face and therefore why we have to building up to the time when millions do want to act in such a way that they can drive the regime out.

This underscores why we need to get more deeply into the substance of the Call and do so with the kinds of questions that come up. Here I will speak to one of these questions—that it’s beyond the pale to compare Trump to Hitler, that Sunsara Taylor wrote about on revcom.us, “Why It’s Not Just Right, but Highly Illuminating and Very Necessary to Compare Trump to Hitler.” (I recommend the article and going to revcom.us everyday.) She got this from a reactionary, Tucker Carlson, but we hear this all the time from people who do want to resist Trump. What do they say:

» Don’t say that because it turns some people off—never mind if it is an important analogy that clarifies what we face and the stakes. But, why does it turn people off?

» Because it makes them uncomfortable? Why? What is the thinking behind their discomfort and does their thinking correspond to reality—to what the Trump/Pence regime actually is and will do? Does it help a patient if the doctor doesn’t tell them the truth about the disease they have and enlist them in the process of fighting the disease? No, it doesn’t.                                   

» Making the comparison with Hitler forces people to confront the enormity of the horrific future that this could mean... it’s unthinkable, not in their experience, not what the good people on CNN/MSNBC and their Facebook feed are leading them to think about. Denial of reality leads to paralysis and/or complicity.

» And/or some people who begin to see the truth that we face—fascism—don’t want to confront the logic of where this will lead and what they should do in the face of that horror—the changes they should make to their lives and work to stop this. If you wait till it really gets bad to disrupt your life and act, it could well be too late.

» And/or those who know a little, or even a good deal of history, they sometimes get hung up on the surprising fact that this is not Germany, that it is not 1933, and that the development of fascism in the U.S. is taking place here and now and not then and there... In short, they are not able to drill down to the essence of what fascism is and pull back the lens to see the larger picture.

Once you do that, you can see how eerily fitting the parallels between Hitler and Trump/Pence are... and how much there is to learn from the analogy and the history.

Fascism has been developing in the U.S. over decades and is now coalesced in this regime. Yes, fascism comes to America wrapped in the American Flag, America First, and the Bible... (once again I recommend reading “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer” and The Coming Civil War and Repolarization in the Present Era by BA).

I spoke earlier to the third point of the three-part program at the end of the Call: Every outrage committed by this regime must be met with greater and greater resistance.

Here, just a few comments on the fourth point: once again,

We must ORGANIZE: working with all our creativity and determination toward the time when millions of people can be moved to fill the streets of cities and towns day after day and night after night, declaring this whole regime illegitimate—Demanding, and Not Stopping, Until the Trump/Pence regime Is Driven from Power.

If this happens, then the whole political landscape would be dramatically transformed, every faction within the established power structure would be forced to respond—and all this could lead to a situation in which this fascist regime is driven from office.

This is what we are aiming for. The key to it is understanding the necessity we face and then, on that basis, organizing, organizing, organizing—bringing forward the people who see this, to work and struggle together, to develop the plans that can unite with the many, many people who yearn for this nightmare of the Trump/Pence fascist regime to be gone, to find the pathways and the leaps to building the struggle ultimately of millions who have the determination to not stop until the battle is won, to be in the streets in their millions creating such a political crisis that the ways and means are found to boot this regime out of power.

We must have our sights clearly on this objective—spreading the NO! Uniting with struggles that are going on—helping to make them broader, deeper, and more determined, organizing people and raising the funds so that organizers can be freed up, so that signs and stickers and billboards can be paid for, building the organizational capacity to really reach the millions who need to be reached and brought into a great struggle to oust the regime.

Join with Refuse Fascism, reject the politics of hatred and cruelty, racism and misogyny, xenophobia and war for empire against other peoples around the world, think and reject the no-nothing anti-scientific bullshit of this regime—from Trump’s lies to Mike Pence’s biblical literalist repressive future. Sign and circulate The Call... and as The Refuse Fascism’s Call to Action concludes:

Let it not be said that we did not move heaven and earth to drive out this regime. This must be a moment in history when millions stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to resist and say NO! Not just for ourselves, but in the name of humanity.

Drive Out the Trump/Pence regime!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/donald-trump-trying-to-keep-kaepernick-from-being-signed-by-an-nfl-team-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

From a reader

Donald Trump is trying to keep Colin Kaepernick from being signed by an NFL team

Updated March 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


Colin Kaepernick

This week Donald Trump, at a rally he held in Kentucky, spoke out on why NFL teams are not signing Colin Kaepernick, who last year refused to stand for the national anthem in protest against police murders and police brutality. (See “Statement from Carl Dix: Colin Kaepernick Put It on the Line Against the National Anthem! What Will You Do?”)

Trump said that the reason Kaepernick is being shunned by teams is because “NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump, do you believe that?” Then he said, “I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky, because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?”

Kaepernick, who has called Trump “openly racist,” did not vote in the 2016 presidential election. He has said that if he plays this year he will stand for the national anthem because he no longer wants his method of protest to detract from the positive change that has been created from last year’s protest and that, according to the Washington Post, “He also believes the amount of national discussion on social inequality—as well as support from other athletes nationwide, including NFL and NBA players—affirmed the message he was trying to deliver.”

Kaepernick is a free agent this season, which means his contract ended with the San Francisco 49ers, the team he led to the Super Bowl, allowing him to sign with any team in the NFL that wants him to play for them. Right now there are no callers and Trump entering into this is sending a message to team owners that they better not sign him... or else.

The owners, as group, are very wealthy and are politically right wing, and some are open supporters and close friends of Trump: Robert Kraft who owns the New England Patriots and was given a ride on Air Force One by Trump; Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, has been appointed by Trump as the U.S. Ambassador to Britain. And, Denver Bronco’s senior executive, John Elway, wrote on official Broncos letterhead to the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Listen to this Talk by Bob Avakian:

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Track 1, Track 2

The teams’ failure to sign Kaepernick for this season is obviously politically motivated. However, most sportscasters are saying it’s because Kaepernick is not a good quarterback. That is utterly bullshit. Kaepernick’s passer rating ranked him 23rd among all the starting quarterbacks on the 32 NFL teams. Further, he gained more yards running than any other quarterback in the NFL last year, except for Tyrod Taylor of the New Jets, who played in three more games than Kaepernick—all of this, despite playing on one of the worst teams in the NFL.

His former 49er coach, Jim Harbaugh, said this week on NBC sports radio’s “Pro Football Talk” show, “I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player. He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

Richard Sherman, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks and who played defense against Kaepernick in two games this past season was asked if he thought Kaepernick was being blackballed. Sherman said, “I’m sure he is.... It has nothing to do with football.... He would be a starter on probably 20 of the teams in this league. But you’re telling me that ... you’re going to pick up some of these other guys and tell me that they’re starters? ... It’s difficult to see because he’s played at such a high level, and you see ... quarterbacks who have never played at a high level being signed by teams. So it’s difficult to understand. ... You don’t have 32 starting-level quarterbacks in this league. You have about eight elites, and then you have the rest of the league. ... So he could play and start on a ton of teams in this league.”

In an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Kevin Blackstone, a professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, wrote, “[T]he NFL became the sport of middle- and working-class white America, whose distaste for Kaepernick’s pro-#BlackLivesMatter, apparent anti-police stance, was summed up Monday night in Louisville by the new president who carried most of that NFL demographic.... It doesn’t matter that there are laws, rooted in freedom of speech, in some places in this country that protect employees from punishment by their employers due to their political views or activities. Washington, D.C., is one such place. California, where Kaepernick played since entering the league as a rookie in 2011, is another. What Kaepernick dared to do was spit in the NFL’s eye. Unless and until Kaepernick is back in the league under a contract commensurate with his résumé, blackballing is football’s payback.”

Since the season ended, Kaepernick has continued to work for social causes. He joined a GoFundMe campaign that has raised more than $2 million for food and water for the people of Somalia and he worked out a deal with Turkish Airlines which has granted the use of a 60-ton cargo plane to fly the food and water to that famine ravaged country.

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After Trump made his Kentucky statement, Kaepernick, in an in-your-face response to Trump, personally donated $50K to Meals on Wheels, one of the social programs to be defunded with the Trump budget. This prompted Sarah Palin to post on her blog, “SERIOUSLY? Colin Kaepernick Just Pulled ANOTHER Political Stunt...”

On Tuesday, ESPN’s show Outside the Lines did a major segment on Kaepernick vs. Trump and the role that the NFL is playing in national politics. On that show, Jane McManus, a reporter and commentator on espnW, laid out “how there has always been connections between the NFL and people in power.” Steve Almond, who has written on the social impact of the NFL, said that “football is kind of a metaphor on how people see the world.” The way I see it, Donald Trump sees football as his worldview which is a zero-sum game. There are winners and there a losers and he stands up in front of that crowd saying my tweets will keep him out of work. The larger point is that it is a football nation. It is, not just the most popular sporting event, but a cultural activity. It reflects how we think about the world, divided into winners and losers and we’ll do anything to be a winner. That’s the question to me on how this really relates to Donald Trump. Does he want to win so badly that he will do anything to win?

If you follow sports at all, you will know that this is a big topic of conversation. And if you don’t follow sports, we will let you know if something more happens.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/steve-harvey-breaks-previous-record-for-bootlicking-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Steve Harvey Breaks Previous Record for Bootlicking and Belly Crawling

by Carl Dix

March 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Steve Harvey is a clown, and not in a good way. It wasn’t enough for him to make his personal trek to Trump Tower to kiss the ring of Donald Trump. Now he’s advising others that they should take up his bootlicking approach toward Trump. In response to a video by Snoop Dogg that satirized, in Snoop’s words, “That fucking clown in the White House,” Harvey’s advice to Snoop and others was: “You gotta respect the president.”

Given the money-grubbing, woman-using outlook in the putrid “advice books” Steve Harvey has put out, Harvey probably actually DOES look up to and respect Trump. But no one who cares about humanity should respect that fascist.

What reason is there to respect a man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy; who has called for a Muslim ban; who has vowed to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to deport even more than the 2.5 million immigrants deported under Obama; who has promised to take the gloves off the police—police who have been caught on video murdering Black people again and again—and called Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization?

Maybe Harvey meant people should respect the office of the president, not the man? To that I say U.S. presidents have from the very founding of this country presided over horror after horror perpetrated on humanity—theft of the land and genocide of the native inhabitants, the enslavement of Black people and continually subjecting them to savage exploitation and oppression, wars of conquest beginning in Central America and the Caribbean and expanding throughout the world, and now devastating the environment of the very planet we live on and sending drone strikes that slaughter men, women, and children in countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Harvey went on to say that Snoop and others had to be careful how they spoke of Trump because Trump’s people can use the government to come after their money or they could get targeted for having caused someone to attack Trump. Harvey is blaming Snoop in advance. And he’s saying that Snoop and others should keep their mouths shut, their heads down, and their asses covered while Trump’s fascist regime targets Muslims and Latinos; while he threatens to send the feds to “fix” the carnage in Chicago; while he calls media that won’t report his lies as the truth “enemies of the people;” and more.

I got one question for Steve Harvey: How did that work out in Nazi Germany?

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/483/carl-dix-farrakhan-says-you-can-make-a-deal-with-trump-en.html

Revolution #483 March 20, 2017

Farrakhan Says You Can Make a Deal With Trump; We Say Drive That Fascist Out of Office and Overthrow This Goddamn System!

by Carl Dix

March 25, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam ended his keynote speech at the NOI’s annual Saviours’ Day event this year by saying: “Why you [Black people] are afraid is you don’t see God’s hand in Donald Trump becoming president. ... God put him there to dismantle this house.” The house Trump is supposed to dismantle is the domination of the world by white people!

Earlier in his speech, Farrakhan said: “Be careful how you [referring to Black people] talk about the president—I talk, but I’m respectful. ... because if anything happens to Mr. Trump, these people [his white supporters] are gonna cut loose, and who you think they gonna cut loose on first—us [Black people].” Farrakhan also said it was time for Black people to separate from white people. “They [white people] are not gonna give you enough jobs, and they’ll never grant you justice. But with President Trump, you might be able to make a deal when the chastisement of God gets so severe.” Farrakhan even said Jim Brown was right to go meet with Trump because Trump is a powerful man and Brown is smart enough to make a deal with him.

