Bob Avakian on the Question of the Fight Around Abortion

For several decades, from the 1980s to the present, revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA) has been pointing to the deadly seriousness of the Christian fascist attacks on women’s right to abortion (as well as birth control)—and deepening scientific analysis of what is giving rise to this, its implications, and what is needed to fight in the interests of humanity.

Here are several key quotes from BA around this. Revcom.us will be posting further quotes from BA in the coming days.

Over the past several decades in the U.S. there have been profound changes in the situation of women and the relations within the family. In only one of ten families is there the “model” situation where the husband is the “sole breadwinner” and the wife a totally dependent “homemaker.” With these economic changes have come significant changes in attitudes and expectations—and very significant strains not only on the fabric of the family but of social relations more broadly.... The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances—this is a powderkeg in the U.S. today. It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms and through extremely violent means. The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement.

(First published in 1985 and cited in a number of works by BA since then.)

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...around the crucial and pivotal issue of abortion, many liberals—and in this they are “led” by the likes of the Clintons—promote the idea of seeking “common ground” with the Christian Fascists, with arguments like: “We can all agree that it is desirable to limit the number of abortions and make abortion rare, so let us unite together to make sure that birth control is widely and easily available.” Yet experience has already shown that the Christian Fascists are determined to eliminate not only abortion but birth control as well, and that such pleas for “common ground” only make them more fanatical in seeking to do away with both....

And, as their determination to eliminate birth control, along with abortion, makes clear, what lies at the heart of the issue of abortion, and of the Christian Fascists’ unrelenting attempt to make it illegal, is not the killing of babies (which is scientifically wrong in the first place) but is the chaining of women in oppressive relations in which their essential role is reduced to that of being the property of men and the breeders of their children, according to “god’s plan” and the dictates of theocratic interpreters of “god’s will.”

The fact is that you are not going to defeat this Christian Fascist force—everything it represents and everything bound up with it—and you are not going to win significant numbers of people away from it, without taking it on in a very direct and forceful way—and, yes, offending people. In the fullest sense, it is necessary to challenge this movement, and those who are now a part of it, fundamentally and foundationally, in the context of building a movement that is not only opposed to this Christian Fascism but is increasingly being won to the objective of overturning and transforming society as a whole and uprooting all the outmoded, exploitative relations which this Christian Fascist movement is seeking to reinforce in extremely oppressive and repressive forms.

(From Away with All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, 2008, pp. 181-183)

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It has been pointed out that, with the changing nature of the economy, along with large numbers of women working in lower tier, lower paid jobs, you have a lot more women professionals, a lot more women in the middle class generally who are themselves working, many more women college graduates, and so on. Things like this are vastly different than a few decades ago. And this, too, has its very contradictory effects—all this personal empowerment, and “let me start up my entrepreneurial thing, or let me get into a business executive position and learn how to be just as cutthroat as the men,” on the one side. But, on the other side, this is clashing up against the traditional relations, and in this country, too, it is calling forth, or is a major factor in calling forth, all this fundamentalist madness, in this case Christian Fascist fundamentalism. For example, the whole assault on the right to abortion. And speaking of this, there is something we really should emphasize: These dark ages fanatics are not just going after abortion, they are moving very directly now in opposition to birth control as well. As kind of an aside, but an important one, this really illustrates what’s actually involved here. This point has been made before, but I want to really drive it home, that this opposition to birth control, as well as abortion, sharply illustrates how much this is about the subjugation of women and treating them as breeding machines, as well as sex objects, and how it’s not at all about “the killing of babies.”

(From THE NEW COMMUNISM, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, 2016)

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THIS IS A RARE TIME WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE— by Bob Avakian

 

It is the responsibility of everyone who recognizes the profound need for revolution—and the rare possibility in a time like this to actually make revolution—to wage a tireless, and at times fierce, struggle to win more and more people to make a radical rupture with the confining and degrading terms of this system, and to take up, and act on, the revolutionary orientation and motivation that is put forward in the “Declaration and Call.”

Instead of “staying in your lane,” and “going for self,” while this system is moving to even more decisively crush any hope for a world worth living in, people need to be looking at the bigger picture, focusing on the greater interests of humanity and the possibility for a far better world—and acting to make this a reality.

Instead of finding excuses to go along with the way things have been, standing apart from (or even bad-mouthing) the revolution, people need to get with this revolution, and not throw away the rare opportunity to be part of bringing something much better into being.

Instead of lashing out with individual acts of frustration, or attempts to take on this system with small, isolated forces that have no chance of succeeding, people need to pour their anger, and their hatred for injustice, into building a movement of millions that could have a real chance to defeat this system and make a real revolution.

Instead of fighting and killing each other, what people need to be doing now is uniting to defend each other—opposing all unjust violence, not launching attacks on anyone but at the same time not allowing the police or “civilian” fascist thugs to wantonly brutalize and murder people. And people need to do this as part of building up the forces for revolution.

Instead of snarking and sniping at each other, and being divided by “identities,” people should be working to unite everyone, from every part of society, who can be united in the fight against oppression and injustice, with the goal of putting an end to this system that is the source of this oppression and injustice.

Instead of being a tail on the Democratic donkey—with its attempt to keep this monstrous system going, and to deal with the growing fascist danger, by relying on the “normal procedures” of this system and doomed efforts to “heal the divisions” that are deepening every day—people need to work for the revolution that is urgently needed, and deal with the fascist danger as part of doing that.

(From THIS IS A RARE TIME WHEN REVOLUTION BECOMES POSSIBLE—WHY THAT IS SO, AND HOW TO SEIZE ON THIS RARE OPPORTUNITY, July 2021)

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Here is another very important point from the “Declaration and Call”:

These days there is a lot of talk about another civil war, especially from fascists, in government and the broader society, who think they could just carry out a one-sided slaughter of those they hate, including Black people and other people of color, “illegal immigrants,” “uppity women” and those who don’t conform to “traditional” sexual and gender relations and “norms.” This situation needs to be radically changed, to where there are masses of people prepared to defeat these fascists and to do so as part of getting rid of this whole system, which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates.

What we need is “repolarization for revolution”—making real revolution an active and increasingly powerful force of first thousands, and then millions, of people organized to work for and win more and more people to this revolution—radically changing the “terrain” on which the revolution will be fought.

(From FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):
A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION
)

New Year's Statement by Bob Avakian

 

Cover of A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution