Revolution #430, March 14, 2016 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Come Together, Raise Funds and Build the Campaign for BA Everywhere

Fundraising Dinners for the Bob Avakian Everywhere Campaign, Weekend of March 18 Nationwide

Updated March 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


You are invited to come together, raise funds, and build community, as part of accelerating the BA Everywhere campaign. The campaign aims to raise big funds to make the new synthesis of communism that Bob Avakian (BA) has brought forward, and the leadership he provides, a major question in society: a point of reference and, for increasing numbers, a living framework for how to understand, and transform, the world. The new synthesis represents a qualitative advance in the scientific approach to making revolution and emancipating humanity.

BA, the Chairman of the RCP, USA, embodies a rare combination: a revolutionary leader who on the basis of 40 years of work has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it accessible to the masses of people.

Where there is oppression, there will be resistance—the masses of people will continually rise up against their conditions of oppression and those who enforce this oppression. But, without the necessary scientific theory and leadership, the struggle of the oppressed will be contained, and remain confined, within the system which is the source of oppression, and the horrors to which the masses are subjected will go on, and on.

BA, his work, and his leadership exist at a time when the influence and organized force of revolution—real revolution—is not nearly as strong as it urgently needs to be, but the basis for this is actually stronger than ever. The biggest immediate problem right now is that this is not yet known in the way it needs to be... As BA himself says in the new work we are celebrating:

There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but  have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.

—Bob Avakian
The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution,
and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation

This has to change... now. As a first step, build these dinners. If you are not now connected to the Party or BA Everywhere and want to participate, or to learn more about this campaign, write to us at or get in touch with the local Revolution Books bookstore, or the local distributor of Revolution where you live.

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DONATE to the
BA Everywhere Campaign!

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Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Let’s Make the BA Everywhere Dinners a Big Time to Raise Money to Get Out BA’s Message and Build Community

March 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



Next weekend in cities across the country people will come together to break bread, get into Bob Avakian (BA) and what he’s all about, and wrangle with revolution. We want to offer some thoughts on how to make these dinners be real successes, real advances for revolution.

First, we’re reprinting an excerpt from BA’s talk The Strategic Approach to Revolution and Its Relation to Basic Questions of Epistemology and Method, which gets into the relation of BA Everywhere to making revolution. Here, in this article, we want to call people’s attention in particular to this passage from the excerpt:

BA Everywhere is a way of providing a leading edge to all of our work—to the ensemble, and our revolutionary work as a whole— and providing a revolutionary communist foundation for that work, even as, as I’ve been emphasizing, there needs to be ongoing struggle to forge the work of BA Everywhere itself on an actual basis of revolution and communism, and not have it be turned into something else. And this is another contradiction we have to handle correctly. Just because it’s true objectively that what’s concentrated in the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA is, in fact, the scientific foundation and strategic approach to revolution and communism, doesn’t mean that it can’t be transformed into something else in how it’s taken up and approached. Everything in the world is contradiction, and everything in the world can be turned into its opposite, through struggle. And, you know, we’ve seen that: the dictatorship of the proletariat could be turned into the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie without dropping the name “dictatorship of the proletariat”; or socialism can be turned into capitalism with or without—and often without—dropping the name “socialism.” And communism can be turned into its opposite without ever dropping the name “communism.” So it’s a matter of the substance of this. It’s a matter of the method and approach. It’s a matter of the science. It’s a matter of whether what is being brought forward when we’re carrying out BA Everywhere is actually what it represents and embodies—namely, the new synthesis of communism and leadership toward the goal of revolution and communism—or whether it’s fashioned into something else, transformed into its opposite, in effect.

At the same time—and as the other side of yet another important contradiction—this campaign of BA Everywhere is not and should not be understood and approached as a flat linear thing of just reaching out and involving people in whatever way they can be involved, at whatever level of unity they might seek to find and whatever way we can get them to contribute to BA Everywhere. But it’s a matter of correctly handling this very important contradiction between the leading aspect—and it does need to be the leading aspect—of what is represented by the leadership of BA and the new synthesis of communism, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, the fact that objectively there is a basis for many people to be involved in this campaign who do not agree, even with the goal of communism, let alone with everything that is represented in the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA.

So, on the one hand, another way this contradiction is posed or could be posed is that BA Everywhere is not just a campaign in some general sense, it’s not a flat linear thing, but in fact constitutes a form of class struggle in the ideological realm— understood, again, not in some sort of economist, narrow reified way, but struggle in the ideological realm over what is the problem and solution in the world, to put it that way, and what role does the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA play in relation to that. All that, on the one hand, being a form of ideological struggle, not just simply putting this out and seeing what people think about it, but engaging them in active ideological struggle about what’s true about this—all that, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, actually having the orientation and actively seeking the means to involve many people, and growing numbers of people, who at any given time are not won, or not fully won, to that but do think that it’s very important that the questions raised by what’s concentrated in BA Everywhere—whither humanity, if you will: what is the problem, what is the solution, what is going on in the world, why is it going on, does it have to go on, if there’s a solution to it, what is the solution, how do we bring about that solution—all those big questions that are very much at the heart of what the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA is all about, all those questions need to be out there in society having major impact. Everyone who recognizes that, with whatever disagreements they may have, we should be working to find the ways, and working with them to involve them in finding the ways, for them to contribute to this campaign, even while we carry forward and carry out the ideological struggle over all that with them, as well as more broadly.

Again, I spoke about the mass initiatives, and I referred to something I wrote recently about who should be involved in these mass initiatives, and on the other hand what is our approach to them, coming from where we need to be coming from. Well, the same applies to BA Everywhere. Who should be involved in BA Everywhere? Everyone who recognizes (or, once again, can be won—through struggle, let me emphasize—to see) that the questions raised by the new synthesis of communism and what is represented by BA as the concentration of the leadership around that new synthesis, that all that needs to be out in society in a big way, having a major impact in society, actively being discussed and debated, even while many such people may not agree with all or even perhaps much of the actual content of that new synthesis of communism and what is represented by the leadership of BA. But everyone who thinks it’s important for the questions that are raised by that, the big questions it raises, to be out in society in a major way—impacting society and the discourse in society, the debate and struggle in society in a major way—all such people are people who potentially can be and who need to be involved in BA Everywhere. Just as in the two mass initiatives, everyone who understands, or can be won to see, that the outrages these mass initiatives are taking up are intolerable and must be fought against needs to be involved, and potentially can be involved, in these mass initiatives, even while we are bringing forward our full understanding of not only what is represented by what these mass initiatives are taking up, but the overall context into which it fits in society and the world as a whole.

See the full excerpt: "The Ensemble of Revolutionary Work Now"

The above is important and pretty straightforward. It deserves real reflection, and repeated returning to. One thing: there is no need for—and no place for—gimmicks. Just take out BA, in a mass way. There is certainly plenty of material with which to do this—beginning with the Six Resolutions recently passed by the Party’s Central Committee (which does provide a very concentrated introduction for people on the significance of BA’s leadership), the key works he’s brought forward, the various posters and cards made of his quotes, etc.

People responsible for leading this need to make good plans, or review and follow up on the ones they’ve made. If they have made plans they should be returning to, reviewing and “refreshing” these plans. They should be asking themselves what we are learning about the key social and political “eco-systems” which need to be systematically worked within, and what are the key links within those systems. What are the social forces and who are the individuals we’ve reached, and who do we need to get to? What are we learning in the process of doing this?

To take an example that gives a sense of what we mean, in building for the dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West on “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion” in New York City in 2014, comrades focused in on several key “eco-systems.” There was the Harlem community, with some of the housing projects as a key link; the religious community, with Union Theological Seminary as a key link; and Columbia University, as well as the progressive strata in New York more broadly. Analysis was made, plans were made, experience was summed up and progress charted—daily. We learned more about the dynamics of these “eco-systems” even as we were changing them. Where necessary—and it was often necessary—modifications were made on the basis of summing up experience. If such plans have not been made—or, more likely, if they have been made but need to be much more fleshed out and further developed—this needs to happen, now.

Second, plans depend on PEOPLE. And there are plenty of people, with plenty of ties and ideas and creativity, right now, to unite with and unleash. People who came to the mass meetings on the resolution process; people who came to the campus tour by Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor (“If you are serious about changing the world and want to know what a REAL revolution is: An Meet the Revolution”), or who are helping to build it where it is soon to come; people who participated in Rise Up October or in the movement against patriarchy, especially as concentrated in the fight for the right to abortion and birth control; certainly people who have shown interest in taking up the study of BA’s new work, The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation. Then there are the many people who came to the Dialogue between BA and Cornel West, or have come to film showings. There are people now coming into political life in other ways to whom we should be reaching out. And, again, we should be pulling together a core, or cores, of people as we do this, and stretching a line into other movements and sections of the people.

Third, very importantly, we need to lead others to continually sum up the process of struggling with people to come to the dinner: what are the key questions coming up, what are we learning from people, how are these questions rooted in material reality and what are they telling us about it, how do we further push this struggle forward. In this light, it is worth going back to part of what we reprinted above:

[BA Everywhere] constitutes a form of class struggle in the ideological realm—understood, again, not in some sort of economist, narrow reified way, but struggle in the ideological realm over what is the problem and solution in the world, to put it that way, and what role does the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA play in relation to that. All that, on the one hand, being a form of ideological struggle, not just simply putting this out and seeing what people think about it, but engaging them in active ideological struggle about what's true about this—all that, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, actually having the orientation and actively seeking the means to involve many people, and growing numbers of people, who at any given time are not won, or not fully won, to that but do think that it's very important that the questions raised by what's concentrated in BA Everywhere—whither humanity, if you will: what is the problem, what is the solution, what is going on in the world, why is it going on, does it have to go on, if there's a solution to it, what is the solution, how do we bring about that solution—all those big questions that are very much at the heart of what the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of BA is all about, all those questions need to be out there in society having major impact.

Okay, so it would follow that we should be summing up how we are doing in that struggle all along the way. This is a process of ideological struggle, polarization, more ideological struggle, repolarization...and on and on. And when we are pushing for something crucial, that means summing up every day and sometimes more than that!

Fourth, as we do this, we need to further involve people in the real tasks of building the dinner and making the dinner really be something fitting to BA and what he represents—something really together, really welcoming, but really conveying at the same time what BA is all about and what this movement is all about. These kinds of tasks are not only essential, but they are good ways for people to get into things.

Fifth, BA Everywhere is a fund-raising campaign, and we should be raising plenty of funds going into this. BA and what he’s all about need to be out there in general, but certainly right now, in the midst of the turmoil and questioning about the future, the need for this is underlined all the more. Shouldn’t people be buying premium tickets, and not just for themselves but for friends? Shouldn’t we be asking people for ideas on who else to go to? We should be encouraging people to write checks to The Bob Avakian Institute. Right now people are giving money, lots of money, to presidential candidates who at best are promoting deadly illusions and touching up a status quo of a society in which millions are ground down and oppressed every day, rooted in the horror of American domination of the world and everything that means for the seven billion people on the planet. Shouldn’t they give to something that promises REAL hope, on a solid scientific foundation? And shouldn’t we be struggling with them to do so?

Sixth, plan now what’s going to happen at the dinners—and what comes out of the dinners. How will the dinners themselves embody the kind of community we want to build, prefiguring the revolution and the new society we are fighting to bring into being? How are people going to be “invited into” BA Everywhere? What kinds of ways will there be for many different kinds of people to not just “plug into” already-arranged activities—which there should be—but to bring their ideas and understanding into things?

Finally, leadership is everything. For the next week, leadership needs to be in the field with people, continually wielding the line of this editorial, modeling how to carry out this work, and insisting that people stay on message.

And then, next weekend—let’s go all out and have real fun!!





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



Will Reese

Will Reese (1950-2016)

Will was a revolutionary communist, someone proud to call himself a follower of Bob Avakian (BA), and ready at all times to marshal the science to say why he was and convince you to be a follower too. Will was a Party member who devoted his whole life to communism and went wherever people were in motion and the struggle was sharpest, wherever the Party asked him to go, to spread this revolution. Will fought as best he could within the Party and as hard as he could to grasp and struggle for the understanding brought forward by BA and to apply it to the problems of the revolution, taking initiative to come up with creative ideas and plans, and contribute as best he could to the collective struggle to transform the world toward communism.

Will spent a tremendous amount of time out among the people, particularly (but not only) among the most oppressed, and was known, loved, and respected by thousands in New York City and around the country as an unapologetic revolutionary, a fierce fighter against the many crimes of the capitalist-imperialist system, and a passionate and scientific advocate of Bob Avakian’s leadership and the new synthesis of communism that BA has developed, which Will grasped was the key link in reaching a world free of all the unnecessary cruelty and horror that he saw raining down on the masses of people every day of his life.

Will was on the front lines of many crucial struggles over the last 35 years, in Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and finally in New York. He went to Atlanta in the time of the Child Murders, when at least 20 Black children and youths were abducted and murdered by “forces unknown” in the early 1980s. He went to Miami in the wake of two major rebellions against police murders of unarmed Black men, and to LA after the massive uprising sparked by the acquittal of four of the cops who were caught on video savagely beating Rodney King.

Will’s fierce anger in calling out these crimes against the people, his willingness to give voice to his own deep pain and that of the people, especially at what was being done to the youth, both inspired people and could move them to tears, and to action. (See the video of his talk at the August 2015 gathering of hundreds of people at a Harlem church to build for the Rise Up October protests against police terror and murder.) He led people many times to go up in the face of the oppressors in the streets, and also went widely among teachers, professionals, and intellectuals, including meeting with people like the authors James Baldwin and Tony Cade Bambara to win their support for key struggles. At the same time, Will never stopped focusing on the need to bring forward to the movement for revolution those most in need of revolution, those catching hell every day from this system—especially the youth.

But what was most striking about Will was his determination to bring things back, again and again, to the fact that unless and until people rose up to make revolution, these horrors would keep happening, over and over again, and that for revolution to happen in the future, people had to start stepping forward now and get into Bob Avakian and the revolutionary science he has forged.

Will could—and did—go into a room of hundreds of students who were raging against police brutality, but were completely bogged down in petty and illusory non-solutions, and flip the room by bringing forward the need and basis for revolution, and challenging people to make their lives about that and nothing less. He could and he did lead the Revolution Club in Harlem, who went into huge housing projects with a mission and a plan to talk to every single resident at least once, about why the premiere of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! was something that they had to be at if they cared about the people and the future. He could and he did go out widely among the people to build for the Dialogue on revolution and religion between BA and the revolutionary Christian Cornel West in 2014. And when people responded that they wanted to go because they liked Cornel (who has well-deserved respect among large numbers of Black people), Will had no hesitation about saying to them, “That’s great, but do you know about Bob Avakian? This is a leader that you really need to get into.” Will saw the importance of, and acted on, the need to draw people forward around these efforts—making it a point to get statements from among the masses about WHY they were going to the premiere of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and why others should go, and challenging and working with people to take responsibility for organizing others to come to the Dialogue on revolution and religion.

Will did not just promote and popularize BA—he greatly appreciated and sought to apply BA’s scientific method and approach, including an unyielding confidence in the ability of the masses to take up revolution and incredible persistence to bring this about in the face of whatever obstacles. Even when plagued with ill health, Will would stay up all night reading, thinking, talking about problems like this, putting them before other comrades and to the masses themselves, going out persistently to engage and challenge the youth and sum up that experience, keeping journals of what people had said, and then developing new plans with specific goals to make advances.

Will Reese from the NYC Revolution Club calls on people to donate funds to send 100 families to Rise Up October, August 27, 2016, New York City at First Corinthian Church

Will understood the importance of, and placed great emphasis on, bringing the basic people forward as communists, into the Revolution Club and into the Party, which often meant overcoming the problem that so many people on the bottom of society have been denied even the rudiments of an education and are illiterate or semi-literate. Drawing from his own experience teaching students who had dropped out or been thrown out of school, Will worked with people by reading aloud from BA’s writings or other works and then deeply discussing the ideas. In this way, in Los Angeles he recruited Willie “Mobile” Shaw, who himself was—until his death in 2005—a powerful force connecting BA and revolution among the people in LA. (See “Statement by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, on the Occasion of the Death of Willie ‘Mobile’ Shaw.”)

Will was also a masterful agitator who mercilessly hounded and ridiculed the enemy—right to their faces! When he was in Atlanta this earned him a bitter nickname from the pigs who called him “the Mouth of the South.” It was a common sight on the streets of Atlanta to see dozens of people gathered around Will listening intently as he called out the crimes of this system. But Will was also “listening intently.” He didn’t talk “at” people—he was always very aware of his audience, watching for signs, in their eyes, a smile, body language, from which he could get a sense of what they were thinking and going through, and he would call out to people, even if they were just walking by—“Come on, sister, you know what I’m saying is true, what do you think about this?”—and he would draw people in, forging an instant community of people resisting oppression, wrangling with why things are the way they are and how they could be different.

As part of all this, Will was an incredibly warm, playful, and loving person who saw, and reached for, the best in everyone he met, urging and welcoming people to play the greatest role they could in the movement for revolution, whether they were lifelong veterans of that movement or were just encountering it at that moment. Consciously learning from BA, Will modeled a communist spirit of loving and cherishing the masses of people but always struggling to lead them. With good humor, with firmness, and sometimes with great courage, Will challenged expressions of male chauvinism, racism, nationalism, of slavishness or submission to the oppressors, and any other idea that kept the people enslaved by the system.

Harlem, NYC. Reaching out to—and drawing in—the youth.
Harlem, NYC. Reaching out to—and drawing in—the youth.
(Special to

Although he was deeply aware of the many barriers to people stepping out against the system, or the pulls to give up that struggle—the difficulty of just surviving, the fear of the power the system could bring down on you, the pull of a “look out for #1” society and of backward “traditional ideas”—he was even more conscious of the need and the potential for people to break through those barriers and be part of the force fighting for the emancipation of all humanity.

All of this had a powerful impact on everyone around him; many people who encountered Will even 20 or 30 years ago never forgot him, and Will held a great many people in his heart as well.

Will Reese’s Early Life

Will himself was one of those who, from very early on in life, was driven forward by a love for the people and a hatred of the oppression they suffered, and searched restlessly for an understanding and a road forward out of this, a way to a world fit for human beings.

Will came up in rural southwest Virginia under the suffocating reign of open white supremacy, where the rules for Black people were plain to all, written in Jim Crow laws, in reactionary customs... and in blood. And all those rules came down to one rule: “know your place” and, most of all, always submit to white authority. Every Black person understood that to violate those rules could mean arrest, a beat-down, or a savage lynching.

But Will was already feeling the beat of a different rhythm, as the Civil Rights Movement spread through the South, giving heart to the rebellious spirits of youths even in the rural backwaters. At an early age, Will was one of the defiant ones who refused to submit. He and his crew boldly tried to integrate an all-white barber shop, but were turned back when the owner pulled a shotgun. They succeeded in integrating a roller rink after his little sister was turned away. They showed up at a country club dressed in their funkiest threads and insisted on playing golf. But even among these defiant ones, Will stood out for his fearlessness—one time when barely more than a child, Will and his friends were confronted by a large group of white youths; Will’s friends took off, but Will stood there, facing down the challengers.

A few years later, Will would see a picture of the Black Panther Party decked out in their berets and black leather jackets, and he recognized the militancy he wanted to emulate. So he set off searching for a beret. But there were no berets in his town! Undeterred, he fashioned one out of an old hat and got a leather jacket to go with it.

After high school Will got a football scholarship to attend Emory and Henry, a small liberal arts college that had only a few years earlier admitted its first Black students since its founding in 1839. College opened up new worlds and new possibilities for Will. He was attracted to the rebellious spirit and largeness of mind he found among the art students and professors, all of whom were white. He had a passion for oil painting, and to this day one of his paintings hangs in a community college in the area. He got into jazz. He studied history.

But with all his interests, talents, and passions, most of all, Will saw the need to radically change things, and that set the terms for his life. The upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s were increasingly influenced by revolutionary ideas, but there was not yet a clear revolutionary leadership or a clear strategy for revolution in the U.S. In these conditions, thousands of students and former students came together in small collectives and initiated different projects, often aimed at connecting the radical ideas that were flourishing on campuses to the oppressed people in different communities.

Will was part of this—after college he formed a collective to publish a magazine based in the Appalachian region near his school. The Plow published essays, creative writing, and art reflecting the unique culture of the deeply oppressed people—predominantly white—of Appalachia. Will saw this as a vehicle to spread radical ideas and initiate resistance, but others in the collective saw it purely as a cultural magazine, and when that line won out, Will moved on looking for something new.

Some friends invited him to Hawai’i in the mid-’70s, where he connected with the struggle of oppressed Native Hawaiian people to reclaim their culture as part of fighting for their liberation. Will loved to go to their encampment on the beach and hang out with them. He got a job in a pineapple processing plant and joined strikes and workplace struggles that were commonplace at the time.

Through all of this, Will continued to widen his view, learning that the problem was more than just white supremacy, his eye drawn more and more to a worldwide system of imperialism that ravaged the lives of billions, though he was still basically rooted in a revolutionary nationalist view of that.

Making the Leap to Communism

But around 1978 he met comrades from the recently formed Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) who were fighting fiercely against the oppressors, but with a different outlook, that of proletarian internationalism and communism. At that time, Bob Avakian was under heavy attack from the rulers of this system, both for his role as leader of the revolutionary struggle in the U.S., and as a leader in the international communist movement who was calling out the new leadership in China—leadership that came to power in a military coup after the death of the great revolutionary leader, Mao Zedong—as revisionist betrayers of the revolution who were restoring capitalism in China*. BA was facing charges carrying a potential 241 years in jail stemming from a brutal police attack on a demonstration he led against Deng Xiaoping (the leader of the coup) when Deng came to DC, where the U.S. rulers welcomed him as a hero.

Will, still struggling with the need to rupture beyond revolutionary nationalism, decided to join 170 volunteers to go to Washington, DC, for six weeks for an intense political battle to free Bob Avakian and the other 17 people facing heavy charges from the demonstration. This battle involved going out very broadly among the people in DC, from the most down-pressed ghettos to artists, intellectuals and activists, to relatively privileged and professional people, and not only exposing the outrageous frame-up, but getting into the need for revolution and the role of genuine communist leaders like BA.

It was through the course of this that Will himself came to recognize that this communist movement, this science, and the leadership of BA, was what he had been looking for, the road forward for real liberation for all the people. And once he did that his tremendous defiance, love for the people, and hatred of oppression became fused with the science and the leadership that could actually forge a path to a whole different future.

And Will was all in from that point forward—to those who worked with him, he seemed both completely fearless and absolutely inexhaustible both in leading people to resist oppression and in taking revolutionary communism to them and struggling with them to take it up themselves, unleashed as a veritable force of nature, fearless, fierce, focused on bringing about revolution at the earliest possible time.

Will told people that one of his favorite writings by Bob Avakian was the final essay in BAsics, “The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard.” This is very fitting, and the outlook and orientation of this essay very much characterized Will. In essence, Will had a deep sense of the oppression of the masses and an unshakeable confidence in their ability to take up the struggle and the science of revolutionary communism.

One-on-one, Will would really put the whole thing to people, even if they were very new. Before the April 14, 2015, protests against police murder, a couple of college-age youths came around to help make banners for the march, but then started to head home rather than actually go to the protest. Will asked them why, and they basically said that while they supported the protest (which is why they were helping with the banners), they didn’t want to run the risk of fucking up their college education, and also thought doing this would drive a wedge between them and their parents. Will didn’t shine on that possibility, but he spoke at length about what the world needs from them now, and also talked about his own experience—and that of hundreds of thousands of people—in the ’60s, when those youth who were the backbone of the revolutionary upsurge often had to go up against and became alienated from their families. And he said that, really, revolutionary change is not possible if youth are not willing to do this, and that it is important to put the future of humanity and of the people, including people like their parents, ahead of the real pain that this might cause in the short run. This struggle was for real—Will wasn’t just making some points for these kids “to think about,” he was challenging them to make a big change in their lives because that’s what was needed.

Even in the hospital, when he was very ill, whatever energy Will had, he used to spread revolution, getting Revolution newspaper to doctors and hospital staff, starting up conversations with whoever was transporting him, and trying to deepen his own understanding so he could play a greater role. When the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 2016 came out, he was able to discuss them with comrades several times.

The death of Will Reese is heartbreaking to those who knew and loved him—and a great loss for the whole revolutionary movement. But it also poses a challenge. To all those who knew, admired, and loved Will, and even to those who are just learning about him: There is a great need for you to follow his example—to put the interests of the people, or to more fully put the interests of the people, at the center of your life, and to get into this—or get more fully and deeply into this—as a follower of BA, studying his scientific method and approach, popularizing and spreading his leadership in the way that Will did, in the way that made him such a precious leader and fighter for the future of humanity. This challenge goes out to longtime revolutionaries and brand-new people; it is a challenge to do the most important thing anyone can do with their life, and to do it well, and each and every one of you who responds to this will make a huge difference in the struggle for a world free of all oppression to which Will Reese devoted his entire life, body and soul.


* Today it is much easier to see that the coup in 1976 marked a reversal of the revolution, because China today is a grotesque “model” of capitalist exploitation run amok, destroying the lives of the people and the environment in pursuit of profit. But in 1978, this was not well understood even by most communists, and this confusion was actually disorienting the whole worldwide revolutionary struggle. BA’s role in very thoroughly and scientifically analyzing what had happened and on that basis opposing this and fighting to keep the communist movement internationally on the path of real revolution, was deeply threatening to the worldwide system of imperialism. [back]







Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

What Is the REAL Solution?

The People Run Trump Out of Chicago—The Crisis Sharpens

Updated March 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since this article was originally posted (March 14), determined protests against Trump have spread to Utah, Arizona, New York, and elsewhere.

Chicago, March 11.
Chicago, March 11. (AP photo)

Chicago, March 11. (Video:

Saturday, March 19, New York City, as many as 2,000 people defied police attacks to protest Trump, including marching to Trump Towers. Photo: AP

Saturday, March 19, a major highway leading to Fountain Hills, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, was blockaded and shut down by protesters delaying a Trump rally for over an hour. (Patrick Breen/The Arizona Republic via AP)

Friday, March 18, hundreds of protesters confronted and challenged Trump supporters at a Trump rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, and were attacked by police. Photo: AP

The crisis concentrated in the candidacy of Donald Trump intensified, reaching a new height in the powerful and very justified disruption of Trump’s scheduled rally in Chicago on March 11. Thousands of protesters, including many students of color, confronted the fascist rally and essentially forced Trump to cancel it.

Trump has for weeks incited physical attacks on protesters at his rallies and defended his followers who carry them out. This reached a peak on March 9, when someone reached out and sucker-punched a Black protester being forcibly removed from the rally by eight police. And when the puncher was arrested, he said, “We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American. The next time we see him we might have to kill him.”

In the face of this, and in the face of a constant stream of racist and chauvinist invective and threats coming from Trump and his minions, and on top of all that, in the face of Trump very provocatively coming to the University of Illinois at Chicago, which is attended by many Blacks and Latinos as well as many immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants, people had very righteously had enough. It clearly felt good to the people in the hall to confront this shit—you can’t miss the joy that people feel when they stand up and sense their potential power—and it felt good to watch it. Fact: conciliating with fascists does not make them go away!! This protest and disruption must be upheld, and those who would lecture people “on the right way to go about things” should be taken on.

The Crisis Sharpens

At the same time, for all the reasons we said in our main article online and in print in Revolution issue #429-430 (“On the Rise of Donald Trump... And the Need and Possibility of Real Revolution”),  what happened in Chicago has exacerbated the legitimacy crisis among those ruling society. By that we mean the crisis over HOW the representatives of the capitalist class that rules America carry out its rule.

As we said in that article:

The system as a whole faces multiple crises on different fronts—the globalization and “turbo-charging” of the world economy, which has led to the hollowing out of the domestic industrial base and the downgrading of the living standards of tens of millions of people, accompanied by an extraordinarily pronounced income inequality... the fracturing international situation, with a direct challenge to the U.S. (and Western Europe) mounted by the fundamentalist Islamic jihadist forces but also coming from other rivals... the tumultuous changes in the role of women, economically and culturally, especially in relation to the family... and changes in the “racial” makeup of America—the increasing necessity to rely on immigrant labor coupled with the actual removal of millions of African-Americans out of the labor force, and the institution of a genocidal system of mass incarceration... and the intensifying ecological crisis. There is widespread alienation and a feeling, among many different sections of people, that the system is not working and the rules are not being applied fairly.

Generally speaking, over the past two decades two sections of the imperialist ruling class have been engaged in extremely sharp struggle. This finds expression in the complaints about “rancor in Congress” and gridlock, etc. One group, more or less corresponding to the Republican Party, has promoted a more or less openly fascist set of “legitimating norms” (that is, basic assumptions that are more or less accepted as the “way things should be” or at least “the way things are”), while the other group—more or less corresponding to the Democrats—has had a more liberal approach, and has over and over again conciliated with the Republicans. In large part, this is because the Democrats find (and attempt to build) their base among the oppressed groups in society, as well as among people who generally want justice and believe in reason. While the Republicans are more than willing to stoke their base of soreheads, reactionaries, and fundamentalist morons and to—sometimes—call them into action, the Democrats fear calling their base into the streets, precisely because these are the groups whose most basic interests can only be met through revolution and who, even if they don’t or may not see that at any given time, still can be part of opening up questions at the very heart of how oppressive and exploitative this system actually IS, as they stand up and fight against it. In other words, the sharpening crisis between these two camps and the wild-card element represented by Trump could set in motion a process containing great potential dangers for the system.

For an example of the craven and disgusting attitude of the top Democrats when those they consider their base do stand up, look at Hillary Clinton’s shameful—and shameless—response to what went down in Chicago. She couldn’t even bring herself to denounce Trump by name or call him a racist when asked about him in the Miami debate. She lectured those who are outraged by Trump, and who courageously disrupted and shut down one of his fascist rallies, that they should be like the families of Black people murdered in a church in South Carolina by “an evil man” (she couldn’t even call him a racist!). Clinton said, “The families of those victims came together and melted hearts in the statehouse and the Confederate flag came down. That should be the model we strive for to overcome painful divisions in our country.” But you are not going to “melt the hearts” of a fascist movement (nor of Hillary Clinton’s heart for that matter)—“hearts” are checked at the door when you enter the high reaches of ruling class politics.

The Coming Civil War cover
Click to read

Trump has seized on this situation in general to sort of preemptively call a large part of the fascist social base into action, including in his campaign itself. The violence at his rallies is a big part of his thing—the “strongman” appeal. And, in fact, not only did Trump not back off of threatening people at his rallies, he openly threatened to send his people into rallies for Bernie Sanders.

The intensity of this crisis of legitimacy can be seen in many ways. To take just one, right now, you have Republicans debating over whether they should just basically negate the results of the primaries and deny Trump the nomination should he win the number of delegates he needs. This would have serious ramifications, at minimum for the Republicans’ short-term aims, and it is not clear that they would do this. But this is the kind of thing they’re openly discussing, and that is just the tip of the iceberg—it goes way deeper. To quote from an article in the New York Times: “Behind the showdowns is a climate of frustration and fright not seen since the 1960s, or even the 1850s when, in the words of Joanne Freeman, a Yale historian who has studied violence in American politics, ‘each side was convinced that the other side was about to destroy America—or what they believed to be the fundamental essence of America—and each side totally alienated the other side.’” (“Donald Trump’s Heated Words Were Destined to Stir Violence, Opponents Say,” March 12, 2016)

This quote illustrates just how sharp the crisis is, and the possibility evoked by these historical examples for the social fabric to be torn open—a possibility which carries dangers but also carries the potential for great change and which, together with the very active work of revolutionaries, could be part of what leads to a revolutionary situation and the chance to actually go for power. Not guaranteed by any means, not one-two-three out of today’s situation in any case, and certainly something that would require a great deal of scientific rigor, imagination, initiative, struggle, work, and going against the tide by revolutionaries to even present itself as a possibility... But still, this situation is extremely volatile. And things could happen.

Why the Democrats Are NOT the Answer

Yet many say—even with the proven conciliation carried out by the Democrats, again and again—that while revolution would be good, or might be good, right now people have to unite with the Democrats to stop Trump.

BA on Elections
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That is wrong, for two reasons. The first is that the Democrats have proven themselves unwilling to oppose any of the Republican-led outrages in any meaningful way—again, because from their calculus, the possibility of “masses in the streets” getting out of their control is far more frightening than anything the Republi-fascists have done—and again, they have done and are doing plenty. Further, the Democrats not only share much of this fascist program (after all, Obama IS “deporter-in-chief” even as he talks a different game), they share the most basic assumption: that the yardstick in everything is the survival of this capitalist-imperialist system. To now rely on these people to oppose the fascists is the popular definition of insanity: continuing to do the same thing over and over, when you know the results will not be what you want and what you are convinced you need.

A Call, a Question, to Those Searching for a Way Forward

Here we have to ask our readers to step back and ask yourselves: What kind of society, what kind of system, IS it which even produces a Donald Trump as a leading candidate? What kind of system produces, as the limits of political discourse in society, an argument over HOW to best preserve and expand a worldwide empire of grinding exploitation of billions of people all over the world? And yes, “even” Bernie Sanders works within these parameters. Sanders, after all, repeatedly says, “I believe that the United States should have the strongest military in the world.” This means the drones, the counter-insurgencies, the proxy wars, and everything else—and if he, or the ruling class as a whole, deems it necessary—all-out brutal war, exactly of the type fought and/or threatened by “progressive presidents” of the past, like Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama. Bernie Sanders has an economic program of high taxes on the super-rich. But such a program requires the super-rich themselves to BE super-rich. And where does that wealth come from? From the parasitism of this whole system. From the horrifically exploited gold miners in Congo; the women who die whether by slow or all-too-often fast death in the factories of Bangladesh or Vietnam or any of dozens of countries; or the plunder and despoliation—the downright poisoning—of the environment for the massive profits in petroleum, agriculture, etc., in every corner of the planet.

What kind of society, what kind of choice is it, when one of the “social justice” candidates (Clinton) has a history neck deep in the, yes, genocidal policy of massively incarcerating millions of Black and Latino people, and the other (Sanders) has basically ignored the whole question during his decades in power and political life until it became inopportune to not even pay lip service and make cheap promises? Why should we settle for a politics whose vision of “women’s liberation” is essentially confined to incremental adjustments to inequality for some women, constrained within the social relations of capitalism and all the commodification and oppression that means, while severe attacks on the fundamental rights of women overall are not seriously fought and the root-and-branch transformation really required for the emancipation of women—which means revolution and upheaval in everything, from the ways people make a living, to how children are reared and socialized, to the standards of what is tolerable and not, to the very ideas of human potential—is ruled off the table? Why should we have a world where the vast majority of human beings live in countries and regions that have been plundered, impoverished, and dominated by imperialism and where these same people are then deemed “illegal” and demonized, persecuted, drowned, raped, imprisoned, humiliated, and even murdered when they flee their birthplaces that imperialism has made intolerable?

So listen. You are questioning. That is critically important and indispensable. You are fighting. That can be very positive. As you do that, as you intensify that, learn about, get into, struggle over what humanity really needs: revolution, a real revolution. Get into Bob Avakian (BA) and his work and leadership. Get into the way of scientifically understanding the world and what drives a society forward and what the real possibilities are for social transformation that he’s brought forward. Get into the blueprint for a whole new society, on the road to the elimination of all exploitation and oppression that he’s concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Get into the strategy he’s developed for getting to a situation in which millions would be won to and be prepared to go all-out for revolution and win. Get into and spread this website, Get with the Party BA leads and the Revolution Club led by that Party, and get into the whole movement for revolution and the process of “fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution.”

Whatever happens with the immediate crisis—whether those on top succeed in defusing it, or whether in fact it sharpens—the most crucial thing is that there be a vanguard, with real roots among the people and a real magnetic pole among millions FOR revolution. There is work to do NOW. Be part of it.






Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

On the Rise of Donald Trump... And the Need for and Possibility of Real Revolution

March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Donald Trump is three things.

Make America Great Again? Hell no!

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One: Trump is the perfect representative of the ugliest, most rotten, most parasitical, and most corrupt parts of the already extremely ugly, vicious, and oppressive American empire and the social values that embody that empire. Not only his political stances, but the whole way he moves through life—the bullying, the sleaze, the worship of and glorying in money, the pride in ignorance, the crude chauvinism of “USA Number One,” the leering nastiness toward women: this is exactly where the so-called American Dream leads. He embodies the exploitation and plunder that is capitalism, and the me-first mentality it spawns. He is an extreme expression of that, but an expression nonetheless. This is what people are conditioned to want and to follow in this society. And this is what strikes a deep chord in the hard-core followers of this braying, pig-headed jackass.

Two: Trump has pulled together a section of the fascist movement in America in a much more visible and aggressive way. He is organizing those who feel left out and “disrespected,” who have been taught that their white skin and American identity make them special but who don’t “feel special” anymore, and who blame it on those they have been taught to despise as being “beneath them” in society. This sense of frustrated “white male entitlement” runs deep in the marrow of white America; it is openly played on by the Republicans and “politely respected” (while being played on its own way) by the Democrats—and now Trump has taken it to a whole other level. He is aiming these angry people at immigrants, at Black people—against, in short, the most oppressed; he is aiming them against “foreigners” and “the different,” and in particular against all Muslims: and he is aiming them against anyone who would refuse to go along with the crimes of this system or who even dares differ with Trump. He stirs “his people” up with a vision of America rampaging, murdering, and openly torturing all around the world—open, crude, unapologetic gangsterism, as opposed to the “refined” gangsterism of Obama. His rallies are not complete without some of his minions mobbing and beating up anyone who would dare to raise a voice against this, to the raucous cheers of the mob that Trump has summoned. And should anyone criticize Trump online, he has millions of followers who, piranha-like, create a “virtual mob” to go after them.

In doing this, Trump has swept in many people who may not be dyed-in-the-wool reactionaries, but whose dissatisfaction and yearnings, coupled with their naiveté and even more than that the historic advantage and status afforded them as “white people” in America, make them susceptible to Trump’s appeal—which makes him all the more dangerous.

All this and what it says about the larger society, even if there were nothing else (and there is plenty else), concentrates the need for a real revolution.

See also:

A Serious, Scientific Approach to What Gave Rise to Donald Trump:
Some Works by BA on How We Got To This Situation—And the Possibility of Something Far Better


The Makings of a Crisis in Legitimacy

But there is more. Third, Trump has seriously exacerbated the ongoing legitimacy crisis in the way that the American empire is ruled. “Legitimacy” refers to the way in which people very broadly, in normal times, perceive the rules by which the system runs—and the armed force that is used to back up those rules—as being “legitimate.” They may object and protest when these rules seem to be bent, or violated, by those in power, but in normal times they mainly accept the rules themselves. However, when these rules begin to be questioned and violated by those who hold power, when those in power fall out in disagreement over what the rules should be, when the rules do not seem to work, when the working of the rules becomes so odious that people are driven to resist, or when acts of resistance call the rules into question... people may begin, on a mass scale, to question the very rules themselves. Where did these rules come from in the first place, and who and what do they serve? When people in their millions are wondering about this, these questions become very dangerous indeed for the ruling class.

Revolution--Nothing Less

For some time now, there has been fierce contention between two groupings in the ruling class, more or less centered in the Democratic and Republican Parties, precisely over forging new “legitimating norms,” or rules. This contention has gone on for two decades now and takes many different forms—right now, the very sharp and unprecedented fight over whether Obama will be allowed to exercise his constitutional duty to nominate another Supreme Court justice is one example. But at bottom is a fight over what will be the “legitimating norms”—the cohering consensus of the “rules” of society—in a time of great change and upheaval.

The system as a whole faces multiple crises on different fronts—the globalization and “turbo-charging” of the world economy, which has led to the hollowing out of the domestic industrial base and the downgrading of the living standards of tens of millions of people, accompanied by an extraordinarily pronounced income inequality... the fracturing international situation, with a direct challenge to the U.S. (and Western Europe) mounted by the fundamentalist Islamic jihadist forces but also coming from other rivals... the tumultuous changes in the role of women, economically and culturally, especially in relation to the family... and changes in the “racial” makeup of America—the increasing necessity to rely on immigrant labor coupled with the actual removal of millions of African-Americans out of the labor force, and the institution of a genocidal system of mass incarceration... and the intensifying ecological crisis. There is widespread alienation and a feeling, among many different sections of people, that the system is not working and the rules are not being applied fairly.

The Center—Can It Hold?

Here the observations and analysis in the article “The Center—Can It Hold? The Pyramid as Two Ladders,” from the pamphlet The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era, by Bob Avakian (BA), are very relevant. BA writes that “when a legitimacy crisis occurs, when the ‘glue’ that holds society together begins to come undone, and there is an attempt to forge a new ruling consensus, then it is acutely posed whether that attempt to forge a new ruling consensus (a new ‘social glue,’ so to speak) is going to hold and work.”

Faced with this, the Democrats have in the main gone for a more “multicultural” approach. They pay lip service to and attempt to recast and channel the struggles of the different oppressed nationalities that have been historically severely discriminated against to allow room for some small sections to advance, while locking the majority into even more desperate conditions (for example, the “welfare reform” cuts and mass imprisonment carried out under the first Clinton regime). They generally prefer to wrap their military aggression in “soft power” and alliances overseas while continuing to carry out vicious war crimes by drone and wage really savage wars through proxies like Saudi Arabia. They make some reforms in the “social safety net” in a “business friendly” way, even while presiding over draconian cuts overall.

Those mainly grouped around the Republicans have opted for the openly aggressive use of military power AND the building up of a fascist base within the U.S. around the imposition of fundamentalist Christian beliefs and values, a cult of the military, and a much more unrestrained capitalism, which has included the further gutting of the unions. In this dynamic, the Republicans have for decades been far more aggressive, and the Democrats have over and over sought to conciliate with them—while the Republicans have denied the very legitimacy of the last two Democratic presidents.

The Coming Civil War cover
Click to read

Right now, each of these groups has encountered problems in the current electoral campaign. This finds expression within the Democrats in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, running on a platform of a “people’s revolution,” and as a “democratic socialist” who professes his aim to bring people into the electoral process in the form of the Democratic Party. Never mind that his candidacy is NOT a people’s revolution, nor is he a socialist, and that getting people to put on the straitjacket of the Democratic Party (even a supposedly slightly roomier straitjacket) will make it impossible to actually confront and solve the problems facing humanity.

But these problems are much sharper in the Republican Party. The main forces in this party find themselves going up against the person leading in the nomination fight in a way that has not happened in living memory. To be clear: Trump has, from the beginning, been backed by larger forces; he is not quite the “independent actor” he poses as. The wall-to-wall coverage he has gotten since last summer—which until recently was quite respectful—is not simply explained by “ratings.” But right now the main forces in the Republican Party have indeed grouped up against Trump in a rather unprecedented way.

For years, the Republicans have used the very same themes with the very same people that Trump is now ringing with such success. In fact, Trump’s main rival, Ted Cruz, is himself an extreme fascist, many of whose positions are even more reactionary than Trump’s. Cruz also is fighting with Trump for the Christian fascists—Trump has a significant chunk of these, but has also expanded this base to other sections and has been welding all this together under his command, which is part of the particular threat he poses overall, and part of the threat to Republicans—but also part of why people like the Republican governor and former candidate Chris Christie are drawn to Trump.

But the fact that all these Republicans, and the party as a whole, have based themselves on these themes is why, once they perceived him as a possible threat, they had no real way to counter him (at least at first). When they attack him for being a racist apologist for the Klan... when they attack him for being a hater of women (a misogynist)... well, it rings hollow, because this is what their whole party has relied upon, this has been at the very core of their appeal. The more this goes on, and the more the underlying dynamics are dragged into the light, the more people may wonder why this racist, chauvinist, fascist party has been viewed as legitimate at all. They may wonder why the Democrats have not only sought to cooperate with the Republicans, but have bent over backward to conciliate with them. Who and what does this serve? Which class and what class interests?

Conversely, if Trump is put down by the Republican establishment, how would his base respond to that? Already, the militia movement and similar groups are all over the Trump thing—they don’t even conceive of the current government as legitimate. What then if those in charge violate their own rules to deny Trump the nomination? They may, to be sure, be able to do this in a way that discredits Trump among the people he has up to now called forward, and do so without real damage to themselves. But they may not, either.

As BA also said in this same series (“The Danger of the Christian Fascists and the Challenges This Poses”), “you can’t keep making promises to these forces, as the Republican Party does—you can’t keep making promises and then leave them unfulfilled.” Trump has exposed and taken advantage of the fact that the section of the ruling class grouped around the Republicans has not, over decades, really “delivered” to this base. The vaunted American military has been defeated or bogged down all over the world by foes who are much weaker militarily. Black people have not only NOT been “put in their place,” they have in the past few years led a huge questioning of American racism and the streets have been filled, at different times, with all kinds of people uniting and putting it on the line against racist police murder.

And even though Obama in fact is nothing but an instrument—in fact, the commander-in-chief—of this very same empire, for the people in this hard core Republican base the very idea of a Black man in authority—let alone president—is totally intolerable and illegitimate. And there’s more: gay people, rather than being ostracized and cast out, have been much more accepted, with the Supreme Court even granting the right of marriage equality. And while, yes, they have continued to hammer at women, and have taken away the right to abortion from millions, this doesn’t satisfy these followers of patriarchy; further, if the Supreme Court rules against the savage, woman-hating new abortion restrictions in Texas and other states that are now coming up for review, these people will be highly inflamed. Finally, there have been the ongoing serious cuts in the living standards of tens of millions that we referred to above, which form a backdrop and underpinning of all this.

The Rise of a Would-Be American Hitler

Trump now comes and claims to redeem these frustrated promises. He aims to cohere a section of the longtime Christian fascists, with newer people who share many of the same feelings of resentment and rage, ultimately based on white American entitlement.

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The implications loom very large, even as things are still in a great deal of flux. If Trump wins the nomination, then this movement would likely be further unleashed, with extremely ugly consequences in every part of society. If Trump becomes president, this would reach a whole other dimension, with Trump himself then moving to implement the program he has run on.

And what if those in the ruling class who perceive Trump as a threat, and are now—after letting him build himself up for months, after promoting him during those same months—attacking him... what if they succeed in derailing his quest for the Republican nomination? Well, they would have a problem: What do they do with this movement that has now cohered around him? It is not clear in that case what either Trump, or the people he has drawn around him, would do.

Further, this situation could increasingly pose problems for the Democrats as well. For instance, what if a section of the people stoked up by Trump is either disappointed by him being denied the nomination or, alternatively, is emboldened by his winning it, and escalates their violence against the people whom the Democrats consider “their base”? The Democrats continually conciliate with the fascists—what if they do so again, and refuse to lead people to confront this... when there are people in a mood to do so?

These are the type of things that those who make the decisions in the American empire might have to confront: What would cause more instability and harm for their interests, as they perceive them?

See also:

White Supremacy and the White House—an American Tradition


What to Do and How to Proceed in the Face of this Fascist Threat

Whatever immediately happens, the times are becoming heavier. There will be repression. The current polarization—in which tens of millions of people are looking for a way out, but see their alternatives as being between fascists like either Trump or Cruz, and the Democrats (including the supposedly “radical alternative” of Sanders)—is NOT good, and left to itself would lead to disaster. There must be RE-polarization for revolution—and this must be wrenched out of the current situation. There will NOT be any easy road to something better.

There is, and there must be more, resistance to this—not in the form of voting for a Democrat—but building on the kind of thing you see already in people going into these Trump rallies and calling him out. But the most important thing we have to understand is this: The turmoil at the top of society right now... the emergence of political figures who aim to change how the people are ruled, in possibly dramatic and extremely disruptive ways... the fighting amongst the rulers over what to do about this... opens new possibilities, and new necessity, to expose the system that has spawned this and to build a magnetic pole around an organized force that represents a real alternative: real revolutionary hope on a solid scientific foundation. All this taken together is part of a process that could create an opening in which a force that is going for revolution, and willing and able to lead people to do that, can make tremendous gains and possibly even open up the chance to go for it all. That is, to lead millions to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

This is not the only possible outcome, nor is it necessarily something that would grow one-two-three out of the present situation. But revolution will NOT be made in a ready-made, easy-bake situation; it will necessarily involve turmoil, upheaval, and advancing in the face of sharp repression. The point is to analyze, grasp, and work on those possibilities now.

The complexities of that... all the challenges that would pose... all that is beyond what we are going to get into in this article or this issue. But we DO have an article guiding you into the works of Bob Avakian, who has developed a whole way of scientifically understanding this kind of social upheaval and how extremely dangerous situations can be seized on, with the right kind of leadership, to make huge gains. How to apply those principles will be very much on our site and in our pages over the next months, as this unfolds. And you, our readers, have a definite role to play in getting into these works, and writing in with your thinking provoked by them.

Right now, though, some things that CAN and MUST be said about what the rise of Trump, even now, means for those working for revolution:

It means, most of all, getting out to people that there is a REAL and NECESSARY alternative to all of this: revolution. This means, right now and in the coming months, seizing on the highly charged atmosphere to get BA out to millions—his way of understanding the world, the vision of a new society he’s developed (concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America), and the strategy to accomplish this. And this includes, as part of this, going out to those attracted to Sanders’ message and winning them to see that what we face cannot be dealt with in the terms Sanders is proposing—this is, as we said recently, an illusion... a “wisp of painless progress.”

It means preparing ourselves, the movement for revolution, and the people to deal with the much more repressive atmosphere already being unleashed, and the heightened repressive measures and actions that now loom with the ascendancy of Trump (and which, whatever happens to Trump, his candidacy is creating public opinion and organization for). This means very much building a wall of support around BA—based on people understanding what he is all about and coming to respect and love him on that basis.

This is extremely important. Without a REAL alternative, people will remain locked on the same deadly treadmill they now find themselves on.

It means getting out among the people and showing very vividly how Trump actually embodies what America stands for and does not in any fundamental way go against it, and that the solution is not to return to the illusion of “America’s democratic traditions,” nor to throw our energies into electing a Democrat as some kind of defense, but to actually fight to get rid of a system that produces no end of Trumps, Reagans, and, yes, Clintons, once and for all. It means getting out both to those opposing Trump and to those who are currently seduced by him but whose most fundamental interests and aspirations can only be met by communist revolution and who, through struggle, can be won to see that. The basis to do this and to succeed in doing it lies in the contradictions of this social system and what it gives rise to, in so many different ways—and that Trump is not an anomaly, or some weird exception, but a concentration of this social system at a time of crisis.

It means getting and Revolution newspaper way out there into society. In a time like this, when people are unusually hungry to understand what is going on and what to do about it, this website and paper must truly be, as BA has called for, “the guide, the pivot, the crucial tool in drawing forward, orienting, training, and organizing thousands, and influencing millions—fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution—hastening and preparing for the time when we can go for the whole thing, with a real chance to win.” And it means this on a whole other level.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the
Revolution Club


In addition, the movement for revolution must assume much more powerful form. This means that the Revolution Clubs have to become much more vital forces in the neighborhoods and campuses, recruiting people on the basis of their two slogans: Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism; and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. This means that centers of revolution—the bookstores—must become vital sites where BA’s new synthesis of communism engages and contends with key trends in society and coheres the trend of revolutionary communism. And finally, the Party itself, the vanguard, needs to grow and further develop—quantitatively and, yes, qualitatively, in its scientific rigor and revolutionary orientation.

It means continuing to mobilize people to fight the power, both to tap into the righteous anger and defiance that people do feel toward Trump, reaching out to and joining with those who disrupt his rallies and, at the same time and even more important, continuing to fight—and to draw more people into the fight—against police terror and other forms of the oppression of Black and Brown people... against the oppression of women and, right now, the vicious attempts to deny tens of millions of women the right to abortion... against the demonization of immigrants... the wars... and the plunder of the environment.

In short, these are times of danger... and times of great opportunity. Prepare to rise to the challenge before us.







Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

A Serious, Scientific Approach to What Gave Rise to Trump

Some Works by Bob Avakian on How We Got to This Situation—And the Possibility of Something Far Better

March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution--Nothing Less

The Coming Civil War

If you want to seriously understand the situation that gave rise to Donald Trump, a key place to start is with the work Bob Avakian (BA) has done on the decades-long crisis in the U.S. ruling class and its possible implications for revolution. Bob Avakian is the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and the architect of a new synthesis of communism. This new synthesis represents a qualitative advance in the scientific approach to making revolution and emancipating humanity. You can find out more, and find his talks and writings, here.

Along with digging into what he reveals about this particular crisis, the most important thing is to learn from the method and approach he applies.

Get into this, and get into BA. There is a way forward.

Where to start:

All these works and more are available here.





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Hamilton—or, The Real American Hustle

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Hamilton, an American Musical is the biggest thing to hit Broadway in many years. It premiered to rave reviews in February 2015, and has played to a packed house ever since. Hamilton was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, based on a biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It tells Hamilton’s story from his arrival in the U.S. as an impoverished teenager to his death in a duel at the hands of then Vice-President Aaron Burr. It portrays Hamilton—one of the U.S.’s “Founding Fathers”—as a feisty, hot tempered, intelligent guy; ready to stand up for his honor and his principles, working relentlessly and determined to make it big, to make a name for himself.

The musical is presented at a high artistic level. Its music and choreography are creative and energetic. Its themes and ideas come wrapped in pulsing rhythms, staccato raps, and soaring melodies. A big part of its appeal is that it draws on hip-hop, jazz, and other musical genres not usually associated with Broadway. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson face off in angry rap battles during cabinet meetings. King George of England enters sounding like he could be singing from a lost Beatles album. Hamilton projects a modern, urban sensibility, language, and mood onto colonial and early U.S. history.

Hamilton’s essential message is that “in America you can be anything you want if you really try.” The youthful Alexander Hamilton and his friends sing, “Yo, I’m just like my country, young scrappy and hungry, and I’m not throwing away my shot.” Hamilton is all about not throwing away that shot—the one shot to make it, to strike it rich. The musical merges this “shot” with the shot to “...claim our promised land.” In this imagining, the country itself can be reshaped so that it includes people like the Black and Latino actors who portray Hamilton and other—all white—colonial figures. Personal success in the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism and the country’s success conflate and reinforce each other in Hamilton, and the whole package is wrapped in red, white, and blue bunting.

A review on the Huffington Post site enthusiastically summed up this outlook: “The core of this wonderful entertainment is an affirmation of America as a land of opportunity... What the three-hour musical does is transform this story into a motivational tour de force by casting black actors in the roles of Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington, and the other founding fathers. The message: anyone who feels left out, overlooked, underprivileged and/or passed over can find a hero in Alexander Hamilton.”

This statement concentrates a big part of the appeal of Hamilton to younger, Black, and Latino audiences. Fantasizing back to an America that never was, believing that in the America of today—the land of mass incarceration; a border bristling with razor wire and prisons; routine brutality and murder by police against youth of color; drone bombings and government run torture chambers; millions of youth locked out of a society that has no future for them—in this America even youth of color, even a penniless, outcast immigrant who’s smart and energetic and makes the system “work” for him or her can make it big against all odds.

Flowing from the musical’s success, all kinds of people are now interested in Alexander Hamilton. So, who was this Hamilton, what did he do, what were his outlook and goals, what does he actually represent?

A Land of Genocide and Slavery

Alexander Hamilton first arrived in what became the U.S. in 1772. At that time, the 13 colonies along the Atlantic Coast from New Hampshire in the North to Georgia in the South were part of the British empire. Genocide and slavery were integral to the land Hamilton was determined to make his mark in.

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The Europeans who had settled in North America waged a series of murderous wars to seize the lands of the Indians who lived there, including spreading deadly “gifts” of contaminated smallpox blankets to eradicate entire villages and peoples. Shiploads of brutalized, whip lashed Africans were regularly brought to ports and put on auction blocks from New York to Savannah. Slavery of Africans and people descended from Africans was most prevalent in the Southern colonies, but legal in all 13. Slavery was the foundation of enormous wealth amassed not only by Southern plantation owners, but also by the emerging class of merchant capitalists in Massachusetts, New York, and other Northern states. Among the Northern states, New York in particular had a high number of slaves.

The colonies were seething with discontent at British control and domination. A foundational premise of colonial rule at that time was that colonies enrich the “mother country.” Each of the 13 colonies was ruled directly by an English governor in the interests of the English ruling class. The emerging class of merchant capitalists increasingly resented that they were denied any representation in English decision making and policy formation, especially when it came to issues of taxation. These Northern capitalists decided to strike out on their own, and sought to bring the slave owners of the Southern colonies with them.

In 1776 the colonies declared their independence, and a war began between the colonists and the British Army. When Hamilton was still in his 20s he became chief aide to Commander in Chief George Washington (himself a prosperous slave owner) during the U.S. War of Independence from England. The 13 colonies emerged from eight years of war as an independent country. But it was a country exhausted from war, and weakened by an ineffective central government and endlessly squabbling states.

Bob Avakian has written of the “particular—and peculiar, if you will—historical evolution of the United States. Today, we say this as one entity (almost as one word), but actually it has real historical significance: the ‘United States’ of America. This is a reflection of the whole historical development of this country and of the bourgeois state (or the bourgeois/slaveowners’ state for a certain period in this country, up until the Civil War in the 1860s) out of 13 colonies, which were to a significant degree separate and distinct entities and had to go through a process, a halting and difficult process, marked by a lot of conflict among them, before they were able to form themselves into one unified nation-state, if you will.”

Hamilton and others among the rising class of Northern capitalists were convinced that the Articles of Confederation that loosely bound the former colonies together did not adequately represent their interests. They wanted a cohered, firmly unified nation. They needed a political framework that brought together the emerging capitalists of the North and Southern slave owners, and enabled them to expand westward into regions still populated by Native Americans—regions they would “clear” with more genocidal military campaigns.

That framework was provided by the U.S. Constitution.

A “Founding Father”... of Emerging Capitalism

Hamilton did not write the U.S. Constitution. But his foremost achievement, and the main reason he is regarded as a “Founding Father,” is that during the rough and tumble political battles of the early days of U.S. independence, he fought more than anyone to forge a country with a strong central government unified around that Constitution.

In the tumultuous and unsettled environment of the early U.S., Hamilton consciously fought for the development of capitalism, and represented the emerging Northern bourgeoisie. He knew that if the former colonies splintered into several distinct nations, the interests and aims of nascent capitalists could be overwhelmed, and possibly crushed. Hamilton repeatedly and energetically argued that in the absence of a strong central government in the U.S., European powers would be able to pit the interests of some states against others, and weaken all of them in the process.

Hamilton was the principal author and overall director of a project that came to be called The Federalist Papers. This was a series of 85 articles arguing for the adoption of the new U.S. Constitution against people who bitterly opposed it. Conventions were held in every state to determine whether or not that state would accept the Constitution. Hamilton fought relentlessly for over a month against entrenched opposition to win the crucial state of New York to accept it.

In The Federalist Papers and elsewhere, Hamilton articulated three basic goals for the newly formed country to get on its feet and for capitalism to grow. He thought there needed to be a muscular central (federal) power if the young U.S. was to become what he called “the embryo of a great empire,” capable of developing the economic and military strength needed to compete with well-established European powers (who still had a direct presence, including military presence, in North America); he wanted to protect private property in whatever form it existed (and enslaved human beings of African descent were, along with land, the most valuable form of property in the U.S. at that point); he wanted to maintain the order and stability capitalism needed to flourish.

The accomplishments of the U.S. Constitution and The Federalist Papers were not to “establish justice” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” as the Constitution proclaims and as generations have been taught. They were in enabling two different modes of production based on exploitation—capitalism and slavery—to coexist and expand within the same political structure.

The U.S. was founded as a “slaveholders’ union.” It “embedded slavery in American law,” as historian George William Van Cleve wrote. Some of the U.S. Constitution’s most infamous passages express this explicitly—Black people were to be counted as “three-fifths” human; escaped “fugitive” slaves were to be returned to their owners, even if they had escaped to non-slave territory. But the entire document legitimized and provided a basis for the expansion of slavery.

With the acceptance of the U.S. Constitution by the 13 former colonies, Northern capitalists and Southern slave owners were coalescing into a single ruling class over the entire country. There were many sharp conflicts within this arrangement from its onset, and these erupted into all-out civil war 74 years later. But Hamilton and other Northern capitalists wanted the union with slave owners to provide a political framework for working out disputes between them, and to provide a basis for capitalism’s growth, as well as for the defense, survival, and expansion of the entire country.

The Narrow Horizons of Bourgeois Right

Hamilton’s political actions, the positions he fought for, and his world outlook flowed from his desire to promote and establish the capitalist mode of production in the new country. Hamilton served in George Washington’s cabinet as the U.S.’s first Secretary of the Treasury, and in his five years in the cabinet, that and other institutions he initiated to develop capitalism became significant and lasting components of the structure of the U.S. government.

Hamilton and other early advocates of capitalism wanted to sweep away feudal privileges given to lords and kings. He thought this would eliminate social divisions “as far as such divisions should be eliminated”, as Bob Avakian wrote in Birds Cannot Give Rise to Crocodiles, but Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon. (Birds/Crocodiles)

The U.S. Constitution Hamilton advocated so strenuously provided a legal and political foundation for cohering a society that contained chasms of inequalities—economic, social, and legal. The political freedoms given to propertied white men were founded upon the mass murder and theft committed against Native Americans, and the enslavement of Black people. Both Native and Black people (and all women) were excluded from the political order established by the U.S. Constitution.

These glaring inequalities were not troublesome to Alexander Hamilton or any other of the U.S.’s leaders. Hamilton’s understanding of concepts such as “rights” and “freedoms” were shaped by the narrow limits of the capitalist mode of production. His world outlook and political goals were an expression in the realm of ideas of a basic underlying reality of capitalism—the appearance of equality that masks a reality of great inequality.

“Bourgeois right” is a concept of rights that corresponds to and reflects the capitalist mode of production. It is founded on the “right” of individuals to privately own the means used to produce social wealth, and to exploit other people to amass more of that wealth. But bourgeois right does not recognize the right of people collectively to determine society’s priorities and how production should be carried out to meet those priorities in such a way as to overcome exploitation, inequality, and all forms of oppression.

The state in such a system—and this is a state Alexander Hamilton fought to develop—is a vehicle that above all serves to protect the rights of individuals to accumulate capital. Down on the ground, this means the right to exploit others and to plunder the environment. All other rights in capitalist society are subordinate to that—and all this appears as and is presented as “equality.” French author Anatole France sarcastically captured a basic reality of bourgeois law over 100 years ago: “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”

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As BA continued in Birds/Crocodiles, Hamilton and other “founders” “believed that they had established equality, as far as it should be established, and ‘equality before the law’ stood as a decisive expression of this. They would not, or could not, recognize that social divisions, and antagonisms, were reproduced, and perpetuated, even if to a significant degree in some new forms, through the dynamics of the very system of which they were advocates: what is in reality bourgeois democracy—not classless or ‘pure’ democracy—and the economic system in which this form of political governance is ultimately grounded and which it serves—capitalism. They would not, or could not, understand that this system is, in its own way, as much an embodiment of oppression—and yes, of despotism and tyranny, that is, of dictatorship—as the systems of hereditary hierarchy which they opposed, and worked to overthrow.”

The political system cohered by the U.S. Constitution provided a legal and political framework for centuries of exploitation and brutal oppression. Almost immediately upon its signing, renewed extermination and relocation campaigns against Native Americans were begun to further the U.S.’s westward growth. The U.S. Constitution also provided the legal justification for the country as a whole to wage an unjust war of aggression against Mexico that opened up the further expansion of slavery into what became the U.S. Southwest.

For several decades Northern (non-slave) states and Southern slave states were admitted to the Union together in a way that sustained slavery and provided for its massive growth, and maintained a “balance of power” between the states that lasted until the Civil War tore it apart in 1861. After the Civil War, the U.S. Constitution provided supposed “legitimacy” for genocidal campaigns by the U.S. Army against the Native peoples that “won the West” for the U.S., and for the institutionalized repression and lynching of Black people during decades of the open racism of Jim Crow. In the epoch of imperialism—invasions, occupations, nuclear bombings, napalm (jellied gasoline) dropped on villages, carpet bombing of agricultural areas, and countless other crimes against humanity—this Constitution continued to supply a framework that allowed for any atrocity committed by American forces. Such was the “genius” of the U.S. Constitution Hamilton fought for.

Changing the World, Transforming Humanity

Lin-Manuel Miranda has said the story of Hamilton is a very “hip-hop” story. An immigrant, a penniless orphan, a quick witted guy comes to the big city and makes it big “his way.” Stepping on people, using his wits to get ahead, living large, marrying into money, and making a lot more.

A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party ON THE STRATEGY FOR REVOLUTION

But why would anyone want to celebrate, applaud, and promote Hamilton’s cutthroat capitalist ethic, especially at a time when the interests and the possibilities for humanity are so much greater? Alexander Hamilton is no role model to uphold, no one for today’s youth to emulate. People don’t always have to be at each other, trying to get ahead by slitting someone else’s throat. The behavior and outlook of humans are shaped by the economic, social, and cultural conditions of the society in which they live. Changes in society—especially changes brought about by an actual revolution—bring about changes in how people think, act, and relate to each other. And working and struggling right now for the values that could be possible in a new revolutionary society on the road to communism (as we’ll get to later) is a critical part of bringing about those changes; as is cutting to the essence of, and struggling against, the values promoted of a show like Hamilton.

Democracy—Another Form of Dictatorship

In Hamilton, Miranda celebrates and extols bourgeois democracy—democracy that serves the capitalist mode of production. All democracies and all forms of government in which society remains divided into classes—are, at bottom, dictatorships.

As Bob Avakian explains in BAsics 1:23:

When a monopoly of political power—and, in a concentrated way, the monopoly of “legitimate” armed force—is in the hands of one group in society, and that group excludes others from that monopoly of power and force, then that is a dictatorship of the ruling group—or class—regardless of whether or not that ruling group allows those it excludes from power, and over whom it rules in fact, to take part in elections to vote for different representatives of the ruling class, as happens in the U.S. and a number of other countries. Political rule in the U.S., regardless of whether or not there is an open and undisguised tyranny, is and has always been a bourgeois dictatorship, a dictatorship of the ruling capitalist class (or, in the early history of the U.S., before the defeat and abolition of the slave system, through the Civil War, what existed was the dictatorship of the ruling classes—the slaveowning as well as the capitalist class, or bourgeoisie).

If there were a different state power—a dictatorship of the proletariat that was brought into being through the overthrow of the capitalist system and the dismantling of all its institutions, their replacement by revolutionary power and the reorganization of all of the economy—the situation would be dramatically, radically different.

A socialist state would be rooted in a radically different mode of production—one based on social production that would first and foremost advance “the world revolution to uproot all exploitation and oppression and to emancipate all of humanity,” as the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) says. It would not be based on exploitation of millions across the world by a relative handful of capitalists. It would work with and lead the masses of people in transforming all of society. Its ultimate aim—and its guiding principle at all times—would be enabling humanity to transcend the division into antagonistic classes, and overcome the very need for states, for armies, for prisons, and other institutions of repression. It would consciously aim to lead people in overcoming all their class distinctions, all the production relations that foster those distinctions, and all the social relations, such as the oppression of women, and backward ways of thinking that reinforce them.

Instead of “look out for number one” and step on anyone who gets in your way, it would work at uniting people of different nationalities, people who speak different languages and live in different neighborhoods, to cooperate with each other in building a new world aimed at overcoming all oppressive relations. It would open up great possibilities for people to overcome divisions between people who work with their minds and those who do manual labor, and draw masses of people into great questions and debates of science, politics, and morality as part of transforming the whole world. This socialist state under the dictatorship of the proletariat would pulse with exploration, debate, experiment, and dissent—thinking itself will be increasingly emancipated from the “narrow horizons” of self-interest that correspond to and reinforce the capitalist mode of production. There would be contention with real stakes for the direction of society and the well being of the planet itself, involving and developing active participation of masses of people from different strata of society.

And a beautiful new culture would thrive and grow in dazzling ways in that society.

This isn’t just a dream or a nice idea. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian, gives a living sense of how a new society would work at uprooting and overcoming all exploitation, oppression, and antagonistic divisions between people. The Revolutionary Communist Party, under the leadership of Bob Avakian, has developed a strategy that can, in conjunction with changes in society, mobilize millions of people to carry out this revolution consciously. There is a leadership taking responsibility for carrying through with all this—the Revolutionary Communist Party, led by Bob Avakian.

There is a way to conceive and live your life that is not about getting over or “making it.” It is about contributing all you can to the emancipation of humanity. It is about making revolution—and the fact is there is a shot at making that real today.

Let’s not throw it away.





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

This is the most important thing you can do with your life.

Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor Invite and Recruit Students Across California into the Real Revolution

March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since early February, hundreds of students have gathered at seven campuses in California to hear Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor make the case for communist revolution and why they should dedicate their lives to revolution and the emancipation of humanity.

Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor at Berkeley High
Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor at Berkeley High School.

In a lively and compelling way, Dix and Taylor challenged students to confront the horrors of the world around them—murder by police of Black and Brown people, rampant violence and degradation of women, ugly wars for empire, mass deportation of immigrants, and catastrophic destruction of the environment—and revealed the roots of this in the system of capitalism-imperialism. They brought alive how Bob Avakian (BA) has, through decades of work, brought forward a new synthesis of communism that puts the process of making revolution and emancipating humanity on a consistently scientific foundation, and how this changes everything in terms of humanity's ability to finally put an end to the long dark night in which humanity has been divided into masters and slaves. And they brought alive how Bob Avakian is actively leading the process of making revolution right now as the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Dix and Taylor opened up about their own lives, sharing how they first encountered the revolution and how BA's leadership—and sometimes BA himself—shaped their decisions to dedicate their lives to revolution and their development into communist leaders themselves.  They challenged assumptions, took people out of their comfort zones, lifted people's sights, welcomed questions from every angle, and invited many into a process of learning more as they join together with others to change the world towards revolution right now.

As soon as the presentations ended, hands shot up in the air. How will this revolution deal with the mounting environmental crisis, is it even possible—under any system—to meet the needs of all humanity without destroying the Earth's ecosystems? Even with revolution, how are you going to end racism and sexism, aren't those deeply embedded in people? How can you talk about science if so much of it hinges on one person? Aren't you promoting BA in a “cultish” way? In your new socialist society, who gets to decide policies and what voices get heard?  Will people have the freedom of religion?  Isn't Bernie Sanders better than the others—shouldn't we support him and why don't you? Are you afraid of death?  Is it really true that all porn is sexist? What are you doing today, and what should we do about all these things that are wrong right now? Is it really possible to defeat the armies of such a powerful empire? What about non-violence?  What about all the reactionary, fundamentalist white people with guns? What, exactly, is Bob Avakian's new synthesis? What do you mean by science? Don't we need better democracy? What about people who don't agree with communism, will you relocate them after the revolution? Don't you need the market to motivate people to stimulate innovation? These, and other important questions, were explored and works of BA and the website were promoted as ways to go deeper.

Six Resolutions

Students raised the lies they had been taught about how communist leaders had allegedly “killed millions.” Taylor and Dix set the record straight not only on the particular incidents being brought up, but also exposed the dishonesty of how the history of communist revolutions is taught in this society. They challenged students to dig into the truth themselves, to go to the website and to engage the lessons and approach that BA has forged through deeply wrestling with the actual history of communism—both the tremendous achievements as well as the very real shortcomings and errors—precisely so that we can do better and go further in the new stage of communist revolution which is urgently needed now.

At Berkeley High, there was particular interest from students in the readings that Dix and Taylor shared from Bob Avakian's memoir. BA came of age in the era of the Civil Rights movement, during which time he attended Berkeley High. While most of the questions posed by Berkeley High students in the large group focused on the communist revolution, in informal conversations almost every student said that what stood out to them most was BA's personal stories about growing up at Berkeley High. Several Black students noted, with a certain heaviness, that the kind of same kind of social segregation and tracking of Black students into different academic paths than white students that BA described from 50 years ago still goes on. They were drawn to the way BA took seriously the lives and experiences of his Black friends, and his honest acknowledgement of how much he learned from them and how this shaped his whole life.

At Stanford, one of the most elite campuses in the country, as well as among many of the graduate students who attended the Tour elsewhere, Taylor and Dix repeatedly drew from and called on people to get into both the new work from BA, The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, And A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) to more deeply address the big questions put on the table. The approach of Bob Avakian's new synthesis to the relations between a socialist state and the whole world revolution, the economic functioning and contradictions, questions of international trade, questions of how “out of the box” scientists or thinkers will have their ideas engaged and debated, why the Revolutionary Communist Party must continue to lead the new society but also why it must be challenged and the whole society led to be filled with great debates, ferment, and dissent in order to keep the whole thing advancing along the broad road to communism, and more was explored.  Some of these highly intellectual students suggested that having such a Party leading was “elitist.” Others argued that in the real world only an intellectual elite could really rule and that it was “utopian” to aim to break down the division between those who have been trained to work with ideas and the vast majority on this planet who have been locked out of this.

Taylor and Dix brought alive the “5 Stops,” five key horrific concentrations of this system which people must be mobilized to STOP: police murder of Black and Brown people, oppression of women, attacks on immigrants, capitalist destruction of the environment, and wars for empire.  The stakes confronting millions of people today on each of these faultines, as well as the connections between fighting these now and preparing for revolution, was put before students. Plans were discussed—and much more needs to be organized and mobilized—for a national student strike in April against police murder and terror.


The handbook for the revolution

After every program, Taylor, Dix, and members of the local or campus-based Revolution Clubs stuck around, wrestling with the highest aspirations and the biggest challenges in the thinking of the students. At two schools, groups were brought together within days to read together and discuss the first essay in BAsics, “Reform or Revolution—Questions of Morality, Questions of Orientation.” At other schools, meetings were pulled together and new recruits to the Revolution Club joined more experienced members in getting out on campus right away to spread the leadership of Bob Avakian and dive in deeper to studying it themselves.  Everywhere this tour has been, the atmosphere and a section of people have been deeply impacted and transformed in significant—if beginning—ways. People were introduced to and Revolution newspaper as the key organ to continue learning and acting together with others to make revolution.

There is much more to be learned from this, many new questions to be deeply engaged, and people to be organized to get much more deeply into the leadership of BA and to join in taking this out into the world at the same time as fighting to stop the many great crimes of this system. We will be covering more about these first stops—and future stops on this tour—in the pages of this website and newspaper.






Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

"The Most Radical Revolutionary Leader and Scientist on the Planet Today Came Out of Berkeley High!"

by Sunsara Taylor | March 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


A very exciting part of the national campus recruiting tour being undertaken right now by Carl Dix, myself, and others is taking Bob Avakian’s leadership and new synthesis of communism to the students and teachers at Berkeley High. What makes this so special is that this is the high school that BA attended and which shaped him to a very great degree. If you read his memoir, you will see that Berkeley was not always the bastion of radical ideas and actions that it came to be known for. BA describes very movingly what it was like to go to high school as it was only recently desegregated, to form deep friendships with Black students he played sports with, hung out with, and formed singing groups with, and how this changed and shaped him in a profound and lasting way.

Another thing that is special about Berkeley High is that it has a really positive mix of different kinds of students. Children of professors and other high-powered intellectuals are mixed in with students who come from among the most oppressed sections of people, a mix of radical and progressive ideas and traditions with a great diversity of nationalities and life experiences. All this underscores why these students need to know about the life and example, and ongoing leadership for an actual revolution, that has been lived and is being provided by Bob Avakian, and step into the revolution that he is leading.

As part of bringing the Carl Dix/Sunsara Taylor tour to Berkeley High, we decided to make a huge poster with an enlargement of the image of BA and the words “Bob Avakian—The most radical revolutionary leader and scientist on the planet today went to Berkeley High! Learn more at” We planned to take this outside the school to talk with students at the end of the day, let them know about Bob Avakian and get them into the real revolution.

One day, even before we got this big poster made, we went out to the school as it was letting out. A member of the Revolution Club agitated loudly as hundreds of students streamed by. “Do you know that the most radical revolutionary leader and scientist alive on the planet today came out of Berkeley High? His name is Bob Avakian—and he has forged a new synthesis of communism to emancipate humanity. He was shaped by Berkeley High, and if you want a world without police terror, without wars, without violence against women, you need to know about and get into Bob Avakian.”

Berkeley High School Walkout November 5, 2015

Over 1,000 Berkeley High School students walked out November 5, 2015 to protest racist threats posted on school library computers. Photo: Special to

Many were intrigued. In the main, there were two kinds of groups of students who stopped. Clusters of Black students who were generally favorable towards the idea of revolution and were particularly concerned about racism and police brutality as well as other injustices. And clusters of white students who tended to be much more theoretical and abstract in how they came at questions of revolution, and more skeptical and sometimes even oppositional in their attitudes.

We approached several clusters of Black friends who we could see nodding approvingly to the agitation, going more deeply into the significance of BA and how special it is that he came out of the very school that they were now attending. We got into how many of the problems still facing oppressed people today—like racism and police terror and murder—were the very things that shaped him as he was coming up and which he has gone on to put his life in the service of ending. And, how, as he took this up he came to see this as connected to ending all other forms of oppression and exploitation—that affect women, immigrants, and people all over the world who are murdered and plundered by the U.S. military as well as the way capitalism is destroying our planet.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

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One young Black woman said, “I agree with all of that, and I like that you seem to be talking about actually doing something about it—not just talking about it.” She had learned about many of the things we were talking about in school, but didn’t see many people really fighting to totally stop them. Her friend added, “Yeah, all we’ve really done is one walkout, but now that is over.” She was referencing a walkout of about 800 students a couple months back, stemming from a racist incident on campus. BA has many times made the point that the masses of people often do not understand what they have accomplished when they do stand up, and I put this to these two young women, saying, “It was very important what you all did when you walked out! It changed how a lot of people think and shined a light on oppression and inspired a lot of people way beyond the students at this school. You should be very proud! But, then you also need to take responsibility to figure out what it will take to go forward, to make that part of a fight that can end ALL forms of oppression not only here but all over the world.”

They smiled broadly and we talked a bit more about how Bob Avakian never gave up on revolution because the problems in this world that cry out for revolution have never gotten better, and because he has done the work scientifically to identify the basis in the real world to end them, and what a difference it would make for them to learn about this more. Another Black student took extra fliers to get to his friends and said he had learned about and always been interested in the Black Panther Party and revolution, but didn’t really know much what it meant and thought this might be a way to learn more. Several of these students gave their phone numbers and email addresses to stay in touch and expressed interest in exploring setting up a Revolution Club on the campus.

As for the clusters of intellectual white students, some of them were clearly concerned about the world and injustices they see around them, but quite a few obviously felt a lot of distance between themselves and what people around the world are facing and whether or not it is really “their problem.” A group of about 15 of them were hanging around after most of the students had dispersed, waiting for rides, flirting with each other, and collectively taking turns seeing who could best rebut and/or dismiss us communists and the challenge we were putting to them.

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Two members of the Revolution Club were contending with a gaggle of these kids and at points would capture the interest of one or another, but then one of the students would loudly proclaim, “What you are talking about is completely unrealistic! It’s never going to happen... People won’t go along with that... The government will never let you get away with that! You can’t do what you are talking about, it all sounds great but it will never work.” Every time he’d say something, the Club members had a good answer, but the dynamic was hard to change. I had missed most of the beginning engagement, but after listening to this dismissal go on over and over, I challenged the main student putting it forward, “You know what you sound like?” His friends perked up and listened. “You sound like someone who has never studied physics, never studied engineering, never studied aerodynamics or the theory of gravity standing in front of a huge metal tube filled with hundreds of people saying, ‘There’s no way you are going to get that thing up in the air! It’s obviously impossible.’ In other words, you have absolutely no basis to say the things you are saying.”

People laughed and he was taken aback. For a minute he and his friends tried to press on, dismissing communism, but their arguments were made with less certainty and began to stall. After another minute, I leaned in to the one I had most directly challenged and said quietly, “You kind of agree with what I am saying, don’t you?” He nodded sheepishly and admitted, “Yeah.”

This didn’t win the students over to communism, but it did begin to change the dynamic of the discussion. They acknowledged that they would have to engage with the substance of BA’s work and measure it up against the actual reality of the world before having any basis to evaluate it. And some of them acknowledged that the substance of what his work is about—the emancipation of all humanity—was their responsibility to think about.

Still, this did not stop them—nor should it have stopped them—from throwing all kinds of questions and challenges at us. It became clear that at least one teacher in the school had been teaching about how Mao Zedong had allegedly “killed millions” because this—specifically the Great Leap Forward in China—came up independently from different students. One student brought this up and the whole group got puffed up again and pretty much accused us of denying and apologizing for a conscious human slaughter. Again, we had to tell the student who raised this that he didn’t have any idea what he was talking about. Before we could go further, he got incensed and started yelling, “How dare you say that to me? Why should I even talk to you if you call me an idiot. A minute ago, I was talking to her [gesturing to a member of the Club] and actually interested, but if you are going to insult me then I don’t want to have anything to do with you.” Patiently, but firmly, we explained that we were not making a global statement about his character, but we were responding specifically to his claim that “Mao killed millions” and if he wanted to know why, we thought that he should calm down and listen because it really matters. To his credit, he did calm down and ask, “OK, what happened during the Great Leap Forward?”

