Revolution #186, December 20, 2009

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Comment: I am a college student looking into the future and I know that I do not want my life, my job, my time, and my sanity, to be determined on capitalist means. With the skills that I have I don't want to enter a capitalist job market and continue my work through their processes, through their bureaucracies. How can I live my life and explore my spirit through the means of revolution and at the same time sustaining myself? The food I buy, the clothes I wear, are all produced by capitalists systems, how can I resist this and still have a fulfilled life?


Comment: Humanity needs revolution! Humanity needs a planet to live on! The earth is a wild, wondrous place, full of an incredible array of life, and humanity shouldn't destroy it! But the earth doesn't "need" anything. Your analysis and coverage of the unfolding environmental catastrophe has been sparse at best. I have given you all the benefit of the doubt that it's because you want to be right when you speak about this and it's a difficult subject because the communist movement has never dealt with anything like this before. But consistently, whenever you say anything about the planet we live on, it seems you have ignored a lot of the implications of a scientific morality. You have taken up backward notions of imposing values on an inanimate object (the earth) and very traditional, even biblical claims about humans' role on earth—to be "its guardian," as you say in issue 185 and not to "despoil it" as you say in your constitution. Also, you say that if humanity were to be unleashed it could come up with solutions—this is true. But many real proposals exist, proposals which lead from the reality of what we're facing and could actually confront huge aspects of the changes already in motion and those to come. The problem is that these proposals cannot work in this system. Lastly, if there is to be a revolution, there needs to be a planet for this future society to live on. You've said things to this effect in the past. But then why is your coverage of this issue so spotty and rare? Why have so many scientists and students of the environment that have passed through your orbit not been put to the task of studying, analyzing and proselytizing your answer to this? Why is a solid communist analysis of this situation and its potential resolution, one that could draw so many people looking for scientifically sound answers to what they correctly see as being the greatest challenge to ever face humanity to this banner—why is that not being published and boldly put forward?

Why is there no "declaration" on this?


This was submitted by a reader who attended the recent symposium at UC Berkeley: "Rediscovering China's Cultural Revolution—Art and Politics, Lived Experience, Legacies of Liberation."

To Revolution Newspaper:

I was lucky enough to travel down to Berkeley with some other people to see the Symposium. One of the things that really stood out to me in both the posters, the movies, and what the panelists were saying, was how women were treated, and how they were behaving. On the day of the showing of The Red Detachment of Women, a friend and I had been up in the Haight district of SF, and one of our stops was (coincidentally) at a poster shop. Many of the posters that they had were depicting women in few or no clothes, and in sexually provocative poses, and one poster in particular was a set of breasts, with a whole paragraph of all these adjectives: Melons, Fun Bags, Bonkers, Jugs, ETC.

It was disturbing, they AREN'T just bags to be used as "FUN" for some guy, they're actually attached to a living breathing, thinking, feeling human being! What a contrast to what was being displayed at the Symposium! We walked into the Symposium late, after the Red Detachment of Women had begun, to see the "Fierce Eyes" of the main female dancer. This "model ballet" really spoke to how womens' roles were being transformed under socialism, especially embodied in the main female dancer. The message was that contributing to the revolution was the highest contribution that she could make to society, not putting her body & sexuality on display, and not being a good (obedient) wife, and mother. In contrast to supermodels, the ideal for female beauty today, and how bored, passive, or "sexy" their expressions are, the "fierce" expressions in The Red Detachment of Women are striking! In fact, later on I wrote a poem about the sense I got of how things could and should be different for women, especially in how we're fighting for a whole different world.


After Watching the Red Detachment of Women

(*Also taking inspiration from "Ode to the Plum Blossom," Mao Tsetung's response to Lu Yu's poem of the same name.)

I'm TIRED of seeing
Serene-faced women
Absent of fury!

I'm SICK of seeing
Half-starved vacant eyed models
Ethereal limbs hung with product
Their bodies' a wraith-like canvas,
their spirit
Viewed as the ideal form of beauty & life.

I'm STARVED for images
Of fierce-eyed warrior women
Fury and impatience unleashed!
Their bodies, hearts, and minds set
On Revolution to free ALL Humanity!

I WANT to see
Women whose eyes and faces
Radiate OPENLY what they are for
And what they oppose
Whose eyes are focused on the world,

NOT striving so hard to fit into a system
That has us filled with
hatred toward ourselves

A system that has us attempt to
Carve out of our own flesh
exactly what our status will be.


whose eyes SHOUT that we are
in the long, bitter, & joyous fight for


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