Step Up the Struggle to Defeat Brett Kavanaugh—On the Right Terms, in the Right Way

Four Points of Orientation

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[1]  The past week has seen an outpouring of countless women speaking the bitterness of their experience of rape, sexual abuse, shaming, and all the rest of the horrifyingly pervasive and putrid social relations of this society around women and giving expression to powerful desire to see this ended. The fury of having to live as slaves, as playthings, as objects, as mere things to be used and abused... your most intimate sense of yourself and your body invaded and trampled on, and then to be ignored and mocked and condescended to, shouted over and belittled and rendered voiceless to boot... all this has come spilling out. The pressure is volcanic, the eruption has only begun, and this is far from an “America only” problem.

We need a whole new world. We need a world where the millennia-old, deeply seated oppression of women—the oppression that came into being with the first division of humanity into exploiter and exploited, oppressor and oppressed—is finally done away with the only way it can be: as part of uprooting and abolishing all relations of exploitation and oppression. You cannot vote out of office an oppression woven into the very fabric of the system this government was built to protect. You cannot end this oppression by going into boardrooms of banks and corporations that exploit and enchain women all over the world, feeding off their subordinate position. You can’t defeat the oppressor by playing the oppressor’s game.

To get to that new world we need a revolution: an overthrow of the existing system and the building of a new one. The possibility of such a world is real. It can be seen in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, by Bob Avakian. And it can be won by getting with the movement for revolution that he leads, a revolution that takes the emancipation of women as its cornerstone. As Bob Avakian has said,

You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution. (BAsics 3:22)

[2]  Let's look again at what Brett Kavanaugh represents politically and the tremendous harm he has already done and the even greater harm he will do if he becomes part of the Supreme Court. He played a key role in the Christian-fascist driven impeachment of Bill Clinton, in getting George W. Bush illegitimately into office despite losing the popular vote, in Bush’s torture and warrantless wiretapping, in grooming other fascist judges for the court, and more. This pig, once on the Supreme Court, will move to reduce women to essentially being wombs in the name of being “pro-life,” and he will move to gut gay rights and critical thinking and dissent, minority voting rights and due process, environmental regulations and protections against surveillance, and anything else that gets in the way of the fascist juggernaut. He will move to protect executive power, the prerogatives of capital, police impunity, and anything else that fits the needs of the fascist project now attempting to consolidate itself. Look at his record—the proof is there; the performance last Thursday only put an exclamation point to it.

Kavanaugh’s whole history and stand make clear the fundamental and essential reasons that this monster must be kept off the Supreme Court. Because this nomination is so freighted, it has exacerbated the divide between those who are moving to install fascism and those elements within the ruling class trying to prevent it. As evidenced by Senator Jeff Flake’s sudden switch of position on Friday, things are now in a great deal of turmoil. In this situation, people must fight harder than ever to prevent Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Supreme Court, on the basis of repudiating his fascist record and program—which is, after all, why Trump nominated him—and in a way that is linked to defeating and driving from power the whole fascist Trump/Pence regime and juggernaut he is part of.

[3]  How we fight our battles is critically important. There must be a unity between our means and ends.

Specifically, it is not right, and will lead to a very bad place, to adopt a standard where all accusations are treated as proof of guilt. Just think for a second about who has paid and who will pay a horrendous price when that standard is adopted. Just because an accusation corresponds to a very widespread social phenomenon—that millions and millions of women are sexually assaulted and that the overwhelming majority of accusations are truthful—does NOT mean that every single accusation is true. Getting to the truth requires a serious and open-minded sifting of concrete evidence. This is in opposition to the stand of believing all victims no matter what, which has become not just a rallying cry but something of a litmus test.

This is in stark opposition to the view put forward by liberals like Chris Hayes of MSNBC who said, after the Thursday hearings, “It all comes down to who you believe.” No, it does not—and it should not! Is that really the kind of world we should want to live in? A society where guilt or innocence is determined by who is more “believable” on television? It should not take more than a minute or two to think of the potential for abuse and ultimately real horrors involved in that: If standards of truth go out the window, then who and what is and is not to be believed will ultimately be settled by whoever has the most power. Let’s not forget that this is America, where the words of white women were used to lynch innocent Black men in the not-so-distant past and where, as this is written, the testimony of cops who murder Black people is deemed more “believable” by mostly white juries than eyewitness accounts of people in the area and even unambiguous videotape.

That is the world we live in now, but it should NOT be the world we want.

Further, there is a question of how to evaluate a person’s past. Here, the decisive question is not what someone did as a youth but what has been the subsequent arc of their life. There are reasons that juvenile records are supposed to be sealed. The reasons have to do with the fact that younger people are unformed and without the capacities of adult judgment and that their adult lives should not be dogged and marred by what they did when they were not in a position to be fully responsible for their actions. In the case of juvenile offenses, the larger society’s right to know does NOT trump the right of the individual, even if a larger social good may be sacrificed.

For these reasons, as we have written before, “the question should not be if they did bad things as a youth, but have they fundamentally confronted and broken with that—or have they continued in the same essential direction? In the case of Kavanaugh, these facts are beyond clear: whatever he did (or did not) do as a teenager, as a full-grown man he has been a major player in strengthening patriarchal oppression and in driving forward the overall fascization of the U.S.—and this is true no matter how many women who knew him way-back-when say that he was a polite teenager, or whether Dr. Blasey’s accusation proves to be true or not. It is for these reasons that Kavanaugh must be opposed or defeated.”

[4]  Where will and where should all the fury that has poured forth now go?

Will the pent up fury felt by millions and millions against the oppression and degradation of women be a powerful fuel in the fight to put an end to the culture and system that gives rise to this nightmare? Will it drive people to look deeper—at the roots of all this in the system of capitalism-imperialism that rules over us? And, to aim higher—at a world free of all divisions into oppressors and oppressed, exploiters and exploited, masters and slaves?

Or, will this fury drive the oppressed themselves even more blindly into this world of nightmarish horrors? Will people not just wrongly accept as permanent this world of oppression and dehumanization of one group by another, but actively revel in this by aiming no higher than for a chance at revenge? Will it get spent on pulling down one or two monsters, while the monstrous system remains intact?

The history books and headlines are full of just struggles that ended up with those who once fought and sacrificed for freedom going for revenge for them and theirs, and then for their chance to “have a go at it,” and screw everyone else. That’s NOT inevitable—but it will take a struggle from the very beginning and all the way through against the strong pulls that take people there... pulls already manifesting in the struggle right now. How we answer these questions right now even in this seemingly initial stage—and in an ongoing way as we go forward—will have great bearing on whether humanity is emancipated or simply sinks deeper into the nightmare.

Let’s make this week a time to step up the battle against the attempt to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and against the whole regime, to build the movement for revolution, and to plunge into the debate over the problem we face and the solution to it.


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It is a striking fact—which is starkly evident in the U.S. now—that, in comparison to what is done to women, there is no other group in society that is so systematically reviled and defiled in a way that has become acceptable (or widely accepted in any case) as a significant part of “mainstream” life and culture, as happens in a concentrated way through pornography and the extremely demeaning and degrading images and messages about women it massively and pervasively purveys (with the Internet a major focus and vehicle for this), including pornography’s extensive portrayal of sadistic and violent sexual domination of women...

I began the “Revolution” talk with “They’re Selling Postcards of the Hanging,” reviewing the ugly history of the lynching of Black people in America and the way in which celebration of this became a cultural phenomenon in the U.S., with the selling of picture postcards of these lynchings a major expression of this—often including smiling and leering crowds of white people surrounding the murdered and mutilated body of a Black man. In a recent exchange, a comrade emphasized this profoundly important and compelling point: Today, the way in which pornography depicts women—the displaying of women in a degraded state for the titillation of viewers—including the grotesque brutality and violence against women which is involved in much of this, is the equivalent of those “Postcards of the Hanging.” It is a means through which all women are demeaned and degraded.

Bob Avakian
Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution


While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?


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