A member of the Revolution Club and myself got into the fact that famines had been incredibly common in the history of China and were one of the many reasons why a revolution was necessary in the first place. The Great Leap Forward was a plan developed by Mao to re-organize agriculture to meet the needs of the people of China for the first time for adequate food and to do so in a way that transformed the relations among the people to be more cooperative and liberating. However, several things came together during that effort that fed into a situation where millions did die of starvation. We got into the fact that the Soviet Union had lent blueprints, experts, technicians, tractors and other tools to the effort of re-organizing agriculture, but in the middle of the Great Leap Forward the Soviet Union—which had by then restored capitalism—pulled out its experts, blueprints, spare parts, and so on, which was incredibly disruptive to agricultural production.

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On another level, there was one of the biggest droughts that had happened in 100 years and this drastically reduced the amount of food that was produced. And, on a third level, there were problems and shortcomings in the actual plan and approach led by Mao and the revolutionaries, largely owing to the fact that what they were doing was radically new. However, the one thing that was not at all a factor was some kind of vicious intent on the part of Mao to “kill millions” and, in fact, once it became clear that people were starving, Mao led the new socialist state to divert resources for the first time in Chinese history to reduce as much as possible the food shortage. Further, the very changes that were carried out through the Great Leap Forward contributed significantly to a situation where China was able to overcome—again for the first time in Chinese history—the food shortage problem and put an END to famines. We broke down how this was a significant part of taking life expectancy in China from 32 years old in 1949 when the revolution was made, to 65 years old in 1976 when the revolution was overthrown. All this is NOT what is taught and it is extremely important to understand, we argued, even as we want to go further and do even better next time around in making revolution.

By the time we had walked through all this, some of the friends had filtered away, but a core of them stuck around and the one who had been yelling passionately only minutes before was particularly serious and intrigued. He posed back, “So, my understanding is that socialism is a stage on the way to communism, but then in communism there isn’t a state. How does that work? How can you do things without any overall coordination?” We told him this was a great question and spent a bit of time working with him to understand that it is possible, when class divisions and oppression has been overcome, to have a government and administration without a state. A member of the Revolution Club gave the example of a pick-up game of basketball and how people all play together and don’t need someone enforcing the rules or penalties on them. They all know how the game works and that they have to play by the rules to all play together and have a good time. The student was positively impressed by this example, but then a friend chimed in and said, “But everyone wants to win! What is going to motivate people if you can’t get ahead?”

We stayed for a while longer with several of these students, with their friends filtering in and out and raising objections but then getting drawn into more serious engagement. Some clearly didn’t want to go there, but others were more open, and quite a few found themselves drawn in and interested in spite of their pre-conceptions. All this was invigorating for us revolutionaries as well as for the students.

We collected several more phone numbers and emails and made plans to follow up. As we walked back to Berkeley’s Revolution Books and discussed plans for more organized engagement with these students, we reflected on the very positive mix of students at that school and how strategic it will be to persevere in going back and forging an actual Revolution Club at this very special high school that BA came out of. We talked about the point in BA’s new work, The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, of how critical thinking, even when it is directed against us, is strategically favorable and how we should want and welcome this from students, but we also have a responsibility to engage it and lead people to transform their thinking so that they bring their intellectual skills into the service of the actual revolution that is needed and possible to emancipate all humanity. And, we reflected on the positive mix that BA describes in his memoir of a very intellectual atmosphere as well as a very diverse mix of students that made up Berkeley High years ago when he went there and which still very much characterizes the place. We are looking forward to, and have big plans to get back there several more times during this tour and in the weeks and months going forward.






Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Snapshot: Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor campus tour visits Berkeley High School

March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor, as part the national campus tour “If you are serious about changing the world and want to know what a REAL revolution is,” went to Berkeley High, and spoke to about 200 students. Bob Avakian attended Berkeley High, and as BA goes into in his memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, his experiences there, including meeting and becoming friends with Black students, played an important role in BA developing socially and politically, and ultimately becoming the revolutionary communist leader that he is today.

Berkeley High is the only public high school in Berkeley, and the student body draws from a very diverse population, ranging from the children of prominent and influential intellectuals, to recent immigrants, to Black students from oppressed neighborhoods. The same essential contradictions BA talks about in his memoir exist in Berkeley High today, more than 50 years later. Sharp contradictions remain over the academic success of Black vs. white students. And it is a place of ferment. In recent years, Berkeley High students have walked out of classes in support of the protests against police terrorizing Black people. And just last November, many hundreds of students walked out of school after learning of a racist threat made by a student against Black students.

In the days leading into the visit by Carl and Sunsara, copies of the “High School” chapter of BA’s memoir circulated among some teachers. One teacher plans to use the chapter in a class. Revolutionaries also passed out a flyer to students outside the school with the headline "Bob Avakian, the most radical revolutionary leader and scientist on the planet today, came out of Berkeley High," which urged people to learn more about BA and the revolution and get connected at and which also included an excerpt from BA's new work, “The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation.”

Click here to download and read PDF of new work

By the time Carl and Sunsara spoke in the class, teachers worked together to bring a total of nine classes totaling about 200 students who came over three different periods. Students came from history, African-American Studies, economics, and social studies classes. So Carl and Sunsara spoke to a new group of students each of the three periods. And students who wanted to get more seriously into things were invited to meet with Carl and Sunsara and the Revolution Club at lunch period, when a teacher made her classroom available for that.

Carl and Sunsara gave a powerful presentation which we will not try to sum up here, except to say that they talked about why the world cries out for revolution, how Bob Avakian has developed a new synthesis of communism, and what this means, and they called on students to step forward and join this revolution. One of the important points in the speech that students later said really moved them was when Carl and Sunsara read from BA’s memoir recounting his experience at Berkeley High. One story was about how many of the white students he went to school with in junior high questioned what he was doing by hanging out with the Black students. One guy said, “Why don’t you stick with your own kind,” to which BA said, “‘You mean like you?’ and that was the end of that conversation, and of any friendship between us.”

Another story was about discussions he had with some of the Black football players about racism, on a bus on the way to a football game, where BA writes that “I remember that very, very deeply–I learned a lot more in that one hour than I learned in many hours of classroom time, even from some of the better teachers.”

Every session after their presentation was filled with comments and questions from the students, some welcoming the revolution and asking more about it, some raising challenges and questions about communism and the new synthesis. To give a sense of the back and forth, here is some of what the students raised:

* You say the things we learn in class about communism are incorrect and you're giving a true representation. We've heard all the stats about communism and the facts speak the truth. The creator, Karl Marx, said the economic system is not governed and there has to be an elite leader. It often becomes a tyrannical dictatorship and it doesn't solve the problems, it creates more. It takes away freedom and rights. It happened over and over again. Other problems arise–literacy rates may go up and people can read propaganda. We don't have the perfect system. But millions died and oppression exists–there's extreme differences between people.

* Mao didn't really care about the people or maybe he was trying to care. He took half of what people were making. If you want a revolution to take off, you need to get up high in the media.

* How was the communism developed by BA different–what do you mean?

* When you talk about revolution and seizing power, what does that really look like? What are the practicalities?

* How many people are part of your revolution? What do you do?

* This was fascinating talking about revolution and seizing power. What does a revolution look like?

* What about economic problems? Isn’t there more innovation under capitalism? What about state-led enterprises?

* What do you plan to do to people who don't agree with communism? Do you force them out or relocate them?

* What is it about Bob Avakian and having a cult of personality?

* Racism and sexism–how would you deal with it? There's understanding institutional change–but what about individuals? You can’t legislate people’s beliefs and feelings. How do you change how people see the world?

* What is a scientific revolution?

* Can you elaborate on your plans for revolution? How are you going to go for a revolution?

See also: A Call from Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor:
If you are serious about changing the world and want to know what a REAL revolution is
Campus Tour, Winter-Spring 2016
An Invitation ... to Meet the Revolution

Just the partial list of questions shows that bringing BA, revolution and the new synthesis of communism, as well as BA’s own formative life experiences, into the ferment at Berkeley High today sparked many questions, and some real controversy. And most importantly, among some students the challenge from Sunsara and Carl to join the revolution is being taken seriously. And it is also very good that among the teachers, some are very interested in the memoir and the life story of this extraordinary and precious revolutionary leader. Something very important opened up with this visit, and now we need to take it much further.





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Big Questions, Deep Engagement, and Beginning Organization Sparked by Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor Tour at a State University in California

March 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Recently Sunsara Taylor and Carl Dix spoke at a State University campus in California. Below a member of the Revolution Club reports on the work to build for this, and gives their impressions of the dialogue at the event.

We had done weeks of outreach, from club and class announcements, fliering to putting up posters, and people were talking about being interested in going to the event but not committing to it. Days before the event, it was announced that there would be a 40 percent cut to the Ethnic Studies department. This was a major blow to the students and faculty causing protest; and put a whole different attitude towards people’s perspectives on real change and progress.

We fliered at the protest and one of the original strikers from the battle for ethnic studies in '68 announced at the rally that a lot of people protested in the '60s but that what they didn't do then was make revolution and that revolution is what is needed and invited them to hear Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor at the upcoming event. The day of the event, there was a hip-hop and breakdance event at the plaza in support of the battle for Ethnic Studies. The original striker from '68 again called for students to go to the event with Sunsara Taylor and Carl Dix. Carl arrived; one of the people hosting the hip hop event asked Carl, "You are the speaker at the event right? You want to say something?" Carl spoke about fighting these same struggles in the '60s (how people shouldn't have to fight to learn this history, how it should be a given), how he doesn't want to live in a world where these same battles continue but actual creating a whole different world, the need for revolution and that there is a leader for that revolution, Bob Avakian, and also inviting people to dig into this by coming to the event.

Minutes before the event, members of the Revolution Club made an announcement about the event at one of the dining halls. We talked about the wars for empire and how one in three women will be raped in her lifetime saying, "That’s a billion women.” Three Muslim women came off of that. About 80 people came to the event and about 60 of them were students. It was a diverse group, people from the Black Liberation Movement, math majors, an Ethiopian student, a break dancer and a woman who recently arrived from China.

Everything that was said is not mentioned here but these are some of the key points given during the engagement as I recall them.

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The questions were sharply posed by Sunsara and Carl, "Who are we to talk about a certain type of oppression if we ourselves have not experienced it?" Sunsara pointed out that it is important to know where it started, Carl even pointed out how it's important to operate from the framework of the place we are aiming for regardless of where we are at any given point in time (how that was BA's framework when he met him). Some of this came up in the question and answer where students asked, "Are you afraid of death?" "I've watched violent porn before and my friends still do but not all porn is like that so do you think all porn is sexist?" "What do you mean by BA looking at things from where we are going?" "Didn't previous revolutions get corrupted, doesn't power corrupt, is that human nature?" "Shouldn't we vote for Sanders; in regards to deportations can't he do better than Obama?"

Answers to these questions were very in depth. When asked, "Are you afraid of death?" Carl said that he thought about this when he was drafted to go to Vietnam and that he was more scared of becoming a mindless fighting machine for this empire than death. Sunsara said yes, all forms of porn are sexist because the portrayal of women has always been to dehumanize and degrade them. She says that nowhere in porn when a woman says NO! is that respected. She also talked about how in Bangladesh young girls are given hormones to develop and even if that is not what you see in everyday porn that is what is happening and this is what mainstream porn is causing. Sunsara, in regards to looking at things from what we are aiming for, talked about how in China, socialism was not reversed because “power corrupts” even though that is what most people are taught. Rather, there was a military coup that drove people back to capitalism. Additionally, there were mistakes made by the communists, e.g. not teaching enough Marxist theory and work towards a revolutionary road, and some in power thought it was a good idea to work with imperialist rulers. The person with the, "Are you afraid of death?" question participated in the, "Is that human nature?" question by saying humans are only born knowing how to suck and grasp everything else is taught by society. Sunsara said that was an important contribution but also that there is more to it than that, she talked about humans knowing how to organize themselves, and that people are taught through this system to only care about themselves but that in a socialist society, people's outlook changes and a "serve the people" ethos is adopted.

A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What is New in the New Synthesis? An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA; Understanding the World, And Changing It For the Better, In the Interests of Humanity Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

In the whole argument about voting for Sanders, Carl told people directly not to get played, that it’s not that the system needs your vote to do what they do but that they are going to do what the system needs to do. He gave the example that during the Vietnam War the U.S. imperialists had make a grand exit because soldiers were refusing orders and even at times killing their officers who tried to make them go out and fight a losing battle and because people here were protesting; promoting the need and righteousness of rebelling, going against business as usual. In regards to Obama being the commander and chief of deportations, he mentioned how Obama was going to be the president about positive change for immigrant people and yet he had deported more people than any other president so it’s not about who you vote for, its about what this system wants. The last point about why it is necessary to not vote for Sanders and not vote at all included letting students know that Sanders voted in support of the bombing of Gaza in 2014 by the Israeli military backed by the U.S. and that voting for him would not only grant your support of those types of horrors but also grant legitimacy to this illegitimate system.

Some people stayed for 3 1/2 hours. For those who left before the whole event was over, their comments ranged from enjoying how the speakers talked about different cultures, how they agreed with everything that the speakers said, one person didn't like how when one person in the revcom shirt would begin clapping others would follow which he felt gave the feeling of a “cult,” and the most necessary question at this point and time, “I liked everything that was said but how are we going to get more people involved?”

During the mingling time, mainly Black students and some Asian students stuck around. The discussion was aimed at the sex industry in different countries, how women have a different worth depending on where they are from, why people might have valid points but that is not the same as having the most accurate overall understanding, the analogy of Ebola was given to demonstrate how you want the answer that most corresponds to really treating the disease or problem, BA's comparing the pictures of the hanging to the depiction of women through porn, imagining a world without America (BAsics 3:1), how there are all these military bases across the world, the militarization of the border, the need for a Rev Club at this campus, being a part of building for the Stolen Lives tour and even having a stepping on the flag event when the Rev Club gets started because like Carl said during the tour, "We need a radical revolt against this revolting culture!"

Below are some of the comments left on the sign-up forms from the event:

23 yr. old student: I believe that we as people who are of different color, different gender, different ways on how we view the world need to come together in order to show people that the world ain't black and white—it’s made of many colors.  The only way we can come together as a group is by communication, cooperation and positive attitude.

20 yr. old student: Really interesting! I really appreciate the different problems and perspective that was discussed.

18 yr. old student: Very moving!!

18 yr. old student: Thank you!

47yr. old student: I am with All of Us or None and Transgender Injustice Project

18 yr. old student: I've been a feminist and maybe a socialist since I was in high school in China. This meeting made me excited.

35 yr. old student: Looking to learn more. I agree with most of the lecture.

30 yr. old worker: I look forward to learn more about B.A.

20 yr. old student: The Communism and socialism part should be elaborated since the concepts are new to people to study in such a favorable point of view.






Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Courageous Anti-Trump Protesters, and Poisonous Preaching by Clinton

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Chicago, March 11
Disrupting Trump speaking at a rally in Fayetteville, NC, March 9. Their shirts say "Stop Hate / Stop Trump." (AP photo)

After thousands of protesters forced a Trump rally to be shut down in Chicago on March 11, Hillary Clinton issued a statement saying:

We all have our differences and we know many people across the country feel angry. We need to address that anger together. All of us, no matter what party we belong to or what views we hold, should not only say loudly and clearly that violence has no place in our politics, we should use our words and deeds to bring America together. Last year in Charleston, South Carolina an evil man walked into a church and murdered 9 people. The families of those victims came together and melted hearts in the statehouse and the confederate flag came down. That should be the model we strive for to overcome painful divisions in our country.

Clinton piles on to the outrageous message Obama delivered after a white supremacist mass murderer, who with the intention of starting a genocidal “race war,” murdered nine Black people attending Bible study. In a crime on top of a crime, Obama said: “Oh, but God works in mysterious ways. God has different ideas. He [the racist murderer] didn’t know he was being used by God.... The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness.” Here we had the “leader of the free world” saying the murders of nine Black people by a racist was “part of God’s plan” and that it was a good thing that people (who, it has to be said, were horribly misguided by religion) forgave the racist murderer.

Clinton couldn’t even bring herself to call Trump a racist when asked about this in the recent Miami debate. And she can’t call the murderer in Charleston a racist—he’s an “evil man.”

Then she says the families of the victims who forgave the murderer “melted hearts in the statehouse and the confederate flag came down.” Melted hearts my ass! The confederate flag—inseparable from and founded on slavery, oppression, and the Ku Klux Klan—didn’t come down because Southern politicians had their “hearts melted” when they saw forgiveness. The fucking flag came down because people who were outraged, protested and even tore down that flag; the system’s racist ass was exposed and the legitimacy of the system was at stake. And for Trump and his fascist followers, melt their hearts??!!

Clinton dares to tell people who are courageously going up against Trump and all the vicious hatred he’s whipping up against Blacks, immigrants, Muslims—that they should come together with the racist and fascist Trump supporters to “address that anger together.” And as for striving to “overcome painful divisions in our country”—these are divisions are between non-thinking, racists and fascist brownshirts on the one hand, and those who are fighting against racism, police murder, discrimination, and all the many crimes of the system.

Hillary Clinton needs to shut the fuck up!






Revolution #430 March 14, 2016


March 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |

The racism of America... the mass incarceration of Black people... and a celebration of the Black freedom struggle including echoes of the Black Panther Party, all burst on the stage.

In 2016, the U.S. awards ceremonies, watched by hundreds of millions internationally, were not the usual boring, putrid ramming of mainstream U.S. cultural spectacle and values down the throats of the world, but a sign of the times.

All who want to see the horrors that plague humanity ended; all who want a radically different and far better world; all who are working for a real revolution, pay attention: This matters, recognize and seize the time!

2016 Super Bowl and Grammy Awards
Black Panthers & Prison Blues:
Grasp the Moment... Seize the Time for REAL Emancipation

From a reader:

The struggle over the humanity of Black people in America—up against centuries of oppression and degradation, and right now, up against a slow genocide—is getting fought out everywhere we turn. January and February, two major Black artists disrupted the air with performances that put this running sore in front of the world.

At Super Bowl 50, the most viewed TV event in the U.S., Beyoncé performed an excerpt of her new song, “Formation.” In her performance, she was wearing bandoliers, and her 50 backup dancers were wearing costumes that echoed the black berets, Afros, and raised fists of the Black Panther Party. At one point, they lined up in an X formation (a seeming reference to Malcolm X).

At the 2016 Grammy Awards, the music business’ celebration and coronation of mainstream American pop music viewed by almost 30 million people, Kendrick Lamar performed excerpts from three songs in a chilling yet beautiful dramatization of the hidden lives of the millions behind bars in America. He came out in prison blues, marching in a chain gang with his musicians in cages onstage performing part of “The Blacker the Berry.” Then he transitioned into a furiously jubilant celebration with bonfires and African dancers performing “Alright” and then transitioned into an angry and angst-filled new piece, as yet untitled.

The organized forces of fascism and white supremacy freaked out. Former New York City Mayor and all-the-time fascist pig Rudy Giuliani said Beyoncé’s performance was “used as a platform to attack police officers...” The Executive Director of the National Sheriffs’ Association said her performance was “inciting bad behavior.” A number of police associations have called for protests and now there’s a wave of boycotts being called of Beyoncé (police saying they won’t do security for her tour). These attacks and threats from the police and fascist forces are serious—trying to use the force of the state to keep people silent in the face of genocide... trying to scare prominent figures away from using their platform to speak out against the crimes happening to Black people, or even just from asserting the humanity of Black people.

Especially in the face of this kind of shit, artists—and anyone else who speaks out and stands up against police terror and mass incarceration—need to be defended. This system has a long history of terrorizing prominent voices who use their platform to speak out against oppression, and when this happens, it needs to be taken seriously and taken on loudly.

At the same time, and coming from a stand of emancipating ALL humanity, there are things that have to be criticized in both these performances. Beyoncé’s performance and the song give some voice for Black people to feel pride in who they are, refuting racist stereotypes of beauty. She and her dancers evoked the struggle for freedom waged by Black people in the 1960s. The problem, and it is a big problem, is that she wraps this up in an incredibly poisonous package—a celebration of, and wanting to be a top dog in, this dog-eat-dog system that continues to destroy and murder Black and oppressed people here and around the world. A system that has and can only have white supremacy built into its structures.

In her Super Bowl performance of her new song, “Formation,” Beyoncé rhymes: “I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making.” This is nothing but a bourgeois aspiration—the outlook of a ruling class of a capitalist system whose golden rule is profit at the expense of crushing anything, any people, anyone that stands in the way of pursuit of this.

Instead of expressing a hope, dream, vision of ending exploitation, Beyoncé expresses her desire to get in on it, to get her share of and be part of the American empire, which can only mean destroying lives and crushing spirits. The U.S. is an empire that runs, and can only survive by running, roughshod over the people of the world.

The full version of the song ends, “The best revenge is your paper” (that is, your money). That paper is wealth stolen from the people here and around the world and enforced with unspeakable brutality. Celebrating a major exploiter like Celebrating a major exploiter like Bill Gates is to uphold the horrific exploitation of sweatshops, workers being poisoned by the devices they are working on, and a system he's part of that profits from child labor... this is where Bill Gates’ wealth came from and could only come from. Let’s not forget when President Obama and the Navy Seals murdered the reactionary fundamentalist Osama Bin Laden that Beyoncé rushed to record and release her version of “I’m Proud to Be an American,” a song of ignorant patriotism now bull-horned every day by Donald Trump. What Beyoncé was doing with this song was aimed at rallying the most oppressed people to cheer and be a part of the U.S. military killing machine, and at the same time, at least objectively, letting the people who rule America know that she wannabe one of them. For her to turn around now and protest the treatment of Black people is not so much hypocrisy as it is a reflection of the class position of the Black bourgeoisie, held down by capitalism but with no higher aspiration as a class than to itself become a new bourgeois-capitalist class. In this day and age, that can only mean becoming junior partners to U.S. imperialism. Revolutionaries can and should unite with and defend people who take up this outlook when they resist oppression, but this bourgeois outlook cannot lead the struggle—that is, if it is to get to revolution to emancipate all humanity.

Let’s return to this line on “the best revenge is your paper.” Wanting revenge can only end up on the terms of the system as it is—making the goal of the struggle your ability to fuck over someone instead of being the one fucked over. And, again, “your paper” comes dripping with the blood of those who this system viciously exploits. While it’s understandable to hate the way people are forced to live under this system so much that you want to lash out, acting for revenge just means that you want to hurt someone else because it makes you feel good or enables you to get ahead. If you try to defeat the enemy by becoming them, they win. In effect, you end up using the struggle of the people, their aspirations and desires to be rid of all this, to get your piece... this is dangerous and has no place in the struggle for emancipation. It permeates way too much of Beyoncé’s work, and actually cuts against and undermines what is righteous about her performance. It does real harm.

Prison Blues and Chain Gangs

Kendrick Lamar at the GrammysKendrick Lamar at the Grammys. (AP photo)

Kendrick Lamar delivered a stunning visceral performance at the Grammys. He laid bare a pressing reality and gave a deep feeling for the brutality brought down on Black people by this system. Look at the video: the clanging of chains... the soulful and sorrowful sax... he indicts the white supremacist hatred for Black people and argues: “You can trap our bodies but you can’t lock up our minds.” In his new song, he spoke to the pain of Trayvon Martin’s murder: “On February 26 I lost my life too.” February 26 is the day George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon.

Kendrick Lamar wrestles with big questions and often throws everything that’s going on into the pot. Musically his combination and choices are wild and unexpected, and often masterful. At the same time, his lyrics and views on many things are contradictory and sometimes just posing contradictions (including ugly ones) seems to be what he is doing. His celebrated album, To Pimp a Butterfly, is art at a high level and as such we do not hold him to every line, every song, literally. There are different characters and different personas in his work. His work is also developing. But there are negatives within all this which need to be looked at, interrogated, and broken with.*

His Grammy performance reflected the pain and defiance, the criminalization and degradation, anger, and alienation brought down on Black people by this system and how that plays out in the lives of the people. Every verse of "The Blacker the Berry" starts with “I’m a hypocrite”: Check what he says:

I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2015
Once I finish this, witnesses will convey just what I mean
I mean, it’s evident that I’m irrelevant to society
That’s what you’re telling me, penitentiary would only hire me
Curse me till I’m dead
Church me with your fake prophesizing that I’mma be just another slave in my head
Institutionalized manipulation and lies
Reciprocation of freedom only live in your eyes.

The song concludes:

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street when gang banging
make me kill a nigga blacker than me?

Some have said that "The Blacker the Berry" could be read to place blame at the feet of Black people for the violence among the people—violence whose root cause is the no-win situation that this system puts people in, especially the youth. It also could be understood as a reflection on how the system does often compel people to do horrific things and then blame themselves for it—internalizing their oppression. Either way, the masses of people need a way out—and that can only be through struggling: in the realms of art and ideas, in fighting back against the power, and ultimately in an actual revolution, which is the only way to put an end to a system that is nothing but a killing machine.

We don’t know if Kendrick Lamar was forced to take out a line from his Grammy performance of “Alright,” or if he did so himself, but we missed the sharp line in the song’s chorus: “and we hate popo, want to kill us dead in the streets fo sho.” This omission stands out all the more because, while there are different images that Kendrick evokes as to why we gonna be alright, the first verse concludes:But if God got us we then gon’ be alright,” which is an illusion/delusion at best, and at worst leaves people blind to understand the source of the problem we face and the road forward to the solution.

The work Kendrick Lamar performed at the Grammys is also marred by strains of the outlook of revenge, and this theme runs through some of his other work as well. While it may feel radical to want your get-back, it will not get us free. We have to fight... but our sights have to be way beyond revenge, they have to be towards actual emancipation, towards ending not just the oppression you face, or just becoming new oppressors, but towards ending all oppression once and for all.

Both Beyoncé and Kendrick are also painfully wrong on another essential truth: There will be no real emancipation that doesn't embody the view that women—half of humanity—are full human beings. Not sex objects or play things... breaking free from every aspect of patriarchal domination and degradation: whether it be turning oneself into an object or saturating your music in the word "bitch" as Beyoncé does, or viewing women as a sexual vice and temptation with no humanity, as Kendrick does.

Raising these criticisms is not to downplay the positive elements in Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick, from his inventive music to the subject and theme of his writing, is a seeker. To say or imply that he has cast his lot with the system would be very wrong. But he must seek deeper... to the root causes of the problem, and the real solution. This is not too much to ask from those who would give voice to the people’s humanity... indeed, nothing less is required.


* This article does not deal with the entirety of Kendrick Lamar's work or the entirety of To Pimp a Butterfly. Its focus is on the performance and songs he movingly performed at the 2016 Grammy's. [back]





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

From a donor to BA Everywhere:

"We need to protect and promote the leadership, program and revolutionary advances of Bob Avakian and the RCP."

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is from someone who recently made a significant donation to BA Everywhere:

Because of the workings of this system, people are increasingly being drawn into political life and forced to take sides. They are angry and polarized, and seemingly, more than ever, do not believe what their government or the media tells them.

This system of capitalism-imperialism is in a crisis for which they have no solution, and its inner compulsions and contradictions are spawning a worldwide rearmament and a drive toward war.

The polarization we are witnessing can get played out by giving rise and credence to fascistic right-wing elements, which will strengthen the state’s repressive apparatus and limit our ability to act, or it can become an impetus for propelling society forward toward systemic change.

I have an older but healthy brother who said to me recently that he is relieved to be near the end of his life. He said he doesn’t want to see what is coming.

I don’t want to live—and I don’t want others to live—in a world the imperialists have planned for us.

DONATE to the
BA Everywhere Campaign!

Click Here

I am donating to the “BA Everywhere Campaign” because we need to protect and promote the leadership, program and revolutionary advances of Bob Avakian and the RCP to the science and practice of Marxist revolution. They have earned the right to be called the vanguard.

A conscious communist, a retired social worker and Vietnam veteran





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Clintons and the “Ideals” of the Confederacy

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

The article “White supremacy and the White House, an American Tradition,” gave examples of actions by Bill and Hillary Clinton that “were meant as a signal to racist whites that he would keep Black people in their place.” The bloody river of white supremacy runs quite deep when it comes to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Arkansas flag and Act 116
identifying the blue star above
"Arkansas" as commemorating
the Confederacy. Act 116

In 1987 while governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton signed Act 116 that reaffirmed that “the blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” This flag flew over the Clinton’s Arkansas residence for 12 years. She has never answered reporters’ questions as to her role in her husband’s signing Act 116.  

While Hillary Clinton did say in 2007 that she “personally would like to see it removed from the Statehouse grounds” in South Carolina, she remained silent in 2015 during the struggle over whether the Confederate flag should be taken down in Charleston, S.C. after a white supremacist shooting of Black people during a church service.

Further, in 1994, Bill Clinton wrote a congratulatory letter on White House stationery to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) on the occasion of their 100-year anniversary:

“One of the most rewarding of human experiences is the coming together of people to share common experiences and interests. For 100 years, the United Daughters of the Confederacy has maintained and built upon the wonderful legacy of your founders. The strength of your organization today is a testament of the vision of your founders and to your commitment to your shared goals.

“I congratulate you on your achievement, and I extend best wishes for many years of continuing success.”

The UDC is a neo-Confederate organization whose membership is limited to women who are related to Confederate veterans of the Civil War and has ties to other white supremacist hate groups.

You can get an idea of their racist, white supremacist ideology from a piece in a 2008 Special Issue of the Black Commentator which describes the content of a 1989 UDC Magazine article, “Walter W. Lee argued that ‘purchasers of the slaves’ were actually victims of slavery, while ‘the worst suffering group among those engaged in the trade’ were ‘the crews of slave ships.’ Lee also made light of the horrific and deadly Middle Passage, claiming that "the sixteen inches of deck space allotted each slave is not all that much smaller that (sic) the eighteen inches that the Royal Navy allowed for each sailor's hammock and the slaves rapidly had more room due to the much higher death rate." (See, April 21, 2008 – Special Issue)

Again in 1995, Bill Clinton wrote another letter to the UDC that was printed on the inside front cover of the September issue of the UDC’s magazine:

BAsics 1.1

“Greetings to everyone gathered in our nation’s capital for the 1995 National Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Congratulations on beginning of the second century of your organization —your long history is a tribute to your dedication to and respect for the ideals of your founders. This week marks a special time for the members of your organizations to share memories, traditions, and goals. I hope that your visit to Washington is an enjoyable one and that you will take advantage of its unique beauty and many historical sites. Best wishes to all for an enjoyable convention. Bill Clinton”

Does Clinton view their “long history” as the myth of plantations idyll of happy slaves and paternalist masters? And what has Hillary said about this? NOTHING!

Is this the “wonderful legacy of your founders”? Or “a testament of the vision of your founders and to your commitment to your shared goals” that Bill Clinton was celebrating? And again, what has Hillary done to disavow any of this? As “liberal” as they get, these actions embracing slavery and the confederacy by the Clintons are an example of how deeply rooted the underpinnings of white privilege and white supremacy are in this monstrous system.







Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

DOJ Says Police Murder of Ramarley Graham Didn't Violate His Civil Rights!

Ramarley Graham

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On March 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice announced there would be no federal civil rights charges filed against the NYPD cop that killed Ramarley Graham in his home in the Bronx, NYC, in February 2012.

On February 2, 2012, a security camera recorded Ramarley, an 18-year-old Black man, walking up the stoop of his home, unlocking the door and going inside. A moment later the video shows a plainclothes pig named Richard Haste running up the stoop and trying to break down the door. He and another cop, by their story, couldn’t break down the front door so they went around and broke in through the back door. Haste went up the stairs, cornered Ramarley in the bathroom and shot him in the chest at close range. According to these pigs, the whole encounter started because Ramarley had “adjusted his waistband” while outside. Ramarley was unarmed.

The nightmare did not end there. Ramarley’s grandmother, Patricia Hartley, was home when this happened. After murdering her grandson, the police and the Bronx DA held her for over five hours and interrogated her. Ramarley's six-year-old brother, Chinoor, was also present when Ramarley was killed. And the ruling class’s media lied about what happened to justify the murder.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

All this might have been just another one of those outrageous police murders, quickly swept under the rug. But this time hundreds of people, mainly Black youth, righteously took to the streets and called this out, joined by others including the NYC Revolution Club, and Ramarley’s family refused to roll over and accept this. In the face of that, the Bronx DA brought charges against Haste. In 2013 a judge threw out the manslaughter indictment citing a technicality, and no further charges were brought. Outside the court, Haste’s fellow pigs turned out to support him, and applauded him.

And now the Department of Justice says none of this violated Ramarley Graham’s civil rights!

Ramarley’s mother, Constance Malcolm, said after this week’s announcement that it “doesn’t seem like our kids’ life matters... Time and time again, you see it over and over, this officer walks free, they get a pay raise, they get a promotion and nothing has been done to them. This is sending the wrong message. Even in your own home, you’re not even safe anymore.”

Our kids lives do not matter to this system. It is revealing and damning how the DOJ justified not bringing civil rights charges against the police who killed Ramarley Graham. They announced: “To prove a violation of the federal criminal civil rights statute, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning that the officer acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids.”

If breaking into someone’s home and shooting them like they did to Ramarley Graham does not “willfully deprive an individual of a constitutional right,” what does?! The DOJ could have prosecuted this as a civil rights case but did not. Here’s the real situation: the whole way these civil rights laws are set up and used essentially puts a stamp of approval on police murder—the normal, day to day operation of the police as enforcers for a system of exploitation and oppression is not considered a violation of a young Black man’s civil rights because that police terror and murder is not “something the law forbids.”

A system that considers the reign of terror and murder against Black and Latino youth to be perfectly legal and—in case after case—not even a violation of their civil rights, is a criminal system.




Protest in the Bronx demanding justice for Ramarley Graham, May 2013. Photo:





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

No More Stolen Lives Tour at San Francisco State University

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


No More Stolen Lives tour at San Fancisco State
No More Stolen Lives Tour at San Fancisco State. Photo: Special to

From a reader:

The No More Stolen Lives Tour aims to bring the reality of murder by police to college campuses, directly posing the question to students, “Which Side Are You On?”—and calling on them to build for the tour and to take a stand in April by most urgently organizing a national student strike to stop police terror that will send a call to students throughout society to play a crucial role in being a part of putting a stop to this genocide.

On March 10, the No More Stolen Lives Tour came to San Francisco State University. Project Rebound, a program on campus that works with the formerly incarcerated to get them in and through college, endorsed the event and worked with us to get students there.

Everything that was said at the tour event is not mentioned here, but these are some of the key points given during the engagement as I recall them:

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. More about Bob Avakian here

On the day of the tour, families of those murdered by police brought to the forefront unapologetically the reality of murder by police, which the system wants people to forget about to an audience of about 70 people which included about 27 college students, 17 high school students, immigrants, activists, and revolutionaries. In between, the MC linked the need to stop police terror with students playing a role in calling for a National Strike, continually getting back to the fact that murder by police is the spearpoint of the whole genocide facing black and brown people.

There were seven family members who came to the program, and five who spoke. Some of the statements made were very significant. For example: “My husband always said that being silent is being complicit and when I bumped into the Stop Mass Incarceration Network I felt that I could and need to start speaking about this;” “Are you brave enough to be free, Are you free enough to be brave?;” “I knew someone had gotten killed by police and I prayed for the family that had lost their loved one but I did not know I was praying for my own family;” “They left my son’s body lying on the street for 13 hours like a dog”; “On the news you can see that they treat an adult sea lion with care when it’s in a desperate situation because it’s on the endangered species list but this is not what happens when it comes to people;” “The cop got promoted after what he did to my nephew.”

A formerly incarcerated rapper named J-Duce, who is a victim of police brutality, said that he supports the students taking a stand in April and performed two of his songs, “The Movement” and “” at different times throughout the program. There was a high school class of about 17 students that came and were really influenced by the message of his rap. Three Revolution Club members came on stage together, and one member made a speech asking the audience if this is the land of the free and the home of the brave while pointing at the stolen lives banner. The crowd answered, “Hell No!” Then the Revolution Club member asked if Trump, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are going to “make America great again” while still pointing at the stolen lives banner, and the crowd answered, “Hell No!” The speech emphasized the need for a Revolution Club on campus and for students to dig into BAsics and BA’s new work, The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, and A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, while letting students know that BA is a best friend to the oppressed who has never sold out or given up on revolution. The Revolution Club member called for students to take initiative in organizing a national student strike to pose the question to all students across the country, “Which Side Are You On?” Lastly the Revolution Club member called for students to get word about BA out everywhere and to come to the BA Everywhere dinner to bring about a world where we really are free.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the
Revolution Club


A college student stood up to support the need for a strike. Stolen lives posters were passed to people in the front of the room, and this influenced some of the high school students to stand up and hold the stolen lives posters too. Students felt the need to figure out how to make this national student strike possible. When the question was posed whether high school and college students should sit and organize separately, it was quickly decided that it was absolutely necessary to do this call together. There were various questions posed, “I support everything about this strike but I do not know how much I can do because I am here on my own and I’m paying for college on my own?” Another student was confused about the strike because he didn’t know how to go about showing solidarity with the faculty that is planning to strike in April for better wages, and other students that are planning to strike in April in support of the faculty along with the fight to keep Ethnic Studies fully funded.

The turning point was when a high school student said, “College students are older and more experienced, so sometimes we don’t know what to do because people will not follow us.” The student who was reluctant about striking in April let the high school student know that this is not true and said, “We have seen students from the high schools take a stand before and that it did inspire the college students to take part in taking a stand and making change.” After the event was over, immigrants interacted with students to sell tamales to raise funds for BA Everywhere.





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

Reposted March 8, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On March 3, 2016, the internationally renowned Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres was assassinated in her home. On the anniversary of her killing, the The Guardian has reported that “leaked court documents raise concerns that the murder of the Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres was an extrajudicial killing planned by military intelligence specialists linked to Honduras’ US-trained special forces.” Three of the eight men charged with her murder were military Special Forces officers; one who was chief of army intelligence at the time of the assassination. He and another one of the officers had been trained in the U.S. (“Berta Cáceres court papers show murder suspects’ links to US-trained elite troops,” Nina Lakhani, 2/28/17)

Shortly after Cáceres’ murder, A World To Win News Service wrote the article which follows—“Who Killed Berta Cáceres?”—which provides important background and analysis about her murder, and the potential role of the U.S. in her killing.

* * * *

From A World to Win News Service

Honduras: Who killed Berta Cáceres?

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


March 7, 2016. A World to Win News Service. On March 3, 2016, gunmen broke into the home of Berta Cáceres and shot her four times as she slept.

Berta Caceres
Berta Cáceres

A co-founder of the Council of Indigenous People of Honduras, Cáceres was a leader of a campaign against the building of four dams on the Gualcarque River, a hydroelectric project launched by the World Bank meant to attract massive foreign investment in the mining industry, now allotted almost a third of the country’s land. She had received messages of support from international human rights organizations, environmental NGOs and Catholics abroad, although not the Catholic hierarchy in Honduras. She was part of a group that met with the Pope. Last year she received the Goldman Environmental Prize, sometimes called “the green Nobel prize.” Even the U.S. ambassador to Honduras called for an investigation after her death.

But such an investigation, if it were anything but a whitewash, would have to begin with the ambassador looking in the mirror. Students confronting riot police later that day in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, blamed the U.S. government. Everyone knew that the army was going to kill Berta Cáceres—she said so, publicly—and the Honduran army is trained, armed, financed and backed to the hilt of their bayonets by the United States.

International Women's Day in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Women honor Berta Cáceres on International Women's Day, March 8, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

She was supposedly under government protection, but after she died, in her home in her village, officials claimed they couldn’t have saved her because they didn’t know how to find her. Immediately after her death the police announced that they considered it a case of robbery and not assassination. This alone makes it likely that the authorities, and particularly the army, were behind her murder, as her mother said. The police, too, are U.S. funded. The U.S. calls the shots in Honduras.

The army is known to have been planning to kill Cáceres at least since 2009, when it overthrew a president who had talked about closing the key American military base in Central America. At the time, the Obama government and its State Department were accused of organizing the coup. What is undeniable is that the U.S. never stopped supporting the military and the regime it brought to power. Obama’s Secretary of State, [Hillary] Clinton, personally intervened to keep other Latin American countries from taking diplomatic measures against the new government, whose main ministries were occupied by military men who had graduated from the U.S. Army School of the Americas [Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation]. Catholic activists and others have long called it “the school of coups,” because so many of its alumni have stepped in to remove governments that the U.S. finds inconvenient. It has also been called “the school of torture” and “the school of terror” because of the methods taught by its instructors in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Shortly after that coup, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights named Cáceres as one of the people on an army death list. In a December 24, 2013 television interview, she told Al Jazeera, “The army has an assassination list of 18 wanted human rights fighters with my name at the top. I want to live, there are many things I still want to do in this world but I never once considered giving up fighting for our territory, for a life with dignity, because our fight is legitimate. I take lots of care but in the end, in this country where there is total impunity, I am vulnerable... When they want to kill me, they will do it.”

Her fellow leader of the Council of Indigenous People, Tomás Garcia, was shot dead by a military officer at a demonstration in 2013. Between 2010 and 2014, 101 Honduran social movement activists were killed.

These were political assassinations, but Honduras has become a more murderous place in every way. Greater subjugation to North American and European capital and further integration into the world market, under a government brought into power and kept in power to accomplish that aim, has created a situation in which many Hondurans consider entering the U.S. their only realistic escape.

As small as Honduras may be and as poor as U.S. domination has kept it, it has played a strategic role for the U.S. military in Central America. During the 1980s the U.S. unleashed its “Contra” killers (the “civilian contractors” of that era) against the Sandinista regime that had overthrown a long-time U.S. puppet in Nicaragua in a war financed by CIA-organized drug traffic. That mercenary army and the American military and civilian officials who ran it were based in Honduras. The drug trade and gangsterism that plague Honduras today are rooted in that era.

All major politicians in the U.S., in the presidential campaign and Congress, proclaim that Hondurans, like other immigrants, are a big problem for the United States. But to a large extent, they are literally fleeing from U.S. guns. The problem is the USA.





Revolution #430 March 14, 2016

From A World to Win News Service:

"Forging the struggle for women's liberation: Glory to 8 March—International Women's Day"

March 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


March 7, 2016. A World to Win News Service. The following was written by “A group of revolutionary communists—Afghanistan.”

Afghan women protest the death of a woman who was beaten to death by a mob after being falsely accused of burning a Quran.
Afghan women protest the death of a woman who was beaten to death by a mob after being falsely accused of burning a Quran. (AP photo)

In memory of women textile workers in New York who, with their heroic struggle, helped lay the foundation for a united women’s struggle on a world scale!

In memory of all the rebellious, revolutionary and communist women who consciously and tirelessly struggled against patriarchy, to break the chains of gender oppression and exploitation.

It is not possible to talk about women’s day, women’s struggle against patriarchy and male chauvinism, and not talk about the situation of millions of women who have been enslaved just because they are women, women who have been devastated under the weight of the oppression and exploitation of patriarchal and exploiting systems, women who have been enslaved by backward traditions, women who have been burned in the fire of superstitious and outmoded thinking, women who have been trafficked by deception, tricks or force. Those who have been sold under the compulsion of poverty and misery, those who have lost their life due to the endless oppression and saw no solution but to burn under the burden of their grief and sorrow or set themselves on fire.

It is not possible to be silent about what the women in Syria, Iraq, Bosnia, Peru, Bangladesh, Africa and elsewhere have been going through.

We cannot be silent about what women in Afghanistan have endured either, especially during the last four decades.

Is it possible to forget the bloody face of Farkhunda and her eyes as she held the gaze of the thugs of ignorance and superstition while her body was being shattered, before they burned it to ashes?

Could we possibly forget the look of young Rokhshana when her face and head were being smashed by the vicious weapon of patriarchy? How can we not be outraged by this savagery?

The death of Farkhunda and Rokhshana and the broken lives of Setara and hundreds of other women in the last year and years indicates the situation for women in Afghanistan. They are not safe at home, among their relatives, in the society, by religion or law. They are threatened by all of these relations and institutions.

History shows that the oppression of women has been a major pillar of all exploiting systems. It shows that the interest of these systems is to protect and consolidate the various forms of the oppression of women and patriarchy.

The imperialists who brutally invaded and occupied Afghanistan under the pretext of liberating its women showed the people of the world that what they call the liberation of women is nothing but the installation of a patriarchal regime, whether in traditional garments or Western clothing. Some forces were trained in male chauvinism by the imperialists they serve, in the U.S., Germany and UK. Others were trained in enmity toward women by the reactionaries in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose interests they serve. They all participate in the intensification of the degradation of women, and the oppression and exploitation of people, and, in sum, serve the interests of their class and world imperialism.

After 15 years, the regime installed by the imperialists in Afghanistan can only compare their so-called achievements for women with the situation of women under the Taliban regime. Even the pre-war situation for women in Afghanistan in the 1960s and ‘70s is far beyond their reach.

However, we must refer to another bitter reality about the woman question in Afghanistan. Given their deviations and the dominant wrong line, the communist movement in Afghanistan has not been able to launch a principled and scientific struggle against the oppression of women. This movement has not been able to take a serious and solid step forward in the struggle for the real liberation of women in Afghanistan. This movement could not fully grasp the importance and position of women’s oppression in the exploitation system of the oppressive ruling class, both those in power and those seeking it, yesterday and today.

Also, the bitter truth is that the members and supporters of the communist movement in Afghanistan have been totally buried in the dust of patriarchy. This has been one of the main obstacles to a correct handling of this thousands-of-years-old oppression. That movement has the obligation to get rid of this thick layer of dust by relying on the science of revolution. Without a deep rectification of the line and outlook regarding gender oppression and a vigorous and merciless struggle against patriarchy in this movement, it would not be possible to organise a struggle that can mobilise and organise the masses of women. The screams of Farkhunda under the fists and kicks of thugs and the loud cry of Rokhshana under the rain of stones of the outmoded forces are also telling us: we are fed up with male chauvinist and revisionist excuses. How much longer can you can justify your lack of concern and ignore the reality of women’s daily oppression by resorting to arguments like “the issue of women is subordinate to the main issue”?

It is true that the liberation of women can only be achieved in a communist society. It is also true that the contradiction between men and women will express itself in some way until a communist society is achieved. But these truths cannot and must not be a justification for indifference to the countless and extreme forms of the oppression of women today, which cannot be simply overlooked. They cannot be used to justify a movement that is made up only of men. They cannot be a pretext to ally with or in some way support anti-women criminals or to downplay the contradiction under the pretext that imperialism is the main enemy. We cannot ignore gender oppression and overlook these crimes, and fail to struggle against these hard-core enemies of humanity and other reactionary, outmoded forces.

This line and method goes against the teaching of our great leaders. Lenin said that the answer to the woman question is socialism, but he also emphasised that there can be no talk about socialism without the struggle and participation of women. Women are a potentially powerful force, half of population of the society, a force that is full of outrage towards the enemies of humanity. They can only join the ranks of conscious struggle against class exploitation and gender oppression if communist forces make an effort and struggle to mobilise and organise the masses of women and try to win over their most advanced forces.

After the crisis of the international communist movement and the occupation of the country by the Russians, the Maoist movement that had taken shape in Afghanistan during the 1960s liquidated its communist identity under the excuse that the occupation of the country was the main contradiction. Most of the Maoists took part in the resistance against the Russians under the umbrella of anti-women Islamist and jihadi forces. Under such conditions, how could those who related to the communist movement mobilise and organise a conscious struggle against gender oppression? How could this movement do away with the ideological and political influence of these fundamentalists?

Women in Afghanistan can and must struggle against gender oppression, domestic and state violence, reactionary anti-women laws and traditions, religion and the patriarchal state, anti-women imperialism and fundamentalism by organising themselves in a mass organisation. In an organisation that can draw a line of demarcation with patriarchal imperialism and anti-woman reactionaries, and struggle for a revolution of the toiling masses and the goal of a world without oppression and exploitation. An organisation whose advanced members are organised in a real revolutionary and communist party and are led through that party.

A correct, communist handling of the woman question is an expression of our outlook towards the future society. The fighters and revolutionary communists cannot realise a revolution without winning over and organising the masses of toiling women in struggle against gender oppression and winning over the advanced to their own ranks. For such a mobilisation, first of all we must get rid of the thick chauvinist dust that has influenced all of our movements, and we should no longer postpone the struggle against women’s oppression and the struggle for the liberation of women to “after seizing power”. It is already too late. The communist movement in Afghanistan must make up for its failures and assume its long overdue responsibilities regarding the oppression of women.