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 November 28, 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
  • The RNL Show Interviews with Bob Avakian

    Streaming Now!

    A Rare Appearance on
    The RNL—Revolution Nothing Less—Show
    on youtube/therevcoms

  • In a Time When the Future Hangs in the Balance  When Solutions Offered End Up with the Horrors Going On and On… There Is Hope, and a Roadmap to the Emancipation of Humanity DONATE GENEROUSLY to make this hope a reality
  • The RNL Show Interviews with Bob Avakian

    What People Are Saying...And Doing
  • 3 Reasons Why YOU Can’t Miss the Bob Avakian Interviews on the Revolution—Nothing Less! YouTube Show
  • A Message to the Revcoms and Everyone Else Yearning for a Better World

    THIS Is A “Game-Changer”: The Bob Avakian Interviews

    Part One

  • Watching the Interviews in Chicago: "These Are The People In Your Heart"
  • Uprising in Iran — Week 10: Murderous Escalation Against Courageous, Ongoing Protests — Urgent Need for Global Outcry in Support of Iranian Rebellion and for Revolutionary Leadership
  • From Atash/Fire, Journal of the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, November 2022:

    Islamic Child-Killing Republic
  • From Atash/Fire, Journal of the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, November 2022:

    If There Is to Be a Revolution, a Revolutionary Situation Must Be Created!
  • From the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist: People of the World: Take up the Cry of Revolution from Iran as Your Own!
  • Five Dead, 25 Injured in Attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs

    The Mounting Toll—in Lives and Terror—of Hate-fueled, Fascist Propaganda Against LGBTQ People
  • A Black Nazi, a White Nazi, and an Orange Nazi walk into a golf club for dinner. No, this is not how the joke begins. This is how genocides begin.
  • Capitalism-Imperialism and the Threat to the Fish in the Sea

    Part 2 of the series on the ocean

  • The World Cup in Qatar Is Soaked with the Blood of Immigrants The Capitalist-Imperialist System Is Outmoded and Must Be Swept Away
  • Reflections on Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire Learning from the Past to Forge a Future Free From Empire, Imperialism, and All Exploitation

    Part 3

  • Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Calls for Protests December 1
  • This Giving Tuesday, give to the REAL hope for humanity
  • 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 November 28, 2022

    Updated

    In a World Crying Out for Change:
    A Bold Plan to Go into 2023 with a Roar

    This world cries out for revolution. The dog-eat-dog economic and political system we live our lives under gives rise to one horror after another. Think about it:

    • Wars to expand and/or defend empire, from the Ukraine to Middle East, and nuclear threats that could blow humanity off the planet altogether thrown around by Russia and the U.S. (go here for a some of the key articles on Ukraine).
    • The intensifying and vengeful oppression of women, from the stripping of abortion rights in the U.S. to the murderous repression in Iran of women demonstrating for the simple right of dressing and moving as they please, as well as the brutality and humiliation visited on LGBTQ people.
    • The violent pillaging and destruction of the environment we live in, where empty promises are a new form of pollution and millions of refugees pour out of countries made unlivable, desperately risking their lives to be able to live.
    • And right here, in the “leader of the free world,” the holiday season comes with more people locked up than anywhere else on the planet by far—two million people who are way disproportionately Black youth, Latino youth, and Native youth—with this just the ugly, brutal tip of a centuries-long iceberg of oppression and discrimination of all kinds.

    Yes, this IS America: the society where life is so “wonderful” that in the past ten days alone, three times some individual has gone off and killed multiple people… people on a football team… people in a gay bar… people at work… when does it end?!?

    Bob Avakian, BA, the most important thinker and leader on the planet today, has said:

    We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to dominate the world and to determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible.

    We Need a Revolution—A REAL Revolution

    BA has also brought forward a strategy for how to go from the small numbers today in the revolutionary movement to thousands and then millions. He’s developed a strategy for defeating and dismantling, when the time is right, the system’s forces of violent repression. And he’s authored a Constitution for the new society, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a way that people could live and flourish together.

    Bob Avakian and the Revcoms are talking about a real revolution—not just a change of faces in the same old system, but something much deeper:

    • A totally new economic system rooted in cooperation, meeting people’s needs, tending the environment and supporting revolution all over the planet…
    • A new political system that reinforces that economic system and backs people up in changing all the oppressive relations of today, all the ways that one section of people lords it over another… and
    • A new culture and new ways of relating to people that can enable people to flourish as they change the world.

    COME GET WITH THE REVCOMS IN MAJOR FUND-RAISING EVENTS—

    TALK, EAT, WATCH EXCERPTS OF THE BOB AVAKIAN INTERVIEW, TALK SOME MORE AND LAY PLANS—

    WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 10 AND 11, EITHER LIVE OR ON ZOOM. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE DETAILS.

    And Now We Have a Game-Changer

    A few short weeks ago, The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less! Youtube show began posting a series of three interviews with Bob Avakian. These interviews are at one and the same time delightful and very, very deep and serious. BA speaks to everyone in these interviews. He does it from the heart and he does it with all the science that he has led in developing these past 50 years—a science that can be wielded to analyze and change and liberate the society we live in. Go here to see or read some of the ways that a whole range of people have responded.

    Over these next six weeks, getting this interview out into society is the leading edge of actually preparing the ground, preparing the people and preparing the vanguard itself for revolution… for the time when millions can be led to put it on the line to bring in a whole new world.

    At the same time, the Revcoms (short for revolutionary communists) are aiming to raise $100,000 in the next few months. This fund drive will make it possible to get the interview out there, and also make possible the continued operation of this website and of the Revolution Tour project, now located in LA. This Tuesday marks the launch of the fund drive, and there are materials on this page to find out more and get started. Raising and donating funds to this movement is a great way to support the movement and to expand it.

    From watching the interview in groups to spreading the word in many different ways…

    From raising funds to talking with friends or people you’ve just met and getting them to spread it…

    From joining with revcoms—or going yourself—to get the word out where the contradictions and conflicts of society are roiling the sharpest, using everything from tablets to trucks to show people clips from this interview—this is what the next six weeks should look like. And the more that you join with this, the faster and stronger this movement for revolution can grow.

    We need this all over. People need to see this on the walls and telephone poles… and see it again on social media… They need to run into people handing them palm cards on the streets or trains… and then see it again on bulletin boards from laundromats to campuses to clubs… so that this becomes “a thing” and a growing mass of people begin to meet this leader, hear what he says about the times we’re living in, and find out how they can be part of revolution, and the emancipation of humanity.

    Go here to find three short reasons you can tell everyone to watch this interview, and go here to read a letter addressing the revcoms themselves on how to approach this. In addition, there are new responses from different people to the interview that give a sense of the breadth of people who are getting into this and what they are taking from it. And remember: December 10-11 is a major fund-raising weekend with events in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Berkeley and hopefully more cities.

    Also in this issue, we call your attention to news from the heroic rebellions in Iran, some key articles and clips from Bob Avakian on Ukraine, and other important articles. And come back during the week for news of the November 25 and December 1 actions called by RiseUp4AbortionRights.

    Included in this issue:

    * Three-part interview: 
    Up Close and Personal with 
    Bob Avakian 
    Heart and Soul & Hard-Core for Revolution

    * 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

    * Struggle in Iran

    * New: Five Dead, 25 Injured in Attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs: The Mounting Toll—in Lives and Terror—of Hate-fueled, Fascist Propaganda Against LGBTQ People

    * New: A Black Nazi, a White Nazi, and an Orange Nazi walk into a golf club for dinner. No, this is not how the joke begins. This is how genocides begin.

    * New: Capitalism-Imperialism and the Threat to the Fish in the Sea, Part 2 of the series on the ocean, by the Environmental Writers Group, revcom.us

    * New: The World Cup in Qatar Is Soaked with the Blood of ImmigrantsThe Capitalist-Imperialist System Is Outmoded and Must Be Swept Away

    * New: Reflections on Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire
    Learning from the Past to Forge A Future Free From Empire, Imperialism, and All Exploitation
    , Part 3, by Raymond Lotta

  • 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:

    In a Time When the Future Hangs in the Balance 
    When Solutions Offered End Up with the Horrors Going On and On…

    There Is Hope, and a Roadmap
    to the Emancipation of Humanity

    DONATE GENEROUSLY to make this hope a reality

    Your contribution will spur and accelerate the movement for liberating fundamental change, for a real revolution to cast off the system that is hurtling humanity towards the brink.   
    ANNOUNCING: A major holiday fund drive for a national project to put revolution on the map. Go here for a suggested email to send to everyone this Giving Tuesday.

    The very dangers we face in this moment of extreme crisis and sharp irreconcilable divisions in U.S. society holds the potential for what has seemed impossible to become possible.

    If you care — and you do,

    • You know the hour is late to save the environment. 

    • You suppress dread that the war in Ukraine and the saber-rattling with China could lead to unthinkable global nuclear catastrophe.

    • You fear and sense that any relief you felt from midterm elections is empty as one third of the country voted for fascists who are hardening, with talk of civil war bandied about.

    • You are outraged that the fundamental right of women to control their own future has been stripped away, and you rightly fear that theocratic fascists won’t stop with this.

    • You seethe with rage that police murder of Black and Brown people  continues unabated two years after George Floyd.

    • You don’t even want to ponder that the plight of refugees and immigrants at the border is not fundamentally different than under Trump.

    If this is you, isn’t now the moment to break out of your comfort zone and act on your discomfort with the way things are heading? 

    Doing so by donating generously to the movement that is bending every fiber of our beings to bring about a real solution to all these outrages in the only way that humanity could really move beyond all this brutal and even existential oppression—preparing now for a real revolution in a moment when it could be possible.

    In The BA Interviews on The RNL Show, referencing the situation in the world today, Bob Avakian makes this clear statement: 

    We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to dominate the world and to determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible.

    —Bob Avakian

    There are questions: Is an actual revolution necessary?  Is it possible and why? Can humanity really move beyond a world of inequality with everyone out for themselves?  Can the revolution we are fighting for really put the world on a radically better, liberating course?  What kind of leadership is needed to accomplish this?

    There are answers, none more comprehensive, none more filled with heart and soul for how a revolution could bring about a society where people could really flourish  than in the recent trio of Interviews with the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian.  In these interviews he shows how it is possible to overcome all forms of oppression and exploitation by people working together in a radically different way than is possible today. 

    Bob Avakian draws from the lives of people of the whole world, especially those who bear the brunt and suffer the boot of this oppressive system. He tells of his own life experience growing up in Berkeley, California, his experience working with the leaders of the Black Panther Party in their early revolutionary days, and he tells how he came to recognize and fill a great need — charting a course for a real revolution here in the most powerful country in history and developing a new framework for the emancipation of humanity which we call the new communism.

    In a break with past revolutions, BA insists that the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justify the means.” 

    Take a minute or an hour to think about this.  Watch the Interview. Compare this to the politics and the poisonous culture that saturates society today, and think about the possibilities this opens up. 

    For this vision and the possibility of fundamental revolutionary change to be realized there needs to be a force — a revolutionary people in their thousands that can grow to millions.  To forge this force, to put this revolution on the map, contending with all the non-solutions, your financial support is decisive. 
     

    The People… the Show… the Website

    Your donation today will enable this cohort of revolutionaries — the Revcoms — of different nationalities, genders, and ages to go out to shake up the world and forge a movement to change the face of everything.   A group of tested revolutionary leaders and a cohort of committed young revolutionaries have concentrated in Los Angeles to develop a model that can be replicated and grow nationally.

    Your donation will give an immediate boost to the ability to promote The Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show very broadly in society, and will also support the expansion of the production and promotion of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show — the national YouTube voice of the Revcoms.   During the pandemic, the LA cohort learned from scratch how to create and produce this most radical show online.

    Your donation will also make possible the ongoing needs to produce the website Revcom.Us  that gives unique analysis of major events and trends, guides the movement for revolution and which features the major works of Bob Avakian.

    There is the possibility of wrenching a positive emancipating future out of the existential crises, the madness of today.  There is a foundation and roadmap in a seminal work by Bob Avakian for this moment in history, Something Terrible, OR, Something Truly Emancipating.  There is a group of revolutionaries in Los Angeles with contingents in NY, Chicago and the Bay Area, ready to do the work, there is The RNL-Revolution Nothing Less-Show that is featuring the Bob Avakian Interviews, and there is Revcom.us. 

    What is needed is you. 

    There is no greater need, no greater love, no more important cause at this moment in history.  A radically different and far better world is possible.  Your donation today will contribute to putting this emancipating potential on the map.

  • ARTICLE:

    The RNL Show Interviews with Bob Avakian

    What People Are Saying...And Doing

    Updated

    Here are some of the responses to The BA Interviews on The RNL Show… and some of the experiences in spreading these throughout society.  (Share your response or your experience! Write to us at GetOrganizedForRevolutionTour@gmail.com)

    Paul Street on the Refuse Fascism podcast.  Street is an educator, activist and author. His most recent book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America.

    "I don’t know anybody that has spoken and written more persuasively and brilliantly about how and why we have a fascist movement in this country..."

    Read more

    "There’s this routine description of our system as a democracy in the election coverage when it is no such thing at all. As Bob Avakian would point out, it is in reality bourgeois democracy providing a cloak for an underlying capitalist class dictatorship. I did watch the Avakian interviews. They’re really, really first rate, and among many things people can extract from them are the historical context for the rise of Christo white nationalist fascism in the country. I don’t know anybody that has spoken and written more persuasively and brilliantly about how and why we have a fascist movement in this country, the historical context for that as a response to the victories of the social movements of the 1960s and the 1970s."

    Coco Das, Refuse Fascism, and Riseup4AbortionRights, Texas

    “In this interview what really struck me was just how deep he went into governing, like how would you govern a new society, how would you actually?"

    Read more

    “In this interview what really struck me was just how deep he went into governing, like how would you govern a new society, how would you actually, why it is so important to institutionalize these things so that they support the revolution. And like really going deep into that, like the way that he went into the question of victims’ rights was by starting with what laws are for. Taking it out of the personal realm, like just seeing that methodology and where he began with that, and then you follow and by the end of it, you’re like of course! Then, what does a victim’s right have to do with this like what you’re trying to figure out in this court of law. Yeah so, it also did make me want to look into the Constitution (for the New Socialist Republic in North America) more and really try to understand that.”

    From a young revcom

    “I really liked his points on how the idea of rights in our society, which is a capitalist imperialist society can only go so far, like the whole right to eat thing, and that you can exercise your rights as long as they stay within the framework of capitalism imperialism."

    Read more

    “There was a lot in here that I learned, and started thinking about things just a little bit differently. Particularly things that I hadn’t heard before that were about his personal life and his upbringing and the things that really changed his worldview. Like somebody mentioned, when he was really trying to figure out what was going on in Vietnam, coming from a place that was like a conditioned patriot and trying to really understand if what they (the U.S.) were doing was right or wrong, and then seeing what happened in Selma, and just saying that there’s no way that this government cares about the lives of these people overseas when they will do this to the people of their own country.

    “And I also really liked the whole section on democracy. I think it’s so so important right now with all of this talk about the end of our democracy or saving a democracy to really really analyze that and ask the question what a democracy really is, and if we have a democracy and if it is a democracy, a democracy for whom and for what. And I really liked his points on how the idea of rights in our society, which is a capitalist imperialist society can only go so far, like the whole right to eat thing, and that you can exercise your rights as long as they stay within the framework of capitalism imperialism.

    “The examples of Fred Hampton, and the Attica prison rebellion, they were shut down in brutally and murderous ways. And what happens when you try to exercise your own rights. He talks about the right to question and be curious and to disagree and to bring up all this in an official capacity to the people who are running the country and for everyone to be involved in wrangling with what is actually good for people being a very important part of a socialist society, and a communist society.

    “Another part that really affected me was when he talked about being a strategic commander, and what it means to have broadness of mind and the generosity of spirit and also engage in sharp struggle. In particular like (somebody else just mentioned), how much he has the broadness of mind and generosity of spirit to go to every corner that he could possibly can see in front of him and that he can explore, read, and talk to all people, get everybody’s, try to absorb everybody’s differently led experiences and also different intricacies of how the different conditions that these people live in have developed and how we’ve gotten to the place that we’re in and what he can learn from people who vehemently disagree with communism or himself but have critiques that then he can learn from. And we as revolutionary communists can learn from. People who are totally on the wrong track in terms of their conclusion but with what they’re working with, really bring up important content that like we as revolutionary communists need to consider and integrate and understand.

    “I think that it’s like, yeah, his examples of the people that he met, you know when they were very young, or whatever point in life that they were at, who might sound like just mouthpieces for the system but who could be totally totally transformed and he could see that potential right in front of him, whether it be in the sixties or some of the youth that he talks to today. I think that, I personally see that in a few ways but it’s really impactful to hear him talk about that, because he has such a conviction about that. There’s no maybe, some people are just too far gone or something like that, it’s like no, it’s like literally every single person has this potential and we need to believe that in order to make this revolution possible.”

    I was able to watch the third installment of the Bob Avakian “Heart and Soul & Hard-Core for Revolution” with comrades and friends from the Revolution Club in Chicago, and I wanted to share a few things about the experience. If you haven’t seen it—and even if you have—this is a truly incredible 2 hours, where you not only get a course in the principles, methods and morals of the new communism, and in what the new society will look and feel like, but BA just opens his heart in a very moving way.

    I got there early, but pretty much right away I got a real sense of elan from the revcoms in charge. It was relaxed and friendly, but at the same time serious. People were looking at literature and talking, and there were two people selling handmade headbands with STOP PATRIARCHY and other patches, along with jewelry, to raise funds. By the time we got a few minutes into it, there were maybe 35 people at the viewing, with half from the surrounding south side neighborhoods and a few from the west side, plus people from the north side and the burbs.

    Go HERE to find out what happened...

    From a Revolution Books Supporter

    “In my country there have been lots of leaders, especially amongst the educated minority. I came from a progressive background, but nothing has been spelled out with a specific model as brought out in the interview.  I was really moved. I respect him more than any other leader. That interview opened up my eyes.”

    Read more

    "Thank God I went to this event and heard the Interview. It was wonderful because of the work Bob Avakian has done.

    "The interview brought out the soul and what's needed for every human being to have a sense of their own equality.

    "He has worked on the principle of what a revolution means. No one else has done this. He's the first one in the history of the world to do this kind of research and work.

    "In my country there have been lots of leaders, especially amongst the educated minority. I came from a progressive background, but nothing has been spelled out with a specific model as brought out in the interview. 

    "I was really moved. I respect him more than any other leader. That interview opened up my eyes."

    From a life-long activist

    "I was impressed by the part where he talked about listening to people you wouldn’t agree with if they might have a point here and there... Because very few people will admit something like that, that their opponent might have a point here and there."

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    “I was impressed by the part where he talked about listening to people you wouldn’t agree with if they might have a point here and there. That’s what struck me the most.

    “Because very few people will admit something like that, that their opponent might have a point here and there. Another thing that strikes me is even if they don’t have a good point, as far as their being right, it can give you an insight on why people don’t accept what you’re saying sometimes or how they think about it.”

    From a Kurdish immigrant from Iran

    "...as Cornel West has said, he’s a long-distance runner in this and not has given up and turned the opposite way, which a lot of people have given up on revolution."

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    “Every once in a while, to get to see the man again, and not just reading his articles, to see him in person, up close and personal, as the title indicates—for most of us who have known him through his articles and talks, especially seeing him in his age being in good shape and good frame of mind. And especially for people who meet him for the first time, to see and hear from him in person, where he comes from and how many years he’s been through this struggle. And as Cornel West has said, he’s a long-distance runner in this and not has given up and turned the opposite way, which a lot of people have given up on revolution. So, it’s good really for what these interviews are all about and hopefully there’ll be more of it in the future.”

    From an Activist from Iran

    "He reminded me about something that I witnessed during the Iranian revolution in 1979...."

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    “He reminded me about something that I witnessed during the Iranian revolution in 1979. He mentioned that some people criticize RCP—that they want to empower drug pushers to become revolutionaries that enforce the rule of revolutionary laws.

    “And so I remember in Iran how the male youth in the neighborhoods who basically stood at the street corners and whistled at girls, or shy girls who seemed to be ... to do nothing but to wait for a man to marry them, were so quickly transformed by the revolutionary situation and were participating in discussions about overthrowing the regime and how to run a country.”

    Just to think about this that he’s being doing this for over 45 years, and the one thing is that he feels the responsibility for the emancipation of oppressed humanity and that is why he can’t give up. It’s something that is mind-boggling, you know come to think of it. And I think it’s also important from the point of view that there’s a lot of ferment in the rest of the world also, and many people have embraced this new communism in certain parts, like Iran, and some parts in Mexico, even a part in Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, and there is some ferment even in Europe. So, I think that at this time, not only for this country, because we are in a rare time when revolution is more possible, but also for the rest of the world because you know, it does impact the rest of the movements of the world.

    From someone in Texas, after watching part 3

    "What stood out to me..." at Revolution Books, NY

    Rafael C. Angulo
    Clinical Professor, School of Social Work
    University of Southern California

    “That guy is so great: real and passionate and extremely informed and so able to express his perspective. I guess that’s what stands out. No specific stated facts, just that big picture and all the little pictures he delivers so well.”

    — social media comment

    From a Tribal Scholar:

    “Have you ever hit a dead end, struggling with futility to find answers that  give you an escape from the despair you see in the world around you? ... Bob Avakian renews our necessary call to scientific liberating action in his recent interview with the RNL Show. The invitation is open to all as you watch, listen and meditate on his insights throughout the talk. It’s never too late to change the course of history in society today...”

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    Have you ever hit a dead end, struggling with futility to find answers that give you an escape from the despair you see in the world around you? Have you ever imagined that things don't always have to be the way they are in our failing institutions of power? Then it's time to revolutionize your mindset; to welcome thoughts and actions that will bring radical change to the way our systems of governance operate today. With an urgent focus on the power of our collective aspirations, challenging the exploitation, environmental degradation and societal brutality of Capitalism in our society, Bob Avakian renews our necessary call to scientific liberating action in his recent interview with the RNL Show. The invitation is open to all as you watch, listen and meditate on his insights throughout the talk. Its never too late to change the course of history in society today.

    The father of Freddie Latice Wilson, who was murdered by Chicago Police

    “Humor on top of revolutionary brilliance!”

    — from a writer and activist

    “This isn't for the faint of heart. This is that real talk right here!!”

    — Revolution Club, Chicago member

    Efia Nwangaza

    “I couldn’t stop thinking this while I was watching: Holy shit, this guy is legit, he deadass wants to overthrow the system, which requires overthrowing the institutions that enforce it. This may be my mom's worst nightmare but it’s humanity's only hope, as has been determined via the scientific approach.”

    — from a member of the Revolution Club

    “He’s exciting and inspiring and reminds me of the time in my life where I saw things as he does.  I also felt kinship when he suggested that the election deniers rationalize their choice with their racism, their thought that only THEY should be allowed to vote.  I’ve watched only half of the first lecture but it’s done me a world of good already. Hope I’ll continue this re-education.”

    — from a novelist from the 60’s generation

    A long-time friend of the revolution

    “I've always respected BA. I got a kick out of the word "soul" being used. Since we're not talking about R&B.”

    — comment from youtube

    From the Revolution Club, LA:

    “A man in his thirties stopped to watch this clip and came over to talk about it. He said when he saw BA’s image on the TV screen, he thought this looked like somebody who has never stepped a foot in the hood a day in his life. But when he heard him speak, he was astonished by how deeply he understands what is going on there...”

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    We hit the streets of South Central to start taking the Bob Avakian interviews directly to the people. We had a team with a TV in a pickup truck.  At one stop, we showed a clip about five minutes long from part 2 of the interview where he talks about how for people who catch the worst hell under this system, who are told they’re worthless, and lash out violently at each other, “there’s this whole notion that if you aren’t fucking over somebody else, you’re weak.” And he goes on to say, “I mean, some people will even talk about how if you’re in this life, out on the streets and whatever, in these communities and neighborhoods where all this is so intense, you can’t even laugh, at least not in public. You can’t even laugh because it makes you look weak.”

    A man in his thirties stopped to watch this clip and came over to talk about it. He said when he saw BA’s image on the TV screen, he thought this looked like somebody who has never stepped a foot in the hood a day in his life. But when he heard him speak, he was astonished by how deeply he understands what is going on there. He told us a young friend had just been killed the day before, and he described how his friend was someone who used to laugh all the time, he didn’t care what people thought. It was clear he meant this laughing went up against the code you are ”supposed” to follow. 

    When one of the revcoms told him a little about BA’s history, mentioning he worked with the Black Panther Party back in the day, this person was glad to learn this and said anyone who has a history with the original Black Panthers has his respect, because they went through hell. Then he went on to say: but this man has my respect a million times more for what I heard him saying. The guy said he would watch the interview when he got home, spread it to others, and invite people to come with him to the in-person showing of part 3 on Saturday.

    Out in South Central Los Angeles with a T.V in a truck showing people the NEW interview with Bob Avakian!

     

    Out in South Central Los Angeles with a TV in a truck showing people the NEW interview with Bob Avakian!    Photo: revcoms

    “I'm not a Revcom but I have mad love for yall. I think it's corny as hell that people call you cultists when they speak as if Democratic Party politicians are their actual friends, not just ‘public servants,’ but friends. They refer to the president—affectionately!—as ‘Joe,’ as if they know him personally, as if he cares about them at all, as if he hasn't played defense (and sometimes offense) for omnicidal American conservatism from the gate.”

    — comment from youtube

    “This is like a movie and the plot of the movie is humanity are the underdogs and we are trying to build a movement to save the world. You hear that in movies but this is real! I came here looking for trouble and, boy did I find it.”

    — from a member of the Revolution Club

    Los Angeles Bob Avakian Interview Premiere

     

    Los Angeles: Watching the interview of a leader for a time when the future hangs in the balance.    Photo: revcoms

    “Communism needs ‘Legions of critically and creatively thinking people.’ Love that. Always fighting for a thoroughly scientific approach. This is a hallmark of Avakian. It's refreshing and needed.“

    — from a revcom artist

    “Great interview. Loved hearing about his life and transformation as well as his analysis.”

    — from a writer and activist

    Tweet URL

    “I think the interviewers did a good job. They asked interesting questions. But, you know, the whole bit about poetry and literature and the human experience of being amazed at things… that sort of translates into a capacity to me to envision a future.”

    — from an event at Revolution Books, NY

    From a musician:

    “… especially impressed by not seeking revenge from those who have been oppressed. We have to get beyond that. Not contrived, not rehearsed, so natural is so appealing… ”

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    It’s very real, it’s very human, it’s very engaging and … from anything else it’s very concerning and it should be concerning and you should give it the consideration that it deserves… Was looking for something more current from BA, and this was very good, probably exceeded expectations.. impressed by the humanity of it. Not just cold, analytical revolutionary talk. We are talking amazement, poetry and music especially as a musician, … especially impressed by not seeking revenge from those who have been oppressed. We have to get beyond that. Not contrived, not rehearsed, so natural is so appealing… The humor, and the fun, very serious, very immediate and at times very fun… If you keep an open mind and use your brain and also use your heart..and you’re a human being and you are going to benefit…

    From a journalism student:

    “I’m used to fighting my way through by myself, but he kept drawing it back, painting a bigger and bigger picture.”

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    I’m used to fighting my way through by myself, but he kept drawing it back, painting a bigger and bigger picture...,  there are all the problems in this country but then he links them to the whole world….  l “know” these things, but the way he put it together was inspiring.

    “As important and powerful as all the larger theoretical and political points that Avakian is making are, I also really enjoy hearing these personal stories like about youth, and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area... He's quite good at weaving together the micro and the macro... And also, right on to calling out the ‘lack of curiosity’ that is too prevalent in our contemporary capitalist culture.”

    — from a comment on youtube

    From a filmmaker:

    “I loved the part that living in the United States is like living in the house of Tony Soprano. I find what he said fairly accurate and so all his putting forward of the contradictions about the ‘little goodies’ all of us enjoy here in the U.S. made me look at it a little bit differently.”

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    I got it! I listened to various parts. I will watch it weekly. He is funny. I loved the part that living in the United States is like living in the house of Tony Soprano. I find what he said fairly accurate and so all his putting forward of the contradictions about the ‘little goodies’ all of us enjoy here in the U.S. made me look at it a little bit differently. Obviously different than what we normally hear, but a ferocious attack on all the contradictions. I have it on but will need to still catch up. I also see how he got along with the Panthers.

    From an event at Revolution Books, NY:

    “…this was different than other things — more personal, live discussion…”

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    …this was different than other things — more personal, live discussion…. I  am wondering if confronting directly on religion is a waste of time but also I can see using it as an example as a tool to start people on the path for rational thinking and making people think. The main thing I was left with is wanting to hear part 2, wanting to hear more about Russia and Ukraine. This was a good introduction to BA, and there were aspects that I knew about him but this brought it more to life, a loose conversational podcast, people like that kind of content.

    “I loved the humanity of it... how people can see he's a real person. And I loved how Sunsara and Andy put the questions to him. How they prepared questions they really wanted to know his answers to. It was wonderful.”

    — from a veteran of ACT UP and all-around fighter for people’s right

    From a conversation with a woman who is friends with a member of the Revolution Club in Chicago:

    “This part [in the second installment of the Interview] made me understand the system. He broke it down in a way that I could understand. He tells you straight, how he brings it a baby could understand. BA speaks like us, he don’t care if you like it or not – he just tells the truth.”

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    “This part [in the second installment of the Interview] made me understand the system. He broke it down in a way that I could understand. He tells you straight, how he brings it a baby could understand. BA speaks like us, he don’t care if you like it or not – he just tells the truth.” 

    She couldn’t stop talking, she was bubbling over with enthusiasm and determination.  She had already watched Part 1 again on her own and she showed it to her husband.  She is getting her son to watch it as well.

    She feels like she is part of a community, a team.  This is very important to her.  One of the things that you get from her is the heart and passion for this movement.

    From a long time activist against police brutality:

    “...we have to reach out to them [the young people] and get them to realize that they have to look up AND THEY HAFTA SEE THAT THEY HAFTA STOP ACTING AS THE SYSTEM WANTS THEM TO ACT...”

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    “I agreed with all of what he said. Especially I thought it was important the part about how we can't defeat them right now but we can get all these young people to take on the mission of revolution and he talked about the struggle we have on our hands because they are all involved now in attacking and even killing each other, but we have to reach out to them [the young people] and get them to realize that they have to look up AND THEY HAFTA SEE THAT THEY HAFTA STOP ACTING AS THE SYSTEM WANTS THEM TO ACT, that they act in all these harmful ways because they don't see a way out, and we hafta give them that way out. But as BA said, this will be a big struggle, a huge struggle!” She said she has designed a shirt she wants to get printed to sell to raise money for the revolution, saying “Stop killing each other.” 

  • ARTICLE:

    3 Reasons Why YOU Can’t Miss the Bob Avakian Interviews on the Revolution—Nothing Less! YouTube Show

    Editors' Note: We feel this captures why people—in their thousands—and eventually millions need to watch the Bob Avakian interviews—and what a difference it can and will make. But we would really like to hear from—all—of you on what is compelling, what moved you, and WHY you think others should watch these interviews.

    This fall Bob Avakian did a series of three interviews, entitled “Heart and Soul & Hard-Core for Revolution.” Here’s three reasons why YOU will want to watch these.

    ONE. You’ll Come to Know the Humanity of a Rare and Unique Revolutionary Leader

    Bob Avakian has been fighting to make revolution here and around the world for over 50 years, going all the way back to the days of the Black Panther Party. During that time, he’s brought forward a new communism, developed a strategy for revolution here in the U.S. (!), and even authored a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America on what society would be like from Day One of the revolution.

    But what life experiences made him a revolutionary? How does he draw on these today, and why has he never given up, after decades of work and sacrifice? Why does he value the poetic spirit? And what potential does he see in the “hard youth” who today are caught up in gangs and other madness to transform and to be part of leading a revolution as they transform?

    TWO. You’ll Hear About the Danger—and the Great Potential—of the Times We’re Going Through Now, and How an Emancipatory Future Could Be Wrenched Out of These Times

    In the midst of what seems to many people a present and future full of dread, Bob Avakian has developed a strategy to go from the small revolutionary movement of today to thousands and then millions—and not in the far-off distant future, either—and to bring a new emancipatory society out of that. Don’t you want to hear why and how he thinks that is possible—and what that new society would look and feel like?

    THREE. You’ll Be Challenged to Look at Almost Everything Anew

    When you get into this interview with Bob Avakian, you can’t help but take another, different look at the world around you and think about your own life as well. You’ll be challenged, deeply—and after all, isn’t that a good thing?

  • ARTICLE:

    A Message to the Revcoms and Everyone Else Yearning for a Better World

    THIS Is A “Game-Changer”: The Bob Avakian Interviews

    Part One

    Editors’ note: Revcom.us recently received a valuable contribution from two readers on how to go out and turn the new interviews with Bob Avakian, BA, into the societal game-changers they can—and urgently need to—be. We will be posting edited excerpts from this letter over the next few weeks. We urge all our readers to write us with your thoughts on this and how we can meet this crucial goal, and your experience—positive and negative—in doing so.

    What is concentrated in these interviews is objectively a game-changer: there simply is no one and nothing else like this, and any decent, honest and intellectually curious person who cares about the state of the world and watches this will be transformed, even as those newer to things will of course not immediately become revcoms, and will have plenty of questions, things they don’t understand and things they understand wrongly.

    But in the process of and alongside thinking about why and how to project these interviews out in society in a big way, anyone who is part of these efforts should take some time—whether they are brand new... or have heard this before and think they already have a deep grasp of this point—to truly and seriously reflect upon what is contained and concentrated in these interviews and what it would mean for the prospects for revolution in this rare time in history to SUCCEED in creating a climate in which these BA interviews and BA himself increasingly make a big societal splash and become known to and a huge reference point for first hundreds, then thousands and ultimately millions—with increasing waves of these people getting deeply into these interviews and into BA and stepping forward into the movement for revolution that he is leading.

    Really being anchored in the above will lead to all kinds of good, exciting, and compelling ideas and to really thinking big in a way commensurate with what and who it is that we’re projecting.

    Part 1: Some Important Principles and Points of Orientation

    These points are informed by the understanding that our forces are currently very small... but also not non-existent. Along these lines, we wrangled, brainstormed and shuttled back and forth between two planes of conception in our thinking:  

    *Pursuing a thought experiment in which the two of us arrived in a new city, were the only two people who had heard of BA and these interviews and were seeking to make as big and broad a splash as possible as quickly as possible... and

    *Stepping out of this thought experiment back into a reality in which we are not, in fact, literally starting from scratch and do have forces, ties and factors to work with, even if starting out they are small in number.

    With this in mind, here are some key principles and points of orientation that we discussed, and that should inform brainstorming, ideas and efforts to break through on making these interviews a huge deal in society.

    Point 1: Strategic confidence and radical simplicity

    Once again, think about these interviews and what it was like to watch them.

    Like, really actually think about that for a moment...

    Think about who and what they feature... what these interviews talk about and how they talk about it... think about their substance... their style... think about how they inspired and moved you... how they challenged you... what they illuminated... what they made you think and what they made you feel.

    Think honestly about whether you have ever seen and heard anything else like this...

    Now, with that still fresh in your mind...

    Think about someone who doesn’t want to watch these interviews. Who makes snarky, dismissive comments... or who does watch the interviews and is “unimpressed.”

    Think what that says about that person’s worldview and priorities.

    Now: Why the hell would we want to be in any way defensive or deferential towards... waste time with... or kiss the ass of people like that?!

    That is what is meant by strategic confidence. That is the attitude we need to be going out with if we are going to break through... it means we go out into the world, whether on the ground or online, knowing that who and what we have and are working to connect people with is special... is vital... is decisive... and that, to paraphrase an old saying, if you don’t know... you better ask somebody!

    No, this doesn’t mean we write people off or give up on them permanently if they don’t immediately respond well—or respond in contradictory ways... but it does mean that we don’t take any nonsense from people who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

    In fact, this kind of strategic confidence on our part is essential for people to be able to transform and get off the bullshit they’re on.

    Existing revcom forces really grasping and applying the above points about strategic confidence—what it means, why it’s essential, and how to apply it—is critical methodologically and epistemologically in its own right; and is also of paramount importance in terms of being able to make advances and accumulate forces for revolution in an accelerated way. Therefore, further discussion, struggle, ruptures and clarity on this point within our existing forces would seem very important. 

    To be blunt: Masses will not really take us seriously, will not be called forth into this revolution and will not be unleashed to transform in the ways that are necessary, unless we do comprehend, project and apply strategic confidence in the ways discussed here.

    Conversely, our forces—including the newer people we are calling forth and accumulating along the way—will get much less discouraged and disoriented by bullshit, attacks, snark, etc. if we are internalizing, applying and projecting this strategic confidence... which will create the basis for telescoped further advances in dialectical relation with the unfolding of events in the world.

    Again, if there is disagreement, discomfort or lack of clarity on these points about strategic confidence—and what this means—among our existing forces, this should be: unearthed, explored, struggled over and transformed. 

    Radical simplicity, meanwhile, is closely related to strategic confidence and flows from it. Radical simplicity means that without in any way watering things down, there is a need to put forward some simple, clearly distilled, easy-to-grasp points about what this interview is... why people need to get into it and contribute to making it a huge societal phenomenon... and why that matters.

    And then, of course, we can and must bring plenty of substance behind that radical simplicity to back it up, which we are more than capable of doing. But there is an importance to getting a good dialectic going between the simplicity and the complexity and to having some key forms where we hit people with the simplicity in a compelling way.

    As one example, in building for the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West in 2014, it proved to be an important turning point in our promotion when—a few weeks out from the event—we settled on a few (it might have been three) very succinct and simple points for why this event was so significant and historic and why people couldn’t and shouldn’t miss it. It has been a few years, so I don’t remember the exact phrasing of these points now, but I think it was something along the lines of: you can’t miss this event because of the chance to see this leader (BA), these speakers (BA and CW) and this subject matter—REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight For Emancipation and the Role of Religion: A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST and BOB AVAKIAN.

    We think there is an important role for some similar short, succinct and provocative points for why these interviews are must see, can’t miss, and must spread.

    The points emphasized in the promotional palm cards for the interviews would at the very least provide some good initial ideas, inspiration and material for developing these succinct, radically simple promotional points.

    This kind of radical simplicity infused with strategic confidence—rather than being a substitute for more in-depth explanation of things—can rather help to more quickly distinguish between masses who are or could be fairly quickly won to be seriously interested vs. those who should not be given up on but are at the moment not serious, while also calling forward the more serious masses and creating the basis to work and struggle with them in more depth while avoiding getting bogged down with and by those who are not serious.

    A couple of final thoughts for now on this point about radical simplicity: There is a radical simplicity of this interview at this moment in history and in the world.

    If we really fully understand the point from the interview about how humanity can no longer afford to allow this system and this ruling class to be in power—that this is actually an existential question for humanity, and that it’s not just that “things are really bad and getting worse” but that humanity is truly confronted acutely with the choice between “something terrible OR something truly emancipating,” then there is important radical simplicity flowing from this in terms of the fact that now is the time to bring forward something truly emancipating and making these BA interviews a huge social phenomenon that can play a massive role in relation to that.

    So this is how our people should feel—and project—the urgency in their bones of this interview and the need to project it throughout society in a huge way.

  • ARTICLE:

    Watching the Interviews in Chicago: "These Are The People In Your Heart"

    I was able to watch the third installment of the Bob Avakian “Heart and Soul & Hard-Core for Revolution” with comrades and friends from the Revolution Club in Chicago, and I wanted to share a few things about the experience. If you haven’t seen it—and even if you have—this is a truly incredible 2 hours, where you not only get a course in the principles, methods and morals of the new communism, and in what the new society will look and feel like, but BA just opens his heart in a very moving way.

    I got there early, but pretty much right away I got a real sense of elan from the revcoms in charge. It was relaxed and friendly, but at the same time serious. People were looking at literature and talking, and there were two people selling handmade headbands with STOP PATRIARCHY and other patches, along with jewelry, to raise funds. By the time we got a few minutes into it, there were maybe 35 people at the viewing, with half from the surrounding south side neighborhoods and a few from the west side, plus people from the north side and the burbs. (For those who don’t know, Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the U.S., with the south and west Sides mainly Black, with some Latino neighborhoods, and the north side overwhelmingly white, with some more mixed neighborhoods.)

    The people there included a newer woman who has come all three times. She had known a revcom who recently died and decided to check the club out because of that revcom’s influence—and this time she brought her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend. There was a woman whose son had been murdered by the police and met the revcoms in the struggle for justice—she brought about half a dozen friends and family. There were two Iranians, one from way back in the day who has remained active and follows the new communism.

    While a good portion of people were brand-new to this, this was a very attentive and involved audience. People got audible during BA’s agitation on dictatorship and his powerful pointing to the cold-blooded murder of Fred Hampton by the police and FBI and the massacre of prisoners (and guards) at Attica by the state police, and there was a real response to the messages delivered directly to the youth in the last two questions, especially “I see you out there pushing the little ones around. I see the pride that you have in the little ones. So don’t tell me you don’t care, because I know different and I know better.

    At the end of the meeting, the leader of the club made some short but on-the-mark remarks to give people a sense of what they could do to spread this and to call on people to get interviewed (two people did). Then one of the other main members read the quote from BAsics 4:15, that “The truth will not set us free, in and of itself, but we will not get free without the truth,” and we broke down for informal discussion.

    BAsics-4-15-561-en.jpg

     

    I talked with people afterward—people I knew and people brand new—and there was a really good vibe. One of the younger guys who came with the fighter for justice for her son asked a comrade, “How long has he (BA) been doing this?” and when she told him, he just said “man, he really knows what he’s talking about.” I heard a newer person working with the club explain to people she brought that to really get this they needed to talk with the leaders of the meeting, who can really take you through it and break it down. “Go out with them and then when you get in trouble they’ll help you,” or something to that effect. People were talking to me about what BA said on the base and superstructure and another person talked about what it was like coming up from Arkansas when they still had the factories in Chicago, and what it’s like for these youth out here today.

    The next morning I had a chance to check in with some of the core revcoms. I decided in the short time I had to ask them what they learned the previous night—including, of course, what they thought of the amazing interview of BA.

    An older veteran revolutionary—someone who has lost people to the internecine violence among Black youth, friends when younger and in recent years at least one relative—began by talking about how the three interviews fit together with this last one as the pulling together a lot of themes. He then went to the question of friendships, and that “these are people in your heart.” Responding to what BA had said about his friend Billy, this veteran said that “when you lose a friend, somebody you really care about… I understand why people act the way they do. You get the visceral. I thought about all the motherfuckers I grew up with—I knew who they were before they got into all that madness—this part connected to me and it can connect to others in that kind of way. People change. BA wasn’t always like this—you got to see the influence of his family, his opportunity to work with ideas, but then also things like the ‘spoiled brat’ story, and being influenced by the two people who embraced him. The whole question of getting this out is gonna be really important—there’s this whole question of revenge… I had it thick, even after I became a revolutionary. I remember when I would argue for keeping nuclear weapons [when the revolution had state power]—like ‘we made all these sacrifices and we’re not gonna give this shit up’—vs what BA says, about ‘the whole world comes first.’ This interview makes you go to your own thinking. I think we should have clips where people compare and contrast with how they were thinking about something, and then how they heard BA said this and such about the same thing, and people could talk about the change they went through—and say ‘thank you BA.’ There’s just a lot of richness in these interviews.” I know this comrade pretty well—he’s usually kind of an understated guy but he was pretty intensely feeling it that morning.

    Then another revcom (who’s also lost people to the violence) responded to this—that he understood “why BA remained ‘in the game’ so long when others went differently.” He agreed with the first comrade on the question of the heart. At the same time, he emphasized that “BA took the scientific approach—this hit me in a way where he analyzed the things that happened to his friends, to the point where the bigger picture was at stake, he went to the macro—not the micro—and when he was talking about that I was like Neo [in The Matrix] going ‘whoa,’ because there’s so much anger wrapped up with people around the deaths that come from the police and from the violence among the masses—that they miss the macro and focus on the micro, but BA had to keep the focus on humanity…”

    A newer comrade spoke to the way that he had been getting the sweep of all this, first reviewing the first two parts and emphasizing overall the need to transform how people think. He also was struck by the whole discussion of revenge in what we had seen the night before, but also very much by the part on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and what he was understanding about the sweep of the interviews as a whole. In fact, he had introduced the question of revenge into the discussion, approaching it more from the way in which the rule of law discussion unfolded, and then went to the Constitution and why we not only need the right to disagree, but we need to hear people’s disagreements, including because they may be right. And he too remarked on the importance of “learning not just about BA but how he came to be the way he is.” He said there had been an on-line criticism of the first interview, in which BA discusses the importance of the poetic spirit, that “spirit and soul have nothing to do with science.” He contrasted this to the understanding that he got from the interview that without the poetic spirit, and the awe and wonder, things will go wrong—that there is a connection. The main thing overall he focused on is that we gotta go out and fiercely struggle with how people are living—that “the system conditions people either to be the fucker or fucked… but people have aspirations for something better.”

    Conclusion? This interview of Bob Avakian has a special power to reach inside of people with every level of understanding and raise everyone up. It changes you, if you let it. I had to leave, but I left more determined than ever to help spread this… as part of hastening a whole new society based on the science and heart concentrated in the new communism.

  • ARTICLE:

    Uprising in Iran — Week 10:

    Murderous Escalation Against Courageous, Ongoing Protests —

    Urgent Need for Global Outcry in Support of Iranian Rebellion and for Revolutionary Leadership

    Editors’ Note for New Readers: As this update from our volunteer correspondent notes, hundreds of thousands of Iranians, especially women, students, and youth, are continuing to demonstrate remarkable courage, creativity, and growing determination in the face of the Islamic regime’s seriously escalating repression, with whole sections of people calling for an end to the regime.

    In this context, the orientation of the statement by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), People of the World: Take up the Cry of Revolution from Iran as Your Own!, is of heightened and decisive importance, and we draw our readers’ attention to it. This was issued for the occasion of the worldwide protests in support of the uprising in Iran on October 22. As the CPI (MLM) has written:

    To finally put an end to the seemingly endless suffering of Iran’s people requires a real revolution, made by millions of people and led by a revolutionary vanguard with the aim of overthrowing the Islamic theocratic fascist regime and liberating Iran out of the murderous fabric of the capitalist-imperialist system. This requires a communist revolution and establishing a “New Socialist Republic.”

    At this decisive moment, it is even more critical for growing millions around the world to support the righteous uprising in Iran. At the same time, it is also crucial to oppose imperialist efforts to take advantage of the situation to advance their reactionary agendas, especially that of the U.S., which has caused so much suffering and death in Iran and the Middle East. The U.S. imperialists are not and will never be a force for good in the world! And all calls for U.S.-backed intervention need to be opposed, along with the lackeys of the U.S. like the monarchists and so-called “liberal-democrats.”

    In this context, we want to continue highlighting the reposting of an article from Bob Avakian, BA, “Imperialist Parasitism and ‘Democracy’: Why So Many Liberals and Progressives Are Shameless Supporters of ‘Their’ Imperialism,” originally published in March 2022. It is highly relevant in relation to the heroic uprising of the masses of people now taking place in Iran against the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist regime. It is crucial to understand and oppose the actual nature and role of the U.S. as the world’s most murderously oppressive and exploitative capitalist-imperialist power. In relation to the struggle in Iran, there is an urgent need to resist the efforts to bring the uprising in Iran under the wing of these U.S. imperialists and those aligned with them, particularly at this moment when the U.S. may be shifting toward a more confrontational posture against Iran’s Islamic Republic, not in order to liberate the Iranian people, but to advance the imperialist interests in the region and world.1 Instead, we need to help direct this mass uprising toward a truly emancipating revolution, as the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), basing itself on the new communism brought forward by BA, are striving to do.

    An Urgent Emergency: Courageous Protests Continue

    —Nationwide Toll Now Over 440 Dead, 18,000 Arrested

    The uprising in Iran, now entering its 11th straight week, has seen anti-government protests in 156 cities and more than 140 universities across Iran.2

    It is the most significant outpouring of protest and resistance the Islamic Republic has faced in its 43-year history, and these fascist theocrats are sharply escalating their murderous efforts to maintain their oppressive, misogynist rule. Over 448 overwhelmingly unarmed protesters have now been cut down by the regime, some 63 of them children.3 Thousands more have been wounded or injured. Over 18,000 have been illegitimately arrested or detained, including 565 students, who now face draconian abuse, torture, and possibly even death.4

    The uprising was triggered by the murder of one woman, Mahsa Amini, for not fully covering her hair. Yet this single death embodied the regime’s ever-present patriarchal degradation and abuse of women, who are legally treated as less than fully and equally human, and even forbidden from jogging, dancing in public, or riding a bicycle. Women can be forced into marriage at 13 years old, yet can’t get a divorce without the "Okay" from a male judge.5 Women have been on the front lines of the protests and now there are reports they’re being subject to sexual abuse while in custody as well.6

    Prominent artists, writers, actors, musicians, lawyers and voices of conscience have been arrested. The courageous rapper Toomaj Salehi remains in prison, but because the regime is proceeding against him in secret and refusing to allow his family lawyer to view his case, there are conflicting reports about his status. However, according to BBC Persian, it appears that he now faces the very ominous charge of “corruption on earth.”  

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    The Islamic Republic has a track record of mass murder, including executing over 5,000 political prisoners in a few months in 1988 alone. Now it’s escalating its repression, deploying its military forces, and threatening even greater crimes. This is an urgent emergency!

    Military Escalation in Kurdistan, Murderous Assault in Baluchistan

    The oppressed Kurdish and Baluch peoples of Kurdistan in Iran’s northwest, and Sistan and Baluchistan in its southeast, have waged some of the fiercest, widespread protests against the Islamic Republic, and have been subjected to the bloodiest repression. Human rights organizations report that the government has “systematically and disproportionately” targeted minorities during the uprising and that 104 Kurds have been killed, at least 42 of them over the past week, as a result of “direct fire from the Iranian government forces.” Over 100 have been massacred in Baluchistan.7

    This state violence took a leap beginning November 19, when the regime deployed armored military and special forces units of its Islamic “Revolutionary Guard” Corps (IRGC) for the first time to Kurdistan, starting in the city of Mahabad—while cutting off the internet to prevent the world from witnessing its atrocities.

    The Center for Human Rights in Iran called it, “the worst levels of violence by state security forces so far in response to growing protests.” A message from Javanrud read: “The situation in this city is more catastrophic than anyone has heard. Ten IRGC combat helicopters have been flying over the city since the morning, transporting troops and ammunition. All entrances and exits of the city have been closed by the military…"8

    In response there were protests in a number of cities and at Kurdistan University in Sanandaj as well as widespread strikes and business closures.

    On November 25, protesters were viciously attacked following Friday prayer services in Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan, and there were protests in five other cities in the province as well.  

    The regime is also trying to fracture the unity of the uprising by smearing Kurdish resisters as “terrorists” and “separatists,” but there have been moving acts of solidarity with the Kurdish people in the face of this latest assault. In a Tehran neighborhood people chanted, “Mahabad, Kurdistan, the eyes and shining light of Iran” “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!” People in Mazandaran Province sent medical supplies to Kurdish protesters. And a prominent Baluch religious figure and protest leader expressed his solidarity with the people of Kurdistan.9

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    November 24: Businesses in several cities, especially in Kurdish regions, went on strike today. This clip from Sanandaj, Kurdistan province, shows closed shops.

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    Protests Continue in Face of Deadly Repression

    The regime’s internet shutdowns are making it more difficult to assess the full scope of the uprising or the regime’s crimes. But some news continues to get out. For instance, on November 20, strikes and gatherings were reported at 20 campuses across Iran. On November 24, there were at least 16 protests in nine cities across eight provinces and on November 25, at least 10 protests in nine cities across four provinces.10

    On November 26, the Truck Drivers’ Union reportedly called for a nationwide strike as steel and auto workers also stopped work. In recent weeks workers at dozens of industrial units, including automobile manufacturing, household appliances, heavy industries, petrochemicals, oil, gas, and sugarcane, struck, while shopkeepers and business owners in dozens of cities also shut down in support of the uprising. 11

    On November 19, with the world watching the World Cup in Qatar, Iran’s soccer players did not sing the country’s national anthem, as Iranian fans who supported the uprising battled in and outside the stadium with pro-regime fanatics.

    In Tehran, two very prominent actresses, Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, were arrested for taking off their head scarves and taking part in protests. Before she was taken into custody, Ghaziani posted,

    How many children, teenagers and young people have you killed—is it not enough with the bloodshed?... I hate you, and your historical reputation... This may be my last post. From this moment on, whatever happens to me, know that I will be with the people of Iran until my last breath.12

    Many Iranian actors and filmmakers have called for their release, writing:

    The artist mirrors the people, the people voice the artist.
    We are the voice and we will stay.
    There is no prison artist.
    There's no prison athlete.
    There's no prison teacher.
    There is no prison student.
    There is no prison student.
    There is no prison for people.

    Release Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi...13

    Two Things Urgently Needed…

    Right now, the Iranian people have a very rare opportunity to break through and actually win liberation—an opening the fascist Islamic Republic is trying to drown in blood.

    This is a screaming emergency. For the Iranian people to turn back the regime’s blood-soaked assault and win—a victory that would inspire and reverberate worldwide—they urgently need, as the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners Now (IEC) has called for, nothing less than all people and organizations of conscience around the world to speak out in a “Global People's Outcry in Support of Iranian People, and Freedom for Iran’s Political Prisoners.”  

    It is very important that prominent artists and voices of conscience have spoken out in support of the Iranian people, including PEN America, which has consistently fought for Iran’s imprisoned writers and artists, as well as actors and musicians including Mark Ruffalo, Ariana Grande, Angelina Jolie, Justin Bieber, Penelope Cruz, and others, including Coldplay.

    Yet much more is needed—NOW! Where are the rappers in the U.S. speaking out and demanding Toomaj Salehi be freed?? Where are the feminists, advocates for women’s rights, and “progressives” demanding that Tehran’s theocrats stop murdering women and unarmed protesters?

    As the IEC writes, “those of us living in the U.S. have a special responsibility to support the Iranian people given the enormous suffering this country has inflicted on them for decades, from the 1953 CIA coup, to U.S. support for Iraq in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, to ongoing sanctions and military threats. Ignoring the Iranian people's just, heroic struggle is unconscionable chauvinism. Refusing to support it amounts to condoning the barbaric suffering and injustices being inflicted on over 80 million human beings, especially women.”

    The regime’s murderous assault on the uprising has deepened the chasm between it and masses of Iranian people and continues to spark calls for an end to the Islamic Republic and for revolution. The situation is focusing up the question of how can the people deal with the massive violence the regime is unleashing, and how can these bloody oppressors actually be brought down, and what kind of change is needed.

    In this situation, as stated by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist), there is the potential and basis for maximizing gains towards an actual revolution and a liberating future in Iran.14 But as they state in unvarnished terms, this potential will not be realized without scientific revolutionary communist leadership, which is now being provided by the CPI(MLM) on the basis of the new communism of Bob Avakian, gaining leadership of the masses. It is—and remains extremely urgent to spread this leadership and its works, publications and statements15—in Iran and across the worldwide Iranian diaspora.

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    FOOTNOTES:

    1. United States Enters a New Era of Direct Confrontation With Iran, New York Times, November 24, 2022; this analysis makes clear the U.S. focus is on preventing Iran from gaining the ability to make nuclear weapons, which would undercut U.S. and Israeli dominance in the region, and to disrupt Iran’s arms shipments to Russia and further U.S. aims in Ukraine. It may assist protesters to weaken the Islamic Republic, perhaps topple it, in service of those and other imperialist aims. [back]

    2. At Least 448 Killed By Regime Forces In Iran Protests: Observer, Iran International, November 26, 2022, citing Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). [back]

    3. Iran's Khamenei praises Basij forces for confronting "rioters", Reuters, November 26, 2022. [back]

    4. Iran: Chilling use of the death penalty to further brutally quell popular uprising, Amnesty International, November 16, 2022. [back]

    5. Opinion: Iran's horrific situation feels a world away. It's not. Detroit Free Press, November 26 [back]

    6. CNN hears testimony from women who say they experienced sexual violence by Iranian regime, CNN, Christine Amanpour, November 20-21, 2022. [back]

    7. At Least 448 Killed By Regime Forces In Iran Protests: Observer, Iran International, November 26, 2022  [back]

    8. The Islamic Republic's War with Iran in Kurdistan, Akbar-Rooz, November 22, 2022; Iran's violent crackdown against protesters escalates—Videos showed gunfire ringing out as government forces advanced on unarmed civilians, NBC, November 26, 2022; Iran Crisis Update, November 25, 2022.

    Iran Protests: Massacre in Kurdish Areas Feared as Security Forces Launch Lethal Crackdown, Center for Human Rights in Iran, November 21, 2022. [back]

    9. Iran Protests: Massacre in Kurdish Areas Feared as Security Forces Launch Lethal Crackdown, CHRI, November 21; Iran Crisis Update, November 25, 2022. [back]

    10. Akbar-Rooz, November 22, 2022; Iran Crisis Update, November 25, 2022. [back]

    11. Truckers, Factory Worker At Forefront Of Strikes In Iran, Iran International, November 26, 2022. [back]

    12. In Silence or Aloud, High-Profile Iranians Signal Support for Protests, New York Times, November 21, 2022. [back]

    13. Cinematographers call for release of Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi, Akbar-Rooz, November 22, 2022. [back]

    14. See “If There Is to Be a Revolution, a Revolutionary Situation Must Be Created!” from CPI(MLM).  [back]

    15. For CPI(MLM) statements and articles in Farsi and some in other languages, go to cpimlm.org. Some of the statements and articles in English are available at revcom.us, including “If There Is to Be a Revolution, a Revolutionary Situation Must Be Created!”; “People of the World: Take Up the Cry of Revolution from Iran as Your Own!”; “Goodbye Garbage!” [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    From Atash/Fire, Journal of the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, November 2022:

    Islamic Child-Killing Republic

    Editors’ note: This is an article that appeared in Atash/Fire magazine No. 132, November 2022. Translation from the original Farsi to English is the responsibility of revcom volunteer translators, with editing comments noted in brackets in the text, and translators added a number of footnotes (indicated with “Ed”).

    Since September 22, 2022, more than 30 children16—school-age children and child laborers—have been murdered by the Islamic Republic's military, Basij [plainclothes militia], and security forces: in the streets, in temporary detention centers and in prisons, with pellet bullets, warfare bullets [high-velocity steel bullets], baton blows, as a result of torture and rape. The statistics for these horrifying murders and bloodshed will increase, given the [young] age of those participating in the current uprising.

    This is not the first time the Islamic Republic has killed children protesting its policies, its ideology, and its government. At least 18 children were killed in the November, 2019 uprising, and at least 4 children were killed in January, 2018. But these figures and numbers are just a very small part of more than 40 years of child-killing in the Islamic Republic.

    Worldwide, there is ongoing debate and disagreement about the biological and social definition of a child and about children’s rights, but according to the [United Nations] Declaration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child is any person under the age of 18, and has basic rights. The Government of the Islamic Republic accepted this treaty in March, 1994, with the proviso that it accepted [only those] articles not inconsistent with Iran's domestic laws, Shi'ite Islamic and Sharia standards—an exclusion that eviscerates the purpose of the document.

    According to Islamic jurisprudence, a boy under the age of 15, or girl under the age of 9, is a child (not under the age of 18). Also, according to Islamic Sharia ethics, a child has no rights other than those granted by a guardian (father). In essence, a child is owned and controlled by the father or other male relatives (such as grandfather, uncle, older brother, etc.). Under Iranian law and its judicial system, a father is granted full and absolute guardianship over his child, and for this reason, child-killing by the father or male guardian is not a criminal offense. There are countless instances in which the Iranian government has violated the fundamental rights of children, such as child-marriage, which is practically a license to rape any girl above the age of 9, to execute children under the age of 18, and to allow the full force of criminal law to be used against children every day and every hour.

    Collage of some of the children killed by Iran security forces since September 2022.

     

    Some of the children killed by Iran security forces since September 2022.    Collage: Amnesty International

    Elimination of childhood is built into the functioning of the capitalist system all over the world. Capitalism cannot wait for children to grow up to enter its labor force. Without the labor of 5-year-olds in the Congo's cobalt mines, the smartphones and tablets which keep people constantly connected cannot get manufactured. By harnessing Sharia law to the operation of global capitalism, the Islamic Republic and has created [even] more horrifying conditions for children.

    Child-killing, child-abuse, and child-sexual abuse (of girls) are part of the everyday functioning of the theocratic government in Iran. For example, child sexual abuse is not against the moral values or religious commandments of Islam. Marriage with a young girl is not only permitted, it is "halal," [in accord with] the laws of Islamic jurisprudence, and [upheld by all principal sects of Islam] (such as Shia and Sunni), and was also practiced by the prophet Mohammad. At the age of 54, he married Aisha, who was 6 or 9 years old. At the age of 10, Mohammad's daughter Fatima was married to Ali, a 25-year-old man, and before that, other old sheikhs (mullahs) such as Omar and Abu Bakr were her suitors.17

    In Shi’ite jurisprudence, the touching of an infant girl by an adult man for sexual gratification is permitted and justifiable. [Ayatollah] Ruhollah Khomeini, in response to one of the religious questions (estefta'at) about having sex with a girl who is still a child, said: "Having sex with a female spouse who is less than 9 years old is not permissible, no matter whether the marriage is permanent or temporary. But other types of pleasure such as touching for sexual gratification, embracing and thigh sex (male lust using the area of woman's two thighs) are okay, even though she is still breast nursing." (Tahrir al-Wasila, Vol. 4, Problem 12)

    In some prisons during the 1980s, the rape of women political prisoners who were "virgins,” including girls under the age of 18, was permitted in accordance with these principles and Sharia legal rulings.18 Furthermore, the arrest, torture, and execution of children under the age of 18 on charges of working against the Islamic Republic were common and widely used in Iranian prisons between 1981 and 1988. The full extent of these child killings is not yet known. For example, the "Iran Tribunal"19 listed the names of 126 children under the age of 18 who were put to death by firing squad, but France-Soir newspaper in their report on October 18, 1981, reported that at least 200 children had been killed by the Islamic Republic, and some were as young as 13 or 14 when executed. Two sisters, Fatima and Ezzat Mesbah, were executed by firing squad in 1981 at the ages of 13 and 15. In another case, according to the Mahabad governor's communiqué of June 12, 1983, 59 youths and teenagers were sent to the death squad, and most were school children under the age of 18.20 In the massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988, a significant portion of the at least 4,000 people who were hanged21 were under the age of 25. In other words, they were arrested and tortured when they were under the age of 18 and reached adulthood in prison.

    Another example of the Islamic Republic's child-killings is their use of children on the frontlines of its reactionary war with Iraq. During the eight years of war [1980-1988], tens of thousands of children under the age of 18 were mobilized in the Basij forces and became cannon fodder on the front lines. They became targets of the Iraqi professional army’s gunfire and minefields, in the [IRI] strategy called the “human wave.”22 [Ayatollah] Khomeini, the Ministry of Education, the Revolutionary Guards, and the Basij played key roles in this crime against children.

    The Minister of Education [at the time] noted with pride his success in sending a million children to the frontlines. The physical education teachers who were in charge of propaganda and promotion of religious superstitions, ideology and ethics of the Islamic Republic in schools, played an important role in brainwashing students and in encouraging them to go to war.

    Child soldiers in Iran-Iraq war, 1984.

     

    Child soldiers in Iran-Iraq war, 1984.    Photo: Wiki Commons

    Iran's newspapers at the time were full of news reports about school children [grades 1 to 12] being sent from behind school desks to the slaughterhouse of Khomeini’s and Saddam Hussein's reactionary war. In a fatwa published in the Islamic Republic’s newspaper on October 31, 1982, in response to a question about whether parent’s permission is required for children to be sent to the front, Khomeini said, "As long as the front needs man power, going to the front is essential and parental permission is not a requirement." According to Gholamreza Soleimani, a commander in the Revolutionary Guard [IRGC, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], 36,000 school children (child soldiers) were killed in the Iran-Iraq war.23

    The draft Constitution of the New Socialist Republic of Iran [in Farsi] succinctly explains the situation of systemic child abuse [in Iran]: "The government of the Islamic Republic gave legal status to Sharia [law] which restored and strengthened many of the oppressive social relationships from the era of slavery, including in relationship to children." (As long as the daughters are not married, they're considered the property of their fathers. The father has the right to exploit his children, can arrange the marriage of a baby daughter, and can even kill his daughters in the name of "defending honor." These are all part of the social relationships of the slavery era.)

    A very important aspect of confronting the anti-human character of the Islamic Republic is the struggle against its systematic child abuse. In today’s struggles, paragraph 4 of the Three Decrees of the "Interim Government Council" [of the CPI-MLM] should be our guide. Among the most urgent measures taken on the day after the overthrow of the Islamic Republic will be: "Outlawing child labor and urgently providing for the rights of all children, from [the right to] livelihood and shelter, to education and recreation for [former] child laborers, to issuing birth certificates/identity cards for all children, so that no child can be considered 'illegitimate.' Protective associations that have defended child laborers and street children, and were repressed by the Islamic Republic regime, will be given formal status. [These associations’] efforts to stop child labor, and to provide child welfare and education throughout the country, will be supported"

    Section 6 of article 4 of the Draft Constitution of the New Socialist Republic of Iran on children's rights declares that in the New Socialist Republic:

    All children living in Iran, whether citizens or immigrants, [and] regardless of their gender, nationality, or class origin in the previous society, are entitled to equal rights. Every citizen or immigrant under the age of 18 is entitled to [protection under] the children's rights laws, and after the age of 18 is entitled to all adult rights and responsibilities.

    Primary and secondary education is compulsory until the age of 18. [It is] the right and the principal responsibility of children and youth up to age 18whether citizen or immigrantis to get educated. Children across the country will enjoy the same standards of education: equal standards in infrastructure and apparatus; buildings, heating, laboratories, computers and quality of teaching staff.

    In all matters relating to children, they themselves must be consulted. In all administrative and judicial processes, where children are involved and are at ages where they can express their own minds, their opinions should be taken into account.

    Before the age of 18, elementary school students [grades 1 to 12] can participate, vote and be candidates in elections for leadership of educational, athletic and artistic institutions, child-enrichment centers, neighborhood associations, and in any gatherings where children and youth are part of the crowd. In the New Socialist Republic, rape and sexual abuse of children, including by family members, is a crime that will face severe punishment.

    All students will receive a medical examination once every three months, along with essential vaccinations. It will be the duty of [child welfare] institutions to sponsor artistic, recreational and group trips. In this way, various aspects of duties that have been the sole responsibility of families will gradually become socialized, and using the framework of various state and civil institutions, society will take responsibility. Educational institutions, in addition to carrying out various educational activities, must also form leadership bodies to carry out these tasks jointly, which will consist of educational cadre and parents of children (or those who are guardians of children).

    In the new Socialist Republic of Iran, sex education begins in elementary school. This training includes knowing your body and its hormonal interactions in girls and boys at different ages, protecting the body’s health, sexual relationships and sexual intercourse, safe sex, mutual respect among those who engage in sexual activity. One of the objectives of this education is to inform children about the necessity of resisting sexual assault. The main goal is for children to scientifically understand their body's interactions and to understand why, during a period of their development, humans are inclined toward having sex and about its physical and social dimensions.

    Darwin's theory of evolution forms the basis for this education, so that children can learn that sexual relationships are natural among all kinds of species. But at the same time it will be taught that since human beings are the only creatures in nature capable of self-awareness, they have transformed sexual relationships and any other natural relationship into a social relationship. Within this framework, the social development of sexual relationships and the distinction between sexual relationship and culture will be taught, by comparing [relationships] in socialist society to those of previous societies:  the tragic consequences of the Islamic Republic’s restoration of relationships and culture from 1,400 years ago; the fact that in capitalist society, with its commodification of labor, everything became a commodity, including love; how women have been oppressed within sexual relationships between men and women; the fact that children are also sexually abused as a result of the commodification of sex; that the age of enjoying sex is when a person grows out of a physical childhood and at the same time is intellectually able to establish meaningful relationships; how, in old religions and societies, sexual behavior was limited to sexual intercourse with [members of] the opposite sex, and non-conventional sexuality or any sexual and emotional behavior related to LGBTQs were suppressed, and why this restriction is not continued under socialism.

    With the establishment of the New Socialist Republic, a special institution composed of child labor protection centers will be formed, and a campaign will be launched to eradicate the phenomenon of child labor. Educational institutions in all parts of the country will be required to prioritize bringing child-laborers into schools and into the educational system. This will be part of the socialist republic's fundamental orientation for economic, political and cultural development.24

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    FOOTNOTES:

    1. As of November 26, 2022, the estimated number of children killed has increased to 60. – Ed. [back]

    2. Aisha was 6 years old, according to the 354-day lunar calendar, when she was officially married to Mohammad, and 9 years old when the marriage was consummated. The other men referenced were all top leaders of the Islamic Caliphate following Mohammad’s death: Abu Bakr was the first Caliph, or chief leader (sheik); Omar was the second Caliph; Ali the fourth and last Caliph. – Ed. [back]

    3. Because the execution of a girl while she is still a virgin is not "permissible", sham ceremonies were held before their executions, in which they were declared to be concubines, or temporary wives of their prison guard torturers, and thus executed after they were raped by the guards. – Ed. [back]

    4. The Iran Tribunal resulted from a grassroots initiative by women called “Mothers of Khavaran” to fight for justice for their children executed in the 1980s by the Islamic Republic, and buried in Khavaran. – Ed. [back]

    5. See “The June massacre of Mahabad in 1983.” On the website of the Communist Party of Iran (M.L.M.), in Farsi. [back]

    6. Some estimates of the number killed are as high as 5,000. – Ed. [back]

    7. During that war, “Human waves” were part of the Revolutionary Guards’ military strategy, predicated on rapid attacks by infantry divisions that caused a high number of human casualties. [back]

    8. Young Journalists Club, February 15, 2015 [back]

    9. From third article of the draft Constitution of the New Socialist Republic of Iran [in Farsi], p. 200. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    From Atash/Fire, Journal of the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, November 2022:

    If There Is to Be a Revolution, a Revolutionary Situation Must Be Created!

    Editors’ Note: The following is a translation of an article from the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (CPI-MLM), which appeared in their journal Atash/Fire, No. 132, November 2022. Given the recent developments in Iran and the efforts by the CPI (MLM) leadership to maximize gains toward an actual revolution, we thought it important to share this article with revcom.us readers. This translation from Farsi is by revcom.us volunteers; bracketed explanatory notes are from the translators.

    The nationwide uprising, which has continued unabated so far, is plowing and irrigating the ground for a real revolution. Every man or woman who falls at the hands of [Supreme Leader] Khamenei's military adds to the unity of the will to overthrow the regime. With each leap, distinct political lines about the future also become clearer. The most oppressed of the oppressed in the society, the women, have risen up and have become makers of revolution, and a new generation is standing on the shoulders of the sacrifices of three generations over the past 43 years and is determined to win this time.

    The idea that the revolution [of 1979] was a "catastrophe" has been pushed aside.  In this fresh and invigorating atmosphere, the lethargy and submission to the status quo that had gripped society, body and soul, has departed.

    Marx's voice is echoing in the air: Revolution is a Festival of the Oppressed! The sense of taking hold of our own destiny is so strong that even when we bury our dearest ones who have sacrificed their lives, we are rejoicing, and shaking the Islamist fascists to their core. But we are a long way from revolution and there are many dangers along the road.

    This has made it more urgent to clarify the objectives of the revolution and the roadmap for its realization. Any delay in doing so would result in the loss of the wonderful opportunities for revolutionary emancipation that can be achieved.

    In order for the tragedy of 43 years ago not to be repeated in a different form, under the banner of "revolution," an awareness of the character of the revolution and the conditions needed to achieve it must be promoted and take root among millions of people. The yardstick must be that the fact that revolution is not about changing the regime (regime change) while leaving the foundations of capitalism intact and in control of society.

    If instead of the rule of the Islamic fundamentalists, a government under the name of a republic or a monarchy comes to power to consolidate the capitalist system, this time without the title "Islamic Republic," it will not be a revolution. A change of ruling clique implemented by the capitalist-imperialist governments of the world is not a revolution—they have incorporated this regime into their world order for 43 years, and can do so again.

    Revolution is a historic change that occurs with the conscious participation of millions of people from different sections of society, especially the oppressed and exploited classes. To be specific: revolution is the overthrow of the Islamic Republic regime, its entire military and state apparatus, and its ideological institutions in an all-out and organized struggle of millions of conscious people, with the aim of establishing  a socialist state.

    Why a socialist state? Because this is the only state whose goal is to eradicate the capitalist mode of production. Why should the capitalist mode of production be eradicated? Because it is based on the oppression and exploitation of the majority of society and its functioning  produces class divisions, poverty and unemployment, the oppression of women, the oppression of [minority] nationalities, devastating wars and the destruction of the environment.

    The foundation of the Islamic Republic is the capitalist mode of production. Its difference with the Shah's regime is that, by merging religion with the state, this regime has painted a halo of eternal sanctification over capitalist oppression and exploitation in order to make its victims surrender. And if they don't surrender, [then] charge them with "waging war against God," and suppress them.

    It is not just the Islamic Republic that has a capitalist economic base. The whole world is [currently] based on the capitalist-imperialist system. One part of this global system is the imperialist capitalist countries (Europe, North America, China and Russia) and the other part is countries under their domination in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Islamic Republic and all oppressive regimes, such as the Shah's regime, are the products of this global system and integrated into its governing structures.

    The rise of fascist Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East, and today, the Christian fascists in the U.S., arises from how this system functions. This savagery has [now] created the necessity of eliminating capitalism, relegating the class system to the [dustbin of history], and establishing a communist society. The consequence of not responding to this necessity will bring on more horrifying suffering—not only for the Iranian people, but also for all of humanity. Under such circumstances, it's worse than madness to miss the opportunity [that] the current uprising has provided for revolution.

    If our approach to revolution is anything other than this, we will never reach a just society; the blood spilled in the streets and the sacrifices of the people will have been wasted. However, it's possible not to waste it, because we have the science of revolution that explains why revolution is necessary, what revolution is all about, the path to winning it. The emancipation of the vast majority of people can actually be achieved through such a revolution—even if they are not aware of it right now.

    The task and policy for today is to create a powerful political movement for communist revolution, amidst the ongoing battle that must continue until the Islamic Republic is overthrown.

    Knowing the Obstacles on the Road, and Overcoming Them

    In the tortuous road ahead, we need to recognize the obstacles that lie ahead, in order to remove them. Many people wrongfully use the concept of "a revolutionary situation" to explain current conditions, even though we are very far from a revolutionary situation. We have some work to do to reach such a situation. "Revolutionary situation" is an important theoretical concept that is explained in the science of communism, and refers to the conditions that make the victory of the revolution possible. Bob Avakian summarizes three conditions necessary for a revolutionary situation:

    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.
    —"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

    Something Terrible or Something Truly Emancipating - Square, wo "NEW"

     

    These three conditions do not move separately from each other but have a dynamically interactive relationship. To the extent that any one of them moves forward, it affects the other two conditions, and among them the evolution and movement of the second condition has a decisive effect on the status of the other two conditions.

    Let's look at the first condition, namely the emergence of a deep and crippling crisis within the ruling class. What has been the "usual practice" of the Islamic Republic, which had made people get accustomed to accepting it? The most important one has been a religious government whose compulsory hijab has been one of its foremost symbols. A large section of the people no longer believes that society should be governed through this set of beliefs and processes, and in their eyes the Islamic Republic has lost all of its legitimacy to govern.

    The marathon endurance of the uprising that has been boiling up from every faultline in society has greatly weakened the regime's ability to control society. There have been many divisions within the regime that have been intensified as a result of the ongoing uprising. Nevertheless, the regime has not been split apart from within.

    The various factions of the ruling class have reached a consensus against this uprising (at least temporarily), with the notion that they will first "rein it in" and then introduce certain "reforms." In fact, the spokespeople for such "consensus" have been those who were previously "barred from participating" and "barred from being selected and elected" by the ruling gang headed by Khamenei: people like Larijani [conservative former head of parliament], Khatami [former "reform" president] and Behzad Nabavi [former imprisoned member of parliament and elections critic].

    But they themselves know that the only remaining thing left for the survival of their Islamic Republic is repression. They are in alliance with the likes of Mostafa Mirsalim, a "member of the Expediency Discernment Council," who believes that a religious (theocratic) government should be maintained, and that the compulsory hijab and repression of women are central to the preservation of religious rule.

    The alliance that has formed among various factions of the Islamic Republic is not just due to fear of "tomorrow" and the "execution of everyone" at the hands of people (as the governor of Mazandaran has said). They really do want to hold on to religious rule. This is what is meant when we say that there has not been a split in this ruling class. The gauge of  a split within the ruling class would be that a wing or a faction says that religious rule can no longer be maintained, and acts accordingly. Moreover, the regime's organized fascist base, whose motivating force is religiosity, is still standing.

    Finally, the regime enjoys the support of capitalist-imperialist powers such as Russia and China that desperately need to dominate Iran's "playing field" in their global rivalries with western imperialists. Both parties to this rivalry (the so-called West and East) have no reservations about turning Iran into a scene of proxy wars, as is being done in Ukraine. These are factors, despite being contradictory, that have prevented the Islamic Republic’s ruling class from splitting.

    The purpose of giving a scientific assessment of the complexity of the situation is to emphasize that we [need to] see the twists and turns in the road, so that we can determine our tasks and prepare to move forward victoriously.

    Let's look at the second condition in the formation of a "revolutionary condition." Completely destabilizing the regime's balance and tying the hands of its imperialist allies are entirely dependent on the second condition, namely the creation of "revolutionary people numbering in millions." There is a difference between joining the current uprising versus the creation of millions of people who know the difference between revolution and regime change [that is] for the benefit of a few, people who are not willing to accept anything less than revolution.

    A revolutionary people comes into being as a result of awareness of the revolutionary goal, and a determination to fight for that revolutionary goal. It is this awareness that creates not just the needed courage, but also the initiative, the planning and the skill to crush the foundations of the old state apparatus, and the step-by-step creation of the future new state apparatus.

    The current uprising has brought about a great change in the thinking of hundreds of thousands, even millions of people. The Islamic Republic's intellectual dominance has been shattered in many ways. A large number of young women and men are realizing their mission and motivating other sections of people against the government and the need for sacrifice in this regard. The regional diversity of the uprising has given it an amazing richness and has created a beautiful nationwide unity which is vital to winning the upcoming revolutionary war and building the future new society. Although unfortunately, the myth of "patriotism" and the "flag" is still strong in many people's minds, Persian supremacy over non-Persian nations has been dealt a heavy blow.

    The role of women as a basic force in the radical transformation of society has become an undeniable fact. This is a tremendous achievement. But there is still a long way to go in changing people's thinking. The remnants of male/patriarchal culture and the supremacy of the “Glorious Land of Persia” [chauvinism] must be taken seriously, as it is encouraged and reinforced in a thousand and one ways.

    To consolidate the current achievements is deeply dependent on tens of thousands, and then millions of men and women coming to realize that male/patriarchal oppression is rooted in the socio-economic system called capitalism.  As long as there is a capitalist system—whether with the Islamic Republic regime, or the monarchy, or a democratic republic, or any other form of government—it will fuel the oppression of women and will reproduce male/patriarchal social relations and related decadent ideologies.

    Realizing this fact, one can see how this social oppression is intertwined with class distinctions, poverty, unemployment and other oppressive social relations such as the oppression of minority nationalities, catastrophes like the filthy regional and imperialist wars, as well as the destruction of the environment. All of this is part and parcel of the socio-economic fabric of capitalism. All these facts dictate the content of the needed revolution, and tell us what kind of leadership that the revolution needs.

    We reach the third condition in shaping the revolutionary situation. That is, the existence of "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”) [Emphasis added.]

    This scientific approach is the science of the new communism, which our party, the Communist Party of Iran (MLM), is based on, and our duty is to act as the basis for the creation and expansion of such a force.

    In fulfilling this task, working on the second condition (creating a movement of millions of revolutionary people) is decisive. Once such a force is formed, a revolutionary war can be organized [to fight until] final victory, with a force that constantly grows and revolutionary leaders that are trained and tested. No revolution can succeed without [seizing] political power. Without [state] power it is never possible to destroy the old socio-economic system and replace it with a new and just system.

    To work on the second and third conditions, we rely on three basic Party documents that can be found in all Party publications and media channels. Today, however, [what] we must specifically take to people [are] the "Three Directives" which are in chapter four of the document "The Manifesto and Programme for the Communist Revolution in Iran." We can use [these Directives] in four ways:

    1) Distribute information to the public on what our immediate actions and steps will be [on] the day after the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, in order to eradicate the roots of the regime and open the way for a just society.

    2) Use the "Three Directives" as a yardstick to distinguish all of those who can be united with, versus those political forces belonging to the bourgeois classes that already intend to install themselves [in power], upon the "downfall" of the Islamic Republic ([whether they are] Monarchists or the Transition Council or any other institution that [hopes to] lay claim to the future of the society and its direction).

    3) Use these Directives to create small and large militant alliances in neighborhoods, in factories, in towns, in villages and with various guilds... for tomorrow.

    4) Take collective action to carry out every aspect of these steps to make the Islamic Republic a target of struggle that can be implemented starting today, and at every juncture during the development of the uprising. For example, defying the regime's red lines regarding the compulsory hijab and gender segregation, non-compliance in religious practices, refusing to show up at the Islamic Republic's houses of injustice, pressuring regional birth certificate centers to issue birth certificates and IDs to Baloch and Afghan people. Most importantly, call for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, etc.

    By building such a movement, we can begin now to develop the key institutions and foundations of the future government—from below, by involving millions of people from different sections of society, who are aware of and believe in the goals of this revolution. Any kind of "provisional government" should be the expression of these Directives and nothing less. The revolution cannot limit itself to merely expanding the current uprising. [Instead] this uprising must find its clear voice in relation to the future alternative.

    Bourgeois political entities, who want to impose their views and their agenda (the likes of Pahlavi monarchists and the Transitional Council, etc.), say that after the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, the details of the future society and the next regime will be determined by a "constituent assembly, comprised of all points of view" and then [all will head to] the election polls! There is nothing more demagogically hypocritical than this "democratic" populism. Whichever socio-political entity has a clear understanding of its future alternative at that very moment, will control the composition of the Constituent Assembly and the ballot boxes. There's no doubt that [these forces] have been fully clear about their own future alternative, and are plotting their domestic and international alliances.

    But people are not [yet] clear about which alternative will be to their immediate and long-term benefit! Therefore, beginning today, we must clarify what entities we will ally with in the future.

    The Content of the Desired and Possible Future Must Create a Powerful Alliance

    For this to happen, from now on people should know what law will replace the constitution, the Sharia and civic laws of the Islamic Republic, in order to truly fulfill the essential equality rights, political, economic and social rights for the entire population, and in particular the rights of women and people of oppressed nations.

    How will freedom of thought and expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of press, freedom to form organizations and parties, freedom to strike, freedom to dissent and be the people's critics be guaranteed? How are confiscated assets going to be used to provide urgent shelter, medical treatment and education for everyone, especially those in deprived areas?

    How promptly will Afghan child laborers and immigrants be able to benefit from their [new] rights? What type of economy will eradicate oppression, exploitation, poverty and unemployment, and will prevent the destruction of the environment?

    People need to find out, from this day forward, what will happen to the regime's military and security institutions. How will the complete separation of religion and state be carried out to ban the usage of religion in any shape or form in the legal, judicial, educational and family infrastructure? What will we do with the military and security pacts and economic contracts the Islamic Republic has with imperialist powers? What forces, and with what kind of policy, will take over garrisons, ministries, banks, radio and television, communications, industries, dams and farming, and what will be done with them?

    What will become of religious institutions, massive agricultural lands owned by the Jihad of Construction and the Imam Reza Holy Shrine Enterprise, [both multi-billion dollar entities], etc.? What will become of dams and water reservoirs? How will the councils of the poor and the landless workers and peasants in each region be formed and governed? How will the councils of professors, teachers, college students and elementary students that were formed during the revolution run the educational institutions? And what about dozens of other colossal and vital issues related to the character and principles of a desirable and possible future society?

    We can never cast blame or be surprised about the efforts by out-of-power bourgeois forces to preserve their class system. But their opportunistic slogan of "unity, unity" must be shattered, because the vital task on the agenda that our society is striving for [requires] the overthrow of this regime and the establishment of a New Socialist Republic—and nothing less! The opportunistic slogans of "unity, unity" serve only to roll back and cover up this endeavor, and we cannot tolerate it. Therefore, without hesitation, we shall promote the alternative of communist revolution among the people and make sure that its clear, loud sound echoes and has influence all over the country.

    Only by creating a Movement for Revolution with such content and creating a great united front around such a program, can we transform the amazing opportunities of the current uprising, and the larger uprisings to come, into a power that paves the way for building a society that helps the people transition [away] from the current horrors.

  • ARTICLE:

    From the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist:

    People of the World: Take up the Cry of Revolution from Iran as Your Own!

    What is unfolding with grandeur and magnificence in the four corners of Iran is not an “Iranian” event! It is a cry for liberation from oppressed humanity, especially the female half of humanity, to find a way out from the vicious, ugly oppression they are suffering under the fascist theocratic state of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). With all its particularity and uniqueness, theirs is a universal cry for human emancipation! That is why people from Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East, all the way to poor, hungry and devastated Africa and even in the more prosperous imperialist countries of Europe and North America are stirred by this cry! The uplifting and beautiful uprising triggered by the brutal murder of the young Jina (Mahsa Amini) at the hands of Iran’s hated “morality” police was long overdue, because the enslavement of women has long been a pillar of the IRI. The world’s people are right to be jubilant at how fearlessly the women in Iran are striking back at their patriarchal enslavement. They feel and see inspiring hope for getting rid of every kind of oppression in every corner of the world, a glimpse of humanity’s potential to carve a radically different world out of all the oppression and exploitation that surrounds us. Especially at a time when the Earth is on the verge of environmental collapse and the big capitalist-imperialist gangsters, such as the U.S. and Russia, are threatening the world with nuclear Armageddon.

    So we call on you, the people of the world—and NOT your reactionary rulers!—to stand in solidarity with the uprising of Iran’s people. The reactionary rulers of especially the Western imperialist countries shamelessly parade their so-called sympathy for the uprising—trying to hide the ugly truth of how they—and especially the U.S. imperialists—have committed atrocious crimes to hold down the people of Iran and the Middle East for generations, carrying out bloody coups and imposing feudal sheikhs and shahs on the region’s countries, all to ensure their prosperity and global domination. Enough! Imagine what it would mean to the people of Iran to see the faces of people in these countries and around the world, rising with them in the streets and declaring their own determination to fight for a radically new world.

    Opening up a pathway for a real revolution in Iran would change the face of the Middle East and the whole world and lift people’s sights everywhere to the possibility of a revolutionary way out of the life-crushing stranglehold of the capitalist-imperialist system and its endless cruelty to the planet and its eight billion people. We cannot allow such an opportunity to be squandered, for powerful forces inside and outside Iran to get by with a cosmetic facelift to the same old oppressive order, as happened so painfully to the Egyptian people in the “Arab Spring.”

    The Islamic Republic is a dictatorship exercising a theocratic Shia regime, and looks somewhat different than the more “familiar” reactionary regimes in countries dominated by imperialism, but let us be crystal clear: this regime has always been an integral part of, and subordinate to, the world capitalist-imperialist system—a system, which is dominated and controlled by the major imperialist powers consisting of both the U.S. and European imperialists, as well as the imperialist China and Russia, while in fierce contention over who gets more share of ravaging the world and impose their enslaving exploitation. The hostility between Islamic Fundamentalism and the imperialist ruling strata has been analyzed by Bob Avakian, revolutionary communist leader and architect of the new communism, decades ago under the concept of the “two outmodeds.” Avakian showed that the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism is in fact “a peculiar expression” of the capitalist-imperialist system, and he emphasized that if you side with either of these reactionary forces, you will wind up strengthening both. This truth has fallen on far too many deaf ears in the world’s progressive movements, who have given up on radically changing the world and settled for surrendering humanity to the so-called “lesser evil” among the reactionaries. So let’s be clear: Islamic Fundamentalism in general and the Islamic Republic of Iran in particular are not “anti-imperialist,” they are part and parcel of the capitalist-imperialist system dominating the world, and these devout mullahs invariably wind up taking shelter under the wings of profane imperialists like Russia’s Putin or China’s Xi Jinping, if not their western counterparts. 

    To finally put an end to the seemingly endless suffering of Iran’s people requires a real revolution, made by millions of people and led by a revolutionary vanguard with the aim of overthrowing the Islamic theocratic fascist regime and liberating Iran out of the murderous fabric of the capitalist-imperialist system. This requires a communist revolution and establishing a “New Socialist Republic.” It is necessary to face and overcome three huge obstacles: 1) bloody suppression by the still very strong repressive apparatus of the IRI, particularly its Islamic Guard goons, the army and police; 2) naïve fantasies that the “world powers” will help transfer Iran from a brutal theocracy to a bourgeois-democratic regime, free of imperialist domination! There are major forces in the opposition to the Islamic Republic who are striving to spread this dangerous illusion, with powerful backing especially from the Western imperialists; 3) and a dangerous lack of scientific understanding among the masses about what a genuine revolution means and the very real chance of actually making a breakthrough for the emancipation of humanity amidst the stormy tides ripping at the world order today.

    We call on you, the people of our precious planet, especially from Afghanistan, the U.S., the UK, Germany, France, Turkey, India, Pakistan as well as China, Ukraine, Russia… to stand with the uprising in Iran, to join your own yearnings for a radically new and better world to the hope beating in the hearts of Iran’s heroic women and men. Go to our party’s, the Communist Party of Iran Marxist-Leninist-Maoist’s, website for Farsi materials and to revcom.us for English and Spanish materials on what a real revolution is, and how the potential for a genuine revolution can be seized upon and turned into reality by building a powerful movement for revolution through leading the people to rely on and wield the whole new framework of human emancipation forged by Bob Avakian in the new communism.

    October 22, 2022

     

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  • ARTICLE:

    Five Dead, 25 Injured in Attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs

    The Mounting Toll—in Lives and Terror—of Hate-fueled, Fascist Propaganda Against LGBTQ People

    Saturday, November 19 was the night before the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, marking the loss through hateful violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people. (At least 32 have been killed so far just this year.25)

    In Colorado Springs, Club Q has served for 20 years as the main “safe space” for LGBTQ people in this often-hostile conservative city, and as a welcoming venue to everybody. Saturday night Club Q was filled with people having fun, including many straight people. There was a drag show that night, and another scheduled for Sunday.

    Then, a little before midnight, a man carrying an AR-15 and a handgun (plus multiple loaded magazines)—started shooting. People fell to the floor wounded or dead, hid, fled, tried to help each other. One man tackled the shooter, while two others helped disarm and restrain him until the cops arrived. An injured man recalled other patrons rushing to aid him and a more badly wounded woman next to him. People saved each other’s lives.

    The incident itself was over in under six minutes. And that was all the time it took for five lives to be snuffed out. (See “More Lives Lost” box.) At least 18 others were wounded. And the ripples of trauma, fear, pain—and righteous anger—were already spreading through the club, to families and friends of those killed, to LGBTQ and especially trans people who already feel under constant attack, and to decent people everywhere.

    At this point little is known with certainty about the alleged killer or his motives,  but there is a larger climate in which he was operating. Fascist forces in the U.S.—from the Christian fascists to Republi-fascist elected officials to terrorist misogynist thugs like the Proud Boys—have been whipping up hatred against LGBTQ people for many years, and much more intensely so in the last few months.

    Increasingly, LGBTQ people—and anyone who defends them—are being painted as predators and pedophiles by these fascists. Christian-fascist Florida governor Ron DeSantis built his highly successful reelection campaign heavily around what became known as the “Don’t Say ‘Gay’” bill, which barred or heavily restricted discussion of sexuality in schools, and was also linked to banning books that depicted “non-traditional” characters and families (trans kids, or gay families, i.e., kids with two moms or two dads, for example.)

    In defending this bill, DeSantis’s press secretary called it the “Anti-Grooming bill,” and said that anyone who opposed it was “probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4 to 8-year-old children” (By “grooming” they mean ways to manipulate children into sexual relationships.) So here, open classroom discussions of questions of sexuality that confront large numbers of children are being equated with a predatory conspiracy to sexually abuse children and “turn” kids gay!

    Likewise, fascist Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert has said that a Congressional bill to bar discrimination against LGBTQ people is aimed at achieving the "supremacy of gays and lesbians and transvestites." So according to these fascists, LGBTQ people are trying to “take over”—when the reality is that LGBTQ people are systematically persecuted and demonized in this society.

    With this kind of outrageous propaganda being blasted out by right-wing media, “influencers,” and political leaders, anti-LGBTQ violence is both predictable and almost inevitable.

    Children’s hospitals that assist transgender children face bomb threats. A planned LGBTQ festival in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was targeted for attack by the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front—31 of their members were arrested as they neared the event. Drag shows, which Christian fascists see as subverting traditional gender norms, have also come under attacks by the fascists.

    At the heart of this cruel insanity is the fact that changes in the “nuclear family” brought about by larger changes in the economy and society, and the growing acceptance and prevalence among sections of people (especially younger people) of “non-traditional gender roles” are challenging and in some ways undermining traditional patriarchal relations and authority (the authority of men) that has been key to holding U.S. society together (on a highly oppressive basis.) The fascist agenda is in large part about reasserting in the most overt, violent and grotesque forms of what they believe “Made America Great”—white supremacy, male supremacy, and American chauvinism.

    In an interview published the day after the massacre, Mike Pompeo—a leading Christian-fascist, Secretary of State under Trump, and a possible candidate for president in 2024—declared that “the most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten” (head of the American Federation of Teachers union). And why does he say this? Because, he says, of “all the filth they’re teaching our kids,” an obvious reference to the many teachers who insist on treating LGBTQ people as human beings who happen to live and love differently… and not as demonic pedophiles who should be forcibly driven “back in the closet”—if not outright imprisoned or killed.

    According to Pompeo, this makes her “the most likely to take this republic down.”

    These fascists see these changes as an existential threat and are determined to violently reverse them. The challenge is whether those on the side of decency will recognize the depth of the threat posed by these fascists and move not only to defend LGBTQ people against these attacks, but fight to bring forward something truly emancipating out of this madness.

    the 5 people murdered at Club Q

     

    Five More Lives Lost to Anti-Gay Violence

    The following is based on the NBC News report “What we know about the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting” and Colorado Public Radio report “Those we lost in the Club Q shooting.”

    Daniel Aston, 28

    Daniel, a bartender and entertainer at Club Q, was a transgender man. His mom, Sabrina Aston, told the Associated Press that Daniel: "lit up a room, always smiling, always happy and silly." She said his death was a "nightmare that you can't wake up from."

    Kelly Loving, 40

    Like many trans people, Kelly had already been a victim of violence, surviving a previous shooting and a stabbing. Kelly’s sister, Tiffany Loving, told the New York Times that "She was loving, always trying to help the next person out, instead of thinking of herself. She just was a caring person.”

    Natalie Skye Bingham, a friend of Kelly’s, and herself a survivor of the 2017 Pulse nightclub massacre, said that Kelly could have been "intimidating because she was so gorgeous. But she was the exact opposite. She was warm, welcoming, and she took me under her wing." Reflecting on the loss of her friend, Bingham said she wants her memory to live on: “I want to be a voice for her, and I will make sure she is heard.”

    Derrick Rump, 38

    Derrick Rump moved from Pennsylvania to Colorado to start a new life. His sister Julia said that “He found a community of people that he loved … and he felt that he could shine there, and he did," Rufio Jimenez,, a close friend, said “He’s a sweetheart. He’s a leader at heart, I would say. He’s calm and quiet, sassy when he wants to be.” And Rufio added that he had heard that Derrick was killed while trying to save people, that he “was running around trying to tell people to run and leave. And he got shot. He’s a hero to us. It sucks that he was such a good person, that he was the one that had to die.”

    Raymond Green Vance, 22

    Raymond went to Club Q with his girlfriend, Kathy Fierro, and her parents to celebrate a birthday—it was his first time there. (Kathy’s dad, Richard Fierro, was the person who tackled the shooter, later saying that "I needed to save my family. That family was, at that time, everybody in that room.")

    Kathy posted on Facebook, "My baby was the most hilarious most loving human. Let’s share that with each other." Raymond’s mom, Adriana Vance said “Raymond spent most of his spare time with his girlfriend (whom he had been with since middle school) and playing video games, which were his favorite hobby and something he hoped to turn into an online career.” And she said that she wanted people to remember her son as a "tall, handsome, gentle giant."

    Ashley Paugh, 35

    Ashley Paugh, described by her sister Stephanie Clark as a loving wife and mother of an 11-year-old girl, was capping off a day trip in Colorado Springs with a night of fun at Club Q when the gunman opened fire. Clark said “Nothing will ever be the same without her. Right now, I don't want to laugh. She was a loving, caring person who would do anything for anybody. We're gonna miss her so much.”

    “It just doesn’t seem real. We’re heartbroken. We’re sad. We’re mad, angry.”

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. According to Fatal Violence Against the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community in 2022, Human Rights Campaign (accessed 11/23/22), which says the actual number may be higher because “too often these stories go unreported—or misreported.” [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    A Black Nazi, a White Nazi, and an Orange Nazi walk into a golf club for dinner.

    No, this is not how the joke begins. This is how genocides begin.

    The last thing we need—the last thing Black people, and people overall, need—are Black Nazis!

     

    This past Tuesday, Donald Trump invited virulent anti-semite, Christian fascist, MAGA-moron Kanye West to dinner at his Mar-a-Lago country club. Kanye brought along his new friend, Nick Fuentes. According to Kanye, Trump was “really impressed” with Fuentes. According to Fuentes, Trump "told me he liked me.” Who is Nick Fuentes? No, he’s not a “far-right activist,” as the Washington Post called him. He’s a Nazi. An OPEN white supremacist, misogynist, antisemitic, Holocaust-denying Nazi. Someone who was on the ground in Charlottesville with the torch-bearing Nazis who chanted “Jews will not replace us” while defending a monument to slavery… and at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 for Trump’s fascist coup attempt, declaring afterwards that it was awesome and Im not going to pretend it wasnt.” Nick Fuentes says the quiet part out loud, and is now a rising star of the MAGA fascist movement, with close ties to Republi-fascist politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, and an army of followers who call themselves “Groypers.”

    But to understand the significance of Trump beginning his campaign for president by meeting with Nick Fuentes, you have to see and hear Fuentes in his own words. Click the links for a small sample:

    THIS is what is now being mainstreamed. In the days since, have Republican Party leaders condemned this Nazi meeting? Crickets. Has Trump denounced Fuentes or tried to distance himself from him? Not an inch. He merely claimed that he didn’t know who Fuentes was ahead of time. For Trump, lying is as natural as breathing. But even if this were true, he DOES know who Kanye is. You know, the guy who’s spent the last 2 months vomiting a tidal wave of lies and hatred against Jewish people that would make Hitler proud.

    And Kanye and Fuentes know who Trump is: a genocidal racist to his core26—from his calls to execute the (innocent!) Central Park 5, to his Muslim ban, to his slander of Mexicans as “drug dealers…rapists…criminals,” to his defense of the Charlottesville Nazis as “very fine people” — someone who is willing and eager to break all the rules and unleash violence to impose a white Christian fascist America.

    A Wake-up Call to Liberals

    If you think the MAGA threat is going away because the Republicans didn’t pull off their “red wave” and many of the candidates that Trump endorsed lost in the midterm elections, you need to wake up and smell the fascism, brewing even more vicious, vengeful, and determined. This white supremacist fascism is not going away because it is deeply embedded in the roots and fabric of this country, because a section of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class (represented by the Republican Party) is convinced it is necessary in order to deal with economic and social changes that they believe are fraying and undermining the U.S. empire, and because they have unleashed a lunatic and rabid base of tens of millions that is pushing the Republican politicians to further extremes. This dinner between the number one Republi-fascist politician, the dangerous clown Kanye, and this Nazi youth leader—and the silent endorsement of the whole Republican Party—is a sign of how far things have come, and where they’re heading if this dynamic continues.

    And one more thing…

    One last thing, to those who say that “Kanye has a point,” and who think your problem is that some other group—be it Latino, Asian, Jewish, etc.—is holding you down, or its women or gay people or whatever (and Kanye is a woman-hater supreme,27 like his idol Trump): The only "point" this motherfucker has is the one that gets you falling for the oldest three-card-monte game in the book—divide and conquer. The ruling classes have played the Jews as scapegoats for two thousand years—blaming Jews as a people, or singling out one or two prominent Jews, for the ills and evils of what is an economic and political system founded on exploitation. Today the name of that system is capitalism-imperialism—and until you who make your defenses of Kanye wake up to that, and actually scientifically look into it, you will not only be played against the most fundamental interests of the masses of Black people, but be led to carry out horrific crimes against other people. 

    Like the slogan goes, THE LAST THING WE NEED—THE LAST THING BLACK PEOPLE, AND PEOPLE OVERALL, NEED—ARE BLACK NAZIS!

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. As Bob Avakian wrote in 2020:

    Genocide means killing off a whole people, or a large part of that people. Genocide is what the Europeans did to the native peoples in America, while stealing their land. Genocide is Hitler and the NAZIs murdering six million Jews. Donald Trump is a genocidal racist.

    Donald Trump hates Black people, and everybody who is not a “white, English-speaking, Christian American.” If he could, he would kill off a whole lot of them, and put many of the rest in jail for life, or drive them out of the country.

    [back]

    2. For instance, his remark that Black women exercising the right to abortion has caused a “holocaust” among Black people. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    Capitalism-Imperialism and the Threat to the Fish in the Sea

    Part 2 of the series on the ocean

    “Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First.”
    —Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:8

    “…what has come sharply into focus in the 21st century is that healthy oceans—oceans that can sustain anything like the system of life which has evolved through billions of years on the planet—are completely incompatible with the global system of capitalism-imperialism. One or the other will go. It is up to us to decide which one…”
    From Part 1 of this series.

    The Bluefin Tuna Didn’t Stand a Chance

    Tuna are extraordinary animals, and make a big contribution to the entire ecosystem as a top ocean predator. They can weigh over 1,200 pounds, and can swim thousands of miles in a few weeks. North Atlantic bluefin tuna roam the ocean and return to the Mediterranean to spawn.1 People in the Mediterranean have fished for Atlantic bluefin tuna for thousands of years. It is only in the last decades that fishing operations have threatened the existence of the fish, which were down to six percent of their estimated population by 2010.2 They were devoured by a global parasite—the capitalist-imperialist system—wielding powerful high-tech tools.

    Start with the global market for raw fish used in very expensive sushi and sashimi. In the last decades, the globalized world economy made a routine matter of shipping raw fish around the world so fast it is still safe to eat raw. The raw bluefin tuna catch goes to imperialist countries, where massive profits are made selling high grade tuna to elite strata. The book The Tragedy of the Commodity notes: “A thriving market for sashimi-grade tuna thrust the bluefin tuna into global stardom.”3 Bluefin tuna became the most valuable fish in the world—tens of thousands of dollars or more for a single fish.

    School of bluefin tuna swimming in ocean

     

    Bluefin tuna make a big contribution to the entire ecosystem, but they've been devoured by a global parasite—the capitalist-imperialist system.    Photo: NOAA

    With the chance for big profits, big capital poured into the hunt for bluefin tuna (the largest investor was Mitsubishi). The intensifying competition between different capitalists drove each to bring in new, more powerful technology to get the edge over the other in catching the fish. Along with large-scale, high-powered fleets, advanced location technology was brought into finding and catching tuna: “Doppler radar, spotter planes, bird locating radar, sonar, fish aggregating devices, satellite-derived sea surface temperature information and radio buoys.”4

    The mass depletion of the once plentiful fish led to a search for ways to farm the tuna. The bluefin tuna have been hard to breed in captivity. So as the fish were wiped out, remaining young fish were captured and put in cages where they were fattened for slaughter. This didn’t however help increase the population. (In recent years international efforts have set some restrictions on tuna fishing, and the fish have partially recovered, but the population is nowhere close to what it was before the 20th century).

    Bluefin Tuna.

     

    The raw bluefin tuna catch goes to imperialist countries, where massive profits are made selling high grade tuna to elite strata.    Photo: NOAA

    “Maximum Sustainable Yield” Means the U.S. Destroys Richest Fishery in the Planet

    What happened to the North Atlantic bluefin tuna is just one example of how the global imperialist system has ravaged ocean life. The U.S. has been the biggest offender. It has cynically claimed to be taking the health of the fish into account—it has advocated what it calls Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), which supposedly limits how many fish are taken so that the populations are sustained. This is a sham, and the opposite of “sustainable”—it is a cover for decimating fish populations. The massive cod populations off the east coast of the U.S. and Canada were legendary and were perhaps the richest fishery in the history of the planet. They were managed according to MSY practices—the reality was that it was capitalist competition in command, and the population of the cod has completely collapsed.5

    One further example of many, many more: In the period after WW2, island nations in the Pacific declared that their territories extended 200 miles into the ocean. The U.S. wanted to send its fishing boats inside that 200-mile limit, and, at the same time, they wanted to prevent other nations from moving close to U.S. coasts to catch Pacific salmon that spawn in the U.S. northwest. So, they declared the tuna a “migrating species” but claimed that the salmon had to be protected and developed according to the Maximum Sustainable Yield concept, to supposedly sustain the salmon. This did NOT protect the salmon. It DID protect the domination and profit-taking of U.S.-based capital invested in fishing. Today 14 species of salmon and steelhead trout in Washington State have been deemed endangered and five of those are considered “in crisis.”6

    Greenpeace capsulized the state of the fish populations in the ocean as a whole: “We’ve already removed at least two-thirds of the large fish in the ocean, and one in three fish populations have collapsed since 1950.”7

    Bottom Trawling in the Gulf of Alaska—the Destruction of Deep-Sea Coral

    The same logic of capitalism which decimated the tuna and other fish is in full effect in “bottom trawling” in the Gulf of Alaska:

    [T]here are over 280,000 square miles of deep-sea habitat in the Gulf of Alaska… Very little light reaches the deep and no light at all penetrates beyond 3,000 feet. A diversity of fish, corals and sponges not only persevere, but thrive, in the cold darkness where they are uniquely adapted to the seemingly crushing conditions...8

    But into this isolated world, huge fishing boats come, dragging weighted nets along the bottom in waters thousands of feet deep. The deep-sea coral, which take hundreds of years to grow in the cold and dark, are crushed. The sponges are crushed. A single pass of these nets can do tremendous damage and sea life might never recover. And the loss of these areas—remember that coral reefs are dying around the world because of climate change driven by the imperialist system—can have larger environmental impact on the ocean as a whole.

    Sponge in ocean

     

    Sponges not only persevere, but thrive, in the cold darkness of the deep sea, but they can be destroyed by huge fishing boats that drag weighted nets, crushing the sponges.    Photo: Screen grab from video by Tavish Campbell.

    Super trawler with attached net

     

    Tractors pulling bottom-trawling nets are used all over the world. All kinds of sea life get caught up in these giant nets: turtles, endangered species like sharks, and all kinds of fish—and they are just thrown back as waste.     Photo:  Pierre Gleizes/Greenpeace

    These bottom-trawling nets are used all over the world. All kinds of sea life get caught up in these giant nets: turtles, endangered species like sharks, and all kinds of fish—and they are just thrown back as waste. The nets themselves are generally dumped back into the ocean after these fishing boats are done with them. These "ghost nets" continue to ensnare wildlife, and they're made out of synthetic fibers, making them a further source of plastic marine waste.

    These bottom-trawling nets—and other, parallel technology like immense fishing lines which hold thousands of hooks, or sonar and satellite data used to catch tuna—are tools developed by this capitalist-imperialist system, in this time when huge concentrations of capital are competing with each other to catch and sell immense quantities of fish, AND when the fish populations have been devastated already, so the hunt for what is left is even more intense. Further driving of fish populations to the brink? The destruction and perhaps extermination of ancient coral? Just plain wanton destruction of endangered sharks or marine mammals? Whatever disaster those things might mean to the planet and humanity, has no effect on the bottom line of the companies involved in this fishing—these are “externalities” that do not count to capitalism and which have no effect in the battle for competitive dominance among capitalists.

    BAsics 1-29

     

    And there is a further, crucial strategic consideration: imperialist powers have long seen fishing fleets as more than a way to make money by catching fish. Fishing boats have long been used by global powers as part of how they project military force in the ocean. This is part of what has led to national governments providing huge subsidies for fishing—estimated at $20 billion per year—at a time when fish populations are being decimated. The U.S. has dominated the world’s oceans militarily since WW 2—and is now mobilizing global opposition to the fleets of Chinese fishing boats which operate around the world. 9  There is a competitive battle to catch fish—but the current battle over fishing boats is about the boats as weapons in the sharpening strategic contention and rising danger of war between the U.S. and China.

    The Tuna Are Top Predators—but They Are Not in the Same Game as the Predatory Capitalist-Imperialist System

    There is one planet and one ocean; but capitalism-imperialism threatens the planet from both the rising danger of war between nuclear powers, and environmental destruction. This stands out: humanity could work in a global, coordinated way to reverse the catastrophic damage to the planet brought about by this system. The predatory capture and destruction of fish and other marine life to serve capitalist interests of one kind or another; the burning of fossil fuels that drives climate change and heats and acidifies the ocean; the antagonism between nations and between competing blocs of capitalists that is built into the foundations of capitalism and leads to warall this must go—all this can no longer rule the seas or the planet. How could we possibly clean up the ocean if human society on the land is dominated by the predatory capitalist-imperialist system? We need a radical uprooting of exploitative relations everywhere if the oceans are to have a chance to flourish. We need communism.

    “We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to dominate the world and to determine the destiny of humanity.”
    From Up Close and Personal with Bob Avakian: Heart and Soul & Hard-Core for Revolution

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. "Save Bluefin Tuna," Center for Biological Diversity.

    A Remarkable Species

    Bluefin tuna are an ocean-going fish that grow up to 10 feet long and can weigh as much as 1,200 pounds. Unlike almost all fish, bluefin tuna are warm-blooded and able to regulate their body temperature, which helps during their epic journeys across the Atlantic. Bluefin tuna are top ocean predators and sometimes hunt cooperatively, much like wolves. With streamlined bodies and retractable fins, bluefin can bolt through the water at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and are capable of crossing oceans in the course of only a few weeks. [back]

    2. In 2010: The biomass of the “eastern stocks was only approximately ‘6% of the unfished level’ and there was a “high risk of fisheries and stock collapse.’” (The Tragedy of the Commodity) [back]

    3. The Tragedy of the Commodity: Oceans, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Steven Longo, Rececca Clausen and Brett Clark, 2015, p. 85 [back]

    4. The Tragedy of the Commodity, p. 90 [back]

    5. Cod in the North Atlantic Coast off New England and Eastern Canada have been fished for hundreds of years. In the 1990s Maine fisherman brought in 20 million pounds per year. By 2021 the number was down to 50,000 pounds (1/400th). The collapse threatens the existence of the fish—and thousands of fishermen lost their jobs and their livelihoods. [back]

    6. "Northwest's Salmon Population May Be Running Out of Time," New York Times, January 20, 2021. [back]

    7. "Overfishing & Destructive Fishing," Greenpeace. [back]

    8. "Global Fishing Watch," OCEANA, Protecting the World's Oceans. OCEANA has launched a campaign to stop the bottom trawling in the Gulf of Alaska. [back]

    9. “Governments often use the fishing industry to advance their diplomatic agenda, as my work as a historian of fishing and American foreign relations shows. The United States used fishing, directly and indirectly, to build its international empire from its founding through the 20th century. Now China’s doing it, too.” From “US-China fight over fishing is really about world domination,” by Blake Earle, assistant professor of history, Texas A&M University, The Conversation, September 21, 2020. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    The World Cup in Qatar Is Soaked with the Blood of Immigrants

    The Capitalist-Imperialist System Is Outmoded and Must Be Swept Away

    As the World Cup37 begins in Qatar, the horrific atrocities against the immigrants who built the entire infrastructure for this event, have resurfaced in the news.

    Since the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the international governing body of football (soccer), the murderous treatment of the immigrants who built everything has been chronicled in the press and online.

    In Qatar, world cup immigrant workers at construction site suffer brutal heat.

     

    In Qatar, immigrant workers at construction site for world cup endure brutal heat.    Photo: AP

    In early 2021, a Guardian article revealed that 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, had died in Qatar since the event was awarded to that country in 2010.38 It is not known how many of these deaths were among migrants working on World Cup stadiums and other related projects. According to the Qatar government, 30,000 foreign workers were employed to build World Cup stadiums. The Guardian obtained this data from the countries of the migrant workers. According to Human Rights Watch, the total death toll is significantly higher, as these figures do not include deaths from a number of countries which send large numbers of workers to Qatar, including Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sudan, Uganda, and others. Deaths that occurred in the final months of 2020 were also not included in the data reported by the Guardian.39

    With the summer temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Qatar, migrant workers were forced to work in horrendous conditions. Many of them died from unspecified reasons with death certificates that give vague reasons for their death—such as “acute heart failure natural causes,” “heart failure unspecified” and “acute respiratory failure due to natural causes.”40

    Dr. Prakash Raj Regmi, cardiologist in Nepal, asks: How can a person, 20 years old, die naturally? He answers this by saying that with “this extreme atmospheric condition where the workers work the day long. It causes dehydration. It may cause heat stroke. It may cause massive dehydration, electrolyte imbalance. And this may lead to death. Sweating is a defense mechanism. It cools the body. But when the person is exposed to extreme hot climate for a long duration of time this mechanism, body mechanism, fails. The sweating cannot cool down the body. So the temperature of the body rises and this leads to several complications which may later on cause death. Death may occur immediately at the spot. Or it may occur several hours or days later.”41

    Construction workers in Qatar wait for a bus outside a construction site

     

    Construction workers from Asia next to a construction site Doha, Qatar wait for a bus.   

    Migrant workers were subjected to what amounts to “slave labor,” as was reported on ESPN’s E:60 show, Qatar’s World Cup, which aired on Sunday, November 6, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and is now available for on-demand streaming on ESPN+. Jeremy Schapp, the host of the show, reported that foreign laborers in Doha, capital of Qatar, worked two shifts lasting 12 hours. One of the workers said that he was forced to go to Qatar because he could make more money than he could farming in his own country of Nepal. Schapp reported that hundreds of workers have reported that they were not getting paid. According to Schapp, these migrant workers had to have a Qatari handler in order to work in Qatar.42

    Gaziur Rahman from Bangladesh came to Qatar in 2018. He had to take out a loan of $4,000 to enter the country. He said the “work is so hot breaking stones.” For the two years he worked in Qatar, he sent home only $880. The company he worked for would not allow him to transfer and withheld his pay. At one time, his work permit was revoked as were dozens of his co-workers. He was arrested for missing two days of work, and did not have his passport, as migrant World Cup workers’ passports were confiscated once they entered Qatar. He still owes more than six months salary to pay off debts he incurred in order to get to Qatar.

    In a previous E:60 show in 2014, Trapped in Qatar, it was reported that migrant workers lived 20 miles outside of the capital in “appalling conditions”—12 men living in a room with poor sanitation. What Jeremy Schapp found in Qatar eight years ago led him to ask, “How many people are going to die?” We now know the answer.

    The question to be answered is why? In short, it’s the workings of capitalism-imperialism. Bob Avakian writes that “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.”43

    He gets into this more deeply:

    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….44

    This is what has happened to the migrant workers from the impoverished countries of South Asia and Africa, forcing them to go to Qatar, an oil rich country, in order to find work. Just think about this statistic. Qatar has a Qatari citizen population of 300,000 and an immigrant population of around two million—85 percent of those living in Qatar are immigrants, who are serving the remaining 15 percent. The three largest immigrant groups in Qatar are from India (698,100), Bangladesh (263,100), and Nepal (254,300), with those from Nepal considered as the most impoverished.45 The average salary for an immigrant in Qatar is anywhere from $250-$700 per month, while the average household income for Qatari citizens is over $20,000 month.46

    Qatar is not an imperialist country, but it has amassed enormous wealth from gas and oil. It has the third-largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves in the world, and is one of the biggest exporters of natural gas. The U.S., the biggest and most dominant imperialist country in the world, is deeply involved in Qatar’s economy. In 2019, the U.S. invested $14.2 billion in Qatar and sent Qatar $6.5 billion worth of goods.47 Since 2015, Qatar has invested $30 billion in the U.S. and plans to invest another $10 billion in U.S. ports.48 Further, the U.S. has a military base, the Al Udeid Air Base, which is home to the headquarters of the United States Central Command (USCC) and the United States Air Force Central Command (USAFCC). The U.S. also has 3,500 troops stationed in Qatar. Qatar is an important country for the U.S. in its desire to dominate the Middle East, economically and militarily.

    Something Terrible or Something Truly Emancipating - Square, wo "NEW"

     

    A PBS report gets into the details of what has happened to an immigrant worker, Anish Adhikari, who went to Qatar from Nepal in search of a higher income than he could earn at home. In order to be accepted in Qatar, Anish borrowed 200,000 Nepali rupees, just over $1,500, more than a year's salary in Nepal. About the conditions in Qatar, he said, “Sometimes, the company gave us rotten food. The fish would smell disgusting. It used to give us diarrhea… It got up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. We didn’t get the water we needed. The water we got was almost 90 percent ice. We asked why they did that and told them it was impossible to drink water like that. They said they froze it because, if they provided normal water, the workers would drink more.”49

    Quitting was not an option for Anish and others as they were trapped in their situation by the 36 percent interest on their recruitment fee loan and unpaid wages.

    Despite the fact that Qatar pledged to reform the working conditions of the migrant workers, Mustafa Qadri, Chief Executive Officer, Equidem,50 explained that, in reality, immigrant workers were still being subjected to systemic abuse by the companies and officials in Qatar. “We interviewed nearly 1,000 workers over an 18-month period,” he stated. “There's a very clear picture that emerges. Workers who have built these stadiums for the World Cup have been subjected to forced labor practices, and some of the biggest companies in those projects actively hid those workers from the monitoring process…It's really clear that this is a tournament built on the back of forced labor…Narayan (who was also interviewed in this report) and Anish are not alone. There are thousands other workers like them, each owed thousands of dollars. We estimate, in total, up to about half-a-billion dollars of money.”51

    This World Cup, that is soaked with the blood of immigrants, shows that capitalism-imperialism is long outmoded and must be ended. It must be swept away.52

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. The World Cup is a 32-team tournament of national soccer teams. (This sport is known worldwide as football and is only called soccer in the U.S.) The World Cup is held every four years in a different country, and there is a long qualification process to determine the 32 teams. There is a men’s World Cup and a women’s World Cup. The World Cup is the premier football event in the world and is followed by billions of people from every country in the world. Despite the fact that this is a sporting event, it is deeply enmeshed with geopolitics. There is high prestige for the country that is awarded to host the World Cup. This World Cup is being held in Qatar, a country known for its oppressive conditions for women and the LGBTQ+ community. FIFA, the world governing body for football has been accused of receiving bribes to award Qatar as this World Cup’s host country. Qatar has used this World Cup for “sportswashing”—the practice of using sport as a tool to clean up (and distract from) a murky political or humanitarian reputation. (See World Cup 2022: Qatar is accused of ‘sportswashing’ but do the fans really care?, by Argyro Elisavet Manoli, The Conversation, November 21, 2022.) As a public relations exercise, the men’s World Cup is a massive deal for the country that holds it. The last one, hosted by another controversial host nation, Russia, attracted 3.5 billion viewers across the world. The 2026 World Cup is scheduled to be held in North America. That football tournament will take place in sixteen cities across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. (We will have more to say in the near future about all the controversies surrounding this World Cup.) [back]

    2. Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since World Cup awarded, Guardian, February 23, 2021. [back]

    3. The World Cup is Exciting, Lucrative, and Deadly, by Minky Wordon, Newsweek, August 23, 2022. [back]

    4. Part 3: Coffins from Qatar has forced Nepalese politicians to act, by Martin Schibbye, Blank Spot, October 4, 2022. [back]

    5. The Inside Story-Cause of Death: Migrant Workers & the 2022 Qatar World Cup TRANSCRIPT, by Steve Redisch, VOA Connect, November 23, 2022. [back]

    6. Qatar uses the Kalafa system that regulates the lives of tens of millions of migrant laborers in the Middle East. Kalafa is a sponsorship system that gives private citizens and companies in Jordan, Lebanon, and most Arab Gulf countries almost total control over migrant workers’ employment and immigration status. There is growing recognition that the Kalafa System is rife with exploitation. The lack of regulations and protections for migrant workers’ rights often results in low wages, poor working conditions, and employee abuse. Many have said that this system amounts to modern day slavery. (See What is the Kalafa System? By Kali Robinson, Council on Foreign Relations, November 18, 2022.) [back]

    7. Why The World Is So Messed Up, And What Can Be Done to Radically Change This—A Basic Scientific Understanding, by Bob Avakian, revcom.us, October 4, 2021. [back]

    8. BAsics 1:6, BAsics: from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, RCP Publications, 2011, page 3. [back]

    9. Migrants/Refugees: Qatar. [back]

    10. See Wage Centre: Salary in Qatar and Report: Qatari families earn almost three times as much as expats, Lesley Walker, DOHANews, June 18, 2014. [back]

    11. U.S.-Qatar Trade Facts, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President. [back]

    12. The United States and Qatar: Strategic Partners Advancing Peace and Security, U.S. Department of State, November 20, 2022. [back]

    13. The World Cup is officially underway in Qatar. Here’s why it’s so controversial., PBS News Hour, November 21, 2022. [back]

    14. Equidem is a human rights and labor rights charity working globally and locally to promote the rights of impoverished communities, accountability for serious violations, and building the human rights movement. [back]

    15. Migrant workers recount abuse while building stadiums for World Cup in Qatar, PBS News Hour, November 18, 2022 [back]

    16. NOTE: for more analysis of the role of capitalism-imperialism and why it must be ended, read 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 and watch The Bob Avakian Interviews. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    Reflections on Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire
    Learning from the Past to Forge a Future Free From Empire, Imperialism, and All Exploitation

    Part 3

    Editors' Note: This is the third part of a four-part review essay by Raymond Lotta. Go here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. The fourth and concluding part will be posted soon.

    In what follows, I expand beyond the explicit scope of Legacy of Violence, but remain focused on the question of imperial empire and its ideological justifications that the book sharply poses and investigates.

    VIII. The “American Century” Sets New Standards of Imperialist Barbarism

    The so-called “American Century” was borne of the devastation of World War 2. In dropping two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed over 200,000 people, the U.S. imperialists were delivering a message to adversaries and allies alike that America was setting the terms for the postwar order.

    Legacy of Violence details the rivalry between the U.S. and Britain following World War 2. Initially, the U.S. was aiming to block attempts by Britain to retake the global stage. But this rivalry evolved in the direction of the U.S.-British “special relationship.” As spoken to in Part 2, this was decisively influenced by the development in the early 1950s of a socialist bloc of the Soviet Union and China and the spread of national liberation struggles. Great Britain was becoming a “junior partner” in the new imperialist world order. Meanwhile, the U.S. oversaw the economic reconstruction of Germany and Japan as strategic bulwarks. The U.S. forged and has led NATO, the Western military alliance established in 1949.

    An Empire Rooted in a Definite Mode of Production

    To speak of a specific and historically unprecedented American empire is to understand that the domestic economy of the U.S. is the “home base” of a global network of exploitation and plunder. It is rooted in the capitalist mode of production.

    –The U.S. empire is bound together by trillions of dollars in overseas investments. It obtains profits from operations in other capitalist-imperialist countries. It extracts superprofits from direct investments in factories and mines in the “Global South”—as well as through global supply chains combining conditions of 19th century sweatshop and child labor with 21st century advanced-technology, communication, and coordination. To put it plainly, there is no Apple without the 40,000 children digging tunnels and hauling coltan from the mines of Congo. It is a country in which the U.S. helped overthrow and murder the leader of a legally elected government in 1960, and installed a “friendly” puppet neocolonial regime.

    3-Coltan-Mine-600px.jpg

     

    Luwowo Coltan mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, March 19, 2014.    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    –The U.S. empire spreads its tentacles of influence and control through global institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Other imperialist powers (like Japan, Germany and Great Britain, and now China) are part of and pursue their own imperialist interests within these institutions. But the U.S. dominates.

    With respect to independent regimes in the Third World, these U.S.-dominated global institutions, along with private imperialist banks, are vehicles for U.S. imperialist domination and penetration. Loans and “development projects” (like dam and port construction), the creation of special export processing zones to assemble goods for the imperialist countries, austerity and “adjustment” programs that require Third World countries to restructure their economies—all this creates forms of control and dependency in Third World economies. This dependency is manifested in what these countries produce, export, and import; their reliance on world markets for food; the fact that millions of workers must migrate abroad to earn a living (and send back a portion of earnings to support families).

    While the oppressed countries of the Global South are formally independent, that sovereignty is limited and undermined by this kind of economic domination and penetration.  

    –The U.S. dollar plays a special role as the key currency in the highly integrated financial system of world imperialism. Oil is priced in dollars; loans to Third World countries are mainly paid back in dollars; and the privileged international position of the dollar enables the U.S. to run up unheard of government deficits to sustain and lubricate an empire of misery.

    Role of the Neocolonial State

    The U.S. imperial empire subordinates oppressed nations of the Third World to its economic needs and strategic interests, and enforces that subordination, through the controlling mechanism of the neocolonial state.

    The U.S. “perfected” this neocolonial (indirect) mode of governance through the 20th century. These are highly repressive “client regimes.” Some are more centralized than others; some rely on the military openly managing the state apparatus; some on royal family networks; some with foreign-educated officialdom closely linked to local exploiting classes and foreign capital; some legitimized by elections and trappings of democracy. (Puerto Rico is under direct U.S. colonial control.) 

    The allegiance and subordination of neocolonial regimes to U.S. imperialism is secured through trade and investment agreements, weapons transfers and training of militaries, aid programs, and more. Not least, these are often governments installed through coups and invasions. Between 1950 and 2017, the U.S. intervened militarily over 300 times in other countries: coups in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile; military invasions in the Dominican Republic and Panama; the list goes on. [See Fletcher Center for Strategic Studies, Tufts University, The Military Intervention Project.]

    Sep_11_1973-A-Military-coup-backed-by-USA-in-Chile-600px.jpg

     

    September 11, 1973: Military coup backed by USA in Chile   

    The U.S. Empire Rests on History's Most Massive and Destructive Military Machine

    The U.S. has constructed a high-tech military machine that has rained death and destruction on more people in the world than any other power in the last 75 years. U.S. imperialism presently girdles the globe with more than 700 military bases in at least 70 countries. It spends more on its military than the next nine countries combined (including China and Russia). [See Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Military Expenditure Data Base, 2022.]

    The U.S. has waged massive wars in Korea and Vietnam to suppress national liberation and revolution: flattening cities, creating “free-fire” zones in the countryside, causing the deaths of some two million in Korea and three million in Vietnam. Since the U.S. launched its so-called “war on terror” in 2001, more than 385,000 civilians have died violent deaths as a direct result of U.S.-engineered wars and military occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan (and many have died indirectly as a result of dislocation, disease, and civil wars). [See CNN, “How a New Library Sheds Light on the U.S. 'Secret War' in Laos,” June 14, 2022; Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University, Costs of War: Civilians Killed and Wounded, September 2021.]

    600px_Taejon-SouthKorea-masscre-July-1950National-Archives.jpg

     

    From a series of U.S. Army photos depicting the summary execution of 1,800 South Korean political prisoners over three days in July 1950 carried out by the U.S.-installed puppet Syngman Rhee.    

    woman tries to carry a child to safety as U.S. Marines storm the village of My Son, S Vietnam

     

    A woman tries to carry a child to safety as U.S. Marines storm the village of My Son, near Da Nang, searching for National Liberation Front (“Vietcong”) insurgents in April 1965.    Photo: AP

    The U.S. “refined” the British method of paramilitaries and special terror and assassination programs. After World War 2, the U.S. launched a mass extermination program of leftists and communists. It helped the Indonesian military kill one million civilians in 1965—eliminating the third largest communist party in the world. The U.S. government/CIA trained “death squads” in Central America for the purpose of terrorizing people out of villages. The U.S. conducted Operation Condor in South America in the 1970s and 1980s—the intentional murder of 60,000-80,000 people suspected of being left-wing enemies of the state. [Vincent Bevins, The Jakarta Method (New York: Public Affairs, 2020), Appendix 5, pp. 266-67]

    The "American Crime" series, a feature of revcom.us, is essential reading for documentation of America's crimes and atrocities. As revcom.us explains: “Each installment focuses on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.”

    IX. A Refurbished Ideology of Liberal Imperialism, Imperialist Chauvinism and Parasitism

    Who was the U.S. to be doing this? It is the (self-proclaimed) “leader of the free world.” Why is the U.S. carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity? Because it is the “force for good in the world,” that stands and fights for “democracy against tyranny.” The U.S. imperialists cast their proxy (inter-imperialist) war between the U.S./NATO and Putin's Russia is as “democracy versus autocracy.” [See The Bob Avakian Interviews, Part 2]

    Until now, I have discussed the ideology of “liberal imperialism” promulgated by the British, as analyzed in Legacy of Violence. The American colossus has put its own spin on the ideology of “liberal imperialism.”

    America presents itself as the leader of a global order that has transcended empire. It tells the world that it has no claims to empire. Rather, as the imperialist ideologues and officials rationalize domination, it falls on the U.S. to play a different and unique great-power role than that of empires past. That mission is to shape and defend global rules and institutions that foster liberal democracy: elections, free markets, the legal enshrinement of individual right.

    This global liberal order for which the U.S. is the “indispensable power” is said to be founded uniquely on a) multilateral institutions like the World Bank and United Nations involving participation and agreements reached among different countries; b) global interdependence made possible by new technologies and massive flows of goods and information across borders; c) an end to the hierarchy and geographical divides of empires past; and d) the unique “perfectibility” of American democracy.

    In this self-serving fable, the world has become “flattened”—countries and regions and investors can access and plug into, can partake of, the benefits of this global system, if they play by the rules. Never mind the vast networks of exploitation, the howling economic and social inequalities, the wars and invasions, the massive death tolls, the environmental devastation.  

    Bob Avakian has attached enormous importance to calling out American chauvinism and training people in internationalism"American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People's Lives," "The Whole World Comes First"as a crucial and central element of building the movement for revolution in the “belly of the beast.” 

    It is about waging ideological struggle, for people to understand and to stand against what the U.S. does in the world; coming to see the reality of “thank you for your service” (for crimes against humanity). Avakian has spoken and written trenchantly on what he has termed the “Great Tautological Fallacy”: that when America does something in the world, however horrific, and even if these are acts and practices that it condemns other governments for... still this must be “good,” because America after all is... “a force for good.”

    Bob Avakian: Free Yourself from the GTF! The Great Tautological Fallacy

     

    Further, Avakian has analyzed how, on the pedestal of America's global exploitation and its plunder of the planet, there is, in the “home base,” the numbing ideological effect of imperialist parasitism... and parasitic individualism as a “unifying element” of the mind set in the home base of America's empire. Keep in mind that it would take four or five planet Earths were the rest of the world to replicate America's standard of living.

    X. Democracy: Can't We Do Better Than That?

    Given the relationship between the horrors of empire and the ideology of liberal democracy, both in its British and American renderings, I want to return now at a more fundamental level to the nature of and illusions spawned by democracy.

    Bob Avakian has written on the historical context and class-social content of different kinds of democracy throughout history. This has ranged from ancient Greek and Roman societies founded on enslavement and exploitation and in which democracy belonged to a narrow sliver of society, to the democracy of U.S. imperialism, a democracy founded on genocide and slavery, a democracy where people have the “democratic right” to vote for this or that representative of the ruling class.

    Importantly, Avakian has addressed the inability of people

    to see beyond what Marx characterized as the narrow horizon of bourgeois right—right as defined by, and delimited within the confines of, bourgeois production relations and the corresponding social relations.

    And this is often expressed in terms of a kind of magical "democracy" which at one and the same time is inextricably linked with capitalism yet somehow does not have social and class content—is a metaphysical  "pure" democracy—when in reality ... the democracy that is being spoken of and exalted in this way is a form of class dictatorship that facilitates and enforces capitalist production relations and the overall capitalist system of exploitation and oppression. [Bob Avakian, BREAKTHROUGHS—The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough With the New Communism, A Basic Summary, p. 3]

    This “magical democracy” that so many who seek fundamental change cling to is an ideological shackle to real emancipation—towards making the communist revolution needed to overcome all forms of exploitation and oppression, and the very division of human society into classes, and creating a genuine world community of humanity. 

    The socialist revolution establishes a new and radically different state power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is a transition to a communist world. The socialist system envisioned by the new communism opens up whole new vistas of democracy for the formerly oppressed and exploited, along with the great majority of society.

    The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America authored by Bob Avakian sets out the instrumentalities of political rule in the future society that will empower the formerly oppressed and exploited, and broader masses of society, to play the decisive role in determining the direction of society. A new state power will enable and give backing to people to consciously transform society to finally abolish all relations of exploitation and oppression—and to increasingly play the determining role in the government which serves that goal.  

    By contrast, the illusory quest for “pure democracy” keeps people, even as they rebel, contained within the exploitative framework of liberal democracy/imperialism. In Democracy: Can't We Do Better Than That? and other works, Avakian shows

    that, in order to put an end to all systems and relations of oppression and exploitation, it is necessary to transcend all states—in other words, all dictatorships—and eventually get to a classless society where we would no longer need, and would have transcended, the institutions and formal structures of any kind of democracy, and where the people themselves would be able to handle their affairs collectively without the need for one part of society to exercise democracy in its ranks while it  exercised dictatorship over the rest of society. [Bob Avakian, From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, A Memoir (Chicago: Insight Press, 2005), p. 427]

    There is a higher form of social organization and social consciousness... beyond democracy!*

    Part 4-Conclusion will be posted soon.

    *Bob Avakian has produced the most comprehensive Marxist treatment of democracy and equality. These writings include Democracy: Can't We Do Better Than That?Dictatorship and Democracy, and the Socialist Transition to Communism; Communism and Jeffersonian DemocracyMaking Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, Part 1; Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Above the Horizon: Part 1—Revolution and the State; BREAKTHROUGHS: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary. See the "BA's Collected Works" page at revcom.us.

  • ARTICLE:

    Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights Calls for Protests
    December 1

    RiseUp4AbortionRights march in Washington, DC, October 8, 2022.

     

    Washington, DC, October 8, 2022    Photo: @RevComs

    On December 1, 2022, the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's oral arguments in the case that would overturn women's fundamental right to abortion, Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights has called for protests at federal courthouses and other public places to declare:

    THE OVERTURNING OF ABORTION RIGHTS WAS ILLEGITIMATE!
     

    Women Need:
    LEGAL ABORTION ON DEMAND &
    WITHOUT APOLOGY NATIONWIDE!
     

    FORCED MOTHERHOOD = FEMALE ENSLAVEMENT!
     

    The December 1 anniversary needs to be marked with public repudiation, delivering a clear and bold statement that the fascist-packed Supreme Court's decision overturning abortion rights was illegitimate, that women's lives should not be up to a vote state by state, and that women need legal abortion on demand and without apology nationwide.

    To build momentum towards December 1, Rise Up is also mobilizing flash actions on November 25, Black Friday, which is also an international day of action to stop violence against women.

    Rise Up's call to action asks people to recall how they felt when they first heard the news that abortion rights were overturned last summer:

    REMEMBER how you felt. The loss... the grief…the disbelief…

    The cold shock at the cruelty and arrogance of the Christian fascists stripping away the constitutional rights of half of this country’s population, half a century of rights from all the women and girls of this land because if one state is not free—then all states are not free—and if one woman is not free—all women are not free!

    Rage as states began hijacking women's bodies and forcing them to have children against their will. Horror at the growing pile-up of women's lives degraded, foreclosed, and endangered. Fresh tears for grandmothers and friends whose deaths by botched illegal abortions had long been shrouded in silence and shame. Dread that all this—and worse—now looms as a standing threat over every girlchild just learning to crawl.

    Rise Up goes on to say: “This must never be accepted. It must be relentlessly resisted, repudiated and reversed!... Yet, the Democratic Party and mainstream pro-choice leaders adjust to this 'new normal.'”

    Indeed, beneath all the recent proclamations by Democratic Party politicians, pundits and bourgeois media that “abortion won” in the midterms is the acceptance and normalization of the loss of the constitutional right to abortion nationwide and a strategy of fighting to protect abortion rights on a state-by-state basis. It is true that people in Michigan, California and several other states voted to protect abortion rights in their states. But nearly 22 million women across this country live in other states where abortion has already been banned—with an estimated 10,000 women forced to have children they otherwise would not have had in just the first two months after abortion was overturned—and this was not contested by the Democrats! On top of this, any statewide protection for abortion rights could be overridden by a federal abortion ban or by a further ruling by the fascist-controlled Supreme Court.

    The only way this whole direction can be repudiated and reversed is through massive outpourings of resistance by furious women and others who refuse to accept this and are determined to fight for a future where women are treated as full human beings. This has to take place outside the narrow confines of this system's elections.

    In this portion of his recent must-watch three-part interview on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show, Bob Avakian goes deeply into the tremendous economic and social changes in the position of women over the last few decades that have given strength to the unrelenting Christian fascist assault on abortion rights. He exposes how the fight against this is closely bound up with whether humanity's future will be something terrible or something truly emancipating—a real revolution to get beyond this system that has the patriarchal domination of women woven deeply into its fabric and foundation and to bring about a new society where, among other things, the right to abortion is enshrined into the new Constitution from day one.53 And he reveals how, precisely because of the depth of the crisis and sharp divisions that are deepening and increasingly ripping apart U.S. society from the top to the bottom, this is a time when this revolution is more possible—if growing numbers of people lift their sights to this revolution and fight urgently to make it real. The fury of women must be unleashed as a mighty force in this revolution!

    All this underscores the importance of people from diverse political perspectives joining together with Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights in the streets on November 25 and even more powerfully on December 1 to demand the legal right to abortion on demand and without apology for women everywhere.

    Protests on Thursday, December 1:

    New York City: Protest at the Court for Abortion Rights

    4:00 PM

    Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, 40 Centre Street on Foley Square, New York

    Philly: Protest Outside of Federal Courthouse 4 Legal Abortion Nationwide!

    5:30 PM

    U.S. Court House, 601 Market St, Philadelphia

    Atlanta: March from CNN to 11th Circuit of Court of Appeals

    Wear green & bring green glow sticks!

    5:00 PM

    CNN, 190 Marietta St NW, Atlanta

    Cleveland: Protest Outside Federal Courthouse 4 Legal Abortion Nationwide

    4:00 PM

    Carl B. Stokes Federal Courthouse, 801 W. Superior Ave., Cleveland

    Chicago: Protest Outside of Courthouses 4 Legal Abortion Nationwide!

    4:00 PM

    Federal Plaza (across from the Fed. Courthouse), 219 S Dearborn Street, Chicago

    Boston: Green Wave Boston

    4:00 PM

    Joseph Moakley Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Square, Boston

    Lansing, MI: Rally & March to Federal Courthouse 4 Abortion Rights Nationwide!

    3:30 PM

    Michigan Capitol, 100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI

    Seattle: Legal Abortion On Demand & Without Apology Nationwide!

    2:00 PM

    U.S. District Court, 700 Stewart St, Seattle

    San Francisco: Green Wave 4 Abortion Rights!

    1:00 PM

    Phillip Burton Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate, San Francisco

    Los Angeles: Protest at DTLA Fed Courthouse

    4:00 PM

    Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, 350 W 1st St, Los Angeles

     

    Flash Protests November 25, Black Friday & International Day to Stop Violence Against Women:

    San Francisco Green Friday

    12:00 PM

    Market & Powell Street Bart Station, 899 Market street, San Francisco

    Boston Green Friday

    12:00 PM

    Downtown Crossing, 10 Summer Street, Boston

  • ARTICLE:

    This Giving Tuesday, give to the REAL hope for humanity

    This is a suggested email (to copy and paste) to send to all the people you know on Giving Tuesday.

    Dear [NAME],

    I am writing you at a time when the future hangs in the balance.  Today, your email inbox is being inundated with Giving Tuesday requests, asking you to contribute to solutions that are little more than band-aids on the horrors going on and on.  But there is hope, and there is a roadmap to the emancipation of humanity.

    Will you give generously to something that can make all the differencea major fund drive to put real revolution on the map?

    Please read the following from the revcoms, watch THIS from Bob Avakian and ask yourself: is anything else commensurate with the scale, depth and pace of the nightmare we're facing?  Does anything else come close to speaking to the basis for real hope for humanity?

    I look forward to hearing back.

    Best,
    [NAME]

    PS To make a donation via paypal or check go HERE, donate via Venmo: @RCP-Publications, or CashApp: $RCPPublications

    _____________

     

    In a Time When the Future Hangs in the Balance
    When Solutions Offered End Up with the Horrors Going On and On…
     

    There Is Hope, and a Roadmap
    to the Emancipation of Humanity

    DONATE GENEROUSLY to make this hope a reality

     

    Your contribution will spur and accelerate the movement for liberating fundamental change, for a real revolution to cast off the system that is hurtling humanity towards the brink.

    The very dangers we face in this moment of extreme crisis and sharp irreconcilable divisions in U.S. society holds the potential for what has seemed impossible to become possible.

    If you care — and you do,

    • You know the hour is late to save the environment.
    • You suppress dread that the war in Ukraine and the saber-rattling with China could lead to unthinkable global nuclear catastrophe.
    • You fear and sense that any relief you felt from midterm elections is empty as one third of the country voted for fascists who are hardening, with talk of civil war bandied about.
    • You are outraged that the fundamental right of women to control their own future has been stripped away, and you rightly fear that theocratic fascists won’t stop with this.
    • You seethe with rage that police murder of Black and Brown people  continues unabated two years after George Floyd.
    • You don’t even want to ponder that the plight of refugees and immigrants at the border is not fundamentally different than under Trump.
    If this is you, isn’t now the moment to break out of your comfort zone and act on your discomfort with the way things are heading?

    Doing so by donating generously to the movement that is bending every fiber of our beings to bring about a real solution to all these outrages in the only way that humanity could really move beyond all this brutal and even existential oppression—preparing now for a real revolution in a moment when it could be possible.

    In The BA Interviews on The RNL Show, referencing the situation in the world today, Bob Avakian makes this clear statement:

    We can no longer afford to allow these imperialists to dominate the world and to determine the destiny of humanity. They need to be overthrown as quickly as possible.

    There are questions: Is an actual revolution necessary? Is it possible and why? Can humanity really move beyond a world of inequality with everyone out for themselves? Can the revolution we are fighting for really put the world on a radically better, liberating course?  What kind of leadership is needed to accomplish this?

    There are answers, none more comprehensive, none more filled with heart and soul for how a revolution could bring about a society where people could really flourish than in the recent trio of Interviews with the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian.  In these Interviews he shows how it is possible to overcome all forms of oppression and exploitation by people working together in a radically different way than is possible today.

    Bob Avakian draws from the lives of people of the whole world, especially those who bear the brunt and suffer the boot of this oppressive system. He tells of his own life experience growing up in Berkeley, California, his experience working with the leaders of the Black Panther Party in their early revolutionary days, and he tells how he came to recognize and fill a great need — charting a course for a real revolution here in the most powerful country in history and developing a new framework for the emancipation of humanity which we call the new communism.

    In a break with past revolutions, BA insists that “the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that ‘the ends justify the means.’”

    Take a minute or an hour to think about this. Watch the Interviews. Compare this to the politics and the poisonous culture that saturates society today, and think about the possibilities this opens up.

    For this vision and the possibility of fundamental revolutionary change to be realized there needs to be a force — a revolutionary people in their thousands that can grow to millions. To forge this force, to put this revolution on the map, contending with all the non-solutions, your financial support is decisive.

    The People… the Show… the Website

    Your donation today will enable this cohort of revolutionaries — the Revcoms — of different nationalities, genders, and ages to go out to shake up the world and forge a movement to change the face of everything. A group of tested revolutionary leaders and a cohort of committed young revolutionaries have concentrated in Los Angeles to develop a model that can be replicated and grow nationally.

    Your donation will give an immediate boost to the ability to promote The Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show very broadly in society, and will also support the expansion of the production and promotion of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show — the national YouTube voice of the Revcoms. During the pandemic, the LA cohort learned from scratch how to create and produce this most radical show online.

    Your donation will also make possible the ongoing needs to produce the website revcom.us that gives unique analysis of major events and trends, guides the movement for revolution and which features the major works of Bob Avakian.

    There is the possibility of wrenching a positive emancipating future out of the existential crises, the madness of today.  There is a foundation and roadmap in a seminal work by Bob Avakian for this moment in history, Something Terrible, OR, Something Truly EmancipatingThere is a group of revolutionaries in Los Angeles with contingents in NY, Chicago and the Bay Area, ready to do the work, there is The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show that is featuring the Bob Avakian Interviews, and there is revcom.us.

    What is needed is you.

    There is no greater need, no greater love, no more important cause at this moment in history.  A radically different and far better world is possible.  Your donation today will contribute to putting this emancipating potential on the map.

    If you would like a graphic version of this suggested email, please write to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.