Revolution #165, May 24, 2009

Excerpt of Interview on Pacifica Radio KPFK:

The REAL Deal on the New Deal...and Obama

The following transcript is of an April 28, 2009 radio interview (including listener call-ins) with Andy Zee on Michael Slate's radio show Beneath the Surface on KPFK (Los Angeles). Andy Zee is the author of the recent article in Revolution newspaper, "In the Era of Obama: The Collapse of 'The Movement'; the Resistance and the Revolutionary Movement We Need."

Michael Slate: What made you want to write this article?

Zee: I think if we look out over the whole last period of time, a trajectory really going from 2004 to now, but particularly in the last year, the resistance movement has gone to lower and lower levels of resistance, of masses of people in the streets, to the point now where we have these revelations around torture, and this is being done and continues to be done in the name of people in this country, and there's a little noise in the media about it and on the Internet, but there's not the kind of protest and condemnation that needs to be going on. So that was the genesis of it.

Slate: I was looking at some of the things that are being said about torture. Even when they wrote the Military Commissions Act, when they passed that and there was this whole idea that somehow under the Bush regime that torture was OK. Then you have this thing now where there's all these memos coming out, that are really disgusting. Somebody mentioned to me the other day that they've waterboarded people over 200 times. There was one guy they did 183 times, another guy they did 90 times. You're thinking about this and not only is there not the uproar that you would think, that basic, decent humanity would require. But somehow the discussion goes into the ticking time bomb scenario, but also they start citing Jack Bauer in "24," and say, "But is the information going to be useful or not?" And to think that these things today are the parameters of discussion of whether or not you're going to oppose something as much of a war crime as torture is just insane.

Zee: These are the terms exactly of a lengthy article by Mark Danner in the New York Review of Books, Part 2, this previous week. There's a lot to learn from this article, but still the terms are being set on, did they get actual evidence from people on account of torture or not? That is completely in the wrong ballpark to be looking at this. It's part of what actually contributes to the passivity of people. Because that's not actually the question. To tell you the truth, while we're learning a lot now, most of what we know has actually been pretty much out there since 2004. In fact, I was involved in doing something in New York, the Bush Crimes Commission, where we actually did a mock tribunal on the Bush regime, including on the question of torture. A lot of the evidence that's coming out now we were able to amass in initial ways back then. At this Commission, Craig Murray, a former ambassador from Great Britain to Uzbekistan, made a very important comment—more than a comment, actually, a stand we can learn from: "I would rather die than have my life saved on account of somebody else being tortured. I think that's a very important stand for people broadly to take.

Then I think we need to go deeper into what is the role of the U.S. and why does it torture? That's something we can get into over the hour.

Slate: I don't know if you saw that Jon Stewart piece on Obama's Camp Lejeune. I think he did this before anybody else spoke to it. It was a speech at Camp Lejeune where Obama talked about how supposedly the combat mission is over and all this other stuff. Stewart played the speech out and then did his commentary. This is where he revealed that most of what's happening to the combat brigades is just changing the name. He did this thing where he compared what Obama was saying to what Bush had said, and the computer came up with one word's difference between the two statements about the mission in Iraq. One was "assistance" and one was "support."

What led up to that was you had Obama on Jay Leno, and not one question for an entire hour said one thing about the war. Then you had that press conference where no one said anything about the war. The war has disappeared except for some articles here and there.

Zee: I think in terms of the question of language, there's been a re-branding of essentially the same overall policies. The New York Times ran an article, which was quoted in the piece, last month. They quoted Bush's national security advisor Gordon Johndroe who said that he "detected a great deal of overlap," of policies between the two presidents. And certainly on the front of national security policy including torture, spying without warrants, that this has essentially been left intact by Obama. He's gotten rid of the term "enemy combatant," but the actual reality of it still exists: The ability of the executive branch to detain anyone without cause and in secret and indefinitely.

There is a question of people confronting the reality of what is continuing, as well as looking at what has changed and what hasn't, and more importantly, how an entire movement over a period of several years, but particularly starting with this endless election campaign and continuing in their first 100 days here, has been demobilized from acting in the interests of people of the world in opposing what our government is doing.

Slate: Let's get into that. I'm sure there are people out there whose hackles are being raised by the fact that we're talking about the collapse of the movement. That's a fairly strong statement. You talk about collapse, and actually talk about criminal complicity. If you're going to say that then let's explain why.

