Posts by issue number/Posteos por número de la edición

 

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

  • In This Issue… January 23, 2023
  • The Police Murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis: How Long Will We Keep Burying Our Youth? Until We Make Revolution!
  • The RNL Show Interviews with Bob Avakian

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

  • 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

  • AMERICA: Truly a Model — of DEPRAVED RACIST GENOCIDE

    How can any decent person deny that we need a revolution to overthrow this system?!

  • Bob Avakian
    Responds to a Basic Youth

    “Common Sense” Is Often Wrong

    A Scientific Approach Shows Revolution Is Possible, Especially In This “Rare Time”
  • U.S./NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine War: Planning and Preparing Dangerous Escalations
  • U.S/NATO, Russian Imperialists: Preparations for Wider, Bloodier and More Unpredictably Dangerous War Intensify
  • Some Crucial Points on the War in Ukraine
  • THE WAR IN UKRAINE AND THE INTERESTS OF HUMANITY: A SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH VS. HARMFUL CONFUSION AND CHAUVINIST DELUSION Bob Avakian Responds To People Who Should Know Better (and Maybe Once Did)
  • From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

    New Year 2023 LAPD Slaughters Takar Smith, Oscar Leon Sanchez, and Keenan Anderson
  • RACIAL OPPRESSIONCAN BE ENDED— BUT NOT UNDER THIS SYSTEM
  • ABOLITION—REAL AND ILLUSORY
  • Florida Republi-Fascist Governor DeSantis Bans High School Black History Course: An Assault on Teaching Truths About This Country
  • An Editorial Comment on “Florida Republi-Fascist Governor DeSantis Bans High School Black History Course: An Assault on Teaching Truths About This Country”

    Three Critical Points on the Florida Suppression
  • Bob Avakian Takes Ron DeSantis to School
  • Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement Make Roe's Reversal a Rallying Cry for a Real Revolution!
  • January 21-22, 2023

    Sights and Sounds from the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
  • From Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights on 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

    We Must FIGHT for Legal Abortion On Demand & Without Apology Nationwide & Everywhere!
  • From Atash/Fire, Journal of Communist Party of Iran Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (cpimlm.org)

    The Shah and the Supreme Leader: Twelve Reactionary Things They Have in Common

    December 30, 2022

  • FAQ: The $100,000 Fund Drive and the Upcoming February 19 Livestream
  • Sharp Times, Deep Questions and Big Openings Reaching and Impacting the Middle Strata to Engage and Support the Revolution
  • Putting Our Heads Together to Push Forward to the $100,000
  • California Rain Storms, Capitalism, and Climate Change
  • Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán Shot Dead by Georgia Police in a Raid on “Cop City” Protesters
  • Fascists Storm Government Buildings in Brazilian Capital: Another Sign of the Growing Danger of Fascism as an International Movement
  • I Want to Join This Revolution, Where Do I Start?
  • Chicago:

    PUT REAL REVOLUTION ON THE MAP IN 2023
  • ARTICLE:

    In This Issue… January 23, 2023

    Welcome to REVOLUTION, revcom.us, where you learn about what’s happening in the world, why it’s happening, how these events relate to the interests of humanity… and what it all means for making revolution and emancipating humanity. This site grounds itself in and follows the leadership of Bob Avakian, the architect of the new communism. Bob Avakian, or BA, is a radically different kind of leader who’s brought forward a whole new framework for human emancipation. We feature his most recent works, and we enable you to also dig into what he’s written on many different burning questions and over a whole period of time (see BA’s Collected Works and The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements).

    Right now, the main place for everyone to start is with BA’s recent interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less! YouTube show, Up Close And Personal With Bob Avakian, Heart And Soul & Hard-Core For Revolution. If you are coming to this site for the first time, don’t miss these—go right to them, now. And if you’ve watched the interviews, make sure to watch again—they are so deep, with so many layers, and really do repay repeated watching. Also extremely important is Bob Avakian’s 2021 talk 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. At a time when people vibrate between despair and putting their hopes into criminals like Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, BA’s talk goes deeply into the full dimension of the horror we actually face—AND, more than that, shows the real possibility of hope within that, depending on what we do. As the title says, it provides the foundation for understanding and the road map with which to navigate what will be a tortuous course. This week we also continue to feature two newer pieces from BA: AMERICA: Truly a Model—of DEPRAVED RACIST GENOCIDE and Bob Avakian Responds to a Basic Youth: “Common Sense” Is Often Wrong. A Scientific Approach Shows Revolution Is Possible, Especially in This “Rare Time.”

    Of tremendous importance this week have been dangerous new developments in the war in Ukraine. Check out U.S./NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine War: Planning and Preparing Dangerous Escalations, U.S/NATO, Russian Imperialists: Preparations for Wider, Bloodier and More Unpredictably Dangerous War Intensify, and Some Crucial Points on the War in Ukraine to get the latest and watch Bob Avakian on Biden, Putin & Xi Jinping: Imperialist Gangsters and the Need for Revolution! and read The War in Ukraine and the Interests of Humanity: A Scientific Revolutionary Approach vs. Harmful Confusion and Chauvinist Delusion to understand the real stakes, and dig into what must be the real terms of the ferocious debate that needs to go on.

    We also continue to cover the outrage of three police murders that “welcomed” in the new year in Los Angeles. Go here to watch the recent segment on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less! YouTube show which goes deeply into this. And go here to read the statement on this from the Revolution Club in Los Angeles and here and here to dig deeper into the “whys” of horrors like this.

    Also this week, Florida disqualified an Advanced Placement African American Studies class from being taught in that state’s high schools. We cover the news of this outrage, analyze some key points around this controversy, and provide you with the TikTok response from the revcoms that features Bob Avakian’s response to some of DeSantis’ fascist lies on this question.

    Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion—a right that was ripped away by the fascist Trump-appointed Court this past June. Read (or watch) the revolutionary analysis and orientation from Sunsara Taylor, “Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement: Make Roe’s Reversal a Rallying Cry for Real Revolution!”; read the statement from RiseUp4Abortion Rights; and get into “Sights and Sounds” of this past weekend (some of which will be posted during the week to come).

    The people of Iran continue in their battle for emancipation with the brutal Islamic theocratic regime there. Within that struggle, some forces are pushing the bankrupt and dangerous notion that “things were better” under the rule of the Shah—a highly repressive U.S. puppet, who was overthrown by the Iranian revolution in 1978-79 and eventually (through a complicated series of struggles) replaced by the current reactionary theocratic regime. This week we’re featuring a graphic piece from the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, that exposes this dangerous lie and points to the fundamentally oppressive nature of both forms of rule.

    At the beginning of 2023, the revcoms initiated an ambitious fund campaign to raise $100,000. We’ve raised over $60,000 of that, but there’s a critical last leg to go and only four weeks in which to do it. This week we’re posting FAQs for those people taking up this campaign, we’re posting ideas on seeking out and going to people from the middle class, and we’re sharing an experience from the Chicago Revolution Club. We’re also featuring an interview that Andy Zee did with Dr. Phil Rice on his experience in raising funds.

    Finally, a few other critically important parts of the news: the destructive cycle of drought and flooding in California; the police murder of a protestor against the building of a new police “training center” in Atlanta; a recap of the important attempted fascist coup in Brazil; and the savage beating of a young Black man, who died from his injuries, by Memphis cops.

  • ARTICLE:

    The Police Murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis:
    How Long Will We Keep Burying Our Youth? Until We Make Revolution!

    Editors' note: Body cam videos of Tyre Nichols’s murder by cop haven’t been made available at the time we’re posting this article. News reports Thursday night say that Memphis authorities are “prepar(ing) to release body camera video” on Friday. Whether this will be complete, or will be video selected and edited by the police isn’t clear. Also, Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn J. Davis issued a warning to the people in Memphis – NOT to the police – against “inciting violence or destruction on our community or against our citizens.” Revolution will continue to report on developments in Memphis.

    On January 7, Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was pulled over by Memphis police for supposed “reckless driving.” RowVaughn Wells, Tyre’s mother, said he was coming home from his job at Fed Ex and was two minutes away. Within moments of stopping him, five Memphis pigs surrounded Tyre. They began to beat him mercilessly. These killers, all members of an “elite” police unit called The Scorpions, continued clubbing, kicking, tasing, and pepper spraying Tyre for three minutes.

    Portrait of Tyre Nichols, 29-year-old, murdered by Memphis cops

     

    Tyre Nichols, 29-year-old, murdered by Memphis cops   

    Tyre’s family’s lawyer, who saw a police body-cam video of the beating, said, “What he was in that [video] was defenseless the entire time. He was a human piñata for those police officers. It was unadulterated, unabashed, nonstop beating of this young boy for three minutes.” Tyre asked, over and over, as he was being brutalized by the cops, “What did I do?” What he did was be a young Black man, driving through a part of town the Memphis Police Department designates as “high-crime.” And that got him a death sentence from these pigs.

    Listen, really listen, to the anguish and anger in the voices of Tyre Nichols’s parents.

    RowVaughn Wells, who also was shown some of the body-cam video, told reporters, “Once the video started and I heard my son's voice, I lost it. I couldn't stay in the room. All I heard him say was, what did I do? And once I heard that, I lost it.”

    Rodney Wells, Tyre’s stepfather, said, “Our son ran because he was scared for his life. He did not run because he was trying to get rid of no drugs, no gun, no any of that. He ran because he was scared for his life. And when you see the video, you will see why he was scared for his life.… They handcuffed him and set him, propped him up on the car. And as he fell over they’d tell him ‘sit back up.’ You know, and he would slump back over again and they would make him sit back up. They never rendered any aid.”

    Three days later after this pack of murderous cops stopped and brutalized him, Tyre Nichols died.

    It took 11 days after Tyre Nichols was beaten before the federal government announced an investigation; 13 days before the cops were fired from their jobs; and 19 days before the pigs were arrested and charged with murder. Videos from the cops’ body cams still haven’t been released as of this writing. These pigs are among the few across the country who are ever charged for the murders they commit. This system lets killer cops walk time after time – they are doing their job, defending a system that allows them – encourages them – to brutalize and kill people, knowing they will rarely be punished, that their crimes will be covered up by district attorneys, and that the media will repeat whatever it’s told.

    How Long?

    A little less than three years ago, millions of people rose up in beautiful protests against police brutality and murder in cities and towns across the country. Different schemes were proposed as an answer to the case after case of police brutality and murder that plague this country, especially targeting Black, Brown, and Native American youth. Schemes like hiring more people of color, and more women, to be police. Like having all cops wear body cams.

    In Memphis, a Black woman is the chief of police. The five pigs who killed Tyre Nichols are Black, as is about 58% of the Memphis Police Department. Memphis police are taught “de-escalation strategies” and told to “intervene” if they saw their fellow cops using “excessive force.”

    Ask yourself this: How many Black and other oppressed people have been killed by murdering cops in one city after another, just since the protests of 2020, and the “reforms” many police departments initiated? Here’s part of the answer: “Police killed the highest number of people on record in 2022.” At the beginning of this year, three men were murdered by the Los Angeles police within three days. In Houston, three people were run over and killed in the first three weeks of the year by cops speeding through the streets on their way to alleged crime scenes. Those are just some examples, from just two cities.

    And Tyre Nichols is dead.

    Murder, brutality, repression, imprisonment, injustice against Black and other oppressed people at every turn—this has been going on for centuries! It is a cornerstone of this system of capitalism-imperialism that exploits and oppresses people across the world, and is destroying the planet itself. And how many of the people killed have found justice from a system for whom the lives and humanity of Black people mean absolutely nothing? How long has this system carried out exploitation, outrage and mayhem against Black and other oppressed people, here and around the world? 

    How long? Way too long. It is crucial to fight for justice for Tyre Nichols, and not to stop until it’s won. But unless and until we make revolution—unless and until we overthrow this system… unless and until we defeat and dismantle their armed forces of repression and violence… this same shit, along with all the other horrors this system brings down, will go on. And on. And on. 

    We need a revolution—an actual revolution. The leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian, says:

    …We have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all…

    Or,

    MAKE REVOLUTION!

    STOP Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!

    Watch these clips from Bob Avakian on the role of the police under this system, and the people’s security after the revolution.

    Bob Avakian on the role of the police

    Bob Avakian on the People's Security After the Revolution
  • 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:

    AMERICA: Truly a Model —
    of DEPRAVED RACIST GENOCIDE

    How can any decent person deny that we need a revolution to overthrow this system?!

    This is an excerpt from a talk given by Bob Avakian last year to a gathering of revcoms, which he has edited for publication.

    There is a very sharp conflict now within this country over whether the history of slavery can even be talked about in any real way, with white supremacist fascists attacking and attempting to prevent any serious discussion of this, and especially its actual horrors, with public education a particular focus of this conflict. Sometimes these people will actually say that slavery was not that bad!—or they will insist: “Oh, slavery, that was a long time ago. I had nothing to do with that. That’s long gone. That’s all over. That has nothing to do with what’s going on now. Quit complaining about things that have long been done and over with.” But when you’re talking about this country, as horrific as slavery actually was, it is not a matter of slavery as just some ancient history.

    In 2003, I began the speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About talking about the “postcards of the hanging,” referring to an opening line in a song by Bob Dylan. Think about the real history of this country. Think about what was going on for nearly 100 years, after the end of the Civil War and the very brief period of Reconstruction, when there was an attempt to actually allow Black people to win some rights—which was then completely overturned and reversed with the birth of the Ku Klux Klan and systematic terror in the South, which the entire ruling class of the country went along with, and institutionalized, as part of a “compromise” that they made in the 1870s. Think about what this means: For nearly 100 years, not only were thousands of Black people lynched, but at many of these lynchings there were mass gatherings of white people, in a picnic and celebratory atmosphere. And then, when the bodies were hung and often burned, many of these white people would go and cut off body parts of the person who’d been lynched as souvenirs, in a carnival atmosphere.

    Is this what Biden means when he says America has been an inspiration to the world? (He recently said that America has been an inspiration to the world for over 200 years—which includes the time of slavery, with all its very real horrors, as well as Jim Crow segregation, Ku Klux Klan terror and the thousands of lynchings to which I have referred here.)

    And that's not all. Photographs were taken and postcards were made and sold all over the country—postcards of the lynchings. Think about what that says.

    In terms of depravity, you can’t find anything Hitler and the Nazis did that was worse than this. You had the Nazi Dr. Mengele who went to the concentration camps and performed grotesque experiments on the bodies of the Jews who were imprisoned there. And that’s horrible. That’s part of one of the worst atrocities in the history of humanity, the whole Holocaust (the systematic slaughter of millions of Jews by the Nazis). But, again in terms of depravity, even after slavery, what was going on for nearly 100 years in this country is no less horrific—it belongs in the same category with the Nazi atrocities—while all the time we are being told that “this is the greatest country in the world, this is the leader of the free world, this is an inspiration to people all over the world.”

    And the treatment of Black people in particular in the United States, as well as the whole eugenics thing that arose in this country—where you had the idea put forward that people who were declared “inferior” in one way or another, including disabled people, should not be allowed to reproduce, because it dragged down the human population—that eugenics and that genocidal racism in the United States was a model for what the Nazis did, particularly with the Jews. Just think about that, while we’re being told what a great inspiration this country has been… apparently it was a great inspiration to the Nazis.

    And that’s still not all. Even with the ending of the Jim Crow system of segregation and systematic discrimination that was centered in the South but actually existed throughout this country for nearly 100 years—even with the ending of that overt legal segregation and discrimination, with all its terror—there is the continuing horrific oppression of Black people, as well as other people of color.

    Today, instead of the Ku Klux Klan in their white robes and hoods, it’s the police in blue (although some of them may still be in the Ku Klux Klan) who carry out the murder of Black people over and over again, as well as Latinos and Native Americans. It is a fact that since 1960 more Black people have been murdered by police than the thousands who were lynched in the time after the Civil War up until 1960. And this, along with mass incarceration, particularly of Black people and Latinos as well, is a concentration of their overall oppression.

    Finally, beginning in the 1960s there has been society-wide opposition to all this racist atrocity—opposition in which masses of Black people were joined by large numbers of white people, and others, especially youth. But, despite such massive opposition—which has repeatedly been demonstrated, once again in a huge way in 2020—the racist oppression and terror, yes of genocidal dimensions, goes on and on. Why? Because it is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, which rules in this country and dominates in the world as a whole.

    This is the reality of a country and a system that we’re told to celebrate as a great inspiration. And it is only part of the horrors of this system—as much as it is, in a real sense, a concentration of those horrors.

    How can any decent person deny that we need a revolution to overthrow this system?!

    *********

    For an even more extensive presentation of Bob Avakian’s powerful exposure of this system, the bankruptcy of attempts to reform it, and the urgent need to overthrow it through a real revolution, as well as an “up close and personal” discussion of his development and role as a revolutionary leader, go to the Bob Avakian Interviews on the YouTube RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show.

     

  • ARTICLE:

    Bob Avakian
    Responds to a Basic Youth

    “Common Sense” Is Often Wrong

    A Scientific Approach Shows Revolution Is Possible, Especially In This “Rare Time”

    “It’s just common sense that you can’t go up against this system and overthrow it”—so said a basic youth at a high school, in response to the call to get with the revolution.

    Yes, that is “common sense.” But “common sense” is often wrong—and it is wrong here too.

    “Common sense” is what most people believe at a given time (and what seems to be true on the surface, without digging deeper).

    For a long time in human history, it was “common sense”—most people believed—that the earth doesn’t move and it is the sun that moves in relation to the earth, when in reality the earth goes around the sun, making a full trip around the sun in a year’s time.

    It was even “common sense” for thousands of years that the earth is flat because, in their daily existence, people didn’t normally experience the “roundness” of the earth. But it is a basic truth, which has been scientifically determined many times over, that the earth is round, not flat.

    To understand the truth of things, especially more complicated things, you need to go beyond “common sense.” You don’t just go by “what everybody knows,” which is often wrong. You need to dig beneath the surface, and get scientific knowledge—a scientific understanding of reality.

    The same is true about going up against, and overthrowing, this system. “Common sense” says this is impossible, because of how powerful this system is. A scientific approach tells us something different. It reveals the contradictions and potential weaknesses within this system that you do not see just by looking on the surface of things. And, more particularly, it shows the way in which the situation that is developing now, with the deep (and continually deepening) conflicts within the ruling powers and in the country overall, provides the potential to mobilize millions of people for a real revolution, with a real chance to win—to actually defeat, split apart and dismantle the institutions that violently enforce this system—and bring something much better into being.

    This situation—a rare opportunity to actually make revolution, and bring a whole different and much better world into being—is something we cannot afford to squander, to waste and throw away. We have to get busy working with all the heart we have and the scientific knowledge we can gain, to make this revolution a reality. And we have to keep on winning more and more people to become actively involved in doing this.

    I get into all this more deeply in the 3 Interviews I have done recently on the YouTube RNL (Revolution, Nothing Less!) Show.

    If you want to get a fuller understanding of how this is for realand especially if you want to be part of making this revolution real—get into these interviews... help to spread them everywhere... join up with the revcoms who are working every day for this revolution... contribute in meaningful ways to this revolution while you continue to learn more about it and contribute even more.

  • ARTICLE:

    U.S./NATO vs. Russia in Ukraine War: Planning and Preparing Dangerous Escalations

    NATO heads meet in Germany.

     

    The US heads an alliance of 30 imperialist powers centered in Europe.    Photo: NATO

    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, The Bob Avakian Interviews

    On February 24, 2022, Russia staged a massive invasion of Ukraine, a country with which it shares a land border of about 1,500 miles. Almost immediately, the U.S. and its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began to send tens of billions of dollars of military and intelligence support to Ukraine.

    Nearly a year on in the war, the death toll has been gruesome. In mid-November a U.S. general estimated that about 100,000 soldiers on each side has been killed or wounded in the war; this week the United Nations reported that it has confirmed 7,000 Ukrainian civilian deaths, but added “… the full civilian toll is much higher.” Almost one-third of Ukrainians have been displaced by the war, and another 13 million people are stranded within the country because of the ongoing war, impassable escape routes, and lack of resources.1

    In the early months of the war, Ukrainian forces won several significant victories that stalled or turned around Russian advances from the initial invasion. Short-range, portable weapons such as Javelin missiles supplied by the U.S.-NATO forces were highly effective in destroying Russian tanks and armored vehicles.

    But by late May, as the war moved to a different type of terrain and fighting, the Biden administration approved shipping higher-power, longer-range HIMARS missiles to Ukraine. By September, there were a total of 34 HIMARS systems (each of which holds multiple missiles) in Ukraine. U.S. “Defense” Secretary Lloyd Austin said the HIMARS “changed the dynamics" of the war, and "created an opportunity for the Ukrainians to maneuver," particularly in the battle for the city of Kherson.

    Throughout the fall and winter, Russian drone and missile attacks wreaked havoc on Ukraine’s cities and infrastructure, causing many deaths and great hardships on the civilian population. The U.S. sent hundreds of millions of dollars worth of missiles, ammunition, and supplies to counter the Russian offensive. As winter began to set in, with the two armies facing off in grinding combat in southern and eastern Ukraine, neither has so far been able to seize or create significant advantages.

    During this whole period, the threat of things getting out of control and escalating to a nuclear war was very high. Biden even stated that the world faced a possible “Armageddon”—the mythical final battle at the end of the world—over Ukraine.

    Today the war seems locked in a deadly stalemate. But neither side is just digging in and fighting a war of attrition through these long cold months. Each is girding and preparing for the next stage of the war, which both are committed to “winning”—however they define victory. They have made a startling series of escalations over the past month alone. All this has made the danger of an even worse, yes possibly nuclear, war much greater.

    Map of countries supplying military aid to Ukraine

     

    Map: Wikipedia

    Crossing Red Lines

    In November 2021, shortly before he called for the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin warned that a “red line” would be crossed if NATO placed missile systems that could reach Russia in Ukraine. He said,If some kind of strike systems appear on the territory of Ukraine, the flight time to Moscow will be 7-10 minutes, and five minutes in the case of a hypersonic weapon being deployed. Just imagine. What are we to do in such a scenario? We will have to then create something similar in relation to those who threaten us in that way. And we can do that now."

    As the war has ground on, the U.S. has repeatedly “crossed red lines.” It has increased the lethality and range of weapons it provides. It has provided intensive training for Ukrainian forces to utilize those weapons. Several times, the U.S. has provided weapons it once held backin part because Ukrainians needed to be trained in their use and, seemingly, in part because the U.S. didn’t want to provide weapons that it thought could provoke Russia.

    But while on one level this war has seemed like a steady and measured escalation, in reality it has been a series of calculated risks. At each step, the level of violence increases. Each step taken by one side, faces an uncertain response by the other side. At each step, and the entire situation becomes more unpredictable.

    Far from bringing stability to the conflict, this approach of incremental escalation makes the entire situation much more dangerous. It makes the likelihood of direct fighting between U.S./NATO and Russian forces more likely. It is like walking across an open minefield, knowing full well that each step could bring disaster, but unable to turn back.

    Spring Offensives

    Western leaders are openly talking about a spring offensive. On January 20, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said there is a “window of opportunity” between now and spring to provide Ukraine with “capabilities they need to go on the offensive.” Also on January 20, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said, "The fact that hundreds of new armored vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles and battle tanks are now being provided to Ukraine will make a huge difference to the country … This support will not only allow Ukrainians to defend themselves against Russia's new offensives, but also allow them to launch their own offensive operations …”

    At about the same time, Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, sent a verbal warning to Western leaders who expect to defeat Russia in “conventional” warfare: “The loss of a nuclear power in a conventional war can provoke the outbreak of a nuclear war. Nuclear powers do not lose major conflicts on which their fate depends. This should be obvious to anyone. Even to a Western politician who has retained at least some trace of intelligence.”

    This Dynamic Must Be Changed

    Bob Avakian wrote nine months ago that both sides in this imperialist conflict remain “deeply committed to a win.” Both are fighting to impose their will on the other, to advance the interests of their empire at the expense of the other.

    Neither side has shown any inclination to back down. Bob Avakian wrote in his important article “World War 3 and Dangerous Idiocy”:

    With each side seriously committed to its objectives, and having become seriously involved in war in pursuit of these objectives (with Russia directly at war in Ukraine and the U.S./NATO now indirectly but deeply involved), this means that, so long as the terms are set by these contending imperialists, neither side can easily back down. (Again, so long as the terms are set by these contending imperialists, and the people, on all sides, do not effectively act, in their masses, in such a way as to force things onto different terms, which are in their interestsin opposition to those of the imperialists on either side.)

    There are many factors “in the mix” as this situation intensifies. There are differences, sometimes sharp ones, within the ruling classes of all the countries involved over the goals and aims of this war, how fast to proceed, and the level of commitment by various countries. This has been sharply on display within the western alliance during their recent conference in Germany—a concerted attempt to get Germany to allow its tanks to be used in Ukraine has stalled, with Germany demanding a similar commitment from the U.S. In Russia, Putin is reportedly facing mounting dissent from others in the top political and military leadership.

    There are also production, delivery, and logistical difficulties in sustaining the amount of ammunition needed by the contending armies; there are potential morale problems among troops, all of whom are fighting an unjust war, whether they know that or not; there are sharp contradictions within the Eastern European region where Ukraine is situated, and in the world as whole, that could erupt and have a dramatic impact on the war. War, especially on this scale, could quickly spiral out of anyone’s control, in unanticipated ways, even by “accident,” or through human error and miscalculation, and lead to unintended, unforeseen and disastrous consequences.

    But there is one component in this mix that is missing, one that could literally make all the difference in the world, if it becomes a growing force. Words Bob Avakian wrote nine months ago ring truer and more powerfully than ever:

    This Whole Dynamic Must Be Urgently, Radically Changed—in the Interests of Humanity, Not Rival and Contending Imperialists

    All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.

    U.S. embassy delegation led by Army military attaché reviews map with Ukrainian officers who are conducting military operations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

     

    Donetsk, Ukraine, November 19, 2021, three months before Russia invaded Ukraine: U.S. embassy delegation led by Army military attaché reviews map with Ukrainian officers who are conducting military operations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.    Photo: AP

    _______________

    FOOTNOTES:

    1. Revcom.us’s “Ukraine Resource Page” contains important articles and polemics by Bob Avakian on this war, as well as further analysis of the origins and developments in it over the past eleven months. We encourage readers to study and distribute these articles. [back]

  • ARTICLE:

    U.S/NATO, Russian Imperialists:

    Preparations for Wider, Bloodier and More Unpredictably Dangerous War Intensify

    Both sides in the war in Ukraine—the U.S./NATO side, and their Russian opponents—have been working feverishly to prepare for possible major battles and offensives this spring. Below are some of the measures they’ve taken recently, many of them this past week.

      Map of Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Russia

       

      Ukraine is second only to Russia in size in Europe. To the west:  Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, countries that are part of the U.S.-led NATO military alliance. To the east, it shares a 1,700 mile border with Russia.   

      Russia

      • December 21: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced a plan to increase Russia’s military by 500,000 soldiers. He said this will “guarantee the fulfillment of tasks to ensure Russia’s security.” 
      • December 21: Shoigu also said Russia is creating “multiple new units” of its military, including infantry, airborne, and marine divisions; enhancing military communications and artillery training; increasing weapons and ammunition production, and “reshap[ing] military structure.”
      • December 21: Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, said in a speech at Russia’s Ministry of Defense Collegium that Russia "will sustain and improve the combat readiness of the nuclear triad. This is the main guarantee for preserving our sovereignty, territorial integrity, strategic parity and the balance of power in the world.” [The "nuclear triad" refers to the ability to launch nuclear attacks from land, sea and air.]
      • January 16: the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that it has deployed a strategic missile division with its surface-to-surface missiles on combat patrol missions in the Tver Region of western Russia, within striking distance of Ukraine.
      • January 16: The Institute for the Study of War, a pro-Western think tank, summed ups its evaluation of Russian war preparations in a report stating that Russia “likely intends to take decisive strategic action [in Ukraine] in 2023.”
      • January 17, Russia announced it is increasing “the combat capabilities of the Navy, the Aerospace Forces and the Strategic Rocket Forces.”

      The U.S./NATO

      • January 16: Mark Milley, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the U.S. has begun giving Ukrainian troops an “advanced level of combat training” on a U.S. base in Germany, with the goal of getting them combat ready by spring. The training is intended to make the Ukrainians “better prepared to launch an offensive or counter any surge in Russian attacks. They will learn how to better move and coordinate their company and battalion-size units in battle, using combined artillery, armor and ground forces.”
      • January 17, Milley met with Valerii Zaluzhnyi, his Ukrainian counterpart, in Poland (which borders Ukraine), to discuss what they called the “unprovoked and ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, and [exchanged] perspectives and assessments.”
      • January 17: A core of Ukrainian soldiers sent to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, began to be trained in the use and maintenance of Patriot missile systems, an advanced surface-to-air guided missile system. 
      • January 17: England, France, Germany and the U.S. declared that they are sending “dozens of armored infantry fighting vehicles” to Ukraine.
      • January 17: Olena Zelenska, wife of the Ukrainian president, went to the World Economic Forum of imperialist political and economic leaders in Davos, Switzerland, to “lobby for greater Western aid and weapons deliveries …” to Ukraine.
      • January 18: NATO’s military leaders gathered in Brussels, Belgium, where its deputy secretary general told them “[W]e must be prepared for the long haul. 2023 will be a difficult year and we need to support Ukraine for as long as it takes....”
      • January 18: Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, told the World Economic Forum that the “main message” of the Ramstein meeting [of the Ukraine Contact Group at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany] will be “more support, more advanced support, heavier weapons and more modern weapons [for Ukraine].”
      • January 19, the New York Times reported that the  U.S. is sending an arms shipment of $2.5 billion to Ukraine. The shipment includes 90 Stryker armored vehicles intended to “break through” Russian defenses. This was in addition to a $3 billion shipment announced on January 6, which included infantry fighting vehicles armed with anti-tank missiles, mine-resistant vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition, thousands of rockets and various small arms, and more.
      • January 19: Nine defense ministers and representatives of NATO countries issued the “Tallin Pledge” (named for the Estonian city where they signed it) in which they declared that they are committed to “pursuing delivery of an unprecedented set of donations including main battle tanks, heavy artillery, air defence, ammunition, and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine’s defence.”
      • January 20: CNN reported that CIA director William J. Burns had recently travelled to Ukraine, where he told Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky what U.S. “expectations” are for Russia’s war plans for the spring. A U.S. official said Burns “reinforced our continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression.”
      • January 20: Dozens of “defense ministers” from countries allied with the U.S. met at Ramstein, a U.S. Air Force base in Germany. The meeting was led by Milley and U.S. Secretary of “Defense” Lloyd Austin. A central point of the gathering was to “finally provide Kyiv [Ukraine’s capital] with a large amount of main battle tanks … which could prove pivotal in fresh counter-offensive operations.”2
      • January 21: The Pentagon announced that it is keeping several thousand U.S. troops stationed in Romania, which borders Ukraine, for at least another nine months. The U.S. troops will now be led by a two-star general and top military planners, enabling the U.S. to be “well positioned to provide a robust deterrent and defensive posture alongside our allies across the European continent”—in other words, the capability to directly engage against Russia forces.

      _______________

      FOOTNOTES:

      1. One significant result of the meeting is that, while enormous amounts of military equipment are being sent to Ukraine by many countries, Germany has so far refused to be the first to allow use of its most modern tanks in Ukraine until the U.S. makes a similar commitment. This indicates possible differences within the U.S.-led “alliance” over the war’s aims, its pacing, and the level of commitment by different countries. Revolution will continue to monitor this situation. [back]

    • ARTICLE:

      Some Crucial Points on the War in Ukraine

      1. Ukraine is not a struggle between “‘autocracy’ and democracy,” but a conflict zone of imperialist  rivalry between U.S. and Western imperialism and Russian imperialism. The Ukrainian people and Ukrainian army are cannon fodder in this war—being used cold-bloodedly to advance U.S. imperialist interests in contention with their Russian rivals.

      2. The U.S. and its NATO allies right now are preparing and developing the ability to escalate this war massively, as they send in more, and deadlier, armaments to Ukraine. Russia is also escalating its preparations for a more extensive and decisive war.

      3. As Bob Avakian has pointed out, both the U.S./NATO side and the equally imperialist Russian side are deeply committed to “winning” this war; the logic of their mounting aggression has already included threats to use nuclear weapons. These nukes remain “locked and loaded” as the imperialists on both sides dig in and prepare further escalations.

      4. The entire dynamic of this war must be radically changed in the interests of humanity, not rival and contending imperialists.

      These points underscore a fundamental truth Bob Avakian expressed in an interview on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show: “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.”

      U.S. embassy delegation led by Army military attaché reviews map with Ukrainian officers who are conducting military operations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

       

      Donetsk, Ukraine, November 19, 2021, three months before Russia invaded Ukraine: U.S. embassy delegation led by Army military attaché reviews map with Ukrainian officers who are conducting military operations against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.    Photo: AP

    • ARTICLE:

      THE WAR IN UKRAINE
      AND THE INTERESTS OF HUMANITY:
      A SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH
      VS. HARMFUL CONFUSION AND CHAUVINIST DELUSION

      Bob Avakian Responds
      To People Who Should Know Better (and Maybe Once Did)

      Recently, the article of mine “Ukraine: World War 3 Is the Real Danger, Not a Repeat of World War 2” was sent to a number of former members of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), which developed into a major radical movement during the 1960s that strongly opposed the U.S. imperialist war in Vietnam. In response, several people raised arguments in opposition to my article—arguments which reflect the thinking today of all too many people in this country with “liberal,” “progressive” and “social democratic” views.1 While some of this involved petty “snark,” there were also points of substance made, which (unlike the “snark”) do deserve a serious response. Here I am going to speak to some of the more relevant and substantive points that were raised.

      Let’s begin with the following disagreement with my article:

      Here's my reaction: let's stipulate that the U.S. has a shameful history of imperialist wars and shouldn't have dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan. Also there is a reasonable case to be made that NATO should not have welcomed into membership former Soviet-controlled Republics. However, it's also true that NATO membership is exactly what large majorities in those countries wanted. As for Yemen, I'm not sufficiently informed to have an opinion on whether the U.S. role there is equivalent to the Russian role in Ukraine. I'll look into it, but I'll be surprised if it is.

      Here's the main thing: the inevitable result of the U.S. policy you advocate in the current conflict would leave the Ukrainians to the tender mercies of Putin. Is that what you want?

      In what is an all too typical line of argument, from those who do not care to defend America’s “shameful history of imperialist wars” (and the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War 2), this “shameful history of imperialist wars” is acknowledged—and then effectively ignored, or discounted. This amounts to saying: “All that shameful history has nothing to do with what is going on now, and all we need to do is look at the terrible things that Putin/the Russians are doing in Ukraine.” In answer to this, it is necessary to point out that this “shameful history” is not just “history”—it has everything to do with what the U.S. is doing now with regard to Ukraine (and more generally). Most importantly, this “shameful history” has to do with the very nature of the system that rules in the U.S., the system of capitalism-imperialism, and with the dominant position of U.S. imperialism in the world, and its necessity and determination to retain, and fortify, that dominant position.

      In another article, drawing from the insight of a friend of mine from back in the day, I referred to the imperialists, on both sides of this conflict in Ukraine, as “legit gangsters”—gangsters who are fighting not just over “turf” in a city but over domination in the world as a whole—and, very significantly, gangsters with massive arsenals of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons that could wipe out human civilization.2 If this analogy is valid—and it is—then it is relevant to ask: Would we regard as legitimate an argument by someone who was a part of one Mafia “family” (or criminal cartel) saying, “Yes, we have done very bad things, but what counts now is what another bunch of gangsters is doing over there, and how we are helping the victims of their murderous criminal activity”? Would we take the position that the criminal nature of the organization to which this person belongs has suddenly become irrelevant to what is going on—or even that, in this case, this organization had somehow ceased to be criminal, or to be acting in a criminal manner? Or, would we—very correctly—recognize that the declarations and actions of this criminal organization were a continuation of its whole criminal history, and flowed out of its whole criminal nature?

      I will come back to that point.

      Next, there is another argument that “giveth with left hand” and “taketh away with the right”—the argument that maybe it was bad for the U.S.-led imperialist military organization NATO to expand into countries that were very close to, or even bordered on, Russia—but “it’s also true that NATO membership is exactly what large majorities in those countries wanted.”

      This line of argument is a very dangerous one—and it involves a standard and criterion that I doubt justice-minded people would actually like to consistently apply and make into some kind of general principle. For example, it is almost certainly true that, up until the 1960s (at least), a majority of people in this country wanted to have segregation and discrimination against Black people continued. Or, to return to an historical example already cited, it is a terrible reality that a majority of people in this country supported the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan when that happened (and far too many still uphold this, as does the government of this country, which has refused to acknowledge that it was wrong). Many other examples could be cited, but the point should be clear that this kind of “populist” argument can lead to upholding, or at least rationalizing, all kinds of terrible things. (This also relates to arguments that, in the name of “realism,” end up supporting this capitalist-imperialist system, and in particular the Democratic Party, which, as a representative of this system, has perpetrated some of its most horrendous crimes, including the atomic bomb attacks on Japan. This, too, is something I will return to later. But here let’s get back to the arguments cited above.)

      The statement is made: “As for Yemen, I’m not sufficiently informed to have an opinion on whether the U.S. role there is equivalent to the Russian role in Ukraine. I'll look into it, but I’ll be surprised if it is.”

      Well, objectively, there is no doubt that the U.S. role in Yemen is not simply “equivalent” to the Russian role in Ukraine, but the devastation and suffering it has caused is even far worse. First of all, not as a personal attack but as a commentary on the dismal state of things among “progressive” people in this country who like to think of themselves as caring about and relatively informed about significant world events, it is striking that so many actually do not know about what has been going on, for years now, in Yemen, and the U.S. role in this. If you seriously “look into” this (and do not simply rely on the same U.S. media that are now waging a massive propaganda offensive to justify U.S. actions in Ukraine) you will find that the war waged by Saudi Arabia in Yemen—which has been supported and provided with heavy military and other aid by the U.S., since the time of the Obama/Biden administration—has caused almost unbelievable suffering for the people of Yemen, in particular children, who have died in massive numbers as a result of conditions created by this war, including a terrible cholera epidemic. (In addition to other sources, significant analysis of the war in Yemen, the horrendous suffering of the people there, and the responsibility of the U.S. in all this, can be found at revcom.us.)

      And then we get to this argument: “Here's the main thing: the inevitable result of the U.S. policy you advocate in the current conflict would leave the Ukrainians to the tender mercies of Putin. Is that what you want?”

      No, what I want (and what I have called for in the article in question, and others as well) is for the masses of people, on “both sides” of this conflict—and in the world as a whole—to act in their own interests, as opposed to those of the imperialists on both sides of this conflict. As I strongly argued in another recent article:

      All this emphasizes why it is vitally important for the masses of people, in this country, and other countries aligned with it, as well as in Russia—for people everywhere—to finally and fully wake up now, recognize the real, and profoundly heavy, stakes involved, and act in accordance with our actual interests—the interests of all of humanity: demanding that this war in Ukraine, and the involvement (direct and indirect) of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be STOPPED, before it not only causes even greater suffering for the people of Ukraine but possibly escalates into a far more terrible conflict which causes massive destruction and death, on a whole other level, and even possibly poses a threat to the very existence of humanity itself.3

      A War for National Independence, or a “Proxy War” Between Imperialists?

      At the heart of this is the question of the actual nature of the war in Ukraine now, and the application, yes, of science to this question, as opposed to muddled thinking strongly influenced by American chauvinism and its distortion of history. This is concentrated in the following argument:

      Putin may not be Hitler, but what he’s doing in Ukraine does bring back memories. FDR was right to save Europe from the Nazis, and I’d say Biden is right to do what he can, short of WWIII, to save Ukraine from the Russians. Proxy wars vs. wars of national liberation? Why is Ukraine a proxy for NATO imperialists any more than the NLF and the North Vietnamese were a proxy for Russian and Chinese imperialists? History forces messy choices on us, As I see it, the Ukrainians are fighting for their country as fervently as the NLF fought for theirs. Finally, Bob, I'd like to know what there is in the lived history of revolutionary communism that's worth striving for now.

      This is truly a “treasure house” of wrong-headed thinking, strongly influenced precisely by anti-scientific, anti-historical American chauvinism (with a pungent dose of rancid anti-communism). To answer this fully is beyond the scope of what is possible here, but the substance of what is argued here does demand a response. First, in my article with which this argument is disagreeing, I spoke to important reasons why comparing Putin and his actions now to what Hitler did leading into World War 2 is wrong, and involves a significant distortion and ignorance (or deliberate ignore-ance) of crucial differences between the situation then and now. I won’t repeat all that here, although one point is definitely worth emphasizing again: both the U.S. and Russia possess thousands of nuclear weapons—weapons which did not exist in the period leading into (and for almost all of) World War 2. But I cannot let pass the statement that “FDR was right to save Europe from the Nazis.” Here is another striking “blind spot” created by the glare of American chauvinism.

      If we are going to put things in the rather crude terms of this argument, it was not FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the U.S. president for most of World War 2) who “saved Europe from the Nazis”—it was much more that old bête noire of anti-communists everywhere, Joseph Stalin. The reality is that it was the Soviet Union, led at that time by Stalin, which broke the back of the NAZI war machine and effectively created a turning point in the war that led to the final defeat of the German NAZIs and their Japanese (and Italian) allies. This is a matter of historical fact (and it was alluded to, for example, by the British leader during the war, Winston Churchill, who acknowledged that the decisive fighting against the NAZIs took place on the eastern front, where the great majority of the NAZI forces were concentrated, against Soviet forces, during the crucial part of the war in Europe).

      The NAZI attack on the then-socialist Soviet Union, and the Soviet resistance and repulsion of the NAZI invasion, cost the lives of somewhere between 20 and 30 million people in the Soviet Union, along with massive destruction in the Soviet Union itself. Although I have my criticisms of how this war was conducted by the Soviet leadership—including, significantly, that it was waged essentially on a nationalist (and even Great Russian chauvinist) basis, rather than a revolutionary basis—if we take the standard that, mistakenly, attributes to FDR the “saving of Europe from the Nazis,” then the actual defeat of the NAZIs should certainly count among the things that should be celebrated in “the lived history of revolutionary communism,” in this case the Soviet Union. (In fact, there is much in this “lived history” that is “worth striving for now,” even as, with the new communism I have developed, this is, as it needs to be, critically analyzed with a consistently scientific method and approach, identifying in this way both its principal, definitely positive, aspect as well as its secondary but real, and at times even grievous, negative side. I will speak further to this point a little later here.)

      This leads me to an argument made by another critic of my article:

      Without engaging in polemic with Chairman Avakian, god forbid—given that he’s the greatest theorist of communism since Mao Tse Tung and I’m just a humble social democrat not remotely confident in my socio-political analysis as “science”—my take is he entirely sidesteps any agency on the part of Ukrainians. That’s deeply problematic.

      Moving beyond the “snark” at the beginning of this statement, there is actually something very important from Mao that has definite bearing on the questions in contention here, in particular the decisive question of what is the actual nature now of the war in Ukraine.

      In the course of leading the Chinese revolution over several decades, Mao made significant contributions to, yes, scientific communist theory, in particular his discussion of contradiction, in society and life generally. More specifically, Mao’s approach to understanding the relation between the main (or principal) aspect of a contradiction, in opposition to the secondary aspect, is very relevant here. The principal aspect of a contradiction, Mao pointed out, determines the essence, or the basic character, of that contradiction at any given point. However, he also emphasized that, since all of life is constantly in motion—and any particular thing (or contradiction) is constantly interacting with other things—the principal aspect of a contradiction can change, and what was secondary can become principal, and vice versa. (To illustrate this with a simple example from everyday life, if it is cloudy and raining heavily while the sun is just beginning to “peek through” the clouds, at that point the condition of cloudiness and rain is principal, while the sun’s appearance is secondary; but, if things change in such a way that the sun fully emerges and the rain is reduced to a mere drizzle, then it is the case that the sunshine has become the principal aspect, and it is quite possible that the rain will stop altogether.)

      This basic understanding has definite, and very important, application to the war in Ukraine—and particularly in answer to this argument (cited earlier):

      Proxy wars vs. wars of national liberation? Why is Ukraine a proxy for NATO imperialists any more than the NLF and the North Vietnamese were a proxy for Russian and Chinese imperialists? History forces messy choices on us, As I see it, the Ukrainians are fighting for their country as fervently as the NLF fought for theirs.

      The answer is that it could be argued that, at the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the principal aspect, on the side opposed to Russia, was the resistance of Ukraine to the Russian invasion (in that sense, a war for national independence on the part of Ukraine), while the role of the U.S./NATO, in supplying arms to Ukraine and waging economic war against Russia through sanctions, was at that point secondary. Even from very early on in this war, however, Volodymyr Zelensky, the head of the Ukrainian government, repeatedly and insistently called for the direct involvement of the U.S. and its NATO “allies” in this war—through the imposition by the U.S./NATO of a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine—that would qualitatively, and quickly, change the war into one whose character was overwhelmingly a conflict between rival imperialists (the U.S./NATO vs. Russia). And, as the war has gone on, even without such a “no-fly zone,” the essential character of the war has changed into one between imperialists. This is mainly because the actions and aims of the U.S. imperialists (and their NATO “allies”) have significantly escalated, particularly with their increasingly massive arming of Ukraine, while also providing intelligence to the Ukrainian forces, and so on—all with the now openly declared goal of weakening Russia and its ability to challenge U.S. dominance. As a result, the principal aspect has become warfare between imperialists, with the U.S./NATO so far waging war “by proxy” with Russia but at the same time the very real and growing danger that this could become a direct war between these opposing imperialists, with all the terrible consequences, even a very real existential threat to humanity, that this could involve.

      By contrast, the war in Vietnam, on the side opposed to imperialism, was from the beginning, and remained throughout, principally (and in its essential character) a war of national liberation: a country (Vietnam) fighting to free itself, first from the French imperialists who had colonized Vietnam, and then from the U.S. imperialists, who went from heavily backing the French to becoming directly and massively involved in attempting to subjugate Vietnam and its people—a war which cost the lives of 2 million Vietnamese civilians and was marked by American atrocities on a scale way beyond what Russia has done in Ukraine.

      As for the claim that it is wrong to see the Ukrainians now as mere “pawns” in this present war between imperialists, it is unfortunately the case that this is what they have essentially become. Or, as Raymond Lotta has very sharply put it—in an interview in episode 99 of the YouTube RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Showthe Ukrainians have now become “cannon fodder” for U.S. imperialist aims in the war in Ukraine (which, again, threatens to become a much wider and far more destructive war). This is one very important reason why everyone who really cares about the Ukrainian people, as well as humanity as a whole, should be actively demanding that this war, and the actions of the imperialists on both sides in this war, be stopped, before the destruction and terrible suffering it involves become far greater.

      In terms of the essential character of a war, what is decisive is not how “fervently” the people involved in that war (on one side or the other) are fighting. (To cite an extreme example to drive home the point, it could be said that, at least for much of World War 2, the soldiers of the NAZI army were fighting very “fervently.”) Even if we were to allow that “the Ukrainians are fighting for their country as fervently as the NLF fought for theirs,” that does not necessarily mean that this is the defining character of the war that the Ukrainians are now involved in. Rather, it is a matter of what is the actual, objective character of the war, as determined by its principal aspect—and that principal aspect can change, and has changed in the concrete reality of the war in Ukraine, into principally a war between imperialists.

      Once again, in the case of Vietnam, the aid supplied to the Vietnamese war of liberation, by China and the Soviet Union, was a secondary factor. And, very importantly, at that time China was most decidedly not an imperialist country but in fact a revolutionary socialist country, and its self-sacrificing aid to Vietnam was in the service of supporting the Vietnamese struggle for national liberation, as part of promoting revolution against imperialism throughout the world. (Capitalism was only restored in China in 1976, beginning with a coup d’état by “capitalist roaders” in China shortly after Mao died. This is analyzed in depth in works of mine, and other important material, which can be accessed at revcom.us.) And, while the Vietnamese Party itself was already sharply contradictory during the period of the war there—with a kind of eclectic combination of communism and revolutionary nationalism—there is no comparison, and it is obscene to make any comparison, between the revolutionary character of that Party at that time and what is represented now by the ruling class of Ukraine, which actually includes an element of extreme right, actually fascist forces, and in any case constitutes a thoroughly uninspiring bourgeoisie (even if its resistance against the Russian imperialists could be supported—so long as that resistance, and not the involvement of U.S./NATO imperialism, essentially defined the opposition to the Russian invasion—which is now no longer the case).

      Before ending this discussion of the difference between the present war in Ukraine and the war in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s, and how this relates to the essential nature of the war in Ukraine now, and the responsibility of people in this country toward that war, it is necessary to underline that there is the reality—and the very important difference—that the imperialist war in Vietnam was being waged by the U.S. ruling class, while the invasion of Ukraine has been carried out by one of the main rivals of this U.S. ruling class. For people in Russia, their responsibility is to mainly oppose their own ruling class in this war; while, for people in the U.S. (and “aligned” NATO countries) the responsibility is the reverse: to make a point of opposing the aims and actions of “their own” imperialists in this war, while also opposing Russian aggression. Or, as I have put it previously:

      Of course, this act of imperialist aggression by Russia deserves to be condemned. But especially for people residing in this country—which, again, by far holds the record for such acts of aggression—it is a matter of basic principle and profound importance not to be echoing the positions and serving the aims of “our” imperialists, and instead to be making very clear our opposition to the aims and actions of these (U.S.) imperialists, who are using opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, not as a way of promoting “peace,” or “the right of nations to self-determination,” but as means of furthering U.S. imperialist interests, in opposition to the rival Russian imperialists. So, in keeping with this crucial principle, any opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, particularly by people in this imperialist country, should be accompanied by a clear and definite stand of also opposing the role of the U.S. in the world, including the wars it continually wages, and other ways it violently interferes in other countries.4

      Here it is also necessary to respond to the assertion, by one of the critics of my article, that it contains only minimal mention of Putin’s actions against the Ukrainian people (“Putin’s actions against them goes almost entirely unmentioned except with a bit of throat clearing”). Assuming this is not a deliberate mis-reading of my article, it is yet another example of being blinded by American chauvinism, however conscious or unconscious. In this article (and in a number of others) my opposition to Russian aggression is very clear—and my emphasis on the point that the suffering of the people in Yemen is even far worse than that suffered by the people in Ukraine is not a way of denying the terrible suffering to which the people in Ukraine are being subjected in this war, but of emphasizing the utter hypocrisy on the part of the U.S. imperialists (and those who echo them) in portraying Russian atrocities in Ukraine as some kind of “unprecedented” war crimes, when these U.S. imperialists themselves are guilty of being responsible for even far worse atrocities, as evidenced in Yemen. And it is true that I put a great deal of emphasis on opposing the way the U.S. imperialist ruling class is seizing on Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the suffering of the people there, to further its own imperialist aims—which is exactly what someone should do in a situation like this: put emphasis on opposing the imperialist aims and actions of “their own” imperialist ruling class. Also, the article of mine that is being criticized for supposedly being “soft” on what Russia is doing in Ukraine contains a section, “Actual Aims of Putin/Russian Imperialism,” which examines those aims in some detail, precisely with the understanding and characterization of them as the aims and actions of Russian imperialism (and it hardly needs saying that I regard imperialism as a very negative, not somehow a “positive,” or “neutral,” phenomenon!).

      Finally on the subject of the war in Ukraine, and just to clarify a point around which there could be confusion (or deliberate distortion): In the article in question, I did not say that there is no basis for believing that Putin might invade other countries. Rather I said—and this is a very crucial distinction—that there is no evidence to back up the claim that Putin intends to invade, or attack, other NATO countries (something which, as I emphasized in that article, would “trigger” an immediate military response by the U.S.). This was part of an analysis that both sides in this conflict—that is, both Russian imperialism and the U.S./NATO imperialist bloc—are attempting to achieve their objectives without getting into direct military confrontation with their imperialist adversary. But, as I also pointed to, there is the very dangerous reality that the dynamics of this war could actually lead to a direct military confrontation between Russia and the U.S./NATO:

      Regardless of intentions, however, as has been shown over and over again, events—especially the dynamics of war itself, once entered into—can “overtake intentions” and lead to circumstances and consequences that neither side wanted or anticipated at the start. In the current situation, with the war in Ukraine, there is a very real danger that such a dynamic could “take over” and lead to truly terrible consequences—the very real possibility of war between the U.S./NATO and Russia, with the use of nuclear weapons which could pose a very real threat to human civilization as a whole.5

      The Actual, Principally Very Positive “Lived Reality” of Revolutionary Communism

      Since this question was sharply posed, in one of the responses to my article, it is necessary to respond directly to this: “Finally, Bob, I’d like to know what there is in the lived history of revolutionary communism that’s worth striving for now.”

      Of course, as I indicated at the start, it is not possible here to go into this at the length and in the depth that is necessary to answer all the lies, slanders and distortions that have been, and continue to be, spewed forth by the propaganda instruments of this capitalist-imperialist system and its intellectual accomplices—and which have been uncritically swallowed down, and often regurgitated, by far too many people who should know better (and perhaps once did). With that in mind, while touching on just some of the outstanding achievements of the “lived reality of revolutionary communism” (and while noting the importance of a scientific assessment of not only its principally positive experience but also its actual shortcomings and mistakes, some of them quite serious and in some cases even grievous) I will refer anyone genuinely seeking a further, serious and substantive answer to this question to the website revcom.us, and in particular the special issue that can be found there: You Don't Know What You Think You “Know” About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future, Interview with Raymond Lotta.

      But, briefly, with regard to the Soviet Union (the world’s first socialist state, brought into being through the Russian Revolution of 1917), during its first period, up until the early 1930s, there were tremendous liberating transformations, freeing masses of people from remaining elements of feudal oppression and imposed ignorance and superstition, particularly in the vast countryside, while at the same time moving to end capitalist exploitation centered in the cities. An outstanding example of this was the emancipation of women from brutal and suffocating patriarchal oppression, in ways that were unprecedented at that time. And all this was accompanied by a flowering of creativity and revolutionary content in the realm of art and culture.

      It is true that, even during this period, from the time of the Russian Revolution in 1917 to the early 1930s, mistakes were made, even some serious errors—which is hardly surprising given that this was the first attempt at socialist transformation of society, in the context of bitter opposition from remaining reactionary forces within the Soviet Union itself and antagonistic encirclement by powerful imperialist countries. And, particularly after the early 1930s, many of the earlier inspiring transformations and expressions of revolutionary enthusiasm, in many different spheres of Soviet society, were undermined, or even reversed, and a certain suffocating atmosphere, politically and culturally, began to take hold to a significant degree. A major turning point in relation to all this was the triumph of fascism in Germany in the early 1930s, with the crushing of the Communist Party in that country, which had constituted the most powerful direct opposition to the NAZIs and was the first target of massive, concentrated repression and murder by the NAZI regime. It was particularly in the face of the threat of outright invasion by the German NAZI regime, and in the preparation and maneuvering by the Soviet government to deal with this increasing threat throughout the second half of the 1930s, that serious errors and violations of communist principle were made by Stalin and the Soviet leadership, including a campaign of severe repression against people perceived and denounced as enemies, many of whom were not actual enemies. And then came the NAZI invasion in 1941, with the terrible destruction and massive loss of lives in the Soviet Union (with the number of Soviet civilians and soldiers dying in that war approximately 50 times that of U.S. deaths).

      In the aftermath of that war, socialism in the Soviet Union was, in effect, hanging by a thread—a thread that was cut by Nikita Khrushchev and other leaders of the Soviet Union in the mid-1950s, setting the Soviet Union on the course of restoring capitalism.

      As should be obvious even from what I have only been able to touch on here, this is a very complex history (and, again, for a fuller discussion of this, I refer people to the special issue I have mentioned), but there is no doubt that an honest, scientific evaluation of this experience in the Soviet Union, when it was socialist, leads to the conclusion that, even with serious mistakes that were made—and even as it is necessary, and possible, to do even better in communist revolution, going forward—there was definitely much that was positive in the “lived experience” of this first socialist state that is “worth striving for now.”

      And that is all the more true—and true in a far greater dimension—with the experience of socialist China, during its all-too-short existence, from 1949 to 1976. It is striking that this question, of what there is “worth striving for now” in the “lived experience” of revolutionary communism, would be raised by someone (a veteran of SDS) who lived through the period of tremendous revolutionary upsurge in the world, during the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, in which the revolutionary experience in China was the most outstanding and inspiring example. Have you, who raised this “question,” forgotten (or did you somehow fail to notice at the time) the tremendously liberating transformations that were carried out, in just a few decades, in socialist China, reaching its high point in the Cultural Revolution there?

      Are you not aware of the way that the Chinese revolution, and the socialist transformations it brought about, freed hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants from unspeakably bitter feudal exploitation and deprivation, including situations where families were forced to sell their own children, especially girls, in a desperate attempt to survive?

      Did you not become aware of how terrible diseases, and massive opium addiction, were ended, through campaigns that involved masses of people in consciously struggling to overcome these scourges in a way that would contribute to the revolutionary transformation of society as a whole?

      Did you somehow miss, or ignore, the fact that these liberating transformations particularly freed women from centuries, even millennia, of terrible oppression, including the degradation of prostitution, which was eliminated as a significant social phenomenon in socialist China (but which has reappeared as a major social phenomenon since capitalism has been restored in China)?

      Did you not learn that life expectancy was doubled in China during the socialist period (from an average of 32 years to 65) and that the infant mortality rate in the major city of Shanghai was lower then than it was in New York City?

      Have you forgotten (or did you somehow miss) the revolutionary culture that was brought forward through the Cultural Revolution in China, including the revolutionary ballets in which women, for the first time in history, played a leading role in productions of high artistic value and inspiring revolutionary content?

      Have you forgotten (or did you somehow miss) the radical transformations in the economy of socialist China, particularly through the Cultural Revolution, where remaining aspects of capitalist management and exploitation were abolished, and replaced with the new forms of emancipating socialist relations—as concentrated in the slogan and approach “grasp revolution, promote production,” which directed the development of a planned socialist economy, geared to meeting the needs of the masses of people, and supporting the world revolution, instead of being based on alienating labor, under cruelly exploited conditions, in the service of the relentless profit drive of competing capitalists?

      Did you somehow miss the fact that the Cultural Revolution in China involved the greatest flowering of truly mass democracy in human history? This literally involved hundreds of millions of people, with huge numbers of youth especially, but others as well, producing “big character posters” and other forms of mass expression that criticized officials and policies of the government that were promoting capitalist exploitation and oppressive social relations. This was a process of mass debate and ideological struggle over questions regarding revolutionary transformation, in China and in the world overall. And the revolutionary leadership, headed by Mao, gave backing to this mass outpouring. Yes, this involved some excesses. When has there ever been a truly massive revolutionary upsurge that did not contain some excesses? But these excesses have been greatly exaggerated (and other “excesses” invented) by the mouthpieces of the imperialists and others who hated and opposed this revolutionary upsurge. And the fact is that Mao criticized and provided concrete guidance to oppose these excesses and to direct the struggle toward its main objectives: to carry out further revolutionary transformations in the economy, the political structures, the social relations and the ideology and culture, and to defeat moves, by people in positions of authority, to restore capitalism.

      Apparently you are aware of the aid that China gave to the Vietnamese people in their war of liberation against U.S. imperialism—although you slander this as an act of imperialism, instead of an inspiring, self-sacrificing act of revolutionary internationalism.

      I could go on further—but the point should be clear.

      Yes, once again, mistakes were made, and there were shortcomings in the orientation and method, as well as the practical actions, of the leadership; but there is no question that an objective, scientific analysis leads to the conclusion that this “lived experience” was definitely, and overwhelmingly, very positive, historically so. And the point is that, in approaching this with a scientific orientation and method, it has been possible to draw crucial lessons from this overwhelmingly positive experience, but also its negative aspect, and this has resulted in a new synthesis of communism (popularly referred to as the new communism) which enables the struggle for the emancipation of humanity to proceed on an even stronger foundation and to have the basis to do even better in striving for the goal of communism in order to bring about that emancipation.

      The Politics of the “Possible” IS the Politics of Monstrosity

      Finally, it is important to respond to the following, from one of the disagreements provoked by my article:

      Truth be told I hate the fucking Democratic Party but it’s the only usable electoral formation that exists in the US for serious national politics from my pragmatic social democratic perspective. And while certainly not my sole organizing focus, electoral politics in the existing terrain is critical, especially for those most vulnerable and not engaged in intellectual debates over theories. Anything from the left more grandiose and disconnected from actually existing contests for power among broad, complicated coalitions suggests a primacy of doctrinal religious faith that I react to with the same indifference I have to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      The only part of this statement that can be united with, by anyone seriously seeking a more just society and world, is the sentiment expressed at the beginning: “Truth be told I hate the fucking Democratic Party.”

      As has also been amply demonstrated in extensive material at revcom.us, the Democratic Party—as one of the two ruling parties of the U.S. capitalist imperialists—is, and always has been, an instrument of repeated, massive and monstrous war crimes and crimes against humanity, right down to today. Especially for someone who declares that they actually hate the Democratic Party—and in this case it can only be assumed that this has to do with its role in enacting and enforcing injustices of many kinds—to then insist that the Democratic Party is, somehow, the only practical vehicle for supposed positive change, requires deliberately ignoring the actual role of the Democratic Party and the terrible crimes of which it has been repeatedly guilty. More fundamentally, it is to lower one’s sights and narrow one’s vision to the truly horrific terms of this system, and to insist that political activity remain within the confines of this system—all in the name of “realism.” This is a perfect illustration of my statement that the politics of the “possible” is the politics of monstrosity. And it also underlines the truth of my “companion” statement that if you try to make the Democratic Party be what it is not, and never will be, you yourself will end up being what the Democratic Party actually is. And it has to be said that, particularly for anyone who knows at least some of the truth about the crimes committed by the Democratic Party in presiding over this system of capitalism-imperialism, to then insist that it is necessary to work with and through the Democratic Party to effect some kind of supposedly meaningful change—this is to become complicit with the truly monstrous crimes of this system.

      I can certainly identify with the spirit of the following criticism of much of the so-called “left”—and this should be applied to the “woke phenomenon” as well:

      Lived in the Bay Area for over 50 years and have come to hate its pretentious “progressive” bullshit. The high pro “left” mostly has a base in the foundation world-liberal wing of the ruling class. Keeps the org’s and a certain brand of “leadership” going no matter how incompetent.

      But the answer to such phony “left” and “woke” bullshit is not to fall into another variation of what Lenin very aptly described as “the striving to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie,” in particular its “liberal” wing, as represented by the Democratic Party.

      And, as for the declaration that everything that is “disconnected from actually existing contests for power” within this system is somehow irrelevant—that statement is not only another expression of the reality that the politics of the “possible” is the politics of monstrosity, it is a graphic expression of the utter bankruptcy of this supposed “realistic” approach to politics.

      Remember that this declaration is being made now, in the situation where this system of capitalism-imperialism, and the rivalry between imperialist powers, is not only causing tremendous suffering for the masses of humanity but is definitely, and increasingly, posing an existential threat to humanity, through its accelerating destruction of the environment and the heightening danger of war between the imperialists of Russia and those of the U.S./NATO bloc. Here, in opposition to the snide assertion that any politics that does not rely ultimately and fundamentally on the Democratic Party (and the system it serves) is as disconnected from reality as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the truth is that it is profoundly unrealistic, and definitely disconnected from reality, to think that working within this system can somehow lead to its becoming a force for good in the world, a force that will act in the interests of the masses of people, not only in this country but in the vast world outside this country, including the billions of people in the Third World (Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East) who are ruthlessly exploited and plundered by this self-proclaimed “champion of democracy” but actually parasitic imperialist USA.

      What, after all, is the approach now of the Democratic Party, headed by Biden? It is to put overwhelming emphasis on crippling the rival Russian imperialism, and strengthening the “western” imperialist alliance, through war, fought at least for now as a “proxy” war that, yes, is reducing the people of Ukraine to “pawns” and “cannon fodder” and which is increasingly posing the danger of escalating into a direct war between the U.S./NATO and Russia, with the terrible consequences of that.

      And, in spite of congressional hearings regarding the coup attempt by Trump/the Republicans in relation to the last presidential election, the Democrats—and in particular Biden and the leadership of the Democratic Party—are not only failing but in effect refusing to seriously oppose the escalating fascist moves by the Republican Party. Apparently Biden’s “strategy” ( if he has one) for opposing this fascism and “overcoming the divisions in the country” is to rally people behind his imperialist aims with the war in Ukraine—something which, unfortunately, has had all too much success, so far at least. And, while for the most part the politicians of the fascist Republican Party are perfectly happy to support U.S. imperialist aims in the war in Ukraine, this has by no means been accompanied by a lessening of their aggressive fascist offensive—which, on the contrary, is being repeatedly intensified and accelerated, in many dimensions.

      If people, like the former SDS members voicing these disagreements with what I have analyzed about the war in Ukraine, want to wage a fight against a very real, and continually intensifying, threat of fascism, they need look no further than their own country. And if they really want to bring about a more just society and world, they need to dig deeper, down to the fundamental nature of this system of capitalism-imperialism and the terrible present, and even more horrendous future, it involves and portends for humanity—and become part of what is, yes, the very difficult but urgently necessary, and possible, revolutionary struggle, against all imperialism, with a special emphasis on opposing “their own” imperialist ruling class, and with the fundamental goal of finally ridding humanity as a whole of this system, and bringing something much better into being: a socialist system, aiming for the ultimate goal of a communist world, free from all exploitation and oppression, all wars and other antagonistic conflicts among people.

      In this regard, I am compelled to strongly disagree with the following, which is contained in one of the arguments stimulated by the article of mine in question:

      Chairman Bob and I were both in high school at the time and I dare say neither one of us has come up with a more coherent or usable political strategy than [Martin Luther] King’s. I have no problem admitting it—distasteful as associating with the establishment Dems tends to be.

      Let me make very clear that I am acutely aware of the great, truly daunting challenges that must be confronted if one is serious about bringing about change that would really address the profound injustices and very real dangers in the world as it is today (and as it is threatening to become). And I definitely share the frustrations that anyone sincerely seeking to bring about a more just world cannot help but feel at the seemingly intractable obstacles that one encounters in working to bring this about—including, it must be said, resistance from among those who definitely, and many who desperately, need this radical change. It is precisely for these reasons that I have continued to apply myself to forging, and leading a collective effort to continue developing and applying precisely an approach that can confront the very real problems and actually overcome the extremely powerful forces arrayed in opposition to the urgently needed, and emancipating, radical change.

      And the truth is that, through this process and as a result of determined work spanning many decades (if not quite as far back as high school!), I have developed a strategic orientation and approach not for appealing to, and seeking to win reformist concessions from, ruling class politicians (as Martin Luther King did in relation to the then president Lyndon Johnson) which can at most temporarily alleviate some of the atrocities of this system but can never put an end to, and uproot the basis for, them. Instead, I have developed the approach that is really necessary to abolish all this: a strategy for how to make an actual revolution—yes, up against the powerful ruling class of this system—as well as a framework, and concrete guidelines, for a radically new, emancipating socialist system, on the road to a communist world.

      This strategy is spoken to in a number of speeches and writings of mine, most recently and extensively in “Something Terrible, Or Something Truly Emancipating.”6 (This work was written before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it contains essential analysis and strategic direction in terms of actually making revolution in this powerful country, and the basic principles and methods it speaks to are definitely applicable to the current situation, following this Russian invasion and the events that have unfolded in relation to it.) And a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically new and emancipating society is contained in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.7

      It is this revolutionary approach that, with all the very real and profound challenges, represents the only “realistic” alternative to the truly terrible present and the potentially disastrous future that will be the fate of humanity, so long as it is confined and enchained within the realities and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism. It is this truly emancipating revolutionary “alternative” that needs to be seriously engaged by anyone who really cares about the state and the fate of humanity—and it needs to be actively taken up by all those who can recognize that it represents the only real, and “realistic,” possibility of bringing something fundamentally different and much better into being.

       

       

       

      Bob Avakian

       

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

      Learn more about Bob Avakian and the new communism
    • ARTICLE:

      From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

      New Year 2023
      LAPD Slaughters Takar Smith, Oscar Leon Sanchez, and Keenan Anderson

      We Can No Longer Allow This System’s Enforcers to Murder Our People!

      The Whole System Has to Go!

      We Are Preparing NOW for an Actual Revolution—and There Is a Way for YOU to Be Part of This

      Days into the new year and LAPD has killed again and again and again. Shooting, tasing, taking the lives of Black and Latino men without pause, shattering the lives of children and loved ones. Takar Smith, a father of six, was having an episode and his wife went to the police asking for help. She told them, “Please don’t kill my husband. He’s not in his right mind.” What kind of way is it for people to have to live when you know, if you are Black, that the police are likely to kill your husband if you call for help? And then, like clockwork, they DO. As if a Black man having a mental breakdown is a “freebee” for them.

      The next day in South Central, LAPD killed Oscar Leon Sanchez. He was 35 years old and having a major depressive episode. He supposedly had a sharp object and “stepped toward” the police, and they shot him. On the same day in Venice, 31-year-old teacher Keenan Anderson, who was clearly unwell, was forced to the ground and tased over and over again. He died of cardiac arrest.

      This is completely unnecessary! We do NOT have to live this way.

      This system has to be overthrown as soon as possible through a real revolution. These pigs enforce a system with white supremacy and male supremacy built into it. It’s a system that uses people to build its wealth and then throws them away, and it does this to people all over the world, destroying the environment and causing endless wars.

      No amount of voting in different people can change this, we need revolution.

      We could replace this system with a radically different and better one that uproots oppression instead of making it worse. The revolutionary leader Bob Avakian shows how in that new system, a people’s police force would be made up of people who would risk their own lives to protect the people, ESPECIALLY those having mental breakdowns, caring for them instead of treating them like garbage.

      Right now, this society is being ripped apart from top to bottom. As dangerous as that is, it actually makes revolution more possible. We have the leadership we need to make this revolution in Bob Avakian (BA) and the strategy and the scientific method he’s developed, the new communism. We’ve never had a leader like BA and you need to know him (watch the Interviews with him at TheRevcoms on YouTube).

      We are moving now to make this revolution, and you need to be part of it.

      Bob Avakian says,

      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.

      Anyone who doesn't want the murder and cruelty of this system to continue and wants to get this whole damn system off our backs and off the backs of the people of the world needs to sign up with the Revolution Club and start stepping out with this. We are in a time where these kinds of murder and cruelty will continue to get worse and more frequent, or we will make revolution.

      This moment and time cannot be wasted. Get with this Revolution!

      —Los Angeles Revolution Club

      (323) 671-9839
      revclub_la@yahoo.com
      IG/Twitter: @Revclub_LA
      TikTok: @RevolutionClubLA

       

      Watch The Bob Avakian Interviews—Up Close and Personal With Bob Avakian: Heart and Soul & Hard-Core For Revolution on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show at YouTube.com/TheRevcoms

      And watch The RNL Show every Thursday, 5 pm PT, 7 pm CT, 8 pm ET

    • ARTICLE:

      RACIAL OPPRESSION
      CAN BE ENDED—
      BUT NOT UNDER THIS SYSTEM

      Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, we revcoms boldly put forward: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

      This is not just a slogan—though it is a very good and very important slogan. It is the concentrated statement of a very profound truth, which is also captured in our slogan: This System Cannot Be Reformed—It Must Be Overthrown!

      But what do we mean in saying that this system cannot be reformed, and why is that true? In Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, I speak to the “5 STOPS”—deep and defining contradictions of this system—and all the terrible suffering to which this system of capitalism-imperialism subjects the masses of humanity, and why all this cannot be ended under this system.1 Here I am going to focus on the systematic and murderous oppression of Black people, and racial oppression overall—which has been sharply exposed with the outpouring of outrage sparked by the murder of George Floyd—and discuss the basic reasons why this oppression cannot be eliminated under this system, but can (only) be ended through revolution.

      The continuing terror and murder carried out by the police particularly against Black people (as well as Latinos and Native Americans) is not fundamentally because the police are racist—although, speaking of the police overall, that is certainly true. The fact that the police are racist is itself an expression and a function of the fact that terror and murder against Black people (and other people of color) is required by this system—is necessary in order to maintain the “order” of this all-around oppressive system—and this would be much more difficult to carry out if the police were not racist.

      The Fundamental Causes of This Oppression

      But, going deeper, why is this terror and murder necessary for this system, in order to ensure its “order” and its ongoing functioning? The answer is that, from the beginning of this country, white supremacy has been poured into the foundation and built into the institutions and the ongoing functioning of this system. Specifically with regard to Black people, the centuries of oppression they have suffered—from slavery days to the days of Jim Crow segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror, to the present time, with the continuing systematic discrimination against Black people, in every part of society (employment, housing, education, health care, and on and on)—all this has resulted in a situation where masses of Black people today, and in particular youth, have been robbed of a means for a decent life, with many maintained in conditions of desperate poverty and deprivation. This, again, is not simply because those who are in the seats of power and deciding government policy are racist (though that is true of most of them). It is fundamentally because of the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

      Now, that is a big mouthful (“the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism”), so let’s break it down. This country was founded on the enslavement of masses of African people, as well as the genocidal subjugation of Native Americans and theft of their land (and its further development involved the conquest of huge parts of Mexico, reducing people of Mexican origin to second-class status as well). This required the propagation of racism to “justify” all the horrific oppression. Then, when the Civil War broke out over the question of slavery, and even when slavery was abolished as a result of that Civil War, given that white supremacy had been, and remained, such a crucial part of the “glue” holding the country together, the only way to “put it back together,” on the foundation of the capitalist system, was to once again forcefully assert white supremacy. That is why, very soon after the end of the Civil War, Black people were subjected to the system of Jim Crow segregation (backed up by systematic terror, punctuated by repeated lynchings), while the genocidal aggression against and theft of the land of Native Americans was stepped up, and immigrants from Mexico were subjected to ongoing discrimination and violence by the enforcers of this system.

      Generations later, during World War 2, because of the needs of the rulers of this country in waging that war, large numbers of Black people were able to migrate to the North and get jobs in industries that served the war effort. And then, largely as a result of the fact that the U.S. was on the winning side of that war—and the fact that the war was not fought on its territory and it experienced no damage to its industrial facilities and infrastructure—there was an expansion of the economy in this country after the war. In this situation, significant numbers of Black people were able to continue getting employment in large numbers, including some better-paying jobs in factories (making steel, cars, and so on).

      But, at the same time, because of the white supremacy built into the system over centuries—and the fact that really moving to overcome this would tear apart the fabric of the system and crack its very foundation—Black people continued to be subjected to systematic discrimination, including in employment (with “last hired and first fired” an accurate description of the situation of Black people with regard to employment). To cite another ugly example, government policy with regard to housing involved conscious, deliberate discrimination: after World War 2, loans were given to white people to enable them to buy their own homes, and increasingly move to the suburbs, while this was denied to Black veterans (and others) and instead Black people were piled into segregated housing projects in the inner cities. And this was part of the continuing systematic segregation and discrimination to which Black people were subjected.

      As a result of the Civil Rights movement and then the more radical Black liberation movement in the 1960s, some concessions were made, and there has been an increase in the number of “Black faces in high places” and a growth of the Black middle class, although their situation is far more precarious than that of white middle class people (something which was cruelly demonstrated in the 2008 crisis, which resulted in large numbers of Black people losing their homes and much, if not all, of any savings they had). And, in more recent times, huge numbers of factories and other sources of jobs for people in the inner city have closed down, often moving their operations elsewhere—particularly to countries in the Third World (Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) where the desperate situation of masses of people, including children, has left them vulnerable to being super-exploited, at near-starvation wages.

      All this, together with increased automation and “cybernation” of production, when combined with the ongoing segregation and discrimination built into this system, has led to a situation where huge numbers of Black people, and especially youth, have, for generations now, not only been unemployed but are left with no prospect of meaningful employment in the regular (“formal”) economy.

      The “Toxic Combination” of Capitalism and Racism

      Here we see the “toxic combination” of systematic, historically-evolved segregation and discrimination, enforced with brutal violence by the powers-that-be, together with the basic functioning and requirements of the capitalist economy—which involves the greater and greater concentration not just of wealth, but of the means of production (technology, factories and other physical structures, sources of raw materials, and so on) in the possession and under the control of large-scale capitalist enterprises and financial institutions, which are locked in cut-throat competition with each other, not just within a particular country but increasingly on a global scale, and are therefore driven to ruthlessly exploit people and constantly search for ways to even more viciously super-exploit large numbers of desperate people, including children, in a worldwide network of sweatshops. (For example, cell phones and computers depend on the mineral coltan which is mined under horrific conditions by people, including large numbers of children, in the Congo in Africa; and a large part of the clothes that are bought in the U.S. are produced by huge numbers of women working in horrific conditions in the Asian country of Bangladesh.)

      In this situation, and especially with the growth of the international drug trade, and its deep penetration into the U.S., many of those, in particular youth, who found themselves locked out of the “formal economy,” have turned to drug-dealing, as well as other criminal activity—something which has been encouraged by government policy that has actually resulted in the movement of large amounts of drugs into the inner city, even as the authorities seize on this situation to carry out systematic repression against the youth in particular, with such things as “stop and frisk.” The result of all this has been a huge increase in mass incarceration, as well as the continual murder of large numbers of “minority” youth by police.

      At the same time, the way that the U.S. has continued to dominate Mexico, as well as other parts of Latin America, and to distort the economies, corrupt the governments and bring ruin to the social relations among the people in those countries—all this has resulted in large numbers of people being forced to flee those countries and migrate to the U.S., where they are vulnerable to being viciously exploited in factories and farmlands, and other parts of the economy of this country. And large numbers of the younger generations of these immigrants have also formed (or joined existing) gangs and become involved in the drug trade and related crime.

      More recently, however, in at least many of the inner-city neighborhoods, for a number of reasons—including the fact that the “crack epidemic” had taken a terrible toll on people—there has been a decrease in the trade in cocaine and the high profits this brought for the relatively small number of “higher-ups” in the drug trade hierarchy. For a period, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, given their desolation and desperation, the drug trade was a “major employer” of youth in the inner cities, female as well as male, and a major source of at least a basic income for many (even if the promise of “getting rich” remained an illusion for most). Now, even this source of employment and income—as perverse and harmful as it is—has dried up or greatly diminished for many. This has further added to the miserable situation of massive numbers of inner-city youth in particular who have no future—under this system—no future but prison, an early death or a life of desperate hustling, in one form or another, in the attempt to survive and care for loved ones.

      All this cannot be changed—cannot be transformed and overcome—within the confines of this system. Despite what any politician (“liberal” or outright fascist like Trump) may say, there is no way that this system could “reverse itself,” bring large parts of industry back to the inner city and provide meaningful employment, with “a living wage” for all those it is now depriving of this. Even if the government had the “political will” to try to do this, doing so (with the employment of millions of formerly unemployed or “underemployed” people at a “living wage”) would seriously undermine the competitive positions of American capitalists in the global economy. And, if they attempted to do this while at the same time trying to seriously overcome the whole historically-evolved relations of white supremacy, this would completely disrupt the social “cohesion” that “holds this country together,” with white supremacy a crucial part of this.

      It is one thing for “good-hearted people”—and in particular many white people—to say (and sincerely mean) that it is wrong for the police to just wantonly, cruelly murder people, and to mobilize in protest against this. But imagine what would happen if, under this system and with the way its economy functions, the government tried to adopt policies that would deal with the long-term unemployment of Black people in the inner cities, who have not only been denied jobs but also the training for the jobs that do exist—imagine what the reaction would be of many white people who would in fact lose their better-off positions as a result of these policies. Imagine what would happen if these kinds of policies were applied not just to employment, but to education, and on down the line. (We have already seen the “backlash” that was fostered in response to even minimal efforts to implement “affirmative action” programs in employment and education.)

      Again, this is not simply a matter that “white people are racist.” Many are racist, although many do not want to be. But the deeper problem is that given the basic way the capitalist economy works, and how everyone is encouraged to be “out for yourself”—and, more fundamentally, the fact that people are actually driven and compelled to compete with each other in every significant part of life, including employment and education—it would actually create destructive chaos and conflict among the people, and tear apart the “cohesion” of the society, to try to really and fully undo and overcome the reality and effects of centuries of racist oppression—under this system.

      This most definitely and emphatically is NOT an argument for holding back from struggling against every form of discrimination, inequality and oppression in every part of society. Fighting back against oppression, and wrenching concessions from the powers-that-be, is very important—in enabling masses of people to feel their own strength in standing up and standing together in opposing oppression, and drawing people from all parts of society to join in this struggle—rather than feeling isolated, beaten down and hopeless. And it is important in contributing to the ability of masses of people to gain the understanding and build up the organization necessary for the final all-out struggle to bring down the whole oppressive system. But that is just the point—as important as these mass struggles are, if they are not built toward, and do not finally get to the point of, taking on the whole system, with the aim of bringing it down, and bringing something much better into being, then, as I have emphasized before, even where concessions are won, “so long as this system remains in power, there will be powerful forces who will move to attack and undermine, and seek to reverse, even these partial gains,” and people will remain oppressed and once more weighed down with a feeling of demoralization, as they are once again divided and pitted against each other.2

      The basic and crucial point is that the fight against racial oppression (and all oppression) must not remain confined within the limits of this system, and instead must be carried out and carried forward as part of the overall struggle toward the goal of abolishing this system. The fact that this oppression cannot be abolished under this system is not a reason for giving up in despair—it is a compelling reason why this system must be and can be abolishedand it is the fundamental basis for why people can be won to wage the revolutionary struggle to finally bring it down!

      All this is why there will not be any real and meaningful move by the powers-that-be (and any of its politicians and political parties) to overcome the centuries-long experience and legacy of brutal racist oppression and the situation it has led to today, where millions and millions of Black youth and other youth of color have no prospect of a decent future—under this system.

      As I have pointed out before: “So what does this system do with youth that have no future and no prospects? It contains them.... contains them violently.”3

      And all this is why there is systemic and systematic police terror directed at Black people and other people of color. It is why this is brought down not only on the youth (and others) in the inner cities, but why it can and does lead to harassment, brutality and murder of any Black person, anywhere, even those with more education and status in society. If the system needs the police to “violently contain” the masses of people in the inner cities—and it does—then this is bound to “spill over” and be applied to Black people, and other people of color, more generally. The police have neither the interests, nor the ability, nor the will to make distinctions between “good” ....... (fill in the blank as to what racist terms they use) and “bad” ones. And, beyond that, the “random” nature of the brutality and murder makes it all the more effective in terrorizing people—making everyone, even the “better off,” feel, correctly, that they could be a target of this.

      There IS a Solution: Revolution and a Radically New and Different World

      It is for all these reasons that racist oppression will continue so long as people are living under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism. It is not only right but crucially important to rise up and wage a determined fight against this, but it is also crucial to recognize that this racist oppression will never be, can never be, eliminated under this system—and, to finally put an end to it, we need a radically different system.

      We need a radically different economic system—a socialist economic system (mode of production) that is geared to and proceeds by developing and utilizing the means of production collectively, to meet the needs of the masses of people, materially (for employment, food, housing, health care, and so on) as well as their needs intellectually and culturally, and to provide them with the means not only to live a life worthy of human beings, but also to scientifically understand the basis and need, and to more and more consciously take part in, carrying forward the transformation of society to finally and completely eliminate all relations of oppression and exploitation, and to support that struggle throughout the world. And, as one of its highest priorities and goals, this will involve the determined struggle to overcome and finally eliminate racial oppression in every aspect of society.

      The radically different socialist economy (mode of production) will provide the foundation on which the ongoing process of uprooting racial oppression, and all oppression, can be waged on favorable ground, and can finally succeed in overcoming all this. The following from my work Breakthroughs speaks to this key relation and process:

      Ultimately, the mode of production sets the foundation and the limits of change, in terms of how you address any social problem, such as the oppression of women, or the oppression of Black people or Latinos, or the contradiction between mental work and manual work, or the situation with the environment, or the situation of immigrants, and so on. While all those things have reality and dynamics in their own right, and aren’t reducible to the economic system, they all take place within the framework and within the fundamental dynamics of that economic system; and that economic system, that mode of production, sets the foundation and the ultimate limits of change in regard to all those social questions. So, if you want to get rid of all these different forms of oppression, you have to address them in their own right, but you also have to fundamentally change the economic system to give you the ability to be able to carry through those changes in fundamental terms. To put it another way: You have to have an economic system that doesn’t prevent you from making those changes, and instead not only allows but provides a favorable foundation for making those changes.4

      The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America provides a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for such a radically different economic system, and for government institutions, laws and a legal system, as well as an approach to education, science, art and culture that go along with this mode of production and contribute to its continual development, opening the way to finally eliminating all oppression and exploitation.5 And in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (as well as other works of mine) the basic strategy is spelled out for carrying out the revolution that will make it possible to apply this Constitution in working to bring about a world free of all the unnecessary suffering and madness to which the masses of humanity are subjected under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

      This is why, and this is how, racial oppression, and all the oppression, which is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, can be ended—but only through a revolution to abolish this system.

      This is why we continue to emphasize this basic truth: we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!

      This is why we continue to boldly raise the slogan: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

       

      1. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) is available at revcom.us. [back]

      2. The statement quoted in this part of this article is from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

      3. Bob Avakian On Police Brutality And Murder: Consent Decrees Won’t Stop This—We Need A Revolution! This excerpt from a Question and Answer Session with Bob Avakian, after his presentation in 2018 in Chicago of the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

      4. This statement is contained in Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, by Bob Avakian, which is available at revcom.us. It originally appeared in the book by Bob Avakian, The New Communism: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, 2016. Italics in the original. [back]

      5. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

      Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy cover

       

      The New Communism

       

      Read THE NEW COMMUNISM

      The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation

      by Bob Avakian

      Download PDF of book

    • ARTICLE:

      ABOLITION—REAL AND ILLUSORY

      Today, there are people who call themselves “abolitionists.” In addition to the abolition of literal slavery remaining in the world today, for some “abolition” means the ending not only of the racial discrimination that exists throughout the law and the application of the law in this country, and the mass incarceration that is bound up with this, but the ending of a society that requires and institutionalizes these outrages. But what these abolitionists do not say—and what is critically important to recognize, and act on—is the truth that it will require the revolutionary overthrow of this system of capitalism-imperialism and its replacement by a socialist system, aiming for the final goal of communism, in order to bring about a society, and world, that will actually do away with and move beyond racial oppression, in every form, as well as all other relations of oppression and exploitation.

      An article on revcom.us states this very basic and crucial truth:

      You cannot bring a radically different and emancipating society into being, moving to abolish all oppression and exploitation, without breaking the capitalists’ violent hold over society (the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie) and establishing a radically different socialist form of rule (the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat). And only with this socialist system can you give the most powerful support to the revolutionary struggle throughout the world.1

      Without this, there is simply no way to abolish the systematic discrimination, brutality and outright murder by police, and no way to do away with the mass incarceration and what amounts to torture in prison of millions of especially Black and Latino men (and growing numbers of women). To speak bluntly: Regardless of their intent, those who talk of “abolition,” without talking about the need for this revolution, are “the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit” (to invoke an important formulation from Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917, who made crucially important contributions to communist theory).

      In a previous article (“Police and Prisons: Reformist Illusions and the Revolutionary Solution”), I have made a scientific analysis of why the idea of abolishing (or “defunding”) the police and abolishing prisons under this system is a serious and harmful illusion.2 And, as a matter of fact, as spoken to in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored, even in the fundamentally different and emancipating society for which this Constitution provides a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint, there will still be a need for security forces and prisons, although these institutions will be radically different and serve radically different purposes than institutions of this kind (police and prisons) under this system of capitalism-imperialism.3

      And here the question is sharply posed: If you really want to abolish prisons and police that embody and enforce terrible, murderous injustice—if you really want to abolish systematic, systemic and institutionalized white supremacy—why not dedicate your efforts to abolishing this whole system that requires all this, and replacing it with a system that does not?

      Why not become actively involved in the movement, led by the new communism, to prepare for and then carry out an actual revolution to overthrow this system, and bring something much better into being, aiming for the abolition of all exploitation and oppression, everywhere, as set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America?

      That is an abolition really worth dedicating your life to.

      _______________

      FOOTNOTES:

      1. “Questions That Come Up... And Answers: On Revolution And The Need For The Scientific Leadership Of Bob Avakian. On Dictatorship, The Need For Revolution, And What Comes Next.” This article is available at revcom.us (emphasis in the original). [back]

      2. This article by Bob Avakian (“Police and Prisons: Reformist Illusions and the Revolutionary Solution”) is part of a collection of articles, Bob Avakian: Writings in 2020—A Momentous Year, which is available at revcom.us. [back]

      3. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

    • ARTICLE:

      Florida Republi-Fascist Governor DeSantis Bans High School Black History Course: An Assault on Teaching Truths About This Country

      Desantis with KKK hood

       

      There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

      BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian (1:1)

      That “simple and basic truth” is critical to understanding the essential nature and present-day reality of this country. But in the U.S. today, the right of students to learn about slavery, white supremacy, and other essential truths about the history of this country is under ferocious nationwide assault by the Republi-fascists. The latest such attack is a ban on a high school Advanced Placement (AP) course in Black history by Florida Governor DeSantis.

      The course was prepared by the College Board. The College Board is not some radical institution but the group that runs the SAT tests for high school students applying to college. It develops materials to help prepare students for that test and other college admission requirements. The AP course on Black history was tested in 60 schools in the fall of 2022 and will be offered nationwide starting in the 2024-25 school year. It is described by the Board as a multidisciplinary study of the African American diaspora that includes literature, the arts, science, politics and geography.

      DeSantis’s Department of Education banned the course on the basis that “the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” The assertion that this course, which introduces students of all races and nationalities to major events, thinkers, and experiences of Black people in America, “lacks educational value” exhibits and promotes obscene, dehumanizing contempt for Black people.

      While no specific law is cited in the ban, Florida’s so-called Stop WOKE (Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees) Act that went into effect last year prohibits any instruction that could make someone feel “personal responsibility” for historic wrongdoings because of their race, sex or national origin. DeSantis had declared that the Stop WOKE Act was “taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory.”

      In fact, “state-sanctioned racism”—white supremacy—is being enforced through this law and the ban on the AP Black history course.

      Racism- White Kids Need to Learn About It - Bob Avakian

       

      DeSantis, like other Republi-fascists, has targeted “critical race theory” (CRT), a framework originally developed in law schools for explaining the persistence of racial inequality even when the laws appear to be equal. As the Revolution series5 in fall 2021 on the fascist, white-supremacist suppression of teaching of historical truths in schools pointed out, “Most of these Republican fascists don’t know anything about CRT, but they are using it as a catch-all buzzword to incite and inflame white resentment, and suppress any discussion about systemic racism against Black people and other people of color. In fact, they flip things completely upside down and claim that simply acknowledging the history and reality of anti-Black racism is divisive and racist against white people!”

      In response to the ban by DeSantis, a former Florida high school teacher tweeted, “I taught African-American History for three years in FL to mostly white students. No theory, no CRT, just simple historical facts. Got the same reaction from every class - 'Wow, we didn't learn any of that stuff in US History.’”

      As the Revolution series noted (we urge readers to check out the whole series), the Republi-fascists

      aim to force teachers to teach a false version of American history—where the foundational role of slavery and genocide is erased, or whitewashed and justified once again, and the big lie of American “greatness” is shoved down everyone’s throat. And this time the erasure and whitewash has the force of law and the power of the state behind it.

      And

      Republican fascist politicians and media like Fox News have whipped their “base” into a frenzy to stop schools from teaching “critical race theory”—a catch-all buzzword for any discussion of the actual history and reality of systemic racism against Black people and other people of color—which they claim is “divisive” and racist against white people. Twenty-eight states have proposed, and seven have already passed, dangerous anti-critical race theory (CRT) laws to control what can and can’t be taught about U.S. history and racism. White supremacist mobs are swarming school board meetings trying to oust school board members and get teachers fired. Educators have been driven out, and students censored. All this is already having a chilling effect and is likely to intensify when school starts in the fall and these laws go into effect.

      Since that series was published, the fascist assault on truth in education has escalated. The UCLA School of Law CRT Forward Tracking Project reported last August that nearly 500 measures to ban the teaching of CRT in schools have been proposed, passed or adopted in 49 states.6

      revcom oembed URL

      The attacks on the teaching of Black history come at a time when U.S. society is being ripped apart from top to bottom, with white supremacy as a critical faultline. This is a time when two futures confront humanity, as Bob Avakian (BA) has analyzed in 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.

      If you want a glimpse of part of what the terrible future could mean, look squarely at the massive assault on the teaching of one of the most defining truths about the history and present-day reality of this country built on genocide and slavery.

      But as also pointed out in BA’s work, this heightened time of crisis can be a time of possibility for the emergence, growth and eventual contestation for power by a movement for revolution—depending on what the revolutionaries do today. And one thing revolutionaries must do in this period is defending those courageous students and teachers who defy the book banners and bullies in places like Florida, Texas, and everywhere else these fascists show their fangs, as part of bringing people forward to revolution.

      Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—but Not Under This System - Bob Avakian

       

      _______________

      FOOTNOTES:

      1. “The Fight Against the White Supremacist Whitewash and Fascist Suppression of Historical Truth,” by Rafael Kadaris. Part 1: Mandatory Lies and “Patriotic” Brainwashing; Part 2: What is driving the Republican fascist assault on education?; Part 3: What IS “Critical Race Theory"? What does it get right, and where does it fall short? [back]

      2. “UCLA Law project catalogs hundreds of anti-critical race theory measures,” Reuters, August 3, 2022 [back]

    • ARTICLE:

      An Editorial Comment on “Florida Republi-Fascist Governor DeSantis Bans High School Black History Course: An Assault on Teaching Truths About This Country”

      Three Critical Points on the Florida Suppression

      Desantis with KKK hood

       

      1. Most of the books being banned as “radical” bring to light very important historical truths and significant ideas as to the history and cause of white supremacy in the U.S. While these do not, in the main, get at the root cause of the horrors of this aspect of America’s criminal history nor do they point to the real solution—revolution… and while in some cases they promote things that lead away from that, that is not why these books and articles are being banned. They are being banned precisely because they DO expose people to things they never knew before about the ugly foundation of this country and how that foundation persists today, in different form. Revolutionaries who dive into this struggle should both oppose these attacks and should bring forward the full understanding the roots of the problem and the solution—captured in such works by Bob Avakian as Communism And Jeffersonian Democracy and articles such as “Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System.

      Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—but Not Under This System - Bob Avakian

       

      2. As the article points out, this crap from DeSantis is nothing less than a fascist rule mandating that certain facts critical of this country and its system and in particular the white supremacy that has been at the core of its history all the way through may NOT be taught, discussed, assigned, etc. in schools. It is blatant suppression of the most important particular core truth of American “civilization”—its roots in white supremacy and the hundreds of years of suffering and horror this has caused. If you took the logic of DeSantis and his fellow book banners in Texas and elsewhere to its logical conclusion, then the German education system should not allow students to study and discuss the facts and roots of the Holocaust in German and European history and try to figure out how to prevent that from ever happening again.   

      3. Contrast this to socialist society, as envisioned in the section on education in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, Article I, Section 2, sub-section F, points 2 and 4. Education in the new society will provide students with a core grounding in the real, actual history of this country, and the world, as well as education in the method of analysis to understand the material causes for it. This is basic. At the same time, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America also states that

      as an application of “elasticity on the basis of a solid core,” there shall be provision for other, opposing viewpoints to be presented, including by ardent advocates of those viewpoints, as a part of the overall curriculum and general education. In this regard, too, the orientation of pursuing the truth and the determination of whether something does or does not correspond to objective reality as the standard and criterion of truth, should be applied, while at the same time encouraging an atmosphere in which new and unconventional ideas are not suffocated or suppressed but instead are seriously engaged, with a recognition of the fact that it has been the case throughout history, and will remain the case in the future, that truth is often “in the hands of a minority” and that this applies in particular to newly discovered understanding of reality.

      Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

       

    • ARTICLE:

      Bob Avakian Takes Ron DeSantis to School

      TikTok: Bob Avakian Takes Ron DeSantis to School

       

    • ARTICLE:

      Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement

      Make Roe's Reversal a Rallying Cry for a Real Revolution!

      This Sunday, January 22, will be the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which established nationwide protections for women's right to abortion. It will be a bitter pill. Last year, this right was overturned by the illegitimate Trump-packed fascist Supreme Court.

      Already, well over 100,000 women and girls have been forced to have children against their will.

      Have you let yourself feel this?

      Stop and really contemplate the dehumanization of having your very body hijacked and having the lifelong emotional, economic, social and physical consequences of having a child thrust upon you without your consent. Forced motherhood is female enslavement!

      Have you let yourself confront that this is just the beginning?

      This January 22, throngs of woman-hating fascists will not only be gloating over their vicious victory, but actively mobilizing to take this attack further. Their aim is a full-blown theocratic Handmaid's Tale nightmare. Already they are moving to ban abortion nationwide, to target birth control and the rights of LGBTQ people, and more.

      Have you let yourself think critically about the “strategy” you are being fed—and too often embracing—by the Democrats and the so-called leaders of the so-called pro-choice movement?

      They straight up refused to mobilize any serious fight in the streets against the overturning of Roe. Some of them even attacked the one group—Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights—that did lead tens of thousands to wage this fight. Now, these so-called leaders are pushing a state-by-state strategy aimed at protecting abortion rights in a few places. Never mind the millions of women left behind. Never mind that any state protections could be reversed in a heartbeat by the fascist Supreme Court. Never mind that this state-by-state strategy accepts and legitimizes the outrageous, illegitimate notion that women's rights are not fundamental and should be left up to each area as just a matter of taste.

      Will you continue to go along with this?

      The fury of millions of women and everyone who cares about justice—your fury—needs to be unleashed now, in the streets, in mass struggle to demand LEGAL ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY NATIONWIDE. Draw inspiration from the brave women and the people of Iran! A society that enslaves women should not be allowed to function as “normal.”

      Have you ever asked why?

      Why do we live in a society where Dark Ages theocrats—several appointed by a fascist thug who openly bragged about sexually assaulting women—get to sit on the high court and dictate the lives of women? Why is it that everywhere around the globe women are beaten and raped, stalked and degraded, turned into sexual objects and pimped out and/or shrouded and punished if they have sex at all? Why has it been this way for thousands of years?

      Have you ever let yourself dream?

      I mean, really dream—of a world where women could walk the earth free of harassment, brutality, fear of rape or any form of shame or control over their bodies and reproduction? Where all the forms of the oppression of women and of other oppressed people are being uprooted and overcome? Have you ever wondered what it would take to make this world real?

      Bob Avakian on the Overturning of Roe, Christian Fascism & Revolution
      Excerpt from Bob Avakian's recent interviews, Up Close and Personal With Bob Avakian: Heart and Soul & Hard-Core For Revolution on The RNL Show

      There are answers to these questions. Liberating answers. There is a whole different—radically liberating—way we could be living. This can be found in the work and leadership of the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian, BA. He brings this alive with heart and passion and penetrating science in the must-watch interviews he did recently on The RNLRevolution, Nothing Less!Show.

      In these interviews, Bob Avakian compares the society we live in to a house. I want to pursue this metaphor. The culture and laws that govern our lives are the rooms we live in. In one room women are being abused and degraded. In another, Black and Brown people are being murdered by police. In yet another, the planet is on fire. Down the hall, reactionary wars are grinding up lives. At every window and door, immigrants are being deported.

      At times, after enormous struggle by the people, this system will put a fresh coat of paint on the walls of one of the rooms. Maybe they'll be forced to grant the right to abortion, end a war, or elect some Black officials. With time, however, the paint starts to peel. Inevitably, the stench of the rot at the foundation seeps up through the floorboards.

      The rot at the foundation of this house is the system of capitalism-imperialism. It is a system based on vicious exploitation in every corner of the world. It is a system that has all the oppression described above built into its foundation. This is why it requires institutions of violent repression to enforce it and backward ideas to justify it. No cosmetic repairs can lead to any lasting good. The house must be torn down. Its foundation must be dug up and an entirely new house—a new system—must be built in its place. We need a revolution!

      This is urgent. It is also possible. Ironically enough, it is more possible right now—when things are being radically reshaped in a fascist way, when rights are being ripped back, when the country is split in half from bottom to top, when things like this terrible attack can force people to question the way things have been, and whether they have to stay that way.

      Learn about this revolution by digging deeply into the interviews from BA now. Find out why such a radical overturning and uprooting is urgently necessary, what it’s all about, what we could build on the foundation of a new, nonexploitative system and relations. Spread these interviews to others. As you do, step out of your comfort zone and challenge others to do the same. Unleashing the fury of millions and millions of women and girls is the only way to beat back the escalating attack on abortion rights and it is a crucial part of building up the strength to win a whole different world.

      LEGAL ABORTION ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY NATIONWIDE AND EVERYWHERE!
      FORCED MOTHERHOOD IS FEMALE ENSLAVEMENT!
      BREAK THE CHAINS! UNLEASH THE FURY OF WOMEN AS A MIGHTY FORCE FOR REVOLUTION!

      Will the reversal of Roe drive you to look deeper?

    • ARTICLE:

      January 21-22, 2023

      Sights and Sounds from the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

      As we go to press, we are receiving initial images of the demonstrations across the country in support of the fundamental right to abortion.

      Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights activists join marches

      Tweet URL
      Tweet URL
      Tweet URL
      Madison, Wisconsin Legal Abortion Nationwide Now, banner drop.

       

      Madison, Wisconsin    Photo: Twitter @RiseUp4Abortion

      Boston, MA 50th Anniversary of Roe v Wade

       

      Boston, Massachusetts    Photo: Twitter @kath_asselin

      Abortion rights protesters confronted “Walk for Life” in San Francisco, January 21, 2023.

       

      San Francisco   

      Abortion rights protesters confronted “Walk for Life” in San Francisco, January 21, 2023.

       

      San Francisco    Photo: revcom.us

      Philadelphia, 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade

       

      Philadelphia   

      Philadelphia, 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade

       

      Philadelphia   

      Marches across the country

      St. Louis, Missouri 50th anniversary Roe v Wade.

       

      St. Louis, Missouri    Photo: Twitter @GibsonDem

      San Diego 50th anniversary Roe v Wade

       

      San Diego, California    Photo: Twitter @PointLomaPam

      Riverside, California 50th anniversary Roe v Wade

       

      Riverside, California    Photo: Twitter @fierymaliha

      Northern New Jersey 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade.

       

      Northern, New Jersey    Photo: Twitter  @wycannj

      Renton, Washington 50th anniversary Roe v Wade

       

      Renton, Washington    Photo: Twitter @tulaholmes

      Denver, Colorado 50th Anniversary of Roe v Wade

       

      Denver, Colorado    Photo: Twitter @beatalley

      Tweet URL
    • ARTICLE:

      From Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights on 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

      We Must FIGHT for Legal Abortion On Demand & Without Apology Nationwide & Everywhere!

      Protest for abortion rights, U.S.

       

      On the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we face the bitter reality that the fundamental, constitutional right to abortion has been brutally stripped away. That Roe v. Wade didn’t make it to 50 is a cause for grief, rage, reflection, and action. Forced motherhood is female enslavement, and half of humanity in this country—yes, all over this country—have become SECOND CLASS CITIZENS.

      You’ve heard the heart-wrenching stories. The ten-year-old rape victim almost forced to give birth to her rapist’s baby. Women being brought to the brink of death from sepsis or bleeding out before they can get care for miscarriages or high-risk pregnancies. The desperate tears and pleas for help when patients expecting to get abortions were turned away from clinics the day Roe was overturned.

      Think too of all the stories we haven’t heard: From those who desperately struggle to scrape up enough money to take time off from work, find childcare, and travel to states where a backlog of patients means they still might not get the abortion they so desperately need. From those tens of thousands who have already been forced to have children against their will. From those whose unwanted pregnancies trap them in abusive relationships or drag them further into poverty. This is a discriminatory dystopian misogynist reality that must never be minimized, tolerated, or accommodated to.

      The attack on abortion rights is part of a patriarchal Christian fascist program that takes aim at contraception as well as LGBTQ rights. Denying the right to abortion hits poor women, and especially Black and other women of color, with vicious consequence—tightening the chains of both white supremacy and the subjugation of women. This is only the beginning: This fascist-dominated Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for states to pass more and more draconian laws to enslave and punish girls and women who dare to step outside their prescribed roles as mothers and breeders of children. 

      It is of great political and historical importance that Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights united people from very diverse political perspectives and unleashed the fury of tens of thousands of young women and many others in mass nonviolent action with the aim of stopping the Supreme Court from overturning Roe. In the end, the fight to save Roe did not reach the size, determination, or unity needed to win. But we modeled courage, inspired millions, and dared to speak the truth about what this rollback is really about.

      The idea that we have to fight for women’s civil rights state-by-state only normalizes the concept of women's fundamental rights being based on local public opinion. Would you accept the right to free speech, or the right to vote, or the right to worship in only half the country? We demand legal abortion on demand and without apology everywhere!

      The Right to Legal Safe Abortion Is the Front Line and the Bottom Line of Women’s Freedom.

      As long as one woman or girl is not free, NONE OF US ARE FREE.

      Our only way forward and our best way forward is to resist, to rise up. We urge everyone who cares about women and girls and justice overall to reach out to us to strategize and work together. There is a great struggle to be waged. Together, in our millions, we can and must ACT to win back the fundamental right to legal safe abortion.

      The Illegitimate Overturning of Abortion Rights Must Not Stand!
      Forced Motherhood = Female Enslavement
      LEGAL ABORTION On Demand & Without Apology Nationwide!

      RiseUp4AbortionRights.org | 973 544 8228
      Info@RiseUp4AbortionRights.org | @Rise4Abortion | @RiseUp4Abortion

    • ARTICLE:

      From Atash/Fire, Journal of Communist Party of Iran Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (cpimlm.org)

      The Shah and the Supreme Leader:
      Twelve Reactionary Things They Have in Common

      December 30, 2022

      Editors’ Note: Volunteers for revcom.us take responsibility for this translation from original Farsi to English. Brackets indicate translators’ additions. The Farsi version is available at CPIMLM.org. The title of the original article used the phrase "the Shah and the Sheikh." We have changed the term "Sheikh" to "Supreme Leader" here to make clear to an English-speaking audience that "Sheikh" refers to the top mullah, or Islamic religious leader, in Iran.

      Combined portraits of oppressors: Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran; and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, former Shah of Iran.

       

      Combined portraits of oppressors: Ayatollah Khamenei, current Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran (left); and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, former Shah (king) of Iran (right).   

      In the present situation, when alternatives are offered in response to the people's uprising, it's necessary to discuss the similarities between the Islamic Republic and the Pahlavi Dynasty regime and what they have in common. Not only to set the record straight about the massive amounts of unreal and even fictional propaganda about the living conditions of the [Iranian] people and society during the two Shahs of the Pahlavi Dynasty (which are constantly lied about in cyberspace and on satellite dish networks), but also to make clear that they have a lot in common, and share many of the same characteristics.

      There's no doubt that many features of the Pahlavi Dynasty differ from those of the Islamic Republic: their ideologies, the eras they were/are in power, and [what else was going on] when they emerged on the international scene. These are different, and their regimes’ contradictions and accomplishments differ. But they share one thing in common: both are dictatorial governments of the oppressor classes.

      Above all, both were, and are, tools for the exploiting and oppressive big landowners and capitalists to impose their will on the majority of the Iranian people. Despite differences in [their regimes’] political and ideological superstructure and methods of governing, [and in] the character of their respective economic infrastructures, it is the exploitation of the fruits of the labor of oppressed classes that provides the basis for each of them to remain in power.

      Although both of them strut and boast about political autonomy, about being independent of "foreigners," and about [Iran’s] role as a regional superpower, the economic structure of the Iranian society is in fact tied to the global system of imperialist capitalism and subject to the system’s international political and economic vicissitudes and upheavals. Because of this, it was and is affected in various ways by the political will of the imperialists, whether it is the U.S. or Britain or the European Union, today's Russia or China.

      And since both represent precisely the class dictatorship of capitalists and big landowners—though with differences in what they look like and in their superstructures—they are both compelled to impose all shapes and sizes of oppression, discrimination, injustice and crimes, on the shoulders and lives of majority of people in Iran and sometimes in the region, because they are inseparably part and parcel of the capitalist system.

      Therefore, what is posted with the hashtag #Reactionary_Shah_&_Sheikh are simply the images and documentary representations of the pain and suffering imposed by the two regimes—Pahlavi and Islamist—on people as a consequence of their class nature, no matter whether inflicted willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously, compassionately or wickedly. Undoubtedly, the similarities of the crimes committed against the people by these two regimes are not limited to these examples.

      The people, the majority of the people in our society—the workers and toiling masses in the city and in the countryside, the impoverished and the marginalized people, the youth, the intellectuals and the artists, the women and non-Persian nationalities in Iran, teachers and nurses and the retired people—none are doomed to choosing one or the other of these two reactionaries. It is not the inevitable destiny of our people to be condemned to life under either the despotic torture of combat boots or the [mullah’s] sandals, [to be ruled by] crown or turban, Sharia law or hereditary monarchy.

      What we’re talking about is a fundamentally different and qualitatively better type of state, one that is the opposite of these two historically outmoded and disgraced corruptions, the opposite of these two ways of being exploited, oppressed, discriminated against, the opposite of any form and expressions of the dictatorship of the capitalist class; [we're talking about] the revolutionary dictatorship and democracy of the proletariat that must be established, about the "New Socialist Republic of Iran." This is a different path, society and world [that will be brought into being] after a communist revolution, and accomplished with the participation and the determination of tens of millions of masses of people.

      Our Party has set forth, for everyone to view and discuss, the features of such a society in the "Constitution of the New Socialist Republic of Iran (Proposed Draft)." In order to implement such a possible and desirable goal, we ask all freedom lovers, justice seekers, all the oppressed and destitute people, all those who talk in whispers about a world free of every kind, form and expression of exploitation, oppression and discrimination, to come forward in order to achieve such a goal through a widespread and all-around revolutionary and communist struggle.

      Title of this series, #Reactionary_Shah_&_Sheikh, is at the upper right of each poster, on the diagonal in black, with yellow background.

      The title of each poster is on the diagonal in yellow (with black background).

      Click on poster to enlarge.

      CPIMLM Poster1

       

      Poster #1 National oppression, and the suppression of non-Persian nationalities
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Qazi Mohammad, the Chairman [the Head] of Kurdistan Autonomous Republic [with its capital in the city of Mahabad], was hanged in April 1947.
      2. Fereidoon Ebrahimi, Attorney General of Autonomous Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan [with its capital in the city of Tabriz], was hanged on May 23, 1947.
      3. Yaghoob Mehr-nahad, weblogger and Baluchi cultural activist, was executed in August 2008.
      4. Hadi Rashedi, teacher and cultural Arab activist, was executed in winter of 2013.   

      CPIMLM Poster 2

       

      Poster #2  Oppression of Women
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Sex trade in Shahr-e-No [New City] district of Tehran, 1970s
      2. Sex trade on streets of Tehran, 2017   

      CPIMLM Poster3

       

      Poster #3: Censorship, arrest and murder of intellectuals and artists
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Mohammad Reza Kordestani (aka Mirzadeh Eshghi), poet, journalist, [writer, newspaper publisher, pioneer in stage theater and opera] was assassinated by security agents of Reza Shah on July 3, 1924.
      2. Khosrow Golsorkhi, [Marxist] poet and literary critic, was executed on February 18, 1974.
      3. Saeed Soltanpour, [Marxist] poet and screenwriter, was executed on June 21, 1981.
      4. Mohammad Mokhtari, [leftist] poet and literary critic, was assassinated by the agents of the Information [Intelligence] Ministry on December 3, 1998.   

      CPIMLM Poster 4

       

      Poster #4: Massacre of political prisoners
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Nationwide massacre of political prisoners who were already serving sentences, summer of 1988.
      2. Group massacre of political prisoners, who were already serving sentences, on the outdoor hills of Evin Prison, April 19, 1975.   

      CPIMLM Poster 5

       

      Poster #5: Promotion of a Culture of Slavishness
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Shah. [The longest serving Shah's Prime Minister kissing the Shah’s hand]
      2. Reza Pahlavi and his supporters in Canada. [Reza, also referred to as “Prince,” is the son of the last Shah.]
      3. Abolhassan Banisadr [the first president under Islamic Republic] and Ayatollah Khomeini
      4. [Former] President Hassan Rouhani & his supporters    

      CPIMLM Poster 6

       

      Poster #6:  Suppression of the Student Movement!
      Captions, left to right:
      1. [Tehran University engineering students, who were murdered as a warning to the students not to protest the next day during vice president Nixon's visit shortly after the CIA coup to receive an honorary law degree at Tehran University.] Pictured from L to R: Shariat-Razavi [Marxist, age turning 21], Bozorg-nia (Marxist, age 19), Ghandchi (Dr. Mossadegh's National Front, age 20), martyred on December 7, 1953.
      2. Mehdi Alavi Shooshtari was arrested during [the Islamic] Cultural Counter-Revolution in April 1980, and martyred on June 27, 1980.
      3. Ezzat Ebrahim-nejad, arrested at Tehran University dormitory, and martyred on July 9, 1999.   

      CPIMLM Poster 7

       

      Poster #7: Torture and Prisons
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Joint Counter-Sabotage Committee of Secret Service & the Police, Horrifying Torture Chamber of the Shah's Savak!
      2. Gonabadi Mystic Dervishes [religious minority] were brutalized and tortured, on Golestan Haftom Street, by security agents!   

      CPIMLM Poster 8

       

      Poster #8: Executions
      Captions, left to right:
      1. The mass execution of the communist military officers, following the CIA coup in Iran, on August 19, 1953
      2. Execution of communist activists at Sanandaj Airport [Kurdistan province], September 1979.   

      CPIMLM Poster 9

       

      Poster #9:  Poverty, Unemployment and Privation
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Shanty town in the city of Mashhad in 2018!
      2. Squatters in the heart of Tehran during 1970 decade!   

      CPIMLM Poster 10

       

      Poster #10: Interfering and Making War in the Region
      Captions, left to right:
      1. The Shah defends his imperial army's criminal presence in the country of Oman [to help Sultan Qabus crush and massacre the liberation movement in Dhofar region of Oman]! Daily Kayhan newspaper clip reads: "The Shah said: Without our intervention, [the liberation movement in] Dhofar would have turned into an Angola!"
      2. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei defends the criminal presence of the Revolutionary Guards [IRGC] in Syria! Daily Kayhan Newspaper reads: "The Supreme Leader reported that soon the congregational prayer will be held in the Holy Land [Jerusalem]"   

      CPIMLM Poster 11

       

      Poster #11: Interfering and Making War in the Region
      Captions, left to right:
      1. Khamenei meets Bashar Assad, the butcher of the Syrian people!
      2. The Shah visits Sultan Qabus, the butcher of people in Dhofar   

      CPIMLM Poster 12

       

      Poster #12: Club-wielding Vigilantes!
      Captions: left to right
      1. Perseverance Forces — Club wielding supporters of the Shah in 1970's!
      2. Shaban "the Brainless" Jafari and his club-wielding gang [hired and financed by CIA], during the CIA coup in Iran, on August 19, 1953
      3. Club wielding gang of Hezbollah and Islamic Republic Party during spring 1981 coup!
      4. Ayatollah Khomeini's club-wielding hoodlums   

    • ARTICLE:

      FAQ: The $100,000 Fund Drive and the Upcoming February 19 Livestream

      What is the purpose of the fund drive?

      We are raising $100,000 to promote revolution. Why? Because the outrages, cruelties and horrors of this system are both unnecessary to humanity and they are built into this system. This madness can only be ended by an actual revolution. By that, we mean an overthrow of the current system and the bringing into being of a totally new economic and political system, and new ways of relating to each other. The good news is that there is a real chance for that revolution now, and there is leadership for that revolution, in Bob Avakian (BA) and the revcoms who follow him. The fund drive is most of all to promote that urgently needed revolutionary alternative and to get that leadership much better known throughout society.

      What is the immediate project I am supporting?

      The main project of this fund drive is to get the recent interviews with BA—Up Close and Personal with Bob Avakian, Heart and Soul & Hard-Core For Revolution—out there to many more people and into society overall. These interviews are a great way to spread the word about this revolution and to draw new people into it. But people don’t know about the interviews, and we need the money to advertise them in many different ways and to get word of them to many different kinds of people. Everyone who can’t stand oppression, who refuses to put up with it, and who hungers for something different needs to hear these interviews. This includes the people who suffer terribly under this system, as well as the people who could be won to seeing that there is a way out of the terrible forms of oppression and injustice that they just can’t live with.

      In these interviews, BA tells people what they need to hear about this revolution—why it’s needed, what it’s all about, what it’s aiming for and how these times contain the real possibility of making revolution. And he does it with a passion for emancipation and a real sense of humor, with science and a tremendous humanity and morality. You get to know this leader in a for-real kind of way.

      At the same time, this fund drive also supports The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show on YouTube. It supports the revcom.us website. And it supports the efforts of the National Revolution Tour (focused now in Los Angeles) to dynamically spread the word (including through debate and discussion), and to organize people and stand up and fight the power—all to prepare for revolution.

      How do I participate in this?

      By generously giving funds yourself and by going to and involving others in giving funds. The first is very important, and if that’s what you feel comfortable with now, then do that—and as you learn more, you can do more.

      A few things we can say if you are brand new to this: Judging from the beginning of this drive, we can see that a) there are many people who may not have heard of Bob Avakian but are quite intrigued by and drawn to what they do see and hear once they watch these interviews, b) that these people are often not the people who present themselves as being “politically active,” and c) more than a few people will donate to and often find ways to draw others into this fund drive.

      This can include a lot of things. You can go to the many people you know whom you may not have talked with about this (go here to hear a doctor talk about his experience). Like the doctor in the clip, you may be surprised by the open and positive response of people you had thought were not “political.” You can go to many people you don’t even know with projects like selling pre-made dinners that a bunch of supporters of the revolution pitch in to make. In one case, a friendly restaurant owner helped out with 100 tamales to raise money! Some people with skills can sell beautiful crafts for the revolution. Or you can donate a meaningful amount and write a statement, then challenge other people to do likewise. You can donate $10 and go to nine other people to donate $10 each. Or you can just plain play the interviews for people and then both talk about the interviews and ask for a donation. And in every case, you should get people’s ideas on how to spread it.

      Here’s an important point: Many people are in despair about things and want a way to act that is meaningful. But they don’t know there IS a way, a way to make a REAL change. And they don’t always say that’s how they’re feeling. But when you approach people with these interviews, it can make a difference.

      What if people tell me they’re giving to something else?

      Ask them if what they’re giving to will really make a fundamental difference, or are they putting their money behind reforming a system that cannot be reformed in any meaningful way. As the leaflet from the revcoms puts it: “What could be more important than to donate to a movement for revolution which aims to bring about a whole new world without exploitation or oppression of any kind?” Then struggle with them to really watch the video of BA before they make up their mind. If someone has a real way out—and Bob Avakian does—it is unconscionable to not even listen.

      What if people say that they can’t spare the money?

      There are people who are desperately impoverished who nevertheless find ways to give and, even more, find the ways to go to others to give. There’s a way for everyone to contribute! Let’s put our heads together and figure it out.

      What about people who say that “this is a cult”?

      Rather than give an argument, some people will raise the idea that “they heard this is a cult.”  As a recent article on Revcom put it:

      Now, when you go out and spread the word about this, you’re going to find that some people respond well and love these interviews and love BA, and some people run a bunch of bullshit and hate BA... and in both cases, it’s for the same simple reason: because BA is about everything you just saw in this interview, about completely breaking out of the confines and framework of the way the world is today and radically, fundamentally changing the world through making revolution... he’s about the emancipation not of one identity group, but all of humanity... and some people love this and are attracted by that vision, and some people hate it and feel threatened by it... It’s really as simple as that.

      So yeah, besides encountering people who are excited about these interviews and about BA, you’re going to run into people who hate this, who make snarky comments or personal attacks on BA or who say this is a cult. And that’s where you have to have some honesty, courage and integrity to think for yourself. You might have a bunch of questions, but you know those kind of nasty attacks are bullshit and have nothing to do with changing the world. You just saw these interviews [or a portion of it] yourself. Did this seem like a cult leader to you?!?! Did this seem like a robotic, dogmatic person who is trying to brainwash you? Or did it seem like a deeply scientific person, critical thinker and flat-out nice person with a strong sense of humor who has dedicated his whole life for decades to taking up big, complex questions as part of making revolution and transforming the entire world? Anybody who watches this interview honestly and is not completely steeped in prejudice knows it’s the second one. So you need to have the honesty and courage to tell the haters that they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and that they’re spreading lies and poison that have nothing to do with changing the world and that you’re not fooled by them... and then come back and talk to us about the shit you ran into and we can get more into it.

      What is the importance of the upcoming fundraising livestream on February 19?

      We’ve already raised over $60,000 of our goal of $100,000. We need to raise as much as we can over the next few weeks and then “take it over the top” at the livestream. So coming to the livestream is a way to be part of the struggle to carry this all the way through to victory.

      We should see the time leading to February 19 as a chance to win many new people to not only donate, but to tune in to the livestream as well. Many who’ve already donated get inspired to donate more or to reach out to others on the spot or to send in a statement on why they donated that calls on others to also donate. They do it because they get to know the revolution better through the livestream—what it’s about… the future society we’re aiming for… and some of the people who are in it. It’s a time when the developing movement and growing community around the vision and strategy of the new communism forged by BA comes together to learn from each other. And, it’s a time to “build muscles” of working together for the great challenges ahead of us.

    • ARTICLE:

      Sharp Times, Deep Questions and Big Openings

      Reaching and Impacting the Middle Strata to Engage and Support the Revolution

      In 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, the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian says:

      …as “the normal way” society has been ruled is failing to hold things togetherand 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.

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

       

      This needs to go on in a big societal way, reaching blocs of people among every strata. For the last couple of months, I've been working with a team to outreach and have broad impact among more middle class people—lawyers, academics, artists, etc.—with The Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNLRevolution, Nothing Less!—Show. While many of these folks are putting their head in the sand, just focused on themselves, caught up in a lot of American chauvinism, or desperately clinging to the “normal political channels” to resolve the crisis in society, there is also a deep agonizing and discomfort with many open to engaging a radical, emancipating solution—and feeling that this is the discussion and debate that needs to go on throughout society. All that needs to be surfaced through real struggle.

      Palmcard Front - BA Interview (Color)

       

      At the same time as the revcoms are out to build organized forces among those catching the most hell under this system, we also recognize there will not be a revolution, and we will not bring forward the necessary support for this revolution, without forging mass support among the broad middle strata. This fund drive to raise $100,000 provides a real opportunity—and great need—to do that.

      In the last couple of months, we've experimented with different things and want to share some ideas and orientation on this:

      ** We've emailed hundreds of professors at a few different campuses asking them to have the revcoms speak in their classes, and asking them to make a contribution to the $100,000 fund drive. So far, we've gotten the most response at a school where the revcoms had a big impact last fall. One professor wrote back right away that we should speak in their class this semester; a couple said they'd be interested in the future; one wants to have us come speak in a “Race, Class, Gender” class where they spend a few weeks on Marxism; one put us in touch with a student group they work with... We also had a few professors email us back with differences about the “focus on one leader,” but opening up this discussion of revolution vs. reform. We are following up to get with all these professors—scheduling the class discussions and making the argument for them to engage the BA Interviews, and make a financial contribution for this to reach millions.

      One of the arguments we've made is that the need and possibility for the urgently necessary revolutionary change is considered off the table—and this needs to change, opening up real discussion and debate about this throughout society, and among their students. We've honed in especially on the need to challenge the “woke identity politics” that predominates among progressive students with a revolutionary answer—which they've also never had the opportunity to really hear, engage and debate. We have found that there are many professors who are hungry to see this taken on—even as they themselves have been scared to challenge this for fear of “being canceled.”

      (Note: A lot of professors would be open to bringing someone in via Zoom. If you want to do this outreach, but would like someone from the National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution to do the class presentation, email us at getorganizedforrevolutiontour@gmail.com.)

      ** We've experimented with going out to different neighborhoods, and want to do more. There are places where we know we'll find people who work in tech or the film industry. We've set up a table at a farmer's market in a neighborhood with a lot of artists and filmmakers—here we also set up a TV on a rolling stand with a speaker so we could directly play clips of the BA Interviews. In one instance, we were able to gather a small group of people who watched a clip. One person gave a donation on the spot because he was appreciative that we were putting revolution out so boldly and said, “no one else is talking about this.”

      There are also areas where people go out for lunch at food trucks... or food courts where all these people gather. You can experiment with creative ways of having an impact—postering an area ahead of time, distributing materials, just going up to lunch tables or groups to talk to people, or if you have more freedom, playing a clip from BA on a speaker or tablet and opening up a discussion.

      ** We've gone to a whole range of events—from concerts, to film showings and panels—with materials about the fund drive and the BA Interviews. At a campus, or in any city, you'll find these events where people are getting into big questions confronting humanity. We've distributed materials before and after the event, engaging the questions on the floor and asking people to really think about where all the horrors are coming from in this system of capitalism-imperialism and the need and basis for a revolution to overthrow this system, and replace it with a radically different society on the road to real emancipation. Sometimes this has meant asking people to confront the actual crimes of the American empire and why people need to break with the idea that the U.S. is a force for good in the world; sometimes this has meant engaging the struggle over “woke identity politics” vs. the scientific understanding based in the new communism... with the point that this is all spoken to powerfully by BA in these Interviews. (It's good to have Interview clips queued up on your phone to show people on the spot.) Through this, we've had some broad impact and found people who want to talk more seriously about fundamental, revolutionary change.

      _______

      We've also thought aboutand tried to work onvarious synergies between different questions and sections of people. For example, when the Revolution Club acted in relation to the crisis around Juvenile Halls, we specifically tried to reach professors, journalists, lawyers and activists who we know pay attention to this question. Or right now, we are making plans to reach out very broadly with the powerful segment on The RNL Show with Noche Diaz and Michelle Xai on this recent wave of police murders. Acting on the basis of these roiling contradictions to impact masses of people, revealing the revolutionary answer to these outragesand then concretely letting people know how the revcoms are working to “repolarize society for revolution.” These provide living examples of why the revcoms need to be supported and funded.

      There is also the back-and-forth inspiration going on of some people with less resources doing the 10x10 challenge: one person giving $10, and finding nine other people to match their donation... this inspired a physician to do a 5x500 challenge, where he gave $500 and put out the call for four others to match him.

      Finally, don't underestimate how the times are having an impact on people and how that can provide a different basis for struggle... and don't underestimate the potential power of people directly engaging the BA Interviews. In a recent interview on The RNL Show, Dr. Phil Rice correctly emphasized the need to go way beyond the “usual suspects,” i.e., people who are more activist leaning, or go to demonstrations. He talked about the broad audience BA is speaking to in these Interviews, and the openness he's found by reaching very widely.

      One person on our team talked to someone who, just a few years ago, thought revolution was too extreme and was opposed to even engaging BA. But over the holidays, he reached out wanting to talk because he said his thinking has changed. He was very affected by what happened on January 6, and has come to confront that the Democrats won't do anything in the interests of the people to oppose these fascists. He said he has come to see that revolution is necessary, but he doesn't think it's possible. He wanted to know why we think a revolution could happen in this country. And had big questions about vanguard leadership which would be necessary for a revolution, but thinks that would cut against what's required to build an emancipatory society. The person on our team waged a real struggle for why they had to break with their preconceived ideas and get into BA and the new communism, which BA brings alive and embodies in these Interviews. He left with big questions, but said he'd seriously watch the Interviews, and think about making a contribution.

      In another example, someone who's known about and been supportive of the revolution said he's watched the first half of the Interviews and feels like everything BA is saying makes sense and that he speaks to and answers the questions that he has. At the same time, it's making him confront the fear he's had of jumping in further. But he is reckoning with the fact that there is fear everywhere and he feels like it’s just not right to sit on the sidelines, even as he is still not sure what he thinks about how possible a revolution is. In wrangling over what this means in terms of donating to the fund drive, his partner made the point: the choice we all face is either fascism or revolution. In the end, they made a generous donation.

      One more example: an artist we were talking to first threw up their hands, saying “I think revolutions are a thing of the past and that it is inevitable that things will work themselves out.” After a sharp but friendly reality check, about nuclear war, the environmental catastrophe, and the fascists on the march contrasted to the scientific understanding that BA is providing about the possibility of a real revolution to emancipate humanity, they opened up further and asked how and whether a real revolution could have a chance to win, up against all this system's repression. We got into this briefly—mainly with us pointing them to what BA gets into in these Interviews. It's not that they didn't have a lot of illusions but those were also covering over a deeper question that they weren't even letting themselves ask.

      Through this, we've been consciously applying and summing up in relation to the process that's described in Organizing for an Actual Revolution: 7 Key Points. And, we're really taking to heart what Dr. Rice said that if you don't ask for funds directly, you won't raise funds! And people won't take you seriously.

       

      Making revolution is a huge undertaking, and having an impact now with this revolution is going up against all the gatekeepers and “predominant wisdom.” That's going to take a lot of resources in order to break through!

    • ARTICLE:

      Putting Our Heads Together to Push Forward to the $100,000

      As part of succeeding in raising $100,000 to put Real Revolution on the Map in 2023, we put together a Zoom meeting with five people who were working on their 10 x 10 challenges (people with few resources pledging to donate $10 and then finding nine other people to each donate $10—with the goal of raising $100 to donate to the revolution). This collective form gave people a way to dig into the different things they were all running into and put minds together to work on solutions.

      We started out reading some of the materials on the fund drive summing up people’s experience. And then people rolled up their sleeves.

      One person started off with how he was very inspired by the most recent episode of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show (Episode 131) which he had just watched. He commented on the section about the Revolution Tour taking on the murders by police in LA and Dr. Phil Rice’s discussion of his experience raising funds. He said that up to now he had been relying on social media and just reaching out to people that way but was getting no responses.

      Another person had gone to her family. Her sister had pledged and that money was already in. But her kids who had pledged hadn’t come through. She talked about how they only made a little money “on the side” and mostly used it to buy “weed and stuff.” “They haven’t run into much in life yet so they don’t really know…”

      A third person commented they were having trouble getting people to think beyond capitalism. “They don’t see how anything besides capitalism could work—it’s all they know.” He said, “They don’t understand communism’s uphill climb, what made it fall, and the new chances with the approach of Bob Avakian.”

      An older revolutionary recognized the issues in struggling with your kids. He had a bunch of phone calls struggling with his daughters and grandkids in Alabama. Three different times he’d had different grandsons shot in the violence on the streets so these were people who had much reason to want things to change. He told how he had conversations with his daughters and his back and forth with them when they said they “didn’t know anybody”—when he knew that they knew people from church and different social stuff they did. He sent them the clip “BA speaking to those whose life is lived on the desperate edge/Chicago Revolution Club Responds.” After watching THAT, one of the daughters told him she had posted it to her “Unity Group”—one of the social groups she’s involved with.

      A member of the Revolution Club who had taken up the 10 x 10 challenge described how people at his job had gotten interested when they overheard him listening to one of the BA Interviews at lunch. He had his Bluetooth speaker since they were allowed to listen to music while they worked so he had put the Interview on the Bluetooth speaker and many of the crew he worked with listened. He then BOLDLY challenged them to donate and half of the crew agreed to.

      Also, reflecting back on the Dr. Phil interview, someone commented that Dr. Phil had made the point of what a difference it made when he let BA “speak for himself.”

      A number of the people on the Zoom call noted that they had not really used the BA interviews or interview clips with people they were talking to. Realizing that they needed to be doing that they discussed ways they could be using them more. Like having them playing in the house so the kids could hear them and get interested like the co-workers.

      One person described how he’d taken palm cards about the interviews to work and told people this guy on the palm card (BA) had worked with the Black Panthers. People didn’t believe it, googled it, and were surprised to confirm that it was true. So just as easily he could pull up some of the clips and let BA talk to people himself.

      Given some of these contradictions and problems we considered, “Are there ways the approach with some people could be altered in some way?” Like getting people to take up the Revolutionary Change Jars. Would some people buy tickets for an upcoming fundraising event—as a donation whether they came or not—like they did for the dinners in Cleveland? With an Open Mic/Dinner fundraising event coming up in Chicago—people can sell tickets for donations. And there is supposed to be a machine to count coins at that event so people can bring in the change jars.

      The guy who had only been working through social media talked more about Dr. Phil’s comments on The RNL Show. Putting that together with the lessons from the experience of playing the interviews for the co-workers, he realized he needed to be more aggressive in his approach. People can only say “no.” And someone else made the point that if people say “no,” we should ask them “Why?” “We can learn something that way.” The point was also made that, even if you don’t succeed in getting the whole challenge that doesn’t mean you have failed. If you got even one person to come through it is part of the process of getting revolution on the map.

      One person was especially excited about just the idea of an open mic for fundraising1—“Could we get this out in other networks of people trying to bring a better world?” While people liked this point it also brought to mind something Dr. Phil talked about. Dr. Phil had described how he had gone “beyond the usual suspects”—people he knows who are politically active—to reach out to OTHER people he knows. And how he was surprised by how much response he got. So were we thinking beyond the “usual suspects”?

      During the Zoom meeting we announced the fund drive Livestream on February 19 and read from the Fund Drive leaflet which promotes it, including the statements on the back. The impact of those statements registered with the Zoom participants. One person reflected about what a big deal it IS to have “people in a comfortable situation talking about BA trying to bring a better world into being”—how it impacts people “coming from nothing” to hear that. At the same time people shouldn’t underestimate their own impact. Like the impact of the statement from the mother of a youth killed by the police in Chicago—who was on the call. And how the 10 x 10 challenge brought forward the “5 x 500” challenge.”

      The opening paragraph of the leaflet which starts out “Climate destruction… the threat of nuclear war… police murder of Black and Brown people… patriarchal violence… inhuman attacks on immigrants” also brought things back to one of the hard issues right from the beginning—How are people going to spend the little they have? Someone made the point that “we should CHALLENGE people to, one time, put their money to THIS and sacrifice something else they might have spent it on.”

      There was a whole lot of back and forth in the short hour, learning from each other and working through problems. People had really gotten into the process and were enthusiastic about coming back together to check in with another Zoom in a week.

      Chicago Revolution Club Organizing Center

       

      Chicago Revolution Club Organizing Center   

      _______________

      FOOTNOTES:

      1. Later, after the call, the person who had been really excited by the idea of the Open Mic talked about how important art and culture and the ability to unwind is for people whose every waking moment can be just stress after stress. This reminded him of BA’s comments on having a poetic spirit. [back]

    • ARTICLE:

      California Rain Storms, Capitalism, and Climate Change

      Following weeks of storms, floodwaters cover streets in area of Merced County, California, on January 10, 2023.

       

      Following weeks of storms, floodwaters cover streets in area of Merced County, California, on January 10, 2023.    Photo: AP

      Beginning after Christmas, California was hard hit by extreme rain. A series of “atmospheric rivers”—plumes of air full of water vapor coming across the Pacific Ocean—pummeled the state with rain on the coast and snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This rain follows three years of one of the most intense droughts in California history. The droughts dried out forests, fueling wildfires; lowered water levels in rivers that can’t support fish; and cut water to farms. And now, this sudden burst of rainstorm after rainstorm has brought some relief from the drought, but also a lot of suffering.

      California is caught in what scientists call “weather whiplash”—jumping from drought to floods, and back again.

      This “whiplash” is now intensifying because of climate change—the continuing rise of the temperature of the air and water on the planet. Climate change is driven by the capitalist-imperialist system which rules the planet. This is a system whose development and profitability have relied on burning immense amounts of oil, coal and gas—injecting carbon dioxide and methane that trap heat in the atmosphere and change the climate of the planet.

      Human and Social Cost of the Extreme Rainstorms

      Due to California storms, man sleeps in his car at the parking lot of an evacuation center in Santa Barbara, January 9, 2023.

       

      Due to California storms, man sleeps in his car at the parking lot of an evacuation center in Santa Barbara, January 9, 2023.    Photo: AP

      The pounding of California by the rainstorms has done a lot of damage—at least 20 people have been killed. Homeless people, many living in tents in areas particularly vulnerable to rushing water, have been savagely hit by floods, some killed. Farmworkers, who live on the bitter edge of needing to work today to eat tomorrow, have seen fields and homes flooded and are left with no place to live and no place to work. The onslaught of rain has loosened the soil on hillsides, and mudslides have wiped out homes, cars, roads and bridges. 

      Barricades block off a crumbling section of West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, Calififornia, January 17, 2023.

       

      Barricades block off a crumbling section of West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, California, January 17, 2023. Storms slammed the region causing erosion, flooding and major damage to homes and roads.    Photo: AP

      While, at least for now, the storms have stopped, the soil is so saturated that dangerous mudslides can continue for weeks or even months. Homes and buildings have been engulfed by water or mud, and even completely destroyed. Lives will continue to be ripped apart.

      Some Scientific Background: Weather Patterns are Radically Changing

      “Normal” weather for much of California for thousands of years was long periods of no rain in summer and fall, followed by what can be intense rain in the winter. But we are already far beyond “normal.” A report published in Nature Climate Change last year found that the years between 2000 and 2021 might be the Southwest’s driest 22-year period in 1,200 years. This kind of extended drought dries out forests, makes it harder and harder for farms to grow crops, and drains the reservoirs which carry drinking water for the cities. But even in this intense drought, the long dry period has been repeatedly punctuated by storms2017 was one of the wettest years on record.

      Usually, roughly half of California’s rain and snow comes through “atmospheric rivers”—the equivalent of rivers in the sky transporting massive amounts of water vapor. These don’t necessarily cause floods or mudslides, but in the recent storms, many atmospheric rivers came one after the other. The result was that the land could not dry out before the next storm hit, and this led to massive floods. And there was record snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. All this snow, which melts in the spring and summer, plays a really important role in easing the long drought.

      But even all this record rain and snow, at least so far, is not enough to make up for the many years of drought. And, looking to the future, scientists project that as the climate of the whole planet gets hotter, what will happen in California will be more intense “whiplash”—both extended and more intense drought, and wetter and more intense storms. A major, long-term effect will be the increasing lack of water for its cities and for agriculture, even as it is hit by savage storms. 

      Some Historical Background: Unsustainable and Exploitative Capitalist-Imperialist Development

      After the U.S. stole California from Mexico in 1848, it developed a system of capitalist agriculture which now supplies a big part of the fruits and vegetables in this country. These crops are largely grown in the vast Central Valley. Before this region was transformed into the main agricultural area in California, it essentially dried out every summer and fall, with very little rain. But as it was turned into an area defined by very large farms—many of them major capitalist enterprises—that were growing fruit and vegetables for a national capitalist market, there were harmful long-term consequences:

      • The profitability of this large-scale capitalist agriculture, which is driven to expand production and cheapen costs, called forth the massive and reckless use of pesticides. This had all kinds of negative environmental and social health effects.
      • This system of agriculture has historically depended on, and continues to depend on, huge armies of extremely exploited labor from Mexico.
      • This system of agriculture has required, and continues to require, huge amounts of water to irrigate crops—with the water often coming from hundreds of miles away. 

      The effect of all this on the people, and the environment, and whether it could be sustained in the long run—this was not and is not a factor in the calculations of the corporations which have owned most of the farms, and which are driven to compete for short-term profits, or face the threat of going under.7

      As mentioned, California's agriculture makes huge demands on water. Eighty percent of the water in California goes to agriculture—and even in relatively wet years, there is almost never enough. One way the problem has been temporarily eased is to drain the aquifers—these are massive pools of underground water that have formed from rainwater seeping down over many years. In some places so much has been drained from the aquifers that the ground level has dropped over 30 feet! (This has been going on for many decades—see the accompanying picture from the 1970s dramatically illustrating this.) When there is a year with a lot of rain, the aquifers can be partially replenished. But in years of intense drought, the aquifers get further drained. 

      California land subsidence: Man by pole that shows markers for the level of land in years 1925, 1955 and 1977.

       

      Signs on the pole in this old picture shows dramatically how much the surface of the land has dropped in California’s Central Valley from 1925 to 1977.  The surface of the land fell because water was pumped out of underground aquifers to use to grow crops.    Photo: USGS.gov

        And agriculture is only one part of the whole, unsustainable, environmentally destructive capitalist system. Cities and population centers have developed in unsustainable ways. Just looking at California, and its water crisis, the massive urban areas and suburbs of California exist on water shipped from all over—the Colorado River, which is not even in California, provides half the water for Los Angeles. As cited in a recent New York Times opinion piece, Marc Reisner's 1986 book Cadillac Desert reported that “Everything depends on the manipulation of water—on capturing it behind dams, storing it, and rerouting it in concrete rivers over distances of hundreds of miles. Were it not for a century and a half of messianic effort toward that end, the West as we know it would not exist.” 

      Stepping Back and the Revolution for a Sustainable Future

      For many decades, California agriculture and urban development have been on a course that CANNOT be sustained in the long run. The long run is here.

      What we are now confronting is climate change leading to the “weather whiplash” of extreme rainstorms and droughts... interacting with irrational and unsustainable capitalist-imperialist economic and social development.

      Here at revcom.us, we address issues of the larger environmental crisis and the revolutionary way out. The point is, there is a viable and liberatory alternative! Readers are encouraged to look at the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and the companion document Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development.

      _______________

      FOOTNOTES:

      1. Another factor here, which is not gone into further in this article: California's agriculture, with its huge fruit and vegetable exports, has been a major tool of U.S. imperialist competitiveness and leverage in global food markets. [back]

    • ARTICLE:

      Manuel “Tortuguita” Terán Shot Dead by Georgia Police in a Raid on “Cop City” Protesters

      Tortuguita, murdered by police in Atlanta for defending trees from Cop City.

       

      Tortuguita, murdered by police in Atlanta for defending trees from Cop City, January 18, 2023.   

      Manuel Esteban PáezTerán, a 26-year-old “forest defender” who went by “Tortuguita,” was killed by Georgia State Troopers on January 18 during a violent raid by police in Atlanta's Weelaunee People's Park. Tortuguita was taking part in a protest, now in its second year, to stop a planned $90 million police “training facility”—named “Cop City” by those fighting to stop it.

      On Saturday, January 21, a march was held in Atlanta to commemorate Tortuguita's life and protest the killing. According to police, some of the protesters damaged property, leaving police cars damaged and one set on fire, windows smashed in the building that houses the Atlanta Police Foundation, and anti-police graffiti on other buildings. Police say they arrested six people. 

      Early in the demonstration, activists shared their memories of Tortuguita, describing them (Tortuguita was non-binary) as an extremely loving, caring member of the “Stop Cop City” community. Speakers said Tortuguita had taken a 20-hour medic course in order to serve as a medic for fellow forest defenders.

      Atlanta: protesting murder of Tortuguita and building of "cop city."

       

      In Atlanta, people protest murder of Tortuguita and the building of "cop city."    Photo: AP

      Cop City, which will include a shooting range, mock city and burn building, has been met with fierce resistance, many seeing it as a response to the 2020 uprising against the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

      The area being seized has been critical in stopping stormwater flooding, and environmentalists and community advocates have been trying to create an area called the South River Forest, which would be Atlanta's largest protected green space. Instead, Atlanta's Black Democratic mayor has given full support to the plan to destroy the park and pour money into a facility protesters say will be used to practice "urban warfare."

      Opponents of the proposed 85-acre police “training center” have been protesting since late 2021 by building platforms in surrounding trees and camping out at the site. Police, troopers, and others have repeatedly, violently attacked the occupation. Since June 6, 2022, activists and community members fighting to defend the Atlanta Forest and Stop Cop City had been demanding that officers stop bringing weapons into the forest after the Atlanta PD pointed their weapons at peaceful protestors. The killing of Tortuguita was but the next step in the ramping-up of police attacks on the forest defenders—who those in power have branded “terrorists.” 

      The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said they killed Tortuguita in the course of a raid to remove about 25 protest campsites on Wednesday. Seven forest defenders—aged 20 to 34—were arrested during the raid and charged with domestic terrorism and criminal trespass.

      There are demands for a thorough, independent investigation into the killing—which many are calling a murder—and how it could have happened. The GBI did not report any guns being found after searching the campsites after the raid. Yet they claim they were returning fire on Tortuguita after a state trooper was shot and injured “without warning.” They say there is no bodycam footage of the killing. Now they have made public the photo of a gun they claim they found near Tortuguita's body.

      At least a half-dozen other protesters who were in the forest at the time have told other activists that a single series of shots could be heard. They believe the state trooper could have been shot by another officer, or by his own firearm. On Friday, Democracy Now! played an audio statement sent by an anonymous Atlanta forest defender describing what happened on Wednesday:

      Multiple police departments descended upon Weelaunee People’s Park in unprecedented numbers and force. They blocked access to the park on both roads and bike trails. Some people were arrested for attempting to document police actions... Gunfire was heard at 9:04 a.m., about a dozen shots fired in rapid succession, followed by a loud boom a minute later. For hours after the murder of Tortuguita, police continued to hunt, assault and arrest our brave forest defenders. Those defenders in trees were targeted with pepper bullets.... Other forest defenders were chased by police dogs. These defenders had to hide and flee for their lives, all the while with the nauseating knowing that their dear comrade had been murdered...

      Tortuguita's killing has stunned and shocked the environmental and social justice movements in Georgia and across the country. There have been vigils for Tortuguita from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Charlotte to Chicago. Experts say the shooting is “unprecedented” in the history of U.S. environmental activism. A site has been established where people can leave tributes to Tortuguita. One tribute reads:

      I remember Tortuguita as one of the softest and most generous people in the woods, a perpetually positive presence, ready with a smile and anything else they could offer to brighten your day. They were an optimist, assuming the best of people and demonstrating through their own actions just how good humans can be. I miss them already. Condolences and solidarity to all their family, friends, and comrades. We lost one of our best.

      Manuel’s mother, speaking from Panamá City, Panamá, said, “He was not a violent person. He was a pacifist. He would tell me that all the time. ‘I am a pacifist.’ He wouldn’t even kill an animal. I will go to the U.S. to defend Manuel’s memory … I’m convinced that he was assassinated in cold blood.”

      BAsics 1-24

       

    • ARTICLE:

      Fascists Storm Government Buildings in Brazilian Capital: Another Sign of the Growing Danger of Fascism as an International Movement

      Introduction

      Major turmoil has wracked the country of Brazil for months, and came to a head early this month with an attempted coup against the newly elected government.

      Brazil, with 215 million people, is the sixth most populous country in the world and the eighth largest economy. It is also the most populous country in Latin America. Deep poverty marks Brazil, both in the huge rural areas and in the densely-packed favelas (shantytowns) surrounding the major cities. Inequality is extreme—the wealth of the six richest people in Brazil is equal to that of 100 million people—almost half the population! And while Brazil is overall an oppressed nation, dominated and exploited by the imperialist powers (mainly the U.S.), it has often acted as a regional power, throwing its weight around to advance its own interests and/or those of the U.S.

      So what is happening in Brazil will have significant impact—not only in Brazil itself and the surrounding countries, but on an international scale.

      What Happened on January 8, and What Led Up to It?

        Pro-Bolsonaro protesters stand on the roof after they stormed the National Congress in Brasilia, Brazil, January 8, 2023.

         

        Pro-Bolsonero protesters storm capitol.    Photo: AP

        On Sunday, January 8, several thousand supporters of Brazil’s former president—fascist leader Jair Bolsonaro—stormed the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace in Brasilia, the capital city. They faced little resistance from police and none from the military. They then occupied the buildings, and over several hours, smashed windows, set fires, destroyed works of art, and assaulted journalists. They called upon the Brazilian military to restore Bolsonaro to power.

        According to Brazil’s new justice minister, the attackers intended “to create a domino effect nationwide”—fascist revolts in many cities. And there were calls on social media for fascists to organize attacks on critical infrastructure such as oil refineries, and to block highways.

        All this took place just one week after the inauguration of the new president—Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (commonly called “Lula”)—who defeated Bolsonaro in elections in October.6 And it came as the culmination of two months of concerted efforts to overturn Lula’s election. There were dozens of highway blockades that caused food shortages. Anti-Lula encampments were set up outside military bases in many cities—including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo—agitating for a military coup. And on December 12, a mob rampaged through the streets of Brasilia and attempted to storm police headquarters there.

        All this was justified using Bolsonaro’s false claim that the election was “stolen.”

        Eventually, the new Lula government was able to clear the three buildings, arresting at least 200 from the mob. On Sunday night, January 8, Supreme Court Justice Moraes suspended the governor of the capital district, Ibaneis Rocha, for 90 days, accusing him of complicity in the attack. (Rocha had previously been Bolsonaro’s minister of justice.) And on Monday, police cleared out a large tent encampment in front of a Brasilia military base that had functioned for weeks as an organizing center and staging area for the attack on the capital. At least 1,200 more people were detained there.

        The next day, Justice Minister Flávio Dino told reporters that “We think the worst is over.” But the new government’s actions and statements made clear that they still saw a serious threat. Over the next few days, the encampments at military bases around the country were dismantled. The government announced an investigation of funding for coup activities, including for the 100 buses that brought 4,000 coup-supporters to Brasilia in the days leading up to January 8. Officials pointed out that a security plan for Brasilia developed before January 8 was apparently disregarded by local authorities.

        On Thursday, January 12, Lula said that “many people from the armed forces were complicit” and that hard-core Bolsonaro supporters would be weeded out of the security institutions. The next day, the government announced that it was investigating Bolsonaro as the instigator of an attempted coup. (Bolsonaro denied playing any role, pointing to the fact that he has been in Florida since a few days before Lula’s inauguration, and that he publicly criticized the attack on the capital—after it was defeated. However, he has not withdrawn his claim that the election was stolen.)

        What’s Behind These Events

        What has been playing out in Brazil in recent months and years is a clash between two sections of the capitalist ruling class over how to maintain their control of the country and its people.

        Jair Bolsonaro is a straight-up advocate of fascist dictatorship. He is often referred to as “the Tropical Trump” because of their mutual admiration for each other, and their similar moronic macho personas. But Bolsonaro’s roots go far back, to the time of the U.S.-backed military dictatorship that held Brazil in a state of terror for 21 years (1965-1986), murdering hundreds and imprisoning or torturing tens of thousands of political opponents.7

        Bolsonaro was an army captain in that era, and he was and is enthusiastic about military rule. His only criticism is that it wasn’t repressive enough—he said that “The dictatorship's mistake was to torture but not kill.” When Bolsonaro entered politics in the early 1990s, he declared, “I am in favor of a dictatorship. We will never resolve serious national problems with this irresponsible democracy.”

        More recently, Bolsonaro combined this loyalty to old-style military rule with an alliance with Brazil’s Christian fascist movement, which has been growing much stronger over the past decade, including among many poor people, and especially through the growth of evangelical Protestant churches.8 In line with this, the orientation of Bolsonaro’s government (2019-2023) was viciously pro-police,9 anti-gay,10 anti-abortion, and anti-science.11

        Who Is Lula da Silva, and What Does He Represent?

        Lula is the “opposite” of Bolsonaro—the bourgeois (capitalist) opposite. Lula is the leader of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT)—in English, the Workers’ Party. Lula and the PT recognize and condemn many of the horrible conditions facing the masses of people in Brazil—the deep inequality, the massive impoverished slums, the racism against black and Indigenous people, the denial of women’s basic reproductive rights, the destruction of the rainforest.

        PT and Lula argue that these problems can all be addressed—solved or at least greatly reduced—through the political system of (bourgeois) democracy (by putting “good people” like themselves in office) and under the profit-driven capitalist system of production, and without an actual revolution that breaks up that old system and establishes a socialist society.

        This illusion of painless progress is very appealing to many people, and it got PT candidates (first Lula, and then Dilma Rousseff) elected president several times (PT held power from 2003 to 2016). But the reality is that it is the capitalist-imperialist system itself that causes so much suffering and destruction, and these problems can’t be solved within that system.

        Thirteen years of PT rule brought no qualitative change to Brazil. Women did not get the right to abortion; the favelas were not replaced by decent housing; inequality and poverty are still extreme; and the Amazon was not protected and restored. This failure to bring about significant change is one reason why Lula—once extremely popular—barely eked out a one percent victory over Bolsonaro. 

        Fascists like Bolsonaro rail against and want to actually slaughter PT and its supporters as part of going after and crushing the sections of the people PT claims to represent—and they have powerful support for this among sections of the security forces, the wealthy, and some of the masses. PT wants to draw people into the illusion of changing the system from within, and string them along with the promise (and occasional delivery) of modest reforms, a position that also has significant ruling class support.

        But again, both of these are forms of capitalist rule—capitalist dictatorship—aimed at preserving the capitalist system.

        In this latest round, the fascist forces failed to achieve their goals, but it is clear that they remain powerful and will persist.

        The attempted coup in Brazil and the deep split within the people reflected by the election is not unique to Brazil. The critical question there, as it is in so many places, is whether a force can be brought forward that can break through the deadlock and work toward an actual revolution.

        _______________

        FOOTNOTES:

        1. He came in second out of multiple candidates in the October 2 election. Since no candidate won the majority of votes, there was a runoff on October 31, which Bolsonaro lost by a one percent margin. [back]

        2. The U.S. played a key role in the coup that brought the military to power and strongly supported it. See American Crime Case #86: 1964 Brazil Coup and Rise of Brutal Military Dictatorship. [back]

        3. For a deep analysis of the rise of Christian fascism and other types of religious fundamentalism around the world, see “Why Is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today’s World,” Bob Avakian, at revcom.us. [back]

        4. Bolsonaro “expanded immunity for police officers who used deadly force”—in a country where in 2016, pigs killed 4224 people. This is four times as many as even the murderous cops in the U.S. that year. [back]

        5. Bolsonaro infamously said that he would rather his son died in an accident than come home with a boyfriend, and that “if I see two men kissing each other on the street, I’ll beat them up.” [back]

        6. During the height of the COVID pandemic, Bolsonaro completely rejected masks, shutdowns and other public health measures, while Brazil “achieved” the world’s third highest per capita COVID death rate, with at least 695,000 deaths. See “A Gathering Tsunami of Pain in a World of Savage Inequalities” at revcom.us. [back]

      • ARTICLE:

        I Want to Join This Revolution, Where Do I Start?

        If you can't stand the world the way it is, then you need to be part of the revolution that is the way out of this madness.

        How do I get started this week?

        1. Watch THIS segment from The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show, Bob Avakian on murder by police and the need for system change and Noche Diaz & Michelle Xai on the recent LAPD killing spree... and why the whole system has to go! Invite your friends and family to watch and discuss it together.  (Subscribe to the show, which airs every Thursday, talk with people about getting together to watch it weekly.)

        We want to learn from this, so DM us with questions or things that come up, @therevcoms or email getorganizedforrevolutiontour@gmail.com

        The segment starting with BA and followed by Noche and Michelle start at minute 8:02. 

        2. A major way to step into and support this revolution is contributing and raising funds for the $100,000 fund drive to put REAL revolution on the map in 2023. Building a movement for revolution requires your support—and it requires building up the organized forces for revolution, through the outreach and impact you can have with fundraising. Ask friends and family, people you know at work, or pull some friends together to do something like a bake sale. When you raise funds, you join a revolutionary community and movement with others like you all across the country. Go here to learn from other people's experience and ideas.

        3. Download and spread these flyers throughout your neighborhood or school.

        4. Watch the full three-part Interview with Bob Avakian (BA) on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show. Meet the leadership we have to make this revolution. In these Interviews, BA breaks down what the revolution is all about, and why and how it is possible. In the Interviews, people get to know this leader, and BA 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.

        _______

        Be prepared to run into a lot of support and a lot of controversy. This is about the most radical revolution to emancipate humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation, and it's going up against all the ways this system trains people to think and act. To paraphrase an important piece on revcom.us, BA and the revcoms are loved and followed for the same reasons they are hated and slandered: because they are fighting for a radical revolutionary break with this whole rotten world. Those who are sick at heart about all this oppression should want to know about and get seriously into all this. But those who want to hold onto this system, or at least significant parts of it, hate BA for being very clear and firm, and putting forward very clearly and firmly, why we need to sweep aside and move beyond all this, and move forward to something far better through an actual revolution.

        If you run into questions that you don't know how to answer, DM or email us. 

        If you want to go deeper on revcom.us:
      • ARTICLE:

        Chicago:

        PUT REAL REVOLUTION ON THE MAP IN 2023

        Music and Poetry by Friends of the Revolution

        Clips from the Bob Avakian Interviews

        Saturday, February 11
        5-8 pm

        Unity Lutheran Church
        1212 W Balmoral Avenue
        Chicago, Il 60640

        Sponsors:

        Revolution Club Chicago
        Friends of the Revolution

        Children welcome

        To volunteer call: 312-804-9121

        Tickets:

        Donor - $25
        Regular - $15
        Discount - $10

        Fundraiser for @therevcoms

        $100,000 Fund Drive

        Potluck Dinner and Program, February 11, Chicago

        Music and Poetry by Friends of the Revolution

        Clips from the Bob Avakian Interviews

        Saturday, February 11
        5-8 pm

        Unity Lutheran Church
        1212 W Balmoral Avenue
        Chicago, Il 60640

        Sponsors:

        Revolution Club Chicago
        Friends of the Revolution
        Children welcome
        To volunteer call: 312-804-9121

        Tickets:

        Donor - $25
        Regular - $15
        Discount - $10