Revolution #542, May 7, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/what-is-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

What IS an Actual Revolution?

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people. Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing, for an actual revolution. Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/457/how-we-can-win-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on revcom.us. It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

 

Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on www.revcom.us on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

ENGLISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

SPANISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/agitate-organize-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Agitate! Agitate! Agitate! /
Organize! Organize! Organize!
Build a Movement for an Actual REVOLUTION

Making this come alive through compelling agitation

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

While there is a need and a place for propaganda and theoretical discussion to dig further into the substance (and, yes, the complexities) of this, the emphasis must overwhelmingly be on making this come alive through agitation—agitation that is not scholastic and convoluted but truly compelling, including in its radical simplicity viscerally bringing to life—the “intolerability” and unnecessariness of this system... that the only way to overcome all the horrors of this system is to make an actual revolution, not some minor changes within this system but the actual overthrow, yes overthrow, of this system, through actually defeating its armed forces of oppression and repression ... dismantling the institutions of this system and building a whole new society on a radically different economic and political basis; ... that this system of capitalism-imperialism can be replaced by a far better system—one that is truly emancipatory—as embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America; and that there is the basis, in the new communism and the leadership of BA, to make all this a reality.

AND ON THIS BASIS, we can and must draw people toward, and increasingly into, the ranks of the revolution. And this must be led, modeled, and insisted upon in a consistent way. This gets to the particular importance of HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution as a working document—a basis and guide to bring alive the need and basis for revolution and to concretely organize people into this revolution, and that this is not just something that we must grasp firmly as a basic point of orientation—although we must do that—but is something that we must be actively applying in practice, further grappling with and forging the means to consistently carry out work that actually organizes people into the revolution (on the right basis), and in so doing lays the basis for continually expanding the ranks of the revolution, not just in ones and twos but in terms of masses of people, and through ongoing geometric leaps.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/running-with-the-revolution-club-agitating-organizing-for-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Observations and a Vignette from a Day Running with the Revolution Club:

Agitating and Organizing for an Actual Revolution

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

I went out with the Revolution Club to agitate, organize, and recruit people into the movement for an actual revolution. We focused our work around the pamphlet: HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. What follows are couple of reflections and observations on the deep receptivity to the full message of revolution, and the need to struggle with people and for people to actually run with and take up spreading the revolution because there is the leadership, strategy, and vision to defeat this system, but only if we get organized and start changing things now.

These notes are meant to give a sense of the potential when we go out with revolution straight up, and to provoke revcom readers to be a part of more and more transformation in how we go out and build the movement for revolution. These observations should be seen not as the “final word” on exactly what to do, but as a contribution to what should be a living scientific process of changing the world—impacting and recruiting people who want revolution—and then summing up and sharpening and deepening our approach to doing so.

A Vignette

After spending several hours on a busy strip in a major center of Black life in our city, we spent the evening in another part of town at a major museum and its monthly free celebration, which is incredibly diverse. A guy we’d met earlier in the day had studied the pamphlet and came down to join us. As most of our team got out to the crowds, we decided to sit down with this guy and really go through the strategy together. Before long, one of our comrades brought over another young guy who was interested in the revolution, and then another one. Soon, two of us were leading a deep discussion with three new people about the strategy for revolution, with each of them bouncing off the pamphlet and our agitation, as well as what each other was raising. They had questions about communism, about religion, about whether it really would be possible to defeat this system and its full power, about why there is so much disrespect towards women, and what socialism really is and whether it is a deep enough change. We listened and engaged what people said, working to apply exactly what is laid out in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, where it says: “We need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.” In this way, we would explore different things they raised, but in relation to—and while continually bringing things back to—the solid core of the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

After a bit, we decided we should act to impact the crowd more as a collective force, so we broke up our discussion and joined the rest of the team. Someone from the club led some chants and people formed up to march around in front of the museum where many people were mingling in the warm spring evening. Heads began turning and people reached out for literature. Some took pictures. When we got to the other end of the plaza, a young guy who had been performing on his own sound system to a crowd of people stopped to see what the commotion was about. One of us started agitating to him and to those within earshot, explaining and making the case for what we were doing. He began to nod, so our person asked if they could get on his mic for a minute. He agreed, so then our person jumped on the mic and did a rap for the whole crowd—exposing the crimes of the system and the need for a revolution, promoting BA and making clear we are recruiting on the spot. She ended by calling on everyone who was feeling what she was saying to put their fist in the air—at first no one did, but she persisted and one after the other, fists started raising up. She gave a shout-out to the guy who lent his mic, and then went out with others to recruit everyone who had put their fist up.

By way of constructive criticism, some of the team hadn’t really paid much attention to who had responded and it took a bit of struggle in the team so that we had a way to identify and then get with all who seemed interested and go to work to recruit them. One young guy took a large stack of pamphlets, explaining—after he got a sense of our mission and strategy—that he lived in a building with 22 floors and he wanted to put them under all the doors. He also asked if he could bring his 16-year-old niece to a BA film showing we have scheduled in his neighborhood in just a few days. One of the new people with us pulled out their camera to record and later remarked, “That took a lot of courage to do!” It gave him a further sense that we really are serious.

As the sun set, our whole team—decked out in BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts and with stickers all over our bodies—went inside the museum. We were not allowed to hand things out, but throughout the night people were coming up to us, asking to take our pictures or wanting to know more about the revolution. As we walked through an exhibit of art from radical women from Latin America, the guy who had joined us for the first time that day turned to me, “You mean, you guys are into art as well? I can’t believe this, this is perfect!” He ran into friends who he introduced to us, and we all got into the revolution deeper. Later, he and another member of the Revolution Club were discussing a series of self-portraits by women and getting into the origins of the oppression of women near a glass doorway at the entrance to the exhibition. Just as we were getting into the roots of oppressive gender roles, sexual shaming of women, and the origins of class divisions, an older white gender-nonconforming person opened the glass door and threw their arms out, announced loudly, “OK you guys, group hug! I absolutely LOVE your stickers and shirts.” So we all hugged, and the young Black man who had joined us that day took off a sticker and put it on our new friend, and our conversation expanded.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/yemen-yet-another-reason-to-overthrow-this-goddam-system-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Yet Another Reason to Overthrow This Goddam System:

America Sponsors AND Directly Carries Out Genocide in Yemen

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It’s just come out that the Green fucking Berets are in Yemen!

What are America’s elite killers doing there? Backing and directly carrying out Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war. Helping murder thousands. Blocking aid and starving more than eight million Yemenis. Poisoning water, destroying hospitals, and infecting a million with cholera. Killing or wounding 5,000 children and scarring 11 million more.

And this is just one of 150 countries America’s storm troopers are marauding in because that’s how this capitalist-imperialist system works.

Is this a force for good? HELL NO! This is a force for the enrichment of a handful at the expense of the destruction of millions and, yes, billions of people. This is a force for exploitation and oppression. This is a force that has to be brought down—at the soonest possible time.

As for the soldiers doing this? They are not “the good guys.” They are not—or they should not be seen as—“our boys.” They are killers in the service of imperialism and deserve no respect whatsoever. And this is doubly so for the so-called “elite forces” like these sadists.

Nothing less than a real revolution—one that mobilizes millions to go up against and dismantle this system’s violent machinery of death and destruction, and brings in a whole new system—can uproot and end these horrors!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/israel-the-blood-soaked-best-friend-of-america-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Israel: The Blood-Soaked “Best Friend of America” Carries Out War Crimes While Imperialist Gangster Pompeo Gives His Blessing

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over 40 Palestinians dead and 5,000+ wounded—these are the casualty figures among Palestinian protesters at the Gaza-Israeli border in the last five weeks in the Great March of Return, demanding the right to their land unjustly taken when Israel was founded with imperialist backing. Mostly unarmed, the protesters are going up against the murderous violence of the Israeli military. Medics helping the protesters say that Israeli troops are now using a new type of ammunition—known as “butterfly bullets”—which are designed to cause devastating injuries in human bodies and leave people disabled for life, if not outright kill them. A Gaza health official said a butterfly bullet “pulverizes the leg, and the leg gets cut off [as a result].” Doctors Without Borders is recording “an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist.”  At least two dozen people hit by Israeli bullets during the protests have had to have amputations, including two journalists.

According to news reports, Israeli troops are being ordered to deliberately target protesters’ legs. One protester, 21-year-old Alaa al-Daly, was an athlete, training to compete in this year’s Asian Games in cycling. On March 30, as he was trying to help another demonstrator who had been shot by the Israelis, a single bullet shattered his knee. Doctors tried to save his injured leg, but had to amputate it in the end. Daly said, “I saw my legs, and my dreams vanished. I said to myself: This wasn’t a bullet. This was like a mini-grenade.”

These are war crimes being carried out, in front of the world’s eyes, by Israel against protesters for daring to express opposition to the Israeli dispossession of a whole people, and as part of enforcing that dispossession, the confining of 2.4 million Palestinian children, women, and men in an open-air concentration camp that is Gaza. These atrocities are what Mike Pompeo—latest member of the Trump/Pence regime war cabinet—gave full blessing to when he said in a recent visit that the U.S. “fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”   

The U.S. rulers—Republicans and Democrats—call Israel America’s “best friend,” give them more aid than any other country (over $3 billion a year), and back the genocidal blockade of Gaza and the starving of its children. The imperialist gangsters of the USA are the Number 1 supporters of Israel’s war crimes and are soaked in the blood of the Palestinian people.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/541/open-letter-to-kanye-west-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Open Letter to Kanye West, Now Playing the Part Of Pitiful Bootlicking Fool for the Oppressors and DANGEROUS Collaborator with Fascism—and a Warning to Everyone on Where the Logic Leads

May 3, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the face of the storm that broke out from your remark that slavery was “a choice” for the enslaved, you say in your own defense that you’re being “attacked for presenting new ideas.” No, your ideas are not fucking “new”—you’re just recycling the same shit that the white supremacist capitalist oppressors who run this place have spewed out from the days of slavery through the decades of Jim Crow segregation and lynching down to the current era of mass incarceration and rampant murder by police, to justify the brutality and horrors against Black people. It’s the oldest idea in America: that Black people and Native Americans are inferior and “deserve” the horrific genocide and oppression that this white supremacist capitalist system has relentlessly doled out to them.

It’s a total outrage but not really a surprise that you’re defending slavery and even blaming the slaves themselves—for the 400 years of being kidnapped from their homes, millions perishing in the hellish voyage across the Atlantic… of being considered white men’s property and being whipped and even killed for not working fast enough… of being repeatedly raped by the slave masters… of being torn apart from loved ones sold off “down the river”…. You even erase the history of courageous revolts, from the ships carrying those kidnapped from Africa down to Nat Turner and beyond—a history which you well know, and then complain that too much of this history is now being unearthed and looked at. It’s not a surprise, because once you go with defending America, and especially once you go with defending the fascists who now run it, you’re gonna end up defending slavery. And by the way: the problem is NOT that a little bit of this country’s putrid past (and present) is now finally beginning to be dragged into the light—the problem is that this society STILL has not confronted this.

You stand as a warning, Kanye West, to anyone who wants to conciliate with Trump—you’re gonna go there eventually, if you’re not there already. Because the Trump/Pence fascist regime is just an extreme concentration of the system of capitalism-imperialism that exists in the USA—a country whose power and wealth, concentrated in the hands of the rulers, wouldn’t be shit if it weren’t for slavery; a country whose society just can’t let go of that shit, right down to the continuing bone- and soul-crushing oppression that keeps the masses of Black people in chains. That’s why Trump—who aims to make this criminal system even more horrific—has such high praise for you.

And don’t you dare bring up Harriet Tubman to justify your stinking words. Tubman heroically risked her life and led others to risk their lives to free hundreds of enslaved people, she supported armed struggle against it, and yes on that basis she struggled with those slaves who would NOT rise up and instead tried to make a place within the slave system. You, Kanye, in contrast, play the part of the pitiful, groveling fool licking the boots of the oppressors by blaming the oppressed.

Of course, at the same time, let’s not forget those whose words may be more honeyed than yours but who run the same essential message and who do NOT come in for criticism—like Obama himself, who denounced the brave youth who rebelled in Baltimore as “thugs,” who lectured students that if they would stop sagging they would “make it in America” and it was their own fault if they didn’t, who implied that the massacre of Black people in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist was “god’s will,” who would point to what he called America’s “flawed past” (300 years of slavery a fucking flaw!) only to say that things are getting better and better, who dropped bombs on and sent troops against people all over the world to defend this rotten empire, and who said after Trump was elected that we were all “on the same team” and should “root for his success.” Or, for that matter, that posturing misleader and wanna-be oppressor Farrakhan, who himself pathetically begs Trump for a meeting. So, on top of it, Kanye, you’re not even such a non-conformist—just someone putting the same basic logic out there in a way to attract more attention and sow more confusion and misdirection.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/why-michelle-wolf-truth-telling-made-some-of-you-liberals-squirm-and-attack-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

An Open Letter:

Why Michelle Wolf’s Truth-Telling Made Some of You Liberals Squirm... and Attack

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“Unnecessarily cruel.” “Mean isn’t funny.” “An “apology is owed” to those “grossly insulted.” “Offensive.” “Deplorable.”

Seriously? This is what some of you—who claim to be journalists who stand for truth and care about humanity—had to say after Michelle Wolf’s blistering, on-target takedown of Trump and his minions (and some of you!) at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD)?

Let’s get real! Michelle Wolf did more honest, insightful analysis and truth-telling in 19 minutes than her Trump-conciliating critics have done in 19 months!

Look at how your “renowned” colleagues Andrea Mitchell and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times all condemned Wolf for her spot-on skewering of Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and jumped to Sanders’ defense. Brzezinski tweeted: “Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable ... and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.” Mitchell tweeted, “Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted by Michelle Wolf.”

One would think you “journalists” would have started with the facts—what Wolf actually said about Huckabee:

We are graced with Sarah’s presence tonight. I have to say I’m a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale. Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it. Every time Sarah steps up to the podium I get excited, because I’m not really sure what we’re going to get—you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. “It’s shirts and skins, and this time don’t be such a little bitch, Jim Acosta!” I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

First, there’s not a word there denigrating Sanders’ looks, so the charge she mocked Sanders’ physical appearance is bullshit, something, speaking of serious journalism, you’d have known if you’d bothered to read the transcript, or better yet, watched the YouTube. As Wolf said later, she went after Sanders for “her despicable behavior,” not her looks.

Second, Sanders is not playing “wife and mother” on a TV sitcom. She’s the Trump/Pence regime’s press secretary and one of its chief and most dangerous mouthpieces, spinning its lies and justifying its fascist assaults on humanity day after day after day. That’s what’s truly “deplorable”! Calling Sanders a “wife and mother” is like calling Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels a “husband and father.” Is that how you’d have covered Hitler’s regime?

Third, Wolf dared to point to a profound, fact-based, verifiable truth that most of you in the liberal bourgeois media refuse to utter: Sarah Huckabee Sanders is part of a vast, right-wing, Christian fascist movement which actually does want to turn the fictional Handmaid’s Tale into reality! So comparing her to “Aunt Lydia” was spot-on!

Many of you were anxious to pat yourselves on the back for the “amazing journalism” you claim you’ve done over the past year plus, but Wolf was dead-on when she righteously ridiculed the euphemisms many liberal establishment reporters use when covering the fascist-in-chief Trump: “Trump is a racist, though. He loves white nationalists, which is a weird term for a Nazi. Calling a Nazi a white nationalist is like calling a pedophile a kid friend, or Harvey Weinstein a ladies’ man.”

And no—it is NOT cruel to warn people of this extremely dangerous reality. What is truly “cruel” and “mean” is to systematically cover it up—even apologize and generate sympathy for monstrous Christian fascists like Sarah Huckabee Sanders as if they’re the victims!

Journalism Should Be About Truth—Not Balance, and Definitely Not Conciliating with Fascism!

Another thread of your attack on Wolf was that she failed “because she was (spectacularly) one-sided,” and because her comments “made the chasm between journalists and those who don’t trust us, even wider. And those of us based in the red states who work hard every day to prove our objectivity will have to deal with it.” Is it “one-sided” and not “objective” to call Trump a white supremacist Nazi? No! Journalism should be judged by truth, not whether it artfully panders or reports on “both sides,” including a bunch of fascist rednecks in the red states. If you covered the Nuremberg Trials would you have condemned it as “one-sided” for concluding the Nazis were war criminals?

Margaret Talev, the head of the White House Correspondents Association, let the collaborationist cat out of the bag in her apology: “Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message ... while honoring civility. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”

Thank god it wasn’t! Offering a “unifying message” and promoting “civility” with fascists is the road to accommodation, conciliation, and before long collaboration. It leads you right where you are, to almost literally kissing the ass of a sanctimonious, lying fascist bully like Sarah Sanders.

We understand why you’re doing all this. You’re part of the liberal media, which like the Democratic Party represents a section of the imperialist ruling class that is sharply critical of the Trump regime for various reasons, but concern for the horrors being brought down on the masses every day is definitely not one of them. In fact, white supremacy and mass incarceration, attacks on immigrants with mass deportations, wars of empire, the degradation of women, and the destruction of the environment are woven into and flow from the very workings of capitalism-imperialism and can’t be done away with under this system. They take place no matter what section of the ruling class is in charge, even as they assume monstrous and grotesque proportions under Trump/Pence fascism.

The last thing in the world you in the liberal bourgeoisie and its media want is for massive resistance and upheaval that could wrench the social fabric and shake this society to its foundations. Your mantra: order, even fascist order, is more important than justice. And that was your real problem with Michelle Wolf: she busted a hole in the bubble of normalcy and legitimacy you’ve created around Trump (even as you criticize him), and called out the racist, misogynist horrors this regime (and the system it represents) have in store for humanity.

Your frantic reaction revealed that you, too, understand that the angst, anger, and discontent rippling through this society is so deep that even a comedian’s performance could crack things open—even be part of a mix that could bring thousands, with the potential to grow to millions, into the streets in mass protest against this hated cabal. And you don’t want to let anything loose that risks that, which is why you cover up, euphemize, and obscure the fascist character and existential danger this regime represents for humanity. Barack Obama laid out the terms of your orientation most clearly the day after Trump was elected: “We’re all on the same team,” he said, “we are now all rooting for his success.”