Zee: Sure. Even just take the question of torture. We can't reduce it to torture, but just take the question of torture. Without bringing indictments, without prosecuting the war criminals all the way up, then what are you actually saying? You're saying this is OK, this is fine. And what reason would you have for thinking this is fine or OK? Only that you might face the necessity to do it again. Certainly the question of torture has been with us for a long time. Waterboarding goes back to the Spanish Inquisition if not before. But it's a tremendous American tradition. You have president Taft who before he was the president was the governor of the Philippines at the turn of the last century. He actually presided over water torture that was used. It was so frequent during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines that the military even marched to a little ditty about it. So this is the kind of thing that we're talking about, where you're going from passive acquiescence where you're not getting out and doing the kind of protest that was going to be required to really stop the direction of the Bush regime to a more active complicity, where you're actually out there telling people that some good things can happen from this regime.

Slate: But some people would say, "It's not that the movement has collapsed, it's changed its character. Its open features have changed. Right now," the argument goes, "you have someone who will listen to you in the White House." I've even heard people say the most disturbing thing: "He's one of us," in terms of he's come out of the movement, and you can actually influence him. And they go from the important thing is the movement that Obama has called forth, or that the election of Obama has called forth, that that movement can actually give Obama the basis to do things that he might not be able to do otherwise. Or that the job of the movement is to give Obama a hot foot, to hold his feet to the fire, forcing him somehow to do the right thing.

Zee: Look, there's two basic assumptions there. One is that this system isn't a system, that we don't live under it, that there isn't a nature to imperialism, that there isn't a reason that the U.S. went into the Middle East and that this was just an incidental thing, aberrations that occurred under Bush and not actually part of the whole way that imperialism works. We should get into what this has actually meant to people and what it continues to mean. Then there's the belief that you can actually make this thing work for you; it can work for us. That the very system that oppresses people here and around the world can actually be used to the advantage of the oppressed. This is an illusion which we need to actually talk about and get into.

But we should start from what Obama has actually done. He's brought 20,000 more troops into Afghanistan, and they've held out the option of bringing even more in. The political alliances they're making in Afghanistan and the rest of their program has included instituting Sharia law in part of Afghanistan. He's expanded the war into Pakistan with troops and unmanned drones. He's extended the deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq until 2010, and he's held that, depending on the advice of his generals, it could go longer. And even this withdrawal leaves 35,000 to 50,000 troops to defend what is the largest embassy ever built in the world's history in Baghdad, plus another 50,000 to 100,000 mercenaries.

So this is what he's talking about in terms of even ending the war: close to maybe 150,000 people staying there to continue to reinforce the U.S. role there. He said he'd close Guantánamo in a year and yet he also approved the budget to double the size of Bagram prison in Afghanistan. And he's defended the Bush policy of illegal, warrantless wiretapping, and he's even asserted far broader claims of executive branch immunity. And as I said earlier, there's no motion now to actually prosecute the Bush regime for their torture and war crimes, which, by the way, does make it his war crime.

Slate: When you're saying all these things that he's done, it's like the blinders go down and there's no talking to people who say, "Well, really what we have to do is pressure him. We have to bring the match closer to his feet." This isn't just a question of whether he's betrayed his campaign promises, or he's not doing what we want him to do. There is a system that's operating here. Why don't you get into what is at the root of this? I think people don't understand what's wrong. Why would you argue against this idea of holding his feet to the fire as what the movement should be doing?

Zee: People should be out protesting. The point is not that there is not a need for resistance. There's an incredible need for resistance on many different levels. I understand that on the 28th of May they're supposed to release some more of the torture photographs. [Editors' note: This interview was done before Obama announced he was blocking the release of these photos.] I think there's protests called for Washington, New York and elsewhere. People should be out in the streets, but the question is, out to do what and in what interests? Are people thinking in terms of "hold his feet to the fire?" There is no fire there if you're actually not largely fighting and directing your protests in the interests of the people of the world. Look, one of the big problems here, and one of the main reasons people aren't out there, is an entire movement has turned its attention away from the crimes that their own government is committing, from what the system is actually doing to people here and around the world, and instead refashioning things in terms of what's in the interests of the American people? And looking backward through the lens of the 1930s and saying what we need is a big movement to stave off the effects of the economic crisis on the people here, and not even looking at [the fact] that this is a system that's going on here. This is not new.

I think this is what the article is saying. Just holding his feet to the fire—let's talk about fighting in the interests of the people of the world. Let's start thinking about that. Let's put an end to the torture. What about the fact that this war still is going on? What about the drones that are in Pakistan? What good do you think that's going to do for humanity? And putting out an illusion here that Barack Obama is for you and somehow can serve the interests of the people is extremely poisonous. He's not the president of the People's Republic of the U.S. He's president of U.S. imperialism. That's his job description. And he's actually quite open about it. He's been open about it all through his campaign. His job is to rescue this system.

Slate: This isn't something that just spontaneously happens among people. There's illusion and delusion and deceit and self-deceit, but there have been programs, there have been positions put out that actually take people and say, "Look, America can be made to work. America can be made to do good in the world. America can be made to serve the interests of the people here." You get into this in the article, that some people are saying that the problem with Obama's strategy in Afghanistan is that it might not bring victory. These are the parameters that are being set out, that somehow America can work good in the world.

Zee: There's an old joke from the Lone Ranger series, the television show in the '50s and early '60s. The Lone Ranger was the white guy on his white horse with his Native American sidekick as it was, and at a certain point in one of these episodes, they're surrounded by a number of other Native Americans, though that's not the word they used at that time, and Tonto the Indian as he was called, was on his horse, and the Lone Ranger was on his. The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and goes, "What are we going to do?" and Tonto says, "What do you mean we, white man?"

This is the question. Are you going to identify with the system that does carry out torture, whose whole history is one of invasion. Revolution newspaper put out a challenge last July 4th that said, "Spin a globe. Pick any country in the Third World and find a ten-year period where the U.S. hasn't either been at war, launching a coup, launching an assassination or in some way trying to dominate the rest of the world and bringing tremendous oppression to the people. This is not incidental. There has been a movement. And it continues with these deadly illusions.

The article begins by talking about United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) voting to not demonstrate on the sixth anniversary of the war and instead putting forward a slogan, "Beyond War, a New Economy is Possible. Yes we can." As I wrote here, it's hard to tell what's worse in that slogan, the lie or the chauvinism. We should talk about this some more and get into it. Is that actually going to lead to anything good in the world? Or is it going to lead to people having illusions about what in fact is happening and why in fact Obama is even president for that matter.

Slate: People talk about how in the 1930s the New Deal "saved America." And this is being thrown out now, politically, socially and economically as the path that Obama is going to take to "save America." What about the New Deal?

Zee: First off, why would you want to save America? That's one question that has to be asked of an opposition movement in the country that's at the top of the imperialist food chain. And if you want to know the real truth of the New Deal, it was in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then an unending period of wars of aggression and counter-revolution, establishing neo-colonies and overthrowing national liberation struggles. This is what it actually meant. If you get into the New Deal—look, determined struggle was waged in the 1930s. People fought, people died fighting against the effects of the Great Depression, and that's an important struggle. But it was led, after 1934 in the direction of supporting and in the framework of supporting the extension of democracy in this country and around the world, and it left people politically and ideologically in a position where they ended up being disarmed ideologically in terms of fighting in the interests of the U.S. It even got to the point where the Communist Party was saying that communism was 20th Century Americanism.

Of course, you leave people ideologically unprepared and then in fact they get hit at the end of World War II with McCarthyism and they're completely incapable of dealing with that. So this is where this can lead, and where it is leading. That's the problem, it's where it is leading: How do we actually repair U.S. imperialism? That is the question.

Slate: Can you speak to the point you raise toward the end of the article, that there will be no anti-war movement worthy of the name, or a movement against anything else of consequence if it is not struggling fundamentally outside of and in opposition to the framework of the system that's at the root of and carrying out the wars and various forms of oppression.

Zee: I think that's very important and that's a point that's gone into in some depth in a pamphlet titled, "Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity" by Bob Avakian, who's Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.1 It's a very important point, because look, the overall framework for how you have to look at this question of what the U.S. is doing in the world and what Obama himself is continuing in terms of the policies of the Bush regime is that we have to stop thinking like Americans and start thinking of the interests of humanity. This is fundamental when you live in a country like this. The rubric under which the Bush regime, Bush and Cheney, carried out their whole program was the War on Terror, which was actually and has proven itself to be, a war of terror on the masses of people for U.S. empire. This is really essential. There's nothing that Obama has said, and there's nothing he's done that gets you out of that kind of framework for what the U.S. is doing. There have been some changes. The Bush regime ran into a lot of problems in the world and the ruling class as a whole felt they needed to make some big changes and Obama was it. But he is re-branding the same essential policy. Even as there are some changes being made, it's largely a matter of re-branding and going forward with asserting U.S. interests.