This is bullshit. Farrakhan saying god put Trump in the White House to dismantle white world supremacy is like a Zionist leader of the Jewish community back in the day saying god put Adolf Hitler in charge of Germany in order to drive the Jews to Palestine!1 God didn’t put Hitler in office—the imperialists in Germany did—and the Jews ended up being murdered. Trump WAS put in the White House—by the U.S. ruling class. He is on a mission, and it’s not one from god—it couldn’t be, since god doesn’t exist in the first place. It’s a mission to impose a fascist form of rule on this country.

The Trump/Pence regime has already begun to demonize and target group after group. Trump has asserted that the truth is whatever he says it is. He has attacked the media and threatened those who criticize him. Where Trump is headed is clear. He is aiming to reinstate open white supremacy; have the U.S. run amok all over the world; slam women “back into their place”; persecute Muslims, immigrants, and gay and trans people; and take away legal and political rights altogether. The Trump/Pence regime is fascist, and it must be driven out before it’s too late.

Farrakhan’s “advice” calls for Black people to betray other oppressed people who are feeling the lash of Trump’s program by leaving them out there on their own. And it disarms Black people in the face of the hammer the Trump/Pence regime will bring down on them and sets them up for the slaughter.

That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn or be forced to accept.

What kind of a deal can you make with a man on this kind of mission? What Farrakhan is saying is that Black people should aim for their piece of the pie in America, by looking to make a deal with Trump to get control of their own communities. And that to get to make that deal means staying on Trump’s good side. Standing aside and keeping quiet while other oppressed people are targeted in Trump’s fascist onslaught because if you speak out, you’ll come under attack too. And besides, it might mess up whatever deal you could work out with this powerful man.

And Farrakhan is putting this shit forward at a time when many, many people are being impelled into political life, resisting in ways they haven’t before and asking big questions about why things are the way they are, and what can be done about them. There is potential to build the kind of movement that is needed to end all the horror America enforces on the world, and Farrakhan advises Black people to stand aside from it and look for an opportunity to cut a deal to get their piece of the rock.

I know some supporters of Farrakhan will say I’m not being fair to the minister because there’s more that he has in mind than what he put out in his speech; that he didn’t lay everything out “because you can’t let the enemy know your full plan.” To them I say, a leader who has a “hidden plan” is out to use that plan to ride the backs of the masses of people. The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) has a plan—making revolution and getting rid of this system and the exploitation and oppression it enforces on humanity. It puts its plan out to the masses so they can take it up, wield it and change history.

As Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP, says:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

There are two diametrically opposed outlooks here. Looking for a chance to get yours by grabbing a share of the exploitation and plunder of this system versus becoming part of the emancipators of humanity and acting to end all exploitation and oppression.

The Trump/Pence regime has a program for Black people: unleashing the police to kill and brutalize even more people, filling the jails even fuller, doling out a few jobs to bribe people into becoming enforcers of his clampdown, using its lackeys to spy on, confuse, divide, and crush anybody who says NO to all this. They aim to crush the struggle of Black people against their oppression, once and for all. There will be no deal with this regime that achieves anything good for Black people. Talk about maybe dealing with Trump “when the chastisement of God gets severe” amounts to looking to sign onto the Trump program when you think you can get the most out of it. This would be a program of getting in on the oppression of the Black masses.

Black people need to join in with all different kinds of people to drive this regime from power. And in driving out the regime, the aim is not to get things back to the way they were before, because the way things were before was no damn good. Billions of people throughout the world and millions of people in the U.S. suffered unnecessarily. The fight to drive out the regime that has even greater horrors in store for humanity needs to be taken up as part of bringing about an actual revolution that ends the suffering this system brings down on humanity, once and for all.


1. By the way, this analogy is also apt because Farrakhan plays a role today similar to that of the Zionists back then: they told their people not to fight against all oppression, but to sell themselves to imperialism as oppressors of others. And now the state of Israel brutally serves the U.S. in the dirty work of its oppression of not only the Middle East, but whole world. [back]