Revolution #436, April 25, 2016 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA:

The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors note: We are re-posting important writings from Bob Avakian on the Oppression of Black People and the Struggle to End All Oppression compiled in 2007, which are of continuing relevance.


Introduction from the Sept. 2007 posting of these articles:
Earlier this year, Revolution published a series of excerpts from writings and talks by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, dealing with the bitter reality—and the fundamental source—of the oppression of Black people throughout the history of the U.S., from the days of slavery down to the present time, and pointing to the revolutionary road to ending this oppression, and all forms of oppression and exploitation. Those excerpts were selected for publication for Black History Month, but of course they have great relevance and importance in an ongoing way for the struggle of oppressed people, and the future of humanity as a whole, here and throughout the world.

In this issue of Revolution, we are running two of the excerpts from that series. (The entire series is available online at

We urge our readers to not only dig into the excerpts (and the specific works that are referred to in these excerpts) but to more fully engage the body of work of Bob Avakian. In particular we want to call attention to the DVD of the talk by Bob Avakian, Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, which opens with a penetrating, powerful exposure of the crimes of this system against Black people throughout the history of the United States, and shows how all this—and the many other outrages and injustices that people suffer everyday in this society, and in all parts of the world—are rooted in the very nature of the capitalist-imperialist system and can only be abolished through a revolution whose ultimate aim is to sweep away capitalism-imperialism and bring into being a communist world, free of relations of master and slave, in any form. And the 7 Talks, given last year by Chairman Avakian, along with the Q&A and Closing Remarks that follow those Talks, speak in a rich diversity of ways to these and other fundamental questions, including why we're in the situation we're in today and how this relates to the historic challenge of emancipating all humanity from the chains of oppression and exploitation.

These 7 Talks and the Q&A and Closing Remarks are available online at


The following is an excerpt from comments by Bob Avakian in response to a question that was part of the Question and Answer Session following the 7 Talks. (In a few places things have been added, in brackets within the text, for clarity.)

Question: In your talks one of the threads among many is about the oppression of Black people being a foundational part of the way this society formed, the economic base, and the whole way this country developed: the things you have written and talked about—slavery and democracy and the New Deal and the Great Society programs, the conscious policies and the southern politicians.

Your talk on Minstrelsy and how the NBA is an extension of that was very heavy. [Editors' note: The talk referred to here is titled "The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters." The audio file of the talk is available online at or] I am trying to understand this more because it is so intertwined with the society. Related to this is the point about the struggle of Black people being an Achilles heel for the system. Can you comment further.

In the first part of the nineteenth century de Tocqueville wrote volumes, which have been made famous, upholding the USA as a model democracy. Such a society, he said, with its extensive opportunity for individual enrichment and its large, prosperous, stable middle class, would be very resistant to revolution. But, he warned, if revolution ever did come to the USA, it would be in connection with the Black people. Today, 150 years or so after de Tocqueville wrote this, the masses of Black people are still enslaved, but that slavery has taken new forms—and the Black masses are in a different position too. They are now concentrated in the strategic urban cores in the U.S. and concentrated in the most exploited sections of the working class, with the least stake in upholding the system and preserving the present order. And they are joined in this position by millions of proletarians of other oppressed nationalities. In short, these special victims of U.S. imperialism are in a tremendously powerful position to play a decisive role in making de Tocqueville's warning a reality—with world-historic consequences far beyond anything de Tocqueville could have imagined.

BULLETS…From the Writings, Speeches and Interviews of Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, RCP Publications, 1985, pp. 171-172

Bob Avakian: Well, you know, de Tocqueville [19th century French historian and writer, Alexis de Tocqueville], when he came to the U.S. and wrote his book based on his journeys in the U.S. a couple of centuries ago, talked about all the great attributes of democracy in this country, the "enterprise" of the people both in the general sense and in the particular sense of money-making—a lot of the sort of peculiar, but in his view largely positive, characteristics of people in this society. But one thing he said, speaking of the Achilles heel: there is one big fly in the ointment—the whole phenomenon of slavery which could yet be the undoing of this whole thing.

Things have changed a lot over the past two centuries in terms of the composition of the population, in terms of the composition of the proletariat, in terms of the character and "anatomy" of the proletariat—who's in it and where they are working and what their situation is, different strata and stratification within the proletariat, differentiation within the proletariat… The rolling on of the capitalist accumulation process and conscious policy leads to where a lot of Black people are forced out of these positions: the de-industrialization of the urban areas that is now such a marked phenomenon. There is a book by this guy Thomas Sugrue called The Origins of the Urban Crisis where he actually focuses on Detroit, which is a big industrial center where a lot of Black people worked in these big auto plants, like River Rouge and these other big plants. He talks about how the de-industrialization of the inner cities, especially for Black people, began as early as the late 1950s.

But then, you know, capitalism still has its needs internationally and within the U.S., so it brings in these waves of immigrants and exploits them and rewrites or blots out history and turns people against each other. It doesn't tell these immigrants, who see a lot of Black people who've been pushed out of these jobs and are hanging on the corner, "By the way, those people went through this whole process a couple of generations ago; now we've got them in a different position and we're bringing you in so we can exploit you because the dynamics have gone that kind of way and we've developed policy in relation to that." No, they don't tell them that.

Look, let's face it. There are certain things about Black people that a lot of employers don't like these days. There's a lot of defiance. Even though people are desperate economically there's also a certain defiance that's developed historically. It doesn't mean people don't want to work. Someone referred to how you go for a job and there are 500 people applying for the job and you have to try to sell yourself better than the other 499. Every time in a major city when they build a new hotel and announce jobs, thousands of people line up including a lot of Black people, so let's put this in its proper perspective. But there is a certain attitude among the [Black] youth a lot, having watched, for example, older generations going to work and doing all this stuff for "chump change," and getting nowhere with it, and then being flushed out of it…there is a certain "fuck that, I'm not doing that." That doesn't make them so pliant necessarily for capitalist exploitation. So that enters into the picture too. They've had a longer experience here. That doesn't mean they "don't want to work" but there is a certain attitude there, not taking a certain amount of shit. That's still there. Some of it's been beaten down temporarily, but there's still a lot of it there…

And let's face it, you go several generations where a majority of people in some inner city neighborhoods have never had a job, it has an effect. Not because they "didn't want to work" but because this is the workings of capitalism, working on them.

So all these things play into it too.

There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn't fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression. There's never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn't make that one key foundation of what it's all about.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:19

This is the complexity—we have to understand the complexity of even the proletariat today. That's why I always talk about mobilizing all positive factors. That defiance is a positive factor, even though it comes along with some things that are not so positive, some lack of discipline and other things—even people's conditions are so chaotic it's hard for them to get organized sometimes. These are the realities. The bourgeoisie imposes shit on people, then they attribute the effects of the conditions they have imposed on people—they say that's the result of inherent faults in the people…

So a lot of these questions are very tricky, we have to be very scientific about this. But it's a very complex thing where there are a lot of positive qualities mixed in with negative qualities and we have to learn how to mobilize and synthesize all the positive qualities and use those to overcome the negative ones that exist.

When you work regularly and you're caught up in this "work ethic" and you work hard all the time, even though you are viciously exploited, that has a conservatizing influence also. Everybody who's been in this, who's had any experience with that, knows and is familiar with that.

So you can just look at that negative aspect—or you can look at the positive aspect and try to figure out how to mobilize it toward our objectives.

With all that, with all this system has subjected Black people to, and yes, with the growth of a Black middle class more extensively and its [the system's] attempts to use sections of that Black middle class for not only conservative [purposes] but even to mobilize it even as a reactionary social base, especially through the instrument of religion and Christian fascism, it does remain a fact that this system is fundamentally in conflict with the basic interests even of the Black middle class strata and certainly of the masses of proletarians and other impoverished and exploited and oppressed millions of Black people in the inner cities. It cannot do away with the oppression of these masses of people—and even of the middle strata.

You know it's still true what Malcolm X said 40 years ago: "What do they call a Black man with a PhD? A nigger." This is still America. That's why the phenomenon of "Driving While Black" doesn't just apply to people who are poor. In fact, in some ways, in the eyes of white supremacist police and enforcers of the system, having a better car, if you're in the middle class, is a provocation: "Look at that uppity nigger, driving that BMW in here." That's an invitation to be pulled over and minimally harassed.

Determination decides who makes it out of the ghetto—now there is a tired old cliché, at its worst, on every level. This is like looking at millions of people being put through a meatgrinder and instead of focusing on the fact that the great majority are chewed to pieces, concentrating instead on the few who slip through in one piece and then on top of it all, using this to say that “the meatgrinder works”!

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:11

This is built into this system and they do not have any answer to this other than to mislead people, to subject them to conditions of insult and oppression and to brutalize them as necessary to enforce all that. Even programs that have genocidal implications. When you're already imprisoning a huge section of Black people in the country, there's a logic and it's being formulated now in beginning ways consciously as policy that's being articulated; there's a logic that, "Why should we spend all this money housing all these people who are harmful to society in a prison?" Pat Robertson openly talked about the implications: "Let's get a different penal system and kill off a lot of these people. Let's publicly flog people who commit minor crimes"—this is literally what he said—"and let's kill the ones who put a 'stain' on society."

So there are genocidal implications to this too. They don't have an answer to this, they have a people [Black people], of tens of millions now—they don't have an answer, even for the middle class, that can get rid of all this oppression and all this daily insult. And that's part of a bigger mix, within the proletariat and more broadly in society, but it is an explosive contradiction for them [the ruling class]. That's why it keeps exploding, it's dry timber lying around—whenever a match hits it, it goes up. Or not whenever, but often.

Because there is accumulation of these daily outrages and insults, and finally—it's interesting—you take the 1992 rebellion. I've spoken to this before. Why did that break out the way it did? Not just because of a cumulative, day after day adding up of insult and injury but—here's an interesting thing to understand, an important thing to understand–-it's because expectations were raised and then smashed. There's nothing particularly unique about the Rodney King phenomenon, nothing at all—except it got caught on videotape. And then the masses of people, Black people and others, but particularly Black people, felt, "Now we're finally gonna see something happen here, because finally we caught these motherfuckers! Somebody was there with a videotape! This goes on all the time and they always excuse it or just deny that it happened—but here it is, and they can't deny it and can't excuse it."

I remember hearing stories about how the youth would go up to Westwood by the UCLA campus and go out in the street and taunt the police: "What are you gonna do now, motherfucker, we got you on tape now." [ Laughter]

And then they had the trial and what happened? They said, "Well, who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes? Yes, there's that beating on the tape, but don't you see how Rodney King is `controlling the situation?' All he has to do is lie there and they'll stop beating him." Of course, when he did lie there, they didn't stop beating him.

[Then] they went to Ronald Reagan land, Simi Valley, and got a jury out of a neighborhood that a lot of cops live in.

By the way, one of the reasons that OJ Simpson did get acquitted, whether he actually committed this crime or not, is because of the rebellion, just to show the interconnection of things. Because they didn't dare do in that trial what they did in the Rodney King trial and move it out of the inner city to a suburban area where they could get a more favorable jury. They ended up with a jury from the inner city. And here's what infuriated a lot of people, by the way, just as long as we're going at it. I know I'm not supposed to talk so long [ laughter]—I'll try to be brief on this point and bring it to a conclusion. They got a jury that infuriated a lot of people by doing what jurors are supposed to do: They listened to the evidence and said, "Well, there's reasonable doubt here—clearly the prosecution has fabricated evidence and we have perjury on the part of some of its key witnesses, so there is reasonable doubt." What an outrage! But they wouldn't have had a jury that even did that—it's not, by the way, for good or for ill, that Black juries won't convict Black people of crimes, they do it all the time—but in this case they did what they were supposed to do, according to the legal procedures, and that became a big outrage.

But that would have never happened had it not been for the rebellion. They would have had the trial somewhere else. So sometimes the masses lose sight of even their own accomplishments. It's not that OJ Simpson is such a great guy or that I know he's innocent—or guilty for that matter. But it was a verdict that did correspond to what the verdict should have been, and it never would have happened had it not been for the rebellion.

But why did the rebellion happen? Because expectations were raised and then dashed and smashed. That became just too much. "Even when we've caught you motherfuckers on tape, you still gonna go ahead and do what you do. Well, fuck you."

This is after years of accumulation of outrage and insult… Not that we want to just tail behind all these things—even while we uphold them firmly. I meant everything I said in the statement I issued at the time about what a beautiful thing this [rebellion] was. But it's not what we need to get rid of the daily insults and outrages. We need a revolutionary movement.

And it's not that this movement could be or should be limited to Black people. But there will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn't fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression. There's never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn't make that one key foundation of what it's all about. Even while it's not limited to that and we can't think this is the same as the 1960s, even in terms of the position of Black people and what spontaneously that leads them to do, or just romanticize something like the [1992 Los Angeles] rebellion and think that's enough. We have to build a revolutionary movement and take it where it needs to go.

And when the time is right and we can bring a revolutionary people of millions onto the stage, we have to go for power—state power—so we can change all these things and get rid of all this and move beyond all this: not just the oppression of Black people but that [as one of] the key things.

We have an answer for this that the bourgeoisie does not and cannot. And this has to be brought home to people—not just to Black people but to all oppressed and exploited people and to the broad people of all strata as a crucial part of our revolution.

First of all, we have to recognize the material reality of this. And then act on it. [ Applause]

How This System Has Betrayed Black People: Crucial Turning Points

by Bob Avakian

(originally published in the Revolutionary Worker [now Revolution] #894, February 16, 1997)

This system has decisively and fundamentally failed—betrayed—Black people at crucial turning points in its history. And in particular we can identify two crucial turning points after slavery was defeated in the Civil War.

In the period after the Civil War, during the very short-lived experience of Reconstruction—this was a period that lasted really for only about ten years, more or less from 1867 to 1877—the federal army, the Union army, remained in the South after the war as the enforcers of very real and significant reforms that were carried out, both in the economic base and in the political superstructure.

Today you see the Spike Lee films, and they have a reference to "forty acres and a mule"—this was the promise of land (and the basic means to work the land) that was made to Black people during the Civil War. Land ownership was at that time crucial for Black people to have as some kind of economic "anchor" and basis for them to resist being forced back into conditions of virtual if not literal slavery, of serf-like oppression, on the southern plantations.

Along with "forty acres and a mule," other economic and political rights were promised to Black people. And in fact during the brief period of Reconstruction, while the full promise of these rights was never realized, there were significant changes and improvements in the lives of Black people in the South. The right to vote and to hold office, and some of the other Constitutional rights that are supposed to apply to the citizens of the U.S., were partly, if not fully, realized by former slaves during Reconstruction. And in fact some Black people were elected to high office, though never the highest office of governor, in a number of southern states.

The Civil War represented in a sense a completion of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in the U.S., but this did not mean it established, or that the northern capitalists meant to establish, freedom and equality for Black people in relation to white America. Lincoln, like Jefferson, and other representatives of the bourgeoisie before and since, considered everything from the point of view of his nation above all, and in the concrete conditions of America in the nineteenth (and twentieth) century this has meant maintaining Black people as a subjugated nation.

Bob Avakian, Democracy: Can’t We Do Better than That?, Chapter 4: “The USA As Democratic Example…Leader of the Pack” (Chicago: Banner Press, 1986)

This was very sharply contradictory. The armed force of the state, as embodied in the federal army, was never consistently applied to guarantee these rights, and in fact it was often used to suppress popular struggles aimed at realizing these rights. But there was a kind of a bourgeois-democratic upsurge in the South during this period, and it not only involved the masses of Black people but also many poor white people and even some middle class white people in the South. During these ten years of Reconstruction, with all the sharp contradictions involved, there was a real upsurge and sort of flowering of bourgeois-democratic reforms. This was not the proletarian revolution, but at that time it was very significant.

In 1877, all this was reversed and betrayed. The bourgeoisie had gotten what it needed out of this situation: it had consolidated its hold over the country as a whole; it had consolidated its dominant position economically and politically within the South as well as the North and West.

Many of the old plantation owners were now beginning to move back in and take control of their own plantations, now involving exploitation in basically a feudal (or semi-feudal) form, and millions of Black people in particular were forced into sharecropping and similar relations of exploitation and were reduced to a serf-like condition, which was enforced by a whole system of legal and extra-legal terror. At the same time, banking and other capital from the North had bought into much of the southern economy and was intermingled with the plantation system, as well as other facets of the southern economy, on many different levels. So this whole bourgeois-democratic upsurge that marked Reconstruction was beginning to be a serious threat to the bourgeoisie, as well as to the southern planters. The northern-based capitalists had less and less interest in protecting, or even tolerating, this upsurge. They certainly didn't want to see it continue to grow and perhaps get out of their control more fully.

So in 1877 something very dramatic happened. The federal army was withdrawn from the South and the masses of Black people were stripped of even the partial economic and political gains they had made and were subjugated in the most brutal ways and once again chained to the plantations, only now essentially in peonage instead of outright slavery. And the federal troops that were withdrawn from the South were immediately used in two ways: one, to crush major strikes of what at that time was essentially a white labor movement; and two, to carry further the genocide against the Indians and to finish the job of driving those who survived into these concentration camps of poverty called "reservations" and force them to stay there. Here, once again, we see a very dramatic example of how the ruling class divided and conquered different groups of people it oppressed. And one of the sharpest examples, and real tragedies, of this is how some Black people became Buffalo soldiers fighting the Indians at the very time that Reconstruction was being betrayed.

But the larger point I am emphasizing is that here was a situation involving a major turning point in U.S. history where the question was posed very decisively: Can Black people and will Black people actually be "absorbed," or integrated, or assimilated into this society on a basis of equality? Will not only slavery, but the after-effects of slavery, be systematically addressed, attacked and uprooted…or not? And the answer came thunderously through—NO!—this will not be done. And there was a material reason for that: it could not be done by the bourgeoisie without tearing to shreds their whole system.

Instead they re-chained Black people—not in literal chains, but in economic chains of debt and other forms of economic exploitation and chains of both legal and extra-legal oppression and terror. So this was one major turning point where the system fundamentally failed and betrayed Black people. And everyone, not only Black people, but proletarians of all nationalities and the masses of people broadly, should understand this very clearly—with a dialectical and historical materialist stand, method and viewpoint.

Sharecroppers' Blues and Affirmative Action

The other crucial turning point in which the system once again failed and betrayed Black people was in the period after World War 2, with the upsurge of the Civil Rights Movement. Here was a situation where changes in the world economy and world "geopolitics," as well as changes within the U.S. economy, brought about a very dramatic and rapid upheaval in the situation of millions of Black people.

Everybody knows about the mass migrations of Black people from the southern plantations, particularly during and especially after World War 2. During the 1950s and 1960s, millions of Black people moved from southern plantations to the urban areas, particularly of the North but also in the South. And as we pointed out in Cold Truth Liberating Truth, the very system which first held Black people in literal enslavement, and then held them in serf-like exploitation in sharecropping and other forms—the same ruling class for whom this was profitable because of the particularities of the bourgeois mode of production in the U.S.—this same system and ruling class turned around after World War 2 and drove them off the land, with no consideration for all the labor that they'd put into this land, and everything they'd produced out of it.

Now today you hear all this shit attacking affirmative action—"Well, it's not fair, my child went and took an SAT and got a high score but then they lost out in getting admitted to the college of their choice, because some Black person with a lower SAT score got admitted, blah, blah, blah." When I hear this kind of ignorant railing and whining I am reminded of something I saw on a videotape of the PBS series "The Promised Land," which focused on the migration of Black people from Mississippi to Chicago and their experiences in both the North and the South.

"The advanced workers of the oppressed nationalities can and must be a tremendous force for proletarian revolution themselves and a spark and lever to awaken and activate others among the proletariat, and even among the petty bourgeoisie, to political and revolutionary activity and struggle."

Bob Avakian, “There Really Are, Among the Masses in This Country, the Potential Forces for Revolution,” Revolutionary Worker, #110, June 19, 1981

This series told the story in general historical terms—examining the social phenomenon I'm talking about, the mass migration of Black people to the North after World War 2. It focused on people who migrated from Mississippi to Chicago—this mass migration also led people to Detroit, to Cleveland, and so on. But it also portrayed this history in personal terms. Several people were interviewed and recounted stories that showed how and why they left the South and what they encountered in the North. And the story one Black man told really struck me, particularly in light of all this nonsense being whipped up against affirmative action.

This man talked about the way the sharecropping system worked. Not only was there the "normal" and ongoing exploitation of the sharecroppers, but they were swindled on top of that. Under the sharecropping system, the land would be owned by The Man, and he would advance you the seed and the other things you need to plant and harvest for that year. Everything was basically owned by him, including the land the sharecropper lived on and farmed—and at the end of the year there'd be an accounting. You would turn over the harvest to him, and then you'd get back a certain amount. In this case it was sort of modified sharecropping, where you wouldn't get your payment "in kind," that is, in the very things you had grown and produced, but you'd get it back in the form of money. That's the way the sharecropping system worked in the southern U.S. at the time, and from this you can see why you just couldn't get up and leave if you were dissatisfied and felt exploited and cheated—you were in debt from the beginning to the end of the year. You were always in debt.

So, not only was there this ongoing exploitation that was built into, institutionalized and legitimized in the sharecropping system as such, but there was also outright swindling. After all, the same Man who owned everything, also kept the books—and he also owned the store when you had to buy everything and so on. And he was always cheating the sharecroppers, on top of exploiting them viciously in the first place.

Now one year later, the father of the man telling this story, after having worked all year, went in on the day of accounting and asked for his money for the year. And the plantation Man cheated him. He inflated the cost of everything—all the farm supplies and the food and clothes for the family he had forced the family to buy from him. And then he said, "Here's what you're owed now." It was a ridiculously miserable little sum. The Black sharecropper had been swindled on top of exploited. But, that wasn't all. The Man then told him, "Yes, this is how much you're owed, but I can't pay you this year, because I'm using it to send my son to college." Now if that ain't affirmative action for white supremacy, I don't know what it is! And the sharecropper who had been cheated, on top of swindled, on top of exploited, said, "You mean to tell me I worked all this time trying to feed my children and put shoes on their feet, and now you tell me I can't even do that because you're going to send your son to college with the money that I'm supposed to have earned out of doing all this."

So, I don't want to hear any more of this shit about affirmative action being an unfair advantage for the oppressed.

Betrayal in the Promised Land

But getting back to the period of the Civil Rights upsurge, beginning in the mid-'50s and on into the '60s. Once more there is a crucial turning point. We had slavery and we had Reconstruction and that was betrayed. Then there was the whole serf-like, sharecropping plantation system that followed after slavery, with the KKK and all the rest of that terror. But in the '50s and '60s something new was coming on the agenda—the question of real equality and equal rights for everybody, and abolishing this segregation and Jim Crow and all this discrimination.

That's the demand that was being raised at that time—that's the question that was "up" at that time. And what happened? Well, certain formal aspects of Jim Crow laws and outright legal segregation, certain overt "apartheid" principles that denied Black people even formal equality under the law, where the word of a Black person was not equal to that of a white person in legal proceedings, and so on—these things were abolished.

But the question only has to be asked, in order to answer itself: Was anything approximating full equality realized by Black people—did the system open up and make this a reality?

NO! Despite all the tremendous and heroic struggle and sacrifice by masses of Black people (and others who supported them) in this period, the answer was still NO!

Once more the system that for centuries had chained them to the southern plantations, now kicked them off the land because of the changes in southern farming and the U.S. economy overall, together with changes in world economics and geopolitics.

For this system, this massive Black farm labor was no longer necessary, as such, but had become superfluous. So millions of Black people went into the cities, where they were segregated and super-exploited in the lowest sections of the proletariat.

Another dimension of this situation was brought out very powerfully in a speech by Carl Dix, where he talks about his own experience working in a steel mill in the Baltimore area. When he got hired on there, he was immediately shunted right into the shit job in the foundry where all the Black workers were concentrated. And he was talking to this older Black worker—here's another story that shines some light on this affirmative action question and so-called "reverse discrimination!"—and this older Black worker told Carl about how he'd been there 25 years and was still stuck in this same miserable department, with the hardest work and the lowest wages and the least security, even though he had his 25 years seniority. And he further went on to tell Carl about how he had trained all these white people that came in, who then on the basis of the training he gave them were promoted and got these higher paying and more skilled jobs; yet he never got out of that lousy department. Now, if that ain't affirmative action for white supremacy, what is it?! So, I don't want to hear, once again, any more of this reactionary assault on affirmative action, because we're the longest way from having equality, to say nothing of unfair advantage for the oppressed, whatever that would mean.


The fact is, as Cold Truth Liberating Truth puts it, discrimination is not working "in reverse"; it is working in the same direction, the same ways it has always worked throughout the history of the U.S.: to promote and enforce white supremacy and male supremacy.

Now, looking at this in broad historical terms. Here were these major turning points—after the Civil War and then again after World War 2, with Reconstruction and then with the Civil Rights Movement—where the question was sharply, directly, and decisively posed: will the system give everybody equal rights? And the system answered NO! It was not simply a matter that the ruling class would not do this, but more profoundly it was the fact that they could not. They could not because it would have torn up their whole system, it would have undermined their whole economic base and their whole superstructure to do this.






Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

New York City During "Primary Week"

Five More Reasons That This System Must Be Overthrown

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


New York was split-screen TV last week. On one side Clinton and Sanders competed to promise deliverance from, among other things, the police terror and mass incarceration that they voted for. And on the other side? Unrelenting police terror and mass incarceration, directed against Black people and other people of color. During just the past week, as people went to the polls, the following happened:

Akai Gurley

Akai Gurley (Photo: YouTube)

1. “Akai’s Life Didn’t Matter.” These were the bitter words of Akai Gurley’s aunt when Akai’s killer walked free into the sunlight of election day, Tuesday, April 19. Akai Gurley, a 28-year-old Black man, was doing absolutely nothing wrong on November 20, 2014, when cop Peter Liang shot him in a housing project stairwell, failed to give him CPR and neglected to call an ambulance. Of course, that kind of killing happens all the time. What made this different was that many people, including many people who lost family to pigs, had voted for Kenneth Thompson for DA. And Thompson had prosecuted Liang and even convinced the jury to convict. Yet Thompson turned around and requested no jail time, and the judge went one further and reduced the guilty verdict to a lesser charge.

2. Cops Take Revenge Against Totally Innocent Black Man. The very next day, on Wednesday, April 20, two NYPD detectives were charged with felony and misdemeanor assault for beating 26-year-old Karim Baker, a mailman in Queens. Baker says the cops have been harassing him since 2014. Why? Because Baker gave street directions to a total stranger in December 2014, who then ended up killing two police officers. After this, Baker was stopped by the police about 20 times over 10 months. A video shows one incident where detectives kicked, beat, and dragged Baker from his car. This vicious, illegal vendetta is designed to send a message: even if you unwittingly had something to do with harming a cop, especially if you’re a Black man, you will be threatened, hounded, harassed, and BEATEN wherever you go. You will be treated like a runaway slave.

Jahmal Lightfoot

3. Nine Guards Stomp Defenseless Prisoner, Fracture His Eye Sockets and Nose. Beatings, torture, sadistic guards and murder are NOT rare at the Rikers Island jail complex. In 2014, guards at Rikers reported using force 4,074 times, an average of 11 incidents a day, ranging from pepper spraying to throwing punches. What is rare is any guard being punished for such crimes. Over an 11-month period in 2014, 129 prisoners suffered serious injuries from guards, 80 percent beaten after being handcuffed. Not a single guard involved in these incidents was prosecuted for anything. But while Clinton and Sanders and the Republican lunatics yammered, nine Rikers guards stood trial for the brutal beating of a prisoner, Jahmal Lightfoot, who on July 11, 2012, was left with two fractured eye sockets and a broken nose and, as a result of the attack, later experienced headaches and dizziness for months, spitting up blood from internal injuries.

Black history month logo

February 1, 2016 (First compiled online September 2007)

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4. Once Again, Pigs Murder a Black Man for the “Crime” of Open Container. April 17, two days before people exercised their right to suggest who would rule over them and supervise this madness, 32-year-old George Tillman was killed by NYPD cops in Queens. The cops say Tillman was parked in his car with an open bottle of alcohol and then ran away when they approached him. The cops say Tillman “reached for a gun in his waistband,” that this is when they opened fire on him. Yeah, right. Why should anyone believe this tired old story? And why do these cops get away over and over again with harassing and brutalizing and then murdering someone for the “crime” of drinking from an open container of alcohol? Oh, yeah—and why is this almost ONLY enforced in Black and Latino communities?

5. “Oh, Sorry, We Didn’t Mean to Intensify Mass Incarceration and Police Terror... Except That We Did.” Now that people have woken up and risen up against police terror and mass incarceration, politicians like Clinton and Sanders want to back off the fact that they supported the notorious Clinton administration 1994 “crime bill” that accelerated this horror, and that Hillary Clinton in particular was an architect and fighter for that genocidal program. But then this week, Bill Clinton, representing his wife in Philadelphia, defended the notorious bill and bared his fangs against protesters from Black Lives Matter.

All this in just one week. And all this just the tip of the iceberg in that week. Stop putting your faith in these two-faced politicians and the system they represent. START working for something real: revolution. Overturning this system, uprooting these relations, and putting something radically new—and far better—in its place. Go here to find out why this keeps happening, here and here to find out how to make revolution, and here to learn what to replace it with.





Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Obama in Saudi Arabia:
Barrels of Oil, Buckets of Blood

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 20, President Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia, for the fourth time in his presidency, to embrace King Salman and reaffirm America’s “historic friendship” with the Saudi kingdom.

Keeping this barbaric, Islamist tyranny intact, pumping, and firmly under U.S. imperialist control has demanded blood-letting and human suffering on an unimaginable scale. A few examples, out of 70 years of examples:

1991, Persian Gulf War. After Iraq invaded Saudi Arabia’s neighbor Kuwait, the U.S. invaded and then economically strangled Iraq with sanctions for a decade, in part to protect the kingdom and the other Gulf oil producers. Iraqi blood flowed freely: 100,000 to 200,000 were killed in the 1991 war. As for tears, the families of 500,000 children (along with perhaps a million other Iraqis) had to watch them waste away and die from starvation or preventable diseases like diarrhea thanks to the U.S. war and sanctions. Bill Clinton’s secretary of state assured the world this “price” was “worth it.”

2003-2011, Invasion and Occupation of Iraq: To strengthen the U.S. grip on the Middle East and world, including by securing clients like Saudi Arabia, the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq from 2003-2011. At least 120,000 Iraqis were killed directly, another 600,000 or more died as a consequence, 4.2 million more were wounded, and at least 4.5 million were driven from their homes.

The U.S. Saudi Connection

Today: Bombs... U.S.-supplied bombs—dropped from U.S.-supplied aircraft, directed by U.S.-supplied intel—have killed thousands of Yemenis since the Saudis began bombing in March 2015. Blood-stained bodies have been recovered by grieving, tearful relatives, friends, and neighbors from amidst the rubble in markets, in hospitals, in their homes, in schools.

And Beheadings. The Saudi regime beheaded 151 people last year, and 47 this January alone, including religious dissidents, minority Shi’ite protesters, and migrant workers (who make up 80 percent of Saudi Arabia’s workforce). Saudi women are still suffocated under rigid religious-patriarchal strictures, including having to get permission from a male “guardian” to do most anything. One 19-year old woman was initially sentenced to 200 lashes after she was gang-raped.

Imperialist control of Middle East oil requires regional domination, and that domination requires endless wars and brutal repression. So for every barrel of oil extracted from Saudi Arabia by Western imperialism, buckets of blood have been spilled and gallons of tears have been shed by the masses of people.

So stop asking if the U.S.-Saudi alliance is “good for America.” This blood pact is a nightmare for the peoples of the Middle East, and it’s not in the interests of humanity—including people living in the United States. Our interests lie in the revolutionary overthrow of U.S. imperialism and all oppressive regimes and the emancipation of humanity.








Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

"End the Threat of Nuclear Weapons," Kerry Says—as U.S. and Other Powers Feverishly Develop New Nukes

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 11, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Hiroshima, Japan. In 1945, the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima and killed about 140,000 people, immediately and within the first two months of its aftermath. Tens of thousands suffered and many died from radiation poisoning in the years that followed.

Kerry laid a wreath in the Hiroshima Peace Park, and wrote in its guest book that the memorial is “...a harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all of our effort to avoid war itself. War must be the last resort—never the first choice.”

A few days after Kerry brazenly uttered these words in Hiroshima, the New York Times reported that the U.S., along with other countries such as Russia and China, is “aggressively pursuing a new generation of smaller, less destructive nuclear weapons. The buildups threaten to revive a Cold War-era arms race and unsettle the balance of destructive force among nations that has kept the nuclear peace for more than a half-century.”

Pilotless “hypersonic glide vehicles” that twist and swerve through the atmosphere at over one mile a second and set off massive explosions upon contact with land... underwater drones that can loft a cloud of poisonous nuclear radiation over targeted cities... space weapons designed to destroy military satellites, and new satellites designed to destroy those weapons... a nuclear “revitalization” program on which the U.S. alone will spend an estimated $1 trillion... “miniaturized” nuclear weapons intended to facilitate more precise destruction. All this and more is under development right now by the U.S. and other imperialist powers.

A handful of imperialist countries and big powers dominate the world and exploit millions and millions of people. To maintain their system of exploitation and gain a destructive edge on rival powers, these imperialists and other reactionary powers are compelled to use the enormous resources wrenched from the socialized production of millions of people to spend tens of billions of dollars every year and use scientific research and technological advances to produce nightmarish new ways of killing as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

This is a criminal, outmoded system that routinely strangles human potential and poisons the planet. Its leaders are carrying out wars in many parts of the world today that horribly intensify this death, destruction, and misery. They already have arsenals of almost inconceivable destructive capacity, and are feverishly working to take that to whole other levels.

But the world could be a whole other way. Read this.






Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

April 21:

Waking Up, Shaking Up Campuses to STOP Police Terror

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 21, students on campuses in California and beyond responded to a call from students at San Francisco State for a National Day of Action to STOP Police Terror. The protests on different campuses brought together, and happened because of, courageous students from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, including Revolution Clubs in some places. Many of the activists and organizers of these protests were new to leading protests. Their determination and initiative and creativity was inspiring. Through the day, connections and muscles were built up from which organization can be forged. Following are photos from some of the events.

At San Francisco State, 75 people including over a dozen students who walked out from a middle school, rallied and marched-- shaking up and waking up the campus. Students marched through campus chanting, “If you're sick of the murdering police, get out of your classes and into the streets!” And “Students play a role in every revolution, wake up, stand up, be part of the solution!” At one point the march intersected with another march by the Fossil Fuel Divestment group and everyone cheered and exchanged high fives. The protest went straight through the library making a ton of noise. And the day ended with a die-in at one of the main entrances to SFSU, calling out the names of people who'd been killed by police.


Photos: Special to

At Cal State University East Bay, a religious club kicked off protest with a die-in while calling out names of individuals murdered by police. A defiant march through campus called on other students to let their voice be heard, and to make a change. During a speak-out a male Black student said, “I myself have been stopped, told by an officer to 'step out of the vehicle and turn around.' In that brief period of time, I have to think, 'is this it? Is this the day I die? Is this when he pulls the trigger on me? In broad daylight?' So this shouldn't be a thought that enters into my head but it was." An Asian student said: "We cannot identify with those that are in power. Something is happening every day that we cannot ignore. Out in Oakland, out in the City. This is a real issue. Police brutality happens every day.” `


Photos: Special to

Photo: Special to

At UC Riverside fifty people rallied for two hours. A Palestinian woman spoke powerfully to how oppression is at the heart of this country and a Black professor exposed what happened to Tyisha Miller (a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside California police).

The protesters marched through a classroom building while classes were in session, recruited visiting high school students to join them, formed a human chain around the library, and -- before quitting – ten of them blocked traffic in the street outside campus.

At UCLA protesters blocked a large section of a busy campus walkway. Some students were outraged at the protesters for disrupting their day, while other students whose normal routine was shaken up appreciated the protest -- and a couple joined in. The administration claimed the protest was against fire codes, and police were on the scene, but protesters stood their ground for hours, followed by a march across campus. At one point they held a speak-out where a friend of Feras Morad, murdered by police last year in nearby Long Beach, challenged people to pay attention because people are losing their loved ones.

Photo: Special to

Hundreds of students were part of protests on April 21 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison – an action initially called by the family of Tony Robinson (who was murdered by Madison police last year) as part of the National Student Day of Action to STOP Police Terror. It gained momentum, and many student groups including Black Lives Matter got involved, after an April 14 incident, in which police outrageously entered a classroom and dragged a Black student out, arresting him on 11 felony vandalism charges for anti-racist graffiti.

Photo: Twitter/@rlallensack

Photo: Twitter/@rlallensack





Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Rutgers Students on the Carl Dix-Sunsara Taylor Tour

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Monday, April 18, Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor came to Rutgers University in New Jersey as part of their national campus tour. The following—a piece in the student paper the Daily Targum (reprinted here with permission) and a comment forwarded to—are from two students at Rutgers writing about the tour:


From the Daily Targum opinion column “Mangoes and Revolution”:
Communism must replace capitalism, imperialism

by Becky Ratero, 4/20/16

I started college right after turning 18, and no amount of summers in Brooklyn with my grandparents prepared me for the culture shock I experienced. Born and raised outside the country, there were many things I didn’t expect.

Language, schedules, flavors, consumer society, sexual education (or lack thereof), nightlife culture, politics, religion—to this day I have a hard time understanding how profoundly pervasive the propaganda we’re subjected to is.

Part of me understands the pull for “safe change” in the shape of U.S. elections. But this will never bring the type of fundamental change the world needs. In Audre Lorde’s words, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

Humanity needs a world without capitalism and imperialism. The horrors of this system include the destruction and plunder of the environment, from drilling in the Arctic to deforestation in the Amazon, a pharmaceutical industry that only cares about profit, the mass production of consumer goods through sweatshop labor around the world, drone warfare that’s directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and the list goes on.

For those who dismiss communism as unrealistic or an unattainable utopia, let me ask you: What alternative for capitalism do you propose? This system is directly tied in with, and relies on, oppression by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, ability and more. How can we not struggle to alter the very structure that imposes intersecting forms of oppression on most of humanity?

Monday, April 18, Sunsara Taylor, key initiator of End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women and writer for Revolution newspaper, and Carl Dix, founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network with Cornel West, spoke at Rutgers. They support the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. They came to speak about the need for revolution.

The point of communist revolution is not extending U.S. Empire under a different guise, replacing the people in power or about redistributing wealth.

Communism is about developing an acute scientific method to understand the world we live in and how we can implement a political socio-economic system that does not carry the horrors of capitalism woven into its fiber. Like any science, communism requires digging deep into history, politics, religion and other social structures. It requires critical fact-checking beyond negative propaganda, as well as questioning and thorough analysis. Communism is not about blind dogmatism, mass murder or political imprisonment.

Furthermore, one crucial aspect of this ideology is that it is not about improving the conditions of workers within this country. It is about getting rid of the entire structure of “Empire.” As Carl Dix pointed out “now the whole world can feel the Bern—of their houses being blown apart.” Barack Obama as the first Black POTUS has not improved the conditions of black or brown people in the United States: The color of his skin does not make drone strikes, deportations or prisons any less brutal. Bernie Sanders and other candidates don’t promise anything essentially different.

Under this system it is highly unlikely that we will get rid of a criminal injustice system that maintains torture centers like Guantanamo Bay and Rikers Island. Taylor raised that 85 percent of prisoners at Rikers have never faced trial and are locked up for the crime of not being able to pay bail. About 85 percent of prisoners have never had trial at Rikers Island and 95 percent of those incarcerated are black or Latino in New York prisons.

Under this system, patriarchy is being violently reasserted, regressing to the days of back-alley abortions, pervasive rape culture glorified in mainstream pornography, the constant hyper-sexualization of girls’ and women’s bodies ... In Dix’s words “we need a radical revolt against this revolting culture.” A revolution that allows and encourages everyone in society to flourish intellectually and culturally.

Why don’t we see this? For the same exact reason we choose to ignore racism. Since we no longer live in a society with overt racism, with blatant legally sanctioned discrimination, it can be hard to visualize the tools with which to even begin to dismantle this system. Protected with language of freedom and democracy, our own ideologies keep us from thinking outside the confines of capitalism and imperialism.

A different system is entirely possible, but we need to start to think critically, and seek the evidence-based truth. We need to grapple with reality, and stop believing in reform and lesser evils. We need to struggle with ourselves, and with others, and we need to start to work towards a common overarching goal that will benefit humanity. None of this will be easy, but all of this is necessary. We need revolution—we need an all-the-way communist revolution.

Becky Ratero is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in women’s and gender studies and history. Her column, “Mangoes and Revolution,” runs on alternate Thursdays.


“Students were captivated and encouraged to think critically...”

Having Sunsara and Carl come to Rutgers New Brunswick was a wonderful experience. I would very much like them to come back sometime in the near future. Their presentation had excellent delivery, and they took a firm stance on their position on what their agenda was. Students were captivated and encouraged to think critically about domestic and global issues that the current capitalistic system has plagued humanity with. They are realist, because instead of promising their audience guarantees through set frameworks, they instead posed uncertainties and presented the goals of the communist party and Bob Avakian. They openly welcome criticism from the audience and countered them with strong arguments and stood their ground. Regardless of whether or not you believe in the solutions that they present, it is important to hear what they have to say because of their accurate depictions they present of the current condition of the world that we live in.







Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

No Justice for Akai Gurley—Another Killer Cop Walks!

by Carl Dix

April 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 20, 2014, Akai Gurley’s life was stolen by a killer cop. Peter Liang, the cop who gunned down Gurley on that day, was patrolling a housing project in Brooklyn with his gun drawn and his finger on the trigger. He entered an unlit stairway and pulled the trigger when he heard a sound in the dark, killing Gurley with a bullet to the heart. As Akai Gurley lay dying, Liang argued with the cop patrolling with him over which of them should call in the shooting and called his union rep to start working on how to escape punishment for what he’d done. Neither of the two cops gave any emergency medical assistance to Gurley.


Yet the system spared this killer cop jail time. Before the sentencing, Ken Thompson, the prosecutor who brought the case against Liang, wrote to the judge asking that Liang receive no jail time because “the incarceration of the defendant is not necessary to protect the public.” The judge presiding over the case pronounced a sentence of probation and community service. This judge even reduced the charge the cop was convicted of from manslaughter to a lesser charge because he felt the cop hadn’t entered the housing project thinking about killing anybody. This is an outrageous injustice!

This sentence of no jail time comes down to the system telling us that Akai Gurley’s life, and the lives of Black and Brown people targeted by police terror, don’t matter. That the whole system will go into motion to keep killer cops from going to jail no matter how murderous their actions. This sentence also tells us something about whether you can deal with police terror by electing new prosecutors. Ken Thompson’s election as the Brooklyn District Attorney in 2013 was hailed as a step toward reforming the criminal justice system because, unlike the previous DA, he would hold brutal, murdering cops accountable for their criminal deeds. Yet in this case he was part of letting a killer cop walk.

Bob Avakian spoke to why police get away with murdering Black people when he said: “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people.”

To everybody who is sick and tired of hearing about and seeing videos of police gunning people down, beating people to death, tasing them to death, choking them to death; who hates knowing that the killer cops will almost always walk free: THIS POLICE TERROR MUST STOP AND IT’S UP TO US TO STOP IT! Stopping it and all the horrors this system enforces on humanity—the attacks on women, the destruction of the environment, the attacks on immigrants, the wars for empire and more—will take revolution, nothing less. Get with the real revolution.






Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Prisoners Write on Bob Avakian's The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership, For an Actual Revolution, And a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation and More

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Letters from prisoners, like those on this page, are a semi-regular feature of newspaper. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.

Letter from a California prisoner:

"There can be no half-way communism"

Excerpt from the Section
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity Based on the Solid Core

“One of the things that should really be understood about this Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, in most fundamental terms, is that this Constitution is dealing with a very profound and very difficult contradiction: the contradiction that, on the one hand, humanity really does need revolution and communism; but, on the other hand, not all of humanity wants that all of the time, including in socialist society. So this Constitution is set up to provide the basic methods and means to deal with that contradiction. You don’t just have a popular vote every few years that is set up in such a way that the result is that one day you have socialism, the next day you go back to capitalism, and then you try to create socialism again—which would be impossible, because then you’d get everything bound up with capitalism back, and once again you’d have to go through everything you had to go through to try to get to the point of overthrowing the capitalist system. And, frankly, nobody’s going to support that kind of idiocy. So, at times, a lot of the people may want to be going in a different direction, but you’ve got the institutional means to keep the socialist system going toward the ultimate goal of communism, unless overwhelmingly the people are against you; but, at the same time, this Constitution is constructed in such a way that you have to repeatedly win the masses of people to fight to stay on the socialist road. You need to get to communism, but you’re not going to get to communism by putting guns in the backs of the people and force-marching them to communism. You have to continually win them to that, fighting through all the contradictions that get posed, including the ones that the enemies put in your way, or accentuate, in order to turn the people against you.” (p. 90)

I’m still going through the Science, the Strategy, the Leadership [The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, And A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation by Bob Avakian—editors]. Just got to part VI the strategic approach to an actual revolution on pg 94. But ironically I spent some time on the 2nd paragraph on page 90 that’s also quoted on page 3 of the 3.27.16 issue of Revolution. My note next to that paragraph is “1,000 Cultural Revolutions.” (See the paragraph in righthand column of this page.)

I particularly enjoyed how BA stated the new constitution is constructed in such a way that you have to repeatedly win the masses of people to stay on the socialist road and ultimately communism. The very last sentence is an in-depth dialogue in its own right, continually winning people over to take up all manner of contradictions, including ones that the dogs put in your way to turn people against you.

I was likewise struck by the way BA issued the challenge that more people should be grappling with the new constitution to show what kind of society we’re fighting for of course. But also to convey how heavy all this is.

Years ago I used the Draft Program [of the RCP,USA—editors] to help bring a few brothers through the door of the train depo. It was extremely messy, I still had unresolved contradictions about my ability and desire to put myself too far out there and I wasn’t able to help the brothers want to actually be caretakers of the train, tracks or engine. So it didn’t take up nearly enough of the contradictions it needed to be any real school of thought or base for exposing the system or winning people over. In fact as soon as it turned into some bourgeois bullshit I picked up my toys and went home. But I’m still thankful for the experience and like I said it was completely based on the draft, my haphazard application of dialectics and the scientific road, etc. But it was one of those moments I was able to apply what little I knew to actually try to transform objective reality.

So when BA said that about the Draft Proposal [Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)—editors], I knew what he meant, it can be brought to life even now, even before we get to the new society. But of course I not only picked up my toys and went home, I also hid them. Contradictions were messy for me. I was up against too much (and a few more “excuses”).

In any event, I “read” the draft proposal, but honestly that’s all I did was read it. The dogs confiscated it on some excess literature bullshit. I didn’t ask for help gettin’ an additional copy ’cause I’m up for transfer from the SHU [“Security Housing Unit,” isolation cells in California prisons—editors] and didn’t want to get it until I go to the next gulag.

But in rereading the preamble I was reminded of why I picked up my toys years ago when others began to bourgeoisify it up. The potential for both is within the same contradiction:

the socialist state must give fundamental priority to the advance of the revolutionary struggle, and the final goal of communism, throughout the world, and must adopt and carry out policies and actions which are in accordance with and give concrete effect to this internationalist orientation.

This is because there can not be any half way communism. It will go forward (all the way) or it will go backwards (all the way).

Like any contradiction one way or the other, it will resolve itself. So the lengthy next paragraph is highly appropriate in explaining what is a state and that all “states” are dictatorships rooted in the social relations and means of production.

So I personally see why BA broke it down as he did explaining the overall role of any state, our state, and the dogs. Also the solid core, though, to my mind the solid core is always humans and especially the advanced agents of those that uphold the road. But in Science, Strategy, Leadership he spoke of the solid core as conditions and although I understand his point, if I was asked to explain the point I would use the term logical necessity (the things that can’t be up for debate).

But yeah, I do see the importance of spreading the draft proposal to get people to envision what could and should be possible.

* * * *

“No way can Hamilton be a role model”

I’m writing a college student who wants a more equitable world. I’m trying to go slow but my intention is to have her break down science, strategy and revolution with me. But I also wouldn’t mind kickin’ up Hamilton or the real American hustle with her. I sent her the article about the Don Scalia [“Gangland Mouthpiece Found Dead in West Texas Motel Room!”]. Awaitin her feedback.

But yeah, fuck all that, that shit’s for the birds. Even when I was deaf, dumb & blind and knew nothin’ about any of those old fuddy duddies, I knew that back then this whole thing was set up to dehumanize, ostracize and brutally exploit Blacks and Native Americans. This is before I understood how fluid that was, how it was because of the mode of production, both a slave economy and traditional wage labor economy in the North. Before I knew the hell women caught or what was going on in any specific way about how brutal all those things was. The simple fact that I knew they treated my ancestors like shit was enough for me to say they could go play in traffic.

So it’s particularly shameful that there are Black, Brown & women in 2016 trying to reform them sorts of people. No way can Hamilton be a role model. No one alive in the 1770s should be embraced if they owned slaves or condoned owning slaves, who set out policies that would strip Blacks of their humanity, their beauty, their equality. Shit we still struggle to address 250 years later. And the only people who caught more hell then was the Native Americans. And the ramifications of that is even more dire for them today.

Hamilton was much like Lincoln in that for all his heroic garb his main thing was to keep the white man’s union together at all costs and to belittle the human suffering of Blacks and Native Americans as they simply did not count. Just the union/government etc.

I don’t got much to say about Hamilton. Sorry. Just sad that there is such a thing as a Black, Brown or woman Hamilton or “founding father” image reformers.

Hopefully Russian youth or Jewish youth don’t try to do the same thing for Hitler. But I do think I saw some Neo Nazis in Russia, and ’though I haven’t seen any Jewish youth try to reform Hitler, they sure try to reform their leaders’ genocidal policies against the Palestinians and their land. So I guess anythings possible...

* * * *

Who gone save the world?
You gone save the world?
Then, me too gone save the world
We gone save the world
Through revolutionary Love

Fuck a chain
And fuck a whip
They just make me angrier

Fuck fisticuffs amongst
Impoverished classes
Fist up, fist up for the masses

Ask a friend
Ask yo’ self
Then ask the enemy
If I fight back

XXX, California Prisoner


From an ex-prisoner:

“Communism is about fundamentally transforming the whole world and being emancipators of all of humanity

Before I was released from prison, I had the opportunity to read BA’s latest work, The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, and A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation. This talk which he gave the summer of 2015 touched on a lot of significant points in a very concise manner, while at the same time reinforced key contradictions that we must become better at. The more we strive to reorient people towards approaching the problem and solution from a scientific approach, the better we will be overall in creating a material force—a movement for revolution—that will be capable of carrying out a real revolution in this imperialist country, and once successful, expanding that material basis on an international scale. Because in the last analysis, communism is about fundamentally transforming the whole world and being emancipators of all of humanity not just the proletarians and basic masses within the borders of the United States.

One key point that BA touched upon, that I definitely think we should continually deepen our understanding of and our ability to disseminate to others so that they can come to understand more clearly themselves, is his comments summed up under the subsection: “Through Which Mode of Production.” In it, he asks:

Why is this true, that through which mode of production is the most important, the most fundamental question—not the only, but the most important and the most fundamental question—to be posed? When you’re taking up any kind of question in society, any form of oppression, anything that you feel needs to be changed, the most fundamental question is what is the mode of production that’s setting the basis and the ultimate terms and the ultimate limits for what can be changed and how? (p.27)

Now, these questions that he poses above are very relevant. Suppose we lived during the time of chattel slavery in this country. Let’s say around the 1850s. Under the system of chattel slavery, was it possible for white supremacy to be overcomed once and for all? The answer to that is obviously, “No!”

And why was that so? Well, because as long as production was organized in a way by which it was necessary to hold one ethnic group, primarily Blacks, in bondage in order to produce and reproduce the agricultural demands of the market, it would incessantly give rise to the need to justify this socio-economic division of labor. In other words, the slave owning ruling class—mostly white males—would’ve never been able to sustain and maintain the enslavement of Blacks under the socio-economic system of chattel slavery without justifying our enslavement via pseudo-sociological justifications, a white supremacist worldview, the use of Christianity to legitimize it morally, amongst other things. The only way for any socio-economic system to legitimize itself in the eyes of its population, in the main, is for it’s institutions to perpetually condition its population to see its society as being legitimate: politically, legally, sociologically, ethically, culturally, etc. If not, or if it fails in this regard to convince the people, the people will in time rise up and declare such a system to be illegitimate and demand its replacement.

So again, as long as the socio-economic system of chattel slavery existed, the by-product of it would’ve continuously gave rise to white supremacy in many different forms to justify the system overall. White supremacy, as an ideology, was a tool that the demographic of individuals who had a monopoly of power politically, economically, and culturally used to stay in power; that is the slave owning class of white males. The same sort of thing occurred in other countries, where a particular demographic of individuals primarily made up the ruling class of that nation. In Great Britain, the English historically, for instance, viewed themselves as being racially superior to people of Irish descent. This form of bigotry—national chauvinism—stemmed from the fact that the ruling class in England were made up of individuals primarily of English descent, and because Ireland was a colony of Great Britain, it gave rise to the need to justify their political, economical, and cultural domination of the Irish people collectively; consequently, this form of national bigotry became the by-product of it. In the international division of labor, the English ruling class needed to reinforce their master/slave position over their Irish subjects.

While chattel slavery in America found it necessary to use white supremacy domestically to maintain the rule of the slave owning class over their Black subjects in the South, British imperialism found national bigotry indispensable to its foreign policy agenda in order to maintain their rule over the nations they had colonized such as Ireland, Jamaica, India, etc. White supremacy and national bigotry, thus, work hand and hand as by-products primarily of socio-economic systems to justify and legitimize their class rule and domination over other peoples and nations.

If that’s the case—and I would certainly not want anyone to just take my word for it, but to scientifically analyze this themselves to see if this actually reflects the real world in its contradictoriness and motion—then is it possible, for instance, to overcome white supremacy and American national bigotry once and for all under this capitalist-imperialist system in America? To satisfactorily answer this question, one must again ask themselves:

When you’re taking up any kind of question in society, any form of oppression, anything that you feel needs to be changed, the most fundamental question is what is the mode of production that’s setting the basis and the ultimate terms and the ultimate limits for what can be changed and how? (p. 27)

Well, let’s think about this for a minute. When has white supremacy not existed in this country? That question at first glance seems ridiculous because it ALWAYS HAS. Now think about that: it ALWAYS HAS!

It begs the question then: why has it existed for 400 years then, and only been repackaged at certain junctures in this nation’s history? Well, again, the two modes of production in this country’s history—chattel slavery and capitalism—are two socio-economic systems that relied on dividing all demographic categories in order for a small ruling class of whites to monopolize power politically, economically, and culturally over and above the other ethnic groups domestically and other nations internationally.

This has always been a pressing necessity of these two modes of production in order for the small class of whites to maintain their class rule. That’s why you have people like Donald Trump, who’s a part of the capitalist ruling class, consistently appealing to white supremacy and national bigotry. When we hear him say code phrases like, “We need to take our country back,” what demographics are he alluding to? Well, everybody not white to be blunt. When we hear him railing against state capitalist China and the fact that the United States is “consistently losing” to other countries in these “trade wars,” what is he appealing to? American national bigotry, American national chauvinism. And the reason for this is because many whites in the ruling class know that white supremacy and American national bigotry are two indispensable pillars that buttress their class rule both domestically and internationally.

So when viewing the problem and solution of white supremacy and American national bigotry through the lens of the capitalist mode of production, one can readily conclude that it’s impossible to once and for all overcome them under the mode of production of capitalism-imperialism. Absolutely impossible! The only way to address them once and for all and overcome them is to replace this particular mode of production with one which is capable of doing so. And when we scientifically investigate what that particular mode of production is, one will be forced to conclude that only the socialist one can begin to address them once and for all.

In struggle,





Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Why Do Hundreds of Thousands of Children Die from Malaria Each Year?

A mother takes her son to a Medecins Sans Frontieres clinic to be treated for malaria, Lankien, Southern Sudan, 2005.
A mother takes her son to a Médecins Sans Frontières clinic to be treated for malaria, Lankien, South Sudan, 2005. (AP photo)

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


An article in the April 13 New York Times poses whether patents and the huge profits they bring with them actually spur the pharmaceutical industry to develop needed drugs—and the energy industry to discover and spread new technologies to replace fossil fuels. The article begins:

Malaria has preyed on humans for centuries. Hundreds of thousands of children die each year from the disease. Considering the market’s size, why haven’t pharmaceutical companies rushed to develop a vaccine against the deadly parasite that causes it?

The answer is easy: There is no money to be made from a vaccine for poor children who could not possibly pay for inoculation.

Now ask yourself these four questions:

» For whom and for what does this world capitalist-imperialist system function?

» Why must children at risk for malaria in Africa and elsewhere have their lives yoked to the profit motive in order to survive past the age of five?

» Can humanity really confront climate change and the environmental emergency if the necessary technologies must be fucking “incentivized” by profit-generating “intellectual property rights”?

» Have you read the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian—to learn how a radically different society and economy could utilize resources and knowledge and unleash people and their creativity for the betterment and emancipation of humanity and the protection of the planet?






Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Paris Climate Accords: Not Just Worthless but Doing SERIOUS HARM

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


The needs of capitalism destroy the environment--The World Needs Revoluiton

On April 22—on Earth Day no less—175 world leaders gathered at the United Nations to sign their much-ballyhooed December 2015 Paris climate agreement. Barack Obama claimed the agreement was “a turning point for the world” that would put the planet “in better shape for the next generation.”

But even before the signing, a flurry of new reports and rapid changes in the climate (including 11 straight months of record-breaking temperatures) pointed to the reality that global climate change continues and its effects are and will be increasingly destructive. The Paris agreement does not even come close to addressing this huge and urgent problem facing humanity.

In fact, this agreement is worse than worthless. It came out of a process dominated by the imperialist powers, whose system is compelled to produce and use fossil fuels that cause global warming, and to wield them as weapons in strategic contention among themselves. The U.S. and other powers are NOT aiming to take the radical steps necessary to seriously address climate change. Instead, they hope to manage this crisis in a way that allows them to preserve the capitalist-imperialist system and advance their immediate interests. And one of those interests is to lull people into thinking that the very vampires who rule this system can be reasoned with—that they can be left legitimately in charge while the unprecedented environmental emergency ravages the Earth more and more every passing day.

No fucking way. We don’t need agreements between the world leaders of this predatory, environment-destroying system. We need an actual—and total—revolution that puts an entirely different economic and political system in power. A system that aims at completely uprooting capitalism and moving forward to a world free of all exploitation and oppression. To learn more, read this.






Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

God Kills 600+ in Earthquake, Saves Statue of Virgin Mary: It's a Miracle!

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Earthquake damage in Ecuador
Pedernales, Ecuador, after the 7.8 earthquake. (AP photo)

A New York Times article on April 21, headlined, “Virgin Mary Statue, Intact Among Ecuador’s Quake Ruins, Becomes a Beacon of Hope,” reported:

“After a 7.8-magnitude earthquake upended the nation last weekend, the survival of Our Mother of Monserrate has become a symbol of the persistence of this hillside town.”

The recent earthquake in Ecuador killed more than 600 people, but a three-foot statue of the Virgin Mary called Our Mother of Monserrate survived. And this is being hailed as a fuckin’ miracle!

Let’s get this straight: God, in his infinite wisdom, protected a statue, but killed hundreds of people???

In fact, there is no goddamn god. And if there were, you’d have to say that god, to quote Bob Avakian, is “cruel, vicious, sick, twisted, and truly monstrous.” Statues of mythical figures have no miraculous powers, and people who brainwash desperate and suffering people to believe they do are sick and twisted, too.






Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |

Celebrate May 1, 2016!

Get Organized for an Actual Revolution
Get Ready to Bring This System DOWN...
And Bring Something Much Better Into Being

Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and
prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time
when millions can be led to go for revolution,
all-out, with a real chance to win.


On the weekend of May 1, the movement for revolution should celebrate this holiday with revolutionary internationalist dinners. These celebrations should have international dishes and international culture. They should be occasions to bring together people of different backgrounds, ages, and nationalities in the spirit of the liberating struggle to emancipate all of humanity—and inspire and challenge people to get into Bob Avakian and his work, and grasp what a tremendous thing it is for the people of the world to have this leader and the new synthesis of communism that he has brought forward.

As part of the celebrations, there could be dramatic readings of excerpts 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. (Excerpts and the whole work are online at And there could be clips shown from one or more of four important films: BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!; REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian; Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About (which is also available in Spanish); Stepping into the Future: On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World.

On the days before the celebrations, we encourage readers to make special efforts to get out among the people to raise money for the BA Everywhere fundraising campaign, build for the May 1 dinners, and get out this issue of Revolution newspaper.

We Refuse to Accept Slavery in Any Form Here and Around the World!

DONATE to the
BA Everywhere Campaign!

Click Here





Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Damián García ¡Presente!

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Damián García raised the red flag atop the Alamo, 1980

April 22 marks 36 years since Damián García was murdered while building for May 1st, 1980, in a Los Angeles housing project, as a police agent stood nearby. Damián’s killer declared, “You hate the government, I am the government, your flag is red, mine is red, white and blue.” Just a month before this towering injustice, Damián had climbed to the top of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, tore down the U.S. and Texas flags, and raised the red flag of revolution and internationalism. The Alamo is a hated symbol of the war on Mexico and the theft of its land, which was a key part of the expansion of the U.S. and its development into an imperialist power. The assassination of Damián García was not only an attack on the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and the building for revolutionary May Day 1980 in particular, but also for that inspiring internationalist act at the Alamo.

Internationalism has been a hallmark of the communist revolution, and a stronger understanding of this, and emphasis on this, is an important part of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian: The Whole World Comes First!





Revolution #436 April 25, 2016

Who Were the Heavily Armed, Violent Enforcers of White Supremacy at Stone Mountain, GA?

April 25, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Saturday, April 23, pro-Confederate-flag white supremacists staged a “pro-white” rally at Stone Mountain Park—just a few miles east of Atlanta. Stone Mountain is a grotesque monument to and celebration of slavery—the face of the mountain is like a Mount Rushmore to the Confederacy, with massive carved images of Confederate generals and leaders “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis.

Anti-Klan protesters confront heavily armed law enforcement agents—official enforcers of white supremacy.
Anti-Klan protesters confront heavily armed law enforcement agents—official enforcers of white supremacy. (Photo: Special to

In response to this vicious provocation, hundreds of anti-racists gathered outside the gates of the park—Black nationalists, anarchists, SDSers, Unitarians, street organizations, the Revolution Club, students, and people who came out on their own to denounce white supremacy.

Only a couple dozen KKK’ers showed up. But the people who courageously and righteously showed up to confront them were attacked by hundreds of other heavily armed, violent, and uniformed enforcers for white supremacy: police in riot gear with AR-15 assault rifles, tear gas, rubber bullets, armored vehicles, and helicopters! As the anti-racist protesters attempted to march into the park, police swarmed them, pushing, tackling, and arresting many.

Despite the police attacks, a large group of demonstrators made it to the parking lot where they confronted both the unofficial and official white supremacists.