Revolution #64, October 8, 2006
Salute to the October 5 Protests from the RCP, USA:
Drive Out the Bush Regime!
The past week leading into October 5 will prove to be historic. Whether that week will ultimately mark a terrible further turn toward darkness or, instead, the beginning of something very positive, is the question confronting us. What happens on October 5, and what we do coming out of it, has everything to do with the answer.
On September 28, Bush personally went to the halls of Congress. He demanded that the Senate legalize torture, revoke the right of habeas corpus, and grant Bush and others immunity for any war crimes concerning torture prior to 2005. After just a few hours of debate the Senate overturned almost 900 years of legal precedent—laws considered to be at the foundation of the country—to do as Bush demanded.
And so people can now legally be imprisoned at the whim of the U.S. president. People can be held indefinitely without a trial at the president’s discretion. They can be subjected to “alternative interrogation techniques”; to put it plainly, people in U.S. custody can legally be hooded, deprived of sleep, forced into prolonged painful positions, confined in conditions of severe cold, sexually degraded, terrorized by dogs, beaten—so long as the beatings stop short of whatever Bush defines as “serious bodily injury”—and yes, waterboarded. To put it even more plainly: everything we saw in the pictures from Abu Ghraib can now be legally ordered by Bush. Moreover, the president can keep these torture techniques secret and no one who uses—or orders—such torture can be held legally accountable. It was bad enough when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the others secretly ordered these outrages; to openly make them legal and then crow about this as a great accomplishment is a whole further step—it is truly a leap—into the abyss.
At the same time, Bush took the political offensive to justify his so-called “war on terror.” He did this at a time when some of his closest allies and advisers (as well as some top Democrats) are publicly calling on him to increase the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to attack Iran; in other words, to not just “stay the course,” but to intensify and multiply the horror. For what will it mean when Bush orders the bombing of Iran as he seems determined to do—a bombing which could very well include the American use of nuclear weapons? Think of the suffering this will cause. And think of the political consequences: because the people in this country have let it go on, because we have not yet mounted a movement that is uncompromising and determined enough in its demand that this STOP, it will add even more force to the dynamic where millions all over the world believe that their only choice lies between Bush’s fascist crusade or an oppressive theocratic brand of Islam.
It goes further. The Bush regime has been tightening the bonds of patriarchy and male domination. It has been suppressing critical thinking: campaigning against dissenting voices in the universities and enforcing religious orthodoxy in the arena of science, from evolution to global warming. His Party has demonized and persecuted immigrants. Their program for Black people can be summed up by the images of the New Orleans Superdome during Katrina and the noose and Confederate flag that once hung in the office of Republican Senator and Bush ally George Allen. Bush openly tells right-wing journalists that he is using the presidency to promote a “religious awakening,” and key forces at the core of his regime are intent on legally recasting the U.S. as a Christian nation—a white, native-born, male-dominated Christian nation. A Christian fascist theocracy.
The Call of World Can’t Wait is right. “The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come.” And the sentence that follows is even more profoundly true: “We must act now, the future of the world is in our hands.”
For all these reasons, the demonstrations on October 5 must signal the emergence of a force in this country that has the conviction to break out of politics- (or protest-) as-usual and say NO to the endless awful wars. NO to the torture. NO to the patriarchy and racism and theocratic madness. NO to fascism. October 5 must say to the world that there are people within the United States who are determined to drive out this regime and reverse the horrific direction of society.
Our Party salutes and wholeheartedly joins with everyone stepping out to act on October 5. You are throwing open the doors to what can be a tremendous, history-making, future-changing resistance. You are, finally, uniting to plant a pole that is just as determined to prevent this horror from going further, as Bush and his people are to enforce and continue and worsen it. You are striking a blow against despair and passivity, and you are showing the world that there IS another way, beyond the dead ends of religious fanaticism of one kind or another. Together we can turn this thing around.
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There are many different forces that have joined together to make October 5, bringing a great diversity of ideas about both the causes and cures of this current situation. This diversity and healthy ferment is a real strength of this movement, and it has to grow now by leaps and bounds.
As our Party sees it, extreme as he is, Bush represents a system. And this whole system is itself extreme, even if many people in this country don’t always see it until something like Katrina forces it into public consciousness. To take just one example: think about the hundreds of people who die each year trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. Who are they? People who’ve been driven off their land because they can no longer make a living because of the huge imperialist companies based in the U.S. which now dominate Mexican agriculture. People desperate enough to risk their lives, all for a chance to be superexploited by those same capitalist-imperialists in this country. People with no way to feed their families but to live life as outlaws—and as scapegoats for still other desperate people within this country. Now multiply that, in one form or another, several billion times—add needless disease and blighted childhoods, add in utterly unnecessary starvation, add callous humiliation and enforced ignorance—and that is the life imposed on the vast majority of humanity by this system. Whole countries brought under the domination of one or another imperialist power; wars waged to protect and extend that power; and the great majority of people in all countries consigned to lives of exploitation or alienation or both. These are the everyday “normal” workings of imperialism.
Now things are going to even greater extremes. We face this not so much because Bush is a murderous fanatic—though he is—but because the people who sit atop that system in the U.S. deem such extremes necessary to preserve and extend their rule. Bush’s fanaticism serves that. Just as the Democrats’ passivity and lack of conviction and “we-can-do-it-better-ism” in the face of Bush serve it in another way.
The answer cannot be to go back to the “good old days.” The old days are gone—and they were never any good anyway. The foundations of this country lie in the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans. Its development rested on the invasion of other nations and the plunder of other peoples, the rule of the lynch mob and the exploitation of generations of immigrants. And now its preservation and extension depend on the imposition of unbridled aggression overseas and theocratic fascism at home.
We can do much better than this. Another world IS possible. The means exist for humanity to get beyond this division into exploiter and exploited, oppressor and oppressed. To get beyond the domination of superstition and ignorance over the unfettered search for truth, and to achieve a true emancipation of the human spirit. To get beyond the “me-first” mentality engendered by these systems of exploitation and to build a society that fosters cooperation and appreciates the diverse within the universal, the individual within the collective. To get beyond states of any kind and into something totally different, a freely associating community of human beings. That society is communism, and that’s what we stand for.
The first step to such a society is a socialist revolution. This revolution, led by the proletariat and uniting people from many other walks of life, must be consciously made by millions and supported by tens of millions, and able to withstand and defeat all that will be thrown at it by the imperialists. This revolution would bring in a new state power, one that would immediately mobilize the masses in society to set about eliminating the kinds of horrors brought down by imperialism, and the kinds of relations that generate and feed off those horrors. This new socialist state would bring forward the formerly exploited, and people from other strata as well, to put the productive forces of society at the service of doing away with, rather than deepening, exploitation—both within this society and, even more fundamentally, worldwide. It would mobilize people, in a process involving mass upheaval and debate—as well as plenty of intellectual, artistic and scientific ferment—to transform the institutions and thinking of society in a progressive and revolutionary direction. It would involve ever-increasing numbers of people in the actual decision-making and administration of the state, in many forms, thereby helping to lay the basis for the emergence of a society without states—communism.
Our Chairman, Bob Avakian, has developed an unsparing, incisive critique of the history and current direction of U.S. society and laid the foundations of a revolutionary strategy for a country like this. Beyond that, though, he has developed a comprehensive, liberating, new understanding and vision of communism and socialism: one that boldly upholds and builds on the achievements of the socialist revolutions that won victory, and were then later defeated, in the Soviet Union and China, while deeply analyzing and criticizing their shortcomings and recasting their achievements into this new understanding. If you are someone who dreams of revolution and liberation, then you need to get with the person who can lead that—our Chairman, Bob Avakian. And whether you are right now for revolution or not, if you are serious about the very concerns that bring you to October 5, then you owe it to yourselves to engage with Bob Avakian’s path-breaking analysis (which can be sampled in the supplement in this issue -- see pdf 1 and pdf 2).
Coming from this overall understanding, we see it as crucial to drive out this regime: to stop and reverse their terrible crimes, and to prevent the even worse ones they are planning. Victory in this struggle is crucial in going from the present situation—where the fascist forces in society have all the initiative and the people have very little—into one where the sights and the organized strength of the people has been raised; where there is widespread political ferment and debate and critical thinking over a whole range of questions in all parts of society; where there is a lot of initiative coming from those wanting to change society in progressive and revolutionary directions; and where the people on the bottom of society—the proletariat—have begun to take conscious political action. Through that whole process, we are ultimately and urgently working for the time when the combination of the workings of this system and the political work of revolutionaries brings forward a revolutionary people, conscious of the need for revolutionary change and determined to fight for it, and when the first great step to fundamental social transformation can be taken.
No one can predict the course of today’s current crucial battle to drive out this regime. We know there will be sacrifice; and we anticipate that the heroism and courage already shown will be multiplied many times over. But think what can be gained! If we, all of us together with all our different views, can succeed in this urgent and ever more necessary struggle and actually drive out this regime, then a tremendous rock will be lifted off of people all over the world and a whole new situation will open up, where debate and struggle over the future can be carried out with a measure of hope and enthusiasm not seen for decades.
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On October 5 people of many different viewpoints and organizations stand together and determined that on October 6, people in every corner of society are discussing why—and sharply debating whether—this regime must be driven out, and how that can be done. We stand together and determined to go from here to rally millions more to act to bring this madness to a HALT. Determined to transform anguish, outrage, and frustration into truly meaningful, positive, and powerful political mobilization. Determined to give heart and hope to the whole world, letting them see that there are people right here acting on conscience and standing for justice, refusing to stop until this regime is driven out and the whole direction it represents reversed.
What emerges on October 5 must quickly go forward. It must become better organized and more active, staying on the political offensive over the next days and weeks, building rapidly on its successes and calling forward other people into the fray.
This new movement cannot compromise its principles: Bush and his whole regime—Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest—must be driven out, and leave Washington politically repudiated and thoroughly discredited. Their crimes—the wars, the torture, the violations of fundamental rights, the moves to theocracy, the enforced ignorance and bigotry and intolerance—must be utterly repudiated and reversed. Anything short of that will leave today’s ugly political dynamic basically intact and continuing to make things worse.
But so long as this new movement stays true to its mission, so long as it reaches out from the 5th even more broadly, then it can, as World Can’t Wait has said, “make all the difference in the world, in a very positive sense and for the possibility of a better future for humanity.”
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