Revolution #108, November 11, 2007

Refusal to Resist Crimes Against Humanity Is Itself a Crime

Editors’ Note: This is a selection from part 2 of MAKING REVOLUTION AND EMANCIPATING HUMANITY (edited excerpts from a talk, earlier this year, by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party) which is being published now because of its relevance to the current situation.  Part 1 of MAKING REVOLUTION AND EMANCIPATING HUMANITY is currently available online at and is being serialized in Revolution.  Part 2 will be serialized in Revolution, and available in its entirety, as one document, at, once the serialization of part 1 has been completed.

Not all, but still too many, Americans—especially within the middle strata, although not only there—are in a real sense falling into acting like children, easily distracted with toys.  “Here at midnight tonight—the new i-Phone!”  People will line up, and fight each other to get in line, to get the new i-Phone, but they can’t bring themselves to mobilize against the torture and the wars and everything else that is being done by their government, in their name and right before their eyes—this is not even really being hidden.

Now, it is true that, particularly in the period leading into the U.S. invasion of Iraq, very large numbers of people did mobilize in opposition to this, and to the general direction in which the Bush regime was driving things.  And there have, of course, been protests, even significant ones, since then.  But, the truth is that, as the Bush regime has made clear, even with the great difficulties it has encountered in Iraq, it is determined to persevere on this course, and is even threatening to escalate things, with an attack on Iran—and as the Democrats and the ruling class overall have made clear that they are going along with all this, or at least will do nothing meaningful to oppose it—while there are many people who know that this is wrong, is having horrible consequences, and holds the potential for much worse, far too many of these people have retreated into passivity—and what amounts to complicity—on the basis that to try to stop this seems too daunting and requires too much sacrifice.

This is the moral equivalent of coming upon a man brutalizing and raping a woman and not doing everything you can to stop it.  You call out strongly “Stop!” But then, when he menacingly turns and responds, “No—I really need to do this,” you simply slink away muttering “Oh, I didn’t know he was so determined about this—and I don’t want to get hurt myself.”

And this complicity is taking place while, as the logo of World Can’t Wait so graphically illustrates, the world burns and the prospect of far worse looms ominously before us.

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