And that’s been your playbook ever since: looking for “common ground,” and insistently framing “the problem with Trump” in terms of “incompetence,” “corruption,” and “failure to stand up to America’s enemies,” and not the way he is moving to rip up any and all basic rights, institute an open terroristic dictatorship, and threaten and destroy the lives of millions, in truth billions.

So shame on those of you who went after Wolf. Her performance was a breath of fresh air in the increasingly suffocating atmosphere of normalization, accommodation, and collaboration with fascism in the U.S. We need more—much more—of the Michelle Wolf spirit, in every sphere of art, culture, politics, academia, and most especially, in the streets. Her performance, and the furor that’s ensued, should be a wake-up call for any of you with a real commitment to truth, a moral conscience, and a beating heart for humanity.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/science/31ba-science...internationalism-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Excerpt from the sections:
Internationalism and an International Dimension

and

Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism

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. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution."

From the section:
Internationalism and an International Dimension

In addition to what has been said about how, when it comes down to the struggle for the seizure of power, there will be aspects of a civil war between two sections of the people—and in addition to what has been emphasized about the need to deal with the problem of encirclement, suppression and pulverization—another dimension of this that has to be taken into consideration is that this will not only be a struggle that must be internationalist in its basic orientation, but it is also likely to have a significant aspect of being international. The point has been made that the borders of this country are anything but sacred to us. If you look at the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, specifically in regard to what is now the Southwest of the U.S., you can see that it is taking account of the close interconnection—historically, in the present time, and looking to the future—between what goes on in (what is now) the U.S., and what goes on to the south. And, given that, when it comes down to it, there would almost certainly be, in significant measure, the interconnection and interpenetration of revolutionary struggle in (what is now) the U.S. and revolutionary struggle to the south, strategic thinking and work needs to be carried out, in terms of the international dimension of this.

 

From the section:
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism

What do I mean by revolutionary defeatism, and why is it so important? Revolutionary defeatism means that you oppose the actions of your own government and ruling class in carrying out their wars, which are wars for empire. It means that you welcome any setbacks they suffer in those wars, because that weakens their oppressive hold over masses of people, here and in the world more generally. Now, we do have to recognize that we have a different situation than back in the day with the war in Vietnam. In those days, the National Liberation Front (NLF) in Vietnam was a revolutionary organization of the people in South Vietnam who were waging the fight, along with the government and people in North Vietnam, against the U.S. imperialists. And the leader of that struggle, until he died in the late 1960s, was Ho Chi Minh, who called himself a communist but was actually more of a revolutionary nationalist. Beginning soon after the end of World War 2, Ho Chi Minh led the armed struggle of the Vietnamese people to drive out the French, who had colonized Vietnam, and then to drive out the Americans, who, beginning in the 1950s, attempted to replace the French as the colonial master of Vietnam. Now, back in those days we used to go to demonstrations and people would march through the streets chanting, “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win.” It felt very good, and it was right to do it. It was right to be on the side of the Vietnamese people and Ho Chi Minh leading them. It wasn’t just that you wanted your government to lose the unjust war it was waging, you could actually be on the side of the people fighting against your government, because those people represented a righteous cause, they represented a real struggle against imperialism. They weren’t going around attacking civilians. They were fighting against the military of U.S. imperialism that had invaded their country and was bombing it massively. So, in those days, you could actually be with the people fighting against the U.S. government, the U.S. imperialists.

Today, unfortunately, the situation is different and not as favorable in the short run. Nobody coming from a decent place should want to root for these reactionary Islamic jihadists who are in fact also enforcers of brutally oppressive relations—particularly, but not only, horrific patriarchal relations—and who, in the service of that, carry out all kinds of depraved slaughter of ordinary civilians. So you cannot, if you’re coming from the right place, identify in any way with these forces and support them. Now, there are some people around the world who call themselves leftists or even communists or Maoists, people like this guy Ajith, who try to put a pretty face on these Islamic fundamentalist jihadists and insist that they are anti-imperialists, that they’re waging an anti-imperialist struggle. But the fact is that, while they may fight against the U.S., they do not represent a positive, progressive, let alone a revolutionary force; and where they have succeeded in exercising power, their rule is brutally oppressive. That has been shown repeatedly in the real world. In your mind, you can try to make these people into something other than what they are, but that can only do a great deal of harm, because in the real world they are not a positive force, even while, coming from where they’re coming from, they’re opposing U.S. imperialism, to some degree, although not in any thoroughgoing way and not toward any positive end.

This makes for a difficult situation because, especially given how parasitic U.S. society is—where significant sections of the people, particularly among the middle strata, receive some share of the spoils from imperialist domination and plunder in the world—when the U.S. government is able to point to the continuing atrocities carried out by these Islamic fundamentalists, this reinforces the tendency for people to side with, or at least not to seriously oppose, their own country and government in the wars it is waging against these Islamic fundamentalists. It makes it easier for people to go along with what is, and take the position: “I don’t really like these wars, but look at these other people; we have to do something about groups like ISIS.” Never mind the fact that Saudi Arabia, a big ally of the U.S., beheads a lot more people than ISIS does, and embodies and enforces all kinds of horrendous oppression, against women and others. But still, people can say, “Well, look at these people, like ISIS.” This makes it easier for people not to do the hard thing of going up against their own government in the wars it is waging.

Yes, it is true: the Islamic fundamentalists who are opposing these imperialists are no good, they don’t pose a positive alternative. But that does not make the wars of empire being fought by this government just wars. This situation has gone on way too long and needs to be frontally and deeply challenged. These are wars for empire. These are unjust wars. They are carried out with massive means of destruction, killing civilians in the hundreds of thousands, torturing people in the service of these wars. This should be opposed and opposed strongly. It is not acceptable that people just take the stand, “Yes, I wish those wars would be over with, but we gotta do something about these Islamic fundamentalists.” It is crucial that people come to see what the nature of these wars being waged by their government actually is, and why these wars have to be actively opposed; and even if you can’t, and shouldn’t, support the other side, you still have to have the basic approach of welcoming the defeat of your own government in the wars it is waging. The defeat of these imperialists should be welcomed because, number one, their wars are unjust, even if the people opposing them are also unjust. And, two, every such defeat weakens this system and its ruling class and brings closer the time when people can actually bring it down and bring something liberating into being in its place.

 

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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/skybreak-a-scientific-assessment-world-today-is-a-horror-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Excerpt from SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak

A Scientific Assessment: The World Today Is a Horror for the Majority of Humanity—And That Can Be Radically Changed

April 3, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early part of 2015, over a number of days, Revolution conducted a wide-ranging interview with Ardea Skybreak. A scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, Skybreak is the author of, among other works, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, and Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women's Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. This interview was first published online at www.revcom.us.

Question: Well, let’s keep going on this point about applying science to understand why the world is the way it is and how it could be different, and what could be done about that. Looking at the state of the world right now, in two senses—one, in a more overall sense, in terms of what are the conditions that the vast majority of humanity find themselves in right now, what is the state of the world in a more overall sense, but then, kind of zeroing in on one particular dimension of that, obviously it’s been very heartening these last few months that there have been things that we haven’t seen in this society in the U.S. in quite a while, in terms of massive resistance to this epidemic of police murder and police brutality, concentrated in the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions letting their killers go, with tens and tens of thousands of people directly in the streets around this, disrupting business as usual, and then millions of people here and around the world confronting all this—what I’m getting at is how would we apply science, both to the particularity of this moment and understanding that, but also looking in a more big picture sense at, as you were saying, why is the world this way and how it could be different?

Ardea Skybreak Science and Revolution excerpts A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What Is New in the New Synthesis? The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic--A Visionary and Concrete Application of the New Synthesis Serious Engagement with the New Synthesis--The Difference It Could Make An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

AS: Well, I would start off by saying, OK, let’s apply science to talking, first of all, about where humanity’s at, what’s the state of the world, what’s the state of this society that we live in. And it’s been said many times, including by BA, that the world, as it is, is a horror. Right? Now, this is being said by people, including BA, who are overall very appreciative of a lot of beauty in the world. Speaking for myself, trained as a biologist, as a natural scientist, I see beauty everywhere in the natural world, and among people, in the great diversity and richness of human experience and all the many different cultural expressions and the great variety of life, including social life. There is great beauty. But at the same time, it’s undeniable: The world is a horror for the majority of humanity at this point in history.

Now, let’s take the question of human suffering. It would be unscientific to think that you could ever completely eliminate human suffering. There will always be loss, there will always be death, there will always be grief, there will always be some forms of disease or some forms of catastrophes that negatively impact human beings. I don’t think you could ever say you would get to the point where there would never be any human suffering; that would be a completely idealized false world and illusion. But what you can say, is that it is possible to get to a world that is not characterized by so much unnecessary suffering.

And the reality of the world today—I mean, look at this society, what you were just talking about, all these police murders. You know, I can’t take it any more—and I won’t take it any more! Practically every single day, you hear about another person, usually Black or Latino, male, unarmed, who is gunned down in the streets by the police, and nothing is done about it! The authorities basically sanction it over and over again, because it’s built right into their system to need to have these kinds of things happen, to keep their kind of order, it’s that kind of repression that they require for their system to keep functioning relatively smoothly. What a system!

And there are so many things that are wrong in the world. The whole status of women in this country and all over the world—that women are still not treated like full human beings, that they’re constantly degraded and dehumanized, treated as play things, as sexual objects, as something short of full human beings, constantly raped and battered. And I’ve said this before: it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen to you as an individual—any time any woman anywhere in the world is raped, battered, pornified, or in other ways dehumanized and degraded, it degrades and dehumanizes all women everywhere.

And again I want to say that I really feel that...like BA in the recent Dialogue with Cornel West at Riverside Church talked about...the youth that are being gunned down by the police—these are our youth! I feel that, very strongly. And it’s just intolerable to have this loss of human life, this loss of human potential, that is just squandered away because of the workings of this system.

It is also intolerable to have a situation where there are endless wars. You can never get beyond this under this system: these wars of imperialism, these armies of occupation, people being put through horrible suffering for the interests of a capitalist class, a tiny sliver of humanity that benefits from this.

And what about on the planetary scale? The environmental crisis is real, people! It should be understood as an all-out global emergency. You know, the Earth itself is one thing, it can go on without us, but human beings’ ability to live on this planet is going to be severely restricted, very soon, if we don’t stop completely despoiling this planet and constantly degrading it. And the main reason we can’t deal with any of this, fast enough or on a large enough scale, is because of the dominant system that’s in place, the dominant form of social organization that’s in place. We need an actual revolution to completely dismantle the organization of society as it currently is configured and to replace it with a completely new form of organization that would go a long way towards getting rid of these problems.

Look, also, at the so-called problem of immigration. Why do we even have different countries? Think about it. Why do we have flags and national anthems, and why do we have borders? Why do we have whole populations of people that are pushed around and kept from having a decent life, when all they want to do is work and be productive members of society? Think of all the immigrants to this country who get pushed around, get brutalized, whose families are brutally torn apart, and who get incarcerated, forcibly deported or even gunned down on the border. Do you find that acceptable? I sure don’t! What makes Americans better than anybody else, by the way? Personally, I can’t stand the American flag, or the national anthem, or the Pledge of Allegiance, or any of these kinds of symbols that proclaim that one country or one population of one part of the world is somehow better than everybody else. That’s what’s called “jingoism,” or “national chauvinism”—that way of thinking is downright nasty and we should call it what it is and refuse to go along with it! We should all be thinking more like citizens of the world and not like Americans. But then you see people stand up in schools and at sporting events—they’re standing up for the flag and the anthem, and they’re putting their hands over their hearts and maybe even singing along, and often this is being done by people who are themselves being oppressed and degraded on a daily basis by the very system that they are saluting!

It’s time to put an end to this kind of stuff. Think about what you’re doing, what you’re saluting! People need to think more about this, and educate themselves about the true nature of this system. These police murders, for instance: they’re not an accident. They’ve been happening for a long time. They happen on a horrific scale. And they keep on happening, because the root of this problem can be found in the very foundations of this system.

The only good thing in this recent period, what you’re calling this “moment,” is that there’s a beautiful new thing that’s emerged, which is that people are standing up and resisting in ways we haven’t seen in this country in a long time. That’s a beautiful thing—the youth and others who stood up in Ferguson, very bravely, and said: NO! we’re not gonna take this any more. And the people who came out around the police murder of Eric Garner. And this did involve broader numbers of people, besides the most oppressed people who are most directly under the boot of the police. There were also people from the middle strata, including some white people, who came out and said: We don’t want to live in a society where this kind of stuff keeps happening. So that’s a good thing, although there needs to be a lot more of that kind of resistance. That kind of resistance is very, very important, and it needs to get bigger and it needs to spread. One of the things a scientific understanding and analysis can tell you is that protests are very good and very important. What’s been called “fighting the power” is very important. It builds the strength of the people. It serves notice on the people running society that their crimes are just not going to get over, and are not going to be tolerated any more. And that’s a very important part of what needs to happen. But it also has to go further. Why? Because a scientific analysis will also show you clear evidence that the whole way this system is structured, the whole way it’s built up at its core, at its very foundation, will keep regenerating these kinds of problems, these kinds of abuses, these kinds of outrages and injustices, over and over again, as long as this capitalist system itself is allowed to remain in place.

Sometimes we talk about the unresolvable contradictions of capitalism. If you use science to analyze this stuff, you will increasingly understand that this system cannot fix itself, and that it is not fundamentally capable of correcting these types of abuses. It cannot do away, ultimately, with the police murders of Black and Latino people in this society. It cannot do away with the rule of their enforcers, the brutality of their enforcers, that keeps a whole section of the people down. All this has a lot to do with why BA stresses all the time that you have to understand that this country, this system, was built on slavery. It’s not just what’s happening now, it goes back to the very beginning of this country. The United States got started, got built up, at its very founding, on the basis of slavery (and genocide of indigenous peoples), and everything that came out of that brutal beginning has carried over until today, and is a direct root cause of why today you have police enforcers, defenders of this capitalist system, who are routinely gunning down unarmed youth in the streets. There is a direct connection there. Science will show you that this connection is real and objective, and not just someone’s subjective opinion or empty speculation. To make such a claim you need concrete evidence—and the evidence is there.

It’s the same thing with the question of the oppression of women. It’s another one of those profoundly unresolvable contradictions of the existing system. This system cannot ultimately resolve that problem, which science can show has been deeply built into the root foundational structures of this capitalist system as well as those of previous oppressive and exploitative systems going way, way back in time. Yes, there are some women, a few—there are a few sections of women that can be allowed to move up the ladder, so to speak, under capitalism. The same can be said about Black people—a few can be allowed to move on up, to enter the professional middle strata or even become totally bourgeois, and you can elect some Black officials to high places and even have a Black president these days. But none of this changes anything fundamentally about the profound and relentless oppression faced by the vast majority of Black people in this country, and of other people of color as well. The same goes for women. Literally half of humanity—in other words, women—continues to be kept down, in all sorts of ways, in the U.S. and all around the world, and none of that changes just because you can now have a few female corporate CEOs or government representatives or a few very wealthy bourgeois women. None of that changes the ongoing fundamentally degraded and dehumanized status and experience of the vast majority of women here and throughout the world.

Wars of empire—there’s another one of those unresolvable contradictions of this system. It doesn’t ultimately matter whether, every now and then, even a few individual politicians or other representatives of the ruling class are willing to speak out—even sincerely—against one or another war of imperialist aggression. This ruling class is going to continue to wage wars of empire to extend and defend and consolidate their imperialist system. And they will do so over and over again. Why? Because the underlying dynamics of their system drive that process, whether any individual politician or other ruling class figure would like it to be that way or not. Do you see? The very machinery of this ghoulish system repeatedly requires such wars—for its ongoing maintenance, expansion, and consolidation.

So we have to confront the fact that what we call national oppression, the oppression of minority peoples, and the oppression of women, the wars of empire and the armies of occupation—none of this can ultimately be solved under this system. Science can analyze why none of this can fundamentally be solved under the structures of capitalism-imperialism. And this is something that BA has done a lot of work analyzing over decades, really deeply bringing to light why this system cannot be reformed, why it cannot just be fixed with a few quick fixes, why you have to have an actual revolution, rather than just work for a few little tweaks here or there.

And the same thing is very much the case with the question of the environment, the global environment. Even if you had a bunch of capitalists and other ruling class figures—you know, their government representatives in this country or in other countries—who personally became really convinced that there is an environmental emergency for the planet, and that steps really have to be taken to try to save the planetary environment and prevent all this degradation which is causing critical problems throughout the world—even if some (or even many) individuals in the ruling class became personally convinced of that, and even if they tried to institute a few reforms here or there, they would quickly run up against the limitations and obstacles of their own system! The capitalist-imperialist system is simply not set up and structured in such a way as to allow the kind of radical transformations that are actually needed to resolve the global environmental crisis. Because of the underlying structures and “rules of functioning” of their aggressively competitive and profit-driven system, capitalists are simply not capable, they do not have the material basis, to actually resolve this planetary environmental problem, with sufficient scope and scale, under the current system.

This is all very important to understand, and once again it takes science to deeply understand that you can’t just “convince” rulers to change, because they are themselves completely caught up in the rules and machinery of their own system, whether they like it or not. The machinery of the capitalist-imperialist system has basic rules of functioning, “rules” which ultimately cannot be changed without changing the type of system we live under. If you don’t understand this...if you think the way to change the world...if you think, for instance, that the way to keep the police from killing unarmed Black youth is to just to do a few “reforms,” like putting body cameras on the cops, or just do better education and training for the cops, you’re going to have a rude awakening, because their system will keep regenerating this form of terror and oppression. It can’t not do it.

Same thing with all those other situations. If you think that just empowering a few women or girls, in a few instances here or there, is going to get rid of the burden of the systemic oppression of women in this country and around the world, you’re deluding yourself. If you think that just expressing the people’s will not to go to war is actually going to be enough to ultimately put an end to all these imperial wars, you are also deluding yourself. And if you think that convincing the capitalists that it’s better for their bottom line to not degrade the environment so much, or that their children and grandchildren will suffer if we don’t actually save this planet...if you think that’s going to be enough to solve the global environmental crisis, you’re also deluding yourself.

Protest? Yes. Definitely. Protests are very important. It’s very important for masses of people, here and all over the world, to make clear that they won’t tolerate and be complicit in and accept any more these egregious abuses and injustices. It is important to say: NO, we won’t take this any more. As I’ve said before, it is part of building the strength of the people. But you have to go further and understand that there are built-in contradictions within the way economies and politics are set up under certain systems and that those underlying contradictions—there are clusters of them that lead to horrible injustices and abuses—are simply not resolvable by the capitalists, under a capitalist system. You need a different economy, you need a different ideology, you need a different worldview, you need different social objectives. You need different forces coming to the fore to implement that. You need state power. The people have to organize themselves for an actual revolution. And, you know, in the course of just this interview, I can’t really go into all the patterns that prove that those underlying contradictions of this system cannot be resolved by the system, but there is accumulated evidence, including very much spoken to in the extensive body of work of BA, that has been developed over decades, over more than 40 years. The work has been done, the work is deep and profound, it is scientific, it is methodical and systematic. And people should critically examine it, they should engage it, they should study it. It should not be dismissed by anyone superficially. It is getting at the underlying deeper problems and corresponding solutions.

I’ll just say this, and then I’ll stop for a minute on this point [laughs], but one of the most encouraging things about science, too, is that it shows you the potential for positive change, how we could change things in some really good ways. If you don’t have science, you’re kind of bopping around in life, running into problems, maybe solving a small problem here or there, but more problems keep coming up, and you don’t know what you’re doing, basically. But with science you can systematically figure out not only the source of the problems, but also what the basis is for positive change. One of the things that people don’t understand very often is that the basis for the revolutionary transformation of a society, of a social system, where that basis is located—it actually resides right within the contradictions of the system. In fact, right within those contradictions I was just talking about—the really big ones that this system cannot fix itself, that it cannot ultimately resolve. The fact that they can’t resolve these big things and that they keep driving people into the ground in different ways, actually creates the conditions which move in the direction...actually creates the basis for people to be able to work on those contradictions, to bring the people forward, in the thousands, in the millions, to move towards the ability to organize for an actual revolution, and build a new society on a whole different basis. That won’t resolve every problem overnight, obviously. But many, many of the big problems can be resolved to a great degree, thanks to science, and thanks to the conscious initiative of people organizing themselves collectively for an actual revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/541/from-the-revolution-club-on-may-1-2018-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

From the Revolution Club on May 1, 2018

May 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the angry and impatient youth... to those living in the shadows... to those who are in fear every day of being torn from your loved ones... to all those who are sickened by these endless outrages... to anyone and everyone who is determined to stand up and fight:

It’s time to get organized for an ACTUAL revolution. And this revolution needs you.

A whole different world is possible—a world without borders, a world where no human being is considered “illegal,” a world without the division into a handful of bloodthirsty imperialist powers and the vast majority of humanity locked into the oppressed nations.

The only thing standing in the way is this system of capitalism-imperialism. This system is driven by the anarchic mad-dash competition between these brutal powers for more profitable exploitation of the people and the planet. It forces people to flee their homes from poverty-stricken conditions and imperialist destruction. Then it callously demonizes and persecutes them, tearing families apart for trying to escape the misery this system itself causes.

This system cannot be reformed. And it promises far worse: the consolidation of a fascist America, with that monstrous ghoul Donald Trump threatening nuclear war on the world and even worse environmental devastation of floods, droughts, mass starvation... all still within a system that cannot do anything to stop this preventable suffering and death.

This system needs to be overthrown through an ACTUAL revolution to bring into being a radically different, and far better, world. This revolution is not just necessary, it is possible. And there is a force that is getting organized and working to make this revolution at the earliest possible time. A force you need to link up with and a force you need to join.

Right now, we need to spread the word that there is a way to prepare and organize now for an actual revolution to overthrow this system, in the pamphlet from the Revolutionary Communist Party: HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. Get into this and get with it, join in organizing people to be on the front lines of a movement for a real revolution to totally change this world of horrors.

At the same time we recognize that a key battle today is the struggle to stop the Trump/Pence regime from fully consolidating fascism in this country. We need to support and join with Refuse Fascism to rouse ultimately millions of people from many different points of view to take to the streets to drive this regime from power.

To end the misery this system brings down on people here and around the globe we need to be on a mission now to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

There is a world to win!

Go to revcom.us every day and join the Revolution Club.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/may-day-2018-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

May 1, 2018—There's a World to Win

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


May Day 2018, the Revolution Club Contingent marches in Los Angeles. Photo: Revolution Club LA

May Day protests and rallies took place across the world this year, including huge outpourings in countries such as Turkey and Spain. Many of the protests focused on demanding an end to the attacks on immigrants and other important struggles of the day. Militant contingents of anarchists and “black bloc” participants marched in some places. In several cities in Germany and Poland fascist groupings faced off with radical left protesters.

In the U.S., the Revolution Club participated in a rally and march of hundreds from the Haymarket Monument to ICE headquarters demanding an end to detention, deportations and dehumanization and justice for immigrants and refugees. In Wisconsin, a team of revolutionaries and members of Refuse Fascism joined in with thousands of people, overwhelmingly Latino immigrants and youth who came from all over the state for the Day Without Latinx, Immigrants, & Refugees protest, and distributing thousands of palm cards for the film of Bob Avakian’s talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! and the new Call from Refuse Fascism in Spanish. And in Houston, a team distributed the palm cards at a couple of immigrants’ rights rallies, where they also raised money for the recent special print edition of Revolution newspaper, so BA’s talk can get inside prison walls, in both English and Spanish.

Los Angeles: Several thousand people rallied and marched on May Day. There were three marches. Two to three thousand participated in the largest march, called by the Los Angeles May Day—Resist Coalition, which consists of 50 labor, student, immigrants’ rights, religious, and political organizations, including Refuse Fascism. The theme was support for immigrants’ and workers’ rights. The Los Angeles Revolution Club had a spirited contingent and carried a banner promoting the film of the talk by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible.

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Thousands who marched and rallied in San Juan were savagely attacked by riot police with tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and batons. The protesters were part of a general strike against the harsh U.S.-imposed “austerity measures” that have impoverished the island. Threats of even harsher measures loom.

Paris: Protests and street fighting that reverberated through several districts of Paris spiraled out of control of the police. About 200 people were arrested. Paris’ police chief said, “It’s been a long time since we saw numbers [of protesters] at this level.” The May Day protests took place as France approaches the 50th anniversary of the historic 1968 uprising, and as the authorities prepare for further protests against the government of President Emmanuel Macron. Macron’s interior minister vowed to “send more police” to future protests.

Manila: Thousands boldly marched through Manila, the Philippine capital, to the presidential palace of brutal fascist Rodrigo Duterte. The protesters burned an enormous, “demon-like” effigy of Duterte.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/the-world-needs-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Revolutionary Communist Group of Colombia—May 1, 2018

The World Needs an Actual Revolution and the New Communism! And Nothing Less!

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The current world is a world of miseries, wars, destruction of the environment, brutal oppression of national minorities in all kinds of countries, a world in which half of humanity, women, are subjected to degradation and oppression in horrible forms. And we are approaching a key crossroads. In the most powerful country on the planet, which largely shapes what is happening in the world, a fascist regime that is implanting a fascist United States was enthroned with Trump and Pence. This regime and its powerful sponsors can shatter the rule of law of bourgeois democracy and maneuver to impose this fascist United States on the world. The Trump/Pence regime is cooking up a big war... this is in their sights and this is what they are planning (the “rapprochements” either on the Korean peninsula or in the Middle East are part of the ritual of war). To describe such a regime as fascism is not for the purpose of mobilizing people with exaggerations in order to horrify people. The horror that Trump represents is not another “swing of the pendulum.” What we face is a REGIME and not simply the worst of the reactionary Yankee administrations (be they Democratic or Republican). It is a regime that is radically restructuring society in a fascist direction.

At this crossroads, what comes into play is the future of humanity. The Trump/Pence regime faces the need—in the United States and internationally—to radically restructure the form of government and international relations, shattering the customary democratic norms that have legitimized the capitalist-imperialist system in the eyes of the majority. They have made considerable progress in turning into policy their fascist program of “America First” and “Make America Great Again.” The danger of war, potentially nuclear war, and the danger that this regime immediately adopt and “hammer” into place new, more draconian laws that eliminate civil and democratic rights, means that there must be a real urgency in the efforts of revolutionaries to organize and forge unity more broadly. In every country and with the revolutionaries and anti-imperialists with the fighters in the very “belly of the beast,” who are forging the organization Refuse Fascism (RefuseFascism.org).

The fact that this fascist regime is being consolidated is a nightmare not only for the American people but for the world. But there is a way to stop it, a path that requires courage, conviction and determination. Yes, there is a lot at stake, but as Refuse Fascism says: “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” But this does not mean in any way that it is calling for the usual capitalist-imperialist regime.

In no way is it an exaggeration to point out that the rightwing shift in the world has been rapidly consolidating. In France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, the Philippines, etc., the far-right forces—and yes, the fascist forces—have gained unprecedented strength (also underpinned by religious fundamentalism), even taking the reins of power in too many cases. The stupidity of believing that this is a simple question of appearances “because Lenin said so a little more than a century ago” can only come from empty-headed people who even say that what really exists today is “a dizzying growth (!) of the forces of the revolution,” seeking with pious lies to generate optimism.

Today humanity does have the real possibility, but not the guarantee, of building a radically different world: A world in which the age-old class divisions that have subjected the majority of humanity to exploitation and oppression by a handful of privileged people is eliminated. A world without imperialism, without wars. A world where the borders between countries do not exist. A world in which women are not raped, degraded, and murdered, and who do fully participate in social transformations. A world where art and culture do not denigrate or numb, but rather encourage the lighting up of the imagination. A world where dissent and the struggle to get at the truth are valued, and a scientific method is taken up to understand and transform nature and society.

But the vast majority of people do not see that this possibility is realizable due to the very functioning of capitalism-imperialism (which in some oppressed countries is intertwined with different forms and degrees of feudalism). Capitalism-imperialism oppresses and smothers the spirit, keeps people in superstition and ignorance. And even promotes this among people with a university education. Postmodernism, relativism and identity politics, for example, have disarmed people, limiting their ability to understand reality, to seek the truth by denying even its existence.

What we have to do today to overcome this difficulty is not to generate optimism with “post-truths.” The situation must be changed, the terrain must be changed, so changes are made in the political terms that truly matter to humanity. It is necessary to do work so that more people, millions of people, put on page one the possibility and the necessity of revolution, conscious of what a revolution can truly achieve in the face of everything that afflicts humanity today. And for this reason, people have to understand that the liberating science of communism—after the end of the first stage of revolutions in the 1970s—has been developed putting it on a more scientific basis by Bob Avakian, connecting with the work that he has developed, the new synthesis of communism (don’t put it aside because of the lies hatched up by the counterrevolutionaries of all kinds).

The new communism, put forward by Avakian, is the science, the strategy and the leadership for an actual revolution, and for a radically new society on the road to real emancipation. It is the key tool to fight against the system, and transform the people, for revolution. The basis for transforming the world and moving beyond the economic, political and social formations that today brutally destroy lives and crush spirits is in the productive capacity, technology and creativity and knowledge of the people. To unleash this potential, the complex reality of the world as it really is must be understood in order to discover the paths towards a fundamental change through a strategic approach for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road towards human emancipation. This concentrates Bob Avakian’s development of the new communism.

The new synthesis of communism embodies the major advance, and the potential for even more advance of real communist revolution, so it is engaged very broadly in society and transforms the political terrain, so that changes are made in the political terms in a way that matters; so that people understand for the first time or understand from new angles the question of communism and seriously get into the question of whether another world is possible and if, in fact, what communism represents is, as we consider it, an “actual alternative, a real and viable alternative that can and should be fought for, with an actual prospect—not a guarantee, but an actual prospect—of winning, and an actual orientation of striving to win and being determined to win, in order to actually bring another world into being that would really be emancipating for the masses of oppressed people in the world who are suffering horribly under this system, and ultimately for humanity as a whole to be able to enter a whole new era, free of what has weighed it down for centuries and millennia now: relations of exploitation and oppression, and all the ignorance and superstition and misunderstanding of reality that’s gone along with that and has reinforced that.” [WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, Bob Avakian, October 1, 2012--citation by revcom.us editors.]

The situation in the world cries out for revolution. But not just any revolution, nor with just any leadership. Avakian has made breakthroughs regarding the strategy for an actual revolution. He has developed a radically new conception of socialism, as the author of the constitution for the future socialist state as a much more liberating society and also on the road towards communism. And he has made developments regarding internationalism: the understanding that, in order to emancipate all humanity from the chains of imperialism, the whole world comes first. The challenge before the revolutionaries and before the masses of people is enormous. As rightly pointed out recently in Revolution newspaper (revcom.us): “We revolutionary communists are supposed to represent and speak in the name of the interests of all of humanity. And we are supposed to do so on the basis of science and nothing less. On that basis, we can in fact have a great deal of certitude in stating that what humanity needs, more than anything else, is a communist world, achieved through a process of revolutions (of the right kind) to establish socialist societies (of the right kind) as a transition and road, and a base for advance, to that communist world. So it’s not just communism we are fighting for, it’s the right kind of communism, the NEW COMMUNISM.”

It is true, there is nothing that would be more important to achieve in this period of history than to overcome some of these obstacles and make the New Communism widely known, engaged and appreciated, throughout society (and among all social strata) and throughout the world, along with its architect, Bob Avakian (responsible for developing and advancing this new synthesis of communism, and who himself is a concentrated expression of its core principles and scientific methods). And it is also true that “if we don’t succeed in doing THAT—if we don’t succeed in making qualitative and quantitative breakthroughs in fulfilling THAT mission—then not much at all will come out of anything any of us have done over the past decades, or continue to do today.”

This means that many, many of you (of those who are reading this statement) must get into and contribute to creating a situation in which many more people know about Bob Avakian and what he has brought forward; in which many more people discuss, debate, question, and engage the new communism. So many, a whole lot of you are coalescing into a real force—with growing influence in society. This (and not an empty optimism based on post-truths or political truths) would bode well for the possibility of new communism spreading and taking root to an unprecedented degree in the next period.

NO to Trump, NO to Pence, NO to a fascist America! NO to imperialist aggression in Syria! NO to Zionist and imperialist aggression against Palestine! No to imperialist intervention in Venezuela!

Break the chains, unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution!

Cast away constitutional illusions, prepare a real revolution! Don’t vote!

Prepare minds, organize forces, prepare the ground for revolution!

What humanity needs is revolution and Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism!

Revolutionary Communist Group of Colombia—May 1, 2018

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/avakian/material-basis/bob-avakian-what-Marx-brought-to-light-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

"What Marx Brought to Light"

and

"Marx and Darwin"

by Bob Avakian

May 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth we are posting this excerpt from "The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution," a talk given by Bob Avakian in 2014. This excerpt speaks to the turning point and significance of Marx's contributions—bringing into being a scientific, materialist understanding of capitalism and of the potential for revolution to emancipate humanity.

 

What Marx Brought to Light

This goes back to another fundamental point from Marx. I mean, when you say it, it seems so obvious, and yet Marx had to spend years and years digging through all kinds of political economy, and learning from what Darwin was bringing forward in the realm of biology, the theory of evolution—and studying political developments and history and philosophy—to sift through all the outward appearances to get to this inner core of the contradiction, as it’s been identified by him and by Marxism in general, between the forces of production and the relations of production. That this is the fundamental driving contradiction, which in turn gives rise to, and is dialectically interrelated with another contradiction between the mode of production—the economic base—and the superstructure, which arises on the basis of and works to reinforce that economic base.

Now, what do these terms mean? They mean that—if you boil it down to its essence—in order for anything to happen in society, the material requirements of life have to be produced and reproduced, and so do new generations of people. We live in a highly—as I’ve pointed out before, for example in Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, but Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon (and I’ll just say “Birds and Crocodiles” from now on so I don’t have to repeat that title)—but, you know, I have pointed out that in a highly parasitic country like this one, you have such a broad swath of people who are not involved directly in the production and reproduction of the material requirements of life—and, in fact, this parasitism of U.S. imperialism, with this heightened globalization, has been to transfer more and more of actual productivity (as they say, “outsource” it) to other countries, particularly Third World countries, but generally other countries around the world. And the actual people engaged in production of the material requirements of life has been shrinking relative to the total population. So, in a society like this, it’s very easy if you’re not part of that small part of the population—a small segment of the population that’s actually engaged in directly producing the material requirements of life—it’s very easy just to think those things somehow appear, or exist. As it’s been put by a number of others besides myself, if you’re at the end of the food chain, the high end of the food chain, and everybody else is doing all the things that lead up to that, it’s very easy not to see all that. Or I like to use this metaphor: You’re in a building that’s rotting underneath, the foundation is rotting, and as you go down—you’re at the top of the building, and as you go down the floors, it’s more and more rotting away, but you’re at the penthouse at the top, and you actually think this is the way the world is, the way it is in the penthouse. And, all of a sudden (as is sometimes done in those old communist drawings or whatever) there’s an eruption from down below and that’s one of the ways you get reminded, “Oh, there’s something else here besides this penthouse I’m residing in.”

Now, I’m not saying everybody in the U.S. lives in a penthouse—this is a metaphor, you know; and metaphors, like analogies, have their limitations. But when you’re living in a highly parasitic society like this, it’s easy not to see—not to perceive, and certainly not to understand in any kind of a sense, or a scientific way—what is the foundation of this society that’s functioning, that you are pursuing your dreams within, and where does even the wealth come from that’s in circulation that enables different people to pursue different things. All this is hidden from you. It’s all the more hidden when you’re in a highly parasitic society like this. But at the base of all this is the production and reproduction of the material requirements of life and of new generations on that basis, because new generations can’t be reproduced on any other basis either—they can be brought into the world, but if people are too sickly, they can’t even bring children into the world. Or, if they do, the infant mortality rate, as we see in much of the Third World, is very high. But you have to have basic material requirements of life in order even to reproduce new generations.

And this is the point that Marx brought out, he focused on this. Now, think of all the ways in which you run into people every day, and how they think about—to the degree they ever do think about—what it is that makes the world go round, what it is that actually makes society function, and all the completely erroneous ideas that people have about this, or just the lack of any thinking about it even, or some combination of a little bit of thinking and a lot of ignorance and misunderstanding about what is it that enables you to get up in the morning and function. Is it your individual determination—or is there something that’s going on that enables that to happen, that’s much bigger than you, and is a whole social phenomenon, involves a whole society and ultimately a whole world of billions—billions and billions of people, right? (We are just getting ready to have the new version of Cosmos, so we have to say billions and billions of people in honor of Carl Sagan and the original Cosmos. But, anyway, billions and billions of people, to get to the point here.) And they are all engaged in these activities which are all being—and here’s Marx’s second point, the point that’s even more crucial, and yet at the same time more hidden: in order for this to happen, people have to enter into certain relations of production, which more or less, without being mechanical about it, correspond to whatever the productive forces are at hand; and, along with this, the fact that the productive forces are continually being developed. People are thinking beings, and in any society they think about new ways to do things, new ways to organize things, and because of the driving force of anarchy—as pointed out in the recent article by Raymond Lotta—capitalism is, in fact, a very dynamic system, which is driven to continually transform the productive forces, and even some of the relations of production within the overall framework of capitalist production relations.

So, these things are not static and unchanging, but continuously changing, and very dynamic, but always at the cost of great suffering for masses of people in the world, for the great mass of humanity, and ultimately to the detriment of humanity as a whole. And we can see this in the environment, we can see this in the conditions of masses of people, we can see it in the condition of women, we can see it in the oppression of whole nations, we can see it in the wars—and on and on, all the things that are all too familiar to anyone who’s paying attention.

Marx and Darwin

This basic understanding—these are the dynamics that Marx brought to light. And I’m always struck—I listen to a lot of these people in different fields, you know, who are basically pursuing the bourgeois outlook, even if they’re from the petite bourgeoisie, and even some of them are progressive. I listen when they have these discussions, or I read articles or books, where they’re grappling with all these questions, including questions about society: What’s wrong with society? Are there ways society could be changed? Does there have to be so much suffering in the world? And so on. Even the people who are trying to take up these questions from a somewhat better position, it’s just really striking how they’re just completely off base. And here Marx brought this to light, and they talk about everything and they engage everything but the basic Marxist understanding.

It’s not just that Marxism is a “better narrative.” It would be like a bunch of biologists got together and tried to debate about what’s happening in the natural world, but they ignored, or dismissed, Darwin. Biology after Darwin is completely, radically different than biology before Darwin, even though people have continued to develop what Darwin brought forward, it’s continually being developed, as is every field of knowledge where people are approaching it scientifically. But, by analogy, the understanding of society—and, yes, of philosophy, and politics, but the understanding of the fundamental question of why society functions the way it does, how it can change, how it does change, how it can undergo radical transformation, what is the fundamental basis for all that—that understanding was synthesized by Marx. And, yes, we’ve gone on, and people—you know, Lenin, Mao, Stalin in some ways, Engels definitely—have contributed to this, and I’ve continued to work on this and bring forward more understanding of it. But Marx made the initial and fundamental breakthrough, and the science of society and the interaction of human beings through society with the rest of nature, and everything that gives rise to, including all the thinking it gives rise to in human beings, that science is as different before Marx as biology before Darwin is compared to after Darwin. And you just listen to people talk, and they talk about everything but. They either ignore or dismiss, or distort and dismiss, this fundamental understanding.

And if you’re going to set out to transform the world in a radical direction, to get humanity to a whole different place where all the things that are the daily horrors, and assumed to be just the natural order of things, in fact are transformed and surpassed, then you’re going to have to base yourself on a scientific approach to this, rooted in an understanding of the actual contradictions and dynamics that are setting the stage continually, and re-setting it, and the changes that are constantly occurring, and what changes this makes possible—not inevitable but possible. And there is the fact that different class forces with more or less conscious understanding are going to be continually operating on that same stage and working on those same contradictions from their own perspective. It’s not something that’s like a laboratory—well, even in laboratories you’re dealing with live animals, for example—there are a lot of other things going on, it’s not like you’re dealing with passive entities, you know, just a bunch of unchanging things, that you move around to make revolution. You’re dealing with dynamics that are constantly changing and on which every other force in society—or at least its conscious representatives—are working to try to change in the direction favorable to how they think the world should be.

Now, to be clear, this doesn’t mean that it’s all a matter of one narrative versus another narrative, or one interest versus another interest in some sort of non-materialist sense. There is only one resolution of all these contradictions that’s in the fundamental interests of the masses of oppressed humanity and ultimately of humanity as a whole. But that doesn’t mean that other class forces...all the representatives of every class think—this is Marx’s point also in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, that all the representatives of every class think that what they’re striving for on behalf of the class they represent is in the general interest of society and humanity. All of them think that. I mean, yes, there are some cynical, narrow opportunists and corrupt officials, and so on. But the more—however you want to put it—the more farseeing or broad-minded representatives of different classes, if you want to use that term—the ones who are more sincerely striving for these interests—actually think that they are in the general interests of society and humanity. They think this is the best way society could possibly be.

But there’s only one actual program and outlook for which that is actually true in this era of human history, and in terms of how the contradictions are posing themselves and where they need to go in order to emancipate the oppressed—the wretched of the earth, the oppressed of the world—and ultimately humanity as a whole, and move beyond the point where the contradictions characteristic of capitalism and how it organizes human beings to interact with the rest of nature, and the dynamics bound up with that, are surpassed, and we move to a whole different era, both in terms of the material relations and in terms of the thinking of the people. This is what Marx and Engels were emphasizing when they said that the communist revolution involves the most radical rupture with traditional property relations, no wonder then that it involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. This has a material basis. It’s not just that these are better ideas, or a more just way that society could be organized in the abstract, or as a set of ideas. Yes, it is more just. But that has a material foundation.

And if we don’t root ourselves continually—you know, there’s the constant pull of spontaneity to be influenced by the outlook of other classes and their representatives and to start seeing the world through that prism, through those lenses. So it’s a constant struggle to go back to, and to grapple collectively, not just as individuals—yes, as individuals, but above all collectively among the ranks of the party, and what must be the growing ranks of the party, the growing ranks of the movement for revolution, the broader masses of people—to be continually struggling to go back to and deepen our grasp and our living application of the scientific understanding, which, again, was first broken through on and brought forward by Marx in a qualitative way (with Engels also, but Marx more than anyone else).

Again, to use that analogy and drive it home, this makes the understanding of the science of society and its interaction with the rest of nature as fundamentally different from how that was approached before Marx, as things are in the realm of biology—as things are fundamentally different after Darwin than before Darwin, even though people have continued to work on what Darwin brought forward, and there were many things that Darwin did not understand, or partially understood, or even understood incorrectly, while his fundamental understanding was qualitatively correct and a tremendous breakthrough. The same is true in the realm of what we’re doing. There were things that Marx didn’t understand. Engels, Lenin, certainly Stalin, even Mao—I say even Mao because he’s more recent, you know—but there are things that we’ve learned that they didn’t understand, or didn’t understand correctly. That’s the nature of being scientific. And yet there is that initial, fundamental qualitative breakthrough with Marx. And this basic understanding—yes, as it’s being continually grappled with and further developed, and it is all of our responsibility to continue to grapple with it and contribute to developing it—but this understanding in that sense is what we have to continually go back to, be regrounding ourselves in, grounding more deeply, and applying and carrying out the correct dialectical relation between grounding ourselves in it and applying it, learning from the experience of applying it as well as much broader experience in the world, in different realms. Deepening our understanding of it, back again with that deeper understanding, and on and on, in a forward moving dialectic, dealing with all the complexity without losing the core, without losing the fundamentals, without losing our grip on the fundamentals, even as we continue to subject the fundamentals to questioning. Because this is a science. This is a matter of being consistently, systematically, thoroughly and comprehensively scientific.

And that’s actually what Marxism, what communism, is. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t make mistakes—it doesn’t mean people who are trying to do this don’t get influenced by the limitations of their own understanding or the outlook of other classes, or their own prejudices and biases as individuals, or whatever. That’s true in any realm of science. But the scientific method is what enables you to learn from that as well, and to sum that up and to deepen and get your understanding to be more correct, in an ongoing process. So this is very important. We have to be scientific, and we have to specifically apply what is, in fact, the most comprehensive, systematic and consistent scientific method and approach, the approach of dialectical materialism and communism—communism which is grounded in dialectical materialism, just to be clear.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/537/this-nightmare-must-end-the-trump-pence-regime-must-go-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

New Call to Action From Refuse Fascism:

This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

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

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We are horrified and angered at the shocking damage already done to lives here and around the world by the Trump/Pence regime. We recognize that they are poised to do far worse, including threatening WAR, even nuclear war. Through an unrelenting barrage of daily outrages and Twitter outbursts, the Trump/Pence regime is radically remaking society—step by step hammering into place a vicious American fascism. This is not insult or exaggeration, it is what they are doing.

Therefore, WE RESOLVE that nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.

There is a way to do this. To do so,we must cast aside illusions and self-delusions:

All too many people think and act as if what we face is just the worst of pendulum swings between Republicans and Democrats. NO! This regime, if left in power, will effect a thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society.

If we think that the normal processes of the 2018 or 2020 elections, or the Mueller investigation will, by themselves, redress the situation that humanity faces, we are not understanding the determination of these fascists in power to shatter norms—even though they have been doing so for over a year.

If we think that the heightened activism of the past year, either by itself or together with the elections will stop this regime, we are missing how much harm this regime has already done, absorbing individual protests as it rapidly moves its agenda forward on multiple fronts.

If we are not as outraged and motivated to act today as we were right after the election, we are on our way to accepting a great horror that builds daily. If we adjust to the injustice of this regime, do not ask how the German people could have accepted Nazism in the 1930s.

An American Fascism

We must not reassure ourselves that it couldn’t happen here. It is. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny—”America First”—wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence’s Bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.

This regime denies truth and objective evidence, and yet it has its hands on the most powerful military and nuclear arsenal in history and is preparing and threatening to use it! Millions of immigrants live in terror fearing their loved ones will be ripped away. People’s humanity is viciously denied. Women are poised to lose the right to abortion. Trump and Sessions have instructed police to “take the gloves off,” further brutalizing people of color. LGBTQ rights recently won are under assault. Damage done to the environment by this regime in just 14 months could be irreversible.

Fascism rules by organized repression and terror by the government: civil liberties are stripped away, law re-written, dissent criminalized, the courts packed with fascists, and the separation of powers and of church and state ultimately eviscerated. As part of radically remaking society, the Trump/Pence regime must sharply attack those in positions of power who oppose them. Fascism also mobilizes mobs of vicious thugs as we’ve seen with Nazis marching and murdering in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Trump/Pence Regime has not yet been able to implement their full program. But they are advancing. It might only take a single serious crisis—international or domestic—for this regime to drop the hammer.

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

People all over the world are counting on us to STOP this nightmare. The different strains of fascist demagogues and movements in this country see in Trump and Pence their “last chance” to achieve their reactionary program. They will not listen to facts or reason; they have already and will continue to change rules, manipulate elections, and they will not give up.

The Democratic Party leadership will NOT lead us out of this. They are about maintaining order for their whole set up. For them, order is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism. After Trump’s election, President Obama said of Trump, “We are all on the same team... We are now all rooting for his success.” NO! If Trump succeeds, it will be catastrophic!

But there IS another way. A different kind of protest. We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.

Everyone who recognizes that the Trump/Pence Nightmare Must End is invited to join in and prepare for launching this great act of sustained resistance.

Imagine tens of thousands beginning in several cities and towns, with marches, candlelight vigils, rallies—students, religious communities, immigrants, everyone with a heart for humanity in the streets and not backing down—growing from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The whole world will take heart.

This will shake millions awake, with many losing their adjustment to life under this regime. The international credibility of the regime will be undermined. A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.

This would be hard, but possible. Possible because millions of us feel the horror of Trump and Pence. Many have righteously protested different outrages, but now we must rise to another level of determined resistance.

We must confront the reality that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and not allowing our differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to confront the danger of a Trump/Pence fascist America.

WE PLEDGE that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself. Join us. Let’s stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we’ve got to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

In the Name of Humanity,

We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Go to:
RefuseFascism.org
to add your name to this statement

 @RefuseFascism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/national-faith-weekend-may-18-20-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Reprinted from RefuseFascism.org

National Faith Weekend May 18-20 ~ “I Am My Brother’s Keeper – The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.”

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dear Religious Leader and Friends:

A coalition of the faith community met in Los Angeles in January 2018 and resolved to call on you and many others throughout the country to participate in a National Faith Weekend May 18-20 ~ “I Am My Brother’s Keeper – The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.” We must do this for the future of humanity and the planet.

Recent weeks and months have seen serious developments in the consolidation of the Trump/Pence regime, including:

Millions of young immigrant lives are in jeopardy.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has targeted leaders in the movement for immigrant rights, conducted massive raids against individuals and businesses (such as 7-Eleven) in sanctuary cities, and threatened sanctuary churches.  Additionally, Trump has ended Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for over a quarter of a million people,  and has now ended DACA protections for millions who migrated to the U.S. during their youth. To paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemöller: “First they came for the Muslims, then they came for the immigrants...”  We must say, “Not This Time!” The voice of the religious community—a voice of moral authority—is needed as never before.

AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER? The question rings down through the ages. Religious communities have traditionally responded with a resounding “Yes!” Caring for our sisters and brothers is a key component of what it means to be a person of faith and conscience.

It is a consistent message in our world’s great religious traditions that we are indeed our brothers and sisters’ keepers. At its heart, this message minimally means at least two things: 1) that we will do our brothers and sisters no harm; and 2) that we will work fervently and tirelessly for their well-being.

So, what do we, as people of faith, do in a time when the powers of this world—especially the Trump/Pence regime in Washington, DC—seem hell bent on causing harm through:

What do we do indeed? We are convinced that we cannot sit idly by and merely hope that everything will turn out right, or that someone else will do this. Too much damage has already been done.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, dated 16 April 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. writes these prescient words that are as true for all twenty-first century American religious communities as they were for the predominantly white Christian churches of 1963:

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.

It is especially crucial during this month when we commemorate the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination that we affirm the truth that he articulated elsewhere in this same letter: “Justice too long delayed is justice denied.” Now is the time when we must work together to build the beloved community of justice and peace about which King spoke and wrote so passionately and eloquently throughout his life.

Religious communities cannot stand on the sidelines in the face of the injustices and atrocities being perpetrated by the Trump/Pence regime. We must stand up and say NO! And, we must join with other people of good will who are rising up to stop the terror that threatens to engulf our nation and world, and to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go. We refuse to accept the kinds of atrocities that are described above. In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.

Between May 18–20, religious communities around this country will be observing a Faith Weekend based on the theme: “I Am My Brother’s Keeper ~ The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” We encourage you, as religious leaders, to hold services and preach sermons on this urgent theme at your places of worship. Where possible, join with other religious communities to hold special events, such as ecumenical and interfaith gatherings. In preparation for May 18-20, convene meetings of religious leaders and others in your area to discuss the role of the religious community in the movement to stop the Trump/Pence regime and to make plans for the Faith Weekend.

History has shown what happens when people do not speak out and stand up for each other as injustice and terror are perpetrated by a few against the many. The time to engage is now, before this regime has a chance to fully consolidate its power and oppression. We are our brother’s keeper!

In the hope of justice and peace,

Rev. Frank Wulf, Pastor, Echo Park UMC
Ms. Ernestine Henning, Supervisor (retired), AME Church
Ramona Toliver, Ward AME Church
Rev. Luis Barrios, Pastor, Holyrood Episcopal Church
Rev. Lyda Eddington, Pastor, La Tijera UMC
Myrian V. Monnet-Cisneros, Pastor, La Trinidad UMC

Email the Faith Task Force of Refuse Fascism to sign this call.


Special event in Los Angeles

Sunday, May 20 at 4:30

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

8305 S. Gramercy Place, Los Angeles, CA 90047

PDF printable flyer

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/538/speech-official-launch-for-the-refuse-fascism-call-to-action-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

We Are At a Crossroads:
The Stakes Are the Future of Humanity

Talk by Andy Zee at the April 11 official launch of the Spring, 2018 Refuse Fascism Call to Action

April 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The following is the text of a talk given by Andy Zee—spokesperson for Revolution Books and a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism—as part of the April 11 livestream of the announcement of the new Refuse Fascism Call to Action and plans for the coming weeks and months.

 

We are approaching a fork in the road. Tonight, Refuse Fascism puts before the world the stark truth that the Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime that is step by step bringing about a fascist America. And, that there is a way, a road that requires courage, conviction, and determination, to stop it. The stakes are high and acutely posed as we meet this evening because the Trump/Pence regime is on the verge of TWO MAJOR LEAPS THAT ALSO POSE FORKS IN THE ROAD FOR THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY WITH STAKES FOR ALL OF HUMANITY.

One, should Trump act to fire special prosecutor Mueller, demonstrating that the Trump/Pence regime regards itself as above the law, this will challenge the people of this country to decide whether or not they are willing to go down the road to fascism. Accepting such a move by Trump—even if by just going out into the streets for a day and then going back to business as usual—will signal to the Trump/Pence regime and their powerful backers that they can tear up the rule of law. That we won’t stand in the way of their consolidating all power in their hands as they move to impose a fascist America on the world. Trump already feels the heat and should he fire Mueller he will face tremendous pressure to move fast to suppress opposition at the highest levels of government and throughout society. Will we meet this challenge?

Two, Trump has cleared out all the vacillating, less obedient members of his inner circle, forging a fascist War and Torture Cabal seriously heightening the danger of war—even nuclear war. Gina Haspel, his nominee to head the CIA, is a war criminal, a torturer, who ordered cover-ups of her crimes. Mike Pompeo, the Trump/Pence nominee for secretary of state, is a fascist “Tea Party” leader known for his vicious hatred of Islam and his advocacy of war and torture. Then, there’s John Bolton, who is the new national security adviser, who was a key architect of the Iraq war and the lies that justified it, and is a blood-thirsty war monger who advocates pre-emptively “eliminating” North Korea, even putting forth a bogus “legal” theory to justify such a war crime. Bolton also wrote in the New York Times: “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” The Trump/Pence regime is determined to scuttle the Iran deal, to further unleash Israel and Saudi Arabia as attack dogs in the Mideast, all of which greatly increases the danger of even wider, more deadly wars. Do you, do we, have any conception of and responsibility to, the horrors such acts would mean?

Yet, in the wake of these cabinet appointments, there has been no protest. Zero: when it is not even an “open secret” that the Trump/Pence regime is plotting for major war... it’s in their sights and what they are planning for.

SO, HERE TOO IS A CROSSROADS FOR THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY: ARE YOU, ARE WE, GOING TO ACCEPT THE LOGIC AND LIES THAT WILL BE USED TO JUSTIFY THE KILLING OF POTENTIALLY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE? This is a human cost that John Bolton has explicitly said would be worth it if the U.S. could take out North Korea’s weapons. Or, is your morality so poisoned by the ideology of “America First,” or by the comfort of your life, that you will not STAND UP AND ACT? Do we believe that American lives are worth more than the lives of other people? Are We Going To Rise to What History and Humanity Demand of Us and Take to the Streets to Demand that These Moves Towards and Acts of War Must Stop and that the Trump/Pence Regime Be Removed from Power?

The 2018 Call to Act from Refuse Fascism which we are about to present says straight up: “If we adjust to the injustice of this regime, DO NOT ASK HOW THE GERMAN PEOPLE COULD HAVE ACCEPTED NAZISM IN THE 1930s.

These two crossroads—the possibility that Trump will make a decisive move to assert that he and his regime are above the law, and the present danger of escalated WAR, interact with and feed off each other. The question is: WILL WE ACCEPT IT? OR, WILL WE UNITE—COMING FROM MANY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND POINTS OF VIEW—TO STOP THIS THROUGH MASSIVE NON-VIOLENT PROTEST THAT DOESN’T STOP UNTIL THIS ILLEGIITMATE, ILLEGAL, and IMMORAL FASCIST REGIME IS REMOVED FROM POWER?

For over 14 months REFUSE FASCISM has put forth, backed by substantive analysis, that what we face is a REGIME, not the worst of reactionary Republican administrations, but a regime that is radically remaking society in a fascist direction. And that the only way to stop this is through massive, non-violent, sustained protests in cities and towns across the country—protests that don’t stop until the Trump/Pence regime is removed from power.

But, the millions of people who deep in their hearts abhor this regime are being told by the Democratic Party leadership and those who front for it, that there is an easier way to stop Trump: elect the Democrats to Congress. We pose to you: if this is your strategy you don’t understand that this is a fascist regime. If you see the horror of Trump as just a swing of the pendulum, and the midterms as the answer, you will necessarily mute protest. Your blue wave will carry you crashing into the rocks of a regime that will stop at nothing.

More, if you did elect a Democratic House, then what? The Democratic leadership has taken impeachment off the table. They have no answer to what to do about Pence and the whole fascist movement. And, let’s get down to the real deal, for the Democratic Party leadership, their dispute with Trump and Pence is over how to rule and advance the interests of the American Empire. Do you really think that if the U.S. launches bombing in the Mideast or against North Korea that these leaders of the Democratic Party will do anything other than be a part of, or vie for leadership of a wave of American chauvinism? When they do, this will further clear the path for the Trump/Pence regime to further consolidate its power. Recall that every leading Democrat has vowed to “work” with Trump where they can. NO! You Don’t Work With and Normalize Fascists.

We are not calling it fascism to hype anyone into action. But consider: What do you call it when people are demonized and attacked for who they are: immigrants, Black people, women, LGBTQ people, refugees, Muslims, Jewish people, the disabled, Native Americans—any and everyone who opposes the regime’s White America First rule. What do you call it when civil liberties and basic democratic rights are cast aside? You call it fascism. We must not shirk from it, but confront the truth and unite to say NO! Go to RefuseFascism.org to learn more, to donate, to sign the Call, and to get involved.

In closing, I reiterate, we are at a crossroads. The stakes are the future of humanity. Right now the Trump/Pence regime faces increasing necessity—domestically and internationally—to radically restructure U.S. governance and international relations, shattering norms. They have made great progress ramming into policy their “America First” and “Make America Great Again” fascist agenda. The danger of war, potentially nuclear war, and of this regime “dropping the hammer” with new, more draconian laws that take away democratic and civil rights means there must be real urgency to our organizing and forging unity. We cannot predict when the Trump/Pence regime will have made a qualitative leap in consolidating fascism. Yet, we recognize that what they have already set in motion requires that everyone who REFUSES to Live in a Fascist America unite with Refuse Fascism and together we must bend every effort to mount the kind of struggle that is put forth in the 2018 Refuse Fascism Call to Act. And, as part of getting to that point, everyone, every organization, must not allow this regime to launch a war, a massive bombing, or subvert the rule of law by firing the special prosecutor, and take to the streets.

This Nightmare Must End, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/colin-kaepernick-amnesty-international-ambassador-of-conscience-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Colin Kaepernick upon Receiving Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award:

“Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation”

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Saturday, April 21, Amnesty International awarded Colin Kaepernick its most prestigious award—the Ambassador of Conscience Award, given to those “dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others”—for his protest against police murders by refusing to stand for the national anthem during the NFL games.

Kaepernick has been blackballed from the NFL because of his courageous anthem protest. At the Amnesty International event, Kaepernick was handed the award by his former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid, who continued the protest last season. Reid is currently an unsigned free agent, and it appears that he, too, is being shut out of the NFL because of his stand.

In his acceptance speech, Kaepernick said in part:

My love for my people serves as the fuel that motivates me and fortifies me on my mission. It is the people’s unbroken love for themselves that motivates me even when faced with dehumanizing norms of a system that can lead to the loss of one’s life over simply being Black. History has proven that there has never been a period in the history of America where anti-blackness has not ever been an ever-present terror.

Racialized oppression and dehumanization are woven into the very fabric of our nation—the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynchings of Black and Brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of Black and Brown lives in the prison industrial complex.

While America bills itself as the “land of the free,” the receipts show that the U.S. has incarcerated 2.2 million people, the largest prison population in the history of humankind. As police officers continue to terrorize Black and Brown communities, abusing their power, and then hiding behind their blue wall of silence, the laws that allow them to kill us with virtual impunity, I’ve realized that our love that sometimes manifests itself as Black rage is a beautiful form of defiance against the system that seeks to suppress our humanity—a system that wants us to hate ourselves. But I remind you, it is love that is at the root of our resistance. It is our love for 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was gunned down by the police in less than 2 seconds, that will not allow us to bury our anger. It is our love for Philando Castile, who was executed in front of his partner and his daughter, that keep us fighting back. It is our love for Stephon Clark, who was lynched in his grandma’s backyard, that will not allow us to stop until we liberate our people…

How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates “freedom and justice for all,” that is so unjust to so many of the people living there? How can you not be in a rage when you know that you’re always at risk of death in the streets or enslavement in the prison system? How can you willingly be blind to the truth of systemic racialized injustice? When Malcolm X said, “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it's for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole,” I took that to heart…

In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force…

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/visiting-the-national-memorial-to-lynching-victims-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

On Visiting the National Memorial to Lynching Victims:

“Nothing will prepare you for what you will see and feel in person”

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

I read revcom.us/Revolution newspaper’s online article about the new Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice that opened in Montgomery, Alabama, last month. It is an excellent article and much appreciated. A couple of us from Atlanta went to Montgomery to participate in the Opening Ceremony and Summit. We visited the memorial but were unable to get tickets to the Legacy Museum because they were sold out.

I want to strongly underscore the importance of the memorial and museum developed by Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). I believe this is one of the most important exhibits in the country ever, and everyone should make every effort to go to Montgomery as soon as possible to see it. There is so much to learn from all the exhaustive research that went into unearthing the information about the 4,400 victims—those lynched—and the perpetrators. No article or photograph can really capture the weightiness and plethora of emotion one experiences.

We went not only to see for ourselves this important contribution, but to focus on distributing the New Call from RefuseFascism.org and the palm cards for the film of BA’s talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, as well as participate in the accompanying Opening Ceremony and Summit. This was an opportunity to reach a good cross section of people from inside and mostly outside the “activist” world, from all over the country, numbering in the 1,000s, who came to learn and memorialize those who were lynched by this wretched country. It was a mixed crowd of mostly Black and white people, middle-aged and older, with some groupings of students who came from their colleges/universities.

Many renowned artists, activists, lawyers and intellectuals, and progressive/liberal politicians attended or participated in the events over two days. Some of the more well-known people were Common, Patti LaBelle, Michelle Alexander, Steve Bright, Gloria Steinem, Anthony Ray Hinton, Marian Wright Edelman, John Lewis, Cory Booker, Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black), Freedom Riders, and many more. Andra Day did an unbelievable rendition of “Strange Fruit” from inside the memorial.

Over the course of the two days, we were able to distribute a little over 1,000 new Refuse Fascism Calls and about 700 BA film cards, as well as several hundred palm cards with BA’s quote 5:5 from BAsics: “The ‘Bible Belt’ in the U.S. is also the Lynching Belt.” Most people had not heard about RefuseFascism.org but were very receptive and curious and exhibited visceral contempt for Trump and the regime.

At the opening ceremony, Bryan Stevenson, EJI founder, delivered a heartfelt speech on the need to stand up, move out of our comfort zone, and change the narrative. This outlook was highlighted at the opening event by recognizing the Freedom Riders; civil rights activists and icons; the young Black kids who bravely walked into all-white schools to desegregate them; and the four women, before Rosa Parks, who refused to give up their seats for white people on a Montgomery bus. It was very inspirational, and at the same time the thematic solution throughout the summit was to vote. It was very important to have a political intervention with RefuseFascism.org’s new Call to Action as well as the palm cards for the film of BA’s talk and his BAsics quote.

One morning we took a shuttle to the memorial. I had read an article about it in the New York Times before going to Montgomery, but nothing will prepare you for what you will see and feel in person. The architecture is very modern, stark but warm. Upon entering you are confronted with the history of slavery, ripping off Native American land, and mob lynching, torture, and violence, written succinctly on the cement walls. You see an intense sculpture by Kwame Akoto-Bamfo of men and women, one woman holding a baby, in iron neck collars, handcuffs, ankle cuffs and chains, with terror and horror on their faces.

You walk along the pathway as the written history continues on the walls until you reach the entrance: there you are confronted by row after row after row after row of tall, rectangular six-foot rusted metal boxes that could be interpreted as headstones or coffins. You enter on the ground level with daylight still apparent, and engraved on each box is the county and state where lynchings took place with the many names and dates, including “unknown” for those undocumented. They are carved through the metal, so when day turns to night and a floodlight shines up through the metal boxes, the names shine bright. You can imagine its effect.

The floor starts to descend as you start walking underground, the surroundings become darker, and the boxes begin to elevate above you until they are hanging from the ceiling like lynched brown bodies from the trees. Along the walls there are plaques citing all the unjustifiable reasons why someone was lynched. By studying the dates, you start to realize that not just one person but many people were often lynched on any given day, with several people being lynched on consecutive days—and in some cases, like the Elaine massacre in Arkansas, over 200 people were lynched within a few days’ time.

By the time you reach the end of this section of the memorial, there is a water feature and an acrylic box that looks like a see-through coffin filled with dirt elevated on one of the rusted brown boxes. A plaque reads, “The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Community Remembrance Project invites members to visit lynching sites and gather soil to honor the lives of those killed and terrorized by racial violence and injustice. The soil represents collections from over two dozen racial terror lynchings.”

One striking observation while walking through was overhearing people near me asking others to come find them if they see a particular name of someone or county. I realized people came to look for their kinfolk.

The last thing you see near the exit of the memorial park is the provocative sculpture called “Raise Up” of many Black men, women, and children submerged in cement from the chest or neck down, all with their hands in the air, by artist Hank Willis Thomas. This piece is a commentary on the continued racial violence in this country and continuing narrative that Black people are “dangerous,” justifying police murder of unarmed Black and Brown people, mass incarceration, and societal terror.

Revolution newspaper couldn’t have said it better:

The opening of the memorial and museum in Montgomery is very urgent and relevant in the situation we face today. The horror depicted so vividly there IS the history of this country. This terror and violence served to keep in place a whole system, which could not have existed without first slavery and then near-slavery and outright segregation centered in the South while a great majority of Black people lived there. White supremacy is built into the foundation of the USA—something that this system and those who rule it could not do without. And this has continued down to the present. As BA says, “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.” (BAsics 1:1) Segregation, discrimination and racism exist in housing, jobs, schools, healthcare, culture—in every part of society. And this continues to be backed up with brutality and violence—by the uniformed lynch mobs of the “officers of the law” who disproportionately target Black and other people of color for murder and brutality, and through mass incarceration of oppressed people.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/welcome-to-2018-white-supremacist-america-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Welcome to 2018 White Supremacist America:
It’s Not How Good Your High School Team Is, But How White It Is

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The white football coach at Camden Catholic High School in Camden, New Jersey, was fired from his job on April 30. It was not because of his record on the field, which was extremely good at 34-6 in his four seasons. No, Coach Nick Strom says it was because school officials thought he had too many Black players on his team!

Strom told reporters, “From day one, the administration told me they did not approve of the ratio of Black to white students.” He said, “I tried to build this program by bringing in players based on their ability, grades and character.” But the principal told him she hoped he “could get more white players on the field because they would connect with the alumni base.” Almost half the team's football players are minorities, while the student population is 60% white, 16% Black, 14% Asian, and 9% Latino. Strom said the question of race came up 10-20 times with the principal since he was hired in 2013.

Camden is one of the poorest cities in the country. Its population of 74,420 is 5% white, 42% Black, and 48% Latino. Camden is also known for the rebellions in the late 1960s and early 1970s against police murders of Black and Puerto Rican people.

The Black students and many of their parents are standing with Coach Strom, refusing to allow this firing to go down. On the day Strom was officially fired, 25 of his supporters, including parents of players on his team, came to the school to demand answers about why Strom was being let go—only to be told by school officials they couldn't answer most of the questions. Half an hour later, 22 students walked out of school in protest. One student said “He’s done an unbelievable job as a coach and a teacher here. It’s come out of nowhere. It hurts all of us to know that a man we look up to doesn’t have a job anymore. We felt like we needed to walk out of school to show that we’re all together and we’re with Coach Strom in a tough time for him.”

On Friday, May 4, 20 students gathered on the school lawn in protest, with signs saying “HONK FOR STROM,” “WE MATTER,” and “WE WANT JUSTICE.”

The school administrators deny Strom's claims. Yet Strom—who was also a history teacher at the school—never received a poor teaching evaluation in his three reviews, and the stated reasons for his dismissal are pitiful: dress code violations; leaving class early to prepare for the golf team’s upcoming match; and allowing students to leave the classroom early. Strom's former high school coach and coaching mentor said that Strom had called him last fall, saying he was concerned about the treatment of minorities at the school by the administration, and some teachers. Strom has retained an attorney and is considering all of his options. And a group of parents has retained their own attorney to represent them in this battle.

A Black player told Highschoolsports.nj.com,The school has a problem. Camden Catholic’s true colors are exposed. One student will be treated differently than another student. I’ve always felt black students were treated differently than Caucasians. I always talked to Coach Strom about why teachers would act like this.”

In 2018 white supremacist America, the key question for the administrators at this Catholic high school isn't how good their football team is but how white it is!

The truth of Nick Strom’s allegations is yet to be fully proven. But there is ample evidence, not just in this case but in the racism in youth sports nationwide, for everyone to learn the lesson being taught. What is happening in Camden Catholic is no isolated incident (see for example, “What’s Behind All the Racism at Youth Sports Events?” at Forbes.com, which lists just some of the recent incidents).

And racism and white supremacy are not just an ugly reality in youth sports but in every corner of the capitalist-imperialist system in America: discrimination in health care, housing, and employment; rampant racial profiling and officially sanctioned murder and brutality by the police; mass incarceration of Black, Brown, and Native American people; and on and on. All this is built in to the foundation and functioning of this system—and the rulers could not put an end to the oppression and degradation of Black and other people of color even if they wanted to—which they don’t. The open call to white supremacy by the Trump/Pence fascist regime is an extreme expression of what has always been at the heart of this country. And nothing short of revolution to overthrow this system is going to put an end to it.    

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/prisoners-write-on-the-fight-against-the-trump-pence-fascist-regime-and-the-need-for-revolution-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Prisoners Write on the Fight Against the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime and the Need for Revolution

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revolution receives many letters from prisoners writing on a range of topics. The following are excerpts from letters from prisoners writing about the Trump/Pence regime and the need for revolution. In previous weeks we posted excerpts from prisoner letters on Bob Avakian and communist revolution and on the oppression and emancipation of women.

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“This system is a failure and not just for this country but for this whole world – and must go”

Hey there revolutionaries. Hope the Party is holding firm to its principles, orientation, comrades & solace in the people.

Additionally hope no one is taking these monsters or their capability for granted. ‘Nough said on that…

Really struck how these two poles of the bourgeois political machine is in total spin mode with this dumbing down of Amerikkka. ... Newt Gingrich, Hannity, Laura Ingram, & Sheryl Atkins, et al all have a cold agenda that is equally potent, poisonous, and self-replicating as Charlie Rose, Chuck Todd, George Stephanopolous, et al. And any one at the seat of power (capitalist) should and must be proud of them all for they are all simply serving to keep everyone constrained within the logic of empire.

I’m with you guys on the urgency of the moment “but” this is just this system reconfiguring itself to address the actual freedom and necessity of this moment – just one way it could evolve and chase to of course.

However, I will not scream No Trump No KKK etc. without also screaming something that acknowledges this system must go & can’t be reformed. Want to air out my criticism about tactics in dealings wit’ these Trump Nazi clowns, but obviously leaders of these confrontations don’t understand what they’re about, willing to do, or how much support they have.

And Heather Heyer’s death speaks volumes to me… This can not be a repeat of the sit-ins or the Bull Connor ’60s. We aren’t waging a revolution, so I’m not saying Balls out. I’m just sayin’ we can not allow our people to be victims. Point—blank—period. But as Mao said, her death is mightier than a mountain & definitely not in vain. Heather Heyer’s!

Trump said something that was very true. What about George Washington et al. I heard a professor on Democracy Now! saying: that was indicative of how misinformed he was to contrast “our founding fathers who built a nation (USA) and Confederate soldiers who fought to keep slavery.” I thought that to be just a backward ass jigga–boo statement. What Trump said is right. What’s the difference? How can George Washington be your hero but Jefferson Davis be castigated & where does it stop?

So obviously people need to ask and answer that question, & it shouldn’t be dismissed. This goes back to my point, we (I can’t) speak to any of this stuff without concluding this system is a failure and not just for this country but for this whole world—and must go.

We live in a capitalist country. We have no power. Nor are we even close to getting’ this party started. So we must learn to use the freedom of now not just to educate and prepare minds but to actually achieve material gains for that preparation.

Trump could’ve been voted out, especially for anyone who thinks it would be a victory simply to drive him from power which I don’t share if it’s in a vacuum & not tied to our overall objective of changing this whole country and world so that there is never the threat of nuclear war, mass starvation or global exploitation. Not just drive these men & women from power. That should be critiqued…

And too, we must engage our anarchist/Antifas brothers and sisters. Cornel West said if not for them, people would have been much worse off in Virginia. So I must salute them above all others because at least they know this is not dress up and the people shall not be touched. But they must learn that without ideology, rules and a culture that helps usher in a humane world & just being ready to rock & roll ain’t good enough.

My battles in here are very serious. This is a 24-hours-a-day torture, punishment and retaliation. And my only defense to any of it, save the eyes in the back of my head, is the pen, which is really not powerful at all. But if they don’t kill me or have one of these broken men do so, I can use [it] when I’m able to expose them.

In so many ways these are sad times for any conscious man here. Too many quislings and they’re very violent quislings so they can not be taken lightly. There’s a sting like a gust of wind that’s forever blowing in my eyes due to sadness of this moment—for us all—so it’s pins and needles and a permanent sting right behind my eyeballs but not one single boo-hoo or woe is me. Just dialectical materialism & me & us & this beautiful world which we must save.

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“The capitalistic fascist of america 1%ers are the real thieves and genocidal mass murderers and exploitationists of humanity and natural resources”

Dear Comrades and BA.

Classicism.Power…

Antiquated.Fascist.Ideologies

It is not uncommon to hear these days, from government officials and others, that only 1 percent of the population is in the U.S. military but that this 1 percent is fighting for the freedom of the other 99 percent. The truth, however, is this: That 1 percent, in the military, is in reality fighting for the other 1 percent: the big capitalist-imperialists who run this country—who control the economy, the political system, the military, the media, and the other key institutions—and who dominate large parts of the world, wreaking havoc and causing great suffering for literally billions of people. It is the “freedom” of these capitalist-imperialists—their freedom to exploit, oppress, and plunder—that this 1 percent in the military is actually killing and sometimes dying for.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:5

Conscience based on the supposition and piety of the fascist elite, the upper middle class and one percent of the world whose sense of superiority and classicism, and their superficial life experience, over that of the marginalized and disenfranchised people of color and whites that are the hard working poor of this country and around the world, yet the latter uses us as the beast of burden, for their own proficient profitability…

The capitalistic fascist of america 1%ers are the real thieves and genocidal mass murderers and exploitationists of humanity and natural resources, polluting the air, rivers, ocean, land, earth ecosystem. How many years before man and woman become extinct, because of human greed, hate, indifference, war, incompetence, because trump and other fascist regimes of the same mind! the marginalized, the ecosystems, the poor of the world, will suffer at the hands of the few, because of unethical and corrupt big american and foreign industrialist government entities, who are fascist legislative environmental—regulators whose bribery and kick backs, are the norm, so no oversight and laxity of regulations…

Once this country and others are purged of this parasitical dysfunction and attrition systemic abuse of power and oppression and blatant disregard of and freedoms afforded us by the U.S. constitution and civil rights, which the trump regime is secretly trying to eradicate. Trump is very much truculent! The fascists say “if you hate america so much, why are you here?” Because capitalistic america fucked up a lot of countries where [it] is hard to make a living. america just less fucked up!

THE PRISONERS REVOLUTIONARY LITERATURE FUND

Graphic imagePRLF is an educational literature fund that sends Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), works from Bob Avakian, (Chairman of the RCP) and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S. PRLF has fought attempts by prison officials to censor these publications. For example, the ACLU of Southern California successfully represented PRLF in a censorship battle focused on Pelican Bay State Prison with statewide ramifications in California.

To donate to the work of the PRLF, go HERE.

So with socialism, social science, us the collective proletariat, can eliminate corruption, greed, misogyny, fascism, hate mongering, the upper middle class and wealthy one percenters Christian fascists, who use religious dogma to keep the masses obedient and servile!

Real freedom, equality, justice, education, peace is tangible for all, so continuity and vanguarding of this new synthesis of socialism and social science is a must to overcome the adversities and polarizing of classes, race, misogyny, mass incarceration and ethnic cleansing of the disenfranchised minority!!!

Progress and progressiveness are predicated on sacrificing one’s life and liberty if need be!!! For the future of our children and for their children, our wives, elderly and defenseless!...

P.S. thank you for opening up my eyes and blessing me with powerful knowledge. Now i see. Thanks to all of you at “PRLF” and BA. They can keep my body in a cage but not my mind, heart. It belongs to the struggle of our collective cause for freedom from this capitalistic fascist regime! i will never work or help in any way to further prison of the fascist monopoly that oppress us. fuckem. You have my heart and mind to the end! and yes i pass on the knowledge of the struggle. A female comrade would help as well the reach out side of these walls of fascist oppression!!!

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“America was never great”

How could we “Make America Great Again,” when in fact America was never great? Or a better question to ask is who was America ever great to other than the people who took this country and enslaved a whole race of people. African-Americans were kidnapped, brought over here and forced to build this country on slave labor. So how could anyone say America was once great? America enslaved African-Americans for 400 years. For 400 long painful years my ancestors were forced to work tobacco plantations and cotton fields, while the oppressors of America sat back and enjoyed the luxuries their hard labor provided. Black people never benefited anything productive from America. So to say “Make America Great Again” is simply a derogatory statement because one can’t turn a blind eye to the pain, torture, and struggle we went through and still go through here in America today.

In 1857 (Dred Scott v. Sandford), Dred Scott a slave, sued for his liberty and his claim was rejected by the Southern dominated Supreme Court. Arguing that slaves were property, not people, and as such, they were not citizens and therefore lacked standing in a court of law. Nor can we forget how Jim Crow Southerners successfully stripped away most of the civil, political and economic rights of African-Americans. Where voting rights were suppressed through tactics such as literacy tests, poll taxes, and the infamous grandfather clause. And to discourage resistance, vigilante groups like the Ku Klux Klan waged a campaign of terror on African-Americans, such as arson, beatings, and lynchings. So for someone who was forced to endure this it’s like a slap in the face to hear someone say this was once great.

I think we need to focus more on how we can make America better as a whole because we can’t continue to ignore the oppression, racism, and police brutality we face here in America. The late great Malcolm X once said we need to focus on a common solution for a common problem. We know the problem at hand, so how do we create a solution for equal opportunity? Where no matter your race, gender, religion, or criminal history, we’ll all have the same opportunities for jobs, education, and housing.

Here in America we tend to focus more on what’s going on in other countries, and turn a blind eye to the things that are taking place here in our own back yards. So I say let’s focus on making America better than what it is and has been for all these years…

XXXXXX

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“We must speak out against Trump’s attempts to wage war against North Korea”

Greetings,

For me, Trump’s repeated threats to destroy North Korea is very disturbing as well revealing about the double standards in the culture we live in.

Stop and think about Trump’s threats...He is nonchalantly saying that he wants to destroy North Korea. That means that he wants to kill every living creature there!

Now, imagine if a random stranger came out and publicly declared that he wants, or is going to destroy LA, NY, etc. What do you think would happen? It’s safe to assume that he/she would be labeled a terrorist and prosecuted/persecuted by the authorities. And the average person living in the U.S. would think of him/her as a psychopath/dangerous person.

In Trump’s case however, most authorities and U.S. civilians not only don’t denounce Trump, but on the contrary applaud him when he makes such threats in his public speeches.

Why is this the case? Because America has self proclaimed itself as the “good guys.” And the country that doesn’t obey the “good guys’” orders is said to be evil, and therefore a threat to America, the world, or democracy.

So is North Korea really a threat to America? Bullshit! North Korea has never attacked America. Even on the news you hear people saying that North Korea’s missiles could possibly reach America’s East Coast. No word about them having any solid evidence that North Korea is going to attack America. And America’s claims that they’re so concerned with protecting democracy is bullshit too, because if that was the case, then they wouldn’t support places like Saudi Arabia where the country is ran by a King and his allies – monarchy. And where women are seen and treated as men’s property. Or places like Mexico where the country is ran by the narco-traffickers and the corrupt government officials—narco state. And where journalists get killed on a regular basis for exposing said corruption. And the list goes on...

So with all that in mind, we must reject America’s culture of double standards and we must speak out against Trump’s attempts to wage war against North Korea, regardless of what lies (or alternative facts, as his administration likes to call it) he uses in order to justify his crimes. “No more American exceptionalism! No more wars of empire! Down with Trump’s fascist regime!”

In Solidarity,

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“I see now who [Trump] really is and Trump/Pence must go!”

PRLF has opened my eyes to view the United States as what it is and not what it appears to be. When I return to society, I will make sure that my community know about Revolution and get as many supporters as I can. When you’re not really paying attention to what goes on in the world, you tend to be left behind or don’t understand the reason for well thought out decisions. I used to think that Trump was just getting picked on because of who he is and what he believed in but once I started reading some of Revolution’s material last year from another inmate at XXX Correctional, I see now who he really is and Trump/Pence must go! Once again thanks for the literature and I look forward to receiving more.

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“Trump’s election did not change America’s position, nor her nature”

To: Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund

I first want to give a shout out/salute to all those locked away in cement tombs, those that are oppressed by this racist regime they call America, & those that struggle, resist, & fight. I want to speak truth to power, or power into truth regarding mass incarceration in this Trump era. No dictator shall ever dictate our stance, position, nor form of revolutionary strategy because Trump’s election did not change America’s position, nor her nature. She played the role as a seductive temptress during the Obama era. A few pardons, change in the 1 to 100 ratio crack/cocaine, and a “I’m my brother’s keeper” slogan. Now she’s the bitter white wife of a redneck klansman. Should we pretend to be shocked by her homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia & the countless other phobias she suffers. I think not. Neither era had very much if any effect on the 2.4 million she has oppressed, locked up, stripped of citizenship, & relegated us back to the Jim Crow era while the people was rocked to sleep by crafty politicians & their covert attack on the poor people of color with tough on crime, & war on drugs ruse.

As a captive and a progressive revolutionary, Bob Avakian’s new synthesis has aided me in my struggle to take scientific methods & make them applicable to the people. I am the grandson of a Black Panther so it runs in my veins. All power to the people!

XXXX, REVOLUTIONARY REBIRTH

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“It’s unbelievable how these politicians will straight up lie to the people & how we don’t do anything about it”

Well I’m thinking that politics and politicians on both sides are so corrupt due to the campaign system & the vast amounts of $ needed for them to get elected. I think this alone is such a huge wall to overcome. It’s unbelievable how these politicians will straight up lie to the people & how we don’t do anything about it. In the meantime our coffers are being robbed and our country is 20 trillion in immediate debt yet the people don’t rise up! Or how it was so obvious how Bernie Sanders was straight up shafted by the Democrat party & their “super delegates” & no one did anything! Or how the CIA is flooding this nation w/ heroin & getting away w/ it…

Something has to be done about this madness! I see Rev.com out there constantly on the march! I’ve seen ya’ll in the newspapers & on the news! Carl Dix & everybody! The time is now! I’m doing my part. Ya’ll are doing yours. It’s time for everyone to step up & get beyond active! Forward comrades! Forward! The long march continues! It’s time for everyone to get their boots dirty!

My Appreciation

XXX

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“The Trump/Pence regime is a severe threat to humanity”

Revolutionary Greetings To All My Comrades.

Thank you for (PRLF) that I’ve been receiving. I’ve been having discussions with other prisoners and sharing the (PRLF) to expose them of the truth. Here’s a summary of what I’ve gotten. Trump attacks directly to the agenda of Christianity fascism/fascist ruling class. Their aim is to impose rule by dictates of fundamentalist Christianity on the U.S. Tillerson tried to work things out with North Korea over nuclear weapons. He was at China which implied he was doin all this through them. Donald Trump immediately tweets Tillerson to let him know he’s wasting his time & continues to mock and provoke Kim Jong-Un. Trump is a MORON as Tillerson called him. I agree. Trump continues to label Iran non-compliant on nuclear deal. He wants them to stop production. As his top advisors give him advice he completely rejects attempts to avoid war. He continues to provocate threats of war the probability that the (U.S.) will end in war, a nuclear war that is high...

The Trump/Pence regime is a severe threat to humanity. Trump acts as if it’s a dictatorship policy. They’ve rescinded a policy that protects transgenders, gutted the requirement that employers pay for birth control, lied about fetal development to advance federal abortion ban.

They have threatened military action against North Korea or Iran—the so call “calm before the storm”. Republicans are rapidly disenfranchising people of color, immigrants, and others to lock in a permanent Republican majority in Congress and choosing a President. Now on all the mass shootings in the United Snakes takes us to gun violence. To understand why you can’t just look at the question of guns but look more deeply at the characters of society that is shaping the people who are turning those guns on each other. U.S. relationship with violence in The Homeland has everything to do with slavery, genocide and the theft of land from Mexico. Gun control is not the answer. The system uses its guns in the hands of the police to murder people indiscriminately, Black and Brown people. The urgency of the call for massive, defiant, non-violent demonstrations is in our interest for humanity.

I will end as I entered with revolutionary spirit…

Footnote: I would like to further increase myself and earn some books. What do I need to do as you can see I am indigent but through my knowledge I can educate masses.

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“NO MORE”

“If man has arrogance, if man has pride, he insults himself even though he believes it is others who insult him.”

My friend, it hit me hard to know that that fascist pig Trump-Pence regime has worked the system to get in the “white house,” he already disturbed the peace. Distraction is everywhere. This fascist pig need to be stop right now… Their villanous is in full view. Fascist trump has illegitimate attack on people of color throughout the U.S.A., and this prison system. White supremacy have come out of the dark shadow. People of color don’t really understand what this mean to the world peace. Pig face trump not only hate people of color, but also women. Stand up, or be a part of this fascist regime, that what you do, when you don’t do nothing.  This so call U.S., have been the criminals for the beginning of time. This is Nazi Germany all over again. I am enraged. I let my voice be heard, and was put in Restrictive Housing unit (hole) for my so call conduct, given 60 days. White supremacy will kill, and we must stop pig face trump-pence regime in order to save peace.

I am a black man who been in prison almost 19 yrs and because of white people like pig face trump, the system was not fair on me. Black, Latino, Native and anybody who care about world peace, must stand up to the pig, and his clowns of nazi.

I will fight inside this prison, and when I get out, eliminating a world of evil, starting with Nazi pigs like trump. Today it was revealed that trump told one of his fascist pigs Sean Spicer to lie, that his inaugural had more people than Barack Obama. Make you think, what else the pig lie about? Everything. Stop this pig at all cost!! For world peace.

friend always

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We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/awtwns-palestine-great-march-of-return-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

Palestine: “The Great March of Return”

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

April 30, 2018. A World to Win News Service. Israel’s existence began with the violent expulsion of about half the country’s Palestinian population. Today tens of thousands of refugees, their children and grandchildren now living in Gaza, a narrow strip lying between the sea and the desert, have been massing near the barbed wire fences that imprison them every Friday for five weeks now in a “Great March of Return” planned to culminate on May 15.

That date is Nakba Day or the Day of the Catastrophe, the anniversary of the date in 1948 when these expulsions reached full spate with the proclamation of the state of Israel. Today the Israeli government is trying to inflict yet another catastrophe on Palestinians with a clear political purpose: to crush every form of resistance.

During these protests, there has not been a single Israeli casualty, while as of April 27, Israeli soldiers had killed 43 Palestinians, including at least five children. More than 3,500 Palestinians have been wounded by live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and shrapnel, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza.

Stationed all along the border at a safe distance, Israeli soldiers with sniper rifles shoot from jeeps and firing points on top of tall bulldozer-made sand hills overlooking Gaza. They aim at Palestinians approaching the fence, massed at a distance from the fence, walking away from it or just standing alone in the background and waving a Palestinian flag. All this has been captured on news videos, despite the sniper bullets seeking out journalists, killing two wearing clearly marked vests.

More than 2,200 people have been shot in one or both legs. Doctors Without Borders reports “an extremely high level of destruction to bone and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist.”

This is all the more cruel in that the effects of the years-long Israeli blockade of Gaza has left hospitals there under-equipped to deal with the severity of the trauma and the numbers of injured. Doctors are often forced to amputate legs because they lack the means for more complicated surgical procedures to save the lives of patients in danger of bleeding to death within minutes. In other cases, when patients have been stabilized, the Israeli military has refused to allow Gaza health facilities to transfer the wounded to nearby, vastly better equipped hospitals on the other side of the Israeli border, or the West Bank, where their legs could be saved. At least 17 Palestinians have lost one or both legs due to gunshot wounds, says the health ministry. (This article draws on reporting in a Washington Post article of April 28, 2018.)

In an official statement on its Twitter account after the first protest, the Israeli army tried to rebut charges that its soldiers were firing at protesters indiscriminately by bragging, “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled, everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.” (Guardian, March 31, 2018) From the evidence of these wounds and past Israeli practice it seems likely that Israeli troops have been given orders to shoot people in the legs, sometimes one after another, using what may be explosive bullets, in a planned campaign to cripple and terrorize a growing part of a generation of youth in Gaza.

This kind of practice has long been standard for the Israeli army and security forces. Break their arms and legs, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered in 1987, during the first Intifada (Uprising), when Palestinian youth took up stones to confront the troops occupying the West Bank as Israel continued expanding its borders. Some Palestinian villages are full of men in their forties with disabilities from those days. It’s especially significant that this order came from the Israeli leader awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for the Oslo Accords, which were supposed to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians through a compromise Israel never implemented. This shows that “force, might and beatings,” as Rabin put it, have always been Israeli policy and always will be because of the injustice that is at the heart of Israel’s existence.

The other basic factor behind Israel’s existence is that for decades it has served as an enforcer of Western European and especially U.S. interests in the Middle East. In today’s complex situation in the region and the world, the U.S. has more need than ever for an outpost and army whose dependency makes it the U.S.’s only truly reliable regional ally. In this situation, President Trump has taken U.S. unconditional support for the Zionist state to a higher level and threatened to use the Israeli military as a battering ram in a new war or wars meant to bring about a reconfiguration of the region more to U.S. imperialism’s liking.

This heightens the stakes for both Israel and the Palestinians. Never has it been more urgently required to understand, strengthen and act upon the link between the struggle of the Palestinian people and the global struggle against imperialism, including U.S. imperialism’s fascist leader Trump.

 

On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/the-case-of-israel-part-4-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Bastion of Enlightenment... or Enforcer for Imperialism:

The Case of ISRAEL

Part Four

Posted May 7, 2018 | Originally published October 10, 2010 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Case of Israel – Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?”

What is the history of the Israeli State?

What role does Israel play in today’s world?

What is the true history of the Palestinian people, and their dispossession from a land they had lived in for centuries?

What is the relationship between the U.S. and Israel?

In the past few weeks, courageous protests of Palestinian people in Gaza have been viciously suppressed by heavily armed Israeli forces. At least 47 people have been killed, and over 3,500 wounded. The protests continue, and are building towards May 15, the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel through the violent uprooting of three-fourths of the Palestinian population and the theft of their land. Palestinians mark May 15 as the Nakba – the “Catastrophe”.

In the context of these protests, three weeks ago Revolution began a serialization of a special issue from 2010, “The Case of Israel – Bastion of Enlightenment or Enforcer for Imperialism?” (Part One, Part Two, Part Three) The questions it addresses are more important than ever.

 

The U.S. Confronts Postwar Challenges...

As noted earlier, World War 2 weakened the old-line colonial empires like Britain, France, Japan, Holland, etc. and it drew the colonized peoples into political life. Revolutionary struggles in Asia—particularly in China, but also in Vietnam—intensified, and within several years the revolution would be victorious in China. The most thoroughgoing of these national liberation struggles were led by communists, as in China. But beyond that, there was a tremendous rise of secular nationalism, in places like Indonesia, Iran, a number of nations in Latin America, and the "Arab world" as well.

In the Middle East, the most prominent representative of secular nationalism was Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt. Nasser came to power promising to stand up against the imperialist powers and put an end to the decades of Egyptian colonial and neocolonial humiliation and subjugation.

At times, the U.S. aligned with national liberation struggles as a wedge to edge out its rivals. This is what happened in the 1956 war between Israel, France, and Britain on the one side, and Egypt on the other. In 1956, Nasser moved to nationalize the Suez Canal—a legitimate assertion given that the canal was, after all, in Egypt. The Suez Canal took on new importance after the war, with half of its traffic being increasingly precious and strategically critical oil exports from the Middle East. In response, France, England, and Israel invaded Egypt, with Israel making rapid military advances into Egypt. The U.S. (and the USSR) pressured the invaders, including Israel, to back off. This was part of establishing that the U.S. was now the shot-caller in the region (and the world). In a limited and short-term way, Nasser's nationalist aspirations coincided with U.S. strategic objectives.

But in the main, secular nationalist movements like Nasser's were strategically seen as obstacles by the U.S. The U.S. worked to undermine and/or eliminate them, often through CIA-backed military coups, as in Iran, Guatemala and Indonesia—coups which took hundreds of thousands of lives. By the mid-1960s, Nasser's influence and power had been checked and knocked down, including by increasing U.S. sponsorship of Israel.15

One important national liberation movement that emerged in this period was that of the Palestinian people themselves. The Palestinian people had resisted the rule of the Ottoman Empire, and they rose up in arms against British rule after World War 1. In militias and in other forms of courageous resistance, Palestinians fought back against the Nakba. But their struggle went to another level in the context of the worldwide revolutionary upsurge in the '60s. Palestinian guerrilla organizations launched armed struggle against Israel with the aim of creating a democratic, secular (non-religious) state throughout Palestine. The struggle of the Palestinian people attracted broad support throughout the world (see "The Palestinian Resistance").

...And Forges a "Special Relationship" With Israel in the Cold War

Through the Nakba, and the 1956 war, Israel was strengthened as a military power in the Middle East. As such, it was eyed by all the world powers as a valuable agent. As the U.S. moved to establish domination in the region, and the world, the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel began to grow.

In the immediate wake of World War 2, a socialist camp had emerged in opposition to world capitalism. But that bloc was short-lived. In the 1950s, capitalist-roaders—that is, political representatives of the remaining and powerful capitalist relations in socialist society—came to power and restored capitalism in the Soviet Union. This restoration of capitalism in the USSR—the rise of Soviet social-imperialism—was a major event. The contention between the U.S. and this rival imperialist and its sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and elsewhere was to shape much of the geopolitical landscape for decades.

This conflict—the "cold war"—had a profound role in defining the role of Israel and its relationship to the ambitions and requirements of the U.S.

A pivotal factor in the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel was Israel's overwhelming victory in the "Six-Day War" in 1967, when Israel invaded and occupied large sections of Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Strategic thinkers in the U.S. government took note. Even as the U.S. was working to sponsor other allies in the region (most notably the brutal Shah of Iran, who they installed in a CIA coup in 1953), Israel stood out as a uniquely valuable asset for the U.S. as the "leader of the free world"—that is, the head of the bloc of western imperialists.

In 1967, the U.S. sold cutting-edge jet fighters to Israel for the first time, establishing the principle of U.S. support for Israel's qualitative military dominance over the Arab countries.

In the ensuing decades, much of the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel was framed by global contention with the Soviets. The new Soviet imperialists used the anti-imperialist reputation gained when the country was socialist—along with military and economic aid—to seek influence in the governments of Asia, Africa and Latin America. They aimed to gain a foothold through which to contend with the U.S. The 1973 war between Israel, on one side, and Egypt and Syria, on the other, (referred to in Israel and the West as the "Yom Kippur War") had significant elements of a proxy war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. At that time, Egypt was moving towards alignment with the Soviets and got substantial military hardware and advice from the Soviets, and Syria was closely aligned with the Soviet bloc.

Similar dynamics set the backdrop for Israel's bloody, U.S.-backed 1982 war against Lebanon. During the 1980s, Lebanon served as a base area for Palestinian forces, but also as focal point of contention between U.S.-aligned forces and the Soviet-backed Syrian regime and other Soviet-leaning forces in the region. That war had a devastating effect on the civilian population. Israeli jets waged a massive bombing attack on the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

It was in the course of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon that Israeli military forces surrounded and sealed off the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut while their Lebanese allies massacred between 750 and 3,500 people. Israeli military and allied forces were to occupy southern Lebanon for 18 years.

From the mid-1960s up until the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship was in large part framed by the clash of these rival superpowers. Israel engineered both the coming to power of Idi Amin in Uganda and, when he outlived his usefulness, sped his demise, and facilitated genocidal slaughter by the Guatemalan death squads to strike at Soviet-aligned countries or forces in those parts of the world. And frequently, Israel supplied military aid to pariah regimes the U.S. did not want to be too openly associated with but which played critical roles in countering Soviet influence—like the apartheid regime in South Africa. The centerspread of this issue of Revolution documents such crimes around the world.

The End of the Cold War: The U.S. / Israel "Special Relationship" Evolves

The collapse of the Soviet Union was an unprecedented event that upended many global economic, military, and power relationships.16 One unexpected product of that collapse was the rise of the very Jihadist forces the U.S. built up to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, these forces turned against the remaining superpower, the U.S. While Islamic fundamentalism does not challenge imperialist domination of oppressed nations, it does pose a real challenge to the whole matrix of global relations that the U.S. sits on top of.

With the emergence of the Islamic fundamentalist challenge to U.S. imperialist domination in the Middle East, Israel's role has morphed to serve U.S. needs in that conflict. In 2006, Israel launched a massive invasion of Lebanon to strike mainly at Hezbollah—Islamic forces aligned with Iran. (See "Drumbeat for Israeli Attack on Iran Grows Louder by the Day.") The Israeli invasion killed over 1,000 people, displaced over a million, and blanketed South Lebanon with over a million anti-personnel cluster bombs that today still maim and kill Lebanese farmers and children.

U.S. Imperialism: Sticking by, and Stuck with Israel

In much of the world, and in a very intense way in the Middle East, Israel's displacement and ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people and other crimes makes that country the object of tremendous outrage and anger. That is a big problem for the U.S. as it seeks to counter oppositional Islamic forces and impose pro-U.S. regimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Widespread outrage against Israel puts reactionary pro-U.S. regimes in the region, like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan, in an awkward and even precarious position. And the close bonds between the U.S. and Israel provide openings for rival powers to exploit in their contention with the U.S.

When U.S. General David Petraeus (now commander in Afghanistan) told the Senate Armed Services Committee, "Enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the area of responsibility," he was identifying a real contradiction for the U.S. ruling class.

It has not proven easy for the U.S. to broker a settlement that would integrate the Palestinians into some semblance of a stable situation, and, at the same time, satisfy what the Israelis see as their need for unchallenged domination and a thoroughly Zionist state. This has remained a sore point in the region and around the world, and as Israel resorts to more and more extreme measures to lock down the Palestinians, this contradiction becomes sharper.

And yet, in profound ways, the U.S has not only stuck by Israel—it is stuck with Israel. Despite real problems and even significant differences at times, the unique "strategic relationship" between the U.S. and Israel continues because, from the perspective of U.S. imperialism, there is no real alternative on the chessboard in terms of the role Israel plays in the Middle East and throughout the world.

With the U.S. deeply mired in wars throughout the Middle East, the role of Israel is more critical than ever. In an op-ed piece, U.S. Representative Steve Rothman (a "liberal" Democrat and strong supporter of Obama), enumerated how "One strategic ally in particular has always stood out from all others: the state of Israel." He noted that Israel provides "America with vital security assistance in the Middle East and around the world." Rothman argued that "without our partnership with the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces—the Israeli army), the United States might need to have 100,000 or more additional troops stationed permanently in that part of the world to make up for the protection of U.S. interests and vital intelligence provided by Israel to the United States."17

One reason why Israel is so important to the U.S. is that it is the one country in the region where the pro-U.S. government has a big social base. That loyal social base, in turn, rests in large part on the history and present-day place of Israel in the world's "food chain"—that is to say, the ways in which it shares in imperialism's parasitical relation to the oppressed nations of the world. European-immigrant citizens of the country have a high standard of living measured in nice houses, wages, and access to gadgets and luxuries. Israel provides its citizens with the trappings of bourgeois democracy—various rabid Zionists along with some moderate critics of the government who accept the terms of Zionism can run against each other in elections, while any politics that opposes Zionism is violently suppressed.

In short, with its massive nuclear arsenal, its European/U.S. level of technology, and a substantial section of its population enlisted in the "logic" and immorality of Zionism, Israel plays an irreplaceable role enforcing U.S. interests.

It is these factors that make it very difficult for U.S. imperialism to alter the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Israel—particularly right now. And this is true even though U.S. support for Israel provokes further opposition to the U.S. in the region, and creates fertile ground for Islamic fundamentalist Jihad.

Needed: Resistance... and a Radical Rupture in Framework

Israel was, and is built literally on the blood, bones, land, and homes of the Palestinian people, stolen through terrorist ethnic cleansing that constitutes a great legal and moral crime. As such, the state of Israel is illegitimate, and no justice—for anyone—can be found within the paradigm of the Zionist state. And this state was a product of, and plays a special role in enforcing the global system of capitalism-imperialism.

Identifying the illegitimacy of Israel is not a "Palestinian perspective." Nor is it in any way anti-Jewish. As we have seen in earlier sections of this article, the existence of Israel is not any kind of "justice" for the crimes of the Holocaust, but is in fact a product of the same system that engineered the Holocaust. Israel is not a solution to the age-old oppression of the Jewish people as Jews. It is, instead, a settler state and a tool of imperialism. As such it should and must be opposed.

Over the past several years, growing numbers of people around the world, and within the U.S., have become outraged by Israel's crimes, and have been driven to political protest. Campus actions have had important impact. Solidarity actions, including the Gaza Freedom March, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and actions of the International Solidarity Movement and others, have sounded a call to the world and given heart to Palestinian resistance. BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) activity has raised awareness, generated necessary debate and controversy, and turned up the political heat on Israel—especially on campuses.

This movement of opposition to Israel and its crimes is growing, and must be built further. This is all the more urgent as Israel threatens war against Iran, and carries out vicious day-in/day-out repression against the Palestinians, with no end in sight. Much more protest and debate is needed over the nature and role of Israel. This special issue of Revolution is intended as a contribution to that. And it is a challenge to everyone, students in particular, to dig into the root causes behind Israel's crimes in a global system of exploitation and oppression, and to check out, and get with, the movement to end that system.

 

15. Today, the rulers of Egypt function as U.S. puppets who collaborate with the U.S. and Israel to oppress the Palestinians. Egypt is the third largest recipient of U.S. "aid" (after Iraq and Israel), and much of that goes to fund a massive repressive apparatus. [back]

16. For more understanding of that event and its implications, see "The New Situation and the Great Challenges," (revcom.us/a/1256/ba-newsituation.htm) and Bringing Forward Another Way (online at revcom.us/avakian/anotherway or as a pamphlet from RCP Publications, 2007). Both are by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. [back]

17. "U.S.'s valuable, strategic relationship with Israel" by Rep. Steve Rothman, The Hill, June 3, 2008. [back]

 

 


 

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Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Black Student at Yale Treated as a “Criminal” by Cops—What Does This Say About Amerikkka?

May 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

This week, a Black woman graduate student at Yale was accosted and harassed by police while she was taking a nap in the common room at her own dorm. The pigs treated her outrageously even after she showed them her ID and opened the door to her dorm room. Think about that—a graduate student at an elite Ivy League college is treated as a “criminal suspect” just because of the color of her skin! This wasn’t an isolated incident at Yale—the student says she can tell “tons” of other stories like that. And you know, if you’re aware at all, that this happens all the fucking time, everywhere, in America. Just to give a couple of examples in the past few weeks, two Black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, for just sitting there and waiting for an appointment; and four Black women who were leaving an Airbnb in California were surrounded by pigs and questioned like they were burglary suspects as a police helicopter hovered over them, for, as one of the women said, “being Black in a white neighborhood.” We’re not even talking here about all the Black, Brown, Native American and other people of color who are murdered in cold blood by the police in the streets of America, many of them unarmed—with the killer cops walking free by claiming they shot in “self-defense.”

Malcolm X once said, “What do you call a Black man with a PhD?” He answered with bitter irony, “a nigger.” That was 50 some years ago, and it’s still true today, and applies to Black people of all genders. More than 150 years after the end of slavery, after the end of the Jim Crow era of open segregation and lynchings, Black people are still oppressed, still brutalized, still treated as less than human by this white supremacist system of capitalism-imperialism. Enough! These and many other outrages and crimes of this system cannot be reformed away. This thoroughly rotten system must be overthrown, through an actual revolution, when the time is ripe for millions to go for it with a real chance to win. Right now, YOU need to be part of the movement that’s preparing for that revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/trump-rips-up-iran-nuclear-deal-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Yet Another Reason to Overthrow This Goddam System at the Earliest Possible Time: Trump Rips Up Iran Nuclear Deal, Threatening Another War Endangering Millions

May 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Tuesday, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 deal it and other world powers negotiated with Iran to greatly restrict its nuclear enrichment program. Iran, which does not and has never had nuclear weapons, was abiding by the deal. But telling one big lie after another, Trump tore the agreement up anyway. This was the world’s biggest nuclear-armed gangster imperialist power and greatest mass murderer on the face of the earth telling a small-time reactionary regime—and the whole world—that it had better dance to America’s tune, or else face aggression and even war! Then, the very next day, Israel took the opportunity to launch dozens of military strikes against Iranian forces in Syria.

The gangster imperialists who run the U.S., along with their thug Israel, couldn’t wait to begin further terrorizing and threatening and rampaging through the Middle East. But you who are reading this have NO interests in marauding and rampaging, or waging war against the peoples in the Middle East. You who are reading this have no interests in the way your vampire rulers are playing with the very fate of the planet. NO! The most fundamental interest you have—and the duty we all have—is to unite with the masses there and around the world in a movement for revolution, everywhere. And right now, we need to expose this drive to war, building up opposition to this, and mobilizing people to drive out the fascists now attempting to clamp down further in the U.S., and rampage further around the world.

More Lies from the Biggest Shithole in the World—Trump’s Mouth

Trump claims he’s ripping up the agreement because it doesn’t stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons, using language that deceitfully implied Iran was already or soon would be a nuclear threat. But Iran has zero—0!—nuclear weapons, while the demented bully Trump, who has repeatedly asked if the U.S. has nukes, “Why can’t we use them?” is the one with his trigger finger on 4,000 nuclear weapons! Iran has been restricting its nuclear development and abiding by the agreement, while the U.S. is spending billions to make its weapons of mass destruction even more horrific.

Trump denounces Iran for sponsoring terror, exporting weapons, and for “sinister” activities in the Middle East. Iran’s Islamic Republic is an oppressive theocratic regime, which is backing reactionary regimes and forces in the region that have done terrible things to the people. But who’s the world’s number one sponsor of state terror and torture? The world’s biggest exporter of weapons of death and destruction? The world’s most “sinister” power, responsible for the most carnage—from the thousands being shot down right now by Israel for protesting in Gaza, to the millions, yes millions, being starved or threatened by bombs and disease by the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen? And who has been waging war across the Middle East and Central Asia for the last 17 years, murdering over a million people and destroying the lives of countless more? Just like the slobbering, shouting morons who parade around with the flag say, “USA! USA! USA!”

Trump turned truth inside out, portraying the U.S. as the victim: “America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction.” Yet it’s his regime, and U.S. imperialism that has actually held the whole world nuclear hostage for decades, which are now ramping up threats against Iran’s cities and millions of its people. Why? Not to liberate anyone, but to maintain their imperialist stranglehold on the Middle East and world.

All this is totally sick, Hitlerian shit. And if people can’t see, and feel, the outrageousness and intolerability of this made-in-USA global thuggery, they need to get their heads out of their asses and wake up... and YOU need to help make that happen.

And the Democrats? Petty Complaints in Order to Better Bully the World

What do the Democrats, the so-called “alternative” to Trump, have to say about these threats of massive crimes against humanity? Petty criticisms, basically that the nuclear deal was helping the U.S. maintain its dominance, and that it’s better for the empire to work with other imperialist gangsters—aka “allies”—to posse up with you. But they’ve also made clear they’ll rally around the red, white, and blue and go along with Trump if he succeeds in provoking a war in the Middle East. Why? Because they’re on the “same team,” as Obama said about Trump—they are fully with the Trump/Pence regime on the fundamental need for the U.S. to bully and dominate the world. Their only issue: how to best accomplish that.

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Trump’s announcement on the Iran nuclear deal was like throwing gasoline onto a building that was already burning. After Israel launched missile attacks on Iranian forces in Syria, Iran has reportedly fired back on Israeli positions. Trump announced he’s imposing the harshest-ever sanctions on Iran, which will immediately cause great suffering for millions of Iranians, amid reports that the U.S. rulers are gambling they can “break” Iran’s theocratic regime, the Islamic Republic. Trump has warned Iran not to resume its nuclear enrichment program, even as it’s the U.S. that’s broken the treaty. At a recent meeting with French President Macron, Trump promised to make Iran “pay a price like few countries have ever paid” if its rulers “threaten” the U.S. (i.e., reject its demands). There are growing signs that the U.S. (and Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have been chomping at the bit to attack Iran) are heading toward a confrontation with Iran, which could spiral into war—a war that could escalate unpredictably across the region and lead to even greater carnage than the savagery the U.S. has already inflicted on the Middle East in the last 15 years.

All this underscores the acute danger to the lives of millions at this moment, and the great urgency of driving the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power through sustained, massive, nonviolent political protest before it can carry out its vile and extraordinarily violent plans.

Trump’s latest moves also underscore the reality that war, mass slaughter, and plunder are baked into the capitalist-imperialist system, and that these horrors will continue to go on and on and on until this system is overthrown through revolution. Right now, it’s extremely urgent to be working to: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Reprinted from RefuseFascism.org

Lies from the Same Lying Liars Who Sold the Invasion of Iraq

May 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bolton, Netanyahu, Trump

 

In his May 8 announcement formally pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement, Donald Trump claimed:

These are not only lies, they are recycled lies—used to sell the invasion of Iraq fifteen years ago.

The article “Iran Hawks Are the New Iraq Hawks” by Peter Beinart in the Atlantic exposes how the same liars who sold the Iraq invasion based on concocted “evidence” of “weapons of mass destruction”—specifically Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and now Secretary of State John Bolton—are doing it again, this time to justify tearing up the Iran nuclear agreement and instead pursuing a radically more confrontational course that ratchets up the chances for war.

In the Atlantic, Beinart writes:

As with Iraq, Bolton and Netanyahu want the United States to meet this supposedly growing threat [from Iran] with a more confrontational policy. Key to that policy shift is withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, which would leave the U.S. free to reimpose sanctions, and perhaps, as Bolton has suggested, even bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.

And, as with Iraq, it’s easier for Bolton and Netanyahu to achieve that goal if they discredit the current system of international inspections. Bolton has called the inspection efforts established by the Iran nuclear deal “fatally inadequate” and declared that “the International Atomic Energy Agency” is “likely missing significant Iranian [nuclear] facilities.” In his 2015 speech to Congress attacking the Iran deal, Netanyahu insisted that “Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them....”

Netanyahu and Bolton’s problem, as with Iraq, is that the inspectors don’t think they’re being cheated....

And Beinart continues:

That’s the narrative that Netanyahu—like [U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Colin] Powell in 2003—went before the cameras last week to undermine. Like Powell, Netanyahu claimed the weapons inspectors had been duped. Israeli intelligence, he declared, had found “new and conclusive proof” that Iran “didn’t come clean to the IAEA, as required by the nuclear deal.” After Netanyahu’s presentation, [Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron] Dermer—who can be seen sitting behind Netanyahu in 2002 as Netanyahu testified to Congress about the inadequacy of weapons inspections in Iraq—told CNN”s Erin Burnett that, “The inspections regime in Iran, Erin, is a joke.”

Netanyahu is likely right that Iran hasn’t “come clean” to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] about its past nuclear activities. In 2002, [UN weapons inspector] Hans Blix said much the same about Iraq’s incomplete statements about its past WMD programs. But now, as then, inspectors deny that evasion about past nuclear activities equals evasion about current nuclear activities. In fact, international inspectors responded to Netanyahu’s presentation much as they had to Powell’s: By denying that the information constituted anything particularly new...

In his presentation last week, Netanyahu cited a secret Iranian nuclear program called Project Amad (which the IAEA had reported on in 2011). The project had been shuttered, he claimed, but “today, in 2018, this work is carried out by SPND, that’s an organization inside Iran’s Defense Ministry.” The implication is that Iran’s nuclear-weapons project continues; all that has changed is its name. But Netanyahu offered no evidence of that. And in the materials his aides distributed to journalists, the present tense was removed.

Similarly, Bolton has repeatedly declared—despite the IAEA's findings and without proof—that Iran is still actively seeking nuclear weapons. Last September, he said, “Iran’s program continues unhindered.” This March, he spoke about Iran’s “continued effort to get deliverable nuclear weapons.” Which helps explain why the Trump administration keeps suggesting the same thing. After Netanyahu’s presentation, the White House issued a statement declaring that “Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear-weapons program.” It later changed “has” to “had,” but Trump himself keeps using the present tense. Asked about Netanyahu’s presentation, he declared, “I’ve been saying it’s happening. They’re not sitting back idly.”

* * *

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a disaster for humanity. It resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, set in motion an explosion of violence, suffering, environmental devastation and death throughout the region, is a key source of the global refugee crisis, and continues to fuel the fires of religious wars. Now we are being fed almost the same lies by the same liars to justify moves that hold the potential for even greater death and destruction by a regime headed by a demented bully who threatens to “rain down fire and fury” on, and “totally destroy” a whole country, and who repeatedly asked: If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?

Speaking to the challenge posed by the dual possibilities of Trump moving to shut down investigations of his regime, and tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, Refuse Fascism co-initiator Andy Zee said: “The question is: WILL WE ACCEPT IT? OR, WILL WE UNITE—COMING FROM MANY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND POINTS OF VIEW—TO STOP THIS THROUGH MASSIVE NON-VIOLENT PROTEST THAT DOESN’T STOP UNTIL THIS ILLEGIITMATE, ILLEGAL and IMMORAL FASCIST REGIME IS REMOVED FROM POWER? (“We Are At a Crossroads: The Stakes Are the Future of Humanity”).

That question is posed all the more sharply now.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Why We MUST Fight Ferociously to Remove the Trump/Pence Regime From Office—A Rebuttal to Vox’s Dylan Matthews

by Sunsara Taylor

May 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In a recent piece at Vox.com, Dylan Matthews, a founder of the Vox website and former Washington Post reporter, makes a well-argued—but dangerously wrong—case against what he sees as the unfounded and harmful hopes many harbor to see Trump removed from office. Matthews finds these hopes understandable; he, too, feels that “our democracy” is being eroded. But he insists that the problems now manifest in Trump have been building for a while and will continue long after Trump is gone. To Matthews, Trump is not the problem and removing him is not part of the solution. Instead, Matthews cautions that the best we can hope for and what we must actively work towards is to muddle through this disastrous presidency. Aiming for more, in his view, will stand in the way of the more realistic goal of stymieing the worst of Trump’s agenda.

This is not only delusional, it is deadly. More, it is a viewpoint that many more people than just Matthews hold. So, it is important to dig into.

The Trump/Pence regime has already done shocking damage to lives here and around the world. It is on an aggressive path to do far worse, threatening—without exaggeration—the future existence of humanity on this planet. In the face of this, Matthews’ argument amounts to little more than a powerful demonstration of the truth of this statement from the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA): “The politics of the ‘possible’ is the politics of monstrosity. To adhere to, or acquiesce in, the politics of the ‘possible’ is to support, and actually to facilitate, monstrosity.”

In contrast to Matthews’ advocacy for the politics of the “possible,” we must honestly confront the existential threat now facing humanity and dare to change what seems possible through determined struggle. We must organize in earnest to get in position to launch a sustained campaign of nonviolent protests that starts with thousands and grows to millions and continues day after day, not stopping until the entire Trump/Pence regime has been removed from power.

The Problem Is Not “Dysfunction,” It Is Fascism

Matthews writes: “Most observers acknowledge that American democracy is in a pretty bad way.

“The sheer number of hurdles that reform legislation must pass through, from filibusters to holds to committee votes, have turned the federal government into a vetocracy that stands paralyzed and incapable of adapting in the face of new challenges. Gerrymandering, nonproportional representation in Congress, and the Electoral College lead to a representative government that isn’t very representative at all.” A bit later he adds, “Ejecting [Trump] cannot and will not suddenly cure our political dysfunction.”

But the problem of the Trump/Pence regime is not “dysfunction,” it is fascism. As I write, the state is terrorizing and shattering immigrant families across this country with the logic and momentum of genocide. A record number of restrictions on women’s ability to access abortion and birth control and attacks on LGBTQ people push us ever closer to a real-life Handmaid’s Tale. White supremacists inside law enforcement and outside have taken to heart Trump’s admonition to be “rough” with Black people and others. Trump is both attacking the judiciary and rapidly remaking it with fascist judges. The regime is purging those in the FBI and Department of Justice who are not loyal to Trump above all else. Pence and his network of Christian fundamentalist fascists are embedded throughout the officer corps of the military, taking over schools, purging scientists from Health and Human Services, as well as other agencies. Then there is the team of torturers and war criminals like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and others who only make more real Trump’s threats of war, with potential to spin wildly out of control.

All this is not just more of the same, or even just the worst of a Republican administration. This is a fascist regime step-by-step remaking law and societal norms on the road to establishing a fascist America.

Fascism Must Be Stopped—It Must Be Driven From Power—Before It Becomes Too Late

Like fascists throughout history, this regime has endured temporary setbacks and absorbed separate acts of resistance, only to lurch forward and lash out again, each time closer to all-out consolidation. There can be no “waiting it out” with fascists, no trying to “muddle through.” Unless and until this regime is driven from power, they will continue to launch new, highly repressive measures on many fronts, ultimately remaking the law and clamping down on all dissent. The lesson of history is precisely that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

But stopping this fascist regime cannot be done by relying on and working through the official political channels. It won’t be stopped by relying on the Democrats or the much-hoped-for “Blue Wave” in the midterm elections. As RefuseFascism.org, an organization I co-initiated which unites people from a great diversity of political perspectives, has written in our new Call to Action: “The Democratic Party leadership will NOT lead us out of this. They are about maintaining order for their whole set up. For them, order is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism. After Trump’s election, President Obama said of Trump, ‘We are all on the same team... We are now all rooting for his success.’ No! If Trump succeeds, it will be catastrophic!”

For over a year, Trump has willfully shattered political norms and procedures, routinely declared his political opponents worthy of prison, and significantly diminished the rule of law and any constraint on his power. It is dangerous delusion to think he will be constrained or removed without unprecedented and truly massive political struggle.

This is why RefuseFascism.org argues that only by driving this regime from power through a massive, sustained nonviolent political struggle—one which starts with many thousands and grows to involve millions who refuse to back down—can the people stop a fascist America. This is dramatic, but it is necessary—it is also possible if we get to work and join with RefuseFascism.org in fighting for it.

Yes, the Problem IS Deeper Than Trump—We Need an Actual Revolution!

Matthews has a point when he argues that the problem is deeper than Trump... but here, too, he misses the essence of the matter.

Matthews locates the “deeper problem” in things like gerrymandering and the disenfranchisement of Black and Latino voters and others. But these harmful trends are part of the overall fascist movement that has given rise to Trump/Pence, they are not the cause of this regime.

The real deeper problem is not “imperfections” in the electoral process or institutions; it is the fundamental nature of the system that the elections and democratic institutions serve and have always served. As Bob Avakian has analyzed, “The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.”

In a talk he gave last year that remains highly relevant and timely, BA analyzes how the roots of this regime lie in the fundamental nature of the U.S. and stretch all the way back to the Confederacy as well as to a somewhat more recent (several decades long) build-up of a large and powerfully positioned Christian fascist movement. He examines how this regime is deadly serious about shredding political and social norms that have emphasized diversity and inclusion in recent decades, replacing them with the vicious reassertion of open white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobic nationalism and America First chauvinism—and BA gets into why this is. BA shows how all this has been driven forward by the underlying dynamics of the system of capitalism-imperialism in the U.S. and the challenges it is currently confronting as the sole superpower in an ever more volatile world. And, it must be noted, BA goes deeply into what must and can be done about all this, which only underscores the importance of people watching the talk for themselves.

None of these deeper problems that gave rise to the Trump/Pence regime will be fixed through the reforms Matthews suggests. As a revolutionary and advocate for the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, I am convinced that these deeper problems can only be solved through an actual revolution that overturns the entire system and replaces it with a radically different system rooted in a different mode of production, with a radically different culture and constitution on that basis. This brings me to the one place where I agree with Matthews. Tucked towards the end of his article, Matthews suggests that there should be more open talk of revolution.

Dylan Matthews should learn about and write about the fact that there IS a real revolutionary alternative—one that is very concrete, deeply scientific, and radically liberating. This is the new communism developed by Bob Avakian; it contains the vision, the strategy, and the epistemological method for not merely improving the lives of some, but overturning the whole system of capitalism-imperialism and constructing a new system on the road to human emancipation. More engagement with BA’s new communism and with his analysis of the Trump/Pence Regime and what must be done about it would not only bode well for humanity’s future, it might also have saved Matthews from being trapped within the wrong-headed arguments that lead him to objectively give support to the extreme oppression that so many face today, and which permeate the rest of his article.

But to Get Anywhere Good, We ALL Must Come Together Now to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime

Noting that the problems are deeper than the Trump/Pence regime does not change the existential threat that this regime now poses. If fascism is allowed to consolidate, this will mean qualitatively greater suffering for humanity—potentially the destruction of human civilization as a whole. It would also make it incalculably harder for anyone to advocate and organize for any kind of deeper change. What this means is that people from a great many different political perspectives—whether we see this fascist regime as an extreme expression of the fundamental nature of this system or whether we see this fascism as a betrayal of what America is supposed to stand for—must come together and fight with everything we have got to prevent this fascist consolidation by driving out this regime. Honestly confronting and rising to this challenge is a necessary, immediate task to achieve any future worth living in—whether to you that is an actual revolution, a return to a non-fascist America, or something else entirely.

Matthews suggests that removing Trump from office won’t change anything profound. He is wrong.

When people come together to struggle for a better world, when we get off our couches and out from behind our computer screens to take to the streets to demand the removal of a fascist regime, we change things. We change ourselves—both in what feels tolerable and in what feels possible. We change how millions of others are thinking and acting. If we persist and grow week after week, we change how people and governments around the world see this country. All this changes the political calculus not only of the regime, but also of those sections of the rulers who do not agree with the regime but who right now are being attacked by it and continually capitulating to it. This can create the kind of political crisis that compels them to respond to our demand that this fascist regime be removed from power.

Only in this way can we wrench history off its current path towards genocidal ethnic cleansing, environmental game-over, and/or nuclear holocaust. Only in this way can we preserve the space in society to dream, to strategize, to organize, and to fight for deeper solutions.

So, enough with the grand rationalizations for sitting back and acting like “Good Germans” while lives are shattered and the future of humanity is imperiled! Let’s instead not only imagine—but get out of our comfort zones and fight for—something big and dramatic, something the whole world is counting on us to achieve. Let’s get organized to take up the Call to Action from RefuseFascism.org to make real our demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/check-it-out-angels-wear-white-en.html

Revolution #542 May 7, 2018

Check It Out: Angels Wear White

May 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The plot of the movie Angels Wear White (嘉年) revolves around an incident where Mia, who does all the shit work at a Chinese seaside tourist motel, witnesses evidence of the rape of two 12-year-old girls by a man with powerful connections. Mia is a teenager herself. She is one of two hundred million people driven into the teeming cities of China by the backwardness and poverty of the Chinese countryside. She survives, barely, without a legal work permit, subjected to the kind of unmitigated exploitation and lack of any rights that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face. Her “choices” are basically to work for sub-survival wages or be pimped out in a hellish world where her virginity is a “commodity.”

Overwhelmed by the day-to-day struggle to survive, Mia looks for a way to wrench some security and advantage for herself out of the situation she lands in, even as she is pulled to do the right thing for the two young victims despite the risks to her tenuous existence. Other characters too, especially Xiaowen—one of the young victims—are drawn with complexity and compassion.

I don’t want to reduce this movie to the political and social issues it highlights. It is a deep, intense, multidimensional, heartbreaking experience that keeps the audience in rapt attention to the very end. But the underlying story is one of people—including a sympathetic attorney—going up against a brutal power dynamic that anyone with a clue as to what’s going on everywhere in this world will recognize: The grinding, vicious subjugation that oppresses women from the sweatshops of Bangladesh to the casting couches of Hollywood. The New York Times review noted “The moral rot and callous corruption depicted in ‘Angels Wear White’ has a particularly bracing effect in part because, cultural specifics aside, the inhumanity on display is hardly alien.”

But what people do not know is that this is not “human nature.” This is not “men will be men.” And this is not something that can be changed just through exposure and protest, essential as that is. This is a product of a system that has the vicious exploitation and oppression of women sewn into every stitch of its fabric.

I don’t know what the thinking was behind the filmmaker repeatedly focusing the camera on a sign saying “Serve the People” above the entrance to the police station where the victims attempt to find justice. On one level, it points to an obvious and bitter irony. But in fact, that slogan did accurately describe the defining ethos during the all-too-brief but precious 27 years when capitalism was overthrown in China, replaced by a revolutionary society and a socialist system. That revolutionary society took tumultuous first steps in tearing up the fabric of exploitation and oppression, including in the ways in which it suffocates women’s lives. Women in China, especially during the wildly slandered Cultural Revolution, were full human beings in a way they have not been since human societies were divided into oppressors and oppressed. The re-imposition of the oppression of women in China is a hellish result of the defeat of that revolution after the death of its leader, Mao Zedong, and the much vaunted (by oppressors everywhere) re-imposition of capitalism in China. That restoration of capitalism in China and the way people have been brainwashed to think it means revolution doesn’t work weighs heavy on the dreadfully low sights that afflict the thinking of people around the world today.

But the reality is that more than ever there’s no reason why the only “options” for billions of women in this world should be those emblemized in the lives of Mia and Xiaowen. Yes, people have to resist. Yes, people have to change. But if you think about how things come down in Angels Wear White, if you think about how things come down every second of every day everywhere in this world, and if you begin to engage the work of Bob Avakian, you can see that until the system that lives on and violently enforces the oppression of women is overthrown, and replaced by a completely different system, nothing is really going to change.

In Angels Wear White, we see the raw material for that revolution. The leadership exists for that: you find it all at revcom.us. The rest is up to us.

***

Angels Wear White is in Mandarin with English subtitles. It is currently showing in New York City. It opens on May 18 in Los Angeles and then will be available online.