Part Three

INTERVIEW WITH BOB AVAKIAN

MIGRATION AND REFUGEES

The following consists of questions that were posed for an interview with Bob Avakian, communist theoretician, author of the New Communism, and Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Six questions were posed for this interview; they are indicated with “Interviewer,” and these questions have been boldfaced, while the responses by Bob Avakian are indicated with the initials BA. These questions were posed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the events that followed; the responses by Bob Avakian were completed shortly after the start of the war set in motion by this invasion.

At the beginning there are some introductory comments by the interviewer, with a response from Bob Avakian. And then the specific questions and answers follow.

This interview is being published here in “serialized” form, with a segment posted on revcom.us each week (seven segments in all), beginning with the general introductory comments by the interviewer and the response by Bob Avakian, and then the six specific questions and Bob Avakian’s answers.

(The numbers, within parentheses, in the questions are references, first, to the year of publication [2016] of the book by Bob Avakian, The New Communism, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, and then to page numbers in that book.)

The full text of this Interview is available here.

"INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS" were previously published as Part 1 of this series. "CLIMATE CHANGE—CLIMATE JUSTICE" was published as Part 2.

INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS

Interviewer: After reading The New Communism (2016), and thinking about issues that in only five years’ time have manifested more severely, as spotlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, calling even more urgently for changes to the “system that is the fundamental source of much misery and torment in the world” (8), there are several topics—climate, migration, press freedom, labor-and-supply chain, class, and human rights—that I wonder if you would be willing to speak on. I’ll enumerate below.

BA: Before turning to the specific questions you pose, which are serious and substantial, touching on important and urgent developments in the world, I wanted to make a few brief overall observations, based on my reading of these questions. The answers to these questions are, on the one hand, simple and basic, and on the other hand complex: simple and basic in the sense that the problems involved can be solved—and can only be solved—with a revolution and a radically different system, a socialist system aiming for the final goal of a communist world; and complex in that actually making this revolution, and then achieving the transformations that this radically new system will make possible, will require working and struggling through some difficult and at times intense contradictions. In my responses here I will do my best to provide answers that speak to the essential matters involved, while referring to works which provide more extensive discussion of what is raised in these questions. In particular, I refer the reader to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored. This Constitution was written with the future in mind—as a guiding set of objectives, principles, and concrete provisions for a socialist society brought into being through the overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist system that now rules in this country and dominates the world as a whole. In my responses to the questions posed for this interview, I have quoted fairly extensively from this Constitution, as it provides important answers, in a concentrated way, to much that is raised in these questions.

Very relevant as well, particularly in regard to the socialist economy and its interaction with the larger environment, is the article “Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development.” Also, in addition to the book The New Communism, another work of mine, Breakthroughs, The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, is relevant as background to, and in terms of further elaboration on, the answers to important questions posed in this interview. And a recent major work of mine analyzes in depth why an actual revolution could be possible in the U.S. itself, amidst the acute and intensifying contradictions that mark this society, and the world as a whole, and how this revolution could be carried out—a revolution that would make possible the kinds of profound changes discussed in this interview. (This work—Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed, A Necessary Foundation, A Basic Roadmap For This Revolution—was written before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the further intensification of contradictions between Russian imperialism and American imperialism/NATO that has accompanied this war, with the heightened danger of direct military conflict between them; but this work provides essential analysis of the underlying and driving forces of the major conflicts in this country and the larger world, and their possible positive resolution through revolution.) These works, as well as the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—and ongoing analysis of the war in Ukraine and other major world events—are available at revcom.us.

The New Communism—both the book and the overall method and approach—is mentioned a number of times in the course of this interview, in both the questions and my responses, and although this is not the place to extensively discuss the principles and methods of the new communism, it does seem relevant and appropriate to indicate what is at its core: The new communism represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this; and what is most fundamental and essential in the new communism is the further development and synthesis of communism as a scientific method and approach, and the more consistent application of this scientific method and approach to reality in general and in particular the revolutionary struggle to overthrow and uproot all systems and relations of exploitation and oppression and advance to a communist world. This method and approach underlies and informs all the core elements and essential components of this new communism.

A concentrated expression of this is the basic orientation and approach of scientifically seeking the truth and pursuing the truth wherever it leads, including with regard to the history of the communist movement, in terms not only of its principal aspect—its very real, genuinely historic achievements—but also, secondarily but importantly, the truth about its real, and at times even grievous errors (what I have referred to as “truths that make us cringe”).

A crucial extension of this is the principle, discussed in a number of works of mine, including Breakthroughs, that

the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justifies the means.” It is a bedrock principle of the new communism that the “means” of this movement must flow from and be consistent with the fundamental “ends” of abolishing all exploitation and oppression through revolution led on a scientific basis.

It is this basic orientation, method, and approach that I have applied to the discussion of the important questions raised in this interview.

Finally, by way of introduction, I wish to thank others who have read the questions posed for this interview and offered helpful observations in this regard, and in particular Raymond Lotta, who provided considerable valuable commentary.

MIGRATION AND REFUGEES

Interviewer: In addition to the mass migration triggered by war and conflict, climate chaos is a major push factor; and yet there are no real international laws or policies to address climate refugees.

How would a new communism factor in migrants and refugees?

BA: Imperialism has everything to do with the larger “refugee crisis”: the U.S. propping up brutally repressive regimes and sponsoring “death squads” in its so-called “backyard” in Central America; imperialist agribusiness and U.S.-engineered trade agreements like NAFTA ruining subsistence agriculture; U.S.-led invasions and occupations, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, that have decimated and destabilized society and economy; imperialist rivalry in Syria and Libya. And now there is the Russian invasion of Ukraine, giving rise to millions of Ukrainian refugees—a war also marked by the growing involvement of the U.S. and its “allies” in arming and otherwise aiding Ukraine’s military, and the increasing danger of a direct military confrontation between the U.S./NATO and Russia, with potentially catastrophic consequences posing an existential threat to humanity.

It is projected that over the next 30 years, some 200 million “climate refugees” will be fleeing extreme weather events and ongoing environmental degradation. Some eight million people currently suffer from food insecurity in the “dry corridor” that stretches from southern Mexico through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

The imperialists have no answer to this, other than more horror: brutal apprehensions, detention camps of unspeakable misery and cruelty, family separations, border enforcement that spawns migrant smuggling rings that morph into trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation.

You are absolutely right that there are no international laws and protections that address this, that is, in any seriously humanitarian way. The laws in force are the laws of the imperialist dominators of the world: regulating and militarizing borders to safeguard imperial interests, and super-exploiting immigrants that do cross into the imperialist heartlands and are forced to “live in the shadows” without rights. It is a statement of our times that the U.S.-Mexico border and the Mediterranean have become burial grounds for migrants and refugees, that refugee camps become recruiting grounds for the global “sex trade.”

The chauvinist scapegoating, targeting, and genocidal program aimed at immigrants has been a central rallying point of the fascist movement and the Trump/Pence fascist regime in the U.S. (and similar fascist forces in other countries). The rise in the number of people uprooted from Third World countries who have emigrated into the U.S. and countries in Europe—in many cases bringing with them religious traditions and other significant cultural expressions which are different from what has been the dominant, and in some cases effectively the singular, “traditional culture”—has been seized on by fascists to promote xenophobia as a major element and driving force of growing fascist movements.

In opposition to all this, as articulated in the Constitution I have authored:

The orientation of the New Socialist Republic in North America is to welcome immigrants from all over the world who have a sincere desire to contribute to the goals and objectives of this Republic, as set forth in this Constitution and in laws and policies which are established and enacted in accordance with this Constitution. [Article II, Section 3,H]

And here, too, concrete policies are spelled out which give life to this basic orientation.

Of course, the severe and increasingly desperate conditions of masses of people who are, and increasingly will be, forced to migrate not only within countries but across the globe, cannot be solved solely by the policies and actions of any particular country, even the liberating society envisioned in this Constitution. This is another important dimension of why the fundamental orientation of the new communism, and of the socialist society it is aiming to bring into being through revolution, is internationalist, and advancing the revolutionary struggle against the rule of capitalist imperialism, and all oppressive forces, throughout the world, must be the most basic orientation of that new society. And this fundamental orientation is not, and must not be, merely proclaimed but actually given life in the practical policies and actions of revolutionary forces and the radically new and emancipating society they are fighting to bring into being. At the same time once again, revolution in this country, through the overthrow of this most powerful capitalist-imperialist ruling class, will strike a tremendous blow and provide inspiration for the billions of bitterly oppressed people in the world and all those, everywhere, who hunger for a world without the rule of exploiters and oppressors and the tremendous suffering they inflict on the masses of humanity and the existential threat their system poses to the future of humanity.

Bob Avakian

 

BOB AVAKIAN:
A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Learn more about Bob Avakian and the new communism
The New Communism

 

Read the book online
The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation
Read excerpts from the book
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America (Draft Proposal) Authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA   

Read the book online
Authored by Bob Avakian.
A concrete and visionary blueprint for a radically different society.
Breakthroughs

 

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From Insight Press
insight-press.com
Available online at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other major retailers
(EPUB, MOBI, PDF)
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