Revolution #546, June 4, 2018 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

What It Means to

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

I’m writing to share some thoughts and lessons from the Revolution Club in my area in wielding and applying HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. As it says in HWCW, “We have the website of the Party,, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution.” This is part of that last point—enabling us to work in a unified way for revolution—which everyone should be doing, as we are learning while we are doing.

The recent “Some Observations: We ARE Building a Movement for Revolution” says:

HOW WE CAN WIN is a working document—a basis and guide to bring alive the need and basis for revolution and to concretely organize people into this revolution. This is not just something to grasp firmly as a basic point of orientation, but is something that we must be actively applying in practice, further grappling with and forging the means to consistently carry out work that actually organizes people into the revolution on the right basis and in so doing lays the basis for continually expanding the ranks of the revolution, not just in ones and twos but in terms of masses of people, and through ongoing geometric leaps.

There are two main points on this I want to speak to.

First, the point that HWCW is the basis and guide to BRING ALIVE the need and basis for revolution and to concretely organize people into this revolution. This should be the foundation and framework for our agitation—agitation that reaches inside people, that shakes them out of their sleepwalking stupor, that moves the part of themselves they try to tame to go along in this putrid and rotten system, the anger they’re always told to quell to get along. Not everyone feels this way, but many do—and that’s who we’re aiming to reach. This means we have to be talking TO people, not AT them. This can be difficult when so many people have their earbuds plugged in or eyes on their phones. But I’ve seen people surreptitiously put their music on pause as they walk by or take their ear buds out to hear what’s being said.

A few weeks ago, laid out the core message of the revolution:

In all that we do, the utter “intolerability” of this system and the towering crimes and atrocities it continually commits, here and all over the world, must really be driven home in a powerful way, along with the fact that it is no longer necessary to live under such a system; that this system cannot be reformed, that to transform society to fully achieve the 5 Stops and abolish and move beyond all relations of exploitation and oppression, everywhere in the world requires an actual revolution, which, as emphasized in HWCW, means not some minor changes within this system but the actual overthrow, yes overthrow, of this system, through actually defeating its armed forces of oppression and repression, when the necessary conditions (a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions) have been brought into being (as set forth in HWCW), dismantling the institutions of this system and building a whole new society on a radically different economic and political basis; that this is something we (continually involving new people in geometric advances) must be actively working toward, from right now forward; that this system of capitalism-imperialism can be replaced by a far better system—one that is truly emancipatory—as embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America; and that there is the basis, in the new communism and the leadership of BA, to make all this a reality.

Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t unite with people in all sorts of struggles short of revolution. We definitely need to do that. But the proffering of any other solution to these monumental and monstrous problems and outrages is ridiculous, frankly. And we need to be taking the offensive and mobilizing increasing numbers of masses to cut through this shit and bring to the fore what really is the solution to this, and to answer the questions and, yes, the accusations that come forth in response to this, while deepening our scientific basis for being able to do this. And the point is: not only do we need to be doing this, but we need to be bringing forward, unleashing and leading, and enabling increasing numbers of the masses to do this. They need to be inspired, not just with a general idea of revolution, but with a deepening understanding, a scientific grounding, as to why and how revolution really is the answer to all of this.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:1

If you conceive of revolution as someday the world is somehow going to be radically different and at that point we will do something to radically change, that won’t happen—but that’s not what we’re doing. We have to elevate our sights and lead consistently with the understanding that the world does NOT have to be this way, and we ARE building a movement for revolution.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:6

We need to give people a really living sense of what we mean by “hastening while awaiting” the emergence of a revolutionary situation. And this is linked to the point that what we’re doing is building a movement for revolution and letting people know what we think that revolution would look like.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:7

We hear from masses of people—and I’ve seen this in reports recently—statements or sentiments along the following lines: “I know revolution is needed,” or “I know revolution is what’s gotta happen at some point,” but “what do we do now, what do we do in the meantime?”

Answer? Make revolution. Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. Prepare minds and organize forces for the time when a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people, in the millions and millions, emerges. Work actively and consciously to bring this time closer and to bring things to where we are in the best position to act decisively when this does come about. Devote your life, energy, daring and creativity to confronting, fighting through and overcoming the obstacles to making this happen, and to winning more and more people to doing the same.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:31

Agitation should and will weave back and forth between these different but related points; but the whole of the core message should come through all throughout our agitation—reaching inside of the people right in front of us. We SHOULD concretely and in a living way draw out the horrors embodied in one or another or all of these 5 stops—and then go right again to the other elements of the core message, in a way that brings to life the whole message and in so doing underlines the horror embodied in these intolerable and unnecessary outrages.

Related to this, we’ve wrestled some with the difference between just trying to make people feel the suffering of people around the world (moving them emotionally so to speak), and what comes through in Part 1 of HOW WE CAN WIN: “the utter ‘intolerability’ of this system and the towering crimes and atrocities it continually commits, here and all over the world, must really be driven home in a powerful way, along with the fact that it is no longer necessary to live under such a system...

Strategic contempt for the system that forces people to live this way should come through... the strategic confidence that the masses of people can be the backbone force of a struggle to get to a whole different emancipated world and they need to step into this and go to work for this. This should flow from a real understanding of the beginning of Part 2 of HWCW: “We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions.” You can learn from BA on this, including on bringing out the unnecessary character of this shit—he’s a masterful agitator on so many levels. One comrade in the Revolution Club made the point eloquently when she said that “BA makes strange all the horrors of this system that people otherwise get used to.” Look at—and wield out on the streets—these two quotes from BAsics to give a sense of unnecessariness:

There would not be a General Motors in socialist society, and there would also not be an FBI or an LAPD. Those kinds of institutions would be abolished and—unless they agreed to abolish themselves voluntarily—they would have to be forcefully abolished under a future dictatorship of the proletariat.  Maybe they would be given 24 hours to disband!...  but disbanded they would have to be. There would be revolutionary institutions in place of those old, oppressive and reactionary institutions...and, yes, that is what we’re building for—aiming for the time when there is a qualitative change in the objective situation, when a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions and millions have been brought into being. And when that revolution is made, when a new, revolutionary state power is brought into being, there would not just be a new army, but that new army would be guided by very different principles. There would be a culture in that army, but it would definitely not be (as in the hymn of the imperialist Marine Corps): “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli”—that’s just not going to be what guides the new state apparatus! No more General Motors and no more Marines. The principles we’re talking about here, and the reason we’re going out to win people to be emancipators of humanity, is that they’re going to be the actual backbone of the new state. (BAsics 2:15)

Editor’s note: Tyisha Miller was a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. Bob Avakian addressed this.

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people. (BAsics 2:16)

We should be sharp about all this while drawing the right dividing lines. If someone raises the question of voting, they’re not the enemy (just repeating what they’ve been told their whole life) but we should put it back to them—if you want to argue that you could actually end these 5 Stops without an actual revolution that overthrows this system, we want to hear it. If they’re serious, they’ll run up against the fact that this is NOT possible or at least be left with something that should circulate in their minds.

My second point is the need to use HOW WE CAN WIN in practice. While there is not a formula, when people respond to the agitation, when they want to get more into what we’re saying, the key thing here is to really walk people through HOW WE CAN WIN itself, reading it to/with people on the spot. The Observations article made the point that we should be saying to people, “We’re here to enlist you in the ranks of the revolution and putting you to work for the revolution. We have a battle plan on how we are going to get there.” Then, rather than going any which way in the discussion, we should literally walk people through HOW WE CAN WIN with a real focus on Part 2 (based on Part 1, and making clear to people that this is working to get to the point where Part 3 can be applied). THIS is the process that they are being enlisted in and organized to take up.

We should be making very clear in talking with people, in our broad agitation, in our collective summations... really, in all our work... that everything we’re doing has a goal, has a purpose, this is not aimless: specifically, everything we do “is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: “Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.”

This must be reiterated and brought to life. And whatever we are doing, and organizing others to do—run with the Revolution Club; join the club; spread these materials in their neighborhood, on their campus; organize a screening of a BA film—should be understood by them (and by us) in that context. This is part of the thousands now influencing millions... this is what it means to “be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution.” And working towards Part 3 is what all the work today is building towards. Here too, BAsics should be dug into and wielded. BAsics 3:1 is a real guide and mission as well as BAsics 3:6, 3:7, and 3:31.

HOW WE CAN WIN deals with the complex contradictions of the process of making revolution in a real, clear, concise, and compelling way. It answers how we can go from small to large; it gives people the bigger picture that this is a national strategy, a real plan. It provides the gauge and measure for what all our work is for. We really shouldn’t underestimate the importance of getting into THAT with people and enlisting them on that basis. This is also how new people, just running with the Revolution Club for the first time, can be fighting for this—as they are learning more about it themselves.

We’ve had a lot of people say, “Wow, I didn’t know there was a plan.” Or a young woman who recently started running with the club, said in response to reading HOW WE CAN WIN together, “I like that it’s laying out where we have to go AND how we’re getting there.” Think about what that changes and how it makes urgent and palpable the point that HWCW ends on: “All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

The Cancer of Racism—and the Radical Surgery Required to Cut It Out

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


“Racism is America’s defining sickness ...”
     —journalist Lindy West,
New York Times OpEd, June 1

There was a lot attention last week on Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets, comparing a prominent Black woman to an ape. Roseanne had plenty of company in expressing her hateful racism. Some incidents that happened or came to light in the last week alone of Americans afflicted by the chronic American disease of white supremacy:

Racism—as American as Cherry Pie

Racism is the ideology of white supremacy. It is the belief that Black people are subhuman. It has justified, supported, and perpetuated white supremacy in this country generation after generation; from when the first ships unloaded shackled African slaves in the harbors of New York and Charleston, to today, when Black and Brown youths fill prisons, jails, and work farms coast to coast.

White supremacy has been part of this country’s blood and bone since it was established. It infused the thinking of the leading “founders” of the U.S., such as Thomas Jefferson. It was central to the political institutions they constructed, and has remained so since. This poison didn’t come out of nowhere—it was systematically implanted in white people by the rulers of this country. Bob Avakian (BA), in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, goes deeply into how the ideology—the world outlook and mind-set—of white supremacy and racism was deeply implanted in white settlers from the git-go and systematized by Jefferson himself. It was reinforced in every sphere of life—from the pulpit to the university to the arts and especially in the laws and courts for centuries. Jefferson himself popularized the concept of “yeoman farmer”—the supposedly “independent, hard-working, ‘salt-of-the-earth’ farmer”—as against the “pariahs” or outcasts, who were the dispossessed Native Americans and kidnapped and enslaved Black people. This too, as Avakian goes deeply into, was a profound lie; but the depth of the lie is matched only by the depth of its implantation in the American psyche.

Arising on a Foundation of Exploitation

Racism and white supremacy have a “life of their own,” but they fundamentally arise from and reinforce a foundation of exploitation that has always characterized the U.S. Enormous mountains of wealth wrenched from enslaved Black people were cornerstones of the U.S.’s rise as an independent country. Ferocious exploitation of Black people—first on the cotton plantations of the South, then as sharecroppers for decades after that, and then channeled into the lowest paying jobs in factories across the country—was central to the U.S.’s rise as a world power. Again, BA goes into this in many works, most recently his searing speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible and his talk last summer, The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us.

White supremacy has been embedded in U.S. law throughout its history and backed up by the violence of the state: from 1789, when the U.S. Constitution declared that slaves were “three-fifths of a person”; to 1857, when the Supreme Court ruled that Black people were “beings of an inferior order ... [who had] no rights which the white man was bound to respect”; to the Jim Crow era, when the Supreme Court upheld violently enforced subjugation and segregation of Black people and refused to outlaw the lynch mobs that murdered thousands of Black people; to a series of Supreme Court rulings culminating in 2007 that ended school desegregation plans which had only been on the books for a few decades (and did the same with voting rights laws a few years later).1

Vicious, mocking racism has been a defining feature of U.S. culture for centuries. Minstrel shows—white people in “black face” portraying Black people as lazy and ignorant, were popular among white people into the early 1900s. The first epic Hollywood movie, Birth of a Nation, celebrated the Ku Klux Klan, depicted Black people as savages—and was premiered in the White House; the first movie with singing, The Jazz Singer, featured a white man in black face mocking Black culture and speech; the first “blockbuster” release in Technicolor, Gone with the Wind, was a glorification of the Confederacy.

More recently, decades of police movies and TV shows have depicted Black people as criminals. Countless “news” reports create an image of Black people, especially youth, as rampaging, dangerous “animals” to be feared and contained, beaten and arrested.

This Disease Can Be Cured

There is a solution to this problem. The plague of white supremacy is not “in the DNA” of white people. As BA compellingly points out in his speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!, there have been times—all too few, as he points out—when significant sections of whites went against this poison. So, no it is not “in their DNA”—but it is “in the DNA” of the capitalist-imperialist system. This can be seen by the fact that both times this white supremacy came under sharp challenge—in the Civil War and then in the great upheaval of the 1960s—the rulers of this country felt compelled to reassert and reinforce those foundations in new forms.

White supremacy and racism in the U.S. were implanted by capitalism and are deeply and inextricably entwined in it; but they can be dug up and thoroughly uprooted. This requires radical surgery—a revolution that achieves the actual overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist system, through defeating its armed forces when the system is in crisis and millions of people have been won to the need for revolution. It requires a radically different type of state power, built on a radically different economic foundation. It requires a society in which critical and creative thinking are encouraged and supported, and the scientific method—which includes the scientific understanding of society—is fostered. It requires a society with a whole different morality, way beyond “look out for me and mine” and “might makes right.” Such a revolution bringing in such a society is the only way that this plague can be eliminated.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (CNSRNA), authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, is a plan for a future that is liberating and visionary.

An overall approach combined with concrete measures to eradicate the oppression of Black and other people of color and “fully overcome national oppression and inequality” runs through the entire CNSRNA. A fierce and protracted struggle must and will be waged to uproot inequalities in all spheres of life—economic, political, educational, in all society’s institutions—and to change the backward, hateful ways of thinking that express white supremacy. The CNSRNA shows you very concretely how that would be done. If you are serious about actually cutting out the cancer of racism and white supremacy, you must read this work.

Right now, we need to be living as “future people” who won’t put up with all this racist shit and other backward, system ways of thinking and acting, and racing to make revolution as fast as possible. We are working and organizing for that right now. We are preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard, getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

Why should we tolerate humanity remaining stuck in this cesspool when so much better is possible?

1. See the Revolution series “Two Constitutions, Two Different Systems.”  [back]





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Rachel Maddow Is Setting You Up... to Go Along With a Very Possible Nuclear War Against North Korea, If or When Trump’s “Negotiations” Fail

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Friday, June 1, a top North Korean official, Kim Yong-chol, made a surprise visit to the White House to meet with Donald Trump about the on-again, off-again U.S.-North Korea summit meeting.

That night on the “liberal” MSNBC, Rachel Maddow devoted the first 24 minutes of her show to “sounding the alarm” about the situation.

Rachel Maddow Gives You the Liberal Whitewash: Oh-So-Innocent and Well-Meaning America Up Against Those Wily, Brutal Koreans

Did she situate the summit in the 60-plus years of U.S. aggression against North Korea, including killing three million people in the 1950-53 Korean War? Did she remind people of Trump’s repeated threats to “destroy” North Korea, while demanding it disarm? Did she analyze the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist “Make America Great Again” agenda of global domination that’s driving it toward war? Did she mention the warning by former U.S. national foreign policy adviser Victor Cha that a failed summit may “take us closer to war,” a war which would almost certainly be launched by the U.S. with one of its traditionally phony pretexts1—a war which could kill an estimated 300,000 people in the first few days if it stayed non-nuclear, a million the first day if it went nuclear, and have possibly humanity-ending consequences if it escalated beyond the Korean Peninsula?

No. Maddow didn’t say a word about any of these defining realities in this extremely dangerous situation. Instead, she spent her entire segment schooling her audience on the “grave dangers” that North Korea, especially its spymaster Gen. Kim Yong-chol, posed to America, the globe’s most ruthless nuclear power and imperialist bully!

Maddow told her audience that Kim Yong-chol may look like a harmless old man, but he is actually North Korea’s “top-ranked spy,” someone who has built “the world’s most elite hacking and cyber-espionage” power, one which has broken into Sony Pictures and global banks. She sounded the alarm that the “devious” Kim Yong-chol may even have stolen U.S. secrets during his Oval Office visit: Did he “have equipment” with him? Did he ask to see Trump’s phone? On top of all this, Maddow warned, Kim Yong-chol is a general in North Korea’s military, and “there are all the killings.” All this, she made clear, was in service of a terrible “dictatorship.”

Maddow didn’t warn people that Trump might use the summit to justify war if North Korea doesn’t capitulate, claiming he’d walked the last mile for peace and now had no choice but to wage war. Instead, she worried that Trump may be backing off “maximum pressure”—i.e., crippling sanctions—on North Korea. She actually in effect creates public opinion for a “tougher, more confrontational” stance!

There IS Danger... in How Rachel Maddow Is Training You to Think!

What was the message—the indoctrination—in Maddow’s 24-minute indictment? That Trump is getting played by the ruthless, evil geniuses who run North Korea, and putting “our country” at risk. In this worldview and mind-set, America is the well-meaning if often naïve good guy and North Korea is yet another devious “alien” evil-doer.

Get fucking real! North Korea is run by an oppressive regime that has nothing to do with revolutionary communism. But you could multiply its crimes and those it’s been accused of 10,000 times—even a million times!—and you still wouldn’t come close to what THIS ruling class, including its CIA spymasters—have done around the world!2 (And by the way, how did it happen that Maddow didn’t mention that the person Kim was negotiating with was Mike Pompeo, fanatical fascist and former head of the CIA, whose crimes no other spy agency in the world even comes close to?)

Why Rachel Maddow Trains You to Think Like an American

For Rachel Maddow—and for the ruling class liberals in the Democratic Party for whom she basically speaks—opposition to Trump must remain within the confines of what is good for this system. Maddow’s line on this show in fact follows closely that of Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, who worries that Trump is too eager “to strike a deal” and will end up with “a bad one, not a strong one.3 At the heart of this system is the domination of the entire world by the U.S., in league with and competition against its rival imperialists. Rachel Maddow and those for whom she speaks do oppose Trump—as someone who endangers that system. Hence, for her, all opposition to Trump must be done within the confines and on the terms of what serves that system. This is gone into very deeply in Bob Avakian’s speech on the Trump/Pence regime, and we urge you to check out this excerpt. Much as she would howl and object if you said this to her, she basically shares the mind-set of “America First”—this just saturates the whole episode of her show—but wants to pursue this domination in a different way.

If you follow MSNBC and if you follow the Democratic Party (of which it is a virtual wing), this is where you will—once again—end up: going along with “our country” in another vicious and unjust war against another oppressed nation.4



1. The phony U.S. pretexts include the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident when the U.S. claimed, falsely and without any evidence, that North Vietnam had attacked the U.S. fleet—and then used that as pretext for massive deployment of U.S. troops in southern Vietnam; the inundation of the media with false “news” about Iraqi soldiers pulling babies out of incubators in Iraqi-occupied Kuwait in 1990—a lie that served to justify an invasion shortly afterward and a war that killed 200,000 in Iraq; the massive propaganda campaign about nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” possessed by the Saddam Hussein regime that served to justify a blitzkrieg-type invasion of Iraq in 2003 and U.S. occupation that brought immense horrors to the people of Iraq. For more on these and other U.S. pretexts, see “BEWARE: Incidents, Pretexts and Traps” at [back]

2. Read the American Crime series at for ongoing documentation of America’s great crimes. [back]

3. Schumer is also demanding that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s likeness be removed from the commemorative coin being made to memorialize the summit: “Kim Jong-Un’s face has no place on this coin,” Schumer said. “He is a brutal dictator.” Schumer has no problem with Trump’s image being on the coin. [back]

4. See “How the Democratic Party—the Supposed Vehicle for the Oppressed—Has Carried Out Vicious Slaughter Around the World AND Within the U.S.” which documents some of the imperialist wars of mass murder waged by Democratic presidents, and how the Democrats lined up with George W. Bush to attack and occupy Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003).[back]





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

August 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |



Download PDF of "The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us"

Talk by Bob Avakian

The following is the text of a talk given by Bob Avakian (BA) to a Party working group in the summer of 2017. The audio of this talk is available here.


The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us

Touching on Essential Questions Concerning the Actual History of this Country, The Nature of the Capitalist-Imperialist System We Live Under, The Consequences of This for Humanity, The Way Forward to a World Free of the Unnecessary Suffering and Horrors Bound Up With All This, and the Breakthroughs That Must Be Made Now



Part 1: Breaking with American Chauvinism and the Killing Confines of Capitalism

Contrary to all the mythology that is constantly perpetrated and perpetuated through the dominant institutions of this society and all of its spokespeople, the wealth of this country and the situation of the people within it is not owing to some great freedoms that are particular to this country and to the great innovativeness that this freedom allows and encourages. To get to the reality of what this really rests on we could go back to Marx, speaking about the primitive accumulation of capitalism on the basis of horrific plunder and unbelievable exploitation of masses of people in far-flung parts of the world. This provided the foundation on which the accumulation of capitalism began, coming out of feudal society, and the basis on which whatever innovation was carried out ultimately rested. Marx also spoke of the “rosy dawn” of capitalism with great irony. In the book Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones, I quoted Jack Weatherford who wrote Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World. He begins with this statement: “The capitalists [speaking of the United States, in particular, but the capitalists in Europe and other places as well—these capitalists] built the new structure on the twin supports of the slave trade from Africa to America and the piracy of American silver.” And then he goes on to quote Marx about the rosy dawn: “The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production.” This is a basic and irrefutable truth.

We hear in connection with all these notions of the great freedom and innovativeness of people in this country and how the freedom allows for this innovativeness—we hear a lot about the expression “American exceptionalism.” Now, when first hearing this term you might might not recognize that there is actually a certain ironic twist to this. You might think: “Yeah, well, that makes sense, ‘American exceptionalism,’ we have this good democracy here and people have a lot of freedom, but of course there are some things that ran really contrary to that in the history of the country—like the genocide against the Indians and all the slavery and everything else. Yeah that makes sense, it’s an exception, it’s a democracy but it’s kind of an exception because it has all these negative features associated with it.” And then, lo and behold, you discover that’s not what it means—that American exceptionalism means America is exceptionally good, that even in comparison to all the other “capitalist democracies” in the world, there’s something special, the shining city on the hill, as Reagan, for example, invoked it. You know, this image that there’s something particularly and specially good about America and its people. And you have to think: what an irony. This is completely upside down. If anybody wants to talk about exception, it should be talked about in the way I was just referring to it—that here are some real negative things here that stand in sharp conflict to “our democracy” which we still haven’t yet overcome. But no, it means the opposite—we’re exceptionally good.

And think of the level of American chauvinism you have to have internalized not to vomit upon hearing that. Let’s look a little bit more at the actual founding cornerstones and the long shadow of slavery in this country along with the genocidal dispossession and rounding up into concentration camps called reservations of the native population, the original population.

The treatment of Black people in this country, the horrific oppression of Black people from the time of slavery down to today—if you want to talk about a special characteristic of America, that’s one of the most distinguishing. And that slavery has been built into the very foundation: it is a cornerstone of the entire society, and its shadow continues to cast itself over the entire society, the entire country and everything about it, right down to today. If you look at the founding documents of this country—for example, if you look at the Declaration of Independence—what are the indictments that are made against the King of England in declaring independence? Among them is the following: “He has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages.” Now, think about this. Here are people who repeatedly broke treaties with these very Native Americans, the original inhabitants, who never in fact kept a single treaty they made with them, who drove them repeatedly off the land—would grant them land but, “Oh, wait a minute, there’s gold there.” So they have to be uprooted again and put on these Trail of Tears marches where thousands died over and over and over again. And then, in turn, we hear these people described as “the merciless Indian Savages” whom the King of England is inciting against these settlers. This is one of the great crimes of the King of England according to the Declaration of Independence. Again, reality is turned completely on its head.

And then of course it goes on and talks about how the King of England has forced the slave trade upon the European settlers of this territory—as if somehow none of them, including Thomas Jefferson, wanted to have slaves. Never mind the fact that he engineered the Louisiana Purchase to greatly expand the territory that would be slave-based. Somehow supposedly the King of England is responsible for forcing slavery on people like Jefferson and these other founders.

Or look at the Constitution of the United States. Not only the infamous three-fifths clause which declared that the slaves were three-fifths human beings, to be counted as three-fifths for the purposes of taxation and representation; but even such things as the electoral college were in fact engineered in that way, established, and established in their particular forms, as concessions to the slave states. Recently in the New York Times, in a special supplement on the Constitution on July 2, 2017, Garry Wills went into how the Second Amendment itself was not about individuals owning arms—that’s not what was being... that was not the concern that was being addressed. It was, in particular, the right of the slave states to have militias to hunt down slaves and put down slave insurrections. So right there, again, in the very founding of this country’s basic documents, and in the way this has extended its shadow right down to today, the horrific oppression of the original inhabitants, and then of Black people—or of Black people along with that—it’s right at the core of what this country is about, from the beginning to today. The fact is that white supremacy and its continuation in different, but always horrific, forms has been built into the very foundation and structures, the social relations and the culture of this system in this country and is an indispensable part of its ongoing cohesion and functioning.

Now, in light of all this, you might think it’s a little ridiculous when people say something like: “Fascism couldn’t really happen here. We have all these institutional protections against it, and, once again, we are these exceptional people. So how could fascism happen here? It couldn’t happen here.” Oh no, it couldn’t happen here. Not in a country founded on slavery and genocide and steeped in white supremacy as well as male supremacy, manifest destiny and white man’s burden. Oh no, it couldn’t happen in a country like that. And it is important to point out about all these things—the white supremacy, the male supremacy, the American chauvinism, the manifest destiny, the white man’s burden—all of these have been, and remain, intertwined and mutually reinforcing.

If you turn to the book, for example, The Rebirth of a Nation by Jackson Lears—which focuses on the era when the U.S. really pushed itself out into the world as a colonial power, gobbling up the Philippines as well as Puerto Rico, Guam and Cuba, and entering onto the world stage on a level of thuggery previously unseen—he talks about how all this was bound up with a certain sense of male identity and male assertiveness, as well as white supremacy, in rather grotesque forms, unvarnished, the way we’re seeing it coming back now, unvarnished, under the Trump/Pence fascist regime. For example, he cites the woman, Rebecca Latimer Felton, who was the wife and campaign manager, not of a dog catcher, but of a U.S. Congressman, who said that one of the great problems in American society was that men were not providing adequate attention to “white women’s vulnerability to the Black rapists” who were supposedly roaming the rural South. “The fault, she declared, lay with southern white men. They had failed to put a ‘sheltering arm about innocence and virtue.’” She concluded that “if lynching was required ‘to protect women’s dearest possession from the ravening human beasts—then I say lynch, a thousand times a week, if necessary.’” The wife and campaign manager of a U.S. Congressman.

Or let’s look at another statement that shows the horrendous dimensions of this and the way in which all of this is intertwined. In particular, here is the male chauvinism, the patriarchy, the misogyny. Lears writes: “Behind all the economic calculations and all the lofty rhetoric about civilization and progress was a primal emotion—a yearning to reassert control, a masculine will to power.” In particular, this was speaking to the sense that the elite, the wealthy men, had become soft as a result of their riches. And so what was said was necessary to deal with that? War—this would be a masculinizing effect on these feminized wealthy effete men. This was the way that they could experience regeneration.

Or look at the following comment, speaking about the cult of courage and an urge to warfare: “Here,” Lears writes, “was the germ of the worship of force, the secular religion that underlay the regeneration of masculine will.”

And here’s something very interesting in light of the tactics and strategic approach of U.S. imperialism in invading and occupying countries these days. If you think back, for example, to the first Iraq invasion in 1991, Colin Powell said: “We’re not imperialists, we don’t invade countries in order to occupy them, we don’t engage in permanent occupation. We just democratize them and then leave them to the people to run themselves.” Well, this is a well-worn approach of the imperialists, which was being applied as far back as the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Lears speaks to this. He speaks to the approach that the American empire would depend only in part on formal acquisition of foreign colonies, which it did occupy, for example once again, the Philippines. “More commonly it would involve periodic military intervention (rather than permanent occupation) and support for governments friendly to American policies. This indirect approach [to colonialism, I’m adding] would make it easier for American imperialists to wrap themselves in exceptionalist rhetoric and claim moral superiority to their European counterparts.” Here we are again with American exceptionalism, ravishing and plundering colonialism with a particular twist that enables them to say: “Oh no, we’re not colonialists like those Europeans.”

And finally, from Lears he talks about how the resistance of the Philippine people to U.S. occupation was taken by the Americans, including the soldiers of the American imperium, was taken as an affront to white identity and to white being.

So you can see how all of this is all intertwined and mutually reinforcing. And then there’s something that should also be recognized, especially in light of the present situation. There is a direct line and deep connection between all this, and the way in which all this is intertwined and mutually reinforcing—a direct line and direct connection between all this and the virulent hatred and repressive actions directed today against the fight for the recognition of the humanity and the rights of LGBT people.

It is crucial that people be won, including through struggle waged well, to look squarely into the reality of what this system is built on and how it really works, and come to understand why the horrors it causes cannot be reformed away. Here I can only touch on the actual reality of what this system is, how it operates and why, and the terrible consequences of this for humanity. In the Interview with Ardea Skybreak, SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, this is discussed more fully. In THE NEW COMMUNISM, the basic contradictions and dynamics of the system are dug into in some depth. And there is continual exposure and analysis fleshing out all of this on the website But to put this in kind of concentrated way, and what is the actual history and foundation and reality of this country, let’s look at BAsics 1, 2, 3, and 4, beginning with BAsics 1:

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

Now, of course, slavery was not the only factor that played a significant part in the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, whose economic strength underlies its massive military force. A major historical factor in all this was the theft of land, on a massive scale, from Mexico as well as from native peoples. But, in turn, much of that conquest of land was, for a long period of time up until the Civil War, largely to expand the slave system. “Remember the Alamo,” we are always reminded. Well, many of the “heroes” of the Alamo were slave traders and slave chasers....And expanding the slave system was a major aim of the overall war with Mexico, although that war also led to the westward expansion of the developing capitalist system centered in the northern United States.

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

Not only did slavery play a major role in the historical development of the U.S., but the wealth and power of the U.S. rests today on a worldwide system of imperialist exploitation that ensnares hundreds of millions, and ultimately billions, of people in conditions hardly better than those of slaves. Now, if this seems like an extreme or extravagant claim, think about the tens of millions of children throughout the Third World who, from a very, very early age, are working nearly every day of the year—as the slaves on the southern plantations in the United States used to say, “from can’t see in the morning, till can’t see at night”—until they’ve been physically used up....These are conditions very similar to outright slavery....This includes overt sexual harassment of women, and many other degradations as well. All this is the foundation on which the imperialist system rests, with U.S. imperialism now sitting atop it all.


Now again, this might sound like exaggerated or extreme descriptions. But in fact, it is an accurate description of the reality of today and the whole historical development leading up to it, in terms of this country and its role in the world. As I said elsewhere, many examples have been given to bring to life more fully the reality of this, and much analysis has been made of how and why this system cannot operate on any other basis than this. For example, in the book, THE NEW COMMUNISM. But, as a shorthand way of saying this, it can simply be stated that there is not a single thing that finds its way into the consumption markets of the U.S. and similar countries which has not gone through, in its chain of production, horrific forms—the most vicious exploitation and oppression—in far flung parts of the world, in particular, the Third World. Not a thing.

We can go to another statement by Marx: “Capitalism came into the world with blood dripping from every pore.” And it has maintained itself down to the present day, on an even greater scale, on exactly the same basis. This country and this system is most emphatically not a force for good in the world, but on the contrary the greatest cause of unnecessary suffering for the masses of humanity.

Now, let’s look at another one of the narratives they like to run out to talk about the great nature of this country and of this system of capitalism—job creation. “The capitalists are not exploiting people, they’re creating jobs. If they go to Indonesia or Guatemala or Haiti or Pakistan or Bangladesh or India and have children, or even adults, working for less than a dollar a day—why that’s better than the alternative. If it weren’t for these capitalists going there, these people wouldn’t have a way to have a livelihood at all. So, yes, maybe the conditions are not as good as you and I might like them to be, but they’re much better than they would be otherwise.” This is a typical rationalization, it’s one of the most disgusting rationalizations. And it’s a complete tautology. It amounts to saying: Under the system of capitalist-imperialism, the choices people have range from bad to worse. And it’s a complete lie. If you step away and out of the confines of the self-contained logic of the capitalist system, think about it: The raw materials are there, the people are there—that’s what you need to develop an economy. The question is, on what terms and through which means are you developing that economy with those people and those raw materials?

Once again we’re back to the question that I focused on centrally in THE NEW COMMUNISM: through which mode of production are things done? Capitalism is not the only way, and is certainly far from the best way, to “create jobs” and for people to have meaningful employment. It is possible to have a radically different economic system, the system of socialism, in which people’s work is not exploited for the benefit of cut-throat competing capitalists who are now cut-throat competing capitalists on a world scale, who immediately, as soon as they find it not profitable enough, stop creating those jobs in this country and go to another country where they create jobs, until they find another country where they can go and more ruthlessly exploit people. The people are there. That is the most important thing. And with the people it is possible now to have a radically different economic and social system which is not built on exploitation and oppression—which, in fact, moves to do away with every form of exploitation and oppression—the socialist system moving toward communism on a world scale, at which point all exploitation and oppression will have been eliminated.

So again, the question is: what’s the economic system underlying all this? Or, once again, through which mode of production are things done? Through an exploitative and oppressive system, or one which is moving to eliminate exploitation and oppression and unlocking and unleashing all the human potential in that direction and for that purpose?

Now, I’ve talked elsewhere and emphasized the anarchic workings of this system. Once more, let’s go back to Marx, who said about the system of capitalism: Its total disorder is its order. This is speaking to the anarchy of these different capitalists who, because of the internal nature, contradictions and dynamics of their own system—which, once again, is gone into in THE NEW COMMUNISM—but because of its very internal nature, its very intrinsic nature, its very internal contradictions and dynamics, is a system that rests on ruthless exploitation and ruthless competition between different units and aggregations of capital, competing intensely with each other today on a world scale and in a highly globalized way.

The point, the brutal reality...we hear, for example, all this from these high-tech billionaires and so on, talking about “epic fails” and the “creative destruction” of the way in which they come in and completely undermine the way things have been done and bring in new ways of doing things. And this is upheld as a great phenomenon in the world, this creative destruction. Even where you fail, you learn how to succeed at creating more creative destruction—in other words, more exploitation. And again, the brutal reality is that this disorder, this creative destruction, causes tremendous suffering on a world scale of people and of the environment, which this system and its internal dynamics have brought to the point where the very future and existence of humanity is seriously threatened. And then, on top of all that, there is a massive destruction brought about by the wars, the coups, and other bloody actions which are carried out in every part of the world to enforce this system’s oppressive rule.

The military of this country is not a body of heroes who should be thanked for their service, but a machinery of perpetual war crimes and crimes against humanity, repeatedly carrying out slaughter and destruction on a mass scale in the service of a system literally built on blood and bones. Once again, this may seem like an exaggeration or an extravagant claim, but look at the wars that have actually been carried out by this military, in the present day in the Middle East, and the horrific results of their invasions and occupations and everything this set loose. Or Vietnam. Or the coups they pulled off from Iran to Guatemala to Indonesia to Chile, which have cost the lives of literally more than a million people—just those coups and their consequences. This is no exaggeration. This is the reality that people have to be brought to confront.

And as for people who should be appreciated, those from this military who should be supported are those who have broken with it, especially those who have come over to the side of opposition to these crimes and the system this military enforces with its depraved violence and massive destruction. And depraved violence is a very apt description. You can go back to Vietnam, not only the massive bombing with chemical weapons—Agent Orange, napalm which literally sets fire to people’s flesh—but the My Lai massacre, which was not an aberration or an exception or a one-time deviation, but a repeated pattern by the U.S. military in Vietnam. The soldiers who became so degraded that they cut off the ears of the people they slaughtered and carried them around as trophies. This is the reality of those that the rulers of this country want people to celebrate as heroes. Because this is the nature of the military that these people are serving in and its role in the world.

Now, along with everything already spoken to in terms of the actual history of this country, as well as its role in the world right up to the present, the theory of government and the founding documents of this country—as articulated, for example in the Declaration of Independence—this theory of government is in fundamental conflict with reality. Let’s look at one of the most oft-quoted statements from the Declaration of Independence. And often you’ll hear people celebrating democracy who will quote this opening of the Declaration of Independence right after “When in the course of human events” and so on (I guess people still memorize this in school on some occasions), there’s this famous passage:

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men... [Nota Bene, as they say: all men are created equal, note well] all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.

Now, I have to say there should be a certain prize given here, because it’s hard to conceive of packing more bullshit into such a small number of sentences. First of all, leave aside the part about “endowed by their creator.” Let’s leave aside the fact that there is no creator, there is no god, nobody is endowed with anything by a non-existent being. That’s the first point. But let’s leave that aside. Let’s move on to the core of this—that to secure these rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness)... by the way notice that in the Constitution “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is replaced with life, liberty and property, including that the slaves were property. But anyway, to secure these rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness “governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed.” Well, this completely flies in the face of the actual history of human beings. Human beings who evolved and lived in early communal societies were not marked by all the features of the kind of society that’s spoken to in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. They did not have the kind of oppressive class divisions within their own small societies that are taken for granted in the world today by the defenders of this system and those who don’t know better, even if they should. And the evolution of human beings from there to the present time did not take place through gatherings of the people to institute governments among them which derived their just powers from those who gathered together to create these governments.

Think back to the statement by Marx, describing the “rosy dawn” and what the primitive accumulation of capitalism rests on. The inhabitants, the original inhabitants, of the mines of Potosi in Latin America, who were literally worked to death in the mines— passing their flesh literally into the structures there—they were not governed by an association of people that had come together to choose this. The slaves who were hunted down in Africa... Yes, there was slavery in Africa—we have to speak to what’s raised by all these fascists and others—yes, there was slavery in Africa; yes, there was slavery among the original inhabitants of the Americas. But it was on a very small scale, part of the fabric of those societies. When slavery and genocide became tethered to the machinery and fed into the maws, the jaws of capitalist accumulation and exploitation, it became a whole other thing on a whole other horrendous level, involving and killing millions of people and grinding millions more to an early death. Those people did not come together and choose a government that derived its “just powers” from their decisions.

In the feudal societies of Europe and Japan and China, the serfs did not come together with the nobles and hold a conclave and decide upon the government of their choosing whose “just powers” derived from their decision and their consent.

Oftentimes, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, people did things out of necessity which led to great changes which they themselves did not anticipate and might not even have wanted. Now, I spoke in another work about people in Mexico, for example, thousands of years ago, who lived by hunting and gathering, and then by their own activity, used up many of the resources that they were depending upon, and also due to changes in the natural environment, they were forced to leave the area they were hunting and gathering in, and they went and settled by a river and began to carry out settled agriculture. This is just one of many examples of how this has happened repeatedly throughout the world. And then class differences of a very oppressive nature began to develop among them because of the new situation they were in. Some people were more favorably situated near a river—on more arable land, for a combination of factors—so polarization developed among them. It wasn’t that they sat down together and said: “Let us develop a society in which there’s polarization among us, in which some will thrive and others will suffer and in which those who thrive will exploit those who suffer so they will suffer more—this is what we choose to do as a way to be governed. And of course that government that we established for these purposes will derive its ‘just powers’ from our consent.” This is absolute nonsense. It completely flies in the face of reality. And it has nothing to do with the reality of the United States of America when it broke from England and established a different new country. The slaves were not part of any conclave, nor were the original inhabitants, the so-called Indians—they were not part of any conclave to establish a government deriving its “just powers” from their consent. The character of this society, the class divisions, the social relations in this society were not decided by people sitting down and having a meeting to discuss: “Okay, some people are going to be farmers, and some are going to be rich farmers and some are going to be poor farmers, and some are going to be indentured servants to these other people, and some are going to be slaves, and some are going to be dispossessed of everything they own, and during the course of the Civil War we’re going to start a westward expansion 90 years from now, but let’s plan it now. Ninety years from now we’re going to start a westward expansion to drive the remaining original inhabitants off their land, killing them in the process, suppressing them through warfare. And we’ll bring a bunch of Chinese in, force them to work on building the railroads so we can expand all the way to....” What kind of nonsense is this?! It has nothing to do with how the country was founded, how it developed, and what role it has played in the world right down to today.

These things arise out of the conflict between the necessity that people face and the means they devise to try to transform that necessity through a series of different societies, which are fundamentally founded on the relations that people—in the face of that necessity, and in the face of what they’ve inherited from previous generations—the relations they enter into to meet their material requirements of life, and the superstructure that arises on the basis of this—political institutions, political processes, ideology and culture—which serves those underlying economic relations which are not static and forever but continually change with changes in conditions, including the new productive forces that are brought forward through this process. This is how society has developed from the earliest emergence of human beings down to the present. And the important thing is that it was not predetermined to do so but it has come to a point where there are now the actual material conditions to do away with all these oppressive divisions and exploitative relations among human beings of every kind.

Besides what I’ve spoken to here, this is gone into in greater depth in Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon, Part 1. And there is also a very good concentrated discussion of the basic principles that I’m discussing here in Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, Part 1, particularly in the section “How Does Human Society Actually Develop?”

The truth really does matter, and it is very important to insist on and struggle fiercely for the critical importance of actually following the truth wherever it leads—as opposed to the longing, all-too-common among liberals and “progressives”: “Please, can we put an end to these lies from Trump that make me uncomfortable and get back to the lies about this country that make me comfortable.” In the “Democracy” book, (Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That?) I wrote: “[I]n all bourgeois democratic countries—and this is no exaggeration—from the very earliest age, through the educational system, the mass media and in other ways, the people are systematically misinformed and lied to about every significant question of current political and world affairs and of world history, and are systematically indoctrinated and imbued with an upside-down world view and errant methodology.” (That’s on page 190, for those who want to look at it.) This is obviously a very provocative statement, and it is as true as it is provocative. In fact, it is so provocative precisely because it is so profoundly true. That is, it seems outrageous precisely because people have been so systematically misinformed and misled.

I’ve already touched on some glaring examples of this, speaking to the actual history of this country and its role in the world. Some others will be spoken to through the course of this talk, and many, many other examples could be cited, including the lies and distortions by the dominant institutions and representatives of this system about the wars waged by this country, about socialism and the overthrow of socialism in the Soviet Union and China, the Great Depression of the 1930s and how it was ended, World War 2 and how and why the U.S. emerged as the most powerful imperialist country after that war, what the situation is with Korea and why, what the ’60s was really about, the character and role of imperialist heads of state who are presented as great leaders like Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Churchill, and on and on and on.

While it is right and necessary to unite with people broadly in opposing the injustices and outrages committed by those who rule this country, and while this has taken on heightened importance with the coming to power of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, it is a basic truth that without breaking with American chauvinism—without confronting the very real horror of what this country has been, and what it has done, here and all over the world, from its founding to the present—and without coming to deeply hate this, it is not possible, in the final analysis, to retain one’s own humanity and act in the highest interests of all humanity.

Before moving to Point 2, I just want to make a clarification. In the Declaration of Independence, along with the point about inciting the slaves to carry out domestic insurrection against the slave owners and inciting the “Indian Savages” to make warfare against them (the colonists), the point about the King of England forcing slavery on the colonies was actually, I believe, in Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence but for whatever reasons did not make it into the final version. But nonetheless you can see Jefferson’s thinking there.



Part 2. The Decisive Importance of MethodScientific Method—in Understanding and Changing the World

First, we need to speak to the glaring lack of materialism that is so widespread and common in regards to what this system is, how it actually functions, why it functions as it does, and what the consequences and implications of this are. Here, again, we can refer back, for example, to the point I made earlier about the narrative of “job creation”—as opposed to the reality of ruthless exploitation. But this lack of materialism is, in fact, extremely glaring. This is what you find, instead of people basing themselves on the critical breakthrough that Marx made in establishing what is the foundation and what are the dynamics of human society in general, what are the fundamental dynamics—the relations between what the forces of production are at hand and therefore correspondingly how people enter into economic relations in order to utilize those productive forces, and on that basis, the superstructure that arises of politics, ideology and culture, and the back and forth, the dialectical relation between and contradictions and relations within, the economic system, between the forces and relations of production, and how those are constantly moving and changing, and in terms of the contradictions between the economic system and the superstructure of politics and ideology that develops on the foundation of this economic system and, in turn, reacts back upon it in certain ways.

This breakthrough has been there for the taking for more than 150 years, and it was systematized in Marx’s major work Capital more than 100 years ago, nearly 150 years again. And yet people, including those who consider themselves scholars of society, constantly turn away from this—reject it, distort it, deny it, or in one form or another try to ignore this fundamental breakthrough—ignore and often oppose this fundamental breakthrough. Instead, what do we get for explanations about society, both in academic circles and out more broadly among the “common people?” Things that focus on the superstructure as the decisive element—theories of “human nature” which supposedly explain why things happen the way they do, emphasis on the political processes, elections and different demographic analyses in terms of how they pertain to and influence elections—all these kind of things which are secondary and can only be correctly understood on the basis of a materialist approach to and a materialist method of proceeding from an understanding of what underlies all these politics, what underlies all these ideas and the culture that circulates in society and predominates in society. Why did Marx say, so very correctly and importantly: The entire history of humanity is the history of the transformation of human nature? Did that mean that the way human nature got transformed was that people fought with each other about what their nature should be? Well, yes, they did do that. But what was more fundamental, underlying and decisive in that? Not the sole factor, but the more underlying, fundamental and decisive factor was: what was going on underneath all of that in the economic base of society?

Here, again, you run into other tautologies. “People are just naturally selfish”—which is another... Marx and Engels point out in the Communist Manifesto that this kind of thinking is just a tautology, that as long as you have capitalism you will have the ideas of capitalism predominating, including the idea that everybody should be out for themselves against everybody else, which corresponds to the commodity relations of a capitalist society where everything is increasingly turned into a commodity. The continuous transformation of human nature proceeds through the changes that occur in the base of society and the corresponding struggle that this gives rise to in the realm of ideas and politics, and so on. So we have, once again, an upside down approach which leads you always into a dead end. You can never understand such basic things as: If you have a society based on exploiting people, you’re gonna have a lot of fucking selfish people, OK? If you have a society in which white supremacy is built into its structures, you’re gonna have a lot of white supremacists.

But see, a sort of basic understanding like that is either neglected or outright attacked and replaced with all these theories that are just going around in a circle, never getting to the underlying basis of why things are the way they are and why they change. Why don’t we have slavery anymore? Is it simply because people developed ideas that slavery was wrong and fought against it? Yes, they did. But that, in turn, while not being reducible to, was fundamentally grounded in changes that were taking place in the economy and the rising conflict and antagonism between a different kind of economic system—capitalism, which was developing particularly in the North—and the slave system, which was seeking to preserve itself and even to expand, centered fundamentally in the South. And not reducible to, but on the basis of that increasing conflict between these different economic systems, these different modes of production, different ideas not only arose but were able to attract masses of people to them.

People could have all kinds of ideas in any kind of epoch, but if there’s not a basis in the underlying foundation of society and its economic dynamics, and in the social relations that are emerging and in the changes that are occurring in the underlying basis of society, then those ideas will not be able to attract a mass following. People thousands of years ago could have the idea that it would be nice if nobody mistreated anybody else, but as long as they didn’t have the basis for an economic system which made that possible, they could not have a society like that. They could not institute those kinds of social relations. It wasn’t a matter of people coming together in a vacuum and cooking up ideas about what kind of society they wanted and then proceeding to implement it. This basic dialectical materialist understanding—dialectical because it doesn’t just deal with the underlying material system, the mode of production, and it doesn’t deal with that as static and unchanging, but deals with the contradictions and motion and development within that economic system, within the superstructure of politics and ideology that arises on that basis, and between that underlying economic system and the superstructure of politics and ideology. And the dialectics of this are that changes are brought about, of any real consequence in society, through what occurs in the superstructure, through the formulation of political ideas and theories and ideologies and through the struggle over different programs, and ultimately, when a revolutionary crisis comes about, then the possibility opens of a radical transformation in society, taking place in a concentrated way in the superstructure, in the struggle over who will rule society and what kind of system will they be able to implement—not out of their abstract reckoning in their heads but in relation, once again, to what are the underlying economic and social relations and the dynamics and changes within that.

So the foundation is the underlying economic system, and it’s in the superstructure where this gets battled out and where the changes get fought out. And the superstructure is a very dynamic sphere; the realm of political struggle, the realm of culture, the realm of ideas is not one-to-one a mere passive reflection of what the underlying economic system is, but it’s full of contradiction and struggle. People who perceive, like Marx did, the contradictions and analyze deeply and scientifically the contradictions in the underlying economic system, were able to recognize the possibility of transformation to a radically different economic system and therefore to formulate the theories and ideas that would lead to that, that would lead to that process of struggle, that could make that possible. This is why Marx said that the sense of the permanence of the existing conditions breaks down in theory before it is actually broken down in practice. Or, as we emphasize, this is why theory can and often does run ahead of practice. Theory has its ultimate point of origin and point of verification in practice, in the actual material world—that’s where ideas arise out of, and that’s where they’re proven ultimately to be true or not true and to find a basis or not find a basis among people. But in that overall process, people can perceive—out of reflecting on the contradictions and motion and development of the underlying relations, they can perceive changes before those changes are actually brought about. If that weren’t so, there could never be any radical change in society.

So this is all very important to understand. What are the actual relations here? If you want to understand why people treat people the way they do, you have to look fundamentally to the underlying economic system, and the social relations that correspond to that, and then the ideas that arise on that basis and the contradictions and motion within all that. That’s the way you understand it. Otherwise, you’ll go around in a circle. “White people are racist.” “Men are chauvinist.” Well, overwhelmingly in a society like this, if you’re looking at the broad population, that’s true—but why is it true? And why are there not very many advocates—although we see some cropping up again now with the Trump phenomenon and his supporters—but why are there not very many advocates of slavery? Other than things like sexual slavery and the trafficking of women and girls today. But why are there not advocates for: Let’s restore the whole slave system? Because that’s completely out of line with the underlying economic system and the way that system operates in the world today. So people may have those ideas, but it’s hard for them to get a hearing on a mass scale or exert significance influence—not simply on the basis of different moralities, but what underlies and gives rise to those moralities, the changes in the economic relations and the social relations. And without understanding this, you could never really see the possibility of changes in both circumstances (that is, the system) and in people—and of the way those can be fought for. So we need, as opposed to this anti-, not just non, but anti-materialist approach, we need dialectical and historical materialism and a correct understanding of the dynamic contradictory relationships within the economic base, within the superstructure, and between the economic base and the superstructure.

Now, let’s look here: I thought it might be worthwhile looking at what might seem like an unusual but actually an important example of applying dialectical and historical materialism—the phenomenon of gangs in the U.S., but not only in the U.S., throughout much of Latin America and the Caribbean. Now, there’s a book called Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America by Ioan Grillo, which is about the Caribbean and Latin America. And it’s very striking. He makes the following statement early in this book: “When you tally up the total body count the numbers are staggering. Between the dawn of the new millennium [in other words at the turn of the century, 2000] and 2010, more than a million people across Latin America and the Caribbean were murdered.” Now even if we think this is somewhat... he does cite sources for this... but even if we think this is somewhat exaggerated, even if it’s anything close to that, think of the implications of that. Think what that reflects. And he goes on to say that it’s a cocaine-fueled holocaust, a cocaine-fueled holocaust. In other words, most of these are—not literally every murder, obviously, there are “crimes of passion” and other murders—but on this kind of scale, the largest contributing factor is the drug phenomenon and the wars associated within the gangs who are part of all this. And if you look at the U.S. itself, Tom Hayden made the analysis a little while ago that, in the decades since the 1970s, tens of thousands of people have died from gang battles in the United States itself. So think about this. A million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, or something on that order, and tens of thousands within the U.S.

Now how do we understand this? Is it because the people doing this are just by nature, their human nature, depraved? Or is there something else going on here that is much more fundamental? In the book I cited earlier, Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones, in speaking to Jim Wallis and refuting his arguments about how you could have a good society based on principles of Christian charity and so on, I analyzed one of the examples he gives of how problems in society can be remedied. He talks about how in Brazil, back in the 1980s, there were a number of peasants who were about ready to be driven off their land, and the women among the peasants contacted the wives of the senators in Brazil and persuaded them to put a stop to this particular dispossession. He holds this up as a model of how justice can be brought in society and changes for the people’s good. And I did a little research and I discovered, not to my surprise frankly, that in the same period he’s talking about, 15 million people in the countryside of Brazil had been dispossessed. That was the overwhelming phenomenon. And the land holdings in Brazil were highly concentrated in large land holdings among a very small percentage of the rural population. And what happened to those 15 million people and their descendants over several generations? Did they evaporate? No. They went into the favelas, the urban slums of Brazil, in conditions where they were not integrated into the economy in an articulated way where they got regular employment even under highly exploitative conditions. Many of them had to engage in various forms of self-employment in the informal economy, including crime, which became one of the more lucrative means of accumulating wealth or at least making a living.

We’ve seen the same phenomenon in the U.S. People from the... Black people, in particular, came from the South after World War 2, worked in factories to a large degree, and other occupations, many of which were closed down or the jobs were replaced by machines. After a couple of generations, many of the youth faced massive unemployment rates. And what did they turn to? Crime and the gang structure in large numbers—not all of them obviously. And you look throughout, not just Brazil, but Latin America and the Caribbean, you have this phenomena of people who several generations ago were peasants in the countryside who were driven off and could no longer live that way, as oppressive and exploitative as that was. They came into the cities, but also could not be integrated into the regular formal economy, and the youth in particular turned to means other than menial employment, such as it was, for making their way through the world and trying to get some kind of existence that was meaningful to them. On the basis of this, and also on the basis that drug production became one of the highly lucrative means of agricultural production, if you will—the raising of cocaine and then the processing of it—you’ve got people drawn into these gangs which then developed into major structures and enterprises which in Latin America are frequently called, and do have some of the characteristics of, cartels. Why did this happen? If you roll the process back 50 years ago, these youth were not into that. It’s not because of some depraved character of their human nature. It’s because of the conditions into which they were thrust and the options that were presented to them, and which were not presented to them.

I mean, in the same book, Preaching From A Pulpit of Bones, I spoke about William Bennett and his pontificating about virtues, and this whole notion of personal responsibility and the choices that people make. And I said: Why is it that the choices for people like Bennett and the class he represents, with their multi-thousand dollar a plate dinners, why is it that their choices are whether to wage war here or there, or whether to close down factories here and move them there, whereas for middle class people in this country it might be how much to go into debt to try to put your kids through college, while for poor people it’s can you get a job or not, and for a girl in Thailand, as young as nine, it’s either be miserably, viciously exploited in some sort of factory or being chained down as a prostitute. Why are those the choices? Is it because of human nature, or is it because of the system and the relations that are embodied in that system and the dynamics of that system?

So you have this phenomenon of gangs now on a major scale. And it’s interesting to think about how in a certain way—not in every detail or every aspect, but in a certain way—this parallels the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism in the parts of the world where Islam has been the dominant religion. Much of the process has actually been the same. Peasants driven out of the countryside, driven into this “planet of slums,” as Mike Davis called it, where up to a billion people live in these massive slums around the core cities of these countries throughout the Third World. They’re uprooted from the traditional relations and then drawn to, in the case of Islamic fundamentalism, attempts to restore, with a vengeance and through barbaric means, those traditional relations—which are being undermined but not transformed in any thoroughgoing way by the dynamics of what imperialism, in conjunction with the dynamics of the particular country, has wrought, has brought forward, has caught people up in. And it’s interesting, you see that some of these leaders of some of these Islamic fundamentalist forces, or people who have become their foot soldiers, were actually people who were into crime, went to jail, and got proselytized by these fundamentalists.

But again, we need to be materialists, but not mechanical materialists, not determinists who think that whatever people’s conditions are in their main aspect is all that there is to their conditions, and whatever their conditions are will automatically produce a certain result in terms of how they act. That’s a kind of mechanical materialism and determinism that we also have to fight against. Because we have to understand the dynamic role of contradiction. There are very acute and profound contradictions in the conditions of all these masses. There is, on the one hand, the pull that I’ve described owing to their conditions, but there’s also the oppression they suffer, the poverty that’s enforced on them, the misery that they are subjected to by the workings of this system, and there are the corresponding ideas of longing for a different and better world that are often suppressed and suffocated to a significant degree once again by the workings of the system, both its underlying workings and the conscious policy and actions of those who rule in society, who dominate the superstructure of political rule and ideology and culture.

So the contradictions of the masses caught up in these situations—whether you’re talking about the favelas and slums of the Caribbean and Latin America, whether you’re talking about the slums and barrios, for example, in the United States where people, many peasants or people from other strata from Mexico and Latin America, come to this country and basically the same phenomenon occurs as occurred to Black people migrating from the South, the first generation maybe finding some kind of menial and super-exploited exploitation, but the youth, many of them don’t feel like going through that, so they turn to this other way of life based on gang structure and crime and so on, not all of them, obviously, but significant numbers. But there’s also the highly oppressive conditions that people are in and the highly repressive situation in which, because of their conditions, the system and its enforcers—the police and all the rest of that apparatus of repression, the courts and the judges, and so on—are constantly subjecting them to all kinds of horrors: outright murder and brutality, mass incarceration, and on and on.

This is the contradictory character of the conditions of these masses and what it gives rise to spontaneously, but also the basis it provides for struggling with people to take a different road, a road of emancipation. That will not happen by spontaneity, and given the pulls that I’ve been describing—the very powerful pulls—this is not going to happen without a great deal of struggle. But the point is that the contradictions are real, and the side of people that aspires to, or can be drawn toward, something actually emancipating, as opposed to enslaving in one form or another, is very real. Without dialectical materialism and historical materialism, you can’t even recognize this, let alone act on it. But with it, you can. And that’s what’s so crucial. So we have to have a correct understanding of the contradictory nature of all this, the contradictory nature of people’s thinking and ideas and the contradictory nature of the economic and social relations that they’re caught up in—which, in an ultimate and fundamental sense, give rise to these contradictory ideas and tendencies and aspirations among them. And we have to work to transform this through a great deal of struggle—and not by any tailing of spontaneity—into a revolutionary force based on the understanding of the possibility, and the inspiration on that real foundation, of the whole prospect and reality of the struggle to emancipate all of humanity.

And within this, without falling into the notion, which I have been criticizing, of turning things upside down and thinking that ideas somehow arise completely independently of the underlying relations in society and thinking that the struggle is merely a struggle in the realm of ideas, at the same time we have to recognize the very powerful role of ideology. People in the same conditions can be drawn to very different programs because of the struggle in the realm of ideas if, again, those ideas have some relation to the underlying reality, not just as it is in a static and unchanging sense, but as it is full of contradiction, struggle and motion. And the ideology of communism, and its further development in the new communism, can be a very powerful force attracting people as the liberatory, emancipating path out of the conditions, the contradictory conditions in which they are caught up. This is something we really have to powerfully recognize. And our ideas, in order to play this role, in order to be a powerful force, have to be in accord with an actual scientific understanding of reality and constantly struggling to further develop and refine that understanding, including because life is constantly changing. But if, in fact, they are based on that scientific approach to the correct relation of things in society—the correct relation between the underlying conditions and the realm of politics and thinking and culture—if they more and more reflect a correct understanding of that, they can be a very powerful pole attracting people toward the only resolution of the contradictions they are caught up in that is fundamentally in their own interests and in the interests of humanity as a whole.

So with that I want to move to part 3.



Part 3: The Solution, the Necessity, the Possibility and the Desirability of Revolution Grounded in The New Communism

I want to start by reading the 5 Stops, which repeatedly appear in our newspaper, Revolution, and on the website, for good reason:

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

      STOP The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!

      STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

      STOP The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!

      STOP Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet!

Now, these are, on the one hand, contradictions. They are descriptions of major social contradictions and conditions of masses of people and ultimately conditions affecting all of humanity. Now, we’ve made the very important statement that these are contradictions that cannot be resolved under the present system of capitalism-imperialism—they cannot be resolved in any way that would be in the interests of the masses of people and ultimately all of humanity. And therefore this is a compelling reason and a fundamental reason why we need the kind of revolution we’re talking about to uproot this system, to break its hold over society and humanity and to bring into being a new system based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a new system of socialism that is part of the worldwide struggle, and works to develop and promote and support that worldwide struggle, ultimately for communism in the world.

Now, for those who want to oppose us, for those who want to say it is not necessary to have that kind of revolution, they have to argue that the things that are encapsulated and concentrated in these 5 Stops are not important, that they aren’t really significant problems. Let them argue that. Or they have to argue: “Well, yes, these are big problems, obviously—only a fool or worse would deny that—but they can all be solved under the present system.” In which case: let’s hear the argument. But it is completely irresponsible either to ignore what’s concentrated in these 5 Stops or to fail to engage the question—if you do recognize how significant they are—to fail to engage the question of whether or not they can actually be resolved under this system or whether it requires a revolution and a radically different system to solve these problems.

We have not come to this position of revolution lightly. We’ve come to it out of a scientific analysis that identifies these major social contradictions—which didn’t just pop out of nowhere, but have been integral parts of the capitalist-imperialist system and have further become accentuated in the present period—a scientific analysis of the magnitude of those contradictions, of those horrors, really, and the scientific analysis that it requires the kind of revolution we’re talking about to deal with those in a way that would be in the interests of the masses of people, not just here but throughout the world, and ultimately in the interests of all of humanity.

So there are these 5 Stops which concentrate these major contradictions of this system, which are unresolvable and are real horrors. And there’s the reality, which I’ve spoken to here—and which, again, for example, on is gone into from many different angles and utilizing many different examples—a world of massive poverty, oppression, exploitation, despoliation of the environment and unnecessary suffering for humanity on a massive scale. This is the world that we actually live in. This is the world we’re actually confronted with. And there is an actual answer to this, a scientifically grounded answer.

So, for all the reasons touched on here and gone into in more depth in THE NEW COMMUNISM, the Interview with Ardea Skybreak, SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, and other works, including a great deal of material available through, it is clear that this system cannot be reformed, cannot be made to function in the interests of the vast majority of humanity, because of the very basic contradictions and dynamics of this system. And once again, we’re back to the basic point: The fundamental contradictions and dynamics of this system, and what this gives rise to in order to perpetuate this, is not something which is incidental or accidental, but something which is rooted in the very nature of the system itself. Here, I refer people, again, to THE NEW COMMUNISM, in particular Part I, the discussion of “Through Which Mode of Production,” and “The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism”; and Part II, the discussion of “The 4 Alls.”

Now, in terms of the possibility of revolution, one big reason people have a hard time seeing this possibility is the inability or difficulty in seeing beyond the permanent necessity of existing conditions or the positive potential of upheaval and sudden dramatic change—a fear of that, rather than a recognition of the possibilities it opens.

I was thinking here of an analogy to the question of evolution in the natural world. Leaving aside the Christian Fascists who are determined to resist science and to promote an anti-scientific approach to the world, many regular people—especially those who haven’t been exposed to and had the chance to learn about the actual scientific explanation of evolution—many ordinary people have a hard time with understanding or accepting evolution, not only because of the influences of reactionary forces like the Christian Fascist fanatics, and so on, but also as part of this, because they have difficulty in actually conceiving of things not in terms of a few years, a few decades, a few centuries, or at most a few millennia, maybe two or three thousand years, but conceiving of things in terms of millions and billions of years, which is how long life has existed, in one form or another, on this planet. If you can’t theoretically conceive of such a vast span of time, then the question of how all these diverse forms could evolve on the earth seems at best perplexing and at worst sort of like impossible. How could all these diverse things...if you’re thinking of how it had to evolve in 25 years instead of 3.5 billion years...I mean people can’t even think about a billion years. So a lot of regular people—I’m making an analogy—a lot of regular people have a hard time conceiving of things in those terms, besides the fact that they’re indoctrinated, once again, with an upside down world view and an errant methodology. This thing about: “Oh, you don’t believe in god. Well, who woke you up this morning?” Well, my alarm clock. But anyway, the whole point of material reality—you know, that you don’t need a god to explain these things which are explainable by scientific means; or if they’re not yet explainable by scientific means, through scientific means the recognition can be achieved of how you would move toward explaining them or what the contradictions are that lie in the way of explaining them. Rather than it all being mysterious and you have to invoke some sort of supernatural force for the simplest of things, like how do you talk or how do you get up in the morning.

So I’m making an analogy here. Besides the importance of that point in its own right. I’m making an analogy to why people have a difficult time—one of the significant reasons, I should say, why they have a difficult time—imagining the possibility of revolution, is because they can’t imagine a radically different situation in which all the things that normally hold, and hold down people, are beginning to fray and tear apart and even break apart. Even the normal functioning of the system—though people are getting a sense of some of that now with this president, this Trump guy, who tweets out things calling somebody in the Congress a sleaze ball or calls him sleazy Congressman so and so. I mean these are not the normal ways that the ruling class has conducted its affairs. And you have Pence always leering behind Trump, looking, as someone said, like one of those child molester priests—leering behind Trump. This is a different way, so this begins to get people to... it shakes people up, begins to cause them to think about... you know, a lot of them, their spontaneous reaction is they want to go back to the norms that they’re used to. But what if all those norms are breaking down on a whole other level, both because of the struggle that’s been called forth in society and because of the way that at the top the rulers of the society are attempting to resolve these things and this is intensifying the conflicts among them as well as the conflicts they have with the masses of people? So, if you can break out of this framework and this blindfold of only things ... once again, the tautological thinking, the round-in-a-circle thinking, that: “Well, you can’t do that because that’s not the way things are done.”

Now, with all of his problems, there were some positive qualities definitely to Eldridge Cleaver, and I remember when, way back in the day, he was being interviewed on PBS, I believe, by one of those bourgeois wise men, David Susskind, and he began to run down the 10-point platform and program, Eldridge did, of the Black Panther Party. And he got only a little ways into it and David Susskind says, “But you can’t do that kind of thing in this society.” And Eldridge immediately responded: “You can’t do that kind of thing in this society—that’s why we need a radically different society.” See, this is the thinking that people have to be liberated into, breaking out of the confines of the self-contained logic that this is the way things are done, so therefore what you’re saying can’t be done because it’s not how things are done. That’s exactly the point—it’s not how things are done. And we have to wage that struggle in the realm of thinking, in the realm of ideology. At the same time, we have to develop the struggle of the people which contributes to people breaking out of that, on the one hand, and also sharpens up the contradictions in society in a positive way, because they need to be sharpened up in a positive way. Not because that’s our thing, but because society needs to be radically transformed, because of these 5 Stops, because of the massive poverty, exploitation, oppression and suffering in the world that’s completely unnecessary, because of what’s happening with the environment. It’s for those reasons that the contradictions in society need to be sharpened up and people need to break out of the way things are done and do them in a way that corresponds to their actual interests.

Now, in terms of looking again at the prospect of revolution, another thing I want to touch on is what we might call: parasitism, paralysis of bourgeois liberalism and reformism, friendly neutrality, and the possibility of revolution.

Let’s take the first part: parasitism. Going back to the ’60s, for example, more than 50 years ago, many people who aren’t completely blind to the realities of things would say... if you think back to the ’60s, people would say: “I want a revolution, too, but you’re never going to have a revolution in this country because there’s too many middle class people who are too well off.” Well, is this a real phenomenon and a real problem? Yes, it is. It’s a heavy weight on the masses of people and a heavy weight against the kind of radical change and the struggle for that radical change that’s needed. And it is owing to the parasitism of this society. Once again, in this land of short attention spans and no memory, where history is somehow anathema and out of bounds, people think that the way things are yesterday at the most—that’s as far back as they go—is the way things always were. You look at this country, for example—it didn’t always have the same kind of gigantic middle class, very large middle class which is relatively well off, although its well-off position has been significantly undermined in the last couple of decades, and that is something to be definitely aware of—and the implications of that which are, again, very contradictory. But if you look back at the history of this country, here again you get another narrative about the immigrants. The Statue of Liberty—good hearted people, when faced with this anti-immigrant hysteria being whipped up by Trump and these people, will say: “Well look, you know this is a country of immigrants, we’ve always welcomed immigrants.” Well yes, they were welcomed when they could be viciously exploited for several generations coming into New York, living in the Lower East Side in incredibly rat-infested, miserable conditions, working...I mean where did we get International Women’s Day? From out of the struggle of particularly women workers in their horrific conditions in New York City and representative of what was going on in the country as a whole. Where did we get May Day, International Workers Day? Out of the struggle of people who were viciously exploited, many of whom, as in the case of the women workers I was speaking of, were immigrants. And it was really only after World War 2 and the U.S. emerging relatively... see people don’t know anything about—I’m sorry, let me just say bluntly: people don’t know shit about anything in this country. For many of them, it’s not their fault. Some of them, it is because they could know and they don’t, and they don’t want to know or they resist knowing or they refuse to find out. And they’re too busy with...what is it Paul Simon called it even 30 years ago? Constant staccato of information... little bits of information constantly coming at you all the time—but no depth, no digging beneath the surface of the information to see what it really is all about and what larger framework and underlying basis it fits into and is grounded in.

So people don’t know anything. You know, I have to say I got furious the other day—just to engage in a personal indulgence—I got furious when I watched Kenneth Branagh on Stephen Colbert talking about this movie about Dunkirk, going on and on. First of all, Dunkirk was a fucking rout. The British Army got routed and had to flee by any means it could back to the island. And second of all, he goes on to talk about: “If this hadn’t happened, if the British Army had been destroyed at Dunkirk, the whole war would have been different, but because they escaped, because of the assistance of your great country, the history of things....” There are so many fucking things wrong with that, including, hey, you know what? Guess who broke the backbone of the fucking Nazi Wehrmacht, the Nazi war machine? It wasn’t fucking England, and it wasn’t fucking the U.S. It was the Soviet Union, and anyone who’s done any scholarship knows that. But nobody in this country knows it, and nobody is gonna tell them except for a few of us. But the point is, people don’t know anything about... why did the U.S. emerge out of World War 2 the way it did? Because it was, essentially, completely unscathed in World War 2—a few hundred thousand casualties, one thing at Pearl Harbor, nothing directly on the mainland. Europe was completely devastated. The Soviet Union lost between 20 and probably 30 million people. Its whole industrial base was destroyed. Why did things take shape in Eastern Europe and in Korea, and so on, the way they did? Did that have anything to do with—oh a forbidden word—history? Did it did have anything to do with what emerged out of these conditions? Did the character of U.S. society, the “physiognomy” of U.S. society—that is, the nature of the social classes and social groups and how they relate to each other—did that have anything to do with all that? Or is it somehow just the way it’s always been? I’m giving vent to a lot of frustration here, but we really have to not just be frustrated. We have to go out and really struggle to get, once again, a dialectical and historical materialist understanding of where did this parasitism come from? And it is contradictory—the conditions of the middle class, they are being undermined. People in that middle class, even ones who are relatively well off economically—who are benefitting with some of the spoils, the plunder of the whole vast international network of sweatshops that U.S. imperialism could not do without—even those people have better aspirations, because they live in a society full of contradiction and struggle about what the social relations and basic relations should be.

So, on the one hand, there is the parasitism, but it’s also in contradiction to other tendencies among people which ultimately are rooted in the contradictory nature of their conditions and more broadly the contradictory nature of society and ultimately the world—which, despite everything I just said, people are not completely ignorant of, although there is an astounding amount of ignorance, in certain particular spheres especially, having to do with the nature of society, history, and so on.

But in moving toward a revolutionary situation, one thing to understand: It’s not necessary for all the middle class to be enthusiastically leaping into the ranks of the revolution. You won’t make a revolution without at least good numbers of the youth in the middle class becoming part of the revolution, but for many it’s going to be a matter of their recognizing that what they had been used to, and what they may be even desperately yearning to have back, is not going to exist anymore. The norms they want reestablished are not going to be reestablished, and norms that are in conflict with what they want and what they think constitutes a society worth living in are going to be instituted, and the bourgeois liberalism and reformism that’s put forward in various forms—from the “left” groups, from the regular bourgeois politicians—are proven to be completely bankrupt and cannot deal with the new conditions that are emerging. This is where you get, much more broadly than those who will be actively involved, everything from support to friendly neutrality, which is very important. People decide that, at a minimum, they’re not going to help the powers-that-be and the oppressive ruling class suppress the revolution as it emerges.

So yes, this is a big phenomenon. Anyone who thinks about making revