Revolution #229, April 10, 2011
Discussion on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
The New Constitution and Nuclear Weapons...
The publication of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) by the Revolutionary Communist Party is a bold and visionary act.
I have read and studied the document. As someone who has spent three decades studying, practicing, and teaching law in the U.S.A., and as a student of history, including the history of the approaches to law in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China (before capitalism was restored in both countries), the Draft Proposal gives me hope for the future.
It is based on a frank summation of both the advances and problems of past revolutions. And it plainly stands head and shoulders above the U.S. Constitution, that blood soaked document built on an edifice of slavery, near genocide of Native American people, wars of conquest and empire, racism, degradation of women, and exploitation of wage labor.
There are many things worthy of discussion and admirable goals worth striving to achieve in the Draft Proposal Constitution. But I want to single out one provision in particular in this letter. Because this should be stated very directly: this provision, even standing alone, is ample reason to support the Revolutionary Communist Party and the revolutionary movement it is building. To say this is not to take away from the tremendous achievement represented by the rest of the Draft Constitution.
On page 23, under "Defense and Security," the following provision appears:
"3. The New Socialist Republic in North America will not develop, and will not use, nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction. It will wage a determined and many-sided struggle to rid the world of all such weapons—and it will do this as part of the larger, overall struggle to defeat and dismantle all imperialist and reactionary states and forces and to advance toward the achievement of communism, throughout the world, which will finally make it possible for the desires and dreams of countless human beings throughout history, and the fundamental interests of humanity, for a world without war, to at long last be realized." (emphasis added)
Today, the U.S. rulers hold over the heads of the world's people (including the people of the U.S.) the threat of destruction in the form of thousands upon thousands of nuclear weapons, as well as many other weapons of mass destruction, known and unknown. They hypocritically accuse others of "terrorism," and seek to deny others the ability to acquire such weapons while asserting their own "right" to massively stockpile and brandish them, even refusing to disclaim the "right" to use them in a "first strike," a preemptive war against their enemies.
These weapons have no conceivable "defensive" purpose. They are designed for the purpose of incinerating entire cities, not targeting opposing armies, but killing the babies in their cribs, the sick in the hospitals, the disabled in their wheelchairs, the children in their schoolrooms, the workers in the factories, the farmers in the field, the families in their homes, the prisoners in their cells, and the shopkeepers in their stores. Their use will destroy the trees and flowers, kill the birds and butterflies, poison the air, soil, and water for generations to come, and cause cancer and birth defects in any life that manages to survive.
The massive use of such weapons in a major war threatens the extinction of all life on this planet. The terms "crime," "war crime," "crime against humanity," and even "genocide" are inadequate to truly describe the enormity of the evil that would result from their widespread use.
The U.S. imperialists have previously shown their callous disregard for life and unconcern about murdering civilians by dropping atomic bombs on two cities in Japan, and are still the only ones to have actually used such terroristic weapons. They did so without even a warning, even though some scientists in the atomic bomb development project suggested that the rulers of Japan first be given a demonstration of the weapons on an uninhabited island rather than dropping them on a populated city. And a fair reading of the historical facts suggests that they may have been motivated by purposes of gaining political advantage over the then socialist Soviet Union, to assure that the U.S. alone would be the occupier of defeated Japan, unlike Europe, where half the continent was ripped from their grasp for a period of time.
The stance of the Draft Proposal Constitution is diametrically opposite. It promises that the proletariat once in power in North America "will not develop, and will not use, nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction." Just as we will not stoop to the use of torture, even against the worst of enemies, we will not "fight" in this manner. The ends do not always justify the means.
Part of taking a stand for humanity as a whole, of placing the interests of the worldwide revolution and transition to communism above the narrow interests of any one country, even a victorious revolution on one continent, is a refusal to wield such inhuman weapons in purported "defense," even if it means setback and temporary defeat.
In the past, the socialist Soviet Union and the socialist People's Republic of China did develop such weapons, and the parties leading those countries sincerely then believed that this was necessary for defensive purposes, and to stay the aggressive hand of the U.S. imperialists. I believe that the stand taken in the Draft Proposal Constitution reflects a more advanced understanding—that this was mistaken.
It would be immoral, in the most profound meaning of the concept, to use weapons targeting whole cities, even in supposed defense. History, and all sane persons, condemn categorically the Nazis who marched 9-year-old children into gas chambers in concentration camps, and will ultimately pronounce the same verdict on those who drop nuclear weapons on cities.
Should imperialist enemies of a newly victorious North American socialist revolution send their nuclear missiles flying to destroy us, which certainly could happen, the socialist government would not respond in kind, compounding the crime and destroying the lives of millions of innocent people. Instead, it would denounce the crime, repeat its determination not to resort to the use of weapons threatening all life everywhere, and call on the people of the country or countries that launched such a horrendous attack to rise up and throw off their own brutal barbarian rulers.
This provision in the Draft Proposal Constitution is a courageous, fearless, principled embodiment of internationalism, of placing the interests of all of humanity, and of the worldwide revolutionary process first. The RCP should be proud of raising the bright red banner of revolution in this manner, of setting a moral and political standard higher than has ever been strived for before.
Many other provisions in the Proposed Draft Constitution deserve to be discussed in detail, and I hope they will be. But this provision should be singled out and emphasized as something that almost everyone can and should rally around.
With revolutionary greetings!
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