Posts by issue number/Posteos por número de la edición

 

Articles in this issue (scroll down or click to read article below):

  • A Guide to This Issue of Revolution What You Need to Know and Engage This Week  About the World and Revolution: In This Issue October 3, 2022
  • 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

  • Organizing for an Actual Revolution: 7 Key Points
  • BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER— A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

    Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

  • Translated into English, by revcom.us, from the blog Aurora Roja, of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico:

    REVOLUTIONARY HOPE

    New Possibilities Are Opening Up for Liberatory Revolution In the Midst of Acute Crises and Upheavals of the Capitalist System — It Is Urgent to Organize the Fight For Revolution

    Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

  • Bob Avakian and the New Communism on Internationalism
  • Letters in Support of Bob Avakian, September 12

    "I love—yes, love—Bob Avakian and what he has created for humanity and the possibility of forging a whole new world."
  • Escalating Confrontations, Intensifying Threats: Biden/Putin Faceoff Brings World to the Threshold of Nuclear War
  • The High Stakes in Ukraine, the Threat of Nuclear War, and the Interests of Humanity: 4 Basic Points
  • Shameless American Chauvinism: “Anti-Authoritarianism” as a “Cover” for Supporting U.S. Imperialism
  • UKRAINE: WORLD WAR 3  IS THE REAL DANGER,  NOT A REPEAT OF WORLD WAR 2
  • WORLD WAR 3 AND DANGEROUS IDIOCY
  • Longer Version—The Fuller Picture:

    “LEGIT GANGSTERS”— GANGSTERS WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS
  • From the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist: Revolution Nothing Less!

    Journal of Fire No. 131
    October, 2022

  • Defying Murderous Islamic Republic Repression, Courageous Protest and Resistance Continues Across Iran U.S. Imperialists Maneuver to Advance THEIR Agenda in Fraught Situation
  • The Republican Party Is Fascist The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!

    Republicans, Democrats and U.S. Crimes Against Humanity: A Chart

  • THE WOMEN OF IRAN HAVE STOOD UP! THE PEOPLE OF IRAN ARE RAISING THEIR HEADS AND FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE BATONS AND BULLETS OF THE IRANIAN REGIME! WE NEED TO STAND WITH AND SUPPORT THEM IN THEIR STRUGGLE! UNLEASH THE FURY OF WOMEN AS A MIGHTY FORCE FOR R

    From the Revcoms

  • From the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW (IEC):

    Monitor Burn The Cage Instagram and Twitter for Real Time Updates on the Rapidly Unfolding Events at Evin Prison in Iran
  • Sights and Sounds:

    Worldwide Protests in Support of Heroic Uprising in Iran
  • Thousands Take to the Streets Across the U.S. to Protest the Murder of Mahsa Amini and Support the Protests in Iran
  • From a Prisoner:

    On Reading “‘Industrialization’ of Sexual Exploitation…” and Doing Revolutionary Work Behind Bars
  • Video:

    Bob Avakian: Free Yourself from the GTF! The Great Tautological Fallacy
  • “Break All the Chains!” Alabama Prisoners “Strike for Human Dignity and Rights”
  • Interview with Diyawn Caldwell, president of Both Sides of the Wall: “We were just tired, fed up, at the treatment [the prisoners] were receiving and the conditions”
  • From a Reader:

    Oklahoma Teacher Stands Up to Book Banning, Suppression, and Threats to Her Life
  • Video:

    U.S. vs. Russia & China — NOT "Democracy VS Autocracy" BUT Dangerous Imperialist Rivalry
  • Video:

    Raymond Lotta on Biden's Imperialist Climate Bill—Part 3
  • Video:

    Sunsara Taylor & Andy Zee on the Uprising in Iran After the Murder of Mahsa Amini: 3 Key Points
  • Video:

    Sunsara Taylor on: Learning About Bill Russell, Reflecting on Bob Avakian’s Leadership
  • ARTICLE:

    A Guide to This Issue of Revolution

    What You Need to Know and Engage This Week 
    About the World and Revolution:

    In This Issue October 3, 2022

    Ratcheting Tensions, Raging Struggle and the Need for Revolutionary Leadership

    The past week was again tumultuous, in different ways and in different parts of the world.

    The key coverage this week focuses on the war in Ukraine. Two new articles—Escalating Confrontations, Intensifying Threats: Biden/Putin Faceoff Brings World to the Threshold of Nuclear War and The High Stakes in Ukraine, the Threat of Nuclear War, and the Interests of Humanity: 4 Basic Pointssum up how events around the Ukraine war this week have significantly upped the danger of nuclear war—of World War 3—and where the interests of the people lie. At the same time, we especially want to call your attention to a selection of works from Bob Avakian, BA, on this war, originally posted last spring, that we are reposting this week. These articles from Bob Avakian slice through the “fog of war” to cut to the heart of what is going on.  Much of what BA points to and analyzes in these articles has become accentuated and even more relevant since the time of their original publication. Read these articles from BA. Think about—and try to apply—the method he uses to analyze what is going on there. And grapple together about how to move on this whole situation in ways that contribute to revolution and the emancipation of all humanity.

    The war over Ukraine is a battle between oppressors. In Iran, on the other hand, the past two weeks have witnessed an inspiring example of the people rising up against oppression. We are publishing an important new statement from the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), Revolution Nothing Less, which deserves to be carefully read and gotten out far and wide; an update of the struggle in Iran, Defying Murderous Islamic Republic Repression, Courageous Protest and Resistance Continues Across Iran: U.S. Imperialists Maneuver to Advance THEIR Agenda in Fraught Situation; a report and statement from the International Emergency Committee to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners NOW, and reports from the worldwide day of solidarity with Iran held on the weekend of October 1-2 (here and here).

    It is truly inspiring when people rise up with the determination and heroism shown by the people of Iran these past few weeks. At the same time, as the first resolution from the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA states:

    Where there is oppression, there will be resistance—the masses of people will continually rise up against their conditions of oppression and those who enforce this oppression. But, without the necessary scientific theory and leadership, the struggle of the oppressed will be contained, and remain confined, within the system which is the source of oppression, and the horrors to which the masses are subjected will go on, and on. The new synthesis [of communism] and the leadership of Bob Avakian represents and embodies the scientific understanding and approach the masses of the oppressed need to make the revolution they need—a revolution whose ultimate goal is a communist world—to emancipate themselves and ultimately humanity as a whole.

    In that light, it’s important to emphasize a point from the Revcom statement on Iran:

    This mass uprising opens up real possibilities for overthrowing the theocratic regime, and it sharply raises the question to millions of what it will take to finally get freeIt is extremely positive, precious and favorable for the people of Iran and for the world that at such a time there exists the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), which bases itself on the new communism of Bob Avakian. The CPI (MLM)  is fighting, in their words, “the struggle to eradicate every form of oppression and exploitation through communist revolution and the establishment of the New Socialist Republic of Iran.” 

    For this reason, it remains of extreme importance to get the thinking of those who have taken up this new communism, and the new communism more generally, out to masses everywhere who are stepping forward to support this struggle. And this, again, underscores the the importance of digging into and spreading to others the new statement from the comrades in Iran, “Revolution Nothing Less!”

    This issue also points to the potential of prisoners to contribute to the process of revolution. America far outdistances every country in the world for the sheer numbers and the percentage of “its” people it throws into its dungeons—with a hugely disproportionate number of those prisoners being Black, Latino or Native. The article and interview reporting on the current Alabama prisoners’ strike gives a sense of this. The letter from a prisoner in Virginia who discusses his views on Raymond Lotta’s extremely important piece “Industrialization’ of Sexual Exploitation, Imperialist Globalization, and the Descent into Hell and his work to spread revolutionary ideas within prison gives a different dimension of the potential. You can support getting Revolution and the new communism to prisoners by donating to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund or making your own efforts to connect BA’s revolutionary work and method with those inside the walls—or both.

    Also this week, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights participated in the September 28 International Day of Access to Safe and Legal AbortionGo to the RiseUp4AbortionRights.org website to see a report of what happened that day. The contradiction around the fascist attempts to outlaw abortion—the seriousness of which was only driven home for many millions with the Supreme Court decision overturning the constitutional right to abortion—is as sharp as it was in the winter and spring and, in many ways, the struggle around it has only just begun.

    Finally, a report—a collaborative effort from a reader in Oklahoma and a member of the revcom.us staff—on the struggle in that state over the right of students to read, focusing around fascist attempts to suppress school library books that not only challenge the racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant cornerstones of the fascists but just encourage critical thought; and to attack the teachers who won’t go along with this fascist stuff. We encourage correspondence from everyone on similar developments or struggles where you live.

    We began this Guide with the key events around Ukraine and Iran.  These explosive situations occur at a rare time where the rulers of the US are locked in an irreconcilable conflict over how to rule this capitalist imperialist-society.  This “rare time” magnifies the political explosiveness of what are already extremely sharp and unpredictable clashes.  In this context, the following from 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 by Bob Avakian stands out all the more sharply:

    This rare situation, with the deepening and sharpening conflicts among the ruling powers, and in the society overall, provides a stronger basis and greater openings to break the hold of this system over masses of people.

    It is extremely important to deeply understand this:

    As this situation develops, and the ruling class is more and more unable to rule in the old way, society and daily life for masses of people, from different parts of society, can become increasingly unsettled and chaotic, with frequent “disruptions” of the “normal” way things have been.

    And as “the normal way” society has been ruled is failing to hold things together—and society is increasingly being ripped apart—this can shake people’s belief that “the way things have always been” is the only way things can be. It can make people more open to questioning—in a real sense it can force people to question—the way things have been, and whether they have to stay that way. And this is all the more likely to happen if the revolutionary forces are out among the people shining a light on the deeper reality of what is happening, and why, and bringing out that there IS an alternative to living this way.

    Be out there this week, shining that light and bring out that alternative!

    ***

    Included in this issue:

    * 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

    * Organizing for an Actual Revolution: 7 Key Points

    * Bob Avakian: A Radically Different Leader—A Whole New Framework for Human Emancipation

    * REVOLUTIONARY HOPE: New Possibilities Are Opening Up for Liberatory Revolution In the Midst of Acute Crisis and Upheavals of the Capitalist System—It Is Urgent to Organize the Fight For Revolution, from the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico (English / Spanish)

    * Bob Avakian and the New Communism on Internationalism

    * Letters/statements in support of Bob Avakian: “I love—yes, love—Bob Avakian and what he has created for humanity and the possibility of forging a whole new world”

    * U.S.-Russia proxy war in Ukraine

    “Legit Gangsters”—Gangsters with Nuclear Weapons (longer version / short version)

    * Struggle in Iran

    * Prisoners in the U.S.

    * Oklahoma Teacher Stands Up to Book Banning, Suppression, and Threats to Her Life

    Sights and Sounds from September 28, International Safe Abortion Day

    * The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show

     

  • ARTICLE:

    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

    In the course of this talk, I will be referring to, and digging further into, key points that are put forward in two very important documents which are featured on our website revcom.us: A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution; and an article of mine, following up on that “Declaration and Call”: This Is A Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible—Why That Is So, And How To Seize On This Rare Opportunity. So, for everyone getting into this talk, everyone who cares about the crucial questions it is speaking to, it is also important to take up (or return to) and get deeply into those documents as well—and to go regularly to revcom.us, and watch the weekly YouTube show Revolution—Nothing Less, both of which sharply illustrate why a real revolution is urgently needed, and is possible, what are the goals of this revolution, and how to be part of building for this revolution. What I will be speaking to here is, as the title says, a necessary foundation and a basic roadmap for this revolution.

    One other point: I am going to say what needs to be said about the way things are, why they are that way, where things are headed, and what needs to be done to radically change this in a positive way—and, as part of that, I am going to bluntly speak some truth that is bound to offend some people. I do this because the stakes in all this are so high, and (to refer to a line from Bob Dylan) the hour is getting late, and there is no time to speak falsely now. But I do this, not out of a sense that people are so deeply caught up in, that they cannot break with, ways of thinking and acting which serve to perpetuate their own oppression and degradation, and that of others as well. No, I am doing this precisely out of the understanding that masses of people not only need to, but can, make a profound break with this—that they can radically change themselves as part of, and in the process of, radically changing the world, in an emancipating way.

    So, let’s get to it.

    Bob Avakian

     

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

    Learn more about Bob Avakian and the new communism
    A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

     

    cover of pamphlet Bob Avakian: This Is A Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible—Why That Is So And How To Seize On This Rare Opportunity

     

    Here is the heart of the matter: Many people—including someone like Martin Luther King—have argued that attempting to carry out a revolution to overthrow this system is suicidal, particularly for Black people in this country—when, in fact, Black people, and masses of other oppressed and exploited people, profoundly and desperately need this revolution. The reality is that such a revolution can succeed, but this is possible, particularly up against powerful ruling forces, like in this country, only in rare times and circumstances. And here is a very important truth: This is one of those rare times and circumstances.

    This rare time must not be wasted, squandered, thrown away. Rather, revolution must be actively prepared for and vigorously, consistently worked for—now, and in an ongoing wayto build up the scientifically oriented and powerfully organized forces for, and to prepare the ground for, this revolution.

    And that is why we revolutionary communists say:

    [E]veryone who can’t stand this world the way it is ... who is sick and tired of so many people being treated as less than human ... who knows that the claim of “liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie ... who is righteously enraged that injustice and inequality go on, and on, and on, despite false promises and honeyed words from people in power (or those seeking power) ... everyone who agonizes about where things are headed and the fact that to be young now means being denied a decent future, or any future at all ... everyone who has ever dreamed about something much better, or even wondered whether that is possible ... everyone who hungers for a world without oppression, exploitation, poverty, and destruction of the environment ... everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to be part of this revolution.

    We’re talking about a real revolution, not playing around with a few changes that leave this system in place and in power, while benefitting only a small number. As the “Declaration and Call” makes very clear:

    A revolution means a force of millions, drawn from many different parts of society and organized for an all-out fight to overthrow this system and replace it with a radically different and much better economic and political system, a socialist system, based on meeting the needs of the people and carrying forward the fight for a communist world where there will finally be an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, oppression, and destruction of the environment that is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. Anything less than this revolution will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution. [Emphasis added here.]

    So let’s get more deeply into why this is one of those rare times and circumstances when this revolution is possible, and what must be done for there to be a real chance for this revolution to actually succeed.

    First, let’s get clear on these BASIC TRUTHS:

    We live under a system—the system of capitalism-imperialism (capitalism is an economic and political system of exploitation and oppression, and imperialism refers to the worldwide nature of this system).

    It is this system which is the basic cause of the tremendous suffering that people, all over the world, are subjected to; and this system poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity, in the way that this system is rapidly destroying the global environment, and in the danger of war between nuclear-armed capitalist-imperialist powers, such as the U.S. and China.

    All this is reality, and no one can escape this reality. Either we radically change it, in a positive way, or everything will be changed in a very negative way.

    To be very clear once more: Changing it in a positive way means making revolution—a real revolution, to overthrow this system of capitalism-imperialism and replace it with a radically different and emancipating system. For it is also a basic truth that: In today’s world, to fundamentally change society, you must seize power—overthrow the existing state power and establish a new state power.

    And here is another very important truth from the “Declaration and Call”:

    We have seen the potential for revolution powerfully demonstrated in the summer of last year (2020) when millions of people, of all races and genders, all over this country, and all around the world, rose up together against racist oppression and police murder. We have seen this potential in the mass outpourings of women, in countries all over the world, refusing to put up with being abused and degraded. This potential is also revealed in the deep distress being expressed, by scientists and millions of ordinary people, about the continually worsening climate crisis and the threat this poses to the future of humanity—a crisis this system cannot solve, but can only make worse.

    As we have also seen, when millions of people do take to the streets—and, especially when they do this not just for a day or so, expressing their feelings and then going home, with things returning quickly to “normal,” but when they do this with real determination and in a sustained way—this can change the “political atmosphere and alignment” in society as a whole, compelling every section of society, and every major ruling institution, to respond to this. To again cite a powerful example, this was the case with the massive uprising in the summer of 2020.

    But, as important as it is, millions taking to the streets, even in a sustained militant way, cannot by itself lead to fundamental change—which can only happen if the system that they are rebelling against is actually brought down.

    There have been many situations in different countries where a huge part of society has rebelled, even taking to the streets for weeks and months, but the ruling institutions, and in particular the police and military, did not “break apart,” and the people were not prepared to take the struggle to the next level—so there was no fundamental change. There have also been disastrous outcomes when people rising up in a mass revolt have mistakenly believed that, simply because their cause is just, the armed forces of the existing system will sympathize and join with them—when in fact those armed forces continued in their role as violent enforcers of the existing system and sooner or later acted to forcefully suppress the people.

    No, the existing oppressive system must be overthrown—the institutions of violent suppression of this system must finally be broken apart, defeated and dismantled by an organized revolutionary force. That is what is necessary for things to go beyond just mass protest, however militant and determined, and become a real revolution.

    Speaking specifically of this country, even in a situation where millions of people are taking to the streets, in a sustained way, in determined rebellion against oppression and injustice, and even with some among this system’s armed forces sympathizing and identifying with this, it is very unlikely that this, in itself, would lead to those armed forces splitting apart and a significant part of them joining with the people rising up in this way. (This is all the more true of the police, whose ranks are filled with hardcore right-wing brutes.)

    It is a fact that one of the objectives of the revolution—and what would be a necessary part of the strategy of the revolutionary forces—would be to win over significant parts of armed forces that start out opposing the revolution. But the possibility of this, and the way in which it could be achieved, would depend on how the revolutionary process actually unfolded.

    Later, toward the end of this talk, I will speak to this more directly, and get into some key aspects of the doctrine and strategic approach that would need to be applied by the revolutionary forces in order to have a real chance to win, when the necessary conditions for the all-out revolutionary fight had been brought into being—including the approach to winning over forces from the opposing side, in the course of that all-out fight. And, as part of that, I will talk about how, in an actual civil war, fought between opposing sections of society, things could develop in such a way that the armed forces that had been the backbone of state power, enforcing the existing capitalist-imperialist system, would split apart in the context of such a civil war—and what would be the implications of that for carrying revolution to a successful outcome.

    But, before that, it is important to get into this fundamental question: What are the necessary conditions for a revolution? In basic terms, they are:

    A crisis in society and government so deep and so disruptive of the “usual way of things,” that those who have ruled over us, for so long, can no longer do so in the “normal” way that people have been conditioned to accept.

    A revolutionary people in the millions and millions, with their “allegiance” to this system broken, and their determination to fight for a more just society greater than their fear of the violent repression of this system.

    An organized revolutionary force—made up of continually growing numbers of people, from among the most oppressed but also from many other parts of society—a force which is grounded in, and is working systematically to apply, the most scientific approach to building for and then carrying out revolution, and which is increasingly looked to by masses of people to lead them to bring about the radical change that is urgently needed.

    To get into this further, let’s start by focusing on the first of these conditions.

    There is some important historical experience to learn from—situations where a ruling class was no longer able to rule in the “normal way” that people had been conditioned to accept, and a real possibility arose of putting an end to the existing system, even one which had been so powerfully entrenched that such a profound change had long seemed impossible. This has happened especially when the ruling class, or a section of the ruling class, of that system no longer believes in, and more or less openly abandons, what had been the “cohering norms”—the regulating set of beliefs and processes—of that system.

    An example of this kind of thing—which involved a significant change, even though it was not brought about by a real revolution—is the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years 1989-91. The Soviet Union was the world’s first socialist state, brought into being through the Russian Revolution of 1917. The truth, however, is that capitalism had actually been restored in the Soviet Union, in the mid-1950s—even as it continued for some time to maintain the façade of “socialism.” But then, in the 1980s, “reforms” were instituted that began to unravel this whole thing, and finally sections of the ruling class abandoned the pretense of socialism, and the country underwent a transformation to an openly capitalist society, dropping even its outward identity as the “USSR” (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The same kind of thing happened in some Eastern European countries that had been under the effective domination of the Soviet Union—countries where there were massive uprisings, the ruling structures split apart, and the result was a change from disguised capitalism to open capitalism—a major change, even if not a real revolution.

    This, again, is part of a more general phenomenon where major change, and even a real revolution, can become possible (or more possible) not simply when there is a deep crisis in society, and not just when the ruling forces are seriously divided, but when they actually split apart, and the old way of ruling can no longer hold. Another example of this kind of thing is the creation of the Soviet Union itself, resulting from the Russian Revolution. This occurred during World War 1, in which millions of Russian people died and the masses of people overall suffered tremendous hardship. In this critical situation, the ruling forces of that country split, resulting first in the overthrow of the long-entrenched rule of absolute monarchs (the Tsars), but with an opening created for a revolution that overthrew the exploiting classes as a whole, including the bourgeois forces that were attempting to consolidate capitalist rule without the Tsars.

    Or, to take another important example, this time from the history of this country: Why did so many Black people (nearly two hundred thousand) join the Union Army fighting against the southern Confederacy during the Civil War in the 1860s? Because the country, and those who ruled it, had split apart, and masses of Black people could sense that, in this situation, there was a real possibility of putting an end to their enslaved condition, which did happen as a result of that Civil War.

    How does this kind of thing apply to this country now? As is becoming more clear every day, there are deep, and continually deepening, divisions not only in this country overall but among the ruling powers of this system. And, as I will get into more fully in a little while, one part of those ruling powers, represented by the Republican Party, no longer believes in or feels bound by what have been the “cohering norms” of “democratic” capitalist rule in this country. This is leading, and will increasingly lead, to further, deepening divisions and bitter clashes throughout society, as well as “at the top.” All the ruling institutions of this system will be increasingly affected by this. The polarization will continue to sharpen, with forces grouped around and led by the Republican Party becoming even more aggressive in insisting on imposing, including by violent means, their vision of what “makes America great,” with all the very real horrors, on top of horrors, that this involves.

    All this in itself will have contradictory effects—some definitely negative, but some positive, or with positive potential. And, as this unfolds, this profound truth will be more and more forcefully demonstrated: The crisis and deep divisions in society can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means.

    With all this, what is urgently needed, what is possible—and what must be actively, tirelessly worked for, in order for there to truly be a positive outcome to all this—is a fundamentally different alignment in the country as a whole: a Repolarization that is favorable for, and brings forward the necessary forces for, Revolution—a real revolution to overthrow this system, and bring into being a radically different and much better system.

    But why, and how, could it be possible to bring about such a repolarization for a real revolution?

    This is because of something that is very different, in a very profound way, from what has been, for generations, the “normal situation” in this country. I spoke to how this has come about, in the following from “Rare Time”:

    Even though “democracy, with liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie, this lie has been crucial for the rulers of this country to keep things together under this system—and especially to keep people who are oppressed under this system believing in the possibility of making this system more just. This is why both ruling class parties generally agreed, for a long time, to work within the same framework for ruling this country—they agreed to accept the results of elections and bring about “the peaceful transfer of power” between the different representatives of this same system, whether Democrat or Republican.

    With changing conditions in this country, and in the world as a whole, over the time since the end of World War 2 (75 years ago), it has been necessary for the ruling class, in order to maintain “order and stability” in this country, to make certain concessions to the struggle against white supremacy, male supremacy, and some other oppressive relations, while at the same time insisting that this is all part of “creating a more perfect union” and “further perfecting the great democracy that has always existed in this country.” This has also been necessary in order for the rulers of this country to continue promoting it as “the leader of the free world,” which they say must remain the dominant power in the world—but which, in reality, is the most oppressive and destructive power, plundering masses of people as well as the earth.

    But a section of the ruling capitalist class, represented by the Republican Party, has all along resisted even these partial concessions to the fight against oppression, and has become convinced that these changes have now gone too far, that they threaten to destroy what has held this country together and enabled it to dominate the world.

    The Republicans have become a fascist party—a party based on open and aggressive white supremacy, male supremacy and other oppressive relations—a party convinced that only it deserves to rule, moving to manipulate elections and suppress votes in order to gain and hold onto power, refusing to accept the outcome of elections it does not win, determined to gut and pervert “the rule of law,” trample on people’s rights, and adopt what amounts to an undisguised capitalist dictatorship, ready to use violence not only against masses of people but also against its rivals in the ruling class.

    These Republicans have mobilized a significant section of people who believe, with an intense, irrational passion, that white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations (as well as unrestrained plunder of the environment) must be firmly upheld and enforced. They have been driven to a state of vicious insanity, embracing all kinds of lunatic conspiracy theories, along with a crazed Christian fundamentalism, as a response to the threat they see to their entitled (or “god-ordained”) position and their insistence that further concessions to the struggle against oppression will destroy what has “made America great.”

    Every day, and in a thousand ways, the reality screams out that there is no living together with this fascist lunacy—and no one should want to! There is no way that any decent person should want to live in the society, and world, that these fascists are determined, that they are willing to kill, to bring into being.

    As I wrote in my New Year’s Statement, this January (2021):

    Biden and the Democrats cannot “bring the country together,” as they falsely claim, because there can be no “reconciliation” with these fascists—whose “grievances” are based on fanatical resentment against any limitation on white supremacy, male supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners), rabid American chauvinism, and the unrestrained plundering of the environment, and are increasingly expressed in literally lunatic terms. There can be no “reconciliation” with this, other than on the terms of these fascists, with all the terrible implications and consequences of that!

    Early in his campaign for president, Biden bragged about how, as a senator, he was able to work with white supremacist, southern segregationists! Now, he is still trying to work with the blatant white supremacists and outright fascists of the Republican Party. But, try as he might, they are not willing to work with him—except on their terms.

    Things are not as they were in the past, and the reality is this: The profound divisions, within the ruling class, and in the society overall, cannot be smoothed over—they are only going to become deeper and sharper, more acute and antagonistic. Here is the fundamental truth that needs to be clearly and deeply understood: These divisions

    cannot be resolved within the framework that has existed, and has held things together, for nearly 150 years, since shortly after the end of the Civil War which led to the abolition of slavery—they cannot be resolved on the basis of the capitalist “democracy” that has been the “normal” means of capitalist rule (dictatorship) for so long.

    And:

    This rare situation, with the deepening and sharpening conflicts among the ruling powers, and in the society overall, provides a stronger basis and greater openings to break the hold of this system over masses of people.

    It is extremely important to deeply understand this:

    As this situation develops, and the ruling class is more and more unable to rule in the old way, society and daily life for masses of people, from different parts of society, can become increasingly unsettled and chaotic, with frequent “disruptions” of the “normal” way things have been.

    And as “the normal way” society has been ruled is failing to hold things together—and society is increasingly being ripped apart—this can shake people’s belief that “the way things have always been” is the only way things can be. It can make people more open to questioning—in a real sense it can force people to question—the way things have been, and whether they have to stay that way. And this is all the more likely to happen if the revolutionary forces are out among the people shining a light on the deeper reality of what is happening, and why, and bringing out that there IS an alternative to living this way.

    This is a crucial part of how a revolutionary situation could be brought into being—a situation where it becomes possible to actually bring down this system.

    On the other hand, “left to itself”—that is, if the current character and dynamics of all this remain on the same course they are now on—this situation, the divisions characterizing it, and the outcome resulting from it are almost certainly going to become even more terribly negative. So, all this must be radically changed, in what is a relatively brief, “compressed” period of time—not just weeks or months, but also not decades. If things have not already fully erupted before then, the scheduled presidential election of 2024 is very likely to be a critical focal point and turning point, through which the fascist Republicans will attempt to gain and lock down power over society, and put an end to any possibility of a future “transfer of power” away from them.

    With the Republicans’ continuation of the Big Lie that the last (2020) presidential election was stolen from Trump, their moves to suppress votes, and their whole orientation that, in any case, with regard to the 2024 presidential election (assuming there is one), the only acceptable outcome is that they are declared and confirmed as the winner—all this has made clear that they will allow no “peaceful transfer of power” in government, unless it results in their coming to power. Growing numbers of fascist-oriented people in this country are prepared to use violence in pursuit of their perverse notion of “making America great again”—and the Republican leadership is ready to resort to this, if they cannot come to power otherwise. Already Republican elected officials, including members of Congress, are whipping up sentiments in favor of such violence and supporting fascist mobs who have engaged in this violence.

    In the situation of the 2020 presidential election, defeating and ousting Trump through that election was possible, and was important to do, as a tactical move to prevent the further consolidation of fascist rule right then. Even with that electoral defeat, however, Trump and his supporters nearly succeeded in pulling off a coup that would have resulted in his remaining in power, in defiance of the outcome of the election and the “peaceful transfer of power” from one section of the ruling class to another. And things have moved, and are continuing to rapidly move, beyond the situation that existed with that 2020 election and in its immediate aftermath.

    Further, this system’s electoral process itself works against the kind of fundamental change that is now urgently needed. Among other things, it lowers people’s horizons, restricting “realistic choices” to what is possible within the confines of this system and conditioning people to view and approach things on the terms of this system. Continuing to vote for Democrats, and attempting, through the electoral process, to prevent a successful Republican-fascist seizure and consolidation of power, will very likely fail, and more fundamentally will contribute to the continuation of things on the disastrous course they are now on, with terrible consequences for the billions of people on this planet—for humanity as a whole.

    As I emphasized in my New Year’s Statement:

    The electoral defeat of the Trump/Pence regime only “buys some time”—both in relation to the imminent danger posed by the fascism this regime represents, and more fundamentally in terms of the potentially existential crisis humanity is increasingly facing as a consequence of being bound to the dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism. But, in essential terms, time is not on the side of the struggle for a better future for humanity.

    Time, and with it the current momentum of things toward a disastrous outcome, is moving on. The time that still does exist must not be squandered in what would, especially now, be meaningless maneuvering within the framework of this system and its elections. This time must be seized, with the necessary urgency, to build toward the only resolution that can avoid that disaster, and wrench something truly positive out of all this: an actual revolution.

    Through the rest of this talk, I am going to speak more fully to what needs to be done in order for there to be the basis to actually make this revolution; and toward the end of this talk, I will turn directly to the basic approach to waging the all-out fight for revolution, with a real chance to win. But here a crucial truth needs to be emphasized: Everything depends on bringing forward a revolutionary people, from among the most bitterly oppressed, and all parts of society, first in the thousands and then in the millions, as a powerful revolutionary force, organized from the start and consistently with a country-wide perspective, impacting all of society and changing the terms of how masses of people see things and how every institution has to respond. Everything must be focused now on actually bringing forward and organizing this revolutionary force.

    The basic way to do this is laid out in the “Declaration and Call.” First of all:

    We need to urgently change the situation where not nearly enough people know about this revolution and are with it. We need to get this revolution, and its leadership, known everywhere. We need to challenge and seriously struggle with people right around us, and all over the country, to do something that, yes, requires real heart and will make a positive difference for real—become part of this revolution, and follow this revolutionary leadership. We need to organize more and more people into the ranks of the revolution.

    So what does it mean to go to work now to organize people into this revolution? As the “Declaration and Call” explains:

    Organizing people into this revolution means reaching out to all sorts of people—not just where there are protests and rebellions against oppression and injustice, but everywhere throughout society—spreading the word about revolution and getting people together (in real life and online) to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. This will enable people who are new to the revolution to themselves become organizers for this revolution and to recruit more and more people to do the same. On this basis, and through the growing ranks of the revolution acting together as an increasingly powerful force, it will be possible to attract and organize the necessary numbers, and build up the necessary strength, to be in the position to do what needs to be done.

    We need to struggle hard with people to take up the orientation and strategy, the values and goals, for this revolution, and dedicate themselves to working for this revolution, while we unite growing numbers to fight the abuse, brutality and destruction perpetrated by this system, and through all this get thousands and then millions of people prepared and steeled to do away with this system that brings so much hell to people. We need to wield this growing revolutionary force to stand up to this system and its murderous enforcers and to change the whole “terrain” (the political, social and cultural situation and “atmosphere”) throughout society, in order to weaken the hold of this system over people, win people away from acting to strengthen and enforce this system, and create the best possible conditions for this revolution to succeed.

    Along with that, this basic understanding and approach needs to be consistently applied:

    An important principle and method in organizing people into the revolution is the understanding that, while revolution requires serious commitment, people’s level of commitment will, at any given time, “essentially correspond to and [be] grounded in what aspirations have been awakened, or brought forward [in them], and what they are coming to understand is required in relation to that,” and this commitment “should proceed from what they themselves have been won (yes, won through struggle, even at times sharp struggle) to see as a necessary and essential contribution to the revolution.” People can start with basic tasks that they can readily carry out and feel confident doing which make a real contribution to building the revolution, and can learn to take on more responsibility as they gain more experience and a deeper understanding. The important thing is that they are part of the process of building the revolution, together with others. These principles and methods should be kept clearly in mind and applied at all stages of people’s involvement with the revolution, to enable them to continue advancing in understanding and commitment.

    (That is from Part II of my speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.)

    As the “Declaration and Call” makes clear, in order to win masses of people to revolution, there is a tremendous amount of struggle that needs to go on, not just against the system that is the source of the horrors that people are continually subjected to, but also against ways of thinking and acting among the people that actually “internalize,” and serve to perpetuate, this system and the ways of thinking it promotes, with its monstrously oppressive relations and putrid values—ways of thinking and acting that work against the repolarization that is urgently needed to have a real chance at seizing on this rare opportunity to make revolution.

    In Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, I pointed to the characterization of the current polarization by the fascist former Republican congressman Steve King—that there is a lot of talk about another civil war, and one side (the fascist side) is heavily armed (with 8 trillion bullets) while the other (“woke”) side can’t decide which bathroom to use. Even as this involves some real distortion, and definite slander against trans people, there is a demented insight, and too much of the truth, in this observation by that fascist King. And, if this polarization remains essentially unchanged, it will have even worse implications, as things develop and further intensify.

    Very much related to and an expression of this, is the reality that today, particularly among the middle classes, things are still way too much in line with the words of the poet Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” It is fascists who have declared “this is war!”—who viscerally feel that the way things are going is completely intolerable to them, is an existential threat to a way of life and a country that they believe is worth being part of. And, in their demented minds, the government (or government that is in the hands of, or strongly influenced by, the Democrats) is working to continue things on this course, and is therefore completely illegitimate. At the same time, among what can rightly be called “decent people,” who are opposed to these fascists, there is way too much obliviousness, ignorance and ignore-ance—or even continuing denial—of what is going on, way too much being lulled by a sleepy sense that the way things are going is favorable to how they want things to go, or at least that “things will work out” in a way that is in accord with their inclinations. Or, to the degree that there is a recognition that this is not the case (for example, with the accelerating environmental crisis), this has led far too much to defeatism, cynicism, and passivity.

    But that is not all there is to the problem. As I also noted in Hope For Humanity:

    [A]nother element of this that we can’t overlook is that, while a lot of what [Steve] King describes applies in a certain demented way, particularly to progressive or so-called “woke” middle class people, there is another kind of problem with regard to more basic oppressed people, and in particular the youth—a big problem that their guns are now aimed at each other ... this is something that needs to be radically transformed in building a movement for an actual revolution.

    I will have more to say that relates to this, later. But here it is important to call attention to what has been, so far at least, the “soft” treatment of those who took part in the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol and Trump’s attempted coup—the low level charges and lenient sentences being handed down in the court cases around this, as well as the fact that there has been no move to indict Trump and other top fascist political figures. This calls to mind the way things were handled in Germany, with the rise of the NAZI fascist movement there, headed by Hitler. In the 1920s, Hitler led what came to be called the “Beer Hall Putsch”—a clumsy attempt to come to power through a poorly organized coup that lacked the necessary planning and support. But Hitler in particular was treated very leniently, and this “Beer Hall Putsch” became in effect a dress rehearsal for the later seizure and consolidation of power by the NAZIs, the crushing of any effective opposition, and all the horrific NAZI atrocities that followed. (The parallel is captured in what some people today have put forward regarding the coup attempt by Trump and his supporters in the aftermath of the 2020 election, and in particular the storming of the Capitol on January 6: “What do you call a failed coup? A dress rehearsal!”)

    Meanwhile, what is the situation “on the other side of the divide,” and particularly among people who claim to be “woke”? It must be bluntly said that “woke” is becoming a joke—a bad joke. The slogan we revcoms have raised, “You Think You’re Woke But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare,” captures something very important. But it needs to be added that this “wokeness,” with its evading of and diversion from the real struggle that needs to be waged, and its substituting of “word changing” and “cancel culture” in place of this struggle, is actually contributing to and furthering this nightmare.

    A ridiculous, and outrageous, example of this is the ACLU’s butchering of a statement by former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about a woman’s right to abortion: The ACLU actually replaced “woman” with “person” (and “she/her” with “they/their”)! This is part of a larger phenomenon which, in the name of trans rights, actually pushes in the direction of erasing women, conceptually. But rhetorically erasing the concept of women does not, and cannot, erase the reality of the existence, and the horrific oppression, of billions of women in this real world. What it actually does is undermine the massive, militant struggle that is urgently needed against the mounting attacks on, and the further fastening of the chains of oppression on, the half of humanity that is female.

    If the ACLU, and others, who have done good things in the past, continue on this course, they will undermine much of the good they have done, and much they could still do, and need to do.

    Do these “woke” and “progressive” people really believe that a focus on changing terms (nouns, pronouns, etc.) will actually lead to changing the world, in a positive way?

    Do they really believe that calling oppression “agency” makes it less oppressive (for example, when women are caught up in prostitution and pornography, does calling this “agency” on their part make this something other than horrific oppression to which those women are subjected, and which does great harm to all women)?

    Do they really think that having more “inclusion” of oppressed people in the dominant institutions and the structures of power of this system of capitalism-imperialism will actually change the fundamentally, and horrifically, oppressive nature of this system? (The First Black President... First female Vice-President... First Asian... First Latinx... First Gay... First Trans... First... SAME SYSTEM!)

    Or is the deeper problem that these “progressive” and “woke” people have just given up on, or never really thought about, working for change that would actually lead to ending oppression?

    With regard to “woke folk”—and in particular the whole “cancel culture” thing—it needs be said: Masses of people are being brutalized and savaged, the world is burning (literally as well as figuratively) and you are preoccupied with changing the faces of those who preside over these horrors, and spitting on people if they don’t use nouns and pronouns that you approve of, or in some other way violate the constantly mutating standards of “wokeness.”

    This ties in with the discussion in Breakthroughs of a certain attitude and approach—“striking a pose to intimidate”—that was sharply criticized by Mao Zedong (the leader of the Chinese revolution, and what was a revolutionary socialist state in China until his death in 1976, whose “little red book” of quotations was widely read by people all over the world, including Black people, youth of all nationalities, and others in the U.S.). “Striking a pose to intimidate,” Mao made clear, is useless against the enemy, and does real harm among the people. As I pointed out in Breakthroughs:

    [I]dentity politics, and in particular the posturing that all too often accompanies it, is only “useful” among people who will be intimidated by this, and in fact such intimidation does a great deal of harm. That’s what Mao meant when he said this kind of thing does great harm among the people. Intimidating people rather than winning them to a scientific understanding of reality, and what needs to be done about it, can only do harm among the people, and it’s absolutely useless against those who have real power.

    Along with this, it has to be said that there is too much of people being absorbed in “trauma culture”—where any insult or affront, or challenge to one’s cherished beliefs, is treated as actual trauma, and any real trauma that is suffered becomes a motivation to turn inward to focus on individual “self-care.”

    In Hope For Humanity, I emphasized this:

    The trauma that results from directly suffering horrific forms of oppression and degradation is very real, and no one should deny or underestimate that—but, instead of an individual “turning inwards,” this needs to be transformed into anger and determination to be part of a collective struggle to put an end to all the atrocities, everywhere, whose fundamental source and cause is this system of capitalism-imperialism.

    But, along with “trauma culture”—and I am going to call this out, even though it may “overlap” with some of what is asserted by fascists, coming from a completely opposite place and with completely opposite objectives—it is too much the case that, despite often ill-founded, ridiculous and even cartoonish references to “badass” this and that, too many people are being encouraged and conditioned to be “soft crybabies”!

    Here I have to say: Enough of “woke folk” who act as if it is actually oppressed people (or, as they like to say, the “marginalized”) who are fragile beings constantly in need of the protection of “safe spaces,” lest they fall apart at the mere appearance of a “triggering” phenomenon. And since when are universities and other institutions supposed to be places where you are “safe”—not just from physical violence of one kind or another, and from overtly threatening or clearly degrading verbal assaults, but from ideas, statements, etc., that simply make you uncomfortable?! How are you going to “change the world” if you are in danger of falling apart at things like that? Again, from Hope For Humanity:

    [I]n any real struggle to deal with any real oppression, up against powerful enforcers of that oppression, you are going to have to face the prospect of real sacrifice, including the prospect of being physically attacked. And if you think that you can carve out little safe enclaves, and that this is somehow going to lead to any kind of significant change in society, you are full of illusions and delusions.

    To add to the problem, this is often accompanied by attempts to sideline and silence others who, according to this scheme of things, occupy a “privileged” and not a “marginalized,” status.

    This is all an expression of extremely lowered sights—with a marked tendency to identify the “enemy” as people who may have more “privilege,” rather than the system of capitalism-imperialism, its fundamental relations, and its institutions of authority and power, which embody and enforce the terrible exploitation and oppression that masses of people here, and literally billions of people around the world, are subjected to.

    Here again we are back to Mao’s point about striking a pose to intimidate—that it is useless against the actual enemy and does real harm among the people.

    All this represents the influence of forces proceeding from a bourgeois (or petty bourgeois) outlook and aspirations—seeking a re-arrangement which will provide them (and perhaps some others like them) with a better position within this horrific system of oppression, and trying to force opposition to injustice into the framework and in the service of this objective.

    So, once again, with all this in mind, and with regard to the society overall, what is profoundly and urgently needed is repolarization—for revolution: winning growing numbers of people away from support for either side in the division among the ruling powers that are seeking to maintain and enforce this system, in one form or another, away from those promoting deadly illusions and self-serving goals which are dead-end, non-solutions for the masses of people.

    This goes back to the first of the three conditions for revolution—the deep divisions among the ruling powers—and more particularly that, with the conflicts among the ruling forces increasingly becoming really deep and sharp, masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers—not by acting in ways that serve to perpetuate and reinforce the oppressive rule of this system—but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.

    It is true that there are a lot of very bad things connected with the present polarization and the whole trajectory things are on, and this could lead to something really terrible; but it is also true, and of profound importance, that it is possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being. But, once more, this requires recognizing the situation, and the current trajectory of things, for what they are—and responding in a way and on a level that is commensurate with this, is in accordance with the profound stakes involved—acting to change things, urgently, toward the goal of getting rid of this whole system, and replacing it with something radically different and much better.

    The reality now is that the fascist section of the ruling class, represented by and concentrated in the Republican Party, is actively and aggressively engaged in a “two-pronged” move to achieve and consolidate fascist rule. These “two prongs” are: corrupting and controlling the electoral process and key government institutions; and the threat and use of violence, including through the mobilization of violent mobs. These fascists are, for now, relying mainly on the first, but with the second (violence) as an “accompaniment” to this—which could become their main means, if that proves necessary for them. In any case, if they succeed, the full power of the government—including the executive power of the presidency, the courts and legal apparatus, the prisons, as well as the police and the military—will be wielded to crush any effective opposition to fascist rule and to forcefully impose its program of “restoring” America to its mythological “greatness” on the basis of aggressive white supremacy, crude and brutal male supremacy and suppression of LGBT people, xenophobia (hatred and persecution of foreigners and immigrants, particularly from what Trump infamously referred to as “shithole countries”), forceful assertion and chauvinistic trumpeting of American dominance and “the superiority of western civilization,” along with willful rejection of science and the scientific method, especially where it would interfere with unrestrained plunder of the environment, as well as people.

    Given the nature, objectives and actions of the fascists, there is the real possibility of actual civil war. But given the nature, objectives and actions of the “mainstream” section of the ruling class (as represented by the Democratic Party and media such as MSNBC, the New York Times and CNN), and given the current situation with those, from different parts of society, who tend to support, and politically tail behind, this “mainstream” section of the ruling class, it is possible that the fascists could achieve and consolidate power without a civil war, but with all the terrible consequences that would follow this fascist consolidation of power. Or, as emphasized in the “Declaration and Call,” in what would amount to a one-sided civil war, these fascists could carry out a 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.”

    In any case, it is a deadly serious reality that these fascists are determined to crush—as violently as necessary—anyone and anything, anywhere in society, that stands in the way of implementing their horrific objectives.

    This puts an exclamation point on what the “Declaration and Call” says immediately after this:

    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.

    The Democrats will never, and can never, fight these fascists in the way they need to be fought, because that requires getting into the real nature of this system, and bringing out the fact that these fascists, as grotesque as they are, are in fact a grotesque expression of the very system that the Democrats themselves are an expression of, and are working to perpetuate. Most fundamentally: The purpose and aim cannot be simply to defeat these fascists, as an end in itself, with the orientation of somehow returning things to the “normal” way this horrific system of capitalism-imperialism has operated for more than a century.

    This is not the time of the Civil War in the 1860s, when the goal of those fighting against injustice was to abolish slavery, and—in terms of who ruled society—the only possible positive outcome was the consolidation and strengthening of the rule of the rising capitalist class centered in the North. That time is now long gone. And this system of capitalism, which has developed into a system of worldwide exploitation and oppression, capitalism-imperialism, is long outmoded—long past its expiration date, long past any circumstances where it could play any positive role. The goal now must precisely be getting rid of this whole system of capitalism-imperialism.

    The character of a new civil war would have significantly different features from that previous civil war of 1861-65, where one geographic part of the country, the southern Confederacy, attempted to secede and form a separate country in that territory. Today, the forces of fascism among the population are again concentrated in the South, as well as in rural areas throughout the country; but, in the South and throughout the country, they are closely connected, geographically, with sections of the population that are opposed to this fascism. Any new civil war would be fought between opposing forces that would be in close proximity to each other—in a real sense intertwined geographically—around the country. This would have both advantages and disadvantages for the people on the positive side of such a civil war, and this would need to be taken into account in their approach to fighting that civil war.

    (The “Red States/Blue States” picture, which is constantly presented in the mainstream media, is very misleading in terms of the geographic and political divisions in the country. It does not present an accurate picture of population concentration—of which sections of the people are actually concentrated where, and in what numbers, within the existing states. Of particular importance, it downplays the concentration of people in this country as a whole in urban areas, including the suburbs around the inner city cores, and the concentration of masses of oppressed people especially in those inner city cores. It downplays the strong opposition to the fascists that exists among large numbers of people in the urban areas. This mainstream presentation of things is meant to reinforce the sense that the only possibility is the continuation of this system of capitalism-imperialism, and the only choice is between the two parties representing the ruling class of this system: the “red” Republican Party or the “blue” Democratic Party. And, by the way, with the color red historically associated with communism, the “appropriation” of this color in association with the fascist Republican Party is an abomination!)

    The current polarization, even on the positive side, among those opposed to the fascists, is not what is needed, and will not meet the profound and urgent challenge of these times. For the reasons discussed in this talk, there can be no real and lasting defeat of these fascists on the terms of the Democrats, on the terms of what have been, for generations, the “norms” of “democratic” capitalist rule in this country. Fundamentally, there can be no resolution to this, under this system, which will be in the interests of the masses of people, not just in this country but in the world as a whole. Once more, what is urgently needed is a very different polarization than what exists today—a repolarization—for revolution.

    And, once again as well—without being absolute about this—there is a limited time frame within which this repolarization must be achieved. If things continue as they are, with the fascist offensive by the Republican Party and its base becoming even more aggressive and powerful, then it is very likely that their “two-pronged offensive” will succeed, that they will utilize the changes they are forcing through state governments and key parts of the federal government, in particular the courts, to regain and consolidate control of the country as a whole, move forward with a vengeance to implement their fascist program, and forcefully suppress, as violently as necessary, any effective opposition.

    The urgency of this situation—and the urgent need for repolarization, for revolution—must be clearly understood, and forcefully conveyed to masses of people. This must be done in a compelling way, without hype (and there is no need for hype to describe the critical situation and urgent stakes). While it is crucially important to unite with people in rising up against the terrible injustices and outrages constantly perpetrated by this system, and to continually bring alive the possibility of a radically different and emancipating alternative, once again it needs to be stressed: It is necessary to wage a tireless struggle to break people out of the ways of thinking, and acting, that in fact keep them chained to this system and contribute to perpetuating this system, in one form or another.

    Fatalism, and defeatism—the belief that nothing can be done to change the terrible situation and bleak future humanity is now facing, that no positive radical change is possible—this way of thinking itself must be defeated, overcome both through sharp struggle and by bringing alive and popularizing the possibility for a radically different and better world, through revolution, which is grounded in a scientific, materialist approach to and understanding of the real world and the actual possibility for its positive radical transformation. Overall—and above all in terms of the basic masses, the bitterly oppressed people who must become the backbone of this revolution—overcoming this defeatism, and bringing about the necessary repolarization, must be carried out, and can only be achieved, through a powerful combination of fierce ideological struggle among the people, to win growing numbers to a scientific understanding of the situation we face and the actual solution to this, together with determined resistance against this oppressive system—all of which must be led to contribute to building up the forces and creating the political alignment necessary for revolution.

    While masses of people urgently need this revolution, it is all too true that, right now, the great majority of them are thinking in a lot of wrong ways. To put things straight-up, they don’t know shit and have their heads up their asses! This needs to be radically changed—and can be, but only through a tremendous amount of sharp struggle. As I have said before (in “Rare Time”):

    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.

    Running through much of the situation today is the problem of individualism—“going for self” regardless of the effect on other people, and on humanity as a whole—which is encouraged and expressed in extreme forms in this particular society at this time, and is often combined and intertwined with a lack of hope for anything better in this world. Again, from Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis:

    Lack of real hope for a better life in this world is a heavy chain weighing down, suffocating and deeply scarring the masses of humanity, including the youth who are concentrated in the ghettos and barrios of this country as well as its overflowing torture chamber prisons. And the extreme individualism promoted throughout this society, the obsessive focus on “the self,” has reinforced the heavy lid on the sights of people, obscuring their ability to recognize the possibility of a radically different and better world, beyond the narrow and confining limits of this system, with all its very real horrors.

    Along with other negative trends, there is the way that people’s sense that the world is fucked up beyond repair, and things are just going to keep going to hell, leads them to just try to get what they can for themselves now, before it’s too late. So people need hope—not hype but real hope that is based on a scientific method and approach to understanding the world as it actually is and the possibility of changing it, in the way it can be changed, to bring a radically different and much better world into being, through a real revolution. They need the scientifically based sweeping vision, and concrete blueprint, for a radically different and emancipating society that is set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.

    They need the fundamental approach to understanding reality, and the basis and possibility for radically changing it, that is concentrated in the following:

    [T]he systems that characterize the societies that people live in ... are historically evolved. This means that changes in human society are based, and can only be based, on transforming what already exists in that society, on the foundation of the forces of production that have been developed at any given time [the land and raw materials, factories and other production facilities, machinery and other technology, and the people, with their knowledge and abilities].

    And even revolutionary changes—a radical leap from one system to another—can only proceed on the basis of transforming what exists. This cannot be done by coming up with ideas or notions about how society “ought” to be, if those ideas or notions have no basis in the existing reality.

    What is crucially important to understand is that the basis now exists to enable the billions of people on this planet to have the means for a decent life, worthy of human beings—a life that is continually being enriched, not just materially but socially, intellectually and culturally. But, at the same time, the way human society has developed under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism has led to a highly “lopsided” world, where billions of people in the world live in horrific conditions of oppression and misery, with millions of children in the Third World dying each year from starvation and preventable diseases....

    It is the productive forces that have been developed under the capitalist-imperialist system that actually provide the material basis to move beyond all this. But, at the same time, it is this system, with its mode of production based on exploitative relations of production, that is the direct barrier to making this a reality—is a chain on the masses of people throughout the world, and on humanity overall.

    That is from the article Why The World Is So Messed Up, And What Can Be Done to Radically Change This—A Basic Scientific Understanding. As I pointed out in that article: The resolution to this howling contradiction between what are now the conditions of the masses of humanity, and what is actually possible—the only resolution that is in the interests of those masses, and ultimately all of humanity—is through the revolution to overthrow this system and replace it with a socialist system on the road to a communist world. Bringing this fundamental understanding to people is crucial, in order for them to really have hope, on a scientific foundation.

    But the fact is that there is not only a lack of hope among many, but also a lack of searching—for an understanding of why the world is so messed up, and can anything be done to really change this. This needs to be strongly and deeply challenged, through the promotion of broad debate about these literally life and death matters, and a tremendous amount of struggle over the big question: what is the fundamental problem humanity is facing, and what is the solution?—or, put in basic terms, reform vs. revolution, working within this system, or overthrowing it and replacing it with a radically different system. This needs to be vigorously taken up and fiercely debated and struggled out among people in all parts of society—including students, academics and other intellectuals, people in the arts and the professions, as well as people with only a limited formal education—all of whom can be, and need to be, seriously engaged with these vital and urgent questions.

    To return to the current lack of searching: this is linked in many cases with self-absorbed individualism, either blindly and blithely oblivious or virulently poisonous. Once more from Hope For Humanity:

    Individualism is a significant factor and “unifying element” in much of the negative trends that play a major role in keeping people from recognizing the reality and depth of the horrors continually brought about by this system—and recognizing the urgent need to act, together with others, to abolish and uproot all this, at its very source.

    And:

    [T]he terrible suffering of the masses of humanity and the urgent challenges facing humanity as a whole as a result of the escalating destruction of the environment by this system of capitalism-imperialism as well as the possibility of nuclear conflagration that continues to loom as an existential threat over humanity—all this cannot be seriously addressed, let alone actually solved, by each person pursuing their particular individual interests, and in fact people acting in this way constitutes a major obstacle to bringing about the necessary solution.

    This individualism, in turn, is based, to a very significant extent, in parasitism—living in this country that is sitting atop the imperialist food chain, deriving benefits from the exploitation and misery of millions and billions of people worldwide. This applies not just to the section of people in this country that is really well off, but also to the large number who are scrambling to make it through the day, the week, or the month: for them in particular there is a kind of toxic combination of having to struggle and scrounge to get through, and at the same time benefitting to some degree from imperialist parasitism. The effect of all this is to make it seem possible, and/or to seem necessary, to ignore what is going on in the larger world. But, in reality, there is, and increasingly there will be, no ignoring what is happening in that larger world, and no avoiding the consequences of failing to confront and radically transform this.

    Yes, it is true: YOLO. But, since you only live once, you should make it count for something—something much bigger than yourself—being part of an historic revolution to free all oppressed people, and bring in a new day for all humanity, with whole new horizons of freedom and life with meaning for human beings, way beyond what is possible now, when we are still forced to live under this monstrosity of a system which denies a decent life to billions of people on this planet and has no decent future, or no future at all, for those of the younger generations.

    Parasitic individualism needs to be directly, sharply, and deeply challenged, as it is a major obstacle in the way of people seeking out the answers to the profound and accelerating crisis and potential catastrophe that people, not just in this country but in the world as a whole, are facing (whether or not they recognize, or acknowledge, it). And this individualism prevents people from acting together, as a revolutionary force, to wrench something positive out of all this ongoing madness.

    In both immediate and overall strategic terms, very much bound up with challenging this parasitic individualism is waging substantial, determined, relentless struggle against American chauvinism—the disgusting notion that America and Americans are better and more important than everybody else. As I have pointed out before, this is a poison infecting people broadly in this country, even among the bitterly oppressed; and a positive, revolutionary resolution to the current course of things cannot be brought about unless masses of people break with this American chauvinism. One of the main, and most ugly, manifestations of this American chauvinism is the sickening support, even among large numbers of “progressive” and “woke” people, for the U.S. military—with all this nauseating “thank you for your service”—a “service” which consists of horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity in enforcing the interests and objectives of the most exploitative, oppressive, and destructive social force in the world: U.S. capitalist imperialism. Combating this, and winning people to reject and repudiate this—among all sectors of society—is crucial now, and has definite strategic implications, in building for and then carrying out the revolution that is urgently needed.

    So people need to be jolted awake, to reality—to the reality of this system of capitalism-imperialism, the reality of where things are heading right now, with terrible consequences if things continue on this course—and the reality of the possibility, and the urgent need, to wrench something positive out of this, through a real revolution.

    Another important dimension of the straight-up, hardcore struggle that needs to be waged with people, including bitterly oppressed people, is spoken to in the following in Part 3 of my New Year’s Statement:

    Given the tight connection between militant patriarchy and fascism, it is not surprising that some (though clearly a minority of) Black and Latino men have been drawn to support for Trump, despite his overt white supremacy. (This includes some who are or have been prominent in rap music. While there have been positive forces and elements in rap and Hip Hop overall, what has been increasingly promoted is a culture that is full of, not to say dominated by, misogynistic degradation of women, as well as admiration for the kind of hustler gangsterism that is one of Trump’s defining “qualities.”) It is also not surprising that even significant numbers of women (mainly white women but also some Latina and other women of color) have been drawn to this fascism, as the phenomenon of the oppressed clinging to “tradition’s chains” that oppress them is unfortunately all too common.

    There must be determined struggle against the “macho” bullshit of all too many Black and Latino men—a “warrior mentality” of the wrong kind, which also characterizes far too many Native American men, in their own particular way, with their utterly misplaced, and frankly perverse, pride in being part of the same U.S. military that carried out the genocide against these original peoples in America. There must also be sharp struggle against the ways that, among the other half of humanity, which is female, the phenomenon of the oppressed acting in ways that oppress them not only involves clinging to highly oppressive patriarchal religious tradition but also takes the form of aggressively reveling in and flaunting what is objectively highly demeaning “sexualization” and commodification of sex. This is actively promoted among Black and Latina women—and is a definite negative trend in popular culture, including Hip Hop. It is also noteworthy that, as surprising as it might seem when looked at superficially, this self-degrading hyper-sexualization often goes hand-in-hand with its “mirror opposite”: religious obscurantism—a fundamentalist form of religion that blocks, obscures the light of reason. There is also a similar phenomenon among gang members, where gang-banging and other acts of degradation and self-degradation are combined with a heavy religious obscurantism, in one form or another.

    To far too great a degree, the “education” that masses of basic people get—and in particular the “education” that tends to “stick”—comes through religious institutions, and the promotion of obscurantist religion. This is a real problem, a significant part of why far too many basic oppressed people are susceptible to anti-scientific thinking, including crazy conspiracy theories.

    This “religious impulse” continues to exert a significant influence—is a significant phenomenon—among many in the Black middle class as well, including many who acquire a more “cosmopolitan” education, even at the more “elite” universities.

    All this is promoted and reinforced by the continually propagated notion that the very identity of Black people is somehow inextricably bound up with religion and religious institutions, in particular the Christian Black Church (the idea that this religion and Black identity are so tightly and essentially woven together, that they cannot be separated) and that, without religion and the Black Church, Black people could not survive, or thrive, in racist America. But, for the masses of Black people, “thriving” within this monstrous system is impossible—and merely surviving, while still being terribly oppressed, tormented, tortured and repeatedly brutalized and murdered, under this system, cannot be, and is not, the most that can be hoped for, or achieved.

    It is true that, although Christianity in particular was imposed on Black people by the slave system, the Black Church has at times, and to a degree, played a positive role in the struggle of Black people; but it is also true that it has placed very definite constraints on this struggle, channeling and limiting it within the confines of this very system that is the source of the oppression and suffering to which Black people have been subjected throughout the history of this country.

    As another dimension of this problem, especially with the undermining and outright gutting of public schools, particularly in the inner cities, in the realm of athletics—one of the very few arenas in which a few basic Black people can attain wealth and prestige—there is the fact that significant numbers of Black athletes now go through private Christian fundamentalist schools for their basic “education” (in fact, mis-education). And then, even as they take stands in support of struggles against injustice, many of these athletes also utilize their “platform” to promote the religious obscurantism with which they have been indoctrinated—which contributes to the situation where masses of people, who are influenced by these prominent figures, are vulnerable to all kinds of distortions of reality.

    We have witnessed statements and actions by influential Black celebrities, in sports as well as the arts, which reflect and encourage anti-scientific ways of thinking, including disinformation about and discouraging people from getting the vaccines against COVID, when Black people (and other people of color) are dying at higher rates than others from COVID, and the vaccines have been proven safe and very effective against serious illness and death from COVID. This spreading of anti-scientific disinformation is very harmful, both in its immediate effects, and in strategic terms.

    Yes, it is true that, in the history of this country, Black people have been the victims of horrific medical experiments, and still today they are subjected to discrimination, and at times uncaring and even harmful treatment, in the realm of health care. And, yes, it is true that Black people have been, and continue to be, subjected to vicious and often murderous oppression at the hands of government authorities. But all that is certainly true of Native Americans as well. Yet they have a much higher rate of vaccination against COVID. What they do not seem to have among them, at least not as a significant factor, is the phenomenon of prominent and influential people spreading anti-scientific disinformation about the vaccines and active discouragement from getting vaccinated.

    With regard to vaccines, and dealing with COVID generally, as with all social problems and their solutions, what is needed is an evidence-based scientific approach.

    Besides the great harm it does to people who are hit hardest by COVID, and to the overall efforts to “get on top of” this COVID pandemic, another very damaging effect of this anti-scientific, anti-vaccine disinformation is that it plays directly into the hands of the white supremacist fascists, who have been quick to pick up on, praise and promote this. As I have said about this:

    What a terrible situation where some Black people and other oppressed people can actually find themselves in the same place as those fascists who regard them as inferior sub-humans and want to deny them basic rights, lock them up permanently, or outright exterminate them!

    To a great degree, this spreading of harmful, even deadly disinformation is also an expression of rampant individualism—the notion that “it is my right, and an expression of my personal freedom, to do whatever I want, and no authority should be allowed to restrict that.” As I have also pointed out:

    This is nonsense—very harmful nonsense! Individual freedom is not absolute—as almost everyone will agree when this is posed to them in terms that do not run up against their individualism. For example, few will argue that someone should have the freedom to drive 100 miles an hour through a school zone when children are crossing the street. And any reasonable person will agree that it is not okay for white supremacists to lynch Black people—or for the police to wantonly murder Black people—simply because they feel like it—because they see it as an expression of their “individual freedom” (and “personal choice”)....

    It would be impossible to live in any society where “individual freedom” (or “personal choice”) were absolute. The question is: Are expressions of individual freedom, or restrictions on individual freedom, good or bad—do they make for a better, or worse, society?

    On the part of at least some of these Black celebrities, this irresponsible spreading of anti-scientific nonsense is also part of self-promotion—is an expression of the dominant culture overall, where opinions are “re-branded” as “my truth” and are put forward as being the same as (just as good as, or perhaps even better, than) facts, and people seek to build a following by spouting opinions, including many which are wildly in conflict with reality.

    But, again, the influence of religion, and especially crudely anti-scientific obscurantist religion, is also a significant factor in these harmful positions taken by some influential Black celebrities. In the absence of, and especially in opposition to, a scientific approach, people are left groping in the dark, unable to determine what is actually represented by different forces and where different paths will lead. Any rebellion in these circumstances is rebelling blindly, believing that you are striking out against things that oppress you (and others like you), when in fact you are playing into the hands of, and actually strengthening, the most vicious oppressors and ultimately the whole system of oppression.

    The religious obscurantism that is far too widespread among the basic masses is another chain of oppression on them, which needs to be vigorously and resolutely struggled against.

    And, while it needs to be recognized that there are many religious people who play a positive role in the fight against many injustices and forms of oppression, and it is important to unite with them in this fight, it is also important to struggle against the religious outlook in general. Why? Because putting an end to injustice and oppression, and uprooting the basis for all this, requires a revolution led by a powerful and growing force of people who are grounded in a scientific method and approach, in particular the scientific method and approach of the new communism.

    What is said in the book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a fundamental truth—and there is a need to unsparingly drive home this truth: “Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.” (This is BAsics 4:1.) And the religious outlook and approach—with its misplaced belief in the ultimately decisive role of non-existent supernatural beings and forces—is an obstacle to applying a consistently scientific method to confront reality as it actually is, and transform it in an emancipating way.

    To put things in deliberately provocative terms: It’s time to leave that “god stuff” alone—that will never lead anybody to get free. We need a lot less of this “god talk” and a lot more talk, and action, for revolution—real revolution.

    Some people may not like my saying all this, but I’m going to say it anyway, because I’m not here to please people, or to make them feel better about their enslaved and degraded position—I’m here to bring them a scientific method and approach to making revolution, in order to free themselves and all humanity, and I’m here to tell them the truth about everything that stands in the way of that.

    And one big reason why I say what I say, regardless of whether some people like it or not, is because Black people, who have so long been subjected to the most horrific oppression under this system, can and must play a decisive and tremendously powerful role in bringing about the revolution that will not only put an end to their oppression, but will strike a powerful blow for ending all oppression, of everyone, everywhere. As I have stated before:

    There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

    But this can happen only as growing numbers of Black people, together with others, take up a scientific, not a religious, viewpoint, method and approach.

    So, am I saying that there is no place in this revolution for people who continue to hold religious beliefs? No. It is an objective fact, which needs to be understood, that many people who take part in this revolution will still hold religious beliefs, of one kind or another—and of course religious people who want to be part of this revolution should be welcomed into the broad ranks of the revolution. The casting off of religious belief by masses of people must be a conscious, voluntary act, which will advance in tempo with the overall development of the revolutionary process and the transformation of society, and the world, toward the goal of ending all oppression and exploitation, all division of society into masters and slaves. But, again, there must be a leading force, and a growing force of the revolution that is solid core/hardcore based on a scientific, not a religious viewpoint, method and approach, and there must be generous-minded but consistent, determined, compelling struggle, waged broadly—sharply posing the need for people to take up the scientific viewpoint, method and approach of the new communism, in opposition to everything that is an obstacle to that, including belief in gods or other supernatural forces which in reality do not exist, and religious tradition which upholds oppressive relations.

    Here is another profound truth: Even with all the ways that the heavy chains of hundreds, and thousands, of years of oppressive tradition weigh down on the masses of people—and place a heavy burden particularly on the half of humanity that is female—there is a deep yearning to be free of all this, which not only leads to imaginary hopes of supernatural salvation but also erupts in unrestrained fury right in this real world. And that fury needs to be fully called forth, given a scientific, revolutionary expression—focused toward the emancipation of all the oppressed and exploited of the world, and ultimately all humanity—directed to fighting against the fundamental source of all the suffering: this system of capitalism-imperialism, with its suffocating and brutal, patriarchal male supremacy, along with all its other outrages. This takes on even more powerful meaning and urgent importance in the current situation in this country (and others), where the forceful assertion of raw misogyny (hatred of women) and patriarchal subjugation of women is becoming more blatant and unbridled, focused to a significant degree now in the escalating moves to even further deny women control over their own lives and their very bodies, with the right to abortion, and even birth control, being brought under mounting attack. Right now, this slogan and call needs to be taken up broadly and made a powerful material force: Break the Chains, Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!

    In relation to all this, these observations of mine, from a number of years ago now, not only have great importance in general and at all times, but are especially important now:

    The religious fundamentalists, of various kinds, make a point of recruiting in the prisons, and they come with a heavy ideological message.... It is not at all the case that people can only “lose their religion” by replacing it with another religion in some form. But there does have to be another explanation about the world and existence and why this is the way it is, and how it could be different.... If you want to rupture people out of shit, not only stuff that lands them in prison, but the daily shit they are caught up in, in the society, you have to have a really strong hardcore ideological thing to bring to them.... [I]t has to be coherent and systematic. It has to explain the world—and in our case we can actually explain it in a scientific way. That’s an advantage of communism over religion, even though religion has certain short-term advantages.... But we have the advantage of actually being able to make reality make sense for people. That’s a very powerful thing.

    We should not underestimate the importance, not only with prisoners but in general, of doing a lot of ideological work to really enable people to see the world in a wholly different way—really the way it is. To take the pieces of this puzzle that are all out of whack and don’t fit together—it’s like looking through a weird kaleidoscope the way most people see reality. And then it’s misinterpreted for them by all these different bourgeois and reactionary ideologies and programs, and so on, including various religious views. But communist ideology and its application to the world is a way of taking reality and having it make sense for people.

    At the same time, winning basic people, and in particular the youth, to revolution also requires making further critical breakthroughs in what I have called the “George Jackson question”—the problem sharply posed by George Jackson, a prisoner who became a militant revolutionary associated with the Black Panther Party during the upsurge of the 1960s, and who grappled deeply with the question of revolutionary possibility, before he was assassinated by the authorities. To a slave who does not expect to live beyond tomorrow, Jackson said, the idea of gradual change, and revolution in some far-off future, has no meaning and no appeal.

    This takes on particular and special meaning in a rare time like this—a time when revolution could actually be possible, exactly not in some vague far-off future, but through the swirl of the sharpening events and conflicts that are happening right in this present time.

    Here, again, is the decisive question of how much the organized forces of revolution are built up and have an impact on all this, in the direction of the revolution that is so urgently needed.

    To appeal to masses of people, and in particular basic youth, the revolution must become a growing, organized, disciplined, bold and fearless force which, through its scientifically based method, its sweeping vision, its emancipating program and goals, and its actions, is an increasingly powerful pole that will attract these youth—and fighters for revolution from all parts of society.

    There is plenty that needs to be done, and urgently, which requires real boldness and heart, in working for this revolution: powerfully spreading the word about this revolution, challenging people to get into this revolution, recruiting and organizing them into this revolution—going up against and breaking through all the bullshit that people are caught up in that goes against their own real interests—doing the work that needs to be done to transform people’s thinking, and their actions—standing up against the forces oppressing the people, waging the fight that needs to be waged against the atrocities of this system—doing all this to get ready, and to have the basis, to wage the all-out fight to finally overthrow this system, as soon as the necessary conditions for that have been brought into being.

    And, as the revolution grows in this way: There is plenty that needs to be done, and urgently, which requires real boldness and heart, to stand up against the fascists, and any other oppressive force, in their moves to threaten and intimidate, brutalize and even murder people. Let me make clear that I am not calling for launching unprovoked and unjustified attacks on anybody; but there is a right, and a need—and there is the responsibilityto defend the people who are oppressed and brutalized under this system, and those who represent and stand for what is right, and are being attacked because of that.

    In the six Points of Attention for the Revolution—which are basic principles that the Revolution Clubs, a key form of organization for this revolution, base themselves on and fight for—the final point is this:

    We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

    Yes, this is something very serious: going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way. And, yes, a big part of this is overcoming how people who are already messed over, in so many ways, by this system, get caught up in yet another way this system messes them up: fighting and killing each other. This needs to stop.

    But it doesn’t need to just stop. People who have been caught up in this need to become part of something really positive—they need to become part of the forces for the revolution that is so urgently needed now.

    The frustration and anger that so many feel, especially so many basic youth, because they can sense that life under this system has nothing good for them—that, from the time they are born, they are locked down and surrounded by forces that regard and treat them as alien objects of fear and hatred—and that those with power look at them as scum who deserve nothing more than a boot up the ass and a bullet in the brain—this frustration and anger needs to be redirected to fighting the system that treats them this way, and has robbed them, and so many like them throughout the world, of a decent life and a decent future, or any future at all.

    Once more, there is plenty that calls, urgently, for great courage and boldness in doing what needs to be done: to be part of rising up against this system and getting ready to go all the way with revolution as soon as the time is right—and, as an important part of that, supporting, and defending, people who are constantly being subjected to unjust attacks on their rights and their very being.

    There are the continuing attacks on people and movements that are rebelling against racist oppression.

    There are threats against, and physical attacks on, health care officials and providers, local government officials (and their families!), as well as employees in stores, and so on, when they are advocating and implementing much-needed and life-saving measures, such as mask and vaccination mandates to deal with the continuing COVID pandemic. There are attacks on school board members not only for adopting these basic health measures but also for things like approving the teaching of some truth about the white supremacy that has always existed in this country, or allowing rights for trans people.

    There are the threats, harassment and attacks on women seeking abortions, and on clinics and medical personnel working to provide those abortions, along with the escalating assault on the right to abortion by the Republican-fascist party, and those it has placed in the courts.

    There are brutal and often murderous attacks on LGBT people.

    There are continuing moves, including with the threat or use of violence, to once again prevent Black people and other oppressed people from even exercising what are supposed to be basic rights, such as voting. (With a scientific method and approach, it is both possible, and important, to actively oppose attempts to deny people the right to vote, and at the same time win people to see that their efforts need to go, not into voting for representatives of this system that is oppressing them, but working to build up the basis to overthrow this whole system.)

    All these attacks on people and their rights need to be powerfully opposed, and people on the good side of this need to be actively protected and defended, where they are assaulted with threats and even outright physical attacks.

    There is the need to prevent the police from brutalizing and just coldly murdering people. Let us remember what was said by some people who witnessed, and even recorded, the slow-motion vicious execution of George Floyd: They agonized over whether they should have done more, should have acted to stop this blatant assassination of a defenseless Black man. Now, again, what I am pointing to is consistent with point 6 of the six Points of Attention for the Revolution—and, in what I am saying here, I am not calling for launching an attack on anyone. But there is no right for anyone, including police, to just murder someone—and there is a right and responsibility to defend and protect people from unjust attacks on their rights, and on their very lives.

    Imagine if, in these different kinds of situations, there were a force of hardcore revolutionaries, including basic youth, whose presence in a disciplined and organized formation made clear that no unjust attacks on people would be tolerated. But this must not just be imagined—it must be developed as one important part of the overall process of preparing for, and building the organized forces for, revolution.

    This must be taken up in a serious, scientific way—not attempting, at any given point, to do what there is not yet the basis to do, but actively working to bring into being the conditions where what was not possible before becomes possible, as the organized ranks of revolution continue to grow and become steeled as a disciplined force. Taken up in this way, this can increasingly have dynamic effect—with “reverberations” and impact far beyond the immediate situation, attracting more people to this revolution... which, in turn, will make it possible to have even greater impact... and attract even larger forces.

    All this is an important part of the overall approach that I have laid out in the course of this talk, which will enable what are today the small organized forces of this revolution to continue to grow—increasingly by leaps and bounds—in numbers, organized strength, and impact on society as a whole. This is what more and more people must be challenged, and enabled, to become part of.

    This brings up another important dimension of working for revolution—and opposing the fascists as part of doing that: It is necessary to sharply expose and oppose—and fight to politically and practically overcome—the reality that for white supremacists and fascists generally the Second Amendment, the “right to bear arms,” has been regularly upheld and given the backing of the law and the courts, and the support of the police and other institutions of the state; while for Black people, other oppressed people, and generally those opposing the oppression and injustice of this system, the “right to bear arms,” even in self-defense, has been actively opposed and suppressed.

    This is made graphically clear in the book by Carol Anderson focusing on the Second Amendment—The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America. This book contains (yet more!) searing exposure of the depraved violence visited upon Black people throughout the history of this country, and speaks to how the “right to bear arms” has never applied to Black people, and instead there has been the perverse “right to kill” Black people, on the part of the powers-that-be and racist whites generally. This cannot be allowed to continue!

    And it is not just around what is represented by “the Second Amendment” that a determined fight must be waged, but around the many ways in which the approach to rights that are supposedly guaranteed to people is applied in a highly unequal way, so that oppressed people, and those acting against the oppressive relations of this system, constantly find their rights attacked, “abridged,” or outright denied and suppressed. In waging this fight, it is important to recognize and, to the degree possible, take advantage of this contradiction: In reality, under this system of capitalism-imperialism, rights and liberties are determined, and limited, in accordance with what serves the interests of this system and its ruling class; but, we are constantly told that, under this system, there is “liberty and justice for all,” and the rulers of this system, or at least some of them, feel it is important to maintain this myth. Again, to the degree possible, this contradiction must be seized on, in waging the fight to defeat attempts by the enforcers of this system to violate what are supposed to be basic rights, in their moves to suppress people rising up against this system and its profound injustice.

    But, most fundamentally, this fight must be waged with full awareness, a scientifically grounded understanding, of the essential nature of this system, with the orientation and goal of working toward the overthrow of this system and the dismantling of its relations and institutions of vicious exploitation and blood-soaked oppression and repression.

    Once again, in order to make all this a reality, as this revolution is being brought to growing numbers of basic youth, and others, and they are being challenged to get into it, they need to be struggled with, hard, to get rid of the ways of thinking and acting that keep this system going. People need to “get their head right,” get their head out of their ass, and take up the scientific method and approach of the new communism to understanding reality, and transforming reality in a fundamental way, through revolution. This means not being just out for yourself, or those you can identify with in a narrow way (whoever that may be), but becoming revolutionaries in the fullest sense—revolutionary communists, emancipators of all humanity—becoming part of the organized and disciplined forces for this revolution, and nothing less.

    As we say, to “everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to be part of this revolution.”

    So, on the foundation of everything that has been said so far, and in moving to the conclusion of this talk, it is worthwhile returning to, reviewing, and elaborating briefly on some key aspects of these big questions: Why this is one of those rare times and circumstances when revolution becomes possible, even in a powerful country like this, and how to seize on this rare opportunity to actually make this revolution.

    * There is the sharpening conflict at the top, and throughout the country, with society and the “ruling norms” of this system being torn apart, driven especially by the relentless offensive of the fascist forces. Yes, as the “Declaration and Call” makes clear, there are a lot of bad things connected with this, and it could lead to something really terrible; but, if it is seized on and correctly worked on by growing organized forces of revolution, guided by the scientific method and approach of the new communism, it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of this—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.

    * Bringing into being a revolutionary people in the millions—with an organized force of thousands at the core, leading these millions—is the key objective and necessary focus of revolutionary work now, in preparing to go for all-out revolution, with a real chance to win, as soon as the conditions for that have been brought into being.

    And here is another very important requirement in all this. In order for there to be the necessary force of thousands, able to lead millions—and more particularly in order to defeat the vicious repression that is bound to be brought down on a seriously developing revolutionary force, including the ability to replace leaders who are killed or imprisoned by the repressive force of the existing state power:

    It is a matter of strategic importance to develop a large core of experienced and tested leaders—not just “tens” but at least hundreds of such leaders, on all levels—firmly grounded in the line, above all the scientific method and approach of [the new communism], and capable, on that basis, of taking initiative to lead, including in situations of sharpening contradictions and the intensification of repression and even attempts at violent suppression by the powers-that-be, throughout the process of advancing the “three prepares” [prepare the ground, prepare the people, prepare the vanguard leadership for revolution]; and then, when the conditions come into being, this core of tested leaders needs to be capable of giving direction to thousands, and in turn millions, to fight all-out, in a unified way, for the seizure of power. Whether or not such a cadre of leaders—in the hundreds, at least—is developed, will have a significant bearing on whether or not all the work we are doing now is really preparing for revolution, and whether there is a real chance of winning when the time comes.

    (That is a crucial point I have emphasized in the book The New Communism, Part IV, “The Leadership We Need.”)

    This development of hundreds of such leaders must be carried out in the crucible of intense struggle in the tumultuous time before us, as a crucial part of bringing forward the thousands to lead millions. And, as the work of building for revolution is developing, these hundreds, together with the thousands they are leading, must be forged into a disciplined vanguard force, capable of leading the overall revolutionary process of preparing for and then, when the time is right, carrying out the all-out fight for the seizure of power.

    * Transforming the people is decisive in order for there to be a positive outcome to all this—and transforming the thinking of masses of people is crucial, is pivotal, in doing this.

    * At the same time, there is real importance to fighting the power—building powerful, massive resistance to the continuing atrocities of this system—and actively defending, and opposing moves to intimidate, and attack, those who are targeted by “official” enforcers of this oppressive system and “civilian” fascist forces.

    * The key, the most decisive thing: All this must be for revolution: carried out to build toward, and get in position to have a real chance to win, an all-out fight for revolution, as soon as the conditions for that have been brought into being.

    Once more: Everything depends on bringing forward a revolutionary people, from among the most bitterly oppressed, and all parts of society, first in the thousands and then in the millions, as a powerful revolutionary force, organized from the start and consistently with a country-wide perspective, impacting all of society and changing the terms of how masses of people see things and how every institution has to respond. Everything must be focused now on actually bringing forward and organizing this revolutionary force.

    And then, once this revolutionary force is brought into being, everything would be focused on how to actually fight to win.

    At that point, this force of millions would need to be mobilized and wielded in such a way as to make clear that it is going for a complete, revolutionary change—that it will not back down from this goal and accept anything less. In this way, it would constitute a powerful pole attracting and drawing forward even broader numbers of people from all parts of society—and it would pose a definite challenge and call to people everywhere in society, including in all the existing institutions of this system, to come over to the side of this revolution.

    And, through the swirl of this intense process, concrete work would need to be carried out to organize, train and prepare the initial fighting forces for the revolution, while actively, vigorously combating and defeating attempts to violently suppress this.

    Here, again, is something that is crucial to understand, something that is a hallmark of a serious, scientific approach to fighting to win, when the time comes: No matter how much the situation in society overall is changed, and no matter how much even the most powerful institutions of violent repression of this system are affected by this, with significant splits very likely occurring among them, the revolution will still be confronted with powerful armed forces of counter-revolution, from among sections of the official institutions, along with fascist “civilian forces” aligned with them. And it would be extremely unlikely that, particularly at the beginning phase, the revolutionary fighting forces would be able to confront and defeat those armed forces of counter-revolution by directly and frontally taking on anything close to their full force. That is why, in the doctrine and strategic orientation that has been developed to enable the revolutionary forces to fight to win, when the time is right, it is stressed that:

    [T]he revolutionary forces would need to fight only on favorable terms and avoid decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the balance of forces had shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution.

    This doctrine and strategic orientation is spoken to in some depth and spelled out more fully in my speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Could Really Make Revolution, with additional thinking provided in my article A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution, both of which can be found at revcom.us. This sets the basic groundwork for how, when the necessary conditions have been brought into being, a revolutionary force, mobilizing masses of people, could actually approach the overthrow of this system in such a way as to effectively neutralize and eventually overcome what would almost certainly be, at the outset, the overwhelming power of the armed forces seeking to defeat and pulverize this attempt at the revolutionary seizure of power. It speaks to how, when the revolutionary situation has been ripened, revolutionary fighting forces, with the backbone drawn especially from youth who have been won hardcore to this revolution, could be organized and trained, and provided with the means to engage and defeat forces of counter-revolution in encounters, beginning on a small scale, which would be favorable for the revolutionary forces—and how, on that basis and through the course of doing that, they could grow in strength and win over growing numbers among those who had been part of the counter-revolutionary forces, and then finally defeat the remaining forces of counter-revolution.

    At the same time, the development of this basic doctrine and strategic approach is an ongoing process. And throughout this period of preparing the ground, preparing masses of people and preparing the leading forces for this revolution, this basic doctrine and strategic approach for the all-out fight must be continually developed and made more “operational” in conception—that is, it must be further elaborated and further concretized, particularly in terms of what will constitute the actual pathways to victory—and, flowing from and serving that, what should be the specific nature and features of the encounters with the other side, particularly in the beginning phases, and (as far as possible) overall.

    As spoken to earlier, a big factor in regard to all this is the real possibility of civil war between opposing sections of society, and how this could impact the key institutions of state power of this system. If such a civil war were to erupt—or even if the deepening divisions in society were moving more directly toward such a civil war—this could have a profound effect on such institutions, with the real prospect of splits among them, and even the splitting apart of such institutions, with some parts siding with the fascists and others with those on the side opposed to the fascists.

    This possibility is something that the basic doctrine and strategic approach for the revolutionary fighting forces would need to take into account and encompass. But, in order for the revolutionary forces to win over, and incorporate into their ranks, significant numbers from among the ruling and repressive institutions of this system, and to do so in a way that would actually maintain the emancipating character of the revolutionary forces, and strengthen them on that basis, it would be necessary for the revolutionary ranks to be tempered and steeled, not just in terms of fighting capacity but in terms of their fundamental ideological and political orientation, as fighters for the emancipation of humanity.

    Here again is the very important point that

    This is not the time of the Civil War in the 1860s, when the goal of those fighting against injustice was to abolish slavery.... The goal now must precisely be getting rid of this whole system of capitalism-imperialism.... which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates, here and throughout the world.

    So, in the event of, and in the context of, a new civil war, the approach of the revolutionary forces, led by the new communism, would be to carry out the necessary political work, in combination with the actual fighting, to develop such a civil war into a revolution to achieve the goal of getting rid of this whole system, and replacing it with a radically different and emancipating system based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

    Above all, right now, this further emphasizes the crucial importance of working actively, boldly and tirelessly for the necessary political repolarization in society as a whole, and among all sectors of society, in a direction favorable for all-the-way revolution.

    In this same light, it is also necessary to take into account how a revolution in this country would have important international dimensions and interconnections. First of all, this revolution would of course not be bound by the present territory and borders of this country, which have been forged through wars of conquest and genocide. This revolution will inevitably be influenced by, and will in turn significantly influence, what is happening in countries to the south (and north) of it, with which the USA has historically been closely interconnected, and which in many cases it has dominated and plundered.

    And more generally, there will be the ways in which this revolution will be viewed, and responded to, by different forces, far beyond the present borders of this country. A serious fight for revolution in this countrythis country—would have the effect of a powerful political earthquake, sending seismic shockwaves throughout the world. It is true that one reaction to this would be that oppressive governments and forces throughout the world would see this as a serious threat to their position and objectives, and there is a real possibility that there could be moves by some of these forces to aid, or join in, attempts to crush such a revolution. At the same time, such a revolution would shake awake and provide a powerful positive shock to literally billions of people everywhere, shattering the sense that no alternative to this terrible world is possible. Overall, it would almost certainly contribute, in a very significant way, to a repolarization on a global scale.

    All this would need to be taken into account by the leading forces of this revolution, as an important part of its strategic orientation and objectives.

    In all this, and in everything I have spoken to in the course of this talk, this fundamental principle stands out: Revolution is a very serious matter, and it must be approached seriously and in a consistently scientific way.

    In Conclusion: Everyone who really wants to see the world changed, in a profoundly positive, emancipating way, and everyone who thinks about whether this is actually possible, or wishes it could be, needs to seriously engage what has been spoken to here, take up the scientific revolutionary orientation, method and approach of the new communism; become part of, and work tirelessly to build up, the organized forces for this revolution whose goal is nothing less than the emancipation of all oppressed people, everywhere, and ultimately all of humanity, from the horrors of this system and from any way in which people are exploited, oppressed, degraded and treated as less than human.

    To return to this crucial and urgent truth:

    This is one of those rare times and circumstances when revolution becomes possible, not just because this system is always a horror, but because the crisis and deep divisions in society now can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means.

    There is a great challenge that must be met, and a tremendous amount of work and struggle that must be carried out, with scientifically grounded determination and boldness, in order to make possible the emancipating revolutionary resolution.

    There is no guarantee of achieving all this, but there is a real possibility. And what we do—what all those who want to see a world and a future worth living in, where human beings everywhere can truly flourish in the fullness of their humanity—what we all do can make a tremendous difference in what the outcome of all this will be.

    There is the possibility, there is the challenge.

    Dare to become part of the forces for this historic revolution. Dare to work resolutely to make this a reality. Dare to struggle, dare to win.

    Announcing New work by BA, SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING:

     

    Bob Avakian

     

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

    Learn more about Bob Avakian and the new communism

    A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

     


    cover of pamphlet Bob Avakian: This Is A Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible—Why That Is So And How To Seize On This Rare Opportunity

     

  • ARTICLE:

    Organizing for an Actual Revolution:

    7 Key Points

    Everyone who can’t stand this world, the way it is, needs to be challenged to be part of the revolution that is the way out of this madness. And people need to know there is an actual strategy for making this revolution, based on the key points of the “foundation” and “roadmap” for this revolution in the work by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian: “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating.” The following is the basic means for carrying out this strategy, so that the currently small forces for the revolution that is urgently needed can grow in numbers and strength, quickly in a concentrated way, and become the powerful force that is needed to lead this revolution. Spreading and popularizing these Key Points is also an important part of carrying out this strategy.

    1   Set forth, and explain, in the following basic terms, why this is a “rare time” when revolution becomes (more) possible, even in a powerful country like this:

    Brutal and murderous white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations, the deepening crisis in society and the world overall, including the constant wars and the continuing destruction of the environment: all this cannot ultimately be resolved, in any positive way, within the confines of the system that rules in this country and dominates in the world as a whole—the system of capitalism-imperialism. Under the rule of this system, all this will only get worse. The deepening divisions within this country now, from top to bottom, mean that those who have ruled in this country for so long (the capitalist-imperialist ruling class) can no longer rule, as a “unified force,” in the “normal” way that people have been conditioned to accept—with a system of government that has an outer shell of “democracy” to cover over the fact that it is an actual capitalist dictatorship at its core, relying fundamentally on the armed force of the institutions of “official violence,” the police and the military. Because of big changes in this country and the world overall, one part of the ruling class, represented by the Republican Party, has become fascist: they no longer believe in or feel bound by what have been the “norms” of “democratic” capitalist rule in this country. And the other section of the ruling class, represented by the Democratic Party, has no real answer to this—except trying to maintain the “normal way” that the oppressive rule of this system has been enforced for hundreds of years, while the fascists are determined to tear up those “norms” and rule through more openly and aggressively oppressive means, without the traditional disguise of supposed “democracy for all.”

    The crisis and deep divisions in society can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means, or radically emancipating revolutionary means. And this resolution could quite possibly happen, one way or the other, within the next few years. This rare situation, with the deepening and sharpening conflicts among the ruling powers, and in the society overall, provides a stronger basis and greater openings to break the hold of this system over masses of people. In a situation like this, things that have basically remained the same, for decades, can radically change in a very short period of time. This rare time must not be wasted—it must be seized on to have a real fighting chance to bring about a truly emancipating revolutionary resolution, and not be subjected to a terrible, reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive resolution.

    2   With the recognition of this rare time when revolution becomes (more) possible: wield the forces for revolution now to impact masses of people, in all parts of society—bringing to people the message of revolution, especially in short, powerful and popular forms, both online and “in real life”—setting forth why this revolution is necessary, and is possible, and how to be part of working to make it a reality. In hard-hitting, compelling ways, carry out ferocious struggle against ways of thinking that keep people chained to this system, winning growing numbers to break with all that, while also mobilizing masses of people to fight against injustices and outrages that are continually committed under this system and to stand up against the forces that perpetrate and enforce these injustices and outrages. Spread far and wide the inspiring vision of how much better life could be, for the great majority of people, if millions of people got behind this revolution and carried it through—making it possible to restructure all of society on a completely different foundation, with a radically different economic system (mode of production) and emancipating relations among people, as spelled out very concretely in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian.

    3   With “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating” as the basic guide, and utilizing the YouTube RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show and the website revcom.us as key resources, organize people who are drawn to this to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. Involve them in the process of building for revolution, in an organized way—in being part of carrying out point 2. Enable people in parts of the country where the revolution does not yet have an organized presence to link up with others and become part of this revolution.

    4   Through this process, build up the forces of revolution, first in the hundreds, in areas all over the country, and weld them together as an organized force. Develop and train revolutionary leaders, on the basis of the scientific method and approach of the new communism that has been developed by Bob Avakian.

    5   Wield these organized forces to repeat points 1-4 on an increasingly larger scale—reaching much greater numbers of people, in all parts of society, organizing thousands into the process of building for this revolution, while developing and training growing numbers of high-level revolutionary leaders. Powerfully impact society as a whole, awakening and influencing millions toward revolution. Keep clearly in mind, constantly popularize, and act on the understanding that:

    Everything depends on bringing forward a revolutionary people, from among the most bitterly oppressed, and all parts of society, first in the thousands and then in the millions, as a powerful revolutionary force, organized from the start and consistently with a country-wide perspective, impacting all of society and changing the terms of how masses of people see things and how every institution has to respond. Everything must be focused now on actually bringing forward and organizing this revolutionary force.

    6   Once this revolutionary force is brought into being, with a continually growing core of tested and steeled revolutionary leaders, and the crisis in society and the divisions, from top to bottom, are reaching a breaking point: everything would then be focused on how to actually organize and wield this revolutionary force to fight to win—to actually defeat the forces seeking to crush the revolution. This will mean carrying out the basic approach for how this could actually be done that is set forth in “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating.”

    7   Continually popularize these Key Points, while actively carrying them out, and involving more and more people, in an organized way, in doing so.

  • ARTICLE:

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

    Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

    Bob Avakian is completely different than the endless stream of bourgeois politicians who are put forward as “leaders,” whose goal is to maintain one variation or another of this system of capitalism-imperialism that is founded on and perpetuates itself through cruel and literally life-stealing exploitation, murderous oppression, and massive destruction, in all parts of the world. BA is a revolutionary who bases himself on the scientific understanding that this system must finally be overthrown through an organized struggle involving millions of people, and replaced with a system that is oriented to and capable of meeting the most fundamental needs of humanity and enabling humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth.

    Bob Avakian is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the "new communism."

    BA is the author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, an inspiring application of the new communism—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a new socialist society, whose fundamental goal is to bring about a world without classes and class distinctions, a world without exploitation and oppression, and without the destructive divisions and antagonisms among people: a communist world.

    Ardea Skybreak, a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and a follower of Bob Avakian, speaks to the importance of what he has brought forward:

    Bob Avakian ... on the basis of decades of hard work [has been] developing a whole body of work—theory to advance the science of communism, to advance the science of revolution, to more deeply explain where the problems come from, what the strategy is for getting out of this mess, what the methods and approaches should be to stay on track and actually build a better world, to build a society that most human beings would want to live in. (From Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak)

    BA is a leader who is firmly convinced, on the basis of a consistently scientific method and approach, that the goal must be nothing less than all-out revolution, and who at the same time has emphasized:

    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. (From Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary)

    As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it broadly accessible.

    A leader like this has never before existed in the history of this country, and this leadership is of tremendous importance for the emancipation of all humanity.

    What is urgently needed now is for continually growing numbers of people—in the thousands, and ultimately millions—to become conscious and active followers of BA, building the revolutionary movement, based on the new communism, for which BA provides this unprecedented leadership.

    Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America cover 240

     

    "BA is the author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, an inspiring application of the new communism—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a new socialist society, whose fundamental goal is to bring about a world without classes and class distinctions, a world without exploitation and oppression, and without the destructive divisions and antagonisms among people: a communist world."

    Click to read and download (PDF)

    Download poster and leaflet:

  • ARTICLE:

    Translated into English, by revcom.us, from the blog Aurora Roja, of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico:

    REVOLUTIONARY HOPE

    New Possibilities Are Opening Up for Liberatory Revolution In the Midst of Acute Crises and Upheavals of the Capitalist System — It Is Urgent to Organize the Fight For Revolution

    Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

    Editors' Note: The following is the English translation of a new book from the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico (OCR). According to the description of this book at Aurora Roja, voice of the OCR: "An important new book on the new possibilities for a liberatory revolution in the midst of the acute crises and upheavals of the capitalist system, as well as what needs to be done and what can be done to organize and fight now for this revolution that the people and the planet so urgently need. The pdf of this book is available in English (8.5x11") and in Spanish booklet 5.6x8.74" and 8.5x11" sizes.

    La Esperanza Revolucionaria cover spanish

     

    Revolutionary Hope
    Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico   

    Among people there is debate about whether things are going to continue badly, as usual, or if they are going to get worse. The truth is that in the country [Mexico] and in the world, things are going from bad to worse. The misery and unnecessary suffering of millions is increasing and we face existential threats to the future of humanity from the environmental emergency and the threat of war, including world war. However, it is precisely in the midst of the acute crises and upheavals of the current system that new possibilities arise for the liberatory revolution that will open the way to a hopeful and emancipatory future.

    The relentless intensification of global warming and the overall environmental crisis caused by capitalism, as well as the extinction and threat of extinction of many species, including possibly our own, arouses anguish, repudiation and growing protest in many parts of the world. This is particularly the case among young people and also among many scientists. The ravages of the environmental crisis, as well as imperialist domination and wars, force millions to migrate, through Mexico and the world, desperately seeking how to survive.

    Wars provoked by the imperialist powers in their increasingly intense contention for redividing the world are tearing apart the stability of the current world imperialist order. They bring immense dangers while potentially opening up new revolutionary possibilities for the future of humanity and the planet. The most recent war, in Ukraine, has been provoked by the U.S. and Russian imperialists. This war, in the short term, has given rise to a big nauseating wave of pro-imperialist chauvinism in the West, although there are also those who denounce the provocations of the Western imperialists by expanding NATO, without making apologies for the Russian invasion. On the other side of the conflict, in Russia, facing the wave of imperialist chauvinism in favor of the invasion, thousands of Russians, mainly young people, despite the consequences, have dared to go out and protest against the invasion of Ukraine. And, all over the planet, there are those who question why there has to be so much death and suffering from wars launched by interests alien to the vast majority of people, which lead us towards the precipice of nuclear war and the danger of extinction of many forms of life on the planet, including the human race.

    The possibility of a revolutionary situation in the United States has arisen in the midst of the intense internecine struggle in the U.S. ruling class, between the Republican Party, which seeks to impose fascism, and the Democratic Party, which tries to preserve the forms and illusions of bourgeois democracy. It is more than evident that the big breakthroughs of revolution in the “belly of the beast” would have an enormous impact on the world, and particularly in Mexico.

    The righteous rebellion of women throughout the world, and notably in Mexico, has called into question the festering patriarchy, in the face of reactionary efforts to defend and strengthen male dominance. This contention can only be resolved either through radically reactionary transformations or through radically revolutionary and liberatory transformations.

    The anger of the indigenous peoples rises as they live, behind new honeyed promises, the harsh reality of new and old megaprojects of death, ethnocide and ecocide: Mining, the so-called “Maya” Train, the transoceanic project on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the Morelos Comprehensive Project, and the Independencia aqueduct, among many others.

    The desperation of more and more people is spreading, in the face of the bloody conflicts and the collusion that exists between the cartels, the government and the big capitalists, which has resulted in more than 100 thousand murders and more than 30 thousand disappeared, just in the three years of the current government, as well as tens of thousands of people forced to flee their homes.

    More and more people see their hopes for real change defrauded with the so-called “Fourth Transformation” [“4T”], while President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vituperates, attacks and accuses radical women and indigenous people, environmentalists, students at a normal school [normal school refers to teachers' colleges in Mexico], teachers, scientists, independent journalists, and others of being “conservative and corrupt.” At the same time, the internal struggle in the ruling classes is intensifying between the true “conservatives”—the reactionary and discredited parties of the PAN, PRI and PRD—and the reactionary project of a new hegemonic party, with Morena as a sort of renewed PRI, which seeks to sustain itself through a threatening escalation of the country’s militarization, among other means.

    In the world and in the country, these and other contradictions of the world capitalist-imperialist system are intensifying more and more, posing two possibilities: Live with these horrors and worse, even the possible extinction of humanity, or make revolution.

    The very intensification of the upheavals of the system and of the unnecessary suffering of the people also opens up, in addition to great dangers, new possibilities for a truly liberatory revolution and a much better world. However, these possibilities of opening up a new emancipatory dawn in the country and in the world can only become a reality with a growing organized nucleus of people who apply the science of new communism to guide determined and conscious revolutionary struggle of the masses.

    Let us therefore analyze in greater depth the big dangers and the new revolutionary possibilities inherent in the current situation, as well as the urgent need to bring forward and train new revolutionary communists who will fight for the liberatory revolution in Mexico and the emancipation of all humanity.

    The Environmental Emergency of Capitalism Is Destroying the Planet: Revolution Is the Only Hope for Humanity

    Global warming and other environmental destruction carry the threat of extinction of many species, including our own. According to a report from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the world has lost more than two-thirds of vertebrates (animals with backbones) since 1970. This includes a 94 percent loss in tropical areas of Central and South America. And the rate of extinction is accelerating (La Jornada [LJ], 01/16/2022).

    Global warming is intensifying, which is caused by greenhouse gases, mainly due to carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal). Its ravages are becoming more than evident in the world with dramatic climatic disasters of unusual and intense heat waves and droughts in some parts and very strong hurricanes, storms and floods in others. In Mexico, just in 2021 (and now continuing especially in the north of the country) the Conagua [National Water Commission] declared a state of emergency due to the conditions of extreme and severe drought that three quarters of the country suffer in which there is some degree of drought, which undermines agriculture, damages ecosystems and erodes soils. In the same year, the number of cyclones almost doubled, leaving thousands of victims who had to block highways and even break into a conference of the president to demand from the government the aid that had supposedly already arrived, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who always has “other data.”

    Despite the rhetoric of bourgeois politicians and their international conferences, since 1990 when global warming caused by human activity was well established as scientific fact, global greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 50 percent. The global temperature is already around 1°C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement purportedly seeks to limit this to 1.5°C, but even if all of their promises are met, an increase of about 2.7°C is projected and the vast majority of countries are not keeping their promises. The recent report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed that the warming has progressed even faster than predicted. What’s more, the 15 largest producers plan to produce more than double the amount of oil, gas and carbon needed to meet the supposed goal. Mexico is among the countries that do not comply with the Paris Agreements and Mexico’s government has opted to increase the use of fossil fuels instead of restricting them. The country is one of the 15 largest emitters of greenhouse gases, and Pemex [Petróleos Mexicanos, state oil monopoly] is among the ten most polluting companies in the world.

    This environmental crisis also causes and will cause more and worse pandemics and epidemics in the world. The destruction of the habitat of other species breaks down “the natural barriers that allowed humans to keep us safe from viruses and bacteria found in nature,” explains Dr. Gerardo Ceballos González, a researcher at the UNAM Institute of Ecology (Gaceta UNAM, “Amenaza la sexta extinción masiva de vertebrados” ["The threat of sixth mass extinction of vertebrates"]). And this is a cause of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are experiencing, as well as the nearly 50 outbreaks of emerging, viral or bacterial diseases that have affected human beings in the last 30 years. If capitalism-imperialism and its destruction of the environment continue, more and worse epidemics and pandemics await us.

    The cause of global warming and of the destruction of the environment is the world system of capitalism-imperialism and the only way to seriously be able to fight to reverse this race towards environmental disaster is revolution. For the capitalists, global warming and the destruction of the environment are “externalities,” that is, they do not figure in their production costs, although there is a very high cost for people and nature. Competition among capitalists forces them to ignore these social costs, under penalty of being bankrupted by the more profitable (and destructive) measures by other capitalists. Something similar happens with respect to the rivalry between the imperialist powers, but not only economic competition enters into this relationship, but also geopolitical and military contentions for world domination. Due to all of the above, we have had decades of empty promises from the authorities and the situation is only getting worse. In several aspects, the destruction caused so far is irreversible, although in others it is not.

    What will happen if we allow the ecocidal capitalist system to continue driving global warming and the destruction of the planet’s ecosystems?

    • More and more terrestrial and marine species will become extinct and the ecosystems on which human life depends will be destroyed.
    • More and more regions of the planet will become uninhabitable due to intense heat and drought, especially in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and parts of Asia.
    • The level of the oceans will continue to rise with the melting of the polar glaciers, leading to major flooding on the coasts and the sinking of several coastal cities and island nations under the sea.
    • There will be more and more frequent and devastating storms and hurricanes, alternating with heat waves and forest fires.
    • Water for human use and agriculture will become increasingly scarce. The destruction of the necessary conditions for agriculture will lead to people suffering from hunger and famine, especially in the countries of the Global South who are most affected.
    • The desperate migration of millions of more people due to the impossibility of surviving in their countries of origin will increase, and they will collide with the walls and repressive forces of the imperialist countries of the northern hemisphere that are less affected by global warming.
    • New pandemics, diseases and health crises will occur, as well as many additional deaths from extreme weather events.

    This doesn’t have to be our future, but scientists are warning us that the “window of opportunity” to stop global disaster is closing. There’s not much time. Revolution is urgent.

    With revolution and socialism, society will be freed from the shackles of capitalism’s relentless pursuit of maximum profit, and it will be possible to put the needs of people and the environment in command. The triumph of such a communist revolution in one country or group of countries would be a beacon of inspiration for the people of the rest of the world, and the triumphant revolution would immediately call for a determined struggle throughout the world until it is possible to rapidly put an end to the use of fossil fuels and other forms of environmental destruction.

    This revolution is possible and the very dimensions of the ongoing environmental emergency are leading more and more people, especially young people and scientists, to question the system that causes and will cause more and more of these disasters. It is urgent to bring to these people and others the truth about the only real solution to all this madness.

    The Contention Between the Imperialist Powers for the Redivision of the World Is Taking Us to the Precipice of a World War: We Must Face Imperialist War and Aggression With Revolution to End Capitalism-Imperialism

    The danger of war, including nuclear war, is increasing due to the intensification of the rivalry among imperialist powers, such as the United States, China, Russia, various European countries, and others. This danger has been greatly increased with the more direct clash between U.S. imperialism and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), on the one hand, and Russian imperialism, on the other, with the invasion of Ukraine. However, this has been intensifying since before this war. For example, these imperialists stirred things up in support of opposing sides in the civil war in Syria, which has killed hundreds of thousands of people, with millions of displaced people and refugees. On the other hand, not long ago the United States and Japan conducted provocative military exercises in a disputed area of the South China Sea; while China has held military exercises with fake U.S. ships as their targets.

    The big capitalists and their political representatives in the oppressed countries subordinated to imperialism in Africa, Asia and Latin America, are trying to take advantage of the conflict between the imperialist powers to see if they can increase their share of the exploitation of “their” workers. The president of Mexico, López Obrador, at the summit with the presidents of the U.S. and Canada in 2021, warned of the danger that “by 2051, China would dominate 42 percent of the world market and we, the United States, Mexico and Canada, would end up with 12 percent, which, in addition to being an unacceptable disproportion in the economic sphere, would keep alive the temptation to bet on resolving this disparity with the use of force, which would endanger us all.” So he called for “strengthening ourselves commercially in North America,” "strengthening," by the way, in that the economic role of Mexico as an oppressed country lies largely in the super-exploitation of cheap labor and as a source of raw materials.

    Other bourgeois politicians like Evo Morales, former president of Bolivia, advocate for associating with China for the best terms it could offer. And among the Latin American “left” in general there is no shortage of those who praise China and Russia. Such a point of view, when expressed by people who are not representatives of the bourgeoisie, is usually due to a narrow nationalism that does not see beyond the fact that the U.S. is indeed the main imperialist oppressor in the region (and the world) and their blindness to the revolutionary potential of the masses. Russia has been an openly capitalist power for more than 30 years. Although China maintains a flimsy façade of “socialism,” capitalism was actually restored there as a result of the coup after Mao’s death in 1976. Profits are in command of both the state and private Chinese economy, and this so-called socialist country boasts one of the main stock exchanges in the world, in Shanghai.

    The fundamental interests of the masses of people are not in choosing which is the best imperialist power to exploit and dispossess us, but in freeing ourselves from all imperialist domination and the capitalist system itself.

    The growing rivalry between these powers is rooted in the very nature of the capitalist-imperialist system. The competition between capitalists for maximum profits moves to the international stage as the competition between the imperialist powers for world domination. They all need to expand in a world already divided up, which leads to confrontations and wars for a new division of the world. Although U.S. imperialism has been the dominant power since the end of World War II, it faces a growing challenge from China and Russia, all three imperialist powers which have been expanding and modernizing their weapons systems, including nuclear weapons. The growing danger of war between these imperialists bring dire threats for humanity, as a nuclear war would cause catastrophic death and destruction and leave large parts of the planet radioactive and uninhabitable.

    The Problem Is the Capitalist-Imperialist System, the Solution Is Communist Revolution

    Revolution, communist revolution, is urgently necessary in the face of the aforementioned serious threats against the existence of humanity, as well as patriarchy and the barbaric oppression of women; the dispossession, racism and oppression of indigenous peoples; the terror and invasion of daily life by organized crime everywhere; and the exploitation and poverty of the majority of the people; among other horrors.

    Bob Avakian, revolutionary leader and author of the New Communism, very concisely summarizes (in Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating) the following basic truths:

    We live under a system—the system of capitalism-imperialism (capitalism is an economic and political system of exploitation and oppression, and imperialism refers to the worldwide nature of this system).

    It is this system which is the basic cause of the tremendous suffering that people, all over the world, are subjected to; and this system poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity, in the way that this system is rapidly destroying the global environment, and in the danger of war between nuclear-armed capitalist-imperialist powers, such as the U.S. and China.

    All this is reality, and no one can escape this reality. Either we radically change it, in a positive way, or everything will be changed in a very negative way.

    To be very clear once more: Changing it in a positive way means making revolution—a real revolution, to overthrow this system of capitalism-imperialism and replace it with a radically different and emancipating system. For it is also a basic truth that: In today’s world, to fundamentally change society, you must seize power—overthrow the existing state power and establish a new state power.

    Such a revolution is not only urgently needed, but is becoming more possible in the current situation, while the threat of even more terrible things is very clear.

    A Rare Time: Revolution Becomes Possible in the United States

    Bob Avakian has discussed that this is a rare time when revolution becomes possible in the United States. This is a rare time when the three necessary conditions for a socialist revolution in that country could arise:

    A crisis in society and government so deep and so disruptive of the “usual way of things,” that those who have ruled over us, for so long, can no longer do so in the “normal” way that people have been conditioned to accept.

    A revolutionary people in the millions and millions, with their “allegiance” to this system broken, and their determination to fight for a more just society greater than their fear of the violent repression of this system.

    An organized revolutionary force—made up of continually growing numbers of people, from among the most oppressed but also from many other parts of society—a force which is grounded in, and is working systematically to apply, the most scientific approach to building for and then carrying out revolution, and which is increasingly looked to by masses of people to lead them to bring about the radical change that is urgently needed.

    —Bob Avakian, Something Terrible, or Something Truly Emancipating

    Avakian analyzes that revolution in the United States becomes possible, in important part, because of the deep crisis in the capitalist ruling class and in all of society in that country. This crisis is expressed in the increasingly acute conflict between, on the one hand, one section of the ruling class grouped in the Democratic Party that seeks to maintain the current bourgeois-democratic order and, on the other hand, the section of the ruling class represented by the Republican Party that seeks to impose fascism.

    The bourgeois democracy advocated by the Democratic Party represents a dictatorship of the capitalist-imperialist class over the masses, although they disguise it with democratic forms such as elections, the peaceful transition of power and certain legal rights. This façade has always been a cruel lie for people at the bottom of society, but the ruling class has been forced to concede certain limited reforms due to the fight against white supremacy (oppression and racism against people of color), male supremacy (patriarchy and machismo) and other oppressive relations, especially since the rise of revolutionary struggle in that country and the world in the 1960s of the last century.

    The fascism that the other section of the ruling class represented by the Republican Party seeks to impose is, instead, an open form of the capitalist dictatorship, ready to use violence, not only against the masses but also against their opponents in the ruling class. The Republican Party, which has become a fascist party, seeks to defend and enforce the most extreme forms of white supremacy, male supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners), and completely unbridled plundering of the environment, as well as throwing out the rule of law. And they have mobilized to fight for this a reactionary and lunatic social base in society, steeped in all kinds of conspiracy theories and Christian fundamentalism, openly calling in many cases for a civil war to impose their extreme reactionary program.

    Fascist forces have already attempted a coup by storming the federal Capitol on January 6, 2021 to try to impose Trump as president, even though he had lost the election. Now the Republicans are changing laws in the states so as to restrict the vote of Blacks, Latinos and others, while they prepare their armed followers and organize their fascist forces in the police and the army, all with the purpose of seizing power and not letting go of it, imposing a fascist form of bourgeois dictatorship, most likely in the context of the 2024 elections, if they are not able to do so sooner.

    While the fascists take the offensive, mobilize their followers and do not accept the bourgeois-democratic “rules of the game,” the Democratic Party wavers, seeks to reach “agreements” with the Republicans and refuses to mobilize people who hate the fascists, for fear of what might happen if the masses rebel. So, if things continue on their current course, it is very likely that fascism will prevail in the United States, either through elections with the dice increasingly loaded in favor of the Republicans, or through a coup or through a civil war.

    On the other hand, this profound crisis also opens up the rare possibility of a liberatory revolution on the other side of the Río Bravo / Grande. The potential for revolution among the people has been seen in the beautiful uprising of protest against police murder and racist oppression by millions of people in the U.S. and around the world in the summer of 2020, following the brutal murder of George Floyd by uniformed pigs. This potential has also been seen in the outbreaks of rebellion of women, the struggle and anguish over the environmental emergency that threatens the future of humanity, as well as in other ways.

    Fully appreciating the revolutionary potential of the masses requires science to penetrate below the surface of what undergirds this system and its values. In Mexico and other countries oppressed by the United States, another obstacle to appreciating this potential in the United States is the nationalist tendency not to draw a clear distinction between the ruling class and the masses in the U.S., confusing the righteous rejection of imperialist domination with a rejection of anything that has to do with that country in general. This contrasts with the correct internationalist understanding that the ruling classes in the U.S., Mexico and the other countries in the world today are strategic enemies of the liberatory revolution, the proletariat in all countries is in essence one single international class with the fundamental interest of abolishing all forms of exploitation and oppression, and the masses of people on both sides of the border and around the world are potential driving forces of this revolution. From a nationalist point of view, rather than an internationalist point of view, there is a tendency to not recognize the revolutionary potential of the masses and the possibility of revolution in the colossus to the North. Many times the history of the struggle of millions there against the imperialist wars of “their” rulers, as well as the struggles against the oppression of women, Black people, Latinos and others, is ignored. It is overlooked that the United States is a society divided into classes with a large population of oppressed nationalities, in which inequality between the powers that be and those at the bottom of society is increasingly intensifying, and there is an antagonism between the interests of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class and the fundamental interests of the oppressed masses in the United States.

    Ironically, failing to grasp the revolutionary potential of the oppressed masses in the U.S. leads many towards capitulation to U.S. imperialism. They try to justify, for example, AMLO’s shameless praise of Trump during his visit to Washington, as well as his slavish obedience to Yankee demands to contain and repress migrants, with the argument of avoiding negative consequences for Mexico due to the possible economic retaliation exerted by the colossus to the North. But the reality is that it is a colossus with feet of clay, because the U.S. capitalist-imperialist class exploits and oppresses people in its own country, as well as superexploiting, oppressing and dominating masses around the world.

    Revolution in the U.S. undoubtedly faces enormous difficulties. By scientifically analyzing with the New Communism the current crisis in that society, Bob Avakian has been able to penetrate below the surface of appearances to show that the crisis itself entails not only the danger of even more terrible horrors, but also the possibility of a truly emancipatory revolution. Facing this reality as it is, our comrades, the revolutionary communists in the U.S., are struggling to rise to the occasion. The “revcoms” are fighting and striving increasingly to build the leading organized revolutionary force for that revolution and to transform the revolutionary potential of the people into a revolutionary people of millions to make revolution in the U.S.

    As things are, the crisis in the United States brings with it, in turn, the all-too-clear danger of fascism, the imminent possibility of civil war, and the inspiring potential for socialist revolution. As Avakian analyzes, “as this [situation] unfolds, this profound truth will be more and more forcefully demonstrated: The crisis and deep divisions in society can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means” (our emphasis, from 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, by Bob Avakian, which everyone should study in depth to understand the current crisis in the U.S. and its implications for the world).

    The Possibilities of Fascism, Civil War and Revolution in the U.S. in the Near Future Have Profound Implications for Mexico and the World

    This critical situation in the largest imperialist superpower today is of enormous importance for Mexico and the world.

    The possible triumph of fascism would bring unspeakable horrors: An even more brutal and murderous hunt for migrants; rampant racist attacks against Blacks, Latinos, and other nationalities; more repugnant patriarchal subjection of women (such as the suppression of the right to abortion that just happened) with attempts to impose this in other countries as well; the further accelerated destruction of the environment throughout the U.S. empire; and the strengthening of fascist forces throughout the world. This would also entail even cruder, more brutal and direct forms of imperialist domination of Mexico. Although it is not possible to predict the exact forms of this, Trump’s characterization of Mexicans as “murderers and rapists” and his "offer," when he was president, to send military personnel to Mexico to "put things in order" give us some indication of what the consolidation of fascism in the U.S. could mean for Mexico.

    The position of various “amlovers” [lovers of AMLO] that Trump was better than Biden represents a false and deadly illusion. Apparently, this position is due, in part, to his attempt to justify the aforementioned shameless servility by AMLO before Trump. There are also certain similarities between the two, such as their demagogic speeches, their unprincipled attacks on anyone who opposes them, their insistence that the world is as they say, and not as the evidence indicates, and the fact that the two lead mass movements aimed at strengthening the capitalist system, although with different bourgeois programs. (Trump is a fascist, AMLO is not, although he was a collaborationist when Trump was president). Whatever the reasons, favoring Trump over Biden is a deeply misguided position. Both Trump and Biden, both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, are deeply reactionary representatives of U.S. capitalism-imperialism that exploits and oppresses people in the U.S. and around the world. The only difference of importance for the people is that Trump and the Republicans represent the attempt to impose fascism, and Biden and the Democrats do not share that program. If the experience of fascism in Nazi Germany, Spain under Franco, or Chile under Pinochet is to teach us anything, it is that the fascist program is not the “lesser evil” for the masses, as various AMLO supporters argue about Trump.

    Equally wrong is the idea that fascism will be good for the revolution because it will drive people to rise up. Experience everywhere has shown that, if it is able to consolidate itself, fascism entails the bloodiest repression that seeks to exterminate revolutionary and progressive forces.

    A civil war in the United States would cause a lot of instability in the world system and particularly in Mexico. The possibility of even armed incursions into Mexico could not be ruled out, but even without that, if the crises in supply chains during the COVID pandemic have taught us anything, it is that the productive and economic process in general has become so interrelated between the two countries, such that it does not work on one side of the border if it does not work on the other side. The big Mexican capitalists and the Mexican government would lose in such a situation the big rock of stability for their system, which is U.S. imperialism; and their political representatives would engage in even more intense infighting over how to deal with such a crisis and with which faction of the dismembered U.S. ruling class (or other imperialist power) to hook up with. Such events would very likely bring about new possibilities for the advance of revolution on both sides of the border, as well as new dangers. In any case, we revolutionary communists in Mexico need to redouble our efforts to advance as much as possible now in preparing for the revolution and rise to the opportunities and challenges that may arise from the unfolding of this crisis in the United States.

    It will be a tremendous inspiration and impetus for communist revolution throughout the world if the revolutionary communists in the United States come to represent a major force in the struggle there, not to mention the cataclysm for the world imperialist system and the big historic breakthrough for the oppressed that would be represented by the triumph of socialist revolution there. Even with such a victory, there would still be other imperialist and reactionary countries around the world that would unite in holy war against such audacity by the “plebs” to free themselves from their chains. However, this would shake the entire world capitalist-imperialist system to its foundations and open up a bright dawn of hope for the masses and oppressed peoples of the world.

    There exists a deep interrelation between the revolutionary processes in Mexico and the United States, due to the strong, although highly unequal, ties existing between the two countries in economic, political and social matters. It is our unwavering internationalist duty to firmly support and boldly promote the struggle of the revolutionary communists and oppressed masses in the United States as an integral and essential part of accelerating and intensifying preparations for the liberatory revolution in Mexico and promoting this throughout the world. Imagine the amazing hope for the future of humanity that would be represented by the establishment of socialist republics in North America, which would be base areas for even greater advances of the world revolution! We must dream of this, and work selflessly, conscious of all the great difficulties and the powerful forces that act against such an objective. To transform those dreams into reality, we must analyze the changing situation scientifically and wisely and boldly tap into the deep cracks in the current system, which are beginning to erupt forcefully on the surface and tear apart daily life, now concentrated in the neighbor to the North, but also in Mexico.

    The Mexican Ruling Classes Are Immersed in Internecine Struggles Between “Conservatives” and “Morenistas”—Neither One Nor the Other Represents the Interests of the People

    Although in Mexico things have not yet reached the level of antagonism of the internecine struggle that exists in the U.S. ruling class, here the struggle between the political representatives of two poles between the big Mexican capitalists and landowners is intensifying. On the one hand, there are the parties of the discredited previous governments: The National Action Party (PAN) that launched the supposed “war against organized crime” that in reality was and continues to be a war against the people; the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the sole ruling party for many decades and responsible for so many massacres of the people; as well as their cronies in what remains of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). On the other hand, there is the supposed “Fourth Transformation” (“4T”), which is nothing of the sort, of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) and its shills, a party that AMLO is apparently trying to transform into a renewed version of the hegemonic party in the style of the old PRI, which he comes from.

    There exist real differences between the two factions. Most notable is the relative weight they assign to state capitalism. For example, while the previous governments of the PAN and the PRI undermined the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), by favoring private companies in the sector, and took PEMEX to the “point of sale,” AMLO seeks to strengthen these parastatal companies, ignoring, except in occasional rhetoric, the country’s supposed commitments to reduce its impact on global warming.

    However, this does not represent any opposition to big private capital, as alleged by certain cynical “conservatives” and some deluded followers of the so-called 4T. In case anyone doubts this, there are his praises for several big capitalists whom he previously called “the mafia in power”: his delivery of the management of Welfare cards to extremely reactionary and big exploiters like Salinas Pliego; the conciliatory words for Larrea (speaking of his “good relations” with this criminal businessman [LJ, 02/12/2022]), without denouncing him or prosecuting him for the enormous environmental crimes and bloody repression of the workers of his Grupo México mining company; his praise and support for Carlos Slim, one of those guilty, among other crimes, of the 26 deaths caused by the collapse of Line 12 of the Mexico City Metro; just to mention a few of many examples.

    On the other hand, PEMEX and the CFE are in no way, as they tell us, “the property of all Mexicans.” They are state capitalist property, governed by the same capitalist need to maximize profits with the same resulting destruction of the environment, exploitation and high-handed treatment of their workers and the public they supposedly serve. The discrepancies among the ruling classes between “conservatives” and “Morenistas” are not about whether capitalism is necessary or not, but about how best to promote capitalist development in Mexico, which, regardless of its forms, necessarily means exploitation., oppression, dispossession, and ecocide.

    As AMLO himself has said, in the context of promoting the disastrous megaproject of the so-called “Maya” Train, “We are a leftist group, which is even establishing, more than anything else, true capitalism, beyond the good-old-boys capitalism that exists in Mexico…” (Animal Político, 02/5/2019). Moreover, he has recently come to declare, regarding the privatization of water, that “it is not bad per se for a company to manage the distribution of water” and even that “if the neoliberal model were applied without corruption, it would not be all bad.” As commented by economist Julio Boltvinik, who has long pointed out the “neoliberal” nature of many of the current government’s policies, “Just as the principle ‘with an admission by a party, no proof is required’ is applied in law, so the criticisms become unnecessary that point out that the AMLO government is neoliberal, since he himself confesses that affinity”. (LJ, 05/27/2022).

    Fascism in Mexico has so far not gained as much strength neither among the ruling classes nor among sections of the population in general as is the case in the United States and several other countries in the world today. However, fascist forces like El Yunque have long been entrenched in the PAN, and recently fascist forces associated with that party have come out more publicly and openly than they used to do in the past. A group of senators from the PAN and a couple from the PRI, summoned by the PAN coordinator in the Senate, Julen Rementería, met with Santiago Abascal, leader of VOX, a Spanish fascist party, in September 2021, to sign the Madrid Charter “against communism.” Abascal, in addition to defending male superiority and the oppression of women, is a representative of the most repugnant chauvinism of Spanish imperialism against migrants and towards what he calls the “Iberosphere,” in reference to Latin America. On the 500th anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlan, he defended the genocide caused by the Spanish Conquest and incited racism by tweeting that “Spain was able to free millions of people from the bloodthirsty regime and terror of the Aztecs. Proud of our History” (El País, 09/04/2021).

    This reactionary event caused a certain division in the ranks of the PAN, and in the face of the widespread indignation it caused, Rementería was forced to apologize publicly and argue that there was no agreement with VOX and Abascal, despite the signatures of the legislators on the Madrid Charter. Fascism is a latent danger in Mexico that deserves further investigation.

    Although there is some real contention and discrepancy between the two current basic political poles among the ruling classes in Mexico, much of what comes out in public discourse is sheer hypocrisy and theater. The PAN tries to portray itself as great defenders of women, taking advantage of the multiple patriarchal sayings of López Obrador and the withdrawal of government support for daycare centers, help for battered women and other services. It is sheer hypocrisy, since the PAN has spent years praising the traditional patriarchal family and firmly opposing the right to abortion and the rights of LBGT+ people, among other reactionary positions. Just like it is sheer hypocrisy and misogyny when López Obrador (who also does not promote the right to abortion) denounces as “conservatives”—as if they were equal to the PAN—the brave women full of righteous courage who pounded on the barricades erected in front of the National Palace by the federal government and painted them with the names of so many victims of femicides and disappearances; while the guilty remain in absolute impunity, regardless of which bourgeois party is in power.

    The same thing can be said about all the theater around the referendum to supposedly put on trial former presidents. On the one hand, the PAN and the PRI have no legitimate right to speak, since the former presidents of those parties have been, rightly so, big criminals hated by millions and they should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. However, neither Morena’s leaders nor the federal government had, nor have to date, any real intention of prosecuting any of these criminals; despite their differences, they are all political representatives of the same ruling classes. They do not do so, among other reasons, because it is an open secret that there was an at least tacit agreement with Enrique Peña Nieto, as acting president, to clear the way for AMLO’s electoral campaign for the presidency in exchange for the latter not pursuing him for his crimes. The referendum was just a show to make millions of Mexicans, who justifiably hate previous presidents, believe that something was going to be done, that this government “is not the same thing.” It was a lie and deception.

    The two contending forces between the electoral parties of the big bourgeoisie assure us that they are the only real alternatives for Mexico. AMLO attacks everyone who does not support him or even disagrees with him, calling them “conservatives” and “defenders of neoliberalism and corruption,” even if they are radical young women fighting against patriarchy, indigenous people opposing megaprojects of death, dispossession and destruction, students at normal schools trying to prevent the government from continuing to eliminate rural normal schools, independent journalists, ecologists and scientists alarmed by the environmental crisis, women, relatives and human rights activists demanding justice for the murdered and disappeared, or democratic teachers fighting for their labor rights, among others. The true “conservatives” of the PAN, PRI and PRD, for their part, assure us that they are the only real alternative to the “populism and authoritarianism” of AMLO and Morena.

    Despite their differences, neither one nor the other represents the interests of the people: The leaderships of all these bourgeois electoral parties are political representatives of the ruling classes and defenders of the current capitalist system of exploitation, oppression and death. They do not represent any real hope for the masses of people. Nor are they the only alternative. There is the possibility and the basis for a real hope and another future that many would like to see. As AMLO well knows when he cynically attacks the most radical and revolutionary people as “conservatives,” there are thousands and thousands of people who continue to fight for a better world without subordinating themselves to the bourgeois electoral bandwagon of Morena. And most of the people who still believe in the false illusion of the so-called 4T, would like to see an end to so many femicides, deaths, disappearances, organized crime in cahoots with the authorities everywhere, dispossession and racism against indigenous people, hunting down of migrants as if they were animals, destruction of the environment, and other crimes.

    Such a world, such a future, that many would like to see, cannot be brought into being and is not going to be brought into being under this system of capitalism or under the domination of the bourgeois electoral parties of this system that is the fundamental cause of these evils and horrors. Such a world that we would like to see, free of the horrors, anguish, hunger, and insecurities that this system makes the great majority of people live in, can only be brought into being and will only be brought into being by overthrowing this system and building another radically and much better system. For this reason, the real alternative does not lie in choosing between one bourgeois electoral party or another; the real alternative is liberatory revolution.

    The Mexican State Continues to Be a Repressive Apparatus At the Service of the Capitalist System—The Only Possible Liberatory Transformation Is With Revolution

    Despite the change in rhetoric that the government of AMLO and Morena has meant, as well as certain changes in the government’s policies in contrast to previous governments, the Mexican state is and continues to be a repressive apparatus at the service of the capitalist system.

    The López Obrador government is promoting a growing and dangerous militarization of the country, which represents a notable leap compared to the policies of previous governments. Previous governments committed and covered up all kinds of horrendous crimes by the armed forces, from the massacre of hundreds of students in 1968 to their participation in the operation against the students at the Ayotzinapa normal school that resulted in six people being killed and 43 students disappeared. However, such a large expansion of the role of the military had not occurred before; though the armed forces have played a growing role in the supposed fight against organized crime in recent six-year presidential terms, in open violation of the country’s Political Constitution. 

    Under the current government, the role of the armed forces has been greatly expanded with an ever-increasing militarization of national life. The Army, the Navy and the militarized National Guard increasingly assume police duties, both in containment/collusion with the cartels and in the repression of the people. In the decree published on May 11, 2020, “The Permanent Armed Forces Are Ordered to Participate... with the National Guard in Public Security Duties,” despite AMLO’s campaign promises to “return the soldiers to their barracks within a period of no more than six months” (“¿Militarización en México? Sí, y militarismo” ["Militarization in Mexico? Yes, and Militarism"], LJ, 08/20/2021). AMLO also promised that the National Guard would have a “civilian” character, but it is already under the military command of the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) and the vast majority of its members come from the army. The army is taking on not only a good part of the construction but also the administration and economic control of the so-called “Maya” Train (ethnocidal and ecocidal project), the new CDMX [Mexico City] airport and three airports on the Yucatan Peninsula. This is also expanding the economic power of the armed forces. The military is not only building 266 National Guard barracks but also 2,700 branches of the Welfare Bank.

    The Navy is taking control of customs and ports and assuming the administration and economic control of the ethnocidal and ecocidal transoceanic megaproject in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The military is actively participating in the delivery of social programs, fertilizers, textbooks, vaccines against COVID, and much more, as taught in counterinsurgency manuals to show their supposed “kind” side to the population. The military budget is growing enormously, virtually without external control, while austerity is being imposed on other parts of government. And the military commanders are already openly intervening in politics, as when the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, in a public act expressed his support for the AMLO government, with the ominous declaration that “As Mexicans, it is necessary to be united in the nation project that is underway,” in reference to the so-called 4T (Animal Político, 11/21/2021).

    The armed forces are continuing to murder and repress people under the current government, although they have tried to avoid larger massacres, which would be disastrous for their attempts to present themselves as “different” from the hated previous governments. To the delight of U.S. imperialism, the Mexican National Guard (GN) has been deployed to repress migrants with particularly brutal force, savagely beating and imprisoning people from the caravans, both on the southern and northern borders; murdering a Cuban migrant passing through a checkpoint in Chiapas; detaining, raping and deporting two Honduran women in Ciudad Juárez (LJ, 02/03/22). The GN has also been used to repress protests, such as when they murdered a person in the mobilizations of farmers for water at La Boquilla Dam in Chihuahua in September 2020. They also kill people for simply eluding them, such as when the GN killed a truck driver and a street vendor in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, in April 2021, provoking a confrontation with the locals (Proceso online, 04/08-09/2021) or when the Army opened fire in the same city on March 10 of the same year against a vehicle in which a pregnant woman and her husband were traveling, killing him and then chasing and threatening her (Proceso online, 04/08/2021). In the city of Nuevo Laredo alone in 2021, the Army and the GN were responsible for at least one execution, one rape, and three cases of torture, all well documented by the Human Rights Committee of Nuevo Laredo. However, the federal Attorney General’s Office has refused to even investigate these crimes (LJ, 02/12/2022). More recently, in Irapuato [in the central State of Guajanuato], the National Guard murdered a student from the University of Guanajuato and shot and wounded another student for allegedly “leaving the site” when the GN arrived, which according to the official report “provoked confusion and uncertainty among the members” of the GN, two of whom began to shoot at them (Animal Político, 04/27/2022).

    The so-called 4T government continues to cover up crimes against humanity committed by the armed forces, as in the case of Ernestina Ascencio Rosario, a 73-year-old indigenous Nahua woman raped and murdered by members of the army during the government of Felipe Calderón. In 2020, at a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the official delegation of the Mexican state repeated the same brazen lie by Calderón that she died of “chronic gastritis,” despite all the evidence to the contrary. Although public outrage forced the government to promise to “reopen” the case, they proposed assigning it to the same Veracruz prosecutor’s office that fabricated the lies. To top all of this off, nothing is happening in this regard—more than a year later, the anemic Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) continues to “recommend” that they reopen the case (El Informante de Veracruz, 01/30/2022).

    A similar outcome can be seen in the case of Digna Ochoa, a lawyer and brave human rights defender, murdered in 2001. The capital city attorney general’s office, with AMLO at the head of the Mexico City government at the time, tried to cover up the crime with an outrageous ruling of “pretend suicide,” apparently to cover up the likely role in the crime by the army and the caciques [indigenous and/or peasant chiefs in league with landowners] from Guerrero, among others. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has determined that the case should be reopened; because the investigation by the authorities was full of irregularities, intimidation of witnesses, public defamation of the victim, and “gender stereotypes,” among other barbarities. Although the Mexican government says it agrees to reopen the case, the current head of the capital city government, Claudia Sheinbaum, cynically praises Digna Ochoa and also Bernardo Bátiz, the prosecutor responsible for this criminal cover-up.

    Also in the case of Ayotzinapa, despite a different rhetoric from the current government for a time, they continue to cover up the participation of the Army in this horrendous crime. AMLO saved Salvador Cienfuegos—then head of Sedena on that bloody night in Iguala, and responsible at least for the cover-up of the crime against the students from the normal school—from a probable prison sentence in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges. He continues now as an advisor to the Sedena.

    With its recent Ayotzinapa Report III, the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) revealed a video that proves that the Navy, the Sedena, the then prosecutor Murillo Karam, and others cynically and illegally planted in the Cocula dump the alleged “evidence” of their discredited “historical truth,” as Tomás Zerón, then head of investigation of the case, also did on the San Juan River. The report also documented the systematic application of torture (documented in more than 60 videos), the falsification of documents and alleged “evidence,” and the destruction of evidence to fabricate the lie that the students from the normal school were burned in the Cocula dump. It was proven that the Army monitored the students from the normal school in real time before, during and after the deadly police attacks, contrary to the repeated lies of the Sedena in this regard. It was also documented that the Army had two spies among the students from the normal school, one of whom was among the 43 disappeared.

    The purpose of the fabrication of the “historical lie” was to cover up the central role played by the Army in this state crime and its role continues to be covered up. Faced with the explosive revelations by the GIEI, to date nothing of importance has been done. AMLO, commander in chief of the armed forces, has not explained why the aforementioned video was hidden for three years under his government. He lied in response to the GIEI Report by saying that “all the information is being turned over,” when that Report specifically documents that the Army and others continue to hide documents and evidence in the case.

    The supposedly “different” government of the so-called 4T still represses the students from the Ayotzinapa normal school and their families. On January 28, 2022, the National Guard and the Guerrero police forcibly prevented leafleting and collecting funds at the Palo Blanco toll booth on the Autopista del Sol, a place where family members regularly collect funds to support their movement, more than seven years after cover up by the real perpetrators of this state crime. Their lawyer, Vidulfo Rosales, reports that “‘Attack as if you were at war!’ was the order of the superior officer to the National Guard... The use of force, used against mothers and fathers of the 43 disappeared students, is not exercised against the organized crime groups that impose terror and death in large areas of the state of Guerrero.”

    When the students from the normal school returned to the same toll booth seven days after the official attack, a spectacular deployment of the National Guard and the state police had been waiting for them for hours before to prevent their political action. A confrontation broke out, with a result of at least two hospitalized students. At their press conference afterwards, the students asked, “Why do they treat us like criminals and thieves? Before criticizing, look at how we live in the Sierra de Guerrero, where drug traffickers walk along and control the roads, but for the government we are the enemy” (LJ, 02/05/2022). AMLO defended the repression of parents and students, throwing out the baseless accusation that there are “infiltrators” of “organized crime... in the leadership” of the students at the Ayotzinapa normal school (LJ, 02/08/2022). Thus, AMLO repeats the same type of lies that the criminal government of Enrique Peña Nieto used to try to criminalize the students at the normal school in the face of this crime by the bourgeois state.

    The supposed new government policy against organized crime of “hugs not bullets” actually means bullets for the people and hugs for (some) cartels. Military operations continue to leave more civilians dead than injured or detained (Animal Político, 11/24/2021), with several cases of extrajudicial executions. The collusion between the three levels of government and organized crime continues, as revealed, for example, by a high commander of the National Guard in an interview with Proceso (06/26/2022). Organized crime is the real local power in major parts of the country and its tentacles already encompass virtually the entire country, with its fee collections for use of territory, trafficking of women, drug trafficking, kidnappings, etc. More than 100,000 people have been killed and more than 30,000 disappeared in the first three years of the current government of supposed transformation. Almost all these crimes remain in absolute impunity. The recent report of the Committee on Forced Disappearance of the United Nations, based on official data, documents that of the total as of 2021 of almost 100,000 disappearances since 2007, only “36 sentences have been issued in cases of disappearance of persons nationally.” The total number of disappearances has already exceeded the figure of 100,000, with more than 30,000 during the current six-year presidential term (print edition of Proceso, 06/12/2022). The report also documents that, in addition to the disappearances carried out by organized crime with almost absolute impunity, “forced disappearances continue to be committed directly by public agents at the federal, state and municipal levels.” With much cynicism, AMLO argued in the opposite sense by stating that this was a problem of the past, of the “neoliberal period,” and accused the Committee of lying, saying that “they are not acting in accordance with the truth” and “What can they do? Nothing, invent, that’s for sure” (print edition of Proceso, 04/17/2022).

    The Inter-American Court, also based on government data, has documented the murder of at least 68 human rights defenders and 43 journalists under this government as of December 2021 (not counting the 11 journalists murdered during the first five months of 2022). The Secretariat of the Interior itself acknowledged the murder of 68 activists from 2018 to July 2021, but when a Mexico City newspaper reported an even lower figure, AMLO denounced it as “propaganda by our adversaries” (Animal Político, 07/12/2021).

    In many of these cases, the government and the big capitalists (both the “legal” capitalists and organized crime capitalists) use hitmen to eliminate opponents. This seems to be the case of Samir Flores, a Nahuatl indigenous leader murdered in 2019 after being threatened by the federal government agent Hugo Eric Flores for his opposition to the government thermoelectric project in Huexca, Morelos. And they just murdered Francisco Vázquez, another peasant activist opposed to the project, in February of this year (LJ, 02/12/2022).

    There are hundreds of thousands of displaced people in Mexico due to violence, either by organized crime, or by operations of the Army which in several cases acts in coordination with hitmen. One activist against these forced displacements, Teodomira Rosales, reports on conversations with organizations that support the displaced in several states that have detected that “the vast majority of displacements occur in areas where there is an enormous wealth of minerals and forests or where megaprojects are being built. In these places, in general, there are agreements between the government and companies, such as mining or logging companies, and organized crime is in charge of evicting the inhabitants of those areas” (Printed edition of Proceso, 01/09/2022).

    The armed forces are not and have never been “the people in uniform,” as López Obrador says, but rather the repressive backbone of the capitalist state, in charge, together with the police, of repressing the exploited and oppressed people so as to defend the ruling classes and its capitalist system. More and more people are realizing that the government of the so-called “4T” is not very different in this and other aspects from previous governments, despite its rhetoric, more crumbs from its social programs to try to calm people down, and the implementation of certain different policies. The real lesson is not that AMLO “has betrayed us,” but that the state in a capitalist society is always and can only be in essence the dictatorship of the capitalists to maintain and defend their system of exploitation and oppression, regardless of who is at the head of the government. Because of this, and also because of the nature of the capitalist system as a whole, no truly liberatory transformation can result from simply trying to reform the system. It is necessary to shatter the current repressive capitalist state as an essential initial step; revolution is needed.

    The Capitalist System Itself Has Created Both the Basis and the Need for a Much Better System: Socialism as a Transition to Communism

    The liberatory revolution is not simply a good idea or a pipe dream. The capitalist system itself has created both the basis and the need for a much better system, socialism as a transition to communism. This was discovered by Marx and Engels by consistently applying for the first time the scientific method to understand the nature of capitalism and the historical development of human society in general.

    Through a process of scientific investigation and analysis, they discovered that the fundamental contradiction of capitalism is the contradiction that exists between socialized production and private (or capitalist) appropriation. What does this mean? On the one hand, capitalism gives rise to an increasingly socialized production process, that is, a process in which people work together in a coordinated and organized way to produce the things that are finally sold on the market. This contrasts with the individual or family production that predominated in the feudalism of the past; which still persists in several peasant areas of Mexico. In our times, this socialization of production has reached a point where it is a question not only of socialized production at the level of hundreds or thousands of workers working according to a common plan and process in a factory, but also a whole internationally coordinated production process or, as it is now commonly said, a globalized process. You can see this in what you buy: The label on your clothes may indicate that it comes from Thailand or China, your apple may come from Chile, your phone may indicate that it is made in China. In several cases, the things that are produced come from an even more complicated and interrelated process. For example, cars assembled in factories in Mexico for sale in the United States often consist of parts that have been manufactured in half a dozen or a dozen countries: Some in Mexico, others perhaps from Brazil, France, Korea, the United States, and other countries.

    However, although production has become highly socialized, and in several cases production requires the common efforts of millions of people around the world, the appropriation, that is, who gets to keep what is produced, is private: Who gets to keep the socially produced product is the capitalist. For example, the iPhone might contain cobalt mined even by superexploited children in the Congo, lithium from mines in another country, components manufactured in China or Taiwan, but who keeps the income from its sale is the Apple corporation (and other suppliers for Apple who have intervened in the process keep the income coming from selling what their workers produced for Apple).

    This fundamental contradiction of capitalism, between socialized production and private appropriation, is expressed in two basic forms of movement: The contradiction between anarchy and organization, on the one hand, and the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, on the other. Let’s look at what this means.

    The contradiction between anarchy and organization is expressed, on the one hand, in the fact that the production and distribution of what is produced is highly organized, not only in specific factories but, nowadays, on an international level, as we have already mentioned. For example, companies like Volkswagen, Telmex or Microsoft organize a vast network of supplies, production and distribution among a whole series of countries. However, they are in competition with other capitalists when they sell their products or services on the market where anarchy prevails, as there is no overall plan for production and distribution in society. On the contrary, what prevails is a fierce competition between different blocs of capital in a market that no one controls. Competition between the different blocs of capital periodically leads to overproduction, in which more is produced than can be sold on the market, either for certain commodities, such as steel and aluminum in recent years, or in the economy as a whole, as in the Great Recession of 2008. In this fierce competition, some win and are able to sell more of their products, and others do not. On the market and in production in society as a whole, anarchy reigns.

    This contradiction between anarchy and organization in capitalism has several consequences. On the one hand, competition forces all capitalists, not only to make a profit, but to seek maximum profits so as not to be left behind in the competition with other capitalists. They seek maximum profits by exploiting their workers more, developing new and more efficient machines and processes, ignoring the environmental damage caused by their production, dispossessing people of their land and resources, etc. If they do not do so, they are in danger of losing out in competition with other capitalists who do. In this way they are absorbed by others, such as the Aurrerá company, founded by two Mexican capitalists in 1958, which was later bought up by Walmart in 2000. Or else, they simply go bankrupt, like Mexicana de Aviación.

    What is important to understand here is that capitalists do not exploit, dispossess and pollute simply because they are greedy or bastards; the very functioning of the capitalist system forces them to act like this under penalty of ceasing to be capitalists by losing out in the competition with other capitals. Although the struggle of the people and certain reforms can sometimes put certain temporary limits on this, it is not possible to change this in a fundamental way under this system, because it is part of the very nature of the system. Therefore, to put an end to the exploitation and dispossession of people and the destruction of the environment, reforms are not enough, revolution is needed.

    Other consequences of the contradiction between anarchy and organization and competition between capitalists are economic crises and reactionary wars. Economic crises have been occurring since the beginning of capitalism, and continue to occur, although now they do not occur simply at the level of one country but often at the international level, such as the Great Recession of 2008. On the other hand, the competition between capitalists and blocs of capital is also expressed as competition between countries, especially between imperialist countries to divide up the world among themselves and dominate it, which has led to two world wars and countless smaller reactionary wars. As we discussed, the current competition and contention between U.S., Russian, Chinese, and other imperialists has already expressed itself in reactionary wars of various kinds and threatens humanity with the possibility of a larger conflagration between nuclear powers. Nor can economic crises and wars be abolished without ending their essential source in today’s world: The world capitalist-imperialist system.

    Another expression of capitalism’s fundamental contradiction between socialized production and private appropriation is the contradiction that exists between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, that is, between wage workers and capitalists. The workers are exploited by the capitalists. Where do the profits of the capitalists come from? Some capitalists work, but their profits do not come from their work but from their capital. This is most clearly seen in the case of capitalists who do not work but still receive profits from their stocks, bonds and other financial securities. On the surface it is as if their money has the property of generating more money just by itself. But money itself is just paper money, notes (and, increasingly, electronic data). You can keep your money under your mattress, but no matter how long you wait, it’s not going to grow. Money only generates more value when it becomes capital, that is, when it enters into the process of production and sale of merchandise, products and services. Who produces those products and provides those services? Workers. Although they use machines, installations, means of transport, and anything else that is the property of the capitalist or capitalist company that employs them, these means in turn were produced by other workers. The profits of the capitalists are the product of the exploitation of the workers. Their control of the means of production (machines, installations, transport, etc.) allows them to pay workers in wages an amount equivalent to only part of the value they have created, and to keep the other part as their profit.

    Capitalism, which first arose mainly in Europe, has expanded to form the world system of capitalism-imperialism. This happened during the last decades of the 19th century and began in Mexico in an important way during the Porfiriato [government of president Porfirio Díaz], when several foreign companies came into Mexico to develop a capitalism dominated by and subordinated to their countries of origin, such as the United States, England and France. As a result, today most of the countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, although formally independent, are dominated and oppressed by the imperialist countries, such as the United States, Russia, China, various countries in Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, etc. This domination and oppression makes possible not only the exploitation but also the superexploitation of the majority of the workers in the oppressed countries. It is estimated, for example, that a male or female worker in Mexico earns something like one-eighth or less of what their counterpart earns in the United States.

    There are other contradictions of much importance in the world and in Mexico, such as the oppression of women and the oppression and racism regarding indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants. These contradictions arose long before capitalism. The oppression of women arose at the time of the first class societies, of exploiters and exploited thousands of years ago. The national oppression of indigenous people for being indigenous has its roots in colonial conquest and domination, although classes, exploitation and oppression existed in these lands before these lands were invaded, their original inhabitants were conquered and almost exterminated by the Spanish colonialists. Black people were kidnapped from Africa and brought here by Spanish colonizers to work as slaves. However, the capitalist-imperialist system in the world has incorporated and maintained the oppression of women, indigenous people and other types of oppression, while changing some of the forms of this oppression to suit the needs of the system.

    The patriarchal family, in its various forms, has been a foundation of a whole society based on exploitation, since the division of societies into classes, and is an essential institution for the oppression and control of women, the reproduction of the workforce and atomized consumption in capitalist society. In the family and in society in general, patriarchy (male supremacy) is essential for the social and political stability of this system, including the privileges of men over women which, in general, make them participants in their oppression or at least beneficiaries of this oppression. And the oppression of women also serves to generate huge profits from their superexploitation in the workforce at large, as well as the lucrative “sex industry.” For these and many other reasons, the oppression of women is a fundamental pillar of the capitalist system and can only be overcome through the most radical revolution in human history, communist revolution.

    To go deeper into a scientific understanding of the fundamental role of the oppression of women in all class societies, as well as the central role of the struggle against this oppression throughout the process of transformation of the world capitalist-imperialist system towards world communism, we recommend reading, among other works, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution; The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, by Friedrich Engels; as well as, from the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico (OCR, M), ¡Desencadenar el coraje y lucha de las mujeres contra las causas y los responsables de tanta violencia e injusticia!; y Apoyar y extender la revuelta contra la violencia machista [Unleash the fury and struggle of women against the causes and those responsible for so much violence and injustice!; and Support and extend the upheaval against sexist violence].

    The mostly capitalist system in Mexico today has another fundamental pillar in the oppression of indigenous peoples. The systematic structure of oppression, racism and disdain for “dark-colored” people in general is deeply rooted throughout society. The superexploitation of indigenous and peasant labor plays an essential role in agriculture, construction and other sectors, while the dispossession and theft of land and resources from indigenous peoples is an important engine of capital accumulation. There will be no real revolution without eradicating the oppression of indigenous peoples and racism, and there will be no true liberation for indigenous people without communist revolution.

    For more analysis of the oppression of indigenous peoples and the prominent role they are to play in the liberatory revolution, we recommend La opresión y la emancipación de los pueblos indígenas [The Oppression and Emancipation of Indigenous Peoples], also from OCR, Mexico [Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico]. OCR, M publications are available in Spanish without cost electronically at http://aurora-roja.blogspot.com.

    What we are emphasizing here is that the oppression of women and the oppression of indigenous peoples are fundamental and integral parts of the current capitalist system and that all capitalist relations will not be abolished without abolishing these forms of oppression, nor will it be possible to abolish the oppression of women and indigenous peoples without overthrowing capitalism and eradicating all the economic and social relations characteristic of capitalism, as well as the corresponding ideas.

    To put an end to capitalism and all the ills it brings, it is necessary to overcome the fundamental contradiction of capitalism between socialized production and private appropriation. This fundamental contradiction is and can only be overcome by socializing appropriation, so that it corresponds to the socialized character of production. This is achieved through communist revolution and through it alone. In this way it is possible to begin a great liberatory process to finally end all forms of exploitation and oppression, as well as end the destruction of the environment. The first essential step, as we have seen, is to overthrow, to shatter the capitalist state, which is what serves to defend and reproduce the capitalist system. With this, it will be possible to begin to socialize the appropriation, turning the big companies and means of production into the property of the whole people. In the specific conditions of Mexico, it will also be necessary to distribute agrarian lands and carry out a process of voluntary collectivization of the widespread small production and commerce in the countryside and the city. To learn and study more about the program of this revolution in Mexico, please see La revolución liberadora: orientación estratégica y programa básico [Liberatory Revolution: Strategic Orientation and Basic Program] by the OCR, M.

    By socializing the main means of production, it becomes possible to plan the economy to serve the needs of the people and the protection and restoration of the environment, rather than serving the maximization of capitalist profits. The experience of the first socialist societies in the world, in Russia from 1917 to 1956 and in China from 1949 to 1976, basically confirmed Marx’s theses, that this revolution makes it possible to start making big transformations to eliminate exploitation, raise the economic, social and cultural well-being of the people, liberate women and oppressed peoples, and much more.

    Through more than 50 years of work, Bob Avakian has learned from the big breakthroughs and has also identified and criticized scientifically important shortcomings and secondary errors from those early experiences. The in-depth study, and above all the criticism and rupture that Avakian made with certain important methodological errors in previous communist theory, has made it possible to develop a new synthesis of communism, which includes a new vision and understanding of socialism that is even more revolutionary, scientific, dynamic, and liberating. This guide for a new socialist society is importantly embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Although this is a draft proposal of the Constitution for what is now the United States, it sets out many principles and policies for a new liberatory socialist society that have universal application in today’s world.

    Bob Avakian, learning from Mao’s great theoretical contributions, has also further deepened Marx’s understanding that socialism, while a breakthrough, is and can only be a transition to world communism. Even after basic socialist transformation, many economic and social relations and inequalities inherited from the old society, as well as corresponding ideas, persist. The capitalist-imperialist system also persists in other parts of the world, which continues to exert relentless pressure on the new socialist society or societies. People have to be mobilized to transform all this more and more, in specific countries and finally in the whole world, to finally reach communism, society without classes, throughout the world. Throughout this period of socialist revolution, classes, class struggle and the danger of capitalist restoration persist. In fact, capitalism was restored in Russia as of 1956, and in China as of 1976. What has been learned from those experiences is reflected in the New Communism, whose application will make it possible to advance more and better in the next wave of proletarian revolutions in the world. (For more on the history of socialism and the class struggle under socialism, see, among other titles You Don't Know What You Think You “Know” About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, Interview with Raymond Lotta (This work, as well as the aforementioned Constitution, other works by Bob Avakian, coverage, and other revolutionary materials, are available at revcom.us).

    With the immense development of production, technology and science, a product of the socialized production of capitalism, no material need exists for anyone to go hungry, or lack housing or many other things that the operation of this system denies billions of people in the world, as well as 43.9 percent of the Mexican population living in poverty, according to official government figures (or 72 percent, according to another methodology, see Boltvinik, LJ, 02/04/2022). If people continue to suffer unnecessarily, this is only due to the capitalist appropriation of the fruit of socialized production, as well as the capitalist state that defends this appropriation.

    By establishing socialism, as a process of transition to communism, through revolution, not only can rapid progress be made to satisfy the material needs of the population, other big transformations that can only be dreamed of now will also be possible and necessary. Science, culture and the arts will be widely promoted in society and the participation of the basic masses who are generally excluded from these spheres will be encouraged. At the same time, a great boost will be given to the contributions of professional scientists, especially in the face of the environmental emergency, but also in other fields. New possibilities, resources and freedom will be opened up to artists, writers and other cultural professionals to foster a vibrant and inspiring new culture. Dissent and debate in society will not only be allowed but encouraged, which the communist party will strive to learn from and promote in a way that will help mobilize and enable more and more people to grapple with the big challenges of the socialist transformation towards communism. The masses will be mobilized in their millions to grapple with and struggle to overcome the big inequalities inherited from the old society (as well as the corresponding ideas that seek to justify them): The inequalities between men and women, between indigenous and non-indigenous people, between intellectual work and manual work, between the city and the countryside, etc.

    Not only will the impunity of femicides, rapists and harassers end, but the fury of women will be unleashed as a big revolutionary force to transform society overall and to fight for equality and full participation of women in all spheres of society, criticize and combat all manifestations of sexist and patriarchal ideology, transform the family and gender stereotypes, and free LGBT+ people from the oppression they suffer under the current order. Indigenous people will have played a decisive role in the triumph of the revolution and will make immense contributions to the socialist transformation in general, the rescue and protection of the environment and the elimination of their own oppression. Indigenous regional autonomy will be established and their languages and the development of their cultures will be promoted in the socialist context so as to create and enrich a truly multinational and revolutionary culture. A determined struggle will be undertaken throughout society for full equality, and racism against indigenous and Afro-Mexicans, as well as any expression of white or mestizo supremacy, will be criticized and combated. Internationalism and the cause of the emancipation of all humanity will be upheld, supporting and promoting liberatory revolution throughout the world, while forging unity with as many people as possible to fight resolutely to stop and reverse as far as possible the current environmental disaster.

    In short, capitalism, by developing socialized production in the world, has created the basis for being able to build a superior society, socialism, by means of a true revolution. This socialism will create a new liberatory and much better society in which we would all like to live. It will be a transition and an integral part of the struggle for communism throughout the world, ultimately completely eliminating all forms of exploitation, oppression, war, and environmental destruction.

    The Essential and Firm Material Basis for Communist Revolution Is In the Contradictions of the Capitalist System Itself

    Capitalism has not only created the basis and the need for another superior society, socialism as a transition to communism. Also the contradictions of the capitalist system are the firm material basis for the revolution that is needed to establish this new liberatory society. This fact contrasts with what is commonly assumed, that the basis for revolution is what people are thinking or doing at any given moment.

    We have already discussed several of these essential contradictions of the capitalist system that are the firm material basis for revolution: The fundamental contradiction of capitalism between socialized production and private appropriation, with the driving force of anarchy and the exploitation of workers by the capitalists; the domination of an oppressed country like Mexico by imperialism; the patriarchal oppression of women; the oppression of indigenous peoples; the environmental emergency; and the danger of reactionary wars. There is also the contradiction between the peasants and the landowners and caciques; the persistence of certain semi-feudal relationships, especially in the countryside, and other contradictions.

    As Mao said (in “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire”), if you want to know the perspectives of the revolution, you need to analyze whether the main contradictions of the current system, which are the material basis of the revolution, are intensifying or lessening. Or as Bob Avakian points out “the basis for revolution lies in the very contradictoriness of the system that needs to be overthrown, the capitalist-imperialist system—that it’s the basic contradictions of this system... contradictions which this system cannot resolve in any way, in any fundamental sense, and certainly not in the interests of the masses of people and ultimately all of humanity. This is the basis for revolution, not what people are thinking or doing at any given time, how many people are with it or against it at any given time, whether people give it thumbs up or thumbs down at any given time—all that is not the basis for revolution, but the basis lies in these contradictions of the system itself” (The Strategic Approach to Revolution and Its Relation to Basic Questions of Epistemology and Method).

    This is the scientific understanding of the material basis for revolution, which is based on the real contradictions of the system in its development. It takes science, the science of the new communism, to penetrate below the surface in order to understand the need for and actual possibilities of revolution. This scientific understanding contrasts with the all-too-common approach that Bob Avakian (BA) calls “Facebook ideology” or “populist epistemology” (epistemology means the theory of knowledge or how you come to know whether something is true or false). If you do not apply the science that Marx and Engels founded and that has been developing now into BA’s new communism, “you are, to use Lenin’s phrase, continually whipped around by the chops—the petty chops and changes of daily life. And this is what we see happening way too often, not only to people among the masses broadly, but also among the communists. People are whipped around by the petty chops and changes of daily life. ‘Oh, we went out today and people’—it’s like Facebook, they have Facebook ideology, you know, ‘We went out today and people gave us a thumbs up. Yaaaaay! Maybe we could have a revolution in some millennium in the distant future.’ Or, ‘We went out today and nobody liked what we were doing and a bunch of assholes, nationalists, or opportunist petit bourgeois social democrats, or counter-revolutionary anarchists attacked our literature table, so I guess there’s no basis for revolution.’ I mean, I’m being a little bit hyperbolic, but not that much. This is way too common a way of looking at it, rather than looking at the material world—looking at the material world and its actual contradictions.” [The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution]

    This populist epistemology or “Facebook ideology” considers that, if there is not a high level of struggle or a broad revolutionary ferment among the people at a given moment or period, the revolution must be a very distant prospect or outright impossible. This is not true. Revolutions are fundamentally the product of the intensification of the underlying contradictions of the system, which can come to the surface even suddenly in periods of apparent calm. One example, among several, that illustrates this is the 1910 Revolution in Mexico, although it was not a socialist revolution. As we point out in “La revolución y el trabajo revolucionario” [Revolution and Revolutionary Work] in Aurora Roja No. 15:

    The idea that, due to the lack of revolutionary ferment among the masses right now, revolution is either not possible or is very distant, reflects a mistaken understanding of how revolutionary crises arise. Revolutions are imagined to be the product of a slow accumulation of forces, of more and more people feeling the need for revolutionary change, and of a progressive growth of mass struggles until revolution finally breaks out. With this logic, if the revolutionary forces are small now and the level of combativeness of the masses is limited, it is concluded that the revolution would happen who knows when...

    But in reality, revolutions don’t happen like this, except in some people’s imaginations. Let’s take the example we know most about here, the 1910 Revolution. It suddenly erupted in the middle of the political crisis when Madero ran for president, was imprisoned, did not accept the official results, and called for people to rise up. Although there were antecedents in previous struggles and movements, the more than three decades prior to the Porfiriato were a period of relative stability. As summed up by one historian, with the rise of Porfirio Díaz to power in 1876, the country entered “a long period of political stability that lasted until 1910” and the prevailing political system in that period was characterized, among other aspects, by “a political culture of conformism and apathy, and an incipient and scattered opposition. All of this was based on a relatively successful economic development that fundamentally benefited the oligarchy and foreign capital, but that offered certain expectations of social mobility to some sections of the population” (Facundo González Bárcenas, “Estabilidad politica” [Political Stability] in Léxico de la política, FLACSO [Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales; Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences]).

    With the theory of the “slow accumulation of forces,” in the period before 1910, the chances of revolution would have been considered remote. In the years before the revolution, Villa was running around being a bandit, Zapata’s political activity was largely confined to local demands, Carranza was governor of Coahuila, Madero was a businessman who was participating in relatively small and scattered liberal clubs, where the Flores Magón brothers were also acting with a program of democratic reforms. Outbreaks of discontent, such as strikes in Cananea and Río Blanco, as well as various agrarian struggles and indigenous rebellions, were teaching-moment outbreaks that were nonetheless ruthlessly crushed.

    It is in this situation of apparent relative stability of the regime that a revolution broke out in which millions came to participate. Why? Because beneath the surface of the apparent stability and strength of the regime, the underlying contradictions in society were sharpening up. In the world, capitalism had reached its imperialist stage, with the result in Mexico of a significant increase in capital investment from the imperialist countries, mainly the United States and Great Britain, which stimulated a certain capitalist growth and intensified the domination by the foreign capital, exacerbated the conditions of exploitation of a new working class, and drove the voracity of the haciendas [big farms] that engulfed the peasant lands. This is the intensification of these contradictions below the surface that erupt with the political crisis due to the internal struggles between “powers that be” around the presidential elections.

    It is particularly important now to understand that the material basis for revolution is in the contradictions of the system and not in what people do or think at a given moment. Because we live in a situation in which the capitalist-imperialist system dominates the world even more than in the past, during the times of the first great experiences of socialism in the Soviet Union and China. As Bob Avakian (BA) points out, “Even then the imperialist system was still dominant in the world, but it’s much more—at this point it’s much more dominant. So, you could say, ‘Oh, well, things are just going back—they’re going away from the revolution we’re working towards, there’s less and less basis for it.’ Well, those are two different statements....”

    The first statement is true: “things have gone away from the revolution we’re working for over the past several decades” due to the restoration of capitalism in China in 1976 and various other events that have had a mainly negative impact on the situation. But it would be very wrong to conclude from this that there is less and less basis for revolution. Thus “you’d be seeing the more surface, not insignificant, but more surface phenomenon.” Despite various unfavorable factors in the current world situation, the basic contradictions of the capitalist-imperialist system lay “a very real and very strong basis to actually transform things in the radical direction of communist revolution.” (Bob Avakian, The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution, our emphasis.)

    Actually, there is more and more a basis for revolution now, because the basic contradictions of the system are becoming more and more acute, even to the point of threatening in various ways the future existence of the human race, as we have been pointing out since the beginning of this book.

    The defeat of the first experiences of socialism in Russia and especially in China was not due mainly to the errors of the communists but to the stronger domination of capitalism-imperialism in the world. Yes, there were mistakes, even some very serious mistakes, which have been summarized and learned from with BA’s New Communism, but they were not the main cause of capitalist restoration.

    However, the defeat of the initial experiences of socialism, among other negative events of the last decades, as well as a whole ferocious anti-communist offensive on the part of the defenders of the capitalist system and the very exhausting and dehumanizing dynamic of the daily struggle to survive under capitalism, have led to a situation in which a part of the people thinks that revolution is not desirable and even many of those who do want revolution tend to think that it is not possible.

    If you are relying on populist epistemology, on what people think or do in “normal” times, you will easily conclude that revolution is not possible because this is not what the majority of people are thinking or doing. But this is totally false: So, among other things, you tail the propaganda of the ruling classes who obviously have a very material interest in convincing people that a revolution is neither desirable nor possible which might end the ruling classes’ “paradise” of exploitation. This leads very directly to capitulation and making peace with the existing system.

    On the other hand, understanding the need, the bases and the possibility of communist revolution requires science, the science of Marxism, today the science of the new communism. People who really want to get out of this system of horrors have the responsibility to acquire and apply this scientific understanding. It is also our responsibility to take this to the people to enable them in turn to understand the world as it really is and get organized to make the revolution that will transform it, instead of tailing all sorts of lies, deceptions and delusions that are propagated under this oppressive system.

    As we have indicated, regardless of what anyone thinks, it is a scientific fact, discovered by Marx and basically verified by all historical experience, that capitalism has created the basis, the need and the possibility of a much better society, socialism as a transition to communism. This is true, and the truth is powerful. The truth does not convince in and of itself, it has to contend with many wrong, erroneous and even extremely reactionary ideas and approaches. However, since it is true, it corresponds to the world as it really is and can be verified with facts. With struggle it is possible to convince people, especially in these times those who abhor the horrors of living in this system and yearn for radical change, to get organized for an actual revolution. However, this can only be achieved if the communists apply science and take on “Facebook ideology.”

    On the other hand, from oppression at certain moments resistance and rebellion arise and the intensification of the contradictions of the system repeatedly leads to moments of increased crisis and rebellion of the masses in which the situation can change very quickly. In many cases, almost literally from one day to the next, thousands and even millions of people, previously apparently dormant, suddenly burst into radical political life. We have seen this in the recent uprisings in Chile, Colombia and Myanmar, among other countries, as well as in Mexico in Oaxaca in 2006, in the face of the state crime against Ayotzinapa or with the inspiring rebellion of women. Only if the revolutionary communists fight hard to advance as much as possible, even at a time when there is not much political ferment among the people, will it be possible to develop the necessary understanding, capacities and revolutionary forces to take advantage of such more favorable moments for the further advance of the revolution.

    The intensification of these basic contradictions of the system, in dialectical relation with the work and the struggle of the revolutionary communists to raise the consciousness, organization and revolutionary struggle of the masses, leads at certain moments to critical points, to revolutionary crises in which the ruling classes cannot continue to govern in the same way as they did before and the masses cannot continue to live in the same way and the possibility opens up to defeat the old state, seize state power and advance to socialism. For this to happen, a leadership nucleus that is sufficiently scientific, experienced and trained to lead, learn from the masses and unleash them in their millions is needed so that the possibility of revolution becomes reality.

    The material basis for communist revolution lies in the contradictions of the system itself. The masses make revolution. However, if there is no scientific approach for revolution and no group of people applying the science of the new communism to raise the consciousness of the masses and guide the complicated struggle to make revolution and establish socialism, either the opportunity, as in the uprisings in Egypt and many other cases, will be squandered, or revolution will be diverted and it will not get out of the capitalist system, as in Nicaragua, among other examples.

    “Waiting for better times” to do revolutionary work only guarantees the squandering of the revolution’s chances of victory when such conditions arise.

    This is why it is so important to repudiate the populist epistemology or “Facebook ideology,” understand and deepen the scientific analysis of the situation, and struggle with people for the scientific understanding that the basic contradictions of the system are the firm material base for revolution, and not what people may be thinking or doing at any given moment.

    You May Not See the Revolutionary Potential of the Masses, But the Ruling Classes Do See It—Correct Leadership Is Needed to Fully Unleash It

    These basic contradictions of the capitalist system define its nature as a system of exploitation, oppression, misery, and destruction of the environment. And precisely because of this exploitation and oppression, in various forms, of millions of people in Mexico by a small handful of big domestic and foreign capitalists and landowners, latent among the masses there exists great revolutionary potential.

    Although many of the masses today do not realize their revolutionary potential, the most conscious representatives of the ruling classes are very aware of this and are always maneuvering, using both repression and reformist illusions to suppress, suffocate and control this revolutionary potential.

    As Lenin says, “in every country the bourgeoisie inevitably devises two systems of rule, two methods of fighting for its interests and of maintaining its domination, and these methods at times succeed each other and at times are interwoven in various combinations. The first of these is the method of force, the method which rejects all concessions to the labor movement, the method of supporting all the old and obsolete institutions, the method of irreconcilably rejecting reform... The second is the method of ‘liberalism,’ of steps towards the development of political rights, towards reforms, concessions, and so forth.” (“Differences in the European Labor Movement”). He points out that the latter is, in a certain sense, a “more crafty” policy of the bourgeoisie to dupe the masses and which tends to reinforce revisionism (false Marxism) and conciliation among revolutionaries. We can see this at several critical moments in Mexico’s history.

    This history demonstrates the revolutionary potential of the masses and also shows that this potential has been repeatedly squandered due to a lack of correct scientific leadership. It is noteworthy, in particular, that even many people who have bravely fought against the ruthless repression of the reactionary state, have allowed themselves to be duped when the ruling classes resort to the method of “liberalism,” of reforms. To fully unleash the revolutionary potential of the masses, a correct revolutionary communist leadership is needed.

    The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses, Repression and Reforms under Calles and Cárdenas, and the Capitulation of the PCM

    The Revolution of 1910 ended with the triumph of the bourgeois forces of Carranza and Obregón, who murdered Zapata and Villa and drowned their armies of peasants and other poor people in blood. A dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie and landlords was re-established, although in another form.

    Millions were not content with the outcome. Many, especially among the peasants, kept their weapons and resorted to them in various cases in their struggles for land. Inspired by the victorious socialist revolution of 1917 in Russia, the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM) was formed in 1919, which participated in two attempted armed uprisings in this period. Faced with the revolutionary potential of the masses and the expansion of the influence of the PCM among them, the governments of the “Maximato” of Plutarco Elías Calles applied a policy of harsh repression and outlawed the PCM.

    The potential for a new revolutionary uprising of the masses in Mexico grew in the context of the profound crisis of the world capitalist-imperialist system with the Great Depression of the 1930s, the advances of socialism in the Soviet Union and the growth of the communist movement in the world. Faced with these dangers for the ruling classes in Mexico and their system, a shift occurred in the policy leading the bourgeois state shortly after the arrival of Lázaro Cárdenas to the presidency.

    He was not opposed to the use of repression by the bourgeois state itself: Cárdenas himself had reached the rank of general in combat against the Zapatistas and in the war of extermination against the Yaqui Indians. Rather, he clearly saw the danger that the growing revolutionary potential of the masses posed for the system. The government moved from emphasizing the “method of violence” (to use Lenin’s term) to defend the rule of the bourgeoisie under Calles’ “Maximato” to greater emphasis on the “method of liberalism, of reforms” to defend that same rule. Faced with the strike of the oilmen and many other workers, Cárdenas nationalized oil; faced with bloody struggles, even with weapons, of the peasants, he distributed part of the land, although it was, for the most part, land of lower quality.

    Cárdenas was not a “hero of the people” as we are taught, but a political representative of the big bourgeoisie who saved the system of exploitation and oppression faced with the revolutionary potential of the masses. This outcome was not simply due to these government tactics, but also to the capitulation of the PCM, which came to apply a policy of “unity at all costs,” supported this government of the ruling classes and even proposed building the “popular front” within the official party, the National Revolutionary Party, the forerunner of the hated PRI that we know today. (The serious errors of the line of the “United Front against Fascism” of the Communist International also influenced this outcome).

    The PCM relied more on the supposedly “progressive” bourgeoisie than on the revolutionary potential of the masses and sold out the possibilities for a liberatory revolution for a mass of pottage of reforms under the domination of the imperialists, big capitalists and landowners.

    Something very different happened in the same period in China, which shared some characteristics with Mexico, although there were also many differences. Both countries were semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries, dominated by imperialism and with large exploited and oppressed peasant populations. Both had gone through bourgeois-democratic revolutions that did not achieve a fundamental revolutionary transformation: Mexico in 1910, and China in 1911. Unlike the PCM, once Mao Zedong’s line won the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the party maintained its independence from the bourgeoisie and fought to unleash and give full expression to the revolutionary potential of the workers and peasants. He led them in a people’s war that finally triumphed in 1949. This victory marked the beginning of a great liberatory transformation of China, breaking the imperialist yoke, struggling to fully resolve the needs of the people, advancing in the liberation of women and formerly oppressed national minorities, increasingly reducing inequalities, transforming oppressive relations and ideas inherited from the old society, and much more.

    The Revolutionary Upsurge of the 1960s and 1970s: Massacres, Dirty War and Electoral Reform; Rise and Disorientation of the Maoist Movement

    In the 1960s, revolutionary struggles and sentiments were growing again among the masses in Mexico in the context of the worldwide upsurge of revolutionary struggle. There were several outbreaks of guerrilla struggle, some with a certain Maoist influence, such as the assault on the army barracks in Madera, Chihuahua, in 1965, led by Arturo Gámiz, and the guerrilla struggle in the Chinantec area of Oaxaca led by Florencio “el Güero” Medrano; and later the federal army repressed, in 1973, the Colonia Proletaria Rubén Jaramillo [Rubén Jaramillo Proletarian Community], created from a land seizure in the State of Morelos.

    The response of the bourgeois state to this situation was ruthless, with the massacre of hundreds of students and others by the Army in Tlatelolco in 1968, the massacre of hundreds more by the Halcones [Hawks], a paramilitary group at the service of the state, in 1971, as well as with the dirty war in which the armed forces tortured, disappeared and murdered thousands of people. The bourgeois state combined this bloody repression with certain reforms, notably the 1977 electoral reform, which allowed the PCM and some other forces of the supposed “left” to participate in the elections.

    The PCM had already degenerated into a completely opportunist and revisionist party (that is, with a bourgeois ideology expressed in “Marxist” verbiage): It supported state capitalism with a “socialist” signboard in the Soviet Union after the restoration of capitalism there in the mid-1950s; it expelled sympathizers with Mao’s revolutionary line in 1963; and it betrayed the movement by calling for students to “return to classes” after the Tlatelolco massacre.

    In contrast to the repugnant opportunism of the PCM, a very broad Maoist-inspired movement arose at that time, in which thousands of young people went to the workers, peasants and other masses with the intention of organizing a revolutionary movement. However, disdain for the importance of the theoretical struggle prevailed. They did not forge a correct line regarding the big struggles against revisionism in the international communist movement in the face of the restoration of capitalism first in the Soviet Union and later in China. Neither was a correct line developed for revolution in Mexico. They never formed the revolutionary communist party needed to start people’s war, and the movement eventually abandoned its revolutionary leanings and degenerated into efforts to organize a broad mass movement fighting for reforms. Another revolutionary opportunity was lost due to the lack of a correct science-based guiding understanding of communism and a core capable of unleashing and giving full expression to the revolutionary potential of the masses.

    The Indigenous Uprising of 1994, More Massacres, “Democratic Transition,” and the Birth of the OCR, M

    Mass hatred and discredit of the PRI, the political party which had been at the forefront of the repressive bourgeois state since its formation in 1929, led to a split in this bourgeois party in 1987, with the departure of leaders such as Andrés Manuel López Obrador himself, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas and others. They would soon unite with the remnants of the putrid PCM and others to form the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

    AMLO, Cárdenas and other former PRI leaders now make claims of denouncing the massacres and the dirty war of the government led by their party. Did they leave the hated PRI because only in 1987 did they realize that their party had massacred hundreds of students in 1968 and 1971, as well as many more people in the dirty war? Obviously not. Everyone knew of the PRI’s history of crimes against humanity at the service of the system of exploitation and oppression. Rather, they left “because they realized, like many others in the ruling classes, that the PRI was sinking and that another alternative had to be created to confuse the people and save the system from the revolutionary struggle of the masses of people” (Aurora Roja No. 6).

    The revolutionary potential of the masses erupted with the largely indigenous armed uprising in Chiapas in 1994. Across Mexico, a sentiment expressed by many basic masses, students, and others was “If it gets this far, I’ll join in.” With the indigenous uprising, the opposition and struggles against the government had the initiative for several years. A big boost was given to feelings and the search for revolutionary alternatives in Mexico, despite the fact that the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) stopped the armed struggle a few days after it began and did not have and does not have a consistent revolutionary program. (For a critical analysis of the EZLN, check out Hace falta tumbar el sistema capitalista, no tratar de “democratizarlo”: AMLO, el EZLN y la revolución que se necesita, by the OCR, M [See English translation at: We Need to Overthrow This System, Not Try to “Democratize” It: AMLO, the EZLN and the Revolution We Need, Revolution #551, July 9, 2018]).

    The Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico (OCR, M), despite having a very small number of militants at that time, grew rapidly, attracting people seeking a more consistently revolutionary alternative to the EZLN and other forces. The organization was founded in 1989, inspired by advances in the science of communism being developed by Bob Avakian, chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, as well as by the people’s war led by the Communist Party of Peru and the regrouping of these and other Maoist forces at the time in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM). A year after the formation of the OCR, M, an economist faction split the organization, opposing its guiding line of building the revolutionary communist party to start the people’s war and advocating, on the contrary, the organization of a broad peaceful mass movement, repeating, in essence, the same mistakes of the old PCM and of a large part of the Maoist movement of the 1960s which abandoned the struggle for revolution by centering the struggle on the “most felt needs of the masses.” The biggest need of the masses is revolution to free themselves from this obsolete and criminal system, not just a few reforms. The struggle for reforms is necessary, but revolutionary communism “subordinates the struggle for reforms, as the part to the whole, to the revolutionary struggle for freedom and for socialism” (Lenin, What Is to Be Done?). Limiting the revolution to struggles for immediate demands and failing to prepare the ground, the people and the vanguard to make revolution only leads to prolonging this inhuman system of exploitation and oppression.

    The response of the bourgeois state to the indigenous uprising and the growing protest and rebellion of the masses in Mexico was, on the one hand, bloody repression. In 1995, the Guerrero state police massacred 17 peasants in Aguas Blancas. In 1997, PRI paramilitaries trained by the federal government, the army and the police murdered 45 Tzotzil indigenous people while they were praying in Acteal, Chiapas. This was part of the counterinsurgency plan of the Secretariat of National Defense, revealed by the magazine Proceso (No. 1105), to “Secretly organize sections of the civilian population... who will be used under orders to support our operations,” with “training and support from…paramilitary organizations, which may be the basic beginning of mobilization for military operations….” The current government continues to use these and other paramilitary forces, already well involved with organized crime, to attack base areas for the EZLN and other communities in Chiapas.

    The Acteal massacre, instead of suffocating the struggle, fueled it further. The insidious crime provoked a wave of condemnation against the government, with 200,000 people marching in Mexico City, among other protests. More massacres carried out directly by the army followed, in El Bosque, Chiapas, and El Charco, Guerrero. Mass anger only grew more. Faced with this explosive situation, a section of the ruling classes in Mexico, with the participation of representatives of U.S. imperialism, devised the so-called “democratic transition,” abandoning the system of electoral fraud to a sufficient degree so as to allow Vicente Fox, of the National Action Party [PAN], to win the federal presidency in 2000.

    This maneuver disoriented many people who had been fighting against the so-called “PRI government,” thinking that the fundamental problem was the PRI, and not the entire oppressive system that this party and the other bourgeois parties represent and defend. An important section of the people stopped fighting and several leaders even entered into the new government. This was interrelated with earlier setbacks in the revolution worldwide due to several factors. One was the restoration of capitalism in China, as a result of which there were no longer any socialist countries in the world. Another was the collapse of the Soviet Union, which, although it had already been capitalist and imperialist for a long time, was used by the Western bourgeoisie to proclaim the supposed death of communism. The situation was also influenced by the unfavorable polarization in the world between the imperialists of the United States and Western Europe, on the one hand, and various fundamentalist Islamic forces on the other. Finally, the people’s wars in Peru (started in 1980) and Nepal (started in 1996), which raised the hopes of millions around the world, collapsed when the communist parties that were leading them deviated off track into opportunism when faced with new difficult problems. In this context, the struggle for the revolution in Mexico entered a period of relative ebb.

    Growing Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and Attempts to Suffocate This Potential With the War Against the People, Ayotzinapa and Other State Crimes, as well as the So-Called “4T”: People Must Get Organized for Revolution

    It soon became clear that the so-called “democratic transition” and the replacement of the PRI by the PAN in the federal government did not represent any fundamental change in the repressive nature of the state. As we noted at that time “in matters of repressing the people, the federal government and the PAN are not far behind, as evidenced by the bloody repression in Cancún orchestrated by the Presidential General Staff against opponents of imperialist globalization, the torture and rapes of women in Guadalajara in 2004 on the orders of the then governor and current Secretary of the Interior, Francisco Javier Ramírez Acuña, the death of the Pasta de Conchos miners due to the insistence of the company and the consent of the federal government in maintaining highly unsafe conditions for the sake of greater profitability, the murder of two Sicartsa workers, two murders and rapes and sexual abuse of two dozen women in Atenco in May 2006, the whole repugnant dirty campaign to impose Felipe Calderón as president, the direct intervention of Calderón to cover up the rape of the elderly indigenous woman Ernestina Ascencio Rosario by soldiers from the army, etc., etc.”

    In this context, the righteous rebellion in Oaxaca broke out in 2006: “In the face of a governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz (URO), who wanted to crush any opposition to this system and to his own crimes and corruption with a wave of repression and assassinations, hundreds of thousands of Oaxacans took to the streets and forcefully declared ‘enough is enough!’ This mass rebellion put the Oaxaca state government in check and shook the foundations of the power of the rich and powerful throughout the country. URO, in barely concealed collusion with the federal government, launched ‘death convoys’ that attempted to impose their bloody ‘order’ at gunpoint. The barricades that the people erected in self-defense response created a kind of liberated territory in the center of the city of Oaxaca, in which the government forces only dared to enter heavily armed, and where the seeds of a new people’s power in the making bloomed like wild flowers after the rain” (Oaxaca. La lucha política independiente del pueblo, heraldo de una nueva revolución [Oaxaca. The independent political struggle of the people, harbinger of a new revolution]).

    There were dozens of martyrs of that people’s rebellion, which was finally crushed by the intervention of the federal police. Shortly afterwards, the new head of the bourgeois state, by means of electoral fraud, Felipe Calderón, announced the “war on organized crime,” which in reality was and continues to be, despite changes in rhetoric and tactics, a true preemptive counterinsurgency war against the people. As we have analyzed, this war “does not seek to put an end to drug trafficking but rather to put in order and control the illegal drug market and, above all, to prop up the state and its ability to protect the prevailing social order” with “major interpenetration between the cartels and the government at all levels” in which “both the government and the cartels commit horrible crimes against the people” with a huge toll of murders, disappearances and torture throughout the country. (For more analysis and documentation, see “El auge del crimen organizado y la decadencia criminal del Estado mexicano: frutos gemelos de un sistema completamente podrido” ["The rise of organized crime and the criminal decline of the Mexican state: Twin fruits of a completely rotten system"] in Aurora Roja No. 15)

    Massacre after massacre against the people followed: The murder of two Ayotzinapa students by the government in 2011; the massacre by the army in Tlatlaya, State of Mexico, of 22 civilians who had surrendered to the army, with orders to “kill criminals in hours of darkness”; the massacre of demonstrators in an operation by federal and state police in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, in 2016; the massacres by the government in Apatzingán and Tanhuato, Michoacán; among others.

    The state crime that finally provoked a mass explosion of protest and repudiation throughout the country was the murder of six people and the forced disappearance of 43  students from the normal school of Ayotzinapa on September 26, 2014 in a joint operation involving the Army, the federal, state and municipal police, as well as elements of organized crime. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in powerful protest, not only throughout Mexico, but also in many other parts of the world. The brave fight for justice on the part of the students from the normal school and their parents, with the support from many other people, has collided with the insistence of the bourgeois state, first under the criminal Peña Nieto, and now under AMLO, not to touch even one rose petal on the clear coordinator of the operation on the night of the crime and in its cover-up: the Army. The foregoing illustrates once again that a real fundamental change is only possible by overthrowing and dismantling the current state, including its backbone, the armed forces.

    With these crimes and rampant corruption, not only did Peña Nieto’s popularity plummet—“I know they are not applauding me,” he once confessed—but more and more people came to hate the government and everything it stood for. A critical point was being reached for the stability of the system in the face of growing mass anger.

    It is in this situation that López Obrador warns his opponents in the ruling classes that they are playing with fire. In front of a banking convention in March, prior to the 2018 elections, he declared: “If they dare to commit electoral fraud, I am also going to Palenque and to see who is going to tie up the tiger.” “Regardless of whoever may release the tiger, or whoever may tie it up, I will no longer be arresting people after electoral fraud, that is clear” (Forbes online, 03/09/2018). With this he takes “credit” for having contained the anger of the people due to the electoral frauds of 2006 and 2012, pointing out to the bankers their great service and usefulness in maintaining the stability of the system.

    In effect, López Obrador also expressed that, if his opponents in the ruling classes did not allow mass anger to be channeled towards his election, there would be a social explosion that would be very difficult to control. This was very true and played a role in his electoral victory, which raised hopes for real change among many people. This was a false way out, another false illusion for the masses, as we have pointed out throughout several decades and as the facts of his mandate have been proving more and more. No election, no change in the personnel at the head of the current bourgeois state is going to lead to a real change in the interests of the people. “Because the current state is a structure at the service of current economic and social relations. These relations function according to a logic, the logic of capitalist relations, and without destroying this state and radically transforming these relations, those in power, whoever they are, even if Karl Marx himself were the president, would inevitably end up serving the logic of those relations and this system” (La revolución liberadora, Orientación estratégica y programa básico [Liberatory Revolution, Strategic Orientation and Basic Program]).

    All the history that we have outlined here shows that there is large latent revolutionary potential in the people. Although many people doubt it, the ruling classes and their political representatives are well aware of this and are always maneuvering, using both repression and reformist illusions to suppress, suffocate and control this revolutionary potential.

    This brief history also illustrates the fact that several revolutionary opportunities have been lost due to the lack of correct guiding scientific understanding and a leading force capable of applying it. And this is precisely what is needed to give full expression to the revolutionary potential of the masses of people.

    False Hopes in the So-Called 4T Begin to Fade; New Outbreaks of Protest and Rebellion Arise

    As we analyzed with the beginning of the new government headed by AMLO in 2018:

    López Obrador, as the representative of a section of the big capitalists that he is, essentially seeks to follow the same path of capitalist development subordinated to imperialism with a little more economic intervention by the state and a few more crumbs for the masses. As he himself says, the “model” he seeks to re-establish is “stabilizing development” (the period of relatively rapid economic development subordinated to imperialism and administered by the PRI in the 1950s and 1960s, which was marked, among other things, by several bloody repressions to maintain the “stability” of the system and of the investments of big domestic and foreign capital). This program is in no way going to solve the big problems of the oppression of women and indigenous peoples, global warming and environmental destruction, imperialist domination, enforced disappearance and rampant reactionary violence, hunting down, detention and deportation of migrants, exploitation, poverty and misery of the majority of the people, among others. On the other hand, the “Programa revolucionario para un país socialista, independiente e internacionalista” [Revolutionary Program for a Socialist, Independent and Internationalist Country] outlined in La revolución liberadora, correctly points out the revolution necessary to emancipate us from all these evils...

    The government of López Obrador and Morena poses new challenges and opportunities for those of us who are fighting for that liberatory communist future for humanity. In the short term, it mainly poses greater difficulties by stirring up more illusions among broad masses that there can be significant change by reforming the current reactionary system. We must not exaggerate the situation: It is not true that “everyone is with AMLO and Morena”… However, this is a real problem that we have to face. Although the very functioning of the system is going to show that actual profound changes for the majority of the people are not possible under this system, in the absence of the struggle for the real revolutionary alternative, the spontaneous unfolding of this is going to either settle for small changes in an intolerable situation, or cynicism and the idea that “nothing can be done, they are all the same thing” among many who see that AMLO/Morena are not the solution. That is why it is so important that we promote revolution, new communism, and the analysis of what AMLO represents… (Empuñar el Nuevo Comunismo para avanzar hacia el partido y la revolución liberadora [Wield the New Communism to Advance Towards the Party and Liberatory Revolution])

    Events have confirmed that this analysis was correct. Indeed, the false illusions among many people have posed difficulties for revolution, not to mention the shameless staunch defense of the crimes of the current government by several people who previously played a more critical role when their electoral bourgeois party was not in power. On the other hand, the very functioning of the system and the crimes of the government are beginning to dispel false illusions among some people, and new outbreaks of protest and rebellion are arising.

    The revolts of women are shaking the world, among which the very radical wave of protest that broke out in Mexico starting in 2019 stands out. The righteous rage of women has given rise to an insurgency, driven above all by young women, which has inspired millions and awakened yearnings for real change. The response of the “government of change” has been repression, “reforms” that at bottom do not change anything, and cynical smearing of the women’s movement in the voice of Mexico’s president, describing the rebellious women as “conservatives.”

    There is an increasing awareness, especially among young people, that global warming and other environmental destruction constitute a real environmental emergency that is already causing the extinction of many species and threatens the future and even the very existence of humanity. There is protest and resistance in many parts by indigenous peoples against the megaprojects of death, ecocide and ethnocide. The response of the government and the big capitalists, in collusion with organized crime, has been the murder of critical-thinking activists and journalists, the repression of protests, and the same snarking, as supposed “conservatives,” by AMLO, against indigenous and peasants environmentalists and fighters.

    The students of normal schools and democratic teachers continue to be a problem for the system, which is why they are also attacked from the presidency and repressed, not only by the PAN and PRI governments, but also by Morena governments in Chiapas, Michoacán, Puebla, Guerrero, and other states. Students and professors protest in several cases against the attempts of the bourgeois state to centralize and control more directly the universities and research centers.

    Migrants from Mexico, Central America, and many other nationalities who refuse to succumb to hunger, extreme violence, and the ravages of climate change caused by the system itself also represent a very serious problem for the system. In the face of “containment” and repression by the National Guard and their cronies in the police and organized crime, migrants bravely resist and rightly declare that “We are not criminals, we are international workers.”

    Mothers and fathers of so many disappeared people bravely fight for justice, despite attacks and smearing by the authorities in many cases, and are forced themselves to search for their loved ones among the macabre clandestine graves scattered throughout Mexican territory.

    Discontent is growing among the people throughout the country due to the criminal handling of the pandemic, the economic crisis, the shortage of medicines after three years of empty promises, as well as the malignant cancer of collusion between authorities, businessmen and organized crime with their bloody toll of murders, torture and disappearances.

    As the false hopes in the so-called “4T” begin to dissipate and as new outbreaks of protest and rebellion emerge, better conditions are being created for the advance of the movement for revolution. But, these possibilities for advance can only be materialized if we revolutionary communists struggle deeply with the people to see the scientifically proven fact that communist revolution is the only real alternative to all this madness. Otherwise, as we have already pointed out, in the absence of revolutionary science, people will come to settle for small changes in an intolerable situation, or fall into cynicism, demoralization and the idea that nothing can be done. And so Mexico and the world are going to enter into an escalation of major disasters and atrocities.

    A Terrible Future, or a Liberatory Future? This Depends Now on Forging a Growing Nucleus Organized and Guided by New Communism

    In Mexico and in the world, we face the choice between two possible futures: An even more terrible future, including the possible extinction of the human race, or a liberatory future in a radically different society in which we all would like to live.

    We have two options: live with the crimes and horrors caused by this system that threaten the very survival of humanity, or make revolution and bring into being a radically different and much better system.

    As we have already pointed out, in the world and in Mexico, the main contradictions of the capitalist-imperialist system are intensifying. The environmental emergency caused by the capitalist-imperialist system is posing a growing threat to the future of humanity and life on the planet and is already increasing the desperate migrations of millions from the Global South. The dispute for world domination between the main imperialist powers is intensifying, thus increasing the danger of war, including nuclear war, which represents another threat to the survival of humanity. Economic and social changes in the role of women are undermining traditional forms of women’s oppression while exacerbating new forms, all of which is leading either to a radically reactionary transformation reinforcing patriarchy and traditional forms of women’s oppression, or to a radically revolutionary transformation to knock down patriarchy and the capitalist system that keeps it afloat, advancing towards the complete emancipation of women and all of humanity. The aggressive expansion of big capital is leading to ruin and seizes territory and resources from peasants and indigenous communities, at the same time as the enormous growth of “illegal” capitalism of organized crime in collusion with the government and big capital in general at all levels is transforming large parts of the country into a veritable hell. The crises and enormous difficulties of the system are leading important sections of the ruling classes to struggle to establish the open form of the bourgeois dictatorship, fascism, in various parts of the world.

    All these contradictions are the material basis for communist revolution, which is more urgent now than ever, and whose material basis is also firmer than ever. It is the masses in their millions who will make this revolution or there will be no real revolution. For their revolutionary struggle not to get off track into dead ends and for it to actually lead to a real revolution, to a liberatory socialist society in transition to communism, science is needed, and a growing organized core armed with and guided by this science is needed.

    As Bob Avakian emphasizes, “whether or not there is going to be a scientific approach to revolution and a group of people, a growing group of people, organized to apply that science to really transforming the world toward an actual revolution—that makes all the difference for the masses of people” (The New Communism, p. 8).

    First and foremost, a scientific method and approach is needed. In other words, an understanding of how the world really is and how it can really be changed in the interests of the masses, which has been developed from analyzing the evidence in history and in the world, and not from simple wishes or speculations. A correct scientific approach is needed to guide the complicated struggle to make revolution and establish socialism. Without this, either the opportunity will be squandered, as in Egypt and many other cases, or revolution will go off track and will not get out of the capitalist system, as in Nicaragua, among other examples. Without a scientific method and approach, no matter how many people you have, you will never get out of the oppressive confines of the capitalist system.

    Bob Avakian’s New Communism is a qualitative development of the revolutionary science founded by Marx and Engels, and represents a breakthrough for the international communist revolution. He has developed this based on more than 50 years of work to scientifically sum up the breakthroughs, as well as the errors, of the first experiences of socialism of the last century, as well as the scientific analysis of many other struggles, of the changes in the contemporary world and many other sources. Thus, he has forged a guide to advance more and better in the next wave of proletarian revolutions in the world and create new, even more liberatory socialist societies, with a level of dissent and ferment never seen before, as well as guidelines for the struggle to advance in abolishing all forms of exploitation, oppression and social inequality, as well as revolutionizing the corresponding ideas.

    The Revolutionary Communist Organization is applying this breakthrough in the science of communism to the concrete conditions of Mexico in the world context and has forged strategic orientations and a basic program for the revolution that is needed, while at the same time this needs to be further developed and deepened.

    On the other hand, it is necessary to forge a growing nucleus of people organized and guided by this science, by applying this science to make a real revolution. In our conditions, this means fighting to build the revolutionary communist party guided by the New Communism, since such a party, indispensable to guide the struggle of the broad masses to make revolution, does not yet exist in Mexico.

    For this, it is essential to study thoroughly this science. Or as Engels said, “socialism, since it has become a science, demands that it be pursued as a science, i.e., that it be studied” (quoted by Lenin in What Is To Be Done?). It does not matter if at a given moment you understand a lot or a little, whether study is easy or difficult for you. The important thing is to understand that the possibility for people to get out of so much unnecessary suffering in this system of horrors depends on learning to master and apply this science. “It is also profoundly true that anyone who applies themself to this, and does the work, can take up this scientific method and approach, can continually deepen their grasp of this theory and the ability to apply it and popularize it, learning and doing in a dialectical—a mutually reinforcing—relation between theory and practice” (The New Communism, p. 9).

    It is also necessary to bring revolution and the New Communism to the masses: Promote this revolutionary theory, develop communist exposures and mobilize the masses in a combative struggle against the crimes of the system. It is urgent to win more and more people for this liberatory revolution, without which the possibilities of liberation from this bleak world would be wasted. It is not easy, especially in these times, to win people over to revolution and communism. It requires debating and struggling with people, sometimes even developing sharp struggle, though in a good way. This is the case, on the one hand, because of the setbacks in the world revolution that we have analyzed. On the other hand, it is because the propaganda of the ruling classes and other forces, as well as the very dynamics of trying to survive in this system characterized by competition and the struggle of all against all, lead people to internalize ideas and values that do not correspond to reality and, in fact, go against their deepest interests.

    For this reason, it is necessary to argue and struggle with the masses with the firm orientation that the masses not only need, but can break with all this, and be recognizing their true interests and transforming themselves in the course of revolutionary struggle, as long as there are those who struggle with them and bring them a scientific understanding of the problem and the solution. Therefore, we have strategic confidence in the revolutionary potential of the people, and we bring them the scientific truth about the horrors of this system and about the real possibility of a much better world.

    It Is Necessary for You to Break With and Help Others to Break With the Values And Ideas that Serve to Perpetuate This Oppressive System

    People need to break with the narrow individualism of “worry about yourself and your people and to hell with everybody else,” and dare to fight for a better future for the people and the emancipation of humanity.

    Instead of looking for excuses to not fight, people need to get into knowing how we can really fight and win.

    People need to break with the degrading values that this system inculcates, such as machismo, racism, homophobia, and others, and embody the communist values expressed, among other places, in the Puntos de orientación [Points of Orientation] of the Movimiento Revolución [Movement Revolution].

    People need to stop snarking, fighting among themselves and even killing each other, and unite against the actual common enemy, the imperialists, the big capitalists and the landowners.

    People need to break with the false hopes that AMLO and Morena are going around selling, and undertake the revolutionary struggle against the capitalist system and all its political representatives.

    And people need to get beyond “anti-capitalism” and decide to fight for the only real liberatory alternative to capitalism, communist revolution.

    It is our responsibility, the responsibility of the revolutionary communists, to share with the people the science of the new communism and to help them, with fraternal struggle among the people, to break with the values and lies of this system, to identify the true problem and the true solution, and thus unleash their initiative in the struggle for liberatory revolution and the emancipation of humanity.

    Cast Away False Illusions, and Prepare for Revolution! Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

    The future is not written, and this future depends, importantly, on what is done by every person who has ever dreamed of a better world. A terrible future, or a liberatory future? The clock is ticking and you have to decide. Passively accept the atrocities, injustices and existential threats of this system? Try to reform it a little bit? Or dare to fight with heart and science for liberatory revolution?

    The big crimes, crises and upheavals now and to come hold great dangers for humanity. At the same time, they open up new possibilities to make revolution and to begin a new and bright era for humanity and the planet. Let us each take on the responsibility of fighting together to achieve victory and open up this new era of revolutionary hope.

     

    Selected Bibliography

    Publications of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico, available free-of-charge on the Aurora Roja site: aurora-roja.blogspot.com.

    • Apoyar y extender la revuelta contra la violencia machista
    • “Combatir la represión, preparar la revolución”, Aurora Roja No. 6
    • ¡Desencadenar el coraje y lucha de las mujeres contra las causas y los responsables de tanta violencia e injusticia!
    • “El auge del crimen organizado y la decadencia criminal del Estado mexicano: frutos gemelos de un sistema completamente podrido” en Aurora Roja No. 1
    • Hace falta tumbar el sistema capitalista, no tratar de “democratizarlo”: AMLO, el EZLN y la revolución que se necesita
    • La opresión y la emancipación de los pueblos indígenas
    • La revolución liberadora: orientación estratégica y programa básico
    • “La revolución y el trabajo revolucionario”, Aurora Roja No. 15
    • Oaxaca. La lucha política independiente del pueblo, heraldo de una nueva revolución
    • Puntos de orientación del Movimiento Revolución (flier)

    Publications available on the revcom.us site:

    • Avakian, Bob, 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
    • Avakian, Bob, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution
    • Avakian, Bob, The Strategic Approach to Revolution and Its Relation to Basic Questions of Epistemology and Method
    • Avakian, Bob, The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution
    • Lotta, Raymond, You Don’t Know What You Think You “Know” About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future
    • Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), authored by Bob Avakian

    Other Marxist titles

    • Engels, Federico, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State
    • Lenin, Vladimir, “Differences in the European Labor Movement,” Complete Works, Volume 16
    • Lenin, Vladimir, What Is To Be Done?
    • Mao Tsetung, “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire,” Selected Works, Volume I
  • ARTICLE:

    Bob Avakian and the New Communism on Internationalism

    BAsics cover 600

     

    BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian

    Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First.

    BAsics 5:8

    ~~~

    Imperialism means huge monopolies and financial institutions controlling the economies and the political systems—and the lives of people—not just in one country but all over the world. Imperialism means parasitic exploiters who oppress hundreds of millions of people and condemn them to untold misery; parasitic financiers who can cause millions to starve just by pressing a computer key and thereby shifting vast amounts of wealth from one place to another. Imperialism means war—war to put down the resistance and rebellion of the oppressed, and war between rival imperialist states—it means the leaders of these states can condemn humanity to unbelievable devastation, perhaps even total annihilation, with the push of a button.

    Imperialism is capitalism at the stage where its basic contradictions have been raised to tremendously explosive levels. But imperialism also means that there will be revolution—the oppressed rising up to overthrow their exploiters and tormentors—and that this revolution will be a worldwide struggle to sweep away the global monster, imperialism.

    BAsics 1:6

    ~~~

    If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you’ve already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world. If you can envision a world without any imperialism, exploitation, oppression—and the whole philosophy that rationalizes it—a world without division into classes or even different nations, and all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas that uphold this; if you can envision all this, then you have the basis for proletarian internationalism. And once you have raised your sights to all this, how could you not feel compelled to take an active part in the world historic struggle to realize it; why would you want to lower your sights to anything less? 

    BAsics 1:31

    ~~~

    The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way.

    BAsics 3:8

    ~~~

    The achievement of [the necessary conditions for communism] must take place on a world scale, through a long and tortuous process of revolutionary transformation in which there will be uneven development, the seizure of power in different countries at different times, and a complex dialectical interplay between the revolutionary struggles and the revolutionization of society in these different countries...[a dialectical relation] in which the world arena is fundamentally and ultimately decisive while the mutually interacting and mutually supporting struggles of the proletarians in different countries constitute the key link in fundamentally changing the world as a whole.

    BAsics 2:12

    Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

     

    Article IV. The Economy and Economic Development in the New Socialist Republic in North America. Section 1.

    The economy of the New Socialist Republic in North America is a planned socialist economy, under the direction of the state and led by the Revolutionary Communist Party, in accordance with the principles and provisions set forth in Article I, Section 2 and elsewhere in this Constitution. Social production and economic development are guided and evaluated according to three overarching criteria:

    1. Advancing the world revolution to uproot all exploitation and oppression and to emancipate all of humanity;

    2. Meeting social need, creating a common material wealth that contributes to the all-around development of society and the individuals who make it up, and overcoming oppressive divisions between mental and manual labor, town and country, different regions and nationalities, and men and women; 

    3. Protecting, preserving, and enhancing the ecosystems and biodiversity of the planet for current and future generations.

    The New Communism

     

    From the section "Internationalism"

    An excerpt from
    THE NEW COMMUNISM

    Bob Avakian

    This excerpt comes from the section titled "Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism: A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation."

    In this polemic by the OCR of Mexico, which is in Demarcations #4, they discuss both the material basis and the ideological basis for internationalism. The material basis being the fact that there’s a whole world system and not just a bunch of different systems within different particular countries, all self-contained, that somehow then interact with each other on the foundation of their essential self-containment. So that’s the material basis of internationalism. There’s the operation of the system of imperialism on a world scale. It operates economically, and that has real effects on people, sometimes even driving people in the millions from one country all the way to other parts of the world (coming from Nepal, or someplace else, they end up working in Bahrain, in 120 degree weather, dying in the heat). And this world system operates not only economically but also politically and diplomatically. It operates militarily. All that, on a world scale, in an overall and fundamental sense, is setting the stage for what we have to do—setting the stage, as the principal aspect, in dialectical relation with the struggles of various kinds that this gives rise to—and, above all, the revolutionary struggles of the masses of people, especially as they are led by conscious and organized communist forces.

    But then the OCR polemic also speaks about the ideological basis for internationalism (the ideological basis meaning the way, or method, of thinking). Mao made the point in one of his important philosophical works, “On Contradiction,”40 that it is the internal contradictions within a thing that provide the basis for it to change. He gave the example of an egg and a stone: an egg, at the right temperature, can produce a living being, but a stone cannot. Why? Because of the internal contradictions and dynamics within the one and the other. Because of its internal nature, a stone does not have the basis to produce a living being, and no matter how much you heat it up, it’s not going to produce one. Mao used this as an example to illustrate that internal contradictions are the basis for change within a thing. And he made the point, using this same example, that the temperature that might be applied to an egg can be the immediate cause of change, it is an external condition which can be a cause of the change, but it’s not the fundamental basis for the change. It’s like heating up water. The reason water can turn into steam is because of the internal nature of, and the internal contradiction within, water. The heating is the immediate cause of the change, while the internal nature of water is the basis for the change. So this was an important point made by Mao. But, unfortunately, at times he applied this in a kind of one-sided way, beyond the point where it was correct. Let me put it this way: Even while Mao was fundamentally internationalist, there was a tendency in Mao to say that each country has its own internal contradictions and that’s the fundamental basis for revolution within that country. He was applying the principle that the internal contradictions are the basis for change—which is a correct and very important principle, and something that was not clearly grasped and acted upon in the communist movement up to that point (it’s not that there was no understanding of that, but there was still a lot of unclarity about that). But the problem is that, in the era of capitalist imperialism, internal contradiction applies differently.

    This is another one of those complexities—there are different levels of the organization of matter. A country, to put it simply, is one level of the organization of matter—countries and the people in them (and everything else in them) are made up of matter in motion, in many different forms. The world arena, the world as a whole, is another level of the organization of matter. So, in one sense, or on one level, the internal contradictions within a country are the basis for it to change, but in turn that country is part of a larger whole, the larger world, and it’s the internal contradictions of that larger world as a whole which are, in the final analysis, more determining, even of what happens within a particular country.

    To illustrate this, an example that’s used in this polemic by the OCR of Mexico is the human body, and the different levels of the organization of matter in the human body (this example was used in an article of mine, “‘Crises in Physics,’ Crises in Philosophy and Politics,”41 which is found in Demarcations #1, and it was also used in this OCR polemic). The human body is made up of a lot of different cells, and it’s made up of different organs—the liver, the kidney, the heart, and so on and so forth. Each of those particular levels of the organization of matter have their own internal contradictions—kidneys have their own internal contradictions, livers have their own internal contradictions, the same with the heart, and so on. But, in turn, they’re part of a larger body, and what is happening to that larger body (or the person as a whole) is, in an overall sense, more determining of what happens even to those internal organs than just the internal contradictions of those internal organs themselves. Now, here’s the complexity of it, once again: it’s not like the internal organs don’t affect the body as a whole. If you have contradictions that cause your heart to fail, it’s obviously going to affect your whole body. And the same with other organs, like your liver or your kidney. So there is, once again, a contradictory, a dialectical, relation. But overall, the body—the person as a whole—interacting with the larger environment, is the entity that is most determining; the contradictions within that body are mainly what determines what happens to the body as a whole, even though, at a particular time, what’s happening to a particular organ of the body—based on its internal contradictions, in interaction with the rest of the body and with the larger environment—can become the concentration point of what’s happening to your body as a whole, just like a particular country in the world can become the concentration point of the contradictions in the world.

     

    40. Mao Tsetung, “On Contradiction,” 1937. [back]

    41. Bob Avakian, “‘Crises in Physics,’ Crises in Philosophy and Politics,” in Demarcations: A Journal of Communist Theory and Polemic, Issue Number 1, Summer-Fall 2009. Originally appeared in Revolution #161, April 12, 2009. Available at demarcations-journal.org and revcom.us. [back]

    NewSynthesisOutline-en.jpg

     

    From THE NEW SYNTHESIS OF COMMUNISM:
    FUNDAMENTAL ORIENTATION, METHOD AND APPROACH, AND CORE ELEMENTS—AN OUTLINE

    by Bob Avakian, Summer 2015

    Internationalism

    • The material basis and philosophical basis, and the overall approach, of communist internationalism.

    (BAsics 2:12; “Advancing the World Revolutionary Movement: Questions of Strategic Orientation”; “Communism or Nationalism?,” a polemic by the OCR, Mexico, in Demarcations #4)

    • Summing up the first wave of the communist movement/socialist states.

    (Conquer the World? The International Proletariat Must and WillUnresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for RevolutionPart 2 and Part 3; Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; “You Don’t Know What You Think You ‘Know’ About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future,” An Interview with Raymond Lotta, Revolution #323, November 24, 2013)

  • ARTICLE:

    Letters in Support of Bob Avakian, September 12

    "I love—yes, love—Bob Avakian and what he has created for humanity and the possibility of forging a whole new world."

    Updated

    Editor's Note:  The following are statements that were either given to Revcoms or sent to this site, or sent to RiseUp4AbortionRights which gave us permission to publish them.  These statements are especially timely and needed in the face of slanderous lies and attacks launched by various opportunist forces and media outlets against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, on the role of the Revcoms and Sunsara Taylor in it—and especially targeted against Bob Avakian with unprincipled slander and dangerous lies. We will continue to publish other statements along these lines, and any statements RU4AR receives and publishes against these attacks.


    Why I Love Bob Avakian

    "...When I read the new draft Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America [authored by Bob Avakian-ed.] for the first time years ago, I was floored and exhilarated. No death penalty. No “The ends justify the means.” A society of vigorous debate and contention of the road forward, a society any thinking, feeling person would long to be a part of.... And I love—yes, love—Bob Avakian and what he has created for humanity and the possibility of forging a whole new world.

    Read more

    Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was, undeniably, one of the most profound scientific advances in human history. His discovery of Natural Selection changed everything. It was a turning point in our understanding of who we are, where we come from, and how we got there. It’s impact on science and society cannot be overstated.

    But a key hypothesis of Darwin’s about how evolution takes place, the mechanism for biological evolution, was flat-out wrong. His theory, “Pangenesis,” was that variation in individuals was caused by what he called “gemmules” that mixed with one another in the fertilized egg. Genes had not yet been discovered, let alone their critical role as drivers of evolutionary change. Years later it was proven, by further experimentation and research, that Darwin’s gemmules simply did not exist.

    I’m not a scientist, but as I understand it, that’s how science works. Every major advance includes within it elements that are incorrect, and it takes further research and application of that advance to correct them. Not only that, but every scientific advance is itself preceded by failure after failure. That’s also how science works.

    And that brings me to Bob Avakian. I came across his writing when I was on the staff of the Oleo Strut, the GI antiwar coffeehouse in Killeen, Texas, next to Ft. Hood. This was 1970, when revolutionary upheaval was sweeping the planet. GIs from all walks of life, just back from Vietnam, were reading Malcolm X and Mao Zedong. Organizations were forming and growing around every trend, from Marxism to the revolutionary nationalism of Patrice Lumumba. We knew that capitalism and its most ugly manifestation—imperialism—needed to be swept from the planet. And we were hungry. I gobbled up the Red Papers, a series of in-depth pamphlets that Bob and the Revolutionary Union were producing, and I, along with the literally thousands of revolutionary minded youth of that time, dove right in.

    Well, things didn’t pan out as so many of us worked for and expected. The movements we came out of largely disappeared, and the revolutionary wave of the sixties became the famously dubbed “Me Decade” of the seventies. Worst of all, for those of us who dedicated our lives to revolution—even in this biggest of all imperialist countries—and the goal of communism as Mao and the millions of revolutionaries in China were forging, came the crushing blow to Mao’s allies after his death and the rapid reinstatement of capitalism in China along with the slanderous attacks on all that had been accomplished in those three unprecedented decades under Mao’s leadership.

    I, along with a lot of others, became disoriented and disheartened, as memories of revolution were driven off the stage. It’s not like nothing was happening, but the beacon of China was no longer there, and the road forward became murky and filled with boulders. Think about it—the two great communist revolutions of the twentieth century, Russia and China, had both turned into their opposites: Russia long ago becoming yet another imperialist power oppressing nations and challenging the U.S. for world domination, and China just a few years after Mao’s death once again a playground for capitalists the world over pursuing cheap labor and eventually yet another imperialist contender. How could you NOT become disoriented and disheartened?

    And how could you not conclude, as so many did, that our revolutionary fervor of the sixties was really just youthful idealism, that a revolution would actually make things worse, and the only “realistic” road was to “work within the system” for reforms here and there? How could you not take that road?

    The only way you couldn’t was to dig deeper than ever before into the science of Marxism, and that’s exactly what Bob Avakian did. Just as the evolutionary scientists who followed Darwin had done, he explored the unprecedented experiments of the Russian and Chinese revolutions, revolutions that for relatively brief periods freed over a third of humanity but were undermined not just by outside forces (both revolutions were viciously assaulted by imperialist powers led by the U.S.), but by internal weaknesses and outright wrong, even disastrous formulations that continued to plague Marxist thinking and had devastating effects. He dug deep, with a total openness to question everything, and over a period of decades developed a “New Communism,” one aimed at rooting out the errors of the past and forging a new incredibly bright possible future for the planet.

    He really did that. And it’s out there for anyone to see for themselves, question, argue, and decide what they intend to do. When I read the new draft Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America for the first time years ago, I was floored and exhilarated. No death penalty. No “The ends justify the means.” A society of vigorous debate and contention of the road forward, a society any thinking, feeling person would long to be a part of.

    I’m still disoriented and disheartened. We live in times that are more complicated and terrifying than any in my lifetime, and—yes—the possibility of revolution seems so very remote. But I know, when I look back at my own experience, that things can and do, under the right circumstances, turn on a dime. And I love—yes, love—Bob Avakian and what he has created for humanity and the possibility of forging a whole new world.

    David Zeiger
    Filmmaker
    Director of Sir! No Sir!


    Formerly incarcerated revolutionary and supporter of Bob Avakian
    New York City
    September 2022

    ....I have never seen anybody to apply science to understand the world and the problems of humanity and break it down like Bob Avakian.

    Read more

    When I was in prison, we used to study all this Marxist literature. Lenin and Marx, and it was very difficult to understand. When I got out of prison it all started to make sense to me when I started reading Bob Avakian and the RCP. I was involved in different organizations when I got out of prison. I wanted to be part of something revolutionary, something radical. I got into different things that weren’t really radical and wasn’t speaking to me. I didn’t really get it. I was backing away. But I met the people in the RCP. BA was breaking it down.

    I went with Raymond Lotta when he was lecturing around the country. You know that Tour, Set the Record Straight. I listened to that whole thing and he was always quoting from Bob Avakian. I had been swayed by all this stuff about Stalin having killed millions of people and I was struck by the scientific approach to understand what actually happened there. What were they facing and what were the problems in the revolution and what we need to learn from that and what we need to do. This party and this leader is the leadership we need.

    BA’s whole approach to everything that’s going on in the world is a scientific approach. I haven’t seen anyone else who could do what he does in that way.

    I’d like to say to all those people that’s dismissing Bob Avakian to go fuck yourselves.

    Go Read, The New Communism and Conquer the World. Go Read the Constitution and that other one, Phony Communism is Dead… or this new article you brought me (“Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating…”) and then tell me this is not the leadership we need.

    I learned to trust science. It’s like that story, if you don’t have science you can’t get past what’s obvious. In the absence of air and friction if you drop a 100 pound dumbbell and a feather from the top of a building, which is gonna hit the ground first? That’s what you need science for. It’s not obvious and most people can’t see it. They don’t know that they gonna both hit the ground at the same time because without friction everything falls at the same rate!

    I have never seen anybody to apply science to understand the world and the problems of humanity and break it down like Bob Avakian.


    Rev. Frank Wulf

    I have followed with dismay the attacks on Rise Up for Abortion Rights coming from a variety of progressive groups also engaged in the struggle to ensure that people in the United States have free and unrestricted access to reproductive and abortion care.

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    I have followed with dismay the attacks on Rise Up for Abortion Rights coming from a variety of progressive groups also engaged in the struggle to ensure that people in the United States have free and unrestricted access to reproductive and abortion care.

    Like most who will be reading this statement, I am angered and deeply troubled by the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. As predicted, this decision, formally titled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has resulted in a wave of anti-abortion laws being enacted in state after state, some of which amount to outright bans. The damage that is being done by these laws to women who are or might become pregnant is unconscionable. On the one hand, I have no doubt that we will soon see a tremendous negative impact on the health and well-being of those whose access to adequate and appropriate reproductive health care is now being severely curtailed. On the other hand, we have not yet even begun to understand the scale of the emotional and psychological toll that this decision will take from those who are losing the essential health care support that they need and deserve from the communities to which they belong. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a cruel and deadly decision that must be undone as quickly as possible.

    This is the source of my dismay about the attacks being leveled by abortion rights groups against Rise Up for Abortion Rights. The effect of these attacks is to divide us at a time when we desperately need to be working in concert to achieve a common goal—access to full reproductive health care, including abortion, for all who need it.

    We can be sure that those who are rallying to expand what has happened with Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in order to create a nation and a world where abortion is even less accessible than it is in the current moment are not all of one mind. And yet, they are able to set aside their differences in order to pursue their common goal. If we are unable to do the same, then we can be sure that this is a battle we will lose. And our world will be the worse for it.

    Ideological and political disagreements should be aired in a principled, substantive way—this is not a time for making false accusations or flinging ad-hominem attacks. Now is the time to work together on various fronts to ensure that those who need abortions or other forms of reproductive health care will be able to get them.

    So, I appeal for an end to the vicious and untrue attacks on Rise Up for Abortion Rights and on the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) which is one of its initiators. It is not only unfair but profoundly untrue to portray Rise Up for Abortion Rights as a front organization for the RCP. The RCP is merely one of the groups that has helped Rise Up for Abortion Rights to formulate and proclaim its courageous and passionate message that the decision to strike down Roe v. Wade is both unjust and cruel and that it must be reversed immediately. While other abortion rights groups may choose to take a different path in their advocacy, there is no room for attacking the good and important work that Rise Up for Abortion Rights is doing by getting people into the streets to demand the immediate reversal of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

    Along these lines, I appeal to all of us in the movement to guarantee the rights of women to control their own bodies and to make their own decisions about reproductive health care including abortion, to stop the unconscionable attacks that are being made on the RCP and its leader Bob Avakian. These attacks not only divide us at a time when we need to be acting in unity, they are also dangerous. We need only look at the damage done in the 1970s by the U.S. governments’ COINTELPRO program to discredit, divide, neutralize and destroy domestic political organizations that they had deemed subversive to understand the damage that can be done when we attack and discredit those in our own movement using similarly inflammatory and often untrue attacks. Bob Avakian is not a cult leader. Whether or not we agree with him and his revolutionary approach to social change, he is a person of deep principle and powerful intellectual capacity who has fully committed himself to “the emancipation of humanity.” Those who follow him are not puppets. They join the movement because they find Avakian’s description of history and his scientific approach to social and political change to be compelling. Finally, organizations like Rise Up for Abortion Rights and Refuse Fascism, which have significant support from the RCP, are not pyramid schemes designed to raise huge sums of money to support the leadership of the RCP. This accusation is nothing more than an insulting and inflammatory attack against all who have participated in these movements whether or not they have actually been members of the RCP. These attacks are not made on the basis of any real evidence; they are rather used as propaganda whose only purpose is to demonize and to divide. As such, they must stop immediately! Not only can we not afford the damage that some of us are doing to the larger movement through these attacks, we must also recognize how dangerous and—honestly, immoral and unjust—it is to create or even take part in such smear campaigns.

    I encourage all of us to engage the RCP and its leader Bob Avakian in a manner that is respectful and open. There will be time for us to debate our differences in approach. But for now, stop the attacks. This type of internecine battling does nothing to advance either our struggle for abortion rights or our ultimate efforts to emancipate humanity and create a better world. In fact, it almost certainly guarantees that the unjust and intolerable situation created by Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will continue long into our future.

    Sincerely,
    Frank Wulf


    Prof. Rafael C. Angulo

    I write not as a communist but as a left-leaning progressive who respects the remarkable sort of social analysis that Bob Avakian has engaged in for decades.

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    I write not as a communist but as a left-leaning progressive who respects the remarkable sort of social analysis that Bob Avakian has engaged in for decades. He provides multiple factors through social science, reason, history, culture and economics that allow me to actually “see, judge, and act” as a social worker and professor committed to the preferential option for the poor and marginalized in our community. After analyzing the psychological mob attacks by my own “left” on Bob Avakian and the RCP, I condemn the outright falsehoods and ad hominem vitriol that masquerade as truth without any evidence. The RCP is courageous—more courageous than I—in taking it to the streets. I just wonder if there is an unconscious wish by the left to see Bob Avakian go away to cover up their own paltry activism. As a Christian, I am reminded that in the New Testament, Jesus exhorts that a prophet is never accepted in his own land. These attacks only illustrate the point.

    Rafael C. Angulo
    Clinical Professor, Field Education
    Children, Youth & Families
    University of Southern California
    USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


    Young organizer with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, Bay Area

    I didn’t start learning about revolutionary communism from a principled standpoint, but rather from a personal place. After being caught up in identity politics, criticizing the revcoms for following one leader, disregarding revolutionary ideas for over 5 years as unrealistic, after looking at communists as nothing more than idealistic dreamers, I happened to stumble upon an old recording of a speech by a very young revcom....