For all of the talk of empire that went on in this country in the '90s, in the anti-globalization movement, in relationship to the Bush regime, for all people's critique of empire, they tend to not understand it. An empire is a system. It's imperialism. It's not incidental. It's not off to the side, an aberration. The Bush regime was an extreme concentration of programs of empire and imperialism, but it actually was a continuation of it and this is systemic. The only promise of America, as we put it in this article, is the promise of more invasions, more coups and continued immiseration of the masses of people. This is systemic. We could go on. We should talk about it even in relation to the economic crisis. This is something that originates here in terms of the parasitic way that capitalism becomes more involved in finance. And the effect of it? There's now over a billion people who are starving in the world. The rates of starvation and absolute hunger are increasing daily in the world as a result of this economic crisis. Where's that being talked about in terms of people who say what we need is a new New Deal? Where are those interests in the movement?

This has a real consequence. Recruitment is up in the U.S. Army right now. While in part there's economic factors that lead to that, there's also the fact that there's a lot of Black and Latino youth who feel like, "Well, now I wouldn't fight for the U.S., but I will fight for Obama. If the movements of resistance are not actually exposing to people, what is the nature of fighting for Obama when he's head of the U.S. imperialist empire? He's enforcing this system all around the world.

Woman Caller: Your closing comments took the wind out of my sails with what I was going to say. This idea of America: the designers of Obama's campaign did the best job ever of pushing off some candidate on who's designed to divert what our energy was for changing this country. Anyway, the idea of America and saving it, we might as well bank on the fact that there's a financial collapse and one out of six people in this country works for the government and it's too big, it's going to collapse too and we need to just go inside ourselves and become our own America, looking at who we are as people, learning to live as communities from the heart. I think that's the best weapon against these people who want to control us with fear. I hate what's going on, but we can't change the world, can change ourselves.

Zee: I certainly agree with you that people were played in this election and that's what elections do in this system. These are political structures that are set up to enforce an economic system. But let's take a look at this situation now. I think we can't just look inside ourselves. That's the wrong place to look. We have to look to each other. We have to take a look and see that at the current moment in the development of the world, there's a possibility of feeding and housing everybody on the planet—except for the barrier of the fact that this is a system that depends on the exploitation and the oppression of the majority of people. It thrives on and can only live on the basis of exploitation of people. That's the barrier. Here's what's crazy. You mentioned the situation in California where one in sixty-five homes are foreclosed, and yet we've seen national reports of people living in tent cities. This is insane. There's the ability for everybody to have a house here and actually around the world, except for one barrier, which is that it's not profitable. Nothing here is produced according to what's needed for people. It's only produced whether or not one group of capitalists can make a profit off of it, particularly in terms of the U.S. protecting the interests overall of U.S. capital all over the world. This is what happens. This is the reality of it. So we should get together. We should figure out, what does it take to make a revolution? How are we going to do it? And we need to resist these policies, these things that are going on as part of building up our strength and not letting people get crushed. We can't look inside ourselves and get our own act together because that too would be, through the back door in a sense, turning our backs on what exactly is being done in our names.

Male Caller: We've got to understand as American people, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are on the same coin. Heads you lose and tails I win. We're at a crossroads in our life right now. The crossroad is American people must take their life in their own hands, not be afraid. Just the way we act right now. And Obama, well, his policy speaks for itself. He is the head of the whole imperialistic situation. And that's what it's for right now. So if we understand this, then we can come together as a people in our own party, and not trust Democrats or Republicans. I know it sounds like chaos and anarchy, but this is where it's heading to. For example, the people, corporate America, they stole the money from the people. People need their own party, their own movement. Democrats and Republicans are finished as far as I'm concerned.

Zee: We need two things. You said we need our own movement and we need our own party. I want to speak first on the second point, we need our own movement. I think you need to ask yourself and we have to ask each other, what kind of movement we need and we've got to get out there. There are plenty of things for people to be protesting around. I suggest people can look at various websites including The World Can't Wait website in terms of ways to fight around the war and the torture, and like I mentioned before, there's lots of plans around that that need to be made. People need to get out and they need to be looking at what this country is doing, what's happening in the world, open their eyes and act on the basis of the interests of humanity.

We do need to do more than that. We do need to actually change this system as I said and that's what our newspaper deals with every week, Revolution newspaper in terms of exposing the crimes of this system and what are the forces behind it? What are the political forces? What are the class forces? And then what is it going to take to get rid of it? There is a party that puts out the newspaper, which is the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, which is led by Bob Avakian who I mentioned earlier. There is a strategy for revolution in a country like this, which includes, as one component, the need for massive resistance against the key things that are going on at any given time that concentrate the contradictions of this society. That's part of what creates the ground so we can make a revolution at a time when there is a society-wide crisis. I would advise you to get a copy of Revolution newspaper or go to and find out about that.

So that's what I think in terms of a political party. The one thing we don't need is to divert our energies playing this game between the two political parties. We need to understand that that is the game they are running on you and did run on you with Obama.

Woman Caller: There have always been problems in the anti-war movement with United For Peace and Justice. There's a split in New York between them and the ANSWER coalition. I'm not sure if it's the question of Palestine and Israel, because the party behind the ANSWER coalition took a very principled stand behind Palestine. But also I think that it is no secret that there are members of the Communist Party in United for Peace and Justice and the Communist Party I found out to my surprise has traditionally backed the Democratic Party and this election cycle is no exception. So United for Peace and Justice and the Communist Party want to continue to give Obama space to whatever. It goes in line with that whole accommodationist line that they have.

I really like your discourse because people can understand the way you're explaining things. Where it comes from of course is Marxism and analysis of class. When we say "we," who are we? Members of the working class? Then are we members of a national class or a world class? With all the globalization that's taken place over the last 30 years, people are living in a transnational world that tends to lapse into a discourse based on one country. There really is no United States of America and there is no U.S. working class anymore and there is no U.S. capitalist class anymore. It's a transnational class. I recommend the works of William Robinson at Santa Barbara. He's currently under fire from the Anti-Defamation League for supposed anti-Semitic comments when he defended the Palestinian people. He's done a lot of class formation, the transnational capitalist class, the transnational working class. When you get callers in Los Angeles who are born in other countries, and they're talking about taking a world perspective and not just thinking about Americans and thinking about people of the world, we're talking about an international or transnational working class. The more we can get away from thinking about single countries and start thinking in global terms, like the capitalists do and start talking about class and realize who our enemies are, it makes it easier to understand that it isn't a matter of whether Obama is a nice guy or not or has good intentions or not because he's working for the ruling class.

Zee: I want to make a brief comment on the situation of the Palestinian people and particularly in relation to the absolute atrocity and massacre in Gaza that Obama stood aside from and has to date still not made any comment that amounts to in any way standing with the people of Palestine. And we should not even expect this. He made this quite clear last year in a speech to AIPAC.

But I want to get to the essence of your question, and it does speak to the previous caller as well. The communist revolution is a world-wide revolution. Our objective is a world without nations and a world without classes. To get to that world is going to require a tremendous struggle that is going to have to take place in countries around the world. While the world is more closely-knit than it has ever been before, and production is largely carried out on a global plane, capital is still largely aggregated in individual nations. In the U.S. itself, I think the figure is approximately 30% of corporate profits come from investments overseas. But they are still profits made by U.S. multi-national corporations.

There is a ruling class in the United States. They do have the largest military in the world: 700 plus bases around the world. Their military is larger than the next several combined. This is not a classless society or transnational kind of formation. This is actually a class of monopoly imperialists. They rule the U.S. They rule it through its political structures and most fundamentally through its military.

This then becomes our responsibility as people who live here to deal with this and to figure out the strategy and the way to both oppose what it's doing now as part of preparing for a time when you actually could make a revolution, here and around the world, and politically supporting such struggles in other countries where people are making revolution. The world cries out for revolution right now because of the nature of the imperialist system. Imperialism will not supersede itself. It needs to be overthrown and in its place needs to be the rule of a different class, the people on the bottom of society. The proletariat needs to rule in the interest of abolishing itself and all classes. This is a big topic that I'm sure Michael has done on his show. We can continue to get into it so people can understand the basis and goals of a communist revolution as well as the strategy that's needed to accomplish that.

Woman Caller: Obama is now the head of the colonialism imperialist American government, and it was set in concrete and he knew that. And this is why anyone who's paying attention—Obama, I was suspicious because he came in as an Illinois senator. He claimed to be against the war, but he continued to vote to fund it. He claimed he was not going to give telecom companies immunity, but he voted for it. So he has lied. He's a very clever liar. He's very articulate and he's managed to fool people. I'm afraid to say it because I was one of the ones who voted for him but then we come to a system that's already set up. If they had really thought that he was going to go against this imperialistic regime, they would have sabotaged him. He would not have gotten to be president.

Zee: Why did you vote for him, if I can ask you that? Why did you think that was what you should do?

Same Caller: Well, because I didn't want John McCain to get in. I mean, it's the same box we're always in. I mean, I know it's a fraud and next time I'll probably vote for a socialist or a Green Party member, because I do think we need another party of the people that represent the people in this country. Also, you can see his policies have not changed. By the way, there has never been any intention to leave Iraq. Obama knows that. He's playing with words. All he's doing is changing the terminology. It's a shell game, and he's managing to fool people with his charisma. It's all a polished act. I'm just amazed at the people in MoveOn and the other places that are falling for this. I'm glad that you're out there talking about this and writing about this, and Michael is talking about it, because it's something that needs to be said. We're being screwed by the same economic team that got us into the mess, the same warmongers that are keeping this going. The same people that support Israel no matter what. Wars around the world. It's a shame. It's a shame. Read Naomi Klein's latest piece. It's quite humorous.

Male Caller: The denial issue is up front and center. A month before the election, Jerry Quickley interviewed a man named Glen Ford, and he's a Black activist and he saw what was coming. His great concern was that if Obama won, for Blacks it would be a nightmare because the honeymoon might last four years and people would be so enamored with the victory it might be four years before people realize this guy is just a handmaiden for the rich. It's ironic that it's not just Black Americans, it's the entire left that's been Svengali-ized, hypnotized into thinking this guy can do no wrong when it's fairly evident that nothing has changed except we're seeing an even more extreme transference of wealth from the poorest to the richest.

Zee: We should at least give Glen Ford credit. On his website, he coined the term "Obamalade." He said people had drunk the Obamalade and he was worried that it would in fact dull people's senses to what in fact the nature of this system is. Look, I think we have to stop being surprised by this. The reason I asked the previous caller about why did she vote—I just want to recommend here, people can get it at Libros Revolución, the book on "Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy," by Bob Avakian, where he really goes into the nature of both bourgeois democracy and why the transition to communism, the dictatorship of the proletariat, would be far more liberatory and democratic. But in this thing he brings out the analogy to Lucy putting that football in front of Charlie Brown and why he goes for it every time.

As long as you think you have a dog in this race, as long as you are playing this game that you are going to get your interests served by choosing between competing elites, then you're not going to get anywhere. We have to understand that this is a system. It has political structures, not just the elections but more particularly the armed forces, the police, and the whole structure of the courts, to enforce definite economic relations. That's what this is about. It's a system. It has imperatives. It has to expand. If it doesn't expand, then another country will expand. Just as with an individual company. They compete with each other, and there's competition for world resources. This is why the Middle East is at the center of it, not just for the oil profits, not even mainly for the oil profits, but to actually control the strategic resources. They fight and go to war over these regions, these markets, and all of this depends on military might which is why you can play that game of spin the globe and you're not going to find any place with a history where the U.S. hasn't been invading one country or another, whoever is commander-in-chief.

Now it so happens that Obama auditioned for this job and it was quite clear that what he was out to do was save the system and his particular role was to bring people into the fold. And when you go along with this and reinforce this, which is indeed what the people who lead UFPJ have done and continue to do to this day, then you're going to be played over and over again and not just not have an effective movement but actually contribute to these crimes that U.S. imperialism does commit around the world.

Caller: The fact that there could be a war for democracy is absolutely ridiculous. The moral center of the people making decisions needs to be fixed. All the great talk about coming out of Iraq, coming out of war, all that needs to be followed with. The fact that we're selling out America and the market's being sold out to other countries in trade for military bases is absolutely ridiculous. The war is actually being fought on our land instead of the other land.

Zee: If there's going to be any movement worth its name, a movement against anything of consequence, it's got to be fundamentally in opposition to and outside the framework of this society.

1 “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity” by Bob Avakian is reprinted in the pamphlet Revolution and Communism: A Foundation and Strategic Orientation (RCP Publications, 2008). It can be found online at [back]

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