A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP)

August 13, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


To all those who truly do want to see an end to the outrages and abuses coming down on people... and to the slanderers, the haters, the opportunists, and worse:


1) We are about fighting this whole wretched system of exploitation and oppression, and bringing in a radically different, liberated world.  We take the responsibility to look at all the outrages and abuses and agonizing problems confronting humanity... we analyze where they come from and how they are linked... we fight hard against them and figure out how to get rid of them.  And we do all this as part of bringing forward a new system. 

2) When there is a particularly outrageous abuse, an abuse which absolutely requires and demands that people stand up against it, we take the responsibility to reach out as widely as we can to unite with every honest person, of whatever viewpoint, who wants to fight it, and together we fight as hard as we possibly can to defeat the outrage.  We don’t view any particular kind of oppression as anyone’s property.  We don’t think that it is negative when people from one section of society stand against abuses coming down on others, and stand with others to fight back.  To the contrary: to do anything less, let alone to work against that, is to betray the hopes of the oppressed who really do yearn to see and know that others will stand up.  And all our experience—right down to today, in taking on the outrageous police murder of Michael Brown in Missouri and in waging a battle against the life-and-death restrictions being put on abortion in Texas—shows that when such support is forthcoming, those who are under attack welcome this!

In other words, we are about fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution.  This has been a hallmark of our Party for 40 years.  Not only that—this has been led and fought for and insisted upon, no matter what the conditions or circumstances, by Bob Avakian, the leader of our Party, going all the way back before our founding, to the 1960s.

The biggest problem today is NOT that too many people are daring to fight against abuses coming down on others.  The biggest problem is that too many people who recognize those abuses for the outrages that they are stand aloof, and stay in their comfort zone, as horrendous crimes are being carried out against millions and billions.  Compounding and reinforcing this, people are being given reasons and excuses for this complicity by purveyors of “identity politics”—and when those excuses wear thin, they are given warnings to “stay in their lane.”

A simple but bedrock point of morality: anyone who sees an injustice needs to fight against it.

Contrary to that basic point, some people in the movement act as if they were “franchise managers” of oppression, lashing out with full-blown campaigns of slander and vitriol both against those who are fighting to end ALL oppression as well as many who are fighting very hard on particular fronts against the serious attacks of this system, but doing so without the “permission” of these gatekeepers.  Rather than airing and debating differences of principle and strategy, they try to cow people with slanders and half-truths, and consciously foster an unthinking crowd mentality.  They have spent much more energy going after those who are actually putting something on the line to fight the current attack than the attack itself.  These same forces come down with tremendous pressure against anyone who even wants to give a hearing to those waging this fight, let alone support them or unite with them.

This is not only utterly wrong in its own right, this is not only deadly to the critical and scientific spirit on which getting to the truth actually depends, it provides waters in which counter-revolutionaries and police can and do fish around—as the whole bitter experience of COINTELPRO shows.

This is particularly sharp right now in terms of the attacks on the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, which the RCP supports and in which we work with people of many other viewpoints.  People claiming to be “Texans for Reproductive Justice” have made and/or refused to disavow physical threats against at least one leader of this movement... they have mounted toxic social media campaigns against those who dare to stand with this Freedom Ride, complemented by vicious behind-the-scenes whispering campaigns... they toss around slanders of racism for daring to draw inspiration from historical battles against the oppression of Black people within the U.S. and for drawing analogies and links between the many different forms of oppression this system brings down... they make threats against people with media platforms for airing the views of spokespeople of this movement... and all the while they pump out crude anti-communist slanders and attacks.  

They have also issued a statement that gathers all this together in a slicker form.  Anyone who reads their statement should think first of all about the fact that nowhere in this whole screed do they even mention the actual emergency afoot in Texas, the actual real-life fact that on September 1, unless the situation is radically reversed, Texas will have only six clinics—down from 46 in 2011!  Do they even stop to think what that will mean for women in Texas and what that means for the whole political direction of the U.S.?!?  That alone should both disqualify this online attack from serious consideration and reveal the capitulationism at the heart of these people. 

But two other, seemingly smaller, aspects of their statement actually speak volumes on the “principles,” the outlook, and the real concerns of those who have been doing this.  First, their “statement of concern”—which in its very first points accuses the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride of “racism” for honoring the tradition of the Freedom Rides of 1961 and then later goes on to attack RCP Chairman Bob Avakian in similar terms for daring to compare the pornographic degradation of women to the practice of making and distributing postcards of the photos of lynchings of Black men and women—a slander which can be easily refuted by just going and reading or listening to what he actually says about this, leaving aside a whole history of battling around this question.  Note, please, that all this self-righteous slander is headed by the flag of the “Texas Republic,” a flag which was carried into battle by those who defended slavery, not just against Mexico but in the Civil War itself.  Second, there is their hungry-eyed obsession with the money that the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride has raised to actually struggle against this attack, while ignoring the egregious fact that Wendy Davis, the so-called “pro-women” candidate who rose to prominence on the back of seeming to fight against the suppression of abortion rights, raises tens of millions of dollars in a campaign which does not even mention the word abortion... other than her support for the ban on abortions after 20 weeks!

What does any of this have to do with principled debate over how to go forward?!?!  And who, ultimately and not so ultimately, does this serve?!? 

This is unconscionable.  It is causing great harm, not only to this struggle but even more importantly, to questions of larger significance.  We all face a question:

What standards, embodying what morality, will our movement have?  Will this be a movement marked by principled debate over differences, and by a focus on the real enemy and the real attacks and abuses that urgently cry out to be opposed and ended?  Or will this be something lesser, where people allow themselves to be divided into competing “interest groups,” clawing against one another for advantage within, yes, the privileged ground of an imperialist empire that rests on the exploitation of billions worldwide... a politics which, for all its rhetoric, is in reality nothing but the so-called “American way” of narrow “pluralism,” a politics that does nothing in the end but keep this horrific way of life going.

Principled people must draw a line against these attacks.  These attacks MUST be ended... now!  Further: to those who have been caught up in this, or stood on the sidelines because of confusion or fear, the time is now to come together and to actually fight against the horrific attack against women’s abortion rights coming down in Texas.  Let that be a first step in changing the ethos and tone of the movements fighting injustice.  Let us, from our various viewpoints, struggle for a spirit of generosity and largeness of mind, a spirit of airing and debating differences to get at what is actually true, in order to better fight for what is just.  We need a movement in which people would want to and can work and struggle for a society in which they would want to live and in which they could flourish. 

Which side are you on?


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