Revolution #86, April 29, 2007
A Message to the Youth:
The World Is Waiting For You And Counting On You
You have come of age on a planet being ravaged by wars of unrivaled brutality--the one raging in Iraq alone having claimed as many as 655,000 lives (according to a study published in the British medical journal Lancet), destroyed the country’s infrastructure and is driving 100,000 refugees out of the country each month--and now more troops are being poured in with no end in sight.
You’ve been taught “right and wrong” by a society that is growing numb to the images and evidence of torture. You’ve been brought up in a culture where bigotry masquerades as “entertainment.” You’ve been preached to about “morality” by a howling pack of Dark Ages Christian fascists who assail science, curiosity, and critical thought and insist on the submission and virginity of women, blind obedience of all, and intolerance towards gays.
If you are a young woman, there is a 25% chance you’ve been the victim of rape, attempted rape, or sexual molestation*… almost certainly you know someone who has been. And every day you are barraged by images of women’s flesh to be consumed or used to sell consumer products.
If you live in one of this nation’s ghettos or barrios, you’ve been insulted, disrespected, and haunted by the ever-present threat of brutality--even murder--at the hands of the police…you’ve been subject to the worst schools and seen your peers warehoused into prisons. During Hurricane Katrina, you were given a murderous object lesson about how the foundations of this country--in white supremacy and slavery--are not only alive, but back with a vengeance today.
If you were born on the other side of the U.S. blood-soaked borders, you’ve been part of the most massive human migrations in the history of this planet--hundreds of millions of people who’ve been ripped from their homelands, driven across dangerous borders, and forced to live in the shadows due to the rapacious dictates of capitalist globalization.
And if you live in the culturally barren suburbs or exurbs, if you are concerned about the world, you’ve been cut off, isolated, atomized, told your voice doesn’t matter, had your dreams ruled out of order.
On top of all this--You’ve been LIED to…
about WMD’s that never existed in Iraq…
and LIED to…
told you cannot change the world…
and LIED to some more…
told that revolution, especially communist revolution to change all this, has been and can only lead to a total disaster…
Today, under the regime of George W. Bush, all this is intensifying.
Under the false name of the “War on Terror” the U.S. has launched a juggernaut of war for empire, sending its military around the globe to defeat and humiliate any group or nation that goes against its imperial interests. It is seeking to remake and dominate the whole world starting in the strategic, oil-rich area of the Middle East to lock-down its position as the world’s only superpower permanently. Afghanistan…destroyed. Iraq…destroyed. Iran…on their list to go after next, including possibly with nuclear weapons. And they’ve promised it won’t end there.
Within the U.S., already much of the apparatus of a fascist police state has been passed into law. Emails, phone calls, library records, student files and more are spied on by the government. Immigrants are rounded up, held indefinitely, and hunted by racist vigilantes. George Bush has claimed, and been granted by Congress, the right to declare anyone an “enemy combatant” and have them disappeared, held without charges, and shipped around the world to be tortured--with no chance for a trial. And major mouthpieces in the media and in politics paint anyone who criticizes this as an “American-hater” and potential enemy of the state.
All this is celebrated and glorified by a powerful movement of Christian fascists who have been packed into the courts, the Congress, the White House, and the military who are aggressively clawing at and seeking to reverse the separation of church and state. While they often won’t openly acknowledge it, the Bible that they insist must be followed literally calls for stoning non-virgin brides, burning “heretics” who challenge religious myths like “creationism,” killing men who have sex with other men, massacring people who worship other gods, and putting to death those who put a “stain” on society. Leading fundamentalist Pat Robertson says he wants “the biblical mode” of crime and punishment applied against “hard-core, habitual criminal[s]”--in other words, the use of extreme repression, even the death penalty, for activities that are today considered minor offenses or not crimes at all. Such thinking has potentially genocidal implications, especially for the masses of Black (and Latino) people in the inner cities who have been criminalized by this system and warehoused into prisons at rates higher than that of South Africans under apartheid.
All of this has been facilitated by the agreement or capitulation of the Democratic Party. None of this is going to be stopped by relying on “politics as usual” and none of the main features of this are even being challenged by those seriously contending for president in ’08.
The Mission of This Generation
Every generation puts its mark on the world. But not every generation lives through history-shaping times, epoch-shaping times. The generation that rose up to abolish slavery…the generation that acted like “good Germans” in the face of the Nazis…some generations are remembered, they are celebrated or scorned.
Today, your generation has a greater responsibility than even either of these.
To be young in America today is to be teetering on a precipice. On one side is a steep drop to the depths of a Bushian nightmare. On the other side is a road of tremendous struggle, daring, sacrifice, but also whole new vistas of human potential, new peaks of revolutionary possibilities.
The mission of this generation must be to stop the wars for empire, reverse the whole fascist direction of society, and bring into being a real alternative to the killing choices of either empty consumerism built on the backs of billions of people around the world or fanatical reactionary religious fundamentalism. This means driving out the Bush regime and bringing into being a far better world!
Whether this generation succeeds or fails at this will affect the lives of hundreds of millions in this country and around the world for a very long time to come.
This generation needs new voices, screaming at the tops of their lungs. Demanding change. Making change. Pouring into the streets in protest. Shutting down schools and the machinery of war with your bodies. Challenging those in the military to follow their conscience instead of illegal orders.
This generation also needs intense coffee shop conversations and debates and forums where people can work their way toward a vision of how the world could be different. Where we can forge relationships between people who are coming from different perspectives but fighting for a common goal. Where something really rich and vibrant and new can come out of that.
We need to forge and act on a new morality--one that values truth even when it is unpopular, one that cherishes equality between different nationalities and between men and women, and the lives of people around the world as much as our own. We need to cast off apathy, cynicism and stomp our feet to new rhythms, defiant and hopeful music, and a culture of resistance. We need to dream radical dreams. And we need to make clear that until the whole nightmarish direction that the Bush regime is dragging the world is reversed, and until a whole better world is brought into being, the spirit of political rebellion is going to spread, the resistance is going to grow, and business is going to grind to a halt.
As this generation takes up this struggle, with the winds of war, repression, and theocracy whipping around it at tremendous speed, it will take work to keep one’s footing. This requires looking deeply into the fabric of what makes the world the way it is--studying the roots of the problems, the big forces of capitalist accumulation and the twisted ideologies they give rise to. This generation must search for answers and solutions--including in places you’ve been counseled not to look.
Revolution and communism once inspired a generation around the whole world, because of the promise it held out for fundamental change that would take humanity to a world with: no more men oppressing women; no more white people lording it over people of color; no more handful of capitalists getting rich off the toil and sweat of billions across the globe; no more division between those who are trained to work with their minds and everyone else being locked out of intellectual life and forced to slave with their backs; and no more one country arrogantly and brutally trying to run the whole damn globe.
Instead, we need a society where millions and tens of millions of people rise up to bring in a qualitatively different kind of state, a revolutionary power, and wield it to transform society by uprooting oppression, ignorance, and exploitation. Where millions use this state power to defend against those who would try to drag things back to the nightmares of capitalism and imperialism rather than the state being, as it is today, a vehicle to extend exploitation and repress resistance.
Today, the very positive experience of communist revolution is lied about, distorted, and hidden from those who need it most. At the same time, even the best of what has happened before must, and can, be surpassed.
There is someone who is a living link from the best of the '60s, the most revolutionary edge of those times. When those movements ebbed and when all too many others gave up, were crushed, or sold out, this person forged ahead. Bob Avakian is a unique revolutionary leader who went deeper, and today he is pointing to a wilder and much more vibrant vision of communism, filled with debate, dissent and intellectual ferment while at the same time moving quickly to meet people’s most fundamental needs. He also has pointed to how it would be possible to lead millions in this country to consciously act and make the kind of revolution that is needed, when conditions ripen, as the first step towards achieving a truly liberating socialist society.
More than anyone else, Bob Avakian is a leader you need to get to know.
What Will YOU Do?
As the world bombards you with questions of what you are going to be when you grow up, it is time to answer a different question: What kind of world do you want to live in and what are you willing to do to bring it into being?
To everyone who refuses to look the other way while torture and occupation grind on day by day, waiting for the next election cycle of politicians debating the best way to subjugate people, wage war on the planet, and silence dissent…
To those who care less about accumulating just the right clothes, toys, and stuff than about the people your age across the planet forced to labor 12 and 14 hours to make this stuff for the profit of some capitalist…
To those who burn with impatience to get rid of a system that has heaped nothing but unending brutality and insult upon Black people, Native Americans, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and other oppressed peoples, century after century…
To all those who care more about the babies whose daddies are being dragged out of their homes by troops in Iraq, than about who Anna Nicole’s baby-daddy is…
To everyone who senses something is deeply wrong, but haven’t yet found your voice…
The future really is hinging on what you do.
Take this newspaper to your friends. Talk with them about it.
Get dozens of copies of Revolution newspaper every week and spread it to people you don’t know yet. You will find there are many others, just like you, hungering for a different way.
If you are involved in fighting the system, take this paper into that fight. If you are not yet involved, get involved with groups that are, like the World Can’t Wait movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime, and bring this paper into them.
Another world is possible. But not without dislodging the Bush regime and reversing its direction. This is going to take struggle. It is going to take work. It is going to take study and a lot of debate. But there is nothing more meaningful and there is nothing more joyful than standing with the people of the planet, coming together with the dreamers and fighters, to bring into being a whole better world.
The world is waiting for you--asking for you and wondering when you will finally rise to the mission that is on you to stop this--and galvanize the whole of society when you do.
*A study of 6,000 students at 32 colleges in the U.S. found that 1 in 4 women had been victims of rape or attempted rape. (Warshaw 1994) http://www2.ucsc.edu/rape-prevention/statistics.html [return]
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