Revolution #246, September 25, 2011
At Harvard: Making a Big Splash with the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
With an op-ed piece published in the September 22 Harvard Crimson and an Open Letter to the Harvard community, Raymond Lotta is kicking off a major effort to create a big splash at key college campuses around the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
Lotta and others are at Harvard this weekend (September 24-25) to call out a conference co-sponsored by Harvard Law School and the Tea Party Patriots. The conference is about amending the U.S. Constitution. Lotta's open letter challenges progressive people attending this conference to reach forward to a different Constitution, to a different world, to a different future—rather than reaching back and trying to make something good of the U.S. Constitution and the capitalist-imperialist system that have only meant unending misery for humanity.
Revolution Books in Cambridge is helping to organize and involve people in mass leafleting, selling the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), getting Bob Avakian's BAsics out, going into dorms and stirring discussion. Already, controversy is breaking out in the Harvard Crimson in response to Lotta's op-ed. People wanting to help out this weekend and next week should contact Revolution Books at email@example.com, or leave a message at (617) 492-5443.
At Harvard and elsewhere over the next few months, Lotta will be entering into public debates, giving talks, engaging in discussions with students and professors, taking part in high-profile dialogues, and going to the media. The theme is: "A world of misery is coming apart…capitalism is a horror and failure…but there is an emancipatory and viable alternative."
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA is that very concrete alternative; it is an inspiring application of Bob Avakian's new synthesis of communism. And it must be impacting the intellectual-political scene big time.
Below is Lotta's Open Letter to the Harvard community:
An Open Letter from Raymond Lotta to the Harvard Campus Community
The U.S. Constitution: An Exploiters' Vision of Freedom Vs.
The Constitution for a Viable and Liberating Alternative
A disturbing conference is taking place this weekend. It is called the Conference on the Constitutional Convention. Harvard Law School and the liberal Fix Congress First are joining forces with the Tea Party Patriots to weigh the merits of a constitutional convention, because "democracy in America is stalled."
Under the rubric of dialogue and debate between the "Left" and Right about amending the U.S. Constitution, this conference will further legitimate the reactionary Tea Party movement. I'm talking about flag-waving, angry mobs in Arizona, overwhelmingly white, threatening immigrants…the Muslim-bashing mobilizations in New York City against a "ground zero mosque"…the theocratic outrage about the "removal of God from the public square"…the racist-encoded pronouncements in defense of "states' rights."
To Lawrence Lessig, the director of a Harvard center for ethics, I pose the question: how can you lay claim to ethical concern and act in concert with a proto-fascist movement?
1) The stated purpose of this weekend conference is "to discuss the advisability and feasibility of organizing towards a Constitutional Convention," because "our Republic does not work as our Framers intended." OK, let's go to "original intent"…
The U.S. Constitution upheld and institutionalized slavery. Its framers were representatives of the two dominant classes in the new republic: the slave-owners and the rising capitalist class of merchants and small manufacturers. The Constitution enabled these two dominant classes to accumulate wealth on the backs of the slaves and the workers, and to continue to exterminate the original Native American population.
I challenge the sponsors of this conference to dispute this simple and basic truth from Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA: "There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery."
2) The call for this conference states that "special interests" have "captured government." This is profoundly wrong.
- The U.S. government is a key part of a repressive capitalist state power. It has functioned consistently to serve the expansion and consolidation of a national market and to protect a property rights system based on the control of the means of producing wealth by a small capitalist class that exploits wage laborers.
- This state power has functioned consistently to serve the rise and extension of a global empire that rests on exploitation, plunder, and war: from the theft of land from Mexico…to the annexation of Puerto Rico and the occupation of the Philippines…to Vietnam…to Iraq and Afghanistan.
These are not "special interests" at work, but a system of capitalism-imperialism. Part of the "genius" of the U.S. Constitution is that it is a charter that appears to treat everyone the same while concealing and reinforcing the profound inequalities, disparities, and class divisions at the heart of the capitalist economic, social and political system.
I challenge any of the speakers at this conference to debate the following proposition: A Constitution that protects the right of any corporation to exploit and lay off workers, while denying the basic right to eat, is economically, socially, and morally bankrupt.
3) The call for this Conference speaks of "inertia" in Congress and forces that are "blocking change."
Inertia? The system is working quite effectively in funding America's imperial wars and sanctioning rendition, torture, and domestic spying. There's no logjam in Congress when it comes to imposing massive spending cuts that will hurt the poor and people of color the most. No gridlock when it comes to enforcing a legal-penal system that has put 1 of 9 young Black men in prison—based on a racist "war on drugs," unconstitutional "stop and frisk" laws, and unequal sentencing.
A WORLD OF MISERY IS COMING APART, A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE
The U.S. is waging unjust imperial wars. The ecosystems of the planet are endangered. Here we are: the know-how and technology exist to produce enough food for everyone on the planet; meanwhile close to 1 billion go hungry. Capitalism is a horror and a failure.
But a far better world is possible…and the vision and viable plan for what a new revolutionary society could be is contained in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (available at http://revcom.us/socialistconstitution/). On the basis of making revolution, this is what will be forged:
- A different kind of state power that makes common cause with—not wars against—the oppressed of the world.
- An economy and society based on what humanity needs and geared to protecting the ecosystems of the planet.
- A government that mobilizes people to uproot the legacies of the oppression of minority nationalities and women.
- A society working to overcome the great division between those who work in the realm of ideas and those who mainly work with their hands and are excluded from enjoying the life of the mind. A society of unprecedented intellectual ferment and critical thinking, with a vibrant culture.
- A system of governance that empowers the great majority to take responsibility for the direction of society, that promotes an ethos of cooperation, that protects and expands the rights of the people in a whole other way than the exploiters' Bill of Rights, and where dissent flourishes.
This is not only a vision and plan for a better society, but for a society that is in motion towards a whole other world without oppression or exploitation…towards a future where people could finally live as human beings. This is a vision grounded in and made possible because there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward by Bob Avakian.
Raymond Lotta and others are in Boston to stir discussion and debate about this new Constitution.
For more information contact Revolution Books, Cambridge • firstname.lastname@example.org • 617.492.5443.
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