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    I didn’t start learning about revolutionary communism from a principled standpoint, but rather from a personal place. After being caught up in identity politics, criticizing the revcoms for following one leader, disregarding revolutionary ideas for over 5 years as unrealistic, after looking at communists as nothing more than idealistic dreamers, I happened to stumble upon an old recording of a speech by a very young revcom. That speech touched something deeper in me: the anger at this system, the willingness to do good for humanity, and the need to understand HOW to make a real change in society. But it also gave me a powerful drive to find out how this teenager developed a deeper understanding of reality than the majority of people, including myself, what influenced him and brought him to these ideas, and whether I’m missing out on something really important by dismissing them for so long.

    Getting to know more revolutionary communists, watching the RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show over and over again, being fascinated with Sunsara Taylor’s work around the fight for abortion rights—all of this introduced me to a group of the most dedicated and selfless people, real critical thinkers who had the needs and struggles of humanity in mind, and who had a very unusual for me (someone influenced by identity politics, intersectionality, personal perspectives and narratives, etc.) scientific approach to reality. But most importantly, I grew to realize that they are the way they are exactly BECAUSE of their leadership, BECAUSE of Bob Avakian’s leadership.

    When the slanderous attacks on the revcoms, BA, and RiseUp4AbortionRights started, it was shocking and demoralizing, but it also revealed something very important and encouraging: if all of those forces, from fascists to liberals and straight-up opportunists, are trying so hard to discredit these organizations and leaders, if people in the so-called “movement” are willing to unite with fascists and parrot their baseless accusations, they clearly see us as powerful forces that are threatening “the way things have always been” within this oppressive system, and in the fight for abortion rights in particular. The unprincipled attempts to minimize the significance of our work is a proof that they actually DO understand the impact we’re already making, and are trying to stop us from bringing in and further transforming the masses of people to emancipate themselves.

    So everyone who stands on the side of the people and considers themselves a principled person MUST oppose these attacks against RiseUp4AbortionRights, the revcoms and their revolutionary leader Bob Avakian! Everyone who can’t look away from the atrocities of this system, everyone who refuses to be complicit, and everyone who simply believes in “innocent until proven guilty”: read what the revcoms are really saying directly from the source, find out what BA’s New Communism is really about, look at what RiseUp4AbortionRights is doing and how we’re waging this fight, and if you disagree on something, have the decency to disagree with us based on our actions and political lines, not by spreading lies and unfounded rumors.


    Denis Mueller, filmmaker

    I am a documentary filmmaker who has made several films including about Howard Zinn and author Nelson Algren. I taught at several universities. I am not a fan of The Intercept. My view is that Bob Avakian’s POV (Point of View) is a very well-thought-out condemnation of a broken system....

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    I am a documentary filmmaker who has made several films including about Howard Zinn and author Nelson Algren. I taught at several universities. I am not a fan of The Intercept. My view is that Bob Avakian’s POV (Point of View) is a very well-thought-out condemnation of a broken system. I found the red baiting by The Intercept to be a reminder that the liberal wing of the Cold War leftovers are the ones who led us to racism and a disastrous war. Their red baiting is what I call the non-thinking Left. I have no idea what they stand for, they don’t have any original thinking and this is one reason why they so often end up on Fox News. Another reason: they are bought. Let me remind these so-called progressives that we need all voices to fight against this tyrannical system. Instead, they seem to define opposition to neoliberalism as a cult. For having a different thought? Which is possibly coming from people (like Bob) who think beyond the emptiness of these so-called progressives?! They are cranks tied to their belief in a broken system. To me, The Intercept and the other attackers seem to be opportunist cranks.


    Jimmi Y., Boise, Idaho

    This movement is not about a cult. It is not about brainwashing. In fact it’s the polar opposite.... If you do your research, you’ll learn that Bob’s movement is about as altruistic as one can be. He’s spent his life on this. Not for himself, but for all of us.

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    My journey started out of curiosity & some pretty major soul searching & long before I had any idea who Bob Avakian was. I realized at a point that I had no idea what communism was, or socialism, or capitalism, anarchism, etc. I wanted to know what I might identify with. So I pulled out a dictionary. Having been told my entire life that communism or socialism are bad, & capitalism good, all it took was reading the two definitions to make me skeptical of what I’d been told. I still wasn’t completely convinced of anything so I kept reading & I kept asking questions & more and more I felt like I’d just been being lied to. Or at least being taught by people who were just as misinformed as I had been. My curiosity also had a religious element. So I read the Bible & the Koran. It didn’t take long to realize it was superstitious nonsense. Sexist and racist to boot. Meanwhile I’d been writing letters to a relatively estranged family member, my aunt thousands of miles away. Never once did she push her political beliefs on me. In fact she advocated sternly that I think for myself. In one letter I mentioned my frustration concerning religion & having been raised catholic. She sent me a book, Away With All Gods! by Bob Avakian, & for the first time in a couple years I felt like I wasn’t being lied to or conned. I had something tangible, something that made sense. I subscribed to Revolution & now follow them online.

    This movement is not about a cult. It is not about brainwashing. In fact it’s the polar opposite. My son knows where I stand on politics, but I don’t push him one way or another. All I ask of him is to keep asking questions. Keep educating himself.

    If you do your research, you’ll learn that Bob’s movement is about as altruistic as one can be. He’s spent his life on this. Not for himself, but for all of us.


    From two Iranian women, supporters of the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners NOW

    We come from a theocratic fascist country and have experienced living under such a regime, with our own flesh, skin, and eyes. We have been able to escape from that hell, to another. As women who have been fighting for the rights of women in Iran and around the world, we strongly condemn these horrific and vicious attacks against Rise Up, Revcoms and Sunsara Taylor and specifically Bob Avakian.

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    We come from a theocratic fascist country and have experienced living under such a regime, with our own flesh, skin, and eyes. We have been able to escape from that hell, to another. As women who have been fighting for the rights of women in Iran and around the world, we strongly condemn these horrific and vicious attacks against Rise Up, Revcoms and Sunsara Taylor and specifically Bob Avakian. In our view these vicious and orchestrated, attacks on Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights that came just one day after ROE was overturned in U.S. These anti-communist slanders tabloids are based on outright fabrications. They did not go against the fascist Supreme Court but, instead attacked Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and organizations and individuals that have been raising awareness and the need for breaking all the chains of slavery on women. They attacked Sunsara Taylor, one of the initiators of Rise Up, and attacked Bob Avakian, the architect of the New Communism, who is leading people to fight against a fascist future in a country that claims to be the land of democracy and freedom for all in this country and around the world.

    The reason for such systematic attacks in our view is that these forces are terrified of the knowledgeable and effective leadership of Bob Avakian who has repeatedly warned against the growth and spread of fascism here in America and the world. They want to close their eyes to this reality, hope it goes away... This is very serious. Despite the efforts of Refuse Fascism, and some others, the American people did not take the threat of fascism, seriously and the events of January 6, did not shake them awake. The overturning of Roe is exactly one of the plans these fascists had in mind.

    Not only does Bob Avakian speak the truth about the danger that fascism represents and the future they are trying to impose on humanity, but also he speaks about the possibility of positive and revolutionary change... And we think that it is this, that provokes these so called progressive forces, who fear the possibility of a revolution and that to be a communist revolution.

    He writes in “Something Terrible or something emancipating...” which we read in Farsi, he says what we do, and what we do not do today matters a great deal.

    I think people need to learn from our experience, and have to be vigilant and not wait till America becomes like Iran's Islamic Republic... And on the one hand wage principled struggle not only against fascism but also for a different possible revolutionary future. When you see how dangerous these attacks are in the face of these two possibilities, you see how criminal these attacks are.

    Ever since we got acquainted with Bob Avakian's writings, our attitudes towards life and society have changed and it has influenced our thoughts about humanity and the environment and different possibilities.

    BA has always emphasized that we need to be consistently scientific and approach everything with scientific methods, we cannot and should not lie to people, instead, we fight for the truth, and do not believe that the end justifies the means. For us, engaging this knowledge and understanding of society and the environment has changed our lives. This has had a great impact on our lives compared to the past, and has increased our appreciation of science with his leadership. And we are doing our best to defend him all the way, because he points to the possibility of a better world that we are not going to let you take away from us!

    Today, it is our duty to utterly condemn these vicious attacks and call on people to do the same. We should not let fascism triumph, and do our best to unite the people of the world to fight to open up a window to another and a liberated world.


    Anahita Rahmani, ex-political prisoner in Iran and supporter of the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners NOW

    "...The contribution of RCP and Bob Avakian cannot be even touched upon in these few lines, but I, as one of the communists who is dedicating herself to a world without exploitation and oppression, a classless world of communism, will always appreciate the contribution by Bob Avakian in wrestling with the most difficult contradictions of the revolution. In these difficult times particularly in the current crazy situation where all kinds of revisionist, reformist, social democratic, parliamentarians, and other post-modernists and identity politics and views are suffocating the air, I cherish the principled revolutionary approach of RCP and particularly Bob Avakian."

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    The history of America’s crimes is not something that is hidden from the eyes of the people of the world. The democratic and republican governments have worked together all along, united in suppressing and killing freedom fighters and communists almost all around the world. They have always taken political and communist activists to the slaughterhouse under the name of democracy. We have witnessed military aggressions and coups against nationalist and socialist governments, or the McCarthy court and purges of artists and progressive people, under the united plan of both factions within the US government. But the interesting thing is that now these attacks against the progressive, and revolutionary activists are carried out by the so called "Left", who have a long history of appeasement with one of the most fascist governments, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Today, not too surprisingly, we are witnessing that there are countless and vicious attacks by these so called “left and progressives” in sync with Democratic party hacks, and fascists joining together, against the organization Rise Up for Abortion Rights, an organization that has done its best by organizing young people not to leave unanswered, the attacks launched by fascist religious fundamentalists against women's rights; to prevent American society, and the whole world from marching backward and returning to fifty or so years ago. All these accusations against Rise Up for Abortion Rights such as financial corruption, being against LGBTQs, or against natives or people of color... are fake and baseless, and they know it too. But the purpose of all this in order to attack the Revolutionary Communist Party of USA (RCP), that has put all of its power to support Rise Up for Abortion Rights and its great and revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian.

    It is very clear to everyone that one of the three initiators and founders of Rise Up, is Sunsara Taylor, who is a leading revcom and one of the followers of Bob Avakian, who constantly exposes the so-called liberal face of this system in demonstrations against the ban on abortion rights, with fiery speeches as well as exposing the fascistic function of this imperialist system, while openly expressing her views of the need for revolution, a communist revolution and that communist revolution needs to be led by the New Communism brought forward by Bob Avakian.

    For all women in the world, especially for women like me who come from a religious fundamentalist society, the fight for women's rights is very crucial. A matter that was NOT given sufficient significance in the late ’70s and early ’80s when every struggle and conflict was postponed to concentrate on the conflict between the workers and the capitalists, and the contradiction nationalism against imperialism... as important as they were. Other social contradictions were looked at as totally secondary, or irrelevant. This had a significant effect in stabilizing the reactionary regime and contributed to the defeat of the revolution, a price paid by millions.

    In summations of past struggles and revolutions Bob Avakian puts forward a new synthesis of communism, amongst its many significant aspects is his view of the oppression of women cannot and should not be postponed until after the revolution. Rather, the fight against patriarchy needs to be grasped firmly and fought against today. Bob Avakian’s analysis that the oppression of women is one of the most significant fault lines of class society in moving toward a society without oppression and exploitation. And it is based on this understanding that the RCP, with all its energy takes part in the women’s movement including the fight against ill-legalization of abortion.

    Bob Avakian's summary of the past of the communist movement was very inspiring for us communist women who were fighting against patriarchy and for our rights. As an ex-political prisoner I have to mention that defending political prisoners is very close my heart. Today, the only organization in America that defends the political prisoners of Iran and fights to free them all, is RCP. In addition, I must say that I, as a communist woman who spent 8 years of my life in the prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not turn away from any effort to free all political prisoners in Iran.

    With its internationalist approach, RCP supports every righteous struggle in the world. Unfortunately, many so called progressive leftists in America side with the Islamic Republic of Iran and defend it under the banner of “anti-imperialist struggle against American imperialism”. While the RCP has taken a position against both outmodeds of the world, the Islamic fundamentalism of Iran and US imperialism, both are reactionaries and outdated. Siding with any of these outmodeds and that siding with any if them leads to the strengthening of both of them.

    RCP and its great leader have never turned their backs against the people of Iran and their struggles. They point out a real solution for people of Iran as well as here in America, to make revolution, ’til all reactionary forces are dumped where they belong, in the dumpster of history’s depository, while passionately putting forward a communist alternative.

    In the terrible and dark conditions of the eighties, when the Iranian revolution was defeated and my best comrades were executed or imprisoned, the internationalist revolutionary movement, which RCP was very influential in was able to scientifically analyze the causes of the defeat of revolutions in general, and the defeat of socialist governments, in specifically. In those hard conditions, all forces had lost their compass. For me and my other comrades, it was very promising and a light in the darkness to receive these summations, which was able to increase our ability to resist and stand up to the regime's brutal attacks, both physically and in the form of ideological attacks. The contribution of RCP and Bob Avakian cannot be even touched upon in these few lines, but I, as one of the communists who is dedicating herself to a world without exploitation and oppression, a classless world of communism, will always appreciate the contribution by Bob Avakian in wrestling with the most difficult contradictions of the revolution. In these difficult times particularly in the current crazy situation where all kinds of revisionist, reformist, social democratic, parliamentarians, and other post-modernists and identity politics and views are suffocating the air, I cherish the principled revolutionary approach of RCP and particularly Bob Avakian.


    From a long-time civil rights activist

    "...This is just another slanderous accusation. We cannot allow falsehoods and “Big Lies” to run rampant and go unchallenged."

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    Bob Avakian cult leader? What defines a cult? Bob Avakian’s entire mission is to speak up in defense of the oppressed. For those who are shouting “cult,” why don't you look up the definition of what a cult actually is—review the characteristics—and then if you are in error retract your cult charge. Or, maintain this accusation and go down the road (or hole) of another “Big Lie.” What type of societal standards does this promote? Who would treat fellow human beings with such unfairness?  

    I don’t know Bob Avakian. I’ve never met him. But from an objective view, what I have seen and heard, through his writings and lectures, is Bob Avakian is an analytical thinker who looks at all of society with a sure-fire reading. With an accurate interpretation, he captures reality with foresight. My first awareness and knowledge of Bob Avakian was through Refuse Fascism protesting the illegitimate election and inauguration of Donald Trump. We challenged the discriminatory Muslim Ban and the cruel separation of children and babies from their mothers at the border, and we called for massive resistance to drive the Trump/Pence regime out. The current issue at the forefront of Avakian's involvement is for a woman's right to choose. There is nothing in such a demand that could rationally create confusion.

    There is a call to justice for Bob Avakian, who has been a dedicated resister of oppression—that is what I see. “Big Lies”—haven’t we heard and seen enough of Trump, Alex Jones and the like with their barrage of lies and the impact and damage caused, with all the chaos and confusion undermining truth, and now “cult” to attack and denigrate Bob Avakian? Pyramid scheme? Again we need the dictionary! It is quite the norm for organizations to receive donations to support their work—why single out Bob Avakian and the RCP? This is just another slanderous accusation. We cannot allow falsehoods and “Big Lies” to run rampant and go unchallenged.


    From a student of Bob Avakian and the R.C.P., active with World Can't Wait

    “More dastardly deeds of the ruling class.” by someone who understands the RCP

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    When the stories came out that RiseUp4AbortionRights was a front run pyramid scheme to finance the Revolutionary Communist Party USA and that its members were cultishly devoted to a single old white man it confirmed my hunch that the Democrats were getting desperate and willing to not only hide the truth, but willing to attack the truth by wrapping it up so tight with their own stench of hypocrisy that the common person would be hard driven to unpack the truth out of it all. And the Republicans, of course, happily deferred to the Dems this dirty work. It plays right into their trigger happy fascist hands.

    It made me think of the day that CERN Scientists made a huge public event at announcing the “discovery” of the Higgs boson, confirming the Higgs field with everyone giving Higgs a standing ovation that was broadcast around the world.

    What if that event had shot across the news wires as “CERN businesses propagandize the God Particle with their blind faith standing ovation to Peter Higgs, their cult leader in order to promote themselves most likely for more funding. CERN costs many billions of dollars. These doddering old men are wasting our time, money, and good orderly direction into the future and should be ignored and refused any affiliation.” This is exactly how stupid the fake journalists sound to me in what they are doing to the RiseUp4AbortionRights movement.

    OK, there’s the Creation Museum; why don’t the politicians pooh pooh that as a product of a cult money making pyramid scheme? That would be the truth. They can’t because this society here in the USA truly IS a CULTish society, and the ruling class wants it to stay and get more that way.

    I just re-viewed “F.T.A.”, the 1972 movie about the army draftees opposing the Vietnam War and the show that went overseas to help them. I’m slightly younger than Fonda and Sutherland, so I remember clearly. I was politically inactive but antiwar at that time. Today, Bob Avakian has succeeded at keeping that spirit alive continuously up through to today in our present world of military techno-killing and where we are glued to our phones and cable TVs inside our homes. He has been successful at getting more people to retake the streets while most of us are slowly giving up the streets by staying at home.

    I became politically active against Bush/Cheney in 2001 following 911. I’ve known about the RCP for about 15 years and enjoy their dedication to scientific truth via political science. Science is my love and belief. I enjoy keeping up with the RCP news and activities. It offers hope and gives a sense of not being so alone in my desire to see society change for the better. What in many people is a dream of a world free of inequalities can be understood scientifically as a real possibility within the scope of complete revolution, an interim socialist government, and finally a true, real, and new communism. First, people must learn that communism is the light at the end of the tunnel, not a train headlight. It’s that simple a start. Then look into it and see what you come up with and what else you can learn and do with others regarding communism, which today is the new communism in its present state of development.

    The fact that our society is becoming more and more cultish probably does not strike many people as news. It’s pretty clear everywhere. For the last 100 years the psychology of advertising (propagandizing) has been honed to a fine art. Today we do not even know who is paying for the opportunity to approach each of us online to dumb us down trying to make us placid and lethargic on the important challenges, and emotionally dependent and extreme on the class divisive topics.

    The RCP, though, has affiliated with many movements over the years. One of my favorites was when the Matrix movie first came out and we flierd in front of movie theaters with cool material suggesting it was time to “take the red pill” and “drive out the Bush Regime.” What the RCP is doing today is no different than back then.

    The Revolutionary Communist Party is a politically scientific movement towards a society that does not allow any community organization or individual to take unfair advantage of one group of people over any other group of people and operates upon laws that put that into effect. And the RCP does a pretty good job dispelling all theories that we could ever get there by incremental changes in the present system. I mean, with all our scientific advancement over the last 50 years, look at where we not only still are, look at where we are going!

    Stop and spend a little time looking into the new communism of the RCP and by all means, get back with supporting Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. Staying on the streets is a critical part of keeping representation of people who otherwise would not get a voice.


    From A.J.

    "...During the last 4 decades whatever I have heard and learned from BA has been nothing but standing with the oppressed and working men and women all over the world. I think it is his internationalism that makes some chauvinists incensed. Bob Avakian is not only defending the masses of the world but feels responsibility to lead people out of this mess and towards a better future."

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    I have been following the writings and speeches of Bob Avakian for more than 4 decades now, yes, from the time that I was very young man.

    During the last 4 decades whatever I have heard and learned from BA has been nothing but standing with the oppressed and working men and women all over the world. I think it is his internationalism that makes some chauvinists incensed. Bob Avakian is not only defending the masses of the world but feels responsibility to lead people out of this mess and towards a better future.

    As I said during 4 decades, what I have heard from him is " Revolution Nothing Less" for a communist World!

    I have to say these kind of attacks on BA and Sunsara Taylor and Revcoms, especially after they have been standing with women and fighting for their right for abortion, is more than just a reactionary attack on these individuals and organizations. This is also an attack for anyone who fights for women's rights, anywhere in the world.

    We must stand firm and keep our heads up and proudly and fully support them and raise our voices and defend them against these anti-communist Jihadist rants, from these so called "lefts" and so called "Progressives" who sound more like Christian fundamentalists and fascists.

    Viva BA!
    Viva Sunsara Taylor!
    Viva revcoms!
    Viva Rise Up!

    Scott Gilbert, a conscious, proud follower of Bob Avakian, acting accordingly

    Why I support Bob Avakian and the Revcoms

    "...I challenge anyone, anywhere on the planet, to demonstrate that BA’s analyses are not both prescient and correct. And, I say this in a comradely way. Please, please come forward if you have ideas and analyses that are different and reflect both the way the world is and how we can fundamentally change it to move all of humanity forward. I challenge anyone to do this. Not because we need to have petty disagreements, but because we want to figure out the best ways to end the oppression and exploitation of most of humanity. What exists today is truly horrifying, and becoming worse. Bob Avakian has a blueprint for how to change all this: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. How uplifting and liberating!"

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    Growing up, I hated, HATED, the war in Vietnam and despised what “we” did to Vietnam and the Vietnamese people (I have since come to understand that I am not part of that “we”). I HATED that women could be called “Ho’s and Bitches” and not have control over their own bodies. I hated “red-lining” and all the open and subtle racism built into the world around me.

    But, I also loved, LOVED, the uprisings in 1965 and 1968 in the U.S., civil rights and women’s rights victories, the anti-colonial struggles around the world, and the Vietnamese kicking the U.S.’s butt!! These challenges to the status quo started to open my eyes. I had read about imperialism and had dabbled with the Redbook, but I did not really understand what was going on in the world, what were the underpinnings of how the world worked, and how to change it for the better. I was yearning to figure out a way to stop all the ugliness and oppression around the world and tried different methods from NY PIRG to voting to going to a national socialist convention in Chicago. None of these really answered my questions. As I dug into and researched different issues, it became apparent to me that the answers provided by the mainstream and liberal/radical left were hollow. It became clear to me that the solution was a total revolution, a complete revamping of society and the world. But how does one do that?

    I then started reading the Revolutionary Worker newspaper. I found it a bit dogmatic (this has since changed for the better), but it had an approach I had not seen before: revolutionary internationalism and dialectical materialism. Then, the death of Mao occurred along with the arrest of the “Gang of Four.” I was quite confused about all of this. I began to read essays by Bob Avakian. His many sidedness and approach gave me reason to more thoroughly dig into what is capitalism and imperialism, and what is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. And, BA’s method started to give me the tools to figure out for myself what the truth is and follow it wherever it led me regardless of my pre-conceived prejudices. His method and approach to the world also gave me the ability to be part of fighting for truly emancipating all of humanity while fighting against all this “cancel culture,” “me-firstism,” and identity politics. And the more I read and re-read BA, the better I am at being able to fight hard for a path that will make a better world.

    As for the latest attacks: A lot of people like to ignore, push aside, or outright attack Bob Avakian and the Revcoms. I get that—it means BA is doing something right, especially given the people and groups that have recently been attacking him from petty so-called progressives to outright reactionaries.

    But the big question is why? And why are so many people not with BA? For many people I know, they don’t really want change, they just want their little area of the world to be nicer or more compatible with their own interests. Dealing with Bob Avakian means you have to really confront the way the world actually is. And, if you do that, this begets the question of what are you going to do about it if you have half a shred of humanity.

    There are millions of people who do not know about Bob Avakian who should know about him. He is the gold standard by which everything else should be compared with and judged by when dealing with current philosophical, epistemological, economic, and political questions. This is a bold statement. But it is accurate and true. This is because he is the most scientific and methodical evaluator of society today.

    I challenge anyone, anywhere on the planet, to demonstrate that BA’s analyses are not both prescient and correct. And, I say this in a comradely way. Please, please come forward if you have ideas and analyses that are different and reflect both the way the world is and how we can fundamentally change it to move all of humanity forward. I challenge anyone to do this. Not because we need to have petty disagreements, but because we want to figure out the best ways to end the oppression and exploitation of most of humanity. What exists today is truly horrifying, and becoming worse. Bob Avakian has a blueprint for how to change all this: Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. How uplifting and liberating!

    I have always found it “intriguing” that people attack BA and the Revcoms around the question of leadership, as if they don’t follow one form of leadership or another, whether it be a particular party or group, person or candidate (or conglomerate thereof), or a particular world outlook. They are either lying to themselves, or they are completely out of touch with how they make day to day decisions. The question is not whether or not we need leadership, the question is what type of leadership.

    Different leftists, do-gooders, radicals, socialists, and self-appointed revolutionaries talk about and acknowledge the contributions that Karl Marx and Frederick Engels made around their great breakthroughs to understanding capitalism and how this is central to the world we live in. Many of these people call themselves Marxists. But all too often people throw around the term Marxism or capitalism in a generalized way and have “time stamped” what capitalism is and do not truly understand the depth of what Karl Marx and Frederick Engels are saying. People will say they are against the evils of capitalism, but most of them have no idea of what capitalism is and how it functions independent of what they think. Ask them for a definition of capitalism. Ask them what the “4 Alls” are that Marx wrote about, pivotal points to understanding class struggle and how to get to a classless society, and they do not know. These people are “superficial” Marxists and have not spent the hard work it takes to truly becoming and being a revolutionary.  That is what sets the Revcoms apart, and why they are the vanguard.

    As the saying goes, “The point is not to just study the world, the point is to change it.” This then raises the question of what truly is change? For many people, change merely means what needs to change to benefit themselves, or a select grouping of people, in one form or another, even if they think they are being altruistic. And all their efforts will mean nothing in the final analysis because they are not going after the root causes of why the world is the way it is. For true change, there must be an internationalist outlook of “the whole world comes first,” a bedrock orientation of Bob Avakian. 

    Ask most self-appointed revolutionaries, “what is a revolution?” You will get almost as many answers as the number of people you ask. What REALLY IS a Revolution? Let alone what REALLY IS a socialist revolution?

    What I have learned and appreciate from Bob Avakian and others who support and work with him, and consciously follow him, is to truly have a revolution this means completely dismantling the economic and political system we live under along with all the ideological trappings that go with it. 

    For teaching me this, I am grateful to BA and the Revcoms. This is why I donated a week’s salary to the Fund Drive and this is why I am consciously part of the journey to truly emancipate all of society.

    As BA wrote:

    “Let's go on a crucial journey together—full of unity against oppression and lively struggle about the source of the problem and the solution. Pursue your own convictions—that the outrages that move you are intolerable—to their logical conclusion, and be determined not to stop until those outrages have been eliminated. And if this, as well as learning about other outrages, and ideas about how this all fits together and flows from a common source—and how it could all be ended, and something much better brought into being—leads in the direction of seeing not only the need for bold and determined resistance, but also the need for revolution and ultimately communism, then don't turn away from that because it moves you beyond your comfort zone, challenges what had been your cherished beliefs, or because of prejudices and slanders. Instead, actively seek to learn more about this revolution and its goal of communism and to determine whether it is in fact the necessary, and possible, solution. And then act accordingly.”

    Reposted from Counterpunch:

    Why is “the Left” Red-Baiting Rise Up for Abortion Rights on the Eve of Fascist Destruction?

    by Paul Street

    Editors’ Note: This article by Paul Street, historian and author, originally appeared at Counterpunch.org, August 1.

    "...[I]t’s bracing and a little bizarre in 2022 to see an anti-Communist jihad launched from “the left” (see below) against an organization that has been fighting to defend something commonly identified with mainstream liberalism: the right to an abortion.

    "I am referring to recent attacks directed at Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (RU4AR), the organization that has led the struggle against the Christian Fascist war on women’s right to control their own reproductive lives...."

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    There’s nothing new in United States history about the slanderous demonization of those who step up and fight to make a better world from the bottom up. From at least the Molly Maguires (1870s) and the Haymarket Martyrs (1880s) through the rise of the House Un-American Activities in the late 1930s, the 1950s McCarthy terror, and the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO war on Black and New Left leaders during the 1960s and 1970s to Donald Trump’s description of George Floyd protesters as “radical Left terrorists who want to destroy our country,” those who lead the struggle for progress have long been subject to smears that encourage and justify repression.

    Libelous Red Baiting and “Cult”-Charging

    Still, it’s bracing and a little bizarre in 2022 to see an anti-Communist jihad launched from “the left” (see below) against an organization that has been fighting to defend something commonly identified with mainstream liberalism: the right to an abortion.

    I am referring to recent attacks directed at Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (RU4AR), the organization that has led the struggle against the Christian Fascist war on women’s right to control their own reproductive lives. Each of the charges made against the organization is false and libelous, including preposterous and baseless claims of financial corruption, anti-transgenderism, anti-gayness, indifference to the need for abortion services, and indifference to the plight of people caught up in the horror of prostitution (what some liberal progressives offensively call “sex work”).

    None of the false claims made against RU4AR is more provocative and chilling than the claim that it is nothing more than a “front group” for the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), which is in turn described as “a cult” under the spell of Bob Avakian.

    The “evidence” for this accusation consists of the facts that one of the group’s three co-founders, Sunsara Taylor, is an open RCP leader and Avakian follower, and that RCP members (“revcoms”) have been visible and vocal at RU4AR rallies.

    The “communist front” claim is a ridiculous insult to Taylor, who makes no effort to hide her politics. It is an even bigger affront to RU4AR’s other two esteemed feminist founders, neither of whom are revolutionary communists and both of whom are capable of picking movement allies with eyes open: the legendary founder of Choices Women’s Medical Center Merle Hoffman and Lori Sokol, the executive director of Women’s e-News.

    The red and cult-baiting is unjustly offensive also to the tens of thousands of concerned and active citizens who have taken up RU4AR’s calls for mass action and civil disobedience because the calls match their sense of what is required in the battle against the female enslavement that is forced motherhood.

    Is it really surprising and problematic that revcoms have followed Taylor into RU4AR? Consistent with Avakian’s writing and speaking over decades, the RCP has long and correctly placed the struggle against patriarchy (along with the struggles against white supremacy and against Christian fundamentalism) at the center of its fight for socialist revolution. It would be bizarre if revcoms had not rightly taken up RU4AR’s fight for abortion rights.

    The “cult” charge is rooted in a slanderous identification of leadership with slavish devotion to a single individual. Do RU4AR’s “left” haters think JPMorgan Chase is a “Jamie Dimon cult?”? Do they honestly believe that RCP members would continue to follow Avakian if he became a Christian nationalist, a Marine Le Pen supporter, a climate denier, and/or a Rastafarian who claims that covid vaccines are “the work of the devil”? (One can agree or disagree with Avakian’s politics and theories, but anyone who has had any serious contact with the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist RCP knows that the “cult” charge is ridiculous and contrary to Avakian’s consistent call for people to study, organize, and unite broadly across sectarian and ideological lines.)

    What “Socialist Feminists” and Other “Grassroots Repros” Did the Day After Roe Fell

    Perhaps the most curious and telling thing about the attack is that it has come initially and mainly from “the left.” The lead red-baiting anti-communist attackers have been the liberal and progressive journals Jezebel and The Interceptand 23 “grassroots repro” groups led by the self-described “intersectional socialist-feminist collective” New York City for Abortion Rights (NYC4AR).

    Here’s something to reflect upon: one day after the US Supreme Court tore up women’s constitutional right to an abortion in the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, NYC4AR didn’t produce and disseminate a critique of the decision and a call for mass resistance. No, it put up and spread an elaborate Instagram post making all the ridiculous and baseless charges mentioned above. It called for the shutting down of RU4AR, the one group that has called people into the streets to demand legal abortion nationwide for the last eight months, going back to when the Supreme Court first heard oral arguments on Dobbs.

    That’s how NYC“4AR” responded to the undoing of Roe v. Wade.

    For real.

    Here are the names of the groups that signed NYC“4AR”’s hate post, issued one day after Dobbs: Reproductive Justice Collective; United Against Racism & Fascism (NYC); Fund Abortion Not Police; Feminist Collages (NYC); Shout Your Abortion; Washington Square Park Mutual Aid; Buckle Bunnies (Texas); Mujeres en Resistencia (NY/NJ); Abortion Access Front; Reproductive Freedom Fund (NH); The Jane Fund (Massachusetts); Reproductive Rights Coalition (Charlotte, NC); Tigers for Choice (Texas); Chicago Abortion Fund; National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund; SWOP Brooklyn; Brooklyn People’s March; Forward Midwifery; SMAbortionActivists; New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; Women’s Information Network of NYC (WIN-NYC); Chicago Democratic Socialists of America Socialist Feminist Working Group.

    Think about that: Roe is reversed and one day later, 23 “grassroot repro” groups (many backed by corporate-bankrolled corporations and financial institutions), including a part of the Chicago DSA chapter, are seen with their names affixed to a COINTELPRO-like assault on the group that led a six-month nationwide protest campaign under the slogan “Post-Roe, Hell No!”- an assault issued by a group that actually calls itself a “socialist-feminist collective.”

    What did you do the day after Roe fell, dear reader? RU4AR members led rallies outside the Court chanting “This decision must not stand, legal abortion across the land!” Literally from the minute the ruling came down, they called for its reversal and for the Biden administration and Congress to use their powers to make abortion legal and available in every state in the country.

    How “communist cult” of them!

    The Instagram attack, trolling RU4AR across the Internet (through the dark magic of hashtags) like white on rice, is surely one of the most sordid episodes in the history of what passes for “the left” in the 21st Century USA. It’s called doing the work of the right from “the portside.”

    The fascist right appreciated the hit jobs. RU4AR’s “left” haters’ smear campaign was picked up by the neo-Nazi Daily Caller and the fascist police state zine Law Enforcement Today.

    Other takers have included the sensationalist pop-cultural Daily Beast and the masculinist “guy culture” zine MEL Magazine, which proudly includes a bold section on “Dicks.”

    Undeterred by alliance with the far right, the “left” red-baiting and “cult”-shaming of RU4AR has more recently been disseminated by the “socialist Twitch streamer” and “progressive Democrat” Hasan Piker, who recently repeated the vicious and moronic claim that RU4AR is an “anti-trans hate group.”

    How COINTELPRO: fomenting progressive division and ratting out revolutionaries and radicals, setting them up for repression from fascists within and beyond the state.

    On the Eve of Fascist Consolidation

    This attack is especially reckless and insidious because of the historical moment in which it is taking place. As RU4AR has insisted throughout, the Dobbs decision is a leading judicial battering ram in a many-sided fascist offensive meant to eviscerate what’s left of bourgeois democracy and rule of law in the U.S. The “left” smear campaign against RU4AR comes amidst the most egregious systemic attack on US democracy since the Civil War. This is unprecedently perilous moment, with the liberal and moderate center unable to hold. Republifascists are marching forward across “red” America and preparing to seize triple-branch national power over the next two and a half years. The country is saturated with assault rifles and other lethal firearms, dangerously concentrated in the hands of a determined and paranoid right-wing. Attacks like the ones recently launched on RU4AR play into the repressive hand of the state and the right. They put lives at risk

    This is how liberal and “left” outlets, groups, and individuals like “socialist-feminist” NYC4AR, the 23 “repro” groups, the Chicago DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group, Jezebel, the Intercept, and Hasan Piker spend their energies in this moment? Seriously?

    Ten Explanations

    Which brings me to the money question: WHY? What on Earth would compel liberal and “left” writers and “activists” to launch an anti-Communist jihad against an organization that has been fighting fiercely to defend and expand abortion rights?

    There are ten basic reasons:

    +1. Ideological, organizational, financial, and political commitment to insider strategies of elite lobbying and major party electioneering: the very same failed, top-down approaches that RU4AR rightly denounces as insufficient and inadequate, indeed as complicity. Beneath this commitment lay longstanding professional and liberal class fears and distrust of the masses and the financial umbilical cord linking many “repro” and “choice” NGOs to corporate-captive foundations that are tied into the neoliberal corporate and imperialist Democratic Party – that is, to the vaguely liberal wing of the ruling class, which has no interest in RU4AR’s mission of sparking masses to march to disrupt business (rule) as usual in the streets and public squares. As a leading Chicago RU4AR activist tells me, “Our ‘left’ attackers’ commitment to a status quo that is going over to counter-revolution” means “going after those who would dare to stand up to the status quo (Rise Up) and even call for its overthrow (Revcoms).”

    +2. Fury at being called out for their advance surrender to the reversal of Roe v. Wade. As the Chicago activist told me last week: “Their thesis was ‘We can’t organize to stop SCOTUS from doing whatever it’s going to do, we can only rely on the Democrats.’ Rise Up had a very different narrative:

    ‘We won abortion rights by mass struggle, that’s what will shake the powers-that-be into stepping back from their woman-hating assault. Raise questions about the legitimacy of their institutions!’ Rise Up PUT THE LIE to the mainstream choice and ‘repro’ groups’ whole narrative. It was on the ground organizing tens of thousands to try to save Roe from the start, beginning last January.”

    Indeed. Had the “left” pro-choice groups joined RU4AR, they might well have helped rescue Roe or at least significantly limited the damage.

    +3. Jealousy. RU4AR has challenged the “choice” establishment’s appeasement with great talent and élan. Thanks in no small part to the skills and experience of its revcom-affiliated volunteers, RU4AR knew and knows how to organize and stage powerful, attention-grabbing actions and rallies. It demonstrated these abilities in militant fashion, shaming by both word and deed those “abortion activists” who chose submission, passivity, and cynical electoral politics and fundraising over serious resistance in the half-year leading up to Roe’s reversal.

    +4. Turf protection: fear of losing membership and contribution ground to a new, militant and attention-grabbing organization that rightly undertook provocative direct actions along with dedicated popular recruitment to mobilize mass popular opposition to the emergence of the post-Roe era now upon us.

    +5. Click-bait: salacious conspiracy-mongering attracts eyeballs and subscribers. Charging RU4AR with “hijacking” a legitimate liberal cause in service to a mysterious “communist cult” is a bright shiny object, irresistible to some writers and editors even or especially at some “left” outlets.

    +6. Historical and experiential ignorance. Perhaps this is too kind (it probably is), but the McCarthy era and COINTELPRO are distant memories for most people younger than 70.  It strikes me as possible that some if not many of RU4AR’s haters have little to no idea that they are walking in some very ugly historical grooves by engaging in an anti-communist witch hunt. Not to overdo the “forgive them for they know not what they do” line, but they have likely also had relatively little if any exposure to serious Marxist-Leninist thinkers and activists like Avakian, Taylor, and the revcoms, something that makes them prone to paranoid-style narratives on “communists under your bed.”

    +7. Failure to grasp the dire historical moment. The “grassroots abortion activists” and “democratic socialists” attacking RU4AR do not understand and in some cases deprecate RU4AR and the RCP’s observation that we are now facing a fascist section of the ruling class that is growing and poised to come back into power with literal vengeance. This fascism-denial and indifference is part of why they see no problem in recklessly joining the right (e.g., the Daily Caller and Law Enforcement Times) in denouncing communists within the abortion rights movement.

    +8. Fake-“socialist” inability to grasp the necessity of revolution. RCPers within and outside RU4AR consistently and (in this writer’s carefully considered opinion) rightly call out “democratic socialists’” pitifully tame commitment to incremental and economistic reformism – and their refusal to break with the underlying system and parties of capitalism-imperialism. It’s questionable whether RU4AR’s “socialist” haters even grasp the critique. As the aforementioned Rise Up activist tells me: “DSA is so settled into the imperialist U.S. status quo and so mired in the ‘fight for more’ of the spoils of empire that they can’t see any need for let alone possibility of an actual revolution. (I’m not sure they care or know of let alone understand RCP’s and Avakian’s critique of social democracy.) They’re too busy being ‘realistic’ and that’s their stance toward the loss of Roe: they’re being ‘realistic’ and Rise Up is just ‘showboating,’ they think. And now their non- or anti-revolutionary position has gone over to active counter-revolution.”

    +9. Sleepy “woke” uber-identitarianism: the utterly false claim that RU4AR is anti-transgender is intimately related to the preposterous notion that one “excludes” transgender people (who account for a tiny percentage of pregnancies) when one makes the obviously correct observation that the Christian fascist war on abortion rights is fundamentally a patriarchal campaign to deepen the oppression and control of women and girls. It’s another example of “oppression Olympics,” a noxious spin on bourgeois identity politics claiming that “trans men are more oppressed than women and girls so that’s who we have to center our politics on.”

    +10. Desire to appropriate RU4AR’s tactics and absorb them into the dismal Dems’ top-down insider strategy. Some mainstream “choice” forces are now, post-Roe, deploying the green bandana, the Latin American abortion rights symbol popularized in the USA by RU4AR. They are also getting arrested outside the Supreme Court, as did RU4AR activists before the Dobbs decision. The mainstream trick here is to take these effective tactics without admitting that they were pioneered by a militant organization that included – what horror! – communist activists and a communist co-founder (Sunsara Taylor). The establishment NGO groups now wearing green and engaging in civil disobedience are trying to deceptively attach their approach of “there’s nothing we can do, vote blue no matter who” to a symbol of real resistance. They are trying to cover up the capitulation of the Democratic Party to this fascist assault on the basic civil and human rights of women and girls.

    Such is the grotesque and tortured “logic” behind the sorry spectacle of the shameful “left” neo-McCarthyite attack on the nation’s leading abortion rights organization in the wake of the Dobbs decision – an organization that would not have been formed had the country’s reigning Democratic Party-affiliated “choice” groups not chosen to surrender in advance – please see Karen Attiah’s remarkable Washington Post editorial “ ‘The Art of Losing the Abortion War,’ for Our Dear American Leaders” – to the end of Roe v. Wade.

    Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).


    Coco Das, Texas

    The attacks on Bob Avakian, Sunsara Taylor, the revcoms, and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights are dangerous and extremely damaging to the fight against fascism and any movement for justice.

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    The attacks on Bob Avakian, Sunsara Taylor, the revcoms, and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights are dangerous and extremely damaging to the fight against fascism and any movement for justice. They must be opposed, and good people who are falling into this kind of red-baiting cancel culture need to knock it off!

    Since February, I took on a leadership role in Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, largely because of the analysis BA had done on the role of women in society and the importance of the fight for abortion in the overall emancipation of women. I did this while being a “friend” of the revcoms but not calling myself a revcom or a follower of BA, even though I have been very influenced by his work.

    For my part, these attacks have clarified the qualitative difference between BA’s leadership and the leadership of these “grassroots” organizations who first launched these attacks. It has clarified for me the difference between reform and revolution, between wanting to find a place within this system and wanting to overthrow the system to put a far better system into place.

    BA’s emphasis on a method and principles that are in line with the world you are trying to bring into being, with a thoroughly scientific epistemology that puts critical thinking and truthwhich stands up to questioning and evidence and corresponds to realityas central to making revolution, is completely counter to the lies and petty jockeying for “movement space” represented by these attacks.

    Instead of inspiring people to bring the fight for abortion rights to a higher and more determined level, these attacks led people whose hearts were in the right place to give up on the struggle in the streets for legal abortion. It also led many to behave in atrocious ways, with no accountability to the truth or common decency. Maybe these people don’t know what they are doing by launching and joining these attacks. Maybe they don’t know how much they are aiding and abetting the fascists and the rulers of this horrible system. Maybe they don’t understand how damaging anti-communism is to progressive movements, or maybe they do know and don’t care and are only out for themselves. Either way, as stressful and sometimes heartbreaking as it has been to weather this storm, it has brought me to the realization that Bob Avakian is the leader that I want to follow, that the place he has been working tirelessly to get us to is the place I want to go and where humanity needs to go. As I said in my May 14th speech at a Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights rally in Austin, of the something terrible or something truly emancipating that could be the radical resolution of the deep, existential crisis humanity faces under this system, I want the truly emancipating.


    John Hedlund, sociology instructor and graduate student

    I want to specifically talk about BA’s overall method and approach. As a sociologist (which is a type of social scientist), I find BA’s call for and application of a thorough, rigorous, scientific approach to analyzing both the natural AND (very importantly) the social world to be incredibly inspiring. Simply put, there is no one else who is doing this with the same degree of conviction—of fearlessness, of following the truth wherever it leads you—as BA.

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    I want to specifically talk about BA’s overall method and approach. As a sociologist (which is a type of social scientist), I find BA’s call for and application of a thorough, rigorous, scientific approach to analyzing both the natural AND (very importantly) the social world to be incredibly inspiring. Simply put, there is no one else who is doing this with the same degree of conviction—of fearlessness, of following the truth wherever it leads you—as BA. In my own work as a researcher, writer and instructor, I consistently try to learn from and emulate BA’s approach: to follow the evidence; to interrogate and self-interrogate; to reject “common wisdom” and not accept established truths without subjecting them to rigorous analysis; to search and fight for what’s true, no matter how uncomfortable (or unpopular) those truths may be; to emphasize epistemological method in how to approach understanding (and transforming) reality; to learn from others, including from those with whom I may strongly disagree on many things; to speak and write in a way that breaks down complex ideas without losing their substance and essence; and to persist, in spite of difficulties, obstacles, criticism, attacks and hardships.

    I also want to speak to what I view as one of the “crown jewels” of BA’s work: his radically visionary, awe-inspiring blueprint for a new and liberatory socialist society. As someone who has seriously studied BA’s work, over a number of years, I repeatedly return to the following insight of his: That, in order to uproot all of the deeply seated and interwoven inequalities—between women and men; between different nationalities and races, between those in the imperialist citadels and those of the oppressed nations; between those who can work with their minds and those forced to work, like brute animals, only with their bodies; between those viciously exploited by the workings of the capitalist mode of production and those who benefit from that exploitation—achieving what is sometimes called the abolition of the Four Alls, society under socialism has to be “opened up” on a qualitatively greater plane, which requires a “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of that solid core.” You NEED massive, society-wide debate and wrangling; you NEED to be challenged; you NEED an unleashing of the arts, the sciences, of culture, of women and other formerly oppressed peoples, of youth movements; on a level well beyond anything that has existed in previous socialist societies (to say nothing of the rotten, putrid, dog-eat-dog, “might-makes-right”-ism of capitalist societies such as this one). This isn’t some conciliation to liberal criticisms of socialism: without this—without, as BA puts it, “being willing to go to the brink of being drawn and quartered” but without losing your grip of the whole thing—humanity will never be able to uproot all of the deeply-seated inequalities, divisions, and the ways of thinking that both correspond to and reinforce them. It is a groundbreaking, jaw-dropping, and deeply materialist development of the science of communism that I am continually provoked to revisit and reflect upon.

    All of this is completely in contrast to the utterly absurd, dangerously piggish, embarrassingly idiotic, and outright McCarthyite charges of “cult” and “pyramid scheme” that are being hurled at BA and those who follow him. That some of the people who are making these accusations fancy themselves as “socialists” or “radicals” is all the more despicable and stomach churning. These intellectual cowards are (whether consciously or otherwise) doing the very damaging work of the state and political police in actively lying about, and attempting to keep people from engaging with, a world-class revolutionary thinker and leader. And they’re doing it without even the pretense of refuting, engaging, or even presenting BA's arguments, ideas, or body of work!!! It defies belief that this kind of gutter-level, anti-intellectual, substantively vapid garbage is even given a hearing among “progressives” and self-proclaimed “radicals” and “socialists.”  

    But don’t take my word for it! Engage BA’s work for yourself. Don’t go by what “everybody knows” or what other puffed-up “movement leaders” and people are telling you (talk about “cultish” and slavish thinking!). Go into it deeply. And then read the work of others who are purporting to offer different analyses of the situation we face, and different solutions to those problems. Compare and contrast the different political and ideological programs, lines, and methods. Have the courage of your convictions. Be serious, and do the goddamn work! Let’s raise the level of our sights and of our discourse. If you disagree, offer up your best arguments. What do you think of his argument that THIS is a rare time in which a revolution in a country like this becomes actually possible, based on the deepening divisions among the rulers of this country, with all that implies and entails? What about his analysis of the new two outmodeds: fascist lunacy and “woke-folk” insanity? His argument about means and ends, and how that relates to the fight for emancipation? His point about epistemology and morality? His critique of democracy? The John Stuart Mill point? His full frontal repudiation of “political truth”? I could go on.... But if you wanna talk about BA, then let’s have a discussion on THAT—­about the struggle to understand and change the world, and BA’s contributions to that process.

    John Hedlund, sociology instructor and graduate student


    From a Revcom

    I met Bob Avakian (BA) through his memoir and writings during my third prison term. I was caught up in a lot of bad shit, ways of thinking and acting that were really harmful and ran counter to what BA stands for and fights for. I started to follow BA and break with what I had become because I engaged and came to agree with what BA had to say about the need and the possibility for a real revolution, a communist revolution where the whole of humanity could get beyond all forms of exploitation and oppression.

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    Unlike those who are attacking BA with ridiculous lies and accusations of him being a cult leader, BA has not settled in and made peace with this system. He did what all those who are taking shots at him refuse to do, he’s seriously approached the question of whether a different world beyond this murderous system of capitalism-imperialism, with all its unspeakable horrors is really possible, what has to be done to deal with the whole scope of the problem, not just find some niche within it.

    Above all else, and in sharp contrast to everyone else, BA approaches the question of human emancipation and what it will take to get there scientifically, seeking and following the truth wherever it leads, not by “centering marginalized voices” and accepting bullshit as truth because somebody oppressed says it. The masses of oppressed people suffering so unnecessarily under this system deserve more respect than that and no self-respecting person should be willing to be catered to and fawned over solely based on their identity or oppressed condition.

    If we want to act in the interests of the oppressed masses of the world, there are real and serious questions that we have to grapple with. What is there a material basis for in this real world, which means not how we think the world should be but what is actually possible? Can we truly get to a society where people’s needs are met without having to go through a global network of sweatshops producing everything, where the environment isn’t being destroyed in the process, where imperialist gangsters aren’t competing for resources and markets and threatening nuclear war? Do we have to just accept the degraded condition of women, the mass incarceration and police murder of Black and Brown people, the persecution of immigrants driven all across the globe by poverty and misery caused by this system? If the current system is maintained and enforced by powerful and vicious repressive forces, under what conditions could it be possible to defeat them and replace this system? What can people do now to help bring about the most favorable conditions where organized revolutionary forces had a real chance to win?

    BA has given his entire life helping to answer these questions and more. He is someone with tremendous commitment and heart for the people and it is absolutely sickening to see so many attacking him in such a low level way and his groundbreaking work being so facilely dismissed precisely at this historic juncture where huge splits in the ruling class and in society are widening, where the current trajectory is leading to something truly horrible and will continue to get worse unless a growing number of people learn about and take up the leadership, strategy, science, and vision forged by BA.

    Everybody mindlessly parroting or falling for piggish lies and slanders needs to get their head out their ass and raise your sights. Don’t worry about whether you will be accepted within the gutter that claims to be “the left” and ask serious questions and demand serious answers. Criticism is fine and necessary when it comes with real substance instead of personal attacks. What is the analysis and what are the opposing views and aims held by different organizations and people in relation to what has to be done about the overturning of Roe v. Wade or whatever injustice moved you to care about the state of the world? Don’t approach the struggle against injustice and looming fascism by shopping for ideas that you can readily agree with while dismissing those that make you uncomfortable. Confront the stakes involved and follow the truth wherever it leads even if that means breaking with your long-held beliefs.


    Isabel Cardenas, Salvadoran-American activist since 1960

    Why are you attacking Bob Avakian? Someone who is all about justice and making things better for all the people. That’s his goal. That’s how I see Bob Avakian.

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    Why are you attacking Bob Avakian? Someone who is all about justice and making things better for all the people. That’s his goal. That’s how I see Bob Avakian. We can’t allow rumors to be spread. Anyone who spreads lies about people and groups, such as the lies spread about Bob Avakian and Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights—anyone who spreads disinformation and targets those who are demonstrating on behalf of others being persecuted and oppressed, including half of humanity, women—those people spreading these lies are people who really do not care about stopping this persecution and oppression. It could be said they have infiltrated movements for progress and emancipation.

    Bob Avakian is a worldwide leader. Jesus made a revolution against the Roman Empire, telling the truth. Today Bob Avakian is revolutionizing against injustice, and is for abortion rights. I’m not comparing Bob Avakian to Jesus Christ, I’m saying you are spreading lies against a communist. I’m a religious person, and I see Jesus as being the first communist. That is why Jesus was crucified. And with Bob Avakian, you are attempting to carry out a modern-day cancellation of a man trying to do good. Bob Avakian talks about revolution. That is why you are spreading the lie about Bob Avakian being a “cult” leader. If anybody leads a “cult” its Donald Trump. It takes millions and millions of people for there to be a revolution—here is a man who is trying to bring forward a revolution and a new society and people are lying about him, defaming him.

    The Supreme Court is part of the dictatorship that exists in the U.S.… ruling and dictating over women! I’m 84 years old, and isn’t this attack on abortion rights about ruling over women? For people against abortions, if you are doing it for religious reasons, just stop. If you believe in religion, then let the women decide what she will face when she dies. It’s her choice. A woman has a right to choose. I do believe that this country has dictators: including the Supreme Court. We can’t allow the dictators to mandate over a woma­n’s body. 

    Isabel Cardenas
    Salvadoran-American Activist Since 1960

     

     


    From D. Ocean, Health Care Practitioner

    "When Bob Avakian and the RevCom’s take a principled position and cut through the bullshit, when they show this attack on women and the overturning of Roe v. Wade is a fascist attack, when they show how the Democratic Party is conciliatory with these fascists (refusing to mobilize the people), when in contrast to giving in and capitulating RU4AR mobilizes thousands of young women…  it is at this point these forces go after Bob Avakian because he is telling people what is behind the curtain."

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    When Bob Avakian and the RevCom’s take a principled position and cut through the bullshit, when they show this attack on women and the overturning of Roe v. Wade is a fascist attack, when they show how the Democratic Party is conciliatory with these fascists (refusing to mobilize the people), when in contrast to giving in and capitulating RU4AR mobilizes thousands of young women…  it is at this point these forces go after Bob Avakian because he is telling people what is behind the curtain.  Vicious attacks on Sunsara Taylor… because she TOOK A STAND!  When Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights started, Sunsara Taylor and others from RevCom made it clear:  we have to hit this and we have to hit this hard and mobilize the masses to fight to make sure things don’t get to where they’ve gotten, with Roe overturned and new horrors now happening.  The forces who launched this attack have no answer other than to pretend these attacks are not as serious as they are.  Their program is… bankrupt.  

    Which Side Are You On?

    But more:  this is counter-revolution.  Accusations about misappropriation of funds is being spread.  This is an attempt to discredit, to delegitimize, to create suspicion.  This can do damage by creating distrust among people who don’t know the real.  Its all old game but it can be effective.  Rather than a solidarity movement, look how the forces spreading lies about BA and RevCom have sunk to the level of Alex Jones!  Let’s be real, the forces spreading this disinformation DESPISE the very idea of revolution—so much so that they envy the shock jock Alex Jones and want to be him... spreading lies, slander and disinformation.  More than shameful... attempting to destroy legitimate protest? This is what fascism does! 

    Since when do cults fight to liberate women, Black people, LGBTQ, and wage the fight against capitalism and imperialist war—describe a cult that engages in that?

    And because people out there can be lazy and won’t "back check", this bullshit “cult” charge can get over among some.  Just blurt out “CULT” and because people don’t practice science that can also take on wings.  Isn’t the question whether what BA is saying is true, or not, and where will it lead if its promoted and followed.  Of course none of the “leaders” of this bourgeois capitalist set up (or these "self-appointed leaders of the women's movement" who spew groundless accusations) endorse Bob Avakian… they would rather have people turn away.  Now their mouthpieces—even some so-called "progressive journalists"—work to cut people off from Bob Avakian before his ideas spread, before BA’s new ideas have a chance to catch on.  That IS what is happening here.  No way should we allow this.

    Why did Malcolm X place the Republican and Democratic Party leadership in the same canine family (foxes and wolves), and why is that relevant today?

    This is dangerous.  The forces behind these lies and slanders know this.  They know about COINTELPRO.  They know about Malcolm X.  What happened to Malcolm when he said the Republicans and the Democratic Party - they got the same game going.  We know what happened and that can’t be allowed to happen now.  It’s slander, its libelous, but I say listen and read BA.  Look at the facts.  Look at his principled approach.  Is what BA saying true?  Or not?  That’s the question.  Do you disagree?  If so, say so.  Debate is welcome, I know this from years of experience with the RevComs.   But whether you agree with the need for revolution, or not, these counter-revolutionary attacks must be exposed and denounced; EVERYONE really does need to take a basic stand against this outrage.

    D. Ocean
    Health Care Practitioner


    From Gloria Pinex—fighter for justice and mother of Darius Pinex, killed by Chicago police

    Darius Pinex

     

    Darius Pinex   

    I know BA personally. The first time I heard him speak I fell in love with him. And I don’t know why someone wouldn’t want to hear from someone who gets down to earth with things. I don’t know who wouldn’t want the truth. Anything having to do with oppression he touches on it. He touches bases on Police Brutality, oppressed women—yeah—he does a lot. All that gibberish they are talking is absolutely absurd. It’s not Bobby—it’s not his character.


    Roosevelt—member of the Chicago Revolution Club

    Over the years I've seen and heard many leaders who have tried to diagnosis the many issues plaguing the Poor community's . Since 1999 one in particular showed up on my radar, Bob Avakian has been more in tune and aware of the true solutions that's needed to overcome these issues which existed for far too long! Others have came up with their ideas of fitting inside of the same dam System that's caused pain and suffering all over this planet! Sounds crazy but it's true.

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    Actually Bob Avakian has been fighting against this System of Capitalism and Imperialism since the 60s! And has never gave in to the corruption that has lured numerous others away from the goal of fighting for the people and has published a number of books to enlighten the masses on a real way to defeat this System and its puppets! Visit www.revcom.us for a complete encyclopedia of the books by B.A .

    A real leader who refuse to do like so many others is very rare, and should be heard, not ignored. There are those who hear him, take what he says, try to rephrase it to make it their own. What they should be doing is the right thing since they already know that B.A. Is the Architect of the New Communism and like I stated earlier a number of great "Real books" on the subject of Revolution, and the emancipation of humanity. When we have a leader amongst us with this kind information we should be taking it up.

    I have heard others and this true, and I've heard Bob Avakian, and this is my leader.


    Aurora Roja, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

    Editors’ note: This was an introduction to the reposting on the Aurora Roja blog of the revcom.us article “Behind the Week of Internet Attacks on Bob Avakian and the Revcoms: Imperialist Fear Mongers and Their Servants.” The translation from the original Spanish is ours.

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    Unprincipled attacks, based on lies and slanders, on the organization Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (RU4AR), as well as the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian, are completely unacceptable. RU4AR is the only national organization in the United States that mobilized thousands of people in the streets in defense of the right to abortion for months before the decision of the Supreme Court that eliminates this constitutional right, while others advised not to fight to stop this decision. Bob Avakian, based on 50 years of work, has developed the New Communism, a more scientific, revolutionary and inspiring guide to making revolution and emancipating humanity in today’s world, and leads a determined fight to make an actual revolution amidst the great turmoil and crises that are ripping U.S. society apart now. To those who repeat or get taken in by the orchestrated campaign of lies and slanders against this important revolutionary leader, we want to ask: Are you against a liberating revolution in the belly of the world’s biggest imperialist oppressor? Do you prefer that this oppressor continue? In the real world, disqualifying this revolutionary leader without even reading and knowing his work can only serve the reactionary interests of U.S. imperialism. We welcome debate and reasoned criticism, which helps to clarify opposing positions. On the other hand, every decent person must categorically reject snarky attacks based on lies, slanders and insults, which does so much damage to the interests of the people. As follows, we reproduce from revcom.us one of several articles about these unprincipled attacks.


    From D., Revolution Club, Bay Area

    "...So when so-called “progressive” haters (coordinating with major media outlets) throw around accusations of “cult” in order to isolate BA and invite repression against him, not only do I find it intellectually dishonest, not only does it tell me that these fools haven’t read with an open mind a damn thing written by BA, not only do I question the intent of these blowhard “woke” sleep-walkers… I also take it very personal. Excuse my language, but these assholes haven’t done shit compared to BA’s work over the last 50 years."

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    I first ran into the leadership and ideas of Bob Avakian (BA) more than 15 years ago straight out of middle school. I was a rebellious and inquisitive young person who was forced awake by the USA’s wars of terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, combined with the madness that I saw around me growing up in East Oakland. The images of American troops in Abu Ghraib prison smiling as they tortured and dehumanized their victims haunt me to this day and they pushed me to dig for deeper solutions than just “me and my people.” With all this anger at the conditions of masses of people worldwide and with a thirst for radical change, BA was like an oasis in the desert of false ideas.

    In 2007, 14-year-old me wrote to revcom.us and described what BA meant to me: “I knew what was wrong at that time. I knew what was needed. But then I didn’t know exactly how to get it. Avakian introduced me to the thought of a Revolutionary Communist revolution in the ‘belly of the beast.’ He gave me a platformstructure and theorybehind what I knew the world needed. He formulated a response from me to the system. He opened my eyes to the idea of how we could accomplish change. I had never seen anything like it! I started looking into the complete ideas of the PartyMarxism-Leninism-Maoismand really saw the solution to end the oppression. I found something that wasn’t only the liberation of a few, but the emancipation of all of humanity.”

    BA’s writings and talks challenged me to think critically and reject any type of religiosity. Not only did I break with the belief in gods through works like his book Away With All Gods!, I was also led by BA to confront dogmatic ways of thinking within the communist movement and within myself. And as I grew up and matured, as my knowledge of the world expanded, BA was also hard at work at forging a whole new framework beyond MLM: the new communism. This groundbreaking new method made a scientific inquiry and summation of the achievements and the shortcomings of the previous wave of revolutions in the 20th century. He grounded the communist movement, and the RCP, on a much more solidly scientific foundation, arguing that all truths are good for oppressed people and the struggle to get free. He led the RCP in deepening the strategy to make revolution in this country with a real chance to win. He made huge breakthroughs in the approach to the future socialist society that we’re fighting to bring into being, insisting that dissent and debate be at the core of continuing the revolution even after we have power (codifying all of this in the Draft Constitution). He’s consistently done all of this with the final goal of ending all forms of oppression worldwide as the guidepost for everything. This had a profound effect on my life and the way I learned to see my role in the struggle to emancipate humanity.

    So when so-called “progressive” haters (coordinating with major media outlets) throw around accusations of “cult” in order to isolate BA and invite repression against him, not only do I find it intellectually dishonest, not only does it tell me that these fools haven’t read with an open mind a damn thing written by BA, not only do I question the intent of these blowhard “woke” sleep-walkers… I also take it very personal. Excuse my language, but these assholes haven’t done shit compared to BA’s work over the last 50 years. BA has consistently done the work to break down extremely complex concepts about science, understanding the world in order to change it, to broadly popularize in society. He’s paid particular attention to bringing these ideas to the most oppressed. People denied education, caught up in superstition, harassed day in day out by the powers-that-be, and simply trying to survive. I’m a product of this initiative he’s taken. I came to understand communist theory, world history and cultures, biology, physics, and so much more through the work of BA. And I learned all of these things not for some selfish pursuit to be an armchair intellectual, but BA continually challenged me to dedicate my life to making a revolution to liberate all the peoples throughout the world. And he actively leads the RCP and the masses around it in getting organized and prepared to go all-out to make a real revolution.

    BA has a broadness of mind and a huge heart. He is a leader that needs to be taken seriously, defended from attacks, and scientifically followed. These petty attacks that are part of a COINTELPRO-type campaign need to STOP.


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Karina Aybar, Therapist & Leadership Coach, Advocate, Activist

    “…Rise Up’s embracing of the green bandana is not to appropriate a movement, but rather inspiration and guidance from people who were successful in protecting people’s right to bodily autonomy with massive movements in countries with less economic resources than the United States.

    Rise Up has been involved in direct actions since February by disrupting, educating, organizing, protesting weeks in front of SCOTUS and other actions, not just electing and supporting Democrats. Is Rise Up provocative style too much for some people? Perhaps.

    Again, as we all know, organizing to disrupt a system will certainly bring discomfort and difference of opinions and approaches.”

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    A message to fellow reproductive rights organizers:

    I want to start by admitting that it takes a lot for me to write this, because this is a heavy subject, and so many of us are demoralized and enraged by the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade.

    I am disappointed that some folks are basically practicing McCarthyism with the organization that the young lady interviewed by MSNBC regarding her disappointment with the Democrats and I are a part of, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.

    I am a part of different organizations and movements, but I will focus on Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights in particular.

    Rise Up is a coalition of many people with different political views and backgrounds, but are being attacked because one of our initiators is a RevCom (a Revolutionary Communist). So what?

    Rise Up is a recently formed organizing and advocacy group, not a direct services organization. People are making false claims about it being a “cult,” and misusing funds. This is just truly sad and disappointing to say the least. Rise Up did outreach to numerous reproductive rights organizations and many of those groups were not receptive. I was personally a part of this effort. However, now, instead of asking and meeting with Rise Up about any of their concerns, these organizers proceeded to spread misinformation at a time when fascists are advancing by the second.

    Rise Up has been organizing with Black, white, Brown, indigenous people, Asian, undocumented folks, Latinx people; some who were actually a part of the original green wave in Argentina and Colombia, and with LGBTQIA/gender non-conforming folks.

    And as with any recently formed organizing, there is always learning and growing to do of course.

    Rise Up’s embracing of the green bandana is not to appropriate a movement, but rather inspiration and guidance from people who were successful in protecting people’s right to bodily autonomy with massive movements in countries with less economic resources than the United States.

    Rise Up has been involved in direct actions since February by disrupting, educating, organizing, protesting weeks in front of SCOTUS and other actions, not just electing and supporting Democrats. Is Rise Up provocative style too much for some people? Perhaps.

    Again, as we all know, organizing to disrupt a system will certainly bring discomfort and difference of opinions and approaches.

    In my experience, Rise Up has never discouraged anyone from supporting and donating to planned parenthood or other abortion funds. One way to look at it is this:

    Supporting direct services: If you want to support direct services for people who need access to safe abortions, you can donate to Planned Parenthood, and local abortion clinics.

    Supporting mass actions: if you want to support mass organizing and disrupting business as usual in order to now reverse the illegitimate overturning of Roe v. Wade, then you can join and support Rise Up and other community organizing groups.

    Remember, no right was won by appealing to the good graces of those in power.

    Ideally, wouldn’t it be great for the group of people attacking Rise Up to unite in solidarity to have a greater impact in protecting our communities in need?

    There are many of us that don’t agree with some of the practices and electoral decisions of organizations we are a part of, yet, and I can only speak for myself and many folks I organize withwe wouldn’t dare to bring this difference of opinions and disagreements to the general public for the enjoyment of the fascists forces that thrive in witnessing our leftist and progressive movements divide.

    However, these allegations are different from mere political disagreementsthis is character assassinating and false accusations that have legal and safety repercussions. Many of us at Rise Up, are being harassed by people on the left and right.

    I would like to humbly encourage you to please take a step back and evaluate the potential consequences, and safety risks that such allegations and statements have on real people like us with families. We are simply striving for making whatever difference we could make, in a system that was designed to oppress and dehumanize us.

    I would be more than happy to connect with and connect anyone interested in engaging in a resolution dialogue with the leadership of Rise Up.

    Especially at this time, we must unite to fight for access to safe and legal abortions, and reproductive rights for current and future generations.

    Solidarity,


    Statement in Support of RU4AR by an educator in California 

    "My only hope is that these phony accusations backfire and help build the movement into a wave that washes away all exploitation of humanity in general and of women specifically in this time of growing fascist actions against so many sectors of society. Bob Avakian and the RCP, RU4AR and the RNL Show are not only hoping, but working to make this happen through correct analysis of the situation behind the sham accusations and by synthesizing powerful solutions in this current phase of the revolutionary struggle for social justice."

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    I was shocked and outraged at the vitriolic attacks on Rise Up for Abortion Rights reported on the July 21 installment of the RNL Show. I had seen nothing about these bogus accusations regarding the Revolutionary Communist Party being a cult, of Bob Avakian being the cult’s leader, of RU4AR being a Ponzi scheme, or of any of these fraudulent accusations in the media. 

    Nevertheless, I was impressed with how the RNL Show not only defended RU4AR but went on a revolutionary offensive to combat the false accusations. Clearly the science of studying the history of political repression in this country tells us the dangers of [people] attempting to sic the institutions of capitalism upon revolutionary-minded organizations, movements and individuals. Just the acronym COINTELPRO should be warning enough regarding how far the state will go to defend itself from reforms, let alone deep, sustainable, revolutionary development. 

    What we are witnessing with these fake accusations is stereotypical red-baiting/bad jacketing at its worst. The so-called "left" is colluding with reactionaries to attack real revolutionaries because Rise Up is doing solid work and is successful at rallying the masses to defend women's rights. 

    Dr. King warned us our worst enemies would be "moderates" who are "... more devoted to 'order' than to justice." Or as Rafael Kadaris said of the accusers who are supposedly “left” and “woke,” “You hate revolution more than you hate this system!” And as a real-life Tuskegee Airman once told me, "You only catch flak when you're right on target." Clearly the RU4AR movement is garnering too many followers and making a difference where it counts. 

    My only hope is that these phony accusations backfire and help build the movement into a wave that washes away all exploitation of humanity in general and of women specifically in this time of growing fascist actions against so many sectors of society. Bob Avakian and the RCP, RU4AR and the RNL Show are not only hoping, but working to make this happen through correct analysis of the situation behind the sham accusations and by synthesizing powerful solutions in this current phase of the revolutionary struggle for social justice. 


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    National Radical Women statement by Nga Bui, NYC

    August 1, 2022

    “At a time when a united mass movement to defend reproductive justice is needed more than ever, NYC for Abortion Rights and nearly two dozen organizations have chosen to launch an anti-communist attack against one of the most visible activist groups, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. Radical Women, a veteran socialist feminist organization with decades of experience in the movement for reproductive justice, denounces this dangerous game of divide and conquer.”

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    No to red-baiting in the reproductive justice movement

    At a time when a united mass movement to defend reproductive justice is needed more than ever, NYC for Abortion Rights and nearly two dozen organizations have chosen to launch an anti-communist attack against one of the most visible activist groups, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. Radical Women, a veteran socialist feminist organization with decades of experience in the movement for reproductive justice, denounces this dangerous game of divide and conquer.

    The “Statement Against RiseUp4AbortionRights” — signed by NYC for Abortion Rights, United Against Racism & Fascism NYC, Brooklyn People’s March, Shout Your Abortion, The Jane Fund, Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group and others — deplores Rise Up’s connections to the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). It labels this well-known fixture on the Left as a personality cult. It accuses both Rise Up and RCP of using pyramid schemes to raise money and exploitative methods to recruit. These unsubstantiated claims are bolstered by other “crimes”: wearing white pants stained with fake blood, holding die-ins, using coat-hanger imagery, and describing forced pregnancy as “female enslavement.” The Statement calls on “repro groups to now unite in discrediting Rise Up publicly” and demand that “the group step back from pro-abortion spaces.” This divisive attack is like a dog-whistle to corporate media, which is crawling all over the issue in coverage from Daily Beast and The Intercept.

    Imperfect as Rise Up may be, the reality is the group has been out front nationally in defense of abortion — though not the only group as they have claimed. It has consistently organized protests and used audacious tactics such as unfurling huge banners at sports events to draw media attention to the issue. It has broadened its messaging after being criticized that its single-issue focus on women having abortions was transphobic and limiting. Its green wave imagery is omnipresent and its anti-capitalist message is spot-on. Its boldness has resonated with youth.

    Truth be told, it has been largely the Left, including Radical Women, that organized rallies, speak outs, marches, and protests throughout last year to draw attention to the impending Supreme Court debacle. Meanwhile, moderate feminist organizations pushed online fundraising and waited for the Democratic Party to ride to the rescue.

    One has to think that some of the venom expressed in the Statement is from groups that did much less than Rise Up and may begrudge its appeal to young people. Others may be driven to undermine the influence of the Left in the movement overall. How condescending it is for them to demand that Rise Up disappear rather than trust young supporters to reach their own conclusions about whether Rise Up’s strategies work in the long run.

    Radical Women initiated the National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice a year ago in order to build the kind of coalition effort we think is urgently needed to preserve abortion and achieve full reproductive justice. The Mobilization has attracted feminist groups, grassroots organizations, unions, radicals, and individuals coming together in common cause. Though Rise Up in many instances put itself in competition with actions announced by the Mobilization, we managed to work cooperatively with it in various cities, including in NYC. Rather than demanding political conformity, we believe in respectfully debating differences. With the right wing intensifying its attacks on the most vulnerable, a united front of working-class organizations is essential to pushing them back.

    Red-baiting, smearing people or groups for their radical associations, is not acceptable in the movement. It needs to be stopped before it further hurts the very women, people of color, non-binary, trans and poor folks looking to find a channel for their rage as their rights are stripped away. There’s no denying that those of us fighting for abortion rights and reproductive justice will have differences of opinions. It is essential we learn to work together with mutual respect instead of excluding, silencing and witch-hunting one another. Organizations and independent activists can unite around issues while maintaining our differences. The future of reproductive justice and all social movements depends on it.


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Carol Downer, Executive Director of the Feminist Women’s Health Centers and Life-Long Fierce Advocate for Reproductive Rights

     “…Before you seek to defame and cast out Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights on serious (but unproven) charges of being a cult and a pyramid scheme which diverts money from social and racial justice movements, you need to seek out the experiences of non-communist feminists who have worked with the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), such as myself. As an anti-racist activist since 1965, and a feminist pro-abortion activist since 1969, I have first-hand experience with the RCP since the 1970’s which refute these charges….”

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    WITNESS

    To: 23 grassroots pro-abortion organizers who denounce Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.

    I am making this statement as an individual. My accounts of the work that the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers (FWHC) have done with the RCP are given solely for the purpose of giving an eyewitness account to give you a fuller picture of the RCP and to directly refute many, if not all, of the charges you made.

    Before you seek to defame and cast out Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights on serious (but unproven) charges of being a cult and a pyramid scheme which diverts money from social and racial justice movements, you need to seek out the experiences of non-communist feminists who have worked with the Revolutionary Communist Party, (RCP), such as myself. As an anti-racist activist since 1965, and a feminist pro-abortion activist since 1969, I have first-hand experience with the RCP since the 1970’s which refute these charges. As the Executive Director of the Feminist Women’s Health Centers (FWHC), we have worked with the RCP and with its various ad hoc committees on many occasions and on many social justice issues.

    I’ve observed that the RCP often establishes ad hoc grassroots groups to fight on various issues, such as police abuse, abortion rights, and suppression of opponents to the Iranian regime. Non-communists are welcomed to work within or work closely with these groups. The RCP shares its literature and encourages discussion, but there is no pressure to adopt communism or Bob Avakian’s teachings. I have read many of Bob Avakian’s writings, heard him speak and watched his filmed talks. I find them interesting and thoughtful.

    The FWHCs, which were founded in the early 70’s, also incorporated issues that were not directly related to the running of our women’s health centers. No one accused us of “glomming on” to these issues, such as home birth, forced sterilization, police abuse, and anti-Muslim violence. And, as regards being a pyramid scheme, RCP-sponsored Refuse and Resist for many years who escorted abortion clients through heavy weekly picket lines at the Eve’s Clinic in El Monte, California and later at the FPA clinic on Westmoreland Avenue. This clearly did not have their bottom line increased.

    In 1979, I was a member of the Committee to Send Back the Shah. I, and Rebecca Chalker, also of the FWHC, travelled with the Committee to Iran. The FWHC’s also worked with RCP committees who fought against police abuse, and escorted at abortion clinics. The activities of these ad-hoc groups were mostly funded by donations from the sale of the RCP newspaper. I saw no evidence of large donations from anyone. After our Los Angeles health center closed, I joined Sunsara Taylor in Texas on the Stop Patriarchy tour. We slept on the motel floor and cooked our own meals.

    Bob Avakian believes that a communist revolution is needed and that their dedicated efforts will make it possible. RCP members accordingly devote every minute after work hours to make it happen. I believe that females working together can eventually achieve equality, and the resulting egalitarian society will revolutionize the world.

    I have personally known many RCP members for years. They definitely do not behave like someone belonging to a cult. They are educated, thinking political activists that are working toward establishing a communist society, and they like Avakian’s approach. They take on various issues because they feel strongly about the rights of the poor and the working class, and the rights of women, and they believe that working on the specific issues builds toward a revolution. They don’t “glom on” to these issues because they are popular or to exploit them.

    Stop trying to keep people from associating with Rise Up, because you disagree with tactics you consider “theatrical” that alarm people about abortion. I have always believed that it is counter-productive to use coat-hanger imagery, however, many abortion rights advocates find the specter of “back-alley abortions” to be a strong argument for keeping abortion legal. If we threw out everybody who comes to a demonstration or starts a pro-abortion group on such debatable differences, we’d have a very small movement.

    Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights has indisputably attracted a great deal of public attention. Their focus on their outrage may make some people uncomfortable, but remember that bold action can be part of successful protest and even the seizing of power.

    You may be respectful of the rights of free speech, however there are many in our country who are not. Many equate “communism” with “un-American” and want to persecute and outlaw communists. Your ill-founded attack has enabled opportunistic so-called reporters to build a firestorm of criticism against the RCP and Rise Up4 Abortion Rights. Could it be that you’re concerned that wealthy philanthropists who financially support grassroots efforts such as yours will be scared to associate with a movement that includes communist groups?

    The string of decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2022 heralds a trend toward outright fascism in this country. Those decisions reveal the ruling class’ overall plan to maintain Western white supremacy and rampant industrialization by destroying sexual and reproductive rights, by doing away with federal regulation on fossil fuels, by unleashing gun violence and by encouraging police abuse on those who protest, especially poor people and people of color. I urge you to keep up your own valuable work and to be inclusive of all who are working for the common goal of protecting our environment, our sexual and reproductive rights and a more equal society.

    Carol Downer

    Life-Long Fierce Advocate for Reproductive Rights


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Jim Fouratt, gay rights activist who participated in the Stonewall Rebellion, actor, and former nightclub impresario

    “These attacks on Rise Up are so similar to the attacks that happened in the 60s and 70s under the Cointelpro program by the FBI. And they’re happening today, I believe, because of the success of Sunsara Taylor and the Rise Up movement with the revcoms.”

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    As a senior, I’m a contemporary of Bob Avakian. I was in San Francisco at the time of the Black Panther Party. I remember the white people that stood up and supported the Black Panther Party and their programs. Bob Avakian was a young man and he was there. So I know of Bob Avakian for a very long time. I also was the first gay person to be allowed to speak at a left rally, it was at Yale in support of Bobby Seale. Although we were put on last, it was the first time that an openly gay or lesbian person had been visible and spoken from their sexual orientation point of view.

    Cointelpro [the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program which spied on, disrupted, and set up revolutionaries and activists during the 1960s and 70s] wreaked havoc on my life. The FBI’s goal was to seek out who they saw as young people who were potential leaders. This was a story of Fred Hampton in Chicago. He was murdered by the police because he could have been the next major Malcolm X, or Martin Luther King. They went after me because I could speak. Most gay and lesbian people did not because they were invisible. They weren’t protected under the law and their jobs, etc. And they were subjected to police harassment of all different kinds.

    I came to Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights because they were out there standing up against the Supreme Court overturning Roe from the beginning, with their green posters and their green bandanas. I still wear them. I saw that it was important to find unity on the issue of the right of women to choose and the right of women to control their body. That includes trans people or people who identify as trans people. I own my body. You own your body. No government and no religion should be putting their hands on it. That’s what brought me to Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.

    These attacks on Rise Up are so similar to the attacks that happened in the 60s and 70s under the Cointelpro program by the FBI. And they’re happening today,

    I believe, because of the success of Sunsara Taylor and the Rise Up movement with the revcoms.

    We don’t all have to agree about lots of issues, but we come together because we feel unity with abortion rights. And I said it when I spoke at a Rise Up protest in February at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, if you want to disagree with me about someone or some person or history or whatever, let’s go talk over there in the corner. But today we’re here to fight the Roman Catholic Church and other institutions that control our lives today. (I made a point of saying not all Roman Catholics are bad people.)

    You know, I went back and read all the papers of Bob Avakian. I knew the name, I knew some things, but I didn’t know his politics of today. I tell you, if you haven’t done that, and you’re out there making these kinds of accusations, you’re being really stupid and dangerous. It’s a kind of anti-intellectual culture. Read the ideas. Discuss them. That’s dialectics. That’s how we learn to talk and listen to each other.

    I want to say thank you, Sunsara Taylor, for all the work you did. Rise Up was there in the beginning, making the link with the activists of the past of the women who had spent 20 or 30 years making sure that Roe stayed in place. I remember what it was like when women could not legally get an abortion. I remember how it impacted on poor people of different races and different sexual orientations. The idea that they’re calling Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights “homophobic” is bizarre to me. I have a whole history of being in the frontlines of fighting for civil rights for lesbian and gay people and bisexuals and trans as we went forward. So I say thank you to everyone who was involved in Rise Up, including Sunsara and other revcoms. Let’s just move forward. Those green signs were everywhere in Washington, DC when Roe was overturned. I was sick at the time, but I watched and I thought, they can’t stop showing them because we, and all of the young people and all of us old people that came together to try to stop the Supreme Court have not given up!


    Brother Raymond, founder of Brothers Standing Together

    I’ve worked with the Rev Club over many years and I’ve never heard BA try to mislead or misguide anyone. They don’t like the fact that BA is a thinker. He has a great mind and people want to know what he is thinking. So therefore people misconstrue and try to say that he has a “cult.” He doesn’t have a cult he has a group of thinkers like himself who are organized and strategizing to lead the masses in the rebellion against violence and Police Brutality. So that’s what’s going on and that’s the BA I know. Anything else they said is just bullshit.


    A Concerned Activist

    I’m someone who got involved in the early days of building up the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The October 22nd Coalition formed in the late 1990s to fight police brutality and many, many different groups and people joined together, building support for and protesting with the families of children whose lives were stolen by police murdereven publishing a book documenting the many cases of people who were killed by police. For over fifteen years, we worked together with O22, making a difference.

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    The leadership of Bob Avakian and the Revcoms was key to this fight against police brutality! Because before we built up the October 22 Coalition, I didn’t see anyone else out there fighting against police brutality. No one else was out there on a national scale. O22 was the first out there broadly in this fight. I even went with the October 22nd Coalition to Washington, DC and unfurled a banner on the steps of the US Capitol and I remember Al Sharpton as one of many speaking that day against the 41 bullets shot by police into the body of Amadou Diallo. And it’s still going on, since police shot over sixty bullets into Jayland Walker, murdering him.

    I think it is important that we all unite together nowto fight for abortion rights! To attack Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights as disrespectful to Black people and people of color because Rise Up raises the slogan “Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement” is wrong and goes against the whole history of this country and how people are enslaved in many ways and forms, including that we are now living in the era of the New Jim Crow. As Black people, we know that over generations Black women were being raped and everyone turned a blind eye. So the slogan "Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement” is very correct and important to raise in our battle for us, as women today, to have the right to abortion.


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Boston May Day (BMDC)

    “[Those attacking] place priority on attacking the presence of the RevComs in Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. The government and employers have for many decades used red-baiting as a means of attempting to destroy social movements defending the rights of working people and the oppressed… Martin Luther King Jr. was labeled a ‘communist’ by FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover and subsequently assassinated.”

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    BMDC Denounces Attack against RU4AR

    agreed upon July 3, 2022

    The Boston May Day Coalition [BMDC] has been involved in the struggles of working people since 2006 and began to gear up for the fight to defend Roe vs. Wade this past winter. Even last fall, we were appalled to see that the forces supporting the Democratic Party and especially those supporting the Women’s March failed to see the need to mobilize a broad based massive visible effort in defense of abortion rights. During that period, we managed to hook up with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights which was sounding the alarm and mobilizing dozens, hundreds, and later thousands of youth, locally and nationally, in an effort to wake up the rest of the country to the real danger that lay ahead, while so many others on the left were sleeping at the wheel!!

    The broadside attack is currently aimed at women, trans folks, and underage girls. But the Supreme Court has now opened the door to eliminating all rights not envisioned by the “founding fathers” who excluded women and African Americans from the constitution! The overturning of Roe vs. Wade calls for the broadest unity of forces who are willing to fight the systemic reactionary monster which seeks to suppress and deny the legitimate rights of working people and the oppressed.

    Unfortunately, after all these months we now see the group, NYC for Abortion Rights, initiating a public campaign against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. They claim to want a “strong and united” movement but pursue a policy to divide and weaken the movement. They demand that RiseUp “step back from pro-abortion spaces” as if they are entitled to exclude an organization from the movement! Is this any way to build a social movement? This seems utterly juvenile and something you would expect to see in high school.

    NYC for Abortion Rights and others place priority on attacking the presence of the RevComs in Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights. The government and employers have for many decades used red baiting as a means of attempting to destroy social movements defending the rights of working people and the oppressed. Whether it be the fight for women’s suffrage, the rise of the unions, the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the abortion rights movement, the environmental movement, etc., the reactionaries have always used this tool to destroy our fights. Martin Luther King Jr. was labeled a “communist” by FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover and subsequently assassinated. Popularizing these tools from this reactionary tool kit poses an existential threat to the movement today just as it did in the past.

    NYC for Abortion Rights and others decry the activity of Rise Up’s members “wearing of white pants painted with fake blood, die-ins, and coat-hanger imagery”. They advocate for “safe self-managed abortion” and “medication abortion as a post-Roe tool”. It seems that these people know little about the history of the mass movement which won abortion rights. At the time of Roe vs. Wade, thousands of women had died from self-performed abortions using clothes hangers and from back-alley abortion providers unfit to practice medicine. Yes, we will see the return of clothes hanger and back-alley abortions in the future. Yes, women have died and will die in the future in spite of proclamations from the affluent wing of the abortion rights movement, because those who reject “die ins” are rejecting the reality of women living in poverty.

    Indeed, slavery was ruled legal by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the abolitionists continued to fight until it was overthrown. Segregation was legalized in a supreme court ruling until Jim Crow segregation was overthrown by the Civil Rights movement. The battle for the restoration of Roe vs. Wade and Abortion on Demand Without Apology has only begun and NYC for Abortion Rights and others want to give up without firing a political shot. The Democratic Party has been telling us that we can vote our way out of this crisis. The current “moderate majority” government in Washington may have good reason to celebrate this campaign against Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights.

    NYC for Abortion Rights and others are upset because “RiseUp frequently likens abortion bans to “female enslavement”. Unfortunately, the role of “housewife” or “barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen” is where the reactionaries want to place women. It is the duty of the movement to point this out even if it makes some people unhappy. Accusations of RiseUp being homophobic or misusing funds are just out and out lies. RiseUp has done much on a shoestring budget. The reactionary Supreme Court which seeks to drive us all down will not have the last word in the battles ahead around abortion rights.

    BMDC rejects these divisive attacks and reaffirms the need to build a strong and united movement that develops a movement building culture which seeks to welcome all currents to the organizing table in an effort to organize joint actions decided upon by all the participating organizations. We reject the notion of a movement following a cult of personalities in the form of NYC for Abortion Rights and those who seek to divide us and weaken our ability to fight back against the attacks coming down from the government and reactionaries who want to take all of us back to 19th century style peonage, poverty, and political atomization.


    From Brother B In The Streets, Educator, California

    "There is something called objective truth—and people will be played for fools if they refuse to realize there are people who DO speak the truth (and there will be forces who don’t like that and want to stop it).  And that includes the truth about what the problem and what the solution is—no one else, other than Bob Avakian, shouts “Revolution—Nothing Less”—with real substance, and over many decades."

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    Bob Avakian a “cult” leader.  I’ve heard this kind of talk for a long time, and each time it comes up what do these forces who spread this accusation reveal about themselves:  no engagement… absolutely no serious engagement with anything Bob Avakian has written.  Show me where, in anything Bob Avakian has written, or in his talks, where he says his work shouldn’t scrutinized.  People mustn’t be intellectually lazy and just swallow this talk about “cult.”  There is something called objective truth—and people will be played for fools if they refuse to realize there are people who DO speak the truth (and there will be forces who don’t like that and want to stop it).  And that includes the truth about what the problem and what the solution is—no one else, other than Bob Avakian, shouts “Revolution—Nothing Less”—with real substance, and over many decades.  

    People should ask themselves what is “objective reality”?  How to solve the problem of dismantling this capitalist-imperialist system?  That’s different from judging people by what they’re ancestry is or promoting the idea that there are many different versions of reality.  We hear about micro-aggressions and they are real, but what about the macro-aggressions that tie us all together, and a revolutionary leader who speaks to all of that?   These attacks include the accusation Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and Revcom is a pyramid scheme!  Vicious and unprincipled.  Well, if your “identity politics” is not connected to dismantling this system, you are shuffling chairs on the Titanic, and for some this also now means joining the camp of counter-revolution.  Bob Avakian has pushed a hard scientific line for a long time.  Its right for those who grasp it to stand on it, and for those who’ve never seriously engaged Bob Avakian: find out about what Bob Avakian is saying about objective reality, about the problem and the solution, and the principles that must guide the revolutionary struggle.

    Brother B In The Streets
    Educator, California


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Fran Luck, host and producer of The Joy of Resistance, Multicultural Feminist Radio on WBAI 99.5 FM in NYC

    “When [movements] are really taking off and getting some power and getting some recognition, a whole group of more establishment people… often attack very viciously and slanderously… It’s a very dangerous pattern and it should be fought and it should be exposed. I’m very proud that Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights is standing up to it.”

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    Big movements do not begin in politicians’ offices. They begin with masses of people in the streets. Later on, after there is some kind of disruption happening, the politicians get rid of it and make it into some sort of legislation usually watering it down. That’s how so-called “progress” is made.

    I’ve been following the incremental attacks on abortion for the 20 years we’ve been on the air. But as soon as we got into this chapter of it, I looked around for people who would go out into those streets and start to raise hell. I couldn’t find anybody except Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights who was out there immediately and mobilizing excellently. I was very excited about that. I didn’t see any of the other feminist groups and I’m in touch with a lot of them because a lot of them have been on the radio show I produce. They weren’t there. Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights was there. The crowds they were gathering were getting into the news. The different slogans they were using were getting into the news. I just thought that was really excellent, so I was very happy to sign the statement. I was very happy to join.

    Now, when I heard about these attacks, it was a very familiar feeling. It was like: Oh no, here we go again. I had seen these kinds of attacks in other movements. I’d seen them in the housing movement. I had seen them in the feminist movement in the early days, when radicals started the feminist movement. Often women associated with the Left, women who were doing consciousness raising or consulting their own experience, were writing a whole new story for women. This is in the mid-60s. These women really spread it far and wide. There were consciousness-raising groups in towns and cities all over the country. Then, what do you think happened? A whole lot of people, usually women who were very involved with the system, began to feel that, “Oh, this movement is really getting someplace. Maybe it’s time that we took it over. Those crazy people who started it, well they were they’re good for starting things, but we can’t let them run they’re going to ruin it. We need to get it under control. We need to blend it perhaps with existing institutions. We need to water it down before it becomes too disruptive of the status quo.” That is a story that has been told often. You can actually go to The Power of History, an essay by Kathie Sarachild of Redstockings, if you want to find out more about that takeover of the feminist movement and how it was kind of siphoned into the Democratic Party. That doesn’t mean the radicals didn’t continue to fightthey are still fightingbut that was a great, great lesson. At that point, the radical feminist movement was attacked in many ways. A lot of the leaders were kicked out of groups they had started.

    You see this kind of thing happen over and over again. Radicals tend to have more vision because they have a broader vision. The word radical really means getting to the root of things, looking at the deeper causes of things. Therefore radicals are pretty creative about what they’re doing. On the other hand, people who are doing incremental kind of one-issue-at-a-time and don’t have much vision beyond that, well, they’re good at co-opting what radicals are doing. But they’re not good at sustaining movements that have a real vision. So as soon as I saw these attacks on Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, I said here we go again. And I ask people who may not have seen this before to keep a sharp look out for it, because it tends to repeat in many movements. When they are really taking off and getting some power and getting some recognition, a whole group of more establishment people come in and start attacking and they often attack very viciously and slanderously. In those ways they’re going to delegitimize those radical movements in people’s eyes. Sometimes it’s a turf war. Sometimes it’s people who are not maybe classical liberals, they can claim to also have socialist roots, but their socialism is a very establishment socialism if you really look at. So I wanted to pass this on to all of you. It’s a very dangerous pattern and it should be fought and it should be exposed. I’m very proud that Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights is standing up to it.

    This is not a transphobic movement. You are right for using the word women in much of the sloganeering. The word women must not disappear and it is not in contradiction to supporting all gender non-conforming people. So that’s basically what I want to say. I very much support you. I’ve put out several tweets that have gotten around. I have worked together with Sunsara at WBAI radio. Once again, I thank you. Carry on. We need to be in those streets. We need to have no-business-as-usual while women do not have our rights. We need to have that as an ongoing inspiring motif and we need to stay with it, so thank you all!


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Pam Laskin, poet, author, editor, lecturer at the City College of New York

     “As an active member of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and admirer of the passion, integrity, hard work and commitment of one of its leaders, Sunsara Taylor, I was appalled to read the recent attack waged against Bob Avakian, the revcoms and–in particular–against an institution, Rise-Up, so committed to securing the health and safety of women’s reproductive freedom.”

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    The following is a copy of the letter Pam Laskin sent to the editor of the hit-piece published at The Intercept attacking Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, as well as Bob Avakian, Sunsara and the Revcoms.

    Dear Ms. Renner,

    As an active member of Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights and admirer of the passion, integrity, hard work and commitment of one of its leaders, Sunsara Taylor, I was appalled to read the recent attack waged against Bob Avakian, the revcoms andin particularagainst an institution, Rise-Up, so committed to securing the health and safety of women’s reproductive freedom.

    I have been at many of the rallies organized by this group, and their honest and transparent commitment to this cause is to be revered, not bashed. What struck me at one of the earlier ralliesin March, before the Supreme Court came out with their decision, is how willing Sunsara, a spokeswoman, was willing to join forces with all the other organizations marching to defend this sacred right. Though Rise Up has a particular stance (which you naively and disparagingly attacked), she realized that it was critical to inspire revolution as a catalyst to overturn this decision, while also working with any other group after the same goal.

    My guess is that you have never even heard her speak or bothered to interview her, becauseif you hadyou never would have waged a verbal assault on her goals. A new nation of young people are joining forces with this group because they are inspired by her powerful message.

    During these awful political times, when truth is a commodity and our current rhetoric is based on lies, wouldn’t youas a journalistwant to fully investigate your piece, so you are not perpetuating the negativity, lies and danger of our current world?

    Shame on you for not doing otherwise.

    Signed,

    Pamela L. Laskin
    Director, Poetry Outreach
    Lecturer, The City College of New York


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Rachael Wachstein, anti-fascist fighter who worked with Refuse Fascism

    “While the far right is rallying disparate groups from bible-banging Evangelicals to gun-loving white supremacists, the left and progressives prefer to fight amongst themselves. When you attack the Revcoms because you don’t like their tactics or how they organize, you are hastening our country’s authoritarian, fascist takeover.”

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    While the far right is rallying disparate groups from bible-banging Evangelicals to gun-loving white supremacists, the left and progressives prefer to fight amongst themselves. When you attack the Revcoms because you don’t like their tactics or how they organize, you are hastening our country’s authoritarian, fascist takeover. You aren’t fighting the good fight when you spend your time and energy knocking down those on your own side. Stop this holier than thou BS! If you don’t like how the group organizes, you are free to do it your way. It’s all hands on deck people! There’s a place for all of us who are needed if we stand a chance of surviving the fascist surge that is sure to ramp up heading into the 2024 elections, which we can guarantee will not be free or fair. What is needed now is a united people’s front. We need to lock arms and push back. Shame on anyone who distracts from this common mission. You can either be right and stand alone or you can see our common cause and link arms to resist. Next time you want to lash out at Revcoms because they aren’t doing what you would do, maybe you should take that energy and direct it against the real forces of Christian fascism taking our country by storm.


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Bay Area Youth with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights

    “Now is not the time to start fighting within this ‘movement’. We might not all have the same ideologies, but we’re all fighting for the rights of women & all people who can give birth.”

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    Statement Addressing The Allegations Towards RU4AR On account of the Bay Area Youth who’ve worked with RU4AR since April 2022.

    Motivation/Goals?
    We work to get as many people in the streets with us as possible. The women & everyone who helped fight in Argentina won their right to abortion & other essential healthcare through protests with masses of people. Simply voting blue & claiming to be pro-choice isn’t enough. SCOTUS has already stated that they’ve got queer marriage and the right to contraceptives on the chopping block next.

    Graphic/Violent?
    The use of imagery including bloody pants, coat hangers, etc. is based off of the women who were severely injured or died from a lack of safe & legal abortion. This is the reality of what will occur. The argument that now there’s alternatives such as abortion pills or that people can just travel is invalid. Not everyone has the money or situation to fly to another state for an abortion, or to purchase an abortion-inducing pill. It is extremely important to both highlight & recognize the fact that this issue affects black, latinx, low-income, and other further oppressed people disproportionately

    Funding/Donations?
    When you donate to the Bay Area Rise Up4 Abortion Rights Chapter, the money goes towards the printing & creating of our signs, stickers, banners, and other items used in protest. Many of our banners are made by us (the youth) on our downtime, and sometimes even just hours before protests. In order to create these, we have to invest in fabric, paint, stencils, etc. To make ourselves heard, we need megaphones & batteries for them.

    Closing
    All in all, we need to stand united in this fight. Now is not the time to start fighting within this “movement”. We might not all have the same ideologies, but we’re all fighting for the rights of women & all people who can give birth.


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Nina Felshin, contemporary art curator, writer, activist.

    “The attack on RU4AR is utterly malicious, shocking, and scary…”

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    The attack on RU4AR is utterly malicious, shocking, and scary. One can only wonder what other McCarthyite weapons will be used to target the RCP and other dissident voices on the left… It would seem to me that the funders of the signatories probably set them up to do this, no? The attack is so transparently stupid—but dangerous, nevertheless—and it seems obvious that the real target attack is on the RCP…
     
    Americans are taught who the enemy is—and it’s always those who refuse to be taken in by the US narrative, including China, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, and Nicaragua; independent journalists; and organizations like the RCP. Now, maybe more than ever, communism—and socialism—has once again been turned into a threat. The plot sickens.


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    Peter Switzer, activist, videographer, editor

    “Is the Intercept actually going to allow slimy McCarthy type hit pieces like the one McMackey scratched out with zero reporting done and just lazy BS hearsay from others who really don’t know much, if anything at all, about Rise Up 4 Abortion, or the RevComs, or Bob Avakian? How much do they know about CoIntelPro or the McCarthy hearings?”

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    The following is a copy of the letter Peter Switzer sent to the The Intercept in response to their membership email (at times he quotes their letter). Switzer addresses the hit-piece they published attacking Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights, as well as Bob Avakian, Sunsara and the Revcoms.

    July 22, 2022

    Hey Intercept,

    You’re certainly not helping democracy “survive” in any way… that’s a fact, something you folks seem to be in extremely short supply of over there.

    You’ll have to lose the gaslighting, mudslinging, libelous non-“journalist” Robert Mackey before I would ever think about reading your slanderous rag ever again.

    Is the Intercept actually going to allow slimy McCarthy type hit pieces like the one McMackey scratched out with zero reporting done and just lazy BS hearsay from others who really don’t know much, if anything at all, about Rise Up 4 Abortion, or the RevComs, or Bob Avakian? How much do they know about CoIntelPro or the McCarthy hearings?

    – “Swooping”?

    – Really?

    What a joke, so old, so tired, such complete BS. RU4AR was organizing and agitating in the streets with NO “cameras” back in January 2022, straight through into DC well before the “cameras” came out there, and are still organizing actions and protests in the streets today. Where the hell were you? Where was McMackey?

    RU4AR organized most of the actions in the streets across the country, that’s why they were/are there at most of them, with the microphone. Imagine that fact…

    Rise Up was even ignorantly criticized for adopting green as the color of resistance for abortion rights when they began. There is a reason Rise Up chose green that most others didn’t have a clue about. Low and behold RU were criticized for “co-opting” that too when folks were made aware, a color, “co-opting” a color! Any allegations of “co-opting” are such a freaking joke, it would be painfully hilarious if it wasn’t so freaking sad and down right counter-revolutionary.

    The same people who didn’t know where or why the green was chosen, are now all wearing green BECAUSE of Rise Up’s foresight and understanding, back in December/January to follow the women of Argentina and Colombia, where abortion rights were won in the streets, by the people. Even your pals in congress are now wearing green, (pic below) seen while Chu spoke on the steps of the house. The Dems weren’t wearing green before Rise Up adopted and popularized it here. Clearly RiseUp influenced many other groups in this way in the US, and elsewhere, as was its intention.

    Mackey is ridiculous. Mackey’s putrid fact free rambling so called “journalism” belongs in the toilet, at best.

    From The Intercept fundraising email:

    – “Journalism will play a key role in the fight to restore sanity to the Supreme Court.”

    The Intercept’s “journalism” certainly won’t.

    – “It’s up to us to explicate the impact of these decisions, illuminate the forces that unleashed them, and demand action from those with the power to check the court’s excesses and repair the damage.”

    Did it even occur to McMackey or the Intercept what RU is actually calling for??

    Do you even know now, almost eight months into it?

    If anyone over there truly believed only half of the content in this email you’ve sent along with your quest for “lavish” cash, then you would cease to publish what is the worst representation of “journalism” the internet has to offer.

    I won’t be reading or accepting anymore stories or emails from your lower than swill you somehow label “dogged investigative journalism” site any time in the future. Unsubscribing today.

    Get real, or GTFO.

    Rise Up!!

    Peter Switzer


    Original posted at RiseUp4AbortionRights.org

    A medical professional, after reading Sunsara Taylor’s rebuttal to the hit-piece by Robert Mackey at the Intercept

    “Detailing the complete lack of journalistic integrity, both by Mackey and by [the Intercept’s] editorial staff, is important. Illustrating the trumpian methods of ‘argument’ he employed to extremely dangerous ends, here directed by ‘progressive’ journalists against some of the only organized forces that mobilized protest and resistance.”

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    When I checked this morning, the Intercept still had the original story [attacking Rise Up and the Revcoms] featured prominently (middle of the page, one of the top stories in the “politics” section) without a printed rebuttal. The article by Sunsara was very well constructed. Detailing the complete lack of journalistic integrity, both by Mackey and by editorial staff, is important. Illustrating the trumpian methods of “argument” he employed to extremely dangerous ends, here directed by “progressive” journalists against some of the only organized forces that mobilized protest and resistance.

    Continuing to press for the Intercept to publish the rebuttal should be seen by MANY as a just demand given the embarrassing lack of journalistic standards in Mackey’s article, and if they don’t do so soon, finding ways to make this a point of controversy among people who would generally read the Intercept could serve an important role, especially linking their article to the other unprincipled attacks published around the same time and with remarkably similar content, as the “Behind the week of internet attacks…” piece [by the revcoms published at Revcom.us] does. And doing this with the aim of exposing the putrid values and impoverished political vision and program that these attacks stem from and serve, and showing by way of contrast what a difference it makes to seek to understand the nature of this attack on abortion rights and the objectives of those pushing it, a scientific analysis that shows the way to fighting these outrages today and does not turn away from what is needed to take on the source of these regenerating horrors at their root!

    I thought the section [in Sunsara’s rebuttal] “Canceling Bob Avakian to Erase Revolution” was especially powerful. It opens by tackling head on why these accusations of “cultishness” are not only shameful and have nothing to do with honest reporting or discourse, but have the effect of placing “out of bounds” any engagement with BA’s work on these crucial questions of the basic nature of this system, whether there is a path beyond all of this system’s horrors through revolution, what makes that possible and what characterizes the radically different society that would take its placeall questions of critical importance, that any reader of the Intercept who honestly confronts the magnitude of the crises and crimes of this system should wantor be challengedto engage. I also think it’s helpful to enumerate the ways that the charge of “cult” plays with people, the labels that get affixed (“Everyone knows that cults are creepy and unthinking and dangerous. Everyone knows they are predatory.”). It places what people think out in the open, allows it to be taken on directly, and allows the hollow accusations and the whole innuendo-laden to be torn apart.


    From a photographer who covered the Ferguson uprising, the Stockley verdict and the Black Lives Matter Uprising in 2020

    This is something that’s been on my mind anyway. I've been having to deal with this since it happened. Me and a few other people—we had to defend the work of the RCP, Ferguson, Refuse Fascism, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights – we’ve had to defend all of that. And that’s ongoing.

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    The first thing I want to say is I felt totally insulted—and that’s what I felt about this. I felt totally insulted for somebody to say I’ve been working with a cult all these years. Because working with the RCP and following the leadership of BA who I think is the leading thinker in the world right now, not that I agree with everything he says but I will say he is the leading thinker in the world forging forward the strategy of liberation for all mankind. Working with the RCP and following the leadership of BA has done nothing but test my thinking, made me stretch my thinking—my imagination—to grapple, to understand different complex situations that we get in the world today. My mind has been stretched, has been tested to the limit in trying to understand complex situations like thinking how revolution is possible.

    If this was a cult, a cult is based on certain unchanging religious principles. There’s no religiosity in this movement. BA and the RCP, particular people like Sunsara Taylor & Andy Zee raised alarms around the coming onslaught, the emergence of fascism, in the U.S. before anybody else saw it. To be able to see the oncoming of fascism before anybody else did and then start preparing people for it—I commend the RCP and Bob Avakian for doing that. And to ask people to get into the streets to stop the reversal of Roe v Wade, abortion rights was, I think, kind of remarkable. And I think BA and the RCP are to be commended for that.

    I think what people need to do despite this onslaught by a lot of the so-called left, then the so-called “Woke” movement that’s full of identity politics. People, like BA says—people need to be scientific. People need to get up into these questions about today, what’s going on. Particularly regarding the strategy to reverse the Supreme Court Decision against abortion rights. BA and the RCP have been instrumental in pointing the way how to deal with this problem—the streets.

    A cult wouldn’t have done all that. A cult is the philosophy of religion. RCP, BA, is the philosophy of growth. Of analyzing life, and the objective situation as they are developing. So in the end I say like BA—are we headed for a horrible end or is humanity headed toward a much better future?


    Statement in response to the attacks on Bob Avakian from Freddie J. McGee, father of Freddie Latrice Wilson, shot 18 times by Chicago Police.

    Someone trying to volunteer to help you, trying to save you. And you seem like you don’t care. You have to criticize the person trying to help you. If you want to use a recent example there is Martin Luther King, he was for the righteous. He was trying to support the people. He got murdered because he was trying to tell people the truth, he was trying to get people together. And they killed him for it. We still have someone like Bob Avakian risking his life, taking his time trying to help people.

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    Freddie Latrice Wilson

     

    Freddie Latrice Wilson   

    Stevie Wonder can see this shit—I’m a man, but I see how a woman feels about her rights. You’re damn right a woman has the right to say whether she is going to have a baby. It is so wrong that people have the power to tell people how to live their life. And to have someone strong enough to stand up and support you—there should be more people in the world today out here supporting Bob Avakian and the revolution. Anyone who cares about people.


    From a Black filmmaker

    They say RCP is working in “its own interest.” Which is in the interest of Revolution, who is in everybody’s best interest. When you get too effective, here comes the hit.


    A Supporter of Bob Avakian

    We are talking about Leader Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP. A very charismatic leader. A very forthright leader. He is before his time, dead on point with his analysis born out of the Black Panther Party. Very committed to what he does—and he does it like none other.

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    If you look at him and judge him by the white skin you need to look a little bit deeper because he’s lots more than white skin. You have to look at the circumstances that gave birth to him and what he stands for for all those years and continues to stand for.

    Bob Avakian is a very great leader and he will do his absolute best whether you get behind him or not. He’s committed to the movement. He’s committed to making sure we have a better world to live in and committed to getting rid of oppression.

    You know, when you talk about getting rid of oppression you live in a world that is kind of like a glass cylinder. They are going to throw bricks when the person is pulling the shade, or exposing their deeds. And Bob Avakian has done that like none other. He has exposed their deeds and they are not in the least appreciative of it.

    So naturally they will try to throw their darts and attack him at any level and at any point they can. They are trying to pick, prick and find a weakness in his mantle but he has none. He knows that the only way to beat this system is to dismantle this system and break this system and get free of this system. And to create a new system that is above the oppression of all people. He wants a world where all people can exist free of oppression and free of crushing one another to get on top as the capitalist-imperialist does.

    None has exposed this movement like Bob Avakian. I learned SO MUCH under my short tenure and studying under the revolution about the way this system operates and the things that they do that are maniacal. Forthright maniacal and deviant in their nature to undermine a populace that has already been downtrodden.

    We know the tricks of COINTELPRO—divide and conquer. We know the history. We know how they killed Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, the various Black Panther Party leaders. And not only how they killed the Black Panther Party leaders—how they moved on all of the political organizations of that time to dismantle, disrupt and destroy those movements. So we have history of this.

    And Bob Avakian has not been silent about it. He’s not held his tongue. He’s not kowtowed and kissed ass like many other leaders do to appease the government. You’ve got to respect a man like that. You’ve GOT to respect a man like that.

    I myself was leery at the first onsight of coming in to the movement. But as I began to read the material and become immersed in the material and do my studies with the RCP I found out that the man was just unmasking a very wicked, wicked capitalist-imperialist bourgeoisie nation that downtrods and grinds the bones of the less fortunate. How do you build yourself on the crushed bodies of others? And this nation has done that like none other nation.

    This nations, if ever brought to bear for the crimes—it’s crimes it’s done against the Native American people, it’s crimes it’s done against the African-American people alone! If they were brought to bear for just THOSE crimes they’d have enough to pay. But yet and still Bob Avakian exposes that there is a continued process—they haven’t given up, they haven’t given way to the way they do things, to the ways they operate.

    So it’s important to immerse yourself in the knowledge of the movement of Bob Avakian and to support this leader. And to protect him at all costs. Protect him at all costs. Because they have killed enough of our leaders. So we have to form a strong web around him and protect him. Thank you.

    My name is Hannibal Salim Ali and I’m a supporter of Bob Avakian.

    Bob Avakian, A Radically Different Leader—A Whole New Framework for Human Emancipation

     

    Read more   

  • ARTICLE:

    Escalating Confrontations, Intensifying Threats:

    Biden/Putin Faceoff Brings World to the Threshold of Nuclear War

    Aircraft from Germany, Finland, Sweden, and the United States fly in formation above the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge.

     

    Aircraft from Germany, Finland, Sweden, and the United States fly in formation above the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge.   

    The threat of nuclear war—of World War 3—is real, and is growing more likely by the day. Last week we wrote thatThe war in Ukraine has escalated to a perilous new phase. The danger of nuclear exchanges is greater, and more explicitly stated, than ever by political leaders on both sides of the war—Russia on one side; on the other, Ukraine, backed by the U.S. and NATO.”

    In just the past week, this conflict has gotten significantly more dangerous.

    • Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, announced that Russia is annexing four areas of Ukraine and will consider them part of Russia. This is the largest annexation of territory in Europe since the end of World War 2. The annexations followed sham referendums1 run by the Russian government under the aegis, or authority, of their occupying troops.
    Map showing Russian control of Ukraine as of September 27, 2022.

     

    Ukraine    Credit: ISW

    • Ukraine launched a major, and successful, offensive in the contested territory, and drove Russian forces out of the city of Lyman (part of territory claimed by Putin as part of Russia). After the Russian retreat, a close ally of Putin called for “more drastic measures that could include “the use of low-yield nuclear weapons.” (As we reported last week, “low-yield” or not, "tactical" or not, once things cross the nuclear threshold the war is in a whole other realm of destruction.)
    • Putin gave a major speech on September 29, attempting to recast the Russian invasion as part of a worldwide struggle against Western neocolonialism and as a defense of Russia’s nationhood. As part of this, Putin called out the U.S. use of nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but then said that this “created a precedent.” This phrase could be seen as a justification in advance for Russian use of nuclear weapons, should Putin decide on that course. The fact that every major politician within the U.S. has to this day justified that “precedent” with the excuse that it “saved the lives of soldiers” and “brought the war to an end” should be cause for even more concern—for it is easy to imagine, in the current circumstances, how similar arguments might be invoked by Russia for what would be an extremely criminal and extraordinarily dangerous act. “For the record,” these were both lies—the war had been essentially won, the Japanese wanted peace, but the U.S. wanted to intimidate the rest of the world with a demonstration of the destructive might that it alone at that point possessed. More fundamentally, nuclear war is never justified in any circumstance.
    • Adding to this, Putin said that Ukrainian military actions in the annexed territories will be considered an attack on Russia. Putin has already delivered a clear warning that “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to defend and protect our country and our people, we will use all the means that we have. I'm not bluffing." Translation of “all the means we have”: nuclear weapons.

    Meanwhile, even while it is at this point a proxy war, the U.S. has been implementing a multidimensional squeeze on Russia.

    • Joe Biden vowed to “rally the international community to both denounce these moves and to hold Russia accountable. We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself. ... America is fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory. Every single inch. So Mr. Putin, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Every inch.”
    • Jake Sullivan, Biden’s National Security Advisor, said “there is a risk” that Russia will use nuclear weapons, and that the Biden administration has informed the Kremlin that the U.S. will take "decisive" action if Putin follows through with his threat. Axios reported that Sullivan said the U.S. had privately made clear to the Russians what its responses would be, but “we’re not going to telegraph these things publicly.” Earlier in the week Sullivan had promised “catastrophic consequences” if Russia used nuclear weapons. He said Russian leadership “well understand[s] what they would face if they went down that dark road.”
    • The Pentagon announced that it is sending an additional $1.1 billion in military “aid” to Ukraine, including “18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, or HIMARS, one of the most vaunted weapons of the seven-month war with Russia.” This is in addition to the $15.2 billion in high-tech military equipment the U.S. has already sent to Ukraine this year. It also announced it is setting up a special command center devoted to training and supplying the Ukrainian military. This expresses the U.S.’s “… long-term commitment to support Ukraine in its war with Russia.”

    By week’s end, the website Dispatch stated that the war in Ukraine has brought the world to “… its most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. No other single incident has had a higher potential to escalate into a general war between Russia and the United States, to inflict mass casualties on such a large number of people, or to bring such a high level of disruption to the global economy.”

    War Danger - Putin/Biden and BA quote

     

    An Imperialist Showdown, NOT “Good Guys vs. Bad Guys”

    An official statement from Biden said the U.S.will stand by Ukraine as it defends its democracy and support its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unprovoked Russian aggression.” This is hypocritical, self-serving bullshit. Americans are not the “good guys” coming to the support of a “plucky but beleaguered” country—the U.S. is pursuing its own murderous interests of global exploitation and domination against an equally imperialist power.

    The U.S. is arming Ukraine and giving tactical, logistical, and training support to the Ukrainian military, not to “defend democracy” but to militarily and economically weaken Russia and prevent it from strengthening and further consolidating its own imperialist power and its challenges to U.S. dominance of the world. It is supporting Ukraine to firm up its leadership and grip on European imperialist countries. And it is doing all this in our name, under the banner of “democracy,” trying to rally our support for its crimes and its empire.

    Ukraine is not a battleground between “democracy and autocracy,” it is a conflict zone of imperialist rivalry between Russian imperialism and U.S. and Western imperialism. Both are fighting to impose their will on the other, to advance the interests of their empire at the expense of the other—and at the cost of the tens of thousands of lives lost, with the looming threat of crushing and incinerating millions more. (For more analysis and history of this situation, including several articles by Bob Avakian [BA], go to revcom.us’s The War in Ukraine: A Resource Page.)

    The Democratic Party Is a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

    The Democrats are not the “party of peace”their entire record is one of bloody war crimes and crimes against humanity. They have demonstrated over and over again they have no hesitation at all when it comes to killing millions of people in the interests of the U.S. empire.

    The Democrats are the party of nuclear bombs dropped on densely populated cities... the party of napalmjellied gasoline that burns to the bone—dropped on children... the party of drone strikes on wedding parties. The party of nuclear threats on China and North Korea... millions slaughtered by U.S. troops in Vietnam... the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in Congo... the invasion of the Dominican Republic… training and funding death squads in El Salvador... the military occupation of Afghanistan... and many more. These are just some of the war crimes committed by the U.S. when the Democrats are in power. (Go here for a fuller picture.)

    And now, under Democratic Party leadership, this country is bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. It’s way past time for people to stop being a tail on the Democratic donkey! People need to wake up! Far, far too many people are sleep-walking through and into a horrific nightmare. Your government—led by Democrats—is perpetrating war crimes, and laying the groundwork for even more horrific crimes that could break out at any moment.

    This Whole Dynamic Must Be Urgently, Radically Changed—in the Interests of Humanity, Not of Rival and Contending Imperialists

    People can’t stand by passively and hope for the best—they need to be challenged with and think deeply about the truth of these words by BA, and they need to actively raise the slogans below this article everywhere they can.

    All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.

     

    NO US/NATO WAR WITH RUSSIA! NO WORLD WAR 3! 
    IT’S THIS SYSTEM, NOT HUMANITY, THAT NEEDS TO BECOME EXTINCT!

    WE DON’T ACCEPT THEIR FUTURE—
    IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. Referendums are elections in which people vote yes or no on a single issue—in this case, did they wish to join their territory to Russia. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    The High Stakes in Ukraine, the Threat of Nuclear War, and the Interests of Humanity:

    4 Basic Points

    The Threat of Nuclear War—of World War 3—Is Real, and Is Growing More Likely by the Day

    Last week we wrote that “The war in Ukraine has escalated to a perilous new phase. The danger of nuclear exchanges is greater, and more explicitly stated, than ever by political leaders on both sides of the war—Russia on one side; on the other, Ukraine, backed by the U.S. and NATO.” In just the past week, this conflict has gotten significantly more dangerous. There are mounting threats—including threatening to use nuclear weapons, ground offensives, and accelerating military maneuvers on both sides. (For more analysis of this, go to “Escalating Confrontations, Intensifying Threats: Biden/Putin Faceoff Brings World to the Threshold of Nuclear War.”)

    An Imperialist Showdown, NOT “Good Guys vs. Bad Guys”

    Ukraine is not a battleground between democracy and autocracy, it is a conflict zone of imperialist rivalry between Russian imperialism and U.S. and Western imperialism. Both are fighting to impose their will on the other, to advance the interests of their empire at the expense of the other—and at the cost of tens of thousands of lives lost, with the looming threat of crushing and incinerating millions more. (For more analysis and history of this situation, including several articles by Bob Avakian [BA], go to revcom.us’s  The War in Ukraine: A Resource Page).

    The Democratic Party Is a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

    The Democrats are not the “party of peace”—their entire record is one of bloody war crimes and crimes against humanity. They have demonstrated over and over again they have no hesitation at all when it comes to killing millions of people in the interests of the U.S. empire. The Democrats are the party of nuclear bombs dropped on densely populated cities … the party of napalm—jellied gasoline that burns to the bone dropped on children … the party of drone strikes on wedding parties. And now, under Democratic Party leadership, this country is bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war. It’s way past time for people to stop being a tail on the Democratic donkey!

    BAsics 3:12 quotation by Bob Avakian

     

    This Whole Dynamic Must Be Urgently, Radically Changed—in the Interests of Humanity, Not of Rival and Contending Imperialists

    People can’t stand by passively and hope for the best—they need to be challenged with, and think deeply about, the truth of these words by Bob Avakian, BA, and they need to actively raise the slogans below this article everywhere they can:

    All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.

    NO U.S./NATO WAR WITH RUSSIA! NO WORLD WAR 3! 
    IT’S THIS SYSTEM, NOT HUMANITY, THAT NEEDS TO BECOME EXTINCT!

    WE DON’T ACCEPT THEIR FUTURE—
    IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

  • ARTICLE:

    Shameless American Chauvinism:
    “Anti-Authoritarianism” as a “Cover” for Supporting U.S. Imperialism

    “Go search where you may, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”

    –Frederick Douglass, former slave and determined abolitionist, 1852.

    In recent years, there has been lot of talk, and a lot written, about the growing danger of “authoritarianism” in the U.S., as represented by Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Now, in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and U.S. moves in response to this, there is the spectacle of a number of supposed “experts” on “authoritarianism” rallying around the flag of U.S. imperialism in the face of the challenge to its dominance posed by Russia, with China lurking as perhaps an even more serious challenge. (Russia and China have not been “communist” for a long time—and instead have, for decades, been capitalist-imperialist countries and, as such, represent a significant challenge to the imperialist interests of the U.S.)

    If we listen to these “experts,” the powerful force with imperial ambitions that we should be most concerned about now is Russia and its “authoritarian” leader, Vladimir Putin. Suddenly, the expression of high-minded principle about how wrong and dangerous it is for one country to invade another, on the basis of flimsy pretexts and outright lies, applies only to Putin (and, of course, to other “authoritarians” that “we” do not like), and most certainly not to “us.”

    Certainly, the big power bullying and aggression by Russia, with its invasion of Ukraine a clear example, is something that all decent people should oppose. But no decent person should be joining in with the U.S. imperialists in their rivalry with Russian imperialism. For reasons I will get into here, it is utter, disgusting hypocrisy for the U.S. imperialists, and their media mouthpieces and other representatives, to be self-righteously condemning this Russian invasion, when the U.S. is the country which has, by far, carried out the most invasions and other acts of violent interference in other countries.

    Somehow, these “learned people” have “forgotten” about the U.S. invasion and occupation of another “sovereign country,” Iraq, in 2003—on the basis of flagrant lies about Iraq supposedly possessing “weapons of mass destruction” and being closely linked with Islamic fundamentalist terrorists like Al Qaeda. This U.S. invasion was a blatant international war crime, which set in motion events which have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, created millions of refugees, and unleashed a maelstrom of death and destruction in that part of the world. (One of the most disgusting spectacles on the “mainstream” media these days, such as CNN, is the presence of government officials who are “veterans” of this U.S. war crime in Iraq, and who arrogantly denounce the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the illegal act of a powerful country aggressing against a weaker country! Somehow, the outrageous irony of these American war criminals denouncing the war crimes of others is “lost” on, or deliberately ignored by, these media.)

    Somehow, these “experts” are ignorant of (or they are deliberately ignoring) the fact that the U.S. by far holds the record for violently interfering in the affairs of other countries: In addition to the continuing crimes against humanity carried out by the U.S., just since World War 2, including the U.S. slaughter of millions of civilians in Vietnam, and before that in Korea, and the bloody coups it has engineered in Indonesia, Iran and elsewhere, in the period from 1846 to the present the U.S. has intervened in South and Central American countries—militarily, through CIA coups, or in other ways—at least 100 times, at the cost of literally hundreds of thousands of deaths and endless misery for the people of those countries.

    Somehow, these “enlightened historians” have lost sight of the fact that the country they are living in (the “good old USA”) established, and repeatedly expanded, its territory on the basis of predatory violence on a massive scale, including genocidal “military campaigns” against the indigenous peoples of this continent (repeatedly breaking treaties in the process), and an expansionist war of aggression which resulted in ripping off a huge part of the territory of Mexico, in the middle of the 19th century, largely for the purpose of expanding slavery. And, after all, this is a country where a “manifest destiny” was declared—to conquer territory “from sea to shining sea” (and beyond).

    American Chauvinism and the Uses and Misuses of “Authoritarianism”

    The notion of “authoritarianism,” as wielded by these “scholars,” “pundits,” and others, is a misleading concept, which serves American imperialist interests and promotes American chauvinism (the sickening belief in the superiority of Americans and “the American way of life”). “Authoritarianism,” in itself, has no particular ideological, political or social content, and in fact serves to cover over or obscure actual social, political and ideological content. For example, to refer to Donald Trump and the Republican Party as “authoritarians” makes it seem as if what defines them is simply the urge to ill-gotten and tyrannical power. It tells you nothing about what they are seeking to do with that power—what ideology and what political and social program they are upholding and seeking to implement and enforce. The fact is that they are fascists—which has a very definite content: hatred and violent suppression of Black people and other people of color, immigrants, women and LGBT people, unrestrained plunder of the environment, grotesque American chauvinism, crude anti-intellectualism and anti-scientific lunacy.

    Refusing to call these fascists what they actually are—and instead just referring to them as “authoritarians”—serves a number of objectives, all in line with American chauvinism.

    First, it covers over the fact that these fascists have been bred by the system that has ruled in this country, from the days of slavery to the present, with blatant inequality and blood-soaked oppression poured into its foundation and its ongoing functioning. This has been nurtured by the putrid and poisonous soil of this country—a country that, from the start, has regarded and treated Black people as sub-human beings created by “god” to be beasts of burden, or destined by their “nature” to become dangerous criminals; women as lesser beings, fit only to be subordinate servants of men, objects of their sexual domination and mere breeders of their children; and LGBT people as essentially non-human “deviants.” Forcefully imposing a situation where that is the unchallenged state of things is the fanatical passion and goal of the fascists. And, since these fascists have indeed sprung forth out of the soil of this country, what does that say about this country: how is it then possible to maintain the farcical notion of “American exceptionalism,” the idea that there is something “exceptionally good” about this country?—a notion that the actual history, and present reality, of this country shatters to pieces and reveals as vile mockery—which is why so many “historians” and “scholars” do not want to really, scientifically examine this history and reality.

    Second, speaking of “authoritarianism,” without reference to the actual ideology and political and social content of the “authoritarians,” allows for the pretense that “extremists” of the “right” and the “left” are essentially the same. Thus, with the label of “authoritarianism,” communists can be thrown into the same camp of “very bad people” with fascists—when, in reality, communists are the exact opposite of, and the force most fundamentally opposed to, fascism. This can be readily seen through any objective, scientific analysis of the ideological outlook and aims of genuine communists, who, on a scientific basis, stand for and are fighting for the abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations, while the fascists are fanatically determined to impose the most horrific expressions of these very relations, and seek to justify this with all kinds of lunatic conspiracy theories and anti-scientific distortions of reality.2

    And this notion of “authoritarianism of the left and right” serves to propagate and perpetuate American chauvinism in this way: If the problem and danger is “authoritarianism,” of the left, as well as the right, then of course, according to this perverted logic, it is “American democracy” that is the “center”—the center of all that is good and righteous—in opposition to the evils of “authoritarianism.”

    Here we are back to what I have referred to previously as the GTF, the Great Tautological Fallacy, the “round and round in a circle argument” that America is a force for good in the world—and whatever it does is good, or at least done with “good intentions,” because America is... a force for good.3 This GTF is a “great escape mechanism” for all these anti-authoritarian “historians” and other American chauvinists, allowing them to explain away (or neglect as irrelevant or insignificant) the horrific crimes committed by this country throughout its history, and down to today, to which I have referred in this article.

    “We may have founded a country on slavery and genocide,” some might admit; but, they insist (while ignoring or discounting the life-stealing, soul-crushing oppression to which masses of people are subjected day after day) “we have been continually moving toward a more perfect union.”

    “We may carry out wars of conquest, invasions, coups, and other acts of violent interference in the affairs of other countries”; but, they claim, “We do this for some greater purpose, or at least in opposition to some greater evil.”

    “We may live in the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons”—the atomic bombs that were dropped on two Japanese cities, instantly incinerating hundreds of thousands of civilians, at the end of World War 2—but, the argument goes, “We did this to save lives, especially the lives of American soldiers.”

     Such are the ridiculous, and outrageous, rationalizations.

    Free Yourself from the GTF!

    And now, with Russian, and Chinese, challenges of various kinds to U.S. dominance in the world, the argument of the U.S. ruling class, and those who parrot its American chauvinist rationalizations, amounts to essentially nothing more than this: “We have established, through massive force and violence, an ‘order’ in the world that is favorable to our ‘national’ (that is, imperialist) interests, and no one has the right to use force to change this in a way that threatens those interests.”

    In short, “we” are the “good guys” in the world, so things “we” do that would be “evil” if others did them are after all “good”... because “we” are the “good guys.” And now especially, a particular variation of this is the claim that, in the rivalry and confrontation between the imperialists of this country, on the one hand, and those of Russia, or China, on the other hand, “we” must stand with “our own” (U.S.) imperialists because the governments of “those” countries are “authoritarian,” while “our” government is not (yet) “authoritarian.”

    That all this is completely bankrupt, both logically and morally, should be obvious to anyone who is not blinded by the American chauvinist GTF.

    For those of us who are not willing to be blinded by this, we can and must confront and analyze reality as it actually is, and draw the necessary conclusions. Besides the fact that the U.S. is today, and has historically been, allied with many “authoritarian” governments throughout the world (and, in fact, has forcibly installed such governments in many countries), the even more fundamental fact is that the essence of the conflict between the U.S. and countries like Russia and China is not one between “democracy” and “authoritarianism,” but is a matter of rivalry among imperialist powers, all of which are monstrous oppressors of masses of people, and none of which represent or act in the interests of humanity. What is called for, and urgently now, is to oppose all imperialist marauders and mass murderers, and all systems and relations of oppression and exploitation, while giving particular emphasis to opposing “our own” imperialist oppressors who commit their monstrous crimes “in our name” and seek to rally us to support them on the basis of a grotesque American chauvinism, which we must firmly reject and fiercely struggle against.

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. For a concentrated discussion of the profound difference between communism and fascism, see the article “Fascists and Communists: Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart” by Bob Avakian, which is available at revcom.us. [back]

    2. Bob Avakian speaks more fully to the GTF in the speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian in 2017. For more on this film, and to view the film, Q&A sessions, and clips, go to BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    UKRAINE: WORLD WAR 3 
    IS THE REAL DANGER, 
    NOT A REPEAT OF WORLD WAR 2

    In unity with, and as further explanation of the importance of, the call at revcom.us for marches and rallies in Los Angeles and New York, on May First, with these crucial slogans:

    NO US/NATO WAR WITH RUSSIA! NO WORLD WAR 3! 
    IT’S THIS SYSTEM, NOT HUMANITY, THAT NEEDS TO BECOME EXTINCT!

    WE DON’T ACCEPT THEIR FUTURE—
    IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

    REVOLUTIONARY INTERNATIONALIST MAY DAY 2022

     

    There is an old saying that one of the first casualties of war is truth. This is being sharply demonstrated with the war in Ukraine. Both sides—not just the Russians but also the U.S. and its “allies,” including the government of Ukraine—are engaging in wild distortions of what this war is all about. For people in this imperialist country, it is particularly important to be aware of, and to critically examine, what is being put out by “our own” rulers (and those allied with them) and to weigh what they are saying against the actual reality.

    The truth is that what passes for “news” about the war in Ukraine, in the “mainstream” media of the U.S., is in fact a massive propaganda offensive by “our” imperialist rulers, which is full of crude distortions. In other articles, I have examined many of the distortions and lies that are part of this propaganda offensive.2 Here, I am going to speak to a particular—and particularly dangerous—dimension of this: the notion that the Russian ruler Putin is like Hitler, and “if we don’t stop him now, in Ukraine, he will soon be invading other countries, including NATO countries” (in the same way that Hitler invaded one country after another leading into World War 2). This is often accompanied by the claim that Putin is irrational, and he’s likely to do any crazy thing in pursuit of his mad ambitions.

    A related, and very dangerous, argument is that, “We cannot let fear of World War 3 keep us from doing what is necessary to defeat Putin in Ukraine, and put a stop to his aggression—or we will just give in to him every time he makes another aggressive move or issues an aggressive threat.”

    In response to these arguments, if this situation weren’t so deadly serious, it would be tempting to simply echo the punch line of a joke that became popular in the 1960s: “What do you mean we, imperialists?” (The original joke was that the Lone Ranger and his “Indian sidekick” Tonto were fighting hostile Indians, and the Lone Ranger said, “It looks like we’re surrounded, Tonto”—to which Tonto replied: “What do you mean we, white man?!”)

    Obviously, the situation today, with the war in Ukraine, is no joke; but the point is that the interests of the imperialists, on both sides, who are involved in this war are not the same as—and in fact are in fundamental opposition to—the interests of the masses of people. And because the stakes and potential consequences are so profound, and the risks so dangerous—involving the very future of humanity, and whether humanity has a future at all—it is necessary to go into things in depth and at some length in order to bring to light the actual reality of what is happening, what are the aims of different contending forces in this conflict, and where the interests of the masses of humanity lie in opposition to all this.

    The Distortions and Very Real Dangers

    Later in this article, I will speak to the actual aims of Putin/the Russian imperialists. But, before that, it is important to examine what is being done by “our own” imperialists (and their NATO “allies”). As a basic point of orientation, which is very important in evaluating the claims and the actions of these (U.S.) imperialists, it is necessary to be aware of and keep clearly in mind this essential fact:

    The U.S. by far holds the record for invasions, coups and other violent interference in other countries. It has continued, right down to today, to be responsible for atrocities—for example, in Yemen—which are far worse than what Russia has done in Ukraine. (At revcom.us there is extensive exposure and analysis of the towering crimes of U.S. imperialism.)3

    With that as an important part of the picture, let’s return to the arguments (noted above) about how Putin is like Hitler, and “We can’t let the fear of World War 3 keep us from doing what has to be done to stop him now.” Let’s weigh these arguments against the actual reality. A key aspect of the situation is that there is, in the world today, the powerful aggressive military alliance, NATO, headed by the U.S. And of decisive importance: both the U.S. and Russia possess thousands of nuclear weapons. These factors alone mean that the situation today is vastly different than the one leading into World War 2.

    The fact is that there is no evidence to back up the claim that Putin intends to attack countries that are part of NATO—which would immediately “trigger” the involvement of the U.S., with its powerful and nuclear-armed military. (This important point is something I will speak to further, later in this article.)

    Both Russia and the U.S./NATO are trying to achieve their objectives without coming into direct military confrontation with their nuclear-armed rival. (Given that Russia cannot be defeated easily or quickly, the U.S. imperialists actually see it in their interests for the war in Ukraine to “drag on” for some time in a way that weakens Russia and strengthens NATO and “western” imperialism in general. The massive provision of arms by the U.S./NATO to Ukraine has so far served this objective of dragging out the war, contributing in a significant way to the frustration of Russia’s initial objectives. Of course, dragging out the war results in perpetuating and increasing the suffering of the people of Ukraine—but, despite making use of this suffering in their propaganda offensive, consideration of civilian casualties is not a primary factor in the cynical calculations of imperialists. This can be seen in the massive carnage that the U.S. has been responsible for in wars all over the world, right up to the present—and it was openly expressed by Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State in the administration of Bill Clinton during the 1990s, who bluntly stated that the killing of more than a million people, including 500,000 children, through U.S. sanctions against Iraq, was “worth it” in the pursuit of U.S. imperialist interests.)

    Regardless of intentions, however, as has been shown over and over again, events—especially the dynamics of war itself, once entered into—can “overtake intentions” and lead to circumstances and consequences that neither side wanted or anticipated at the start. In the current situation, with the war in Ukraine, there is a very real danger that such a dynamic could “take over” and lead to truly terrible consequences—the very real possibility of war between the U.S./NATO and Russia, with the use of nuclear weapons which could pose a very real threat to human civilization as a whole.

    In this regard, it is important to be acutely aware of the way that the media in this country relentlessly repeat accusations of terrible war crimes by Russia in Ukraine, accompanied by graphic illustrations and features of individual suffering meant to back up and “bring alive” these accusations. These media are clearly not interested in any real investigation with regard to these accusations—whether or to what degree they are true, or on the other hand involve some distortion. These accusations are simply presented as fact, and as the basis for denouncing Russia for war crimes. Now, it would not be surprising if at least many of these accusations turn out to be true. But given the record of the media in this country, in repeatedly broadcasting lies to justify U.S. military aggression—for example, in Iraq, and in Vietnam before that—it is extremely important to refuse to “accept at face value” anything these media say about the war in Ukraine.

    This is especially so when these same media, while portraying Putin and Russia as guilty of some kind of “unprecedented” war crimes in Ukraine, refuse to broadcast and bring alive the far worse devastation and suffering in Yemen now, for which the U.S. bears heavy responsibility, along with the massive devastation caused by U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in recent years, on top of its whole history of invasions, coups, and other violent interference in other countries. (And, while it is understandable that people learning about the very real suffering of people in Ukraine would feel sympathy for them, and want to do something that might help to alleviate that suffering, people should be aware that these sympathies on their part are being cynically manipulated and integrated into the massive propaganda offensive aimed at getting the people in the U.S. to support their government’s imperialist aims in the war in Ukraine. At the same time, it is revealing that no campaign of this kind is being carried out to make the people in this country broadly aware of the even greater suffering of people, including huge numbers of children, in Yemen—and there is no comparable effort by the dominant institutions in this country to promote a campaign of humanitarian assistance to those suffering so terribly in Yemen—something that would no doubt shine a light on the horrendous crimes that U.S. imperialism is deeply involved in, in Yemen.)

    What is particularly dangerous is the effect that this U.S. propaganda offensive can have in creating a situation where so much “public sentiment” is built up for direct U.S. involvement in the war in Ukraine (in order to “stop the atrocities” being committed by Russia and prevent it from being “rewarded” for carrying out such allegedly “unprecedented” war crimes) that the U.S. government and its “commander-in-chief,” Biden, become “victims of their own propaganda offensive” and are compelled to directly intervene militarily in Ukraine, despite their stated initial intentions and repeated declarations that they would not do so.

    Already this kind of perverse “logic” is leading some influential representatives of U.S. imperialism, such as Democratic Senator Chris Coons, to argue that the time could come when the U.S. would need to move from just arming Ukraine against Russia to actually joining directly in the war.

    Along with this, there are the kinds of arguments I have cited at the beginning here—arguments comparing Putin to Hitler, and insisting that “we” cannot let the threat of World War 3 keep “us” from doing what needs to be done to defeat Putin. Such arguments also increase the possibility that the U.S./NATO could end up directly intervening in the war in Ukraine, leading to a confrontation with Russia that could escalate to nuclear exchanges that would have horrific consequences, and could even wipe out human civilization.

    This further emphasizes why it is vitally important for people not to be taken in by the relentless propaganda offensive of “our” imperialists and their media, with its highly distorted, one-sided presentation of Russian aggression as some kind of extreme war crime that only an “autocratic madman like Putin” would carry out, when the fact is that the U.S. is guilty of far worse war crimes, throughout its history, and right down to today.

    (And it is worth remembering that the U.S. is the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons—the atomic bombs it dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War 2, instantly incinerating hundreds of thousands of civilians, and causing terrible suffering for many survivors of these atomic bomb attacks.)

    This makes all the more clear and urgent that arguments that call for—or serve to “prepare the ground for”— direct U.S. military involvement in Ukraine need to be firmly rejected, and people (like Senator Coons) making such arguments need to be sharply exposed and roundly denounced for such war-mongering, with its extremely dangerous “contribution” to the possible destruction of humanity.



    Truthful, Scientific Analysis of the War in Ukraine

    All this should also drive home why it is so important to have a truthful, scientific understanding of what is really going on with the war in Ukraine.

    In a previous article, I spoke to important elements, and in particular actions of the imperialist rulers of this country, that have contributed to the current war in Ukraine:

    What did the government of the U.S., under both Democrats and Republicans, do after the Soviet Union, and its military bloc, the Warsaw Pact, ceased to exist, at the beginning of the 1990s?....

    Beginning in the 1990s, recognizing that what was left in place of the Soviet Union was a weakened Russia, the U.S. imperialists, as the gangsters they truly are, seized the opportunity to further expand their empire—going back on their “word” that they would not extend their aggressive military alliance (NATO) into countries of the previous Warsaw Pact. Ignoring this promise, the U.S. imperialists moved to include countries in NATO that are close to, and in some cases actually border on, Russia. As part of all this, the U.S. has repeatedly interfered in Ukraine in recent decades, conspiring to overturn governments there that were more friendly to Russia and replace them with governments leaning toward “western” imperialism, as happened as recently as 2014.

    A key element in all this, which played a significant part in the decision by Russia to invade Ukraine, was the declaration by the pro-U.S. government in Ukraine that it wanted to join NATO. Ukraine is a large country right on the border of Russia. As articles at revcom.us have pointed out: Think what it would mean, and what the rulers of the U.S. would do, if the government of Mexico declared its intention to join a military alliance headed by Russia!4

    As I also emphasized in that article:

    None of this “justifies” the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But it does put this in its larger context, and in its true light. It shines a light on what the real intentions of the U.S. imperialists are in this war. The essential purpose and aim of the U.S. in this is not to help a weaker country defend itself against a more powerful aggressor; it is to weaken an imperialist rival, Russia (and also possibly weaken China, which is in a kind of cooperative relation with Russia at this point) in order to strengthen the domination of U.S. imperialism, and fortify NATO (especially after NATO had been weakened through the actions of Trump, which heightened divisions between the U.S. and other NATO countries).

    The U.S. is now fighting a “war by proxy” with Russia—waging economic war (through “sanctions”) against Russia, while at the same time massively arming Ukraine.5

    To speak to the essence of what is involved, on the part of the imperialists, on both sides of this conflict:

    Something which cannot be stressed too many times—especially given the lies and distortions in the relentless propaganda offensive by U.S. imperialism and its media—is the reality that the confrontation between the U.S./NATO on the one side, and Russia on the other, is not a conflict “between democracy and autocracy” but between rival imperialists. (As I have pointed out before, Turkey, which is a member of NATO, is itself ruled by an “autocratic” government—and the same is true of Poland, also a member of NATO.)6

    Actual Aims of Putin/Russian Imperialism

    By way of introduction to this question of Putin’s aims, and as a basic point of orientation and method, it is important to make clear that I do not claim to have some informed understanding of what Putin’s “state of mind” may be—and this also applies to those “analysts” in the U.S. media who do claim to have such knowledge. But it is possible to identify what are actually some of the main aims of Putin/the Russian imperialists in this war in Ukraine.

    In light of what has been spoken to here, it can be seen that a part—and an immediate objective—of what Putin/the Russian imperialists are pursuing in this war in Ukraine is putting a stop to NATO expansion around Russia (in particular through the inclusion of Ukraine in NATO), and to counter what is effectively NATO’s “encirclement” of Russia (in particular the western part of Russia, which contains major population and government centers).

    Russia has also claimed that its goal in this war is to put an end to militarization and “Nazification” in Ukraine, which Putin insists is a threat to Russia. The claims of NAZI elements in Ukraine and its government have been repeatedly ridiculed by politicians and media in the U.S. and other countries, including Ukrainian officials. As supposed “refutation” of this claim, they have cited the fact that the head of the Ukrainian government, Volodymyr Zelensky, is himself Jewish—as if this somehow “automatically disproves” the accusation about NAZI influence in Ukraine.7 But facts are facts—and the fact is that NAZI forces have played a significant part in shaping recent events in Ukraine, and some of them have been integrated into its government institutions, in particular the military. Nevertheless, the essential aim of the Russians is not to “de-nazify” Ukraine, nor simply to protect pro-Russian people, particularly in eastern Ukraine, but again is to counter NATO’s “encirclement” of Russia—and, beyond that, to pursue Russian imperialist interests in the broader world, in opposition to the dominant position of U.S. imperialism. As Raymond Lotta pointed out in a recent talk:

    The Russians, for their part, have, and especially since 2014, backed sections of Russian-speaking Ukraine to break away and ally or merge with Russia. In 2016-17, the U.S.-led NATO deployed battle groups with advanced weapons to Poland and other Baltic states like Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia that border Russia (and very close to Russia’s second-largest city, St. Petersburg). Meanwhile Ukraine has been moving closer to the U.S. and trumpeting its determination to join the U.S.-dominated NATO military alliance. This is the immediate backdrop to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

    The Russian invasion is not about de-nazifying Ukraine, as Putin proclaims. This invasion is designed to bolster Russia’s rivalry with the U.S.: to command more influence and create a rival Russian pole of power focused in Europe, central Asia, and the Middle East. For its part, the U.S. is arming Ukraine in order to weaken Russia and prevent Russia from consolidating further imperialist strength and posing greater imperialist challenges to the current world order that the U.S. dominates and of which it is the main beneficiary.8

    It is motivations and objectives of this kind—which are grounded in the basic nature of the capitalist-imperialist system and the necessities perceived by the leaders of imperialist states, on the opposing sides—and not irrational and simply “power mad ambitions” of Putin (or, on the other hand, Biden and the U.S. imperialists he represents) that are driving the war in Ukraine, and that pose such grave dangers.

    In this regard, it is worth noting what Putin has—and has not—done over the past couple of decades. With a military incursion into the country of Georgia (which borders Russia), then in Crimea (which was part of Ukraine but was occupied by Russian forces in 2014 and effectively “annexed” to Russia), as well as in conflicts like that in Syria (where the U.S. and Russia were backing opposing sides), and now with the invasion of Ukraine as a whole, Putin has acted in ways that are intended to achieve his objectives while avoiding direct confrontation with NATO. And it can be said that Putin moved against Ukraine, among other reasons, because Ukraine is not part of NATO—he did so before it became part of NATO, and to prevent it from becoming part of NATO.

    If Putin waited until Ukraine became part of NATO (which, again, Ukraine has declared its desire and intention to do) then an attack on Ukraine would constitute a whole other order of conflict—a situation that would “legally” require the U.S./NATO to militarily “come to the defense” of a NATO country so attacked. In that situation, failure by the U.S./NATO to directly oppose and engage Russia militarily would, according to the calculations of imperialist gangster logic, be “giving in to the nuclear blackmail” of Putin/Russia—which could then set in motion a “logic,” dynamic and momentum toward repeatedly “giving in”—all of which is something these imperialists of the U.S. and NATO could not allow. Again, the operative and important point here is that Ukraine is not part of NATO, so an attack on Ukraine by Russia does not (automatically or necessarily) “trigger” a direct military conflict with the U.S./NATO.

    This bears significantly on the claim, or complaint, from some U.S. imperialist quarters, that not directly intervening militarily in Ukraine is allowing Putin to “set the terms” of the conflict. This was explicitly raised by CNN “national security reporter” Jim Sciutto, at a press conference where he first asked why the U.S. did not shoot down the plane that had apparently destroyed a maternity hospital in Ukraine. Then, upon being told that this could start World War 3, Sciutto insisted: but doesn’t that allow Putin to set the terms? The answer to this is that it is in fact likely that Russia, more than the U.S./NATO, would “set the terms” in this war because Russia is at war, directly, with Ukraine, while the U.S. has (so far at least) insisted that it is not, and will not become, directly involved, militarily, in this conflict, but instead will take part by providing large amounts of arms (and in other ways providing support) to Ukraine, while waging economic war, through sanctions, against Russia.

    But what is actually involved in this argument (by Sciutto and others) is something much more insidious and dangerous. It is an argument that the U.S. (and NATO) should be directly involved militarily. Especially for such types—seemingly drunk with a bloodthirsty sense of the invincible military might of the U.S. and apparently anxious, after the “disappointments” in Afghanistan and Iraq, to once again demonstrate this supposedly invincible might—this line of argument (for direct U.S./NATO military involvement) is encouraged and “buttressed” by what appears to be the poor showing of the Russian military in its invasion of Ukraine (at least so far, prior to its major offensive in eastern Ukraine, whose outcome is, at the time I am writing this, unclear).

    What We Need to Do—What Is in the Interests of Humanity

    From all this, it should be obvious that the interests of the masses of people in all the different countries involved, and of humanity as a whole, are in fundamental opposition to those of the imperialists on both sides of this conflict. With this understanding, what are we called on to do?

    It would, of course, be in the interests of the masses of people everywhere for the actions of the imperialists, on both sides of this war, to be halted, right away. But the reality is that we—the masses of people, in the countries involved and in the world as a whole—do not, and cannot, determine, in direct and immediate terms, what the different governments will do. In order to determine the direction of society, we need revolution, to overthrow these imperialist (and other) oppressors and bring a radically different and emancipating system into being. What we can do, and need to do, now—while these imperialists are still in power—is speak, and act, in opposition to their military aggression, on all sides, with the aim of contributing in that way to a situation where they feel compelled to pull back from such aggression (including indirect as well as direct involvement in war), as has happened in the past, notably with the war in Vietnam in the 1970s, where mass opposition among broad ranks of people in the U.S. (and other countries) was a significant factor in forcing the U.S. to withdraw from the imperialist war it had been waging in Vietnam.

    People in Russia who have courageously spoken out and acted in opposition to their country’s war in Ukraine should be supported, and further opposition of this kind should be encouraged. But, at the same time, the hypocritical moves by the imperialists of the U.S. (and others allied with them) to use this opposition to Russian aggression to reinforce, and build support for, “western” imperialist aims and actions—this, too, should be firmly opposed.

    Here it is important to stress these basic points of orientation:

    Of course, this act of imperialist aggression by Russia deserves to be condemned. But especially for people residing in this country—which, again, by far holds the record for such acts of aggression—it is a matter of basic principle and profound importance not to be echoing the positions and serving the aims of “our” imperialists, and instead to be making very clear our opposition to the aims and actions of these (U.S.) imperialists, who are using opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, not as a way of promoting “peace,” or “the right of nations to self-determination,” but as means of furthering U.S. imperialist interests, in opposition to the rival Russian imperialists. So, in keeping with this crucial principle, any opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, particularly by people in this imperialist country, should be accompanied by a clear and definite stand of also opposing the role of the U.S. in the world, including the wars it continually wages, and other ways it violently interferes in other countries.9

    And overall, in the countries that are part of NATO (or in other ways aligned with the U.S.) people there, including those who are speaking out against and mobilizing in opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine, need to raise their sights, recognize and also actively oppose the ways in which the ruling classes of their own countries are seeking to misuse opposition to Russia’s aggression to further their own reactionary objectives.

    Once again, in fundamental terms, in order to put an end to the wars waged by these imperialists, along with all their other massive crimes, it is necessary to put an end to their whole system, which continually gives rise to such wars and the horrific destruction and massive suffering they repeatedly involve—wars which can pose a threat to the very existence of humanity (along with the continuing, and accelerating, destruction of the environment, for which these imperialists are also primarily responsible).

    Certainly, a crucial lesson that people should learn from the war in Ukraine is that humanity cannot afford any longer to allow these imperialists, on any side, to continue to rule the world, and battle over who will dominate in this situation, with the very real and dire threat this poses to the future, and the very existence, of humanity.

    In this light, the following is of great relevance and importance:

    As I have analyzed extensively in “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating,” with what is going on in the world today, and with all the dangers and difficulties it will involve, this is one of those rare times when revolution, in this imperialist country itself, becomes more possible—and is all the more urgently needed.10

    All this underlines once again the great importance of the slogans raised at revcom.us, and the demonstrations being called for, in New York and Los Angeles, on May First around these slogans:

    NO US/NATO WAR WITH RUSSIA! NO WORLD WAR 3! 
    IT’S THIS SYSTEM, NOT HUMANITY, THAT NEEDS TO BECOME EXTINCT!

    WE DON’T ACCEPT THEIR FUTURE 
    IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

     


    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. See, for example, “Shameless American Chauvinism: ‘Anti-Authoritarianism’ as a ‘Cover’ for Supporting U.S. Imperialism”; and “Sean Penn’s Delirious Madness and the Danger of Nuclear War.” These articles by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us. [back]

    2. “Sean Penn’s Delirious Madness and the Danger of Nuclear War.” [back]

    3. “‘Legit Gangsters’—Gangsters With Nuclear Weapons (Longer Version—The Fuller Picture).” This article is available at revcom.us. [back]

    4. “‘Legit Gangsters’—Gangsters With Nuclear Weapons (Longer Version—The Fuller Picture).” [back]

    5. “Sean Penn’s Delirious Madness and the Danger of Nuclear War.” [back]

    6. Observation by the author: The argument that, because Zelensky is Jewish, there could not be any real or significant NAZI involvement in Ukraine and its government, is itself contrary to logic, as well as fact. To provide a relevant analogy: For a number of years, within recent decades, the head of the government in Pakistan was a woman, Benazir Bhutto. Yet Pakistan was then, and has remained, one of the most blatantly patriarchal countries in the world, marked by the horrific oppression of women. Whether a country embodies the horrific oppression of women—or is marked by significant involvement of NAZIs—is not determined by who happens to be the head of government of that country but by the reality of whether, in fact, the country embodies horrific oppression of women, or is marked by the significant involvement of NAZIs. Once blinders are removed, this understanding is, as Sherlock Holmes would say, elementary. [back]

    7. See “Piercing the Lies, Digging Beneath the Surface, The Larger Dynamics of the World Imperialist System Driving the War in Ukraine... And a Lesson from When There Was a Genuinely Socialist Soviet Union.” This talk by Raymond Lotta was given at an emergency forum on Ukraine on March 4 at Revolution Books in New York City, where Andy Zee, the host of the YouTube RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show also gave a talk (“War in Ukraine: What is happening?… Why is it happening?… Where do the interests of humanity lie?... AND WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE REVOLUTION HUMANITY SO URGENTLY NEEDS?”). The texts of these talks are available at revcom.us. [back]

    8. “Imperialist Parasitism and ‘Democracy’: Why So Many Liberals and Progressives Are Shameless Supporters of ‘Their’ Imperialism.” This article is also available at revcom.us. [back]

    9. This is from “‘Legit Gangsters’—Gangsters With Nuclear Weapons (Longer Version—The Fuller Picture).” What is quoted here is from the major work by Bob Avakian, 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, which is also available at revcom.us. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    WORLD WAR 3

    AND DANGEROUS IDIOCY

    In a number of recent writings, especially a major recent article (“Ukraine: World War 3 Is the Real Danger, Not a Repeat of World War 2”), I have spoken to lies and distortions about the war in Ukraine—particularly those that serve the aims of the rulers of this imperialist country in the war in Ukraine—and how these lies and distortions contribute to heightening the danger of World War 3, involving direct military confrontation between the U.S./NATO and Russia and the likely use of nuclear weapons in such a confrontation, with potentially devastating consequences, even the real possibility of the destruction of human civilization.13

    Here, I will not attempt to repeat all that is said in that article, in terms of very important and extensive analysis of what is actually going on with this war in Ukraine, the aims of the imperialists on the opposing sides, the very serious dangers this involves, and the need for the masses of people, everywhere, to act in their own interests, in opposition to those of the imperialists on both sides. What I am going to address here are certain species of idiocy that ignore, or downplay, the terrible dangers involved in a possible direct military confrontation between the U.S./NATO and Russia.

    There is the argument that a war between the U.S./NATO and Russia would basically be “no big deal,” because the U.S. is so much more “bad ass” and could easily and decisively defeat Russia, with no big cost—at least not to “us Americans.” As I have pointed out, among certain types of American chauvinists, drunk with a sense of the invincible military might of the U.S., this truly ridiculous and outrageous notion (that war with Russia would be “no big deal”) has seemingly been encouraged by the difficulty that Russian forces have had, so far at least, in achieving their objectives in Ukraine—due, in large part, to the massive supply of arms that the U.S./NATO has provided to the government of Ukraine.14

    But here is a crucial reality in relation to all this: In this war—where the Russian imperialists have invaded Ukraine, and on the other hand the U.S. imperialists (and their NATO “allies”) are backing and heavily arming Ukraine—both sides are deeply committed to a “win” in this situation. On the part of the U.S. imperialists, their aim, and what for them constitutes a necessary “win,” is to bring about a defeat of Russia in Ukraine and thereby significantly weaken Russia and its ability to challenge the dominant position of U.S. imperialism in the world. For the Russian imperialists, their objective is precisely to challenge that U.S. dominance, and a key and immediate aim is preventing Ukraine from joining NATO and ensuring that Ukraine does not become part of the U.S./NATO “encirclement” of Russia, which is already very far along (with a number of countries close to, or actually bordering on, Russia already members of NATO). With each side seriously committed to its objectives, and having become seriously involved in war in pursuit of these objectives (with Russia directly at war in Ukraine and the U.S./NATO now indirectly but deeply involved), this means that, so long as the terms are set by these contending imperialists, neither side can easily back down. (Again, so long as the terms are set by these contending imperialists, and the people, on all sides, do not effectively act, in their masses, in such a way as to force things onto different terms, which are in their interests, in opposition to those of the imperialists on either side.)

    If Neither Side Backs Down—What Then?!

    If neither side in this conflict between imperialists is likely to back down and accept defeat, what will this mean—and, specifically, what would it mean if in fact the U.S./NATO were to become directly involved in warfare with Russia, and if this were to result in Russia suffering serious setbacks? Would Putin/the Russian imperialists simply say, “Okay, you win, we give up, we will turn tail and retreat in defeat back to Russia?” Does any serious, thinking person really believe that is at all likely?! No, in that situation the far, far more likely response of Putin/the Russian imperialists would be to escalate the war, very possibly by using nuclear weapons, most likely not (at first) the most powerful nuclear bombs, but “tactical nuclear weapons,” which they might use not only in Ukraine but also in the territory of NATO countries that had become involved in the war (possibly including not only countries close to Ukraine but countries in western Europe as well, such as France, Germany and the UK).

    And, on the other hand, what if—contrary to the expectations of American chauvinists—it turned out that, in direct warfare with Russia (and with Russia then committing much more of its forces to this conflict) the U.S./NATO did not do so well, and they were at least frustrated in their attempts to deliver some kind of decisive defeat to the Russian forces, or were even suffering serious setbacks themselves? Would the imperialist rulers of this country—which is the only country that has actually used nuclear weapons, and has never acknowledged that it was wrong to do so—would they simply admit that they had failed to defeat Russia and accept a resolution that reflected that? Does anyone really think that would be likely?!

    No, the “dynamics” of direct war between the U.S./NATO and Russia would very likely lead to a process of continuing escalation, with neither side willing—or really able—to back down when faced with the prospect of some kind of defeat in this war.

    Nuclear Warfare Is a “Big Deal”—a Truly Terrible Prospect

    This brings us to the other main species of idiocy (and actually dangerous lunacy) regarding the prospect of direct warfare between the U.S./NATO and Russia: the truly demented idea that if nuclear exchanges between the contending sides in this war did happen, that itself would be “no big deal”—or at least that it would be restricted to “tactical nuclear weapons” that, yes, would cause real damage, but not something as terrible as “alarmists” are warning about (this argument has actually been made by some seriously deranged and apparently “brain dead” people!).

    First of all, even tactical nuclear weapons would themselves bring about terrible devastation, not just for the combatants on the battlefield, but much more broadly, causing horrendous human suffering and destruction of the environment. And, beyond that, for the reasons spoken to here, the very dynamic that would lead to the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the first place would then very likely lead to the use of even more powerful nuclear weapons—and even the real possibility of such nuclear attacks being directed against the “home countries” of the main adversaries in this conflict, Russia and the U.S. If either side, or both sides, in this conflict felt that the introduction of tactical nuclear weapons were necessary in order to gain a decisive advantage in this war—or to prevent an unacceptable setback, or an actual defeat—then the very same logic could impel things beyond just tactical nuclear weapons, toward a fuller use of strategic nuclear weapons, and even possibly direct nuclear attacks against the “home territory” of the main adversary (in other words, nuclear exchanges between the U.S. and Russia aiming directly at each other’s “homelands”), which, with its massive devastation and radiation “fallout” worldwide, could even lead to the destruction of human civilization.

    This Whole Dynamic Must Be Urgently, Radically Changed—in the Interests of Humanity, Not Rival and Contending Imperialists

    All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.

     

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. The major article “Ukraine: World War 3 Is the Real Danger, Not a Repeat of World War 2” is available at revcom.us. [back]

    2. See, in addition to the above-mentioned article, “Sean Penn’s Delirious Madness And the Danger of Nuclear War,” which is also available at revcom.us. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    Longer Version—The Fuller Picture:

    “LEGIT GANGSTERS”—

    GANGSTERS WITH NUCLEAR WEAPONS

    The events of today, and in particular the events relating to the war in Ukraine, bring back again memories of a friend of mine from back in the day, Billy Carr. Billy got caught up in “the life” and ended up being killed as a result, while he was still in his 20s. But he had a sharp mind, and one time, when I described what the imperialists who rule this country were doing, not just to people here but all around the world, he captured something essential about this right away: “Legit gangsters,” he said.

    Today we hear Biden and other “legit gangsters” who rule this country, and their media mouthpieces, chanting a constant chorus about Putin as a “war criminal” because of the destruction and carnage Russia is responsible for in Ukraine. This is like the biggest mob boss (or head of a criminal cartel) self-righteously condemning the crimes of a rival, but less powerful, gangster.

    Let us not forget: The U.S., a country founded on slavery and genocide, by far holds the record for invasions, coups, and in other ways violently interfering in countries whose governments it does not like—slaughtering huge numbers of people in the process, far beyond what Russia has done in Ukraine. (At revcom.us there is extensive exposure and analysis of the towering crimes of U.S. imperialism.)

    The Role of U.S. Imperialism Leading into This War in Ukraine

    Let’s look at the role of the U.S. in the events that have led up to this war in Ukraine. What did the government of the U.S., under both Democrats and Republicans, do after the Soviet Union, and its military bloc, the Warsaw Pact, ceased to exist, at the beginning of the 1990s? Some people naively hoped that, with the Soviet Union going out of existence, the “end of the Cold War” would lead to a “peace dividend”—a shift of government spending away from the massive military budget of this country to funding to meet the needs of the people, particularly those with the greatest needs. But, owing to the very nature of this capitalist-imperialist system, such a “peace dividend” was never going to happen: the military spending of this country—to enforce the preservation, and expansion, of its empire—has continued to increase and today is far greater than the military budgets of Russia and China combined.

    Beginning in the 1990s, recognizing that what was left in place of the Soviet Union was a weakened Russia, the U.S. imperialists, as the gangsters they truly are, seized the opportunity to further expand their empire—going back on their “word” that they would not extend their aggressive military alliance (NATO) into countries of the previous Warsaw Pact. Ignoring this promise, the U.S. imperialists moved to include countries in NATO that are close to, and in some cases actually border on, Russia. As part of all this, the U.S. has repeatedly interfered in Ukraine in recent decades, conspiring to overturn governments there that were more friendly to Russia and replace them with governments leaning toward “western” imperialism, as happened as recently as 2014.

    A key element in all this, which played a significant part in the decision by Russia to invade Ukraine, was the declaration by the pro-U.S. government in Ukraine that it wanted to join NATO. Ukraine is a large country right on the border of Russia. As articles at revcom.us have pointed out: Think what it would mean, and what the rulers of the U.S. would do, if the government of Mexico declared its intention to join a military alliance headed by Russia!

    All this, on the part of the U.S. ruling class, has been driven by its grandiose ambition to become, and remain, an “unchallengeable” imperialist superpower.

    With Russian, and Chinese, challenges of various kinds to U.S. dominance in the world, the argument of the U.S. ruling class, and those who parrot its American chauvinist rationalizations, amounts to essentially nothing more than this: “We have established, through massive force and violence, an ‘order’ in the world that is favorable to our ‘national’ (that is, imperialist) interests, and no one has the right to use force to change this in a way that threatens those interests.”1

    The Real Aims of the U.S. in This War

    None of this “justifies” the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But it does put this in its larger context, and in its true light. It shines a light on what the real intentions of the U.S. imperialists are in this war. The essential purpose and aim of the U.S. in this is not to help a weaker country defend itself against a more powerful aggressor; it is to weaken an imperialist rival, Russia (and also possibly weaken China, which is in a kind of cooperative relation with Russia at this point) in order to strengthen the domination of U.S. imperialism, and fortify NATO (especially after NATO had been weakened through the actions of Trump, which heightened divisions between the U.S. and other NATO countries).

    The U.S. is now fighting a “war by proxy” with Russia—waging economic war (through “sanctions”) against Russia, while at the same time massively arming Ukraine. And this involves a serious risk of things leading to direct warfare between the U.S./NATO and Russia—warfare that could set in motion a dynamic that neither side could really control, leading very possibly to a devastating nuclear war that could put an end to human civilization entirely.

    In short, what is going on around Ukraine is not some kind of holy war of “democracy vs. autocracy” that Biden and the rest are constantly proclaiming. The goal of the U.S. imperialists, in relation to this war and overall, is strengthening and expanding their empire of exploitation, and beating back challenges to their domination.

    Putting an End to Imperialism and Its “Gangsterism”

    The motivation, on the part of the U.S./NATO as well as Russia, is very much that of gangsters—gangsters who claim “legitimacy” because they are heads of governments, rulers of countries. But these gangsters are not just fighting over turf in a city—the “turf” they are fighting over is the whole world. And these are gangsters who control powerful arsenals of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons with the capacity to kill off all of humanity.

    These “legit gangster” imperialists commit monstrous crimes on a massive scale, way beyond what someone like Don Corleone, the mob boss in The Godfather movie, could even think about committing. As I said in BAsics, “These imperialists make the Godfather look like Mary Poppins.”2

    BAsics cover 600

     

    To sum it all up:

    Imperialism means huge monopolies and financial institutions controlling the economies and the political systems—and the lives of people—not just in one country but all over the world. Imperialism means parasitic exploiters who oppress hundreds of millions of people and condemn them to untold misery; parasitic financiers who can cause millions to starve just by pressing a computer key and thereby shifting vast amounts of wealth from one place to another. Imperialism means war—war to put down the resistance and rebellion of the oppressed, and war between rival imperialist states—it means the leaders of these states can condemn humanity to unbelievable devastation, perhaps even total annihilation, with the push of a button.

    Imperialism is capitalism at the stage where its basic contradictions have been raised to tremendously explosive levels. But imperialism also means that there will be revolution—the oppressed rising up to overthrow their exploiters and tormentors—and that this revolution will be a worldwide struggle to sweep away the global monster, imperialism.3

    As I have analyzed extensively in “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating,” with what is going on in the world today, and with all the dangers and difficulties it will involve, this is one of those rare times when revolution, in this imperialist country itself, becomes more possible—and is all the more urgently needed.4

    What we need is a radical transformation to where revolution, not gangsterism, is setting the tone and the terms—not just on a block or in a neighborhood, but in this country overall and ultimately in the world as a whole.

    Announcing New work by BA, SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING:

     

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. This point was also made in the article by Bob Avakian “Shameless American Chauvinism: ‘Anti- Authoritarianism’ as a ‘Cover’ for Supporting U.S. Imperialism.” This article is also available at revcom.us. [back]

    2. See BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, Chapter 1, #7. Information for ordering the print edition of BAsics, and instructions for downloading the free e-book version, can be found at revcom.us. [back]

    3. BAsics 1:6. [back]

    4. 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. This major work by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    From the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist:

    Revolution Nothing Less!

    Journal of Fire No. 131
    October, 2022

    Editors’ note: Revcom.us volunteers are responsible for the translation of this post from the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (CPIMLM.org).

    The original version in Farsi is available here.

    In the last days of September, the world was once again changed by two important events. One, the world drawing closer to a nuclear conflagration in the catastrophic confrontation between imperialist powers in Ukraine, and two, the unparalleled uprising across Iran which indicates the beginning of a revolutionary process that has the potential to develop into a real revolution.

    The nationwide uprising of young men and women against the compulsory hijab law of the Islamic Republic’s fascist religious government is a jolt that has intensified all Iran’s major fault lines and changed the political terrain, not only in Iran, but in the Middle East and the world.

    The attention of millions of men and women from every corner of the globe has shifted from “Nuclear Iran” to the enthusiasm for liberation boiling up from the masses. It has aroused such broad support that even the rulers of the imperialist governments could not stay silent. The name “Mahsa Amini” was repeated over 100 million times on Twitter, and many artists and athletes from around the world called out her name to indelibly record the crime of the Islamic Republic's massacre in the historical memory of mankind.

    In this unique moment full of revolutionary potential, we want to emphasize a few important facts needed to grasp the full scope of how the future is being shaped.

    First: from this point on to the total crushing and dismantling of the Islamic Republic, there is a long, arduous road ahead, full of ups and downs. Undoubtedly, the Islamic Republic will not simply walk away from the blows that are threatening its very existence, and will resort to brutal atrocities and reprisals in order to save and rescue its wrecked, sinking ship.

    Second: positive and permanent change can only be achieved by "Revolution Nothing Less!" The reality of society today in Iran and the rest of world tell us that to uproot the sources of suffering, this revolution can only be a communist revolution. This is because, in the present era, the root of all human hardship—including the oppression of women who make up half of humanity and are crushed in the jaws of patriarchy—is itself woven into capitalist production relations. Therefore, we must establish a new state power on the ruins of the Islamic Republic, a state that is radically different from the current reactionary one, with its capitalist mode of production. And, this can only be a socialist state.18

    Third: To overthrow the Islamic Republic and its entire state apparatus, the military backbone of the state (revolutionary guards, basji, army, police forces, etc.) must be crushed and dismantled. We cannot rely on merely continuing street protest and resistance, though of course protests are necessary and have created the current turning point. We should never have any illusions that, even in this difficult and complex situation, we can rely on a “coup” by the military, or rely on “help” and support from the imperialists or forces that are under the wing of the imperialists, including regional states [in the Middle East—ed]. The atrocities that the imperialist powers and their proxies have committed in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are out there for all to see. Imperialist interference and invasions [have] always caused horrific disasters, including the strengthening of Islamic fundamentalism. Only a people’s revolutionary army, made up of millions of conscious men and women determined to establish a new society, can shatter the backbone of the state and its military.19

    The situation that is taking shape has specific characteristics. The legitimacy of the theocracy has been destroyed in the flames of the burning hijab. Thirty years of continuous effort by an important part of the ruling class (reformists) to intimidate and deter people from making another revolution has gone up in smoke. The great illusion that without revolution we can achieve a measure of human rights and relations has turned to scattered ashes. But the most strategic characteristic is the powerful demonstration that women are a cornerstone of the communist revolution.

    In an accelerating revolution, the decisive factors are the international character of the struggle and people's mood and state of mind, and there have been great changes on those fronts. In the space of a week, the overall political and cultural environment and alignments in the society changed in surprising ways. An important section of the middle class, which despite its many dissatisfactions with the regime, had not stood up before. But now it has begun to manifest its opposition, including with statements from its political representatives and spokespeople.

    Affluent communities in major cities and famous athletes and artists have joined the protests. Even sycophant athletes and artist celebrities have been forced to change sides. The more the criminal regime has suppressed the masses, the more the anger of this group has grown. Those who were indifferent have abandoned their impartial-observer detachment and gotten involved. Burning the hijab has brought about an intellectual and cultural transformation of historic proportions in society, and indicates that the balance of political and ideological power is changing.

    Young men and women known as “the 80s” (ages 15-25) have demonstrated an energetic and profound spirit of resistance, sending a message to all that a decisive force has entered the battle between revolution and against the counter-revolution. On an international scale, women around the world, and especially women and youth in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Turkiya [Turkey], see developments in Iran as a victory against tyrannical patriarchy everywhere, and thousands of artists, scientists, political and feminist activists from around the world consider themselves staunch supporters of this uprising.

    These changes show the potential for revolution and revolutionary opportunities, but these changes are still far from being a revolution! Revolution, or fundamental change, will occur when the system which we have rebelled against is actually overthrown and replaced with a fundamentally different system. There is a huge difference between a people who care less than a speck of a dust for this regime, who have had their fill of humiliation and hatred, and to the core of their being want to overthrow it—and on the other hand, a people who are becoming aware of the basic features of a different political, social and economic order, a fairer and fundamentally different society, who are being organized according to a plan and leadership, and are determined to fight for it.

    The main task for us as revolutionary communists is to bring into existence such a people.

    By rapidly organizing and training a force of hundreds of people with the scientific orientation of the New Communism, and based on the "Communist Revolution Program and Manifesto in Iran," we will raise up a force able to lead millions of people in a battle that will have historical-global dimensions, and which will challenge the old order not just in Iran but throughout the Middle East and the world.

    The young men and women who have advanced this process so far can and must become the leaders of such a revolution. But we also need to clarify the understanding of leadership. "Leadership" does not mean this or that party or a coalition of parties. Leadership must embody the kind of society we are fighting for, our roadmap for achieving it, and the form of organization that corresponds to, and is necessary for, the kind of society we want to build.

    Will it be a capitalist society?

    What will be the difference between the Islamic Republic, versus one dominated by those who long for “democracy” or a “republic,” whether they call themselves "liberals," "constitutionalists" or "Republicans"? Certainly, necessarily the patriarchy and male supremacy will persist and continue, though with different forms than those under the Islamic Republic. Poverty, unemployment, the lack of a decent future, the destruction of the environment, ravaging wars, will all be an integral part of such an order.

    We do not want such a society.

    [We need] a radically different and much better economic and political system, a socialist system, based on meeting the needs of the people and carrying forward the fight for a communist world where there will finally be an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, oppression, and destruction of the environment that is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. Anything less than this revolution will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution.

    ~Bob Avakian, from “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating: Profound Crisis, Deepening Divisions, The Looming Possibility Of Civil War—And The Revolution That Is Urgently Needed

    We don't have much time to solve the issue of leadership. Because in addition to the ruling state apparatus, which still has its repressive military apparatus in place and whose political and ideological power has not been depleted, other reactionary forces are lurking, aiming to take control of many of the existing repressive security forces and military institutions, and present the people with this entire package depicting it as “more just,” in order to deceive the people! We must never forget that in 1979, the majority of people who hit the streets felt the urgent need for revolution. But a real revolution never achieved victory. Instead, the counter-revolutionary process prevailed, resulting in one reactionary regime being replaced by another reactionary regime.

    Therefore we, the revolutionary communists, call out to anyone who cannot tolerate the current situation and is angry, to anyone who wants to fight to rid women of the enslavement of the compulsory hijab and want to fight against patriarchy, to whoever wants to finally bury the ruling theocracy in Iran, to anyone who hates the suppression and slaughter of political opponents, poverty, unemployment, and the destruction of the environment. In addition to these, we call upon those who want a world in which all humanity is free from subjugation to the capitalist system, we say to you: if you are not a revolutionary communist: it is necessary for you to become one for the revolution which is necessary to succeed!

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. As for the landscape and the overall picture of this society, see the document "Constitution of the New Socialist Republic of Iran (proposed draft)" on our party's website (cpimlm.org), as well as a brief description of that document in the same issue of Atash magazine and the article "A Brief Description of the Constitution of the New Socialist Republic of Iran." [These are available in Farsi—ed.] [back]

    2. As for the nature and characteristics of this war, see the document "Strategy for the Path of Revolution in Iran" on our party's website (cpimlm.org), as well as a summary of it in this issue of Atash and in the article "From Right Defense to Revolutionary War." [These are available in Farsi—ed.] [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    Defying Murderous Islamic Republic Repression, Courageous Protest and Resistance Continues Across Iran

    U.S. Imperialists Maneuver to Advance THEIR Agenda in Fraught Situation

    Kurdish women hold headscarfs high to protest murder of Mahsa Amini.

     

    Kurdish women hold headscarfs high to protest murder of Mahsa Amini.    Photo: AP

    It’s been over two weeks since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died at the hands of the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran’s vicious “morality police.” Mahsa was detained and then reportedly beaten for not correctly covering her hair with her hijab or because her clothes didn’t fit loosely enough. She fell into a coma and died three days later on September 16.

    Mahsa’s death struck a deep, deep nerve across Iran—especially in the hearts of Iranian women. As the revcoms’ statement, “THE WOMEN OF IRAN HAVE STOOD UP!. . .”  lays out: “For decades, women in Iran have been forced to cover up their bodies and hair with hijabs11 as if their very beings were something to be hidden, confined and controlled… as if they must be ashamed of their very human existence… all on the dictate of Islamic religious authorities.”

    Kurds protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in Sulaimaniyah, Iran on September 28, 2022.

     

    Kurds protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in Sulaimaniyah, Iran on September 28, 2022.    Photo: AP

    Mahsa’s needless, violent death was the last straw and the bone-deep rage of thousands upon thousands of women—and men—across Iran burst forth against the Islamic Republic’s medieval treatment of women and its criminal, oppressive rule.

    Mass Protest Continues…

    Tweet URL
    Tweet URL

    Since Mahsa died there have been basically continual massive, defiant protests—by defiant women—in over 80 cities and towns across Iran. These protests have continued in recent days even in the face of the regime’s intensified and now murderous repression.

    “On Thursday night [September, 29], crowds marched in the northwestern city of Sanandaj, in Kurdistan Province, and in Mashhad, a city in the northeast, raising their fists and chanting, ‘Death to the dictator,’” the New York Times reports. “Elsewhere, women marched without hijabs in the southwestern city of Ahvaz and protesters clashed with the authorities in Qum, south of Tehran, and fled bullets fired by security forces in the southeastern city of Kerman, according to videos posted on social media.”12

    Tweet URL

    At Friday prayers, the regime’s religious leaders doubled down on enforcing the mandatory hijab for women, yet women can be seen marching in Tehran bareheaded, or even individually walking through the street, waving their scarves, disrupting traffic, or shopping without hijabs. Some women have publicly cut their hair in defiance of religious mores. And women continue to be a big part of the ongoing protests.

    Blood and Rage on the Streets of Baluchestan and Kurdestan

    Some of the sharpest battles between the people and the fascist regime have taken place in provinces populated by the oppressed Kurdish and Baluch people,13 where the regime’s repression has always been the harshest.

    On Friday, September 30, in the southeast Baluch town of Zahedan, the regime opened fire on a crowd, killing between 19 and 36 people—perhaps more. This was the first mass murder of protesters since the uprising began and it reportedly shocked people across Iran.

    Burn the Cage/Free the Birds (a social movement in support of Iran’s political prisoners) reports that one activist wrote, "’In Zahedan, the bodies of martyrs are not accepted by the morgues and the government does not allow the funerals.’ The bodies are in people’s houses. The families of the martyrs have also been arrested or are under pressure from the government. The situation is extremely critical. ‘On the other hand, the streets... are also under the control of the brave Baloch youth,’” who reportedly burned down a police station.

    The regime has also lashed out violently in Kurdestan, seizing back the city of Oshnavieh from rebelling Kurds and carrying out a massive bombing campaign across the border in Iraqi Kurdestan. At least 18 people have been killed and 50 injured in these bombings, including women and children.

    Results of missile attacks in Kurdestan region of Iraq, September 28, 2022.

     

    Results of missile attacks in Kurdestan region of Iraq, September 28, 2022.    Photo: AP

    Nonetheless, Burn the Cage reports there have been recent protests across Kurdestan in at least 24 cities. On Saturday, October 1, a general strike reportedly began in areas of the province.

    Live Fire, Beatings, Imprisonment—a Desperate Regime Lashes Out

    As soon as Iran’s President Raisi returned to Iran from addressing the United Nations in New York, he condemned the protests as “riots” and warned his government would "deal decisively with those who oppose the country's security and tranquility."

    Human rights organizations have reported that at least 76 people have been killed by the regime, and hundreds wounded, with thousands arrested. Iran Human Rights reports, “Most families have been forced to quietly bury their loved ones at night and pressured against holding public funerals. Many families were threatened with legal charges if they publicized their deaths.”

    The regime claims to have imprisoned some 1,200 people—a vast understatement given that officials in Gilan province report arresting over 700 people,14 and another 785 have been arrested in just three of Iran’s 31 other provinces. There are reports of protesters being savagely beaten after their arrest.15

    The government has also slashed internet access and arrested over 20 journalists, including the one who broke the story of Mahsa’s death. The regime is trying to make it more difficult for Iranians to publicize what’s happening and communicate with each other.

    Conditions in Iran’s prisons, always harsh, are now more dangerous and potentially deadly, prisoners and their families warn. “The regime’s security forces are arresting more and more of innocent people. Prisoners’ families and lawyers are reporting horrendous and dangerous conditions inside the regime’s prisons,” Burn the Cage reports.   

    On Monday, October 3, inmates in the women's section of Tehran’s Evin prison16 are planning a sit-down strike in the prison yard in protest of these potentially deadly conditions. (See, International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoner Now.)

    Protests Continue—Students Strike

     

    Tweet URL

    Protests have reportedly continued on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, including in the capital Tehran, Karaj and Gohar Dasht to the west, and Iran’s second largest city, Mashad to the east, and many other cities and towns, including the large cities of Isfahan, Rasht and Shiraz. “In Tehran's traditional business district of Bazaar, anti-government protesters chanted ‘We will be killed one by one if we don't unite,’" Reuters reports.17

    On the morning of Saturday, October 1, students from dozens of universities, who had held strikes and protests on campus, walked out of campuses and poured into the streets of Tehran and other cities. They were joined by supportive crowds who had gathered outside the university gates. The students had called for a general strike endorsed by dozens of professors who also issued a demand that arrested students be released. In Shiraz, students chanted, “We Fight, We Die.” At Tabriz University in Azerbijan, security forces reportedly raided dormitories and arrested around 30 students.

    U.S. Rulers Fish in Troubled Waters: Advancing Imperialist Interests—NOT Iran’s Liberation

    The massive uprising in Iran is taking place as the world is roiling with sharp and intensifying contradictions, including the U.S.’s proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, its escalating contention with China in the Asian Pacific region and beyond, and the reported deadlock—perhaps collapse—of its negotiations with Iran over Iran's program developing its nuclear power industry, with the potential capability to create a nuclear bomb. And going into this period, there was an increasingly closer alignment of Russia and China in lending support to Iran in its conflict with the U.S. All of this heightens the unpredictability of things as every serious political force will try to push on the situation to advance its own interests. This must also be true for those representing the interests of humanity.

    In Iran, at this writing, the rulers of Iran’s Islamic Republic appear, from media reports, to be relatively united in their support for a savage crackdown against the ongoing wave of protest and upheaval, even as there are various contradictions among them.18 These will no doubt be impacted in one way or another by the development of this courageous mass upsurge of the Iranian people, which has polarized Iranian society with broad sections of the population—especially women, youth, and minority nationalities—fiercely coming out against the regime, while others continue to support the regime. All this bears close watching.  

    At the moment, the U.S. imperialists are posturing as friends of the Iranian people. At the United Nations, Biden declared the U.S. stood with “the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran, who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights.”19

    In reality, as the revcoms’ statement put it, Biden’s statement is “complete and utter bullshit…. part of the decades-long U.S. attempts to weaken the regime and make Iran, and the whole Mideast, subservient to American needs and designs.”

    Right now, the U.S. rulers are maneuvering—in the current world situation and in Iran—to advance their own imperialist interests in a region of strategic importance to them, against a regime in the Islamic Republic they have sharp and ongoing contradictions with. So they see the necessity and the opportunity to take advantage of the Islamic Republic’s potential vulnerability in this situation and are pushing to advance their agenda to the greatest degree possible—including and up to regime change should that opportunity present itself.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brazenly said as much to reporters on September 30: “[W]e’re all in awe of the courage of the women of Iran…. If that leads to a change in government there, we’ll see what happens there… let’s see how that change takes place.20[Emphasis added]

    In the meantime, the U.S. is stepping up pressure on the IRI: last week it imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police and it encouraged tech companies to activate satellite links and other internet services to aid protesters and circumvent the regime’s internet restrictions. It also penalized Chinese companies who’ve imported Iranian oil and helped keep the regime’s economy afloat, and in Iraqi Kurdestan, U.S. forces shot down an Iranian drone, deeming it “a threat to CENTCOM forces in the area.”21

    People must not be taken in by the statements from Biden, Pelosi and other figures in the U.S. ruling class. How much the U.S. actually cares about the people of Iran can be seen from their actions in the past—their overthrow of the nationalist Mossadegh in 1953 who dared to nationalize Iran’s oil; their support of the Shah, with his regime of spying and torture; their connivance in and manipulation of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, where half a million people died; and most recently the brutal sanctions reimposed by Trump and continued by Biden. The U.S. meddling, is as the revcoms’ statement analyzes, “ominous,” because “the U.S. regards Iran as a bone in its throat and will very possibly use not only economic and diplomatic pressure but other forms of intervention, including by working through and with Israel, to subvert the Iranian people’s struggle and restore outright U.S. domination. These imperialists must not be allowed to pervert this struggle to their own reactionary ends.”

    “As for [the U.S.] ‘supporting women,’ you need look no further than Saudi Arabia, the stalwart U.S. ally in the Middle East which is just as misogynist and repressive as Iran,” the revcoms’ statement continues. “Indeed, look no further than the U.S. itself, where Biden and the Democrats continually attempt to conciliate with the theocratic, Christian fascist, abortion-outlawing Republican Party.”

    U.S. Imperialism and Islamic Fundamentalism: Two Reactionary Forces That Oppose—and Reinforce—Each Other

    There is a framework for analyzing and understanding these complex and rapidly changing developments—and cutting through all the lies and bullshit spewed out by the U.S.—and Iranian—rulers and their lapdog media.

    It’s been developed by the revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, Bob Avakian. BA has said:

    What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

    While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the “historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system,” and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

    Instead of proceeding from the interests of either of these reactionary, outmoded forces, people around the world need to proceed from the interests of humanity, and seize on every positive and courageous development such as the current uprising in Iran to fight to bring forward another way to a radically different and much better world. As a beginning, you can find the pathway to doing so in these two documents published at revcom.us:

    This statement from the Revcoms:

    THE WOMEN OF IRAN HAVE STOOD UP! THE PEOPLE OF IRAN ARE RAISING THEIR HEADS AND FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE BATONS AND BULLETS OF THE IRANIAN REGIME! WE NEED TO STAND WITH AND SUPPORT THEM IN THEIR STRUGGLE! UNLEASH THE FURY OF WOMEN AS A MIGHTY FORCE FOR REVOLUTION!!

    And the September 23, 2022 Communiqué of the Communist Party of Iran (M.L.M.) www.cpimlm.org:

    The Burial of the Compulsory Hijab, the Burial of the Integration of Religion with the State Has Begun! Let's Finish It!

    Sunsara Taylor & Andy Zee on the Uprising in Iran
    After the Murder of Mahsa Amini: 3 Key Points

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. The religious code that governs women’s clothing, which Iran focuses on the mandatory headscarf and “modest dressing” (covering arms and legs). [back]

    2. Iran Protests Continue Despite Heavy Crackdowns, New York Times, September 30, 2022. [back]

    3. The IRI has, in addition to enforcing religious laws, suppressed national customs, culture and languages of groups of certain large oppressed nationalities [back]

    4. Police Arrests Over 700 People Just In One Iranian Province, Iran International, September 24, 2022. [back]

    5. HRANA news agency | Massive Arrests: A Report on the 11th Day of Protests in Iran—HRANA News Agency (hra-news.org) Posted on September 28, 2022. [back]

    6. Evin Prison is particularly notorious as a site of torture and even execution of political prisoners—including the execution of over 5,000 such prisoners in 1988, overseen by Raisi, the current president! [back]

    7. Protesters rally across Iran in third week of unrest over Amini's deathReuters, October 1, 2022. [back]

    8. Analysis: Iran leaders in 'disarray' struggle to close ranks over protestsReuters, September 30, 2022; Iran lawmakers chant ‘Thank you, police,’ amid growing public fury over Amini’s deathAlarabaya News, October 2, 2022; Iran arrests Europeans accused of role in unrestReuters, September 30, 2022. [back]

    9. Biden Condemns Russia as Threat to the World in U.N. SpeechNew York Times, September 21, 2022. [back]

    10. US Leaders Express Support For ‘Awe-Inspiring’ Protests In Iran, Iran International, October 1, 2022 [back]

    11. At Least 9 Killed as Tensions in Iran Cross the Border Into Iraq, New York Times, September 28, 2022. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    The Republican Party Is Fascist

    The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

    This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!

    Republicans, Democrats and U.S. Crimes Against Humanity: A Chart

    Updated

    To our readers: These are just a few of the crimes the U.S., under both Republi-fascists and Democrats, has committed since World War 2 in the world as a whole. THIS is a stunning and telling indictment of the U.S. ruling class as a whole and the Democratic Party in particular.

    Today, with Biden playing “nuclear chicken” with both Russia and China, it is extremely important to know this record. Add it up: Each party has been willing in the years since World War II, to sacrifice millions upon millions of innocent people to maintain their empire.

    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"

    by Bob Avakian

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

    President Truman (D)

    As Japan was suing for peace and World War 2 was coming to an end, on August 6, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb ever used on the city of Hiroshima. By the end of 1945, between 140,000 and 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, died from the attack and hundreds of thousands more were wounded. On August 9, the U.S. dropped an even more powerful nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, destroying the city and murdering another 70,000 people. The U.S. is the only country ever to use nuclear weapons.1

    The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945

    President Truman (D)

    As Japan was suing for peace and World War 2 was coming to an end, on August 6, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb ever used on the city of Hiroshima. By the end of 1945, between 140,000 and 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, died from the attack and hundreds of thousands more were wounded. On August 9, the U.S. dropped an even more powerful nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, destroying the city and murdering another 70,000 people. The U.S. is the only country ever to use nuclear weapons.1

    August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

     

    August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki   

    Military intervention in the Chinese Revolution, 1945-1949

    Truman (D)

    By 1945, Japan had been defeated, in large part by decades of revolutionary struggle under the leadership of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party. A civil war soon broke out between China’s revolutionaries and the reactionary Nationalist Party (Kuomintang/KMT) under Chiang Kai-shek. The U.S. funneled billions in aid and military equipment to the KMT. The roughly 100,000 American troops stationed in China advised, trained, organized, and supported Chiang’s forces, even airlifting 500,000 to different battlefronts. Without U.S. backing the KMT would have been defeated more—perhaps much more—quickly. So U.S. intervention prolonged the conflict and contributed significantly to the terrible toll on the Chinese. Between 1945 and 1949, an estimated 2.5 million were killed, millions more were displaced, the economy collapsed, and tens of millions were left destitute.2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Turning Micronesia into a nuclear testing ground, 1946-1962

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D)

    From 1946 to 1962, the U.S. turned Micronesia—a region in the Western Pacific Ocean comprising thousands of small islands, including the Marshall Islands—into a nuclear test site which it named the “Pacific Proving Ground.” It carried out its first test by exploding a nuclear bomb over Bikini Atoll in 1946, and between 1947 and 1962 carried out 102 tests over, on, or under the waters of these precious islands. Of these tests, 67 were atomic bombs.

    Some islands were evacuated prior to testing and were obliterated. But other tests were carried out on inhabited islands and people were exposed to huge amounts of nuclear fallout and suffered acute radiation illness including nausea, vomiting, burns, hair loss, hypothyroidism, and miscarriages. Some were guinea pigs in a secret medical experiment to study the effects of radiation on human beings. Today, 60 years after nuclear testing, entire islands remain uninhabitable and many islanders still suffer their aftereffects, in some instances with thyroid cancer rates 200 percent above the national baseline.3

    Background: U.S. testing nuclear weapons in Micronesia, July 1946

    Turning Micronesia into a nuclear testing ground, 1946-1962

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D)

    From 1946 to 1962, the U.S. turned Micronesia—a region in the Western Pacific Ocean comprising thousands of small islands, including the Marshall Islands—into a nuclear test site which it named the “Pacific Proving Ground.” It carried out its first test by exploding a nuclear bomb over Bikini Atoll in 1946, and between 1947 and 1962 carried out 102 tests over, on, or under the waters of these precious islands. Of these tests, 67 were atomic bombs.

    Some islands were evacuated prior to testing and were obliterated. But other tests were carried out on inhabited islands and people were exposed to huge amounts of nuclear fallout and suffered acute radiation illness including nausea, vomiting, burns, hair loss, hypothyroidism, and miscarriages. Some were guinea pigs in a secret medical experiment to study the effects of radiation on human beings. Today, 60 years after nuclear testing, entire islands remain uninhabitable and many islanders still suffer their aftereffects, in some instances with thyroid cancer rates 200 percent above the national baseline.3

    Aerial view of U.S. testing nuclear weapons in Micronesia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Military intervention in Greek civil war, 1947-49

    President Truman (D)

    In 1947, the U.S. took over from Britain, whose troops had spent three years trying to crush the pro-Soviet leftist fighters that had driven the Nazi invaders from many parts of Greece during World War 2. The U.S. armed, trained, and led the reactionary Greek military in a bloody counterinsurgency against these anti-fascist Greek guerrilla fighters who held out for nearly three years, suffering losses of many tens of thousands before their surrender in October 1949. In this “Third Phase” of the Greek civil war, the total deaths were estimated at 158,000 and a million people were forced from their homes (including through U.S.-orchestrated “pacification”). After surrendering, “Almost 100,000 ELAS fighters and communist sympathizers serving in DSE ranks were imprisoned, exiled or executed.” The U.S. then “exercised almost dictatorial control” of Greece in the economic sphere, according to a prominent Greek politician.4

    Background: USS Franklin D. Roosevelt at anchor in Piraeus, Greece, September 1946.

    Military intervention in Greek civil war, 1947-49

    President Truman (D)

    In 1947, the U.S. took over from Britain, whose troops had spent three years trying to crush the pro-Soviet leftist fighters that had driven the Nazi invaders from many parts of Greece during World War 2. The U.S. armed, trained, and led the reactionary Greek military in a bloody counterinsurgency against these anti-fascist Greek guerrilla fighters who held out for nearly three years, suffering losses of many tens of thousands before their surrender in October 1949. In this “Third Phase” of the Greek civil war, the total deaths were estimated at 158,000 and a million people were forced from their homes (including through U.S.-orchestrated “pacification”). After surrendering, “Almost 100,000 ELAS fighters and communist sympathizers serving in DSE ranks were imprisoned, exiled or executed.” The U.S. then “exercised almost dictatorial control” of Greece in the economic sphere, according to a prominent Greek politician.4

    USS Franklin D. Roosevelt at anchor in Piraeus, Greece, September 1946.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Korean War, 1950-53

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R)

    In June 1950, the U.S. orchestrated a United Nations invasion of Korea, and sent over 340,000 American troops. Over the next three years of combat and massive bombings, U.S. and U.S.-led forces killed more than three million people: two million North Korean civilians, 500,000 North Korean soldiers, between 900,000 and a million Chinese soldiers. There were also 1.3 million South Korean casualties, including 400,000 dead.5

    Background: U.S. Army photo depicts the summary execution of 1,800 South Korean
    political prisoners in July 1950 carried out by the U.S.-installed puppet Syngman Rhee.

    The Korean War, 1950-53

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R)

    In June 1950, the U.S. orchestrated a United Nations invasion of Korea, and sent over 340,000 American troops. Over the next three years of combat and massive bombings, U.S. and U.S.-led forces killed more than three million people: two million North Korean civilians, 500,000 North Korean soldiers, between 900,000 and a million Chinese soldiers. There were also 1.3 million South Korean casualties, including 400,000 dead.5

    2-Taejon-SouthKorea-masscre-July-1950National-Archives.jpg

     

    U.S. nuclear threats against China and North Korea, 1950-1951

    President Truman (D)

    On November 30, 1950, Truman stated publicly that the U.S. was considering using nuclear weapons against Chinese and North Korean forces. That day, the Strategic Air Command was ordered to “be prepared to dispatch without delay medium bomb groups to the Far East ... this augmentation should include atomic capability.” Some in government advocated a “limited war” against China, including air attacks and a naval blockade. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then in overall command of U.S. forces in Korea, argued for dropping 30 to 50 atomic bombs on Manchuria and Chinese cities. (Truman feared this could end up harming U.S. interests and fired MacArthur in the spring of 1951.)6

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    CIA coup in Iran, 1953

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R)

    On August 19, 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with British intelligence, launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s popular, elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, during an upsurge of protest against British colonialism, Mossadegh had nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

    That day, CIA-organized mobs, joined by the military, took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” Street battles raged. By late afternoon, military units seized control of Mossadegh’s house, breaking the resistance. By evening, 300 lay dead, and Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah [King] Pahlavi’s throne was secure.

    Iran’s nationalist upsurge was crushed. The U.S. replaced Britain as the dominant imperialist power in Iran. Mossadegh’s nationalization was reversed, and U.S. oil giants were cut in on the spoils, reaping enormous profits. The coup embedded Iran as a key military outpost for the U.S. against regional liberation struggles and in its Cold War clash with the Soviet Union.

    The Shah ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. Speaking out risked arrest by SAVAK, his U.S.-trained secret police. Thousands were murdered, jailed, or barbarically tortured—they even threatened to torture children in front of their parents. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran.7

    Background: 1953 Coup in Iran

    CIA coup in Iran, 1953

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R)

    On August 19, 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), along with British intelligence, launched a military coup overthrowing Iran’s popular, elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, during an upsurge of protest against British colonialism, Mossadegh had nationalized Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

    That day, CIA-organized mobs, joined by the military, took over streets chanting “Long live the Shah! Death to Mossadegh!” Street battles raged. By late afternoon, military units seized control of Mossadegh’s house, breaking the resistance. By evening, 300 lay dead, and Iran’s Mohammad Reza Shah [King] Pahlavi’s throne was secure.

    Iran’s nationalist upsurge was crushed. The U.S. replaced Britain as the dominant imperialist power in Iran. Mossadegh’s nationalization was reversed, and U.S. oil giants were cut in on the spoils, reaping enormous profits. The coup embedded Iran as a key military outpost for the U.S. against regional liberation struggles and in its Cold War clash with the Soviet Union.

    The Shah ruled as an iron-fisted U.S. puppet for 25 years. Speaking out risked arrest by SAVAK, his U.S.-trained secret police. Thousands were murdered, jailed, or barbarically tortured—they even threatened to torture children in front of their parents. When millions rose against the Shah in 1978-79, he shot down thousands with U.S. backing before being ousted. The 1953 coup and what followed ended up helping pave the way for a new Iranian nightmare: the 1979 founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran.7

    1953-coup-iran-600.jpg

     

    U.S. threatens nuclear attack against Iraq’s 1958 revolution

    President Eisenhower (R)

    After the pro-Western Iraqi monarchy was overthrown in a nationalist military coup, the U.S. threatened war against the new republic. U.S. forces, including the Strategic Air Command, were put on worldwide alert, and 70 naval vessels, hundreds of aircraft, and 14,000 Marines were dispatched to neighboring Lebanon, including an atomic unit with artillery capable of firing nuclear shells. Eisenhower had secretly ordered the military to prepare to use nuclear weapons to prevent an Iraqi takeover of Kuwait’s oil fields. In response to U.S. threats and deployments, the Soviet Union began large-scale maneuvers on its borders with Turkey and Iran. “Until the makeup and intentions of the new Republic of Iraq became clear, ‘general war’ was a real possibility,” one journalist summed up.8

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    Presidents Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D), Johnson (D), Nixon (R), Ford (R)

    The U.S. first sent military advisers, then more than 500,000 troops, and dropped millions of tons of bombs in an effort to defeat the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people and prevent either revolutionary China or the imperialist Soviet Union from strengthening their influence in Southeast Asia. By the time the war ended in America’s defeat in April 1975, its military had slaughtered some two million Vietnamese civilians and one million Vietnamese soldiers.9

     

    Background: My Lai Massacre, Vietnam

    Vietnam War, 1961-1975

    Presidents Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D), Johnson (D), Nixon (R), Ford (R)

    The U.S. first sent military advisers, then more than 500,000 troops, and dropped millions of tons of bombs in an effort to defeat the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people and prevent either revolutionary China or the imperialist Soviet Union from strengthening their influence in Southeast Asia. By the time the war ended in America’s defeat in April 1975, its military had slaughtered some two million Vietnamese civilians and one million Vietnamese soldiers.9

    Villagers massacred by U.S. Army troops at My Lai in Vietnam, March 16, 1968.

     

    Planning for nuclear war with the Soviet Union and China, 1950s and ’60s.

    Presidents Truman (D), Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D)

    Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg saw a copy of these war plans in 1961.He later wrote: “The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed at the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact satellites, and China, would be roughly six hundred million dead. A hundred Holocausts.”10

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Murdering the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, installing the butcher Mobutu, 1961-1997

    Presidents Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D), Johnson (D), Nixon (R), Ford (R), Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Clinton (D)

    On January 17, 1961, a firing squad shot to death the Congolese anti-colonialist leader Patrice Lumumba, just months after he’d been elected prime minister of the newly founded Republic of the Congo. This brutal murder was carried out by Lumumba’s Congolese enemies, but it had been called for by President Eisenhower in August 1960 and organized by CIA Director Allen Dulles, who wrote the CIA station chief in the Congo that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective.”

    Murdering Lumumba, who sought to use the Congo’s vast mineral resources to improve its people’s lives, and then in 1965 installing the brutal regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, turned the Congo into a bulwark for U.S. political and military intervention in Africa for nearly three decades. While global imperialism and Mobutu plundered the country, Congolese suffered hellish enslavement and medieval destitution. “How do I describe ... the feeling of holding in my arms a child half-dead from lack of protein,” one eyewitness wrote, “his hair a sickly orange, his face bloated and puffy, his abdomen an overstretched balloon?” Meanwhile, Carter intervened to save Mobutu in 1977 and 1978, Reagan hailed him as “a voice of good sense and good will,” and George H.W. Bush called him “our best friend in Africa.”11

    Background: Arrest of Patrice Lumumba by Congolese troops loyal to Col. Joseph Mobutu. Photo: AP 

    Murdering the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, installing the butcher Mobutu, 1961-1997

    Presidents Eisenhower (R), Kennedy (D), Johnson (D), Nixon (R), Ford (R), Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Clinton (D)

    On January 17, 1961, a firing squad shot to death the Congolese anti-colonialist leader Patrice Lumumba, just months after he’d been elected prime minister of the newly founded Republic of the Congo. This brutal murder was carried out by Lumumba’s Congolese enemies, but it had been called for by President Eisenhower in August 1960 and organized by CIA Director Allen Dulles, who wrote the CIA station chief in the Congo that Lumumba’s “removal must be an urgent and prime objective.”

    Murdering Lumumba, who sought to use the Congo’s vast mineral resources to improve its people’s lives, and then in 1965 installing the brutal regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, turned the Congo into a bulwark for U.S. political and military intervention in Africa for nearly three decades. While global imperialism and Mobutu plundered the country, Congolese suffered hellish enslavement and medieval destitution. “How do I describe ... the feeling of holding in my arms a child half-dead from lack of protein,” one eyewitness wrote, “his hair a sickly orange, his face bloated and puffy, his abdomen an overstretched balloon?” Meanwhile, Carter intervened to save Mobutu in 1977 and 1978, Reagan hailed him as “a voice of good sense and good will,” and George H.W. Bush called him “our best friend in Africa.”11

    Hires_LumumbaArrest_AP_911471841488_600px.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961

    President Kennedy (D)

    The U.S. attempted to spark the overthrow of Cuba’s government, headed by Fidel Castro, by organizing this invasion by reactionary Cuban exiles. It was defeated, but during the fighting some 2,000 to 6,000 Cuban soldiers, militia personnel, and others were killed, wounded, or went missing.12

     

    Background: B-26 airplane that was part of the invasion of Cuba after being shot down by Cuban forces.

    The Bay of Pigs invasion, 1961

    Kennedy (D)

    The U.S. attempted to spark the overthrow of Cuba’s government, headed by Fidel Castro, by organizing this invasion by reactionary Cuban exiles. It was defeated, but during the fighting some 2,000 to 6,000 Cuban soldiers, militia personnel, and others were killed, wounded, or went missing.12

    B-26-of-mercenary-shot-down-600px.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Cuban missile crisis, 1962

    President Kennedy (D)

    The U.S. was carrying out secret operations to overthrow the Cuban government (and on another front, had also stationed nuclear missiles threatening the Soviet Union in Turkey). At Cuba’s request, the Soviets placed 36 nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. The U.S. demanded the missiles be removed, sent U-2 spy planes over Cuba (one was shot down), placed a naval blockade on Cuba, dropped depth charges near a disabled Soviet submarine, considered invading, and put its nuclear forces on DEFCON 2 alert, the highest level short of nuclear war. For 13 days, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear holocaust before the crisis was defused.13

    Cuban missile crisis, 1962

    President Kennedy (D)

    The U.S. was carrying out secret operations to overthrow the Cuban government (and on another front, had also stationed nuclear missiles threatening the Soviet Union in Turkey). At Cuba’s request, the Soviets placed 36 nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. The U.S. demanded the missiles be removed, sent U-2 spy planes over Cuba (one was shot down), placed a naval blockade on Cuba, dropped depth charges near a disabled Soviet submarine, considered invading, and put its nuclear forces on DEFCON 2 alert, the highest level short of nuclear war. For 13 days, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear holocaust before the crisis was defused.13

    Cartoon of Kennedy and Khrushchev arm wrestling, representing Cuban missile crisis.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Invasion of Dominican Republic, 1965

    President Johnson (D)

    On April 28, 1965, 22,000 U.S. Marines and other troops invaded the Dominican Republic to crush a just, mass uprising against the country’s pro-U.S. tyranny. Some 3,000 to 4,000 Dominicans were killed, although others estimated that the death toll was as high as 6,000 to 10,000.14

    Background: U.S. troops invade the Dominican Republic

    Invasion of Dominican Republic, 1965

    Johnson (D)

    On April 28, 1965, 22,000 U.S. Marines and other troops invaded the Dominican Republic to crush a just, mass uprising against the country’s pro-U.S. tyranny. Some 3,000 to 4,000 Dominicans were killed, although others estimated that the death toll was as high as 6,000 to 10,000.14

    DR_UStroopsSantoDomingo_600px.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    CIA orchestrates bloodbath in Indonesia, 1965-1966

    President Johnson (D)

    For many months, starting at the end of 1965, the reactionary Indonesian military, led by the pro-U.S. General Suharto, as well as other reactionary forces that it unleashed, slaughtered people with wild abandon. This massive bloodbath was set in motion, backed, and orchestrated by the U.S., which provided the military with equipment, weapons, and ultimately tens of billions of dollars. CIA advisers counseled Indonesian generals and provided them with a “hit list” of 5,000, then checked off their names as they were murdered. When the bloodletting ended, at least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, had been killed, including members of the Communist Party of Indonesia, trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested and tortured.15

    Background: United States CIA orchestrated a bloodbath in Indonesia

    CIA orchestrates bloodbath in Indonesia, 1965-1966

    President Johnson (D)

    For many months, starting at the end of 1965, the reactionary Indonesian military, led by the pro-U.S. General Suharto, as well as other reactionary forces that it unleashed, slaughtered people with wild abandon. This massive bloodbath was set in motion, backed, and orchestrated by the U.S., which provided the military with equipment, weapons, and ultimately tens of billions of dollars. CIA advisers counseled Indonesian generals and provided them with a “hit list” of 5,000, then checked off their names as they were murdered. When the bloodletting ended, at least 500,000, perhaps more than a million, had been killed, including members of the Communist Party of Indonesia, trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women, and children. Hundreds of thousands more were arrested and tortured.15

    1965indonesia-AP_427278905175-600.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Bombing of Laos, 1965-1973

    Presidents Johnson (D), Nixon (R)

    During the war in Vietnam, U.S. warplanes dropped two million tons of bombs on the small neighboring country of Laos, more than had been dropped on Germany or Japan during World War 2. These included anti-personnel cluster bombs. There’s been no accounting of those killed or wounded during the bombing, but over 20,000 people have been killed or maimed by unexploded ordinance—including cluster bombs—in the decades since the war ended.16

     

    Background: Smoke from U.S. napalm bombs dropped 15 miles inside
    the small country of Laos, which was neutral in the Vietnam War.

    Bombing of Laos, 1965-1973

    Presidents Johnson (D), Nixon (R)

    During the war in Vietnam, U.S. warplanes dropped two million tons of bombs on the small neighboring country of Laos, more than had been dropped on Germany or Japan during World War 2. These included anti-personnel cluster bombs. There’s been no accounting of those killed or wounded during the bombing, but over 20,000 people have been killed or maimed by unexploded ordinance—including cluster bombs—in the decades since the war ended.16

    Smoke from U.S. napalm bombs dropped 15 miles inside the small country of Laos, which was neutral in the Vietnam War. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Bombing of Cambodia, 1969-1973

    President Nixon (R)

    The U.S. also carpet bombed Cambodia during the war in Vietnam, directly or indirectly killing 100,000 to 600,000 Cambodians—mostly civilians. Hundreds of thousands more likely died due to displacement, disease, and starvation in this period. Over two million people, more than 25 percent of its population, were driven from their homes in the countryside.17

    Background: Smoke rises from bombs dropped by U.S. planes
    near the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, July 25, 1973.

    Bombing of Cambodia, 1969-1973

    President Nixon (R)

    The U.S. also carpet bombed Cambodia during the war in Vietnam, directly or indirectly killing 100,000 to 600,000 Cambodians—mostly civilians. Hundreds of thousands more likely died due to displacement, disease, and starvation in this period. Over two million people, more than 25 percent of its population, were driven from their homes in the countryside.17

    Smoke rises from bombs dropped by U.S. planes near the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, July 25, 1973.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Christmas bombing of North Vietnam, December 18-29, 1972

    President Nixon (R)

    The U.S. massively bombed the densely populated cities of Hanoi and Haiphong to force concessions by North Vietnam in negotiations to end the war. It claimed 1,600 Vietnamese civilians were killed, but Vietnamese sources estimate there were 2,300 civilian deaths—about 1,500 in Hanoi alone.18

    Background: Vietnamese people carrying victims of the American Christmas air raids on Hanoi and North Vietnam.

    Christmas bombing of North Vietnam, December 18-29, 1972

    President Nixon (R)

    The U.S. massively bombed the densely populated cities of Hanoi and Haiphong to force concessions by North Vietnam in negotiations to end the war. It claimed 1,600 Vietnamese civilians were killed, but Vietnamese sources estimate there were 2,300 civilian deaths—about 1,500 in Hanoi alone.18

    vietnam1972christmas-600.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    CIA-organized military coup in Chile, 1973

    President Nixon (R)

    Beginning in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a coup against the leftist government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. More than 3,000 Chilean people were executed, thousands more were “disappeared,” and tens of thousands tortured; over 140,000 people were rounded up during the coup, and in the few years that followed, as many as one million people out of Chile’s population of 11 million were forced into exile.19

    Background: Following the coup, tens of thousands were rounded up

    CIA-organized military coup in Chile, 1973

    President Nixon (R)

    Beginning in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a coup against the leftist government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. More than 3,000 Chilean people were executed, thousands more were “disappeared,” and tens of thousands tortured; over 140,000 people were rounded up during the coup, and in the few years that followed, as many as one million people out of Chile’s population of 11 million were forced into exile.19

    Sep_11_1973-A-Military-coup-backed-by-USA-in-Chile-600px.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    U.S. foments civil war in Angola, 1975-1994

    Presidents Ford (R), Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Clinton (D)

    In the 1960s, when the Angolan people were fighting to lift the yoke of Portuguese colonialism, the U.S. backed the Portuguese government’s attempts to crush their struggle—including supplying the colonial regime with napalm. In 1975, when Portugal ended its rule and the Angolan MPLA was set to take power, the U.S. began arming, funding, and militarily assisting the reactionary anti-MPLA butchers of UNITA headed by Jonas Savimbi. The U.S. also backed South Africa’s military intervention in Angola to weaken or overthrow the MPLA government, prevent the Soviet Union or its ally Cuba from gaining a foothold in Southern Africa, and help preserve the apartheid government of South Africa. A savage civil war was unleashed which lasted until 2002. Some 500,000 were killed, over four million were driven from their homes, and the society was devastated. The U.S. rulers only dialed back their support for the civil war in 1993 when the Soviet Union had collapsed. After the war, “80 percent of people have no access to basic medical care. More than two-thirds have no running water. A whole generation of children has never opened a schoolbook. Life expectancy is less than 40 years. Three in ten children will die before reaching their fifth birthday,” the New York Times reported.20

    Background: Ronald Reagan with Jonas Savimbi

    U.S. foments civil war in Angola, 1975-1994

    Presidents Ford (R), Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Clinton (D)

    In the 1960s, when the Angolan people were fighting to lift the yoke of Portuguese colonialism, the U.S. backed the Portuguese government’s attempts to crush their struggle—including supplying the colonial regime with napalm. In 1975, when Portugal ended its rule and the Angolan MPLA was set to take power, the U.S. began arming, funding, and militarily assisting the reactionary anti-MPLA butchers of UNITA headed by Jonas Savimbi. The U.S. also backed South Africa’s military intervention in Angola to weaken or overthrow the MPLA government, prevent the Soviet Union or its ally Cuba from gaining a foothold in Southern Africa, and help preserve the apartheid government of South Africa. A savage civil war was unleashed which lasted until 2002. Some 500,000 were killed, over four million were driven from their homes, and the society was devastated. The U.S. rulers only dialed back their support for the civil war in 1993 when the Soviet Union had collapsed. After the war, “80 percent of people have no access to basic medical care. More than two-thirds have no running water. A whole generation of children has never opened a schoolbook. Life expectancy is less than 40 years. Three in ten children will die before reaching their fifth birthday,” the New York Times reported.20

     

     

    640px-Ronald_Reagan_and_Jonas_Savimbi.jpg

     

    Covertly fueling terror in Mozambique, 1977-1992

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R)

    Between 1977 and 1992, the U.S. covertly fueled a reactionary war and a barbaric campaign of mass terror in the southern Africa country of Mozambique. This newly independent nation was ruled by the nationalist Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which was aided by the Soviet Union. The white settler states of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, secretly backed by the U.S., formed, supported, and armed the “Mozambican National Resistance” (RENAMO). Their goal: to force Mozambique to halt support for the just struggle against apartheid South Africa, drive it into the arms of Western imperialism, and prevent the imperialist Soviet Union from gaining a foothold in southern Africa.

    RENAMO systematically carried out crimes against humanity as part of a strategy to cripple and destabilize Mozambique’s government. It abducted children to be soldiers. It forced villagers to produce food, transport munitions, and turned village women into sex slaves—devastating agriculture (as well as the country’s infrastructure) and spawning mass starvation and famines which killed hundreds of thousands. It carried out brutal massacres, including the 1987 slaughter of 424 civilians, including hospital patients in the town of Homoine, and directly murdered some 100,000 people in all. U.S. ally South Africa gave RENAMO logistical, military, and financial support, and also carried out direct attacks in Mozambique, including cross-border raids, aerial bombings, sabotage, assassinations, kidnappings, even a 1986 invasion aimed at cutting Mozambique in half in 1986. Between 600,000 and one million died of war-related causes.

    The U.S. secretly supported this slaughter—through private parties (the right-wing Heritage Foundation gave RENAMO office space in Washington, DC, for instance) and covert backing for South Africa. Author Mahmood Mamdani summed up, “Simply put, after the defeat in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, the United States decided to harness, and even to cultivate, terrorism in the struggle against regimes it considered pro-Soviet.”21

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Supporting Indonesian genocide in East Timor, 1975-1999

    Presidents Ford (R), Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Clinton (D)

    On December 6, 1975, President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with America’s close ally, Indonesian dictator Suharto (who spearheaded the mass slaughter of leftists in 1965 and then staged a military coup in 1967—all with U.S. backing), and green-lighted Indonesia’s invasion of its neighbor, East Timor. “What followed was one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. It is estimated that up to one-third of the Timorese population was killed through a policy of army massacre and enforced starvation. Many of those who were left were imprisoned and tortured by a military armed and trained by the United States.” The slaughter continued for almost 25 years. In 1999, after the Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, pro-Indonesia forces murdered about 14,000 people. A few months later, the U.S. president—this time Clinton—was again meeting with Suharto to strengthen ties with his murderous regime.22

    Background: Indonesian military in East Timor

    Supporting Indonesian genocide in East Timor, 1975-1999

    Presidents Ford (R), Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R), Clinton (D)

    On December 6, 1975, President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with America’s close ally, Indonesian dictator Suharto (who spearheaded the mass slaughter of leftists in 1965 and then staged a military coup in 1967—all with U.S. backing), and green-lighted Indonesia’s invasion of its neighbor, East Timor. “What followed was one of the greatest genocides of the 20th century. It is estimated that up to one-third of the Timorese population was killed through a policy of army massacre and enforced starvation. Many of those who were left were imprisoned and tortured by a military armed and trained by the United States.” The slaughter continued for almost 25 years. In 1999, after the Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, pro-Indonesia forces murdered about 14,000 people. A few months later, the U.S. president—this time Clinton—was again meeting with Suharto to strengthen ties with his murderous regime.22

    2-Military-Indonesia-East-Timor-600.jpg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    U.S. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1989

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R)

    After the Soviet Union, the U.S.’s main imperialist rival, invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S., along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, armed, organized, and funded the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen (who later became Afghanistan’s Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda) to wage war against the Soviet forces and the Afghan regime it backed. When the Soviets finally pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) had been killed in this reactionary bloodbath and five million Afghans, one-third of its population at the time, had been driven out of the country as refugees.23

    Background: The U.S. funded the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist
    Mujahideen to wage war against the Soviet Union (here in 1985).

    U.S. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1989

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R)

    After the Soviet Union, the U.S.’s main imperialist rival, invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S., along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, armed, organized, and funded the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen (who later became Afghanistan’s Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda) to wage war against the Soviet forces and the Afghan regime it backed. When the Soviets finally pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) had been killed in this reactionary bloodbath and five million Afghans, one-third of its population at the time, had been driven out of the country as refugees.23

    mujahideen-Afghanistan1985-600.jpg

     

    U.S. threatens tactical nuclear war over Iran, 1980

    President Carter (D)

    During and immediately after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the U.S. and the Soviet Union engaged in a series of high-stakes warnings and threats, backed by military maneuvers and nuclear alerts, to maintain or increase their leverage in Iran. In August 1980, the U.S. warned the Soviets that any move into Iran would lead to a direct military confrontation. Those options included the use of tactical nuclear weapons. For the first time, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski later wrote, “the United States deliberately sought for itself the capability to manage a protracted nuclear conflict.”24

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    U.S. backs El Salvador death squads, 1980-92

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R)

    To crush a guerrilla struggle against its brutal client regime, the U.S. supported, funded, and armed death squads that carried out extrajudicial executions and massacres which killed as many as 75,000 Salvadorans.25

    Background: 1981—Death squad victims in San Salvador, El Salvador

    U.S. backs El Salvador death squads, 1980-92

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R)

    To crush a guerrilla struggle against its brutal client regime, the U.S. supported, funded, and armed death squads that carried out extrajudicial executions and massacres which killed as many as 75,000 Salvadorans.25

    Victims of death squad in El Salvador, 1981

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Fueling the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R)

    In September 1980, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded Iran with a green light from the U.S. Their common goal—to weaken or topple the new Islamic Republic. The U.S. sold (or had allies sell) arms to Iraq, including the capability to make biological and chemical weapons (which were used against Iran), and provided military intelligence. For a time, the U.S. also supplied Iran with weapons. U.S. machinations prolonged the war and worsened the slaughter: Conservative estimates place the death toll at 262,000 to 367,000 Iranians and 105,000 Iraqis, plus an estimated 700,000 injured or wounded on both sides.26

     

    Background: 1981—Ronald Reagan meets with Tariq Aziz, representative of Saddam Hussein.

    Fueling the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988

    Presidents Carter (D), Reagan (R)

    In September 1980, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded Iran with a green light from the U.S. Their common goal—to weaken or topple the new Islamic Republic. The U.S. sold (or had allies sell) arms to Iraq, including the capability to make biological and chemical weapons (which were used against Iran), and provided military intelligence. For a time, the U.S. also supplied Iran with weapons. U.S. machinations prolonged the war and worsened the slaughter: Conservative estimates place the death toll at 262,000 to 367,000 Iranians and 105,000 Iraqis, plus an estimated 700,000 injured or wounded on both sides.26

    Iran Iraq war: Reagan meets with Tariq Aziz, representative of Saddam Hussein.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The U.S.-sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua, 1981-1988

    Presidents Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R)

    After the Sandinistas overthrew the pro-U.S. Somoza dictatorship in 1978, and established friendly ties with the Soviet Union, the U.S. was determined to overthrow them. “For eight terrible long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington’s proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza’s vicious National Guardsmen and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war ... burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing.” As many as 50,000 people were killed. In 1990 the U.S. forced a “free election” with the threat of escalated terror if people supported the Sandinista government. It fell. Today, Nicaragua is one of the poorest and most violence plagued nations in the hemisphere.27

    Background: 1981—President Ronald Reagan meeting with Contras,
    who he fondly referring to as “freedom fighters.”

    The U.S.-sponsored Contra war in Nicaragua, 1981-1988

    Presidents Reagan (R), George H.W. Bush (R)

    After the Sandinistas overthrew the pro-U.S. Somoza dictatorship in 1978, and established friendly ties with the Soviet Union, the U.S. was determined to overthrow them. “For eight terrible long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington’s proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza’s vicious National Guardsmen and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war ... burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining