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The Overturning of the Chevron Doctrine: Supreme Court’s Fascist Rampage Continues

Woman holds two bottles of contaminated Flint water.

 

Flint, Michigan water crisis in 2015. Overturning the Chevron doctrine will very likely mean much more of this and worse.    Photo: AP

Last Friday, the fascist-controlled U.S. Supreme Court overturned a legal principle established in 1984, known as “the Chevron doctrine.” And just like that, hundreds of federal regulatory agencies lost the power to effectively regulate.

This will, very immediately, give rise to disastrous effects in regard to the environment and to health care in particular—at a time when the environment is already being rapidly destroyed and when health care for the masses is already terrible.

Regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission were set up by Congress. Their purpose was to protect society from some of the most disastrous and disruptive effects of capitalism’s number one law: profit above all else. These agencies were supposed to curb the worst abuses of industries dumping toxic waste in rivers or chicken factories having bad health and safety regulations.

What the Environmental Protection Agency Did and Why Even This Is Now Being Ripped Away

For example, in 1974 Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act requiring the EPA determine what level of chemicals in the drinking water was unsafe. The actual law doesn’t list all the thousands of toxic chemicals that were being dumped in lakes and rivers by the companies that were doing the polluting. Nor could Congress know what level of each chemical was unsafe. Those questions were left to the EPA staff of scientists and experts who are capable of figuring it out. 

EPA set a limit of 2 parts per billion of mercury in drinking water. Under the old (Chevron) rules, the courts could not change that, for the logical reason that judges aren’t biochemists.

To be clear, even in the most “enlightened” version of capitalism-imperialism, real social needs like people’s health care, a vital natural environment, and so on are routinely ignored and violated. But this decision, in line with the fascist remaking of society overall, rips away most of the few and pitiful measures that had been taken. Scientific knowledge is pushed aside in favor of a “regulation” that is more “acceptable” to anti-science Christian fascists who want to force people to put everything in the hands of a non-existent god or capitalists who think any regulation that gets in the way of their unchecked profit needs to be gotten rid of. These include things like the availability of the abortion pill, the safety of air travel, and any environmental protections. We can’t allow ourselves to be forced to choose between bad and worse; we need a whole new way to live.

We Don’t Need to Live Like This

This ruling is both an attack and a major leap in the ripping apart of the “normal” way things have been ruled under this system... and that “normal” is not coming back. A “normal” that still left the basic needs of people to a profit-driven system that ultimately treats the masses of people and the precious resources of our planet as things to be plundered and exploited. The answer is not to try to cling to what was, but to seize on the splits throughout society to bring into being the forces and the situation required to make a revolution to bring into being a radically different and far better system. We Need and We Demand, A Whole New Way to Live, A Fundamentally Different System lays out what’s possible with this new system. On the basis of a whole different economy geared to meeting the needs of the people, and working to repair the environmental destruction to the greatest degree possible, a whole different way of living is possible.

Take health care as one major example: 

Health Care to Serve the People

Health care will not be oriented (and distorted) to make profit for big medical and pharmaceutical corporations, with the result that great numbers of people cannot afford decent health care under the present system. Such corporations will no longer exist—they will be replaced by government-funded health care. The purpose of health care will be to serve the people and continually develop and apply the science of medicine to meet the medical and health needs of people in society as a whole, in a way that is affordable for the masses of people, with the goal of finally making free, high-quality health care available for all.

“We Need and We Demand” closes with this:

All this is not just a dream, or a wish—it is what is possible and necessary in the interests of the masses of people in this country and the great majority of humanity, and for the future of humanity as a whole.

All this is why there is an urgent need, and we boldly dare to demand—and we call on all those who hate injustice and hunger for a society and a world where people can fully thrive and give the fullest expression to their humanity, to join in making this the demand of millions and tens of millions—a demand which can finally be made a reality through the fearless, determined struggle of those millions and tens of millions:

The Existing Capitalist-Imperialist System And Institutions Of Government In This Country Must Be Abolished And Dismantled—And Replaced By A New, Socialist System Based On The CONSTITUTION FOR THE NEW SOCIALIST REPUBLIC IN NORTH AMERICA.

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War.

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

The website revcom.us follows and applies that leadership and is essential to all this. We post new materials from BA and curate his whole body of work. We apply the science he’s developed to analyze and expose every key event in society, every week. Revcom.us posts BA’s timely leadership for the revcoms (revolutionary communists), including his social media posts which break this down for people every week and sometimes more. We act as a guiding and connecting hub for the growing revcom movement nationwide: not just showing what’s being done, but going into what’s right and what’s wrong and rapidly learning—and recruiting new people into what has to be a rapidly growing force.

Put it this way: there will be no revolution unless this website not only “keeps going” but goes up to a whole different level!

So what should you give to make 2024 our year—a year of revolution?
Everything you possibly can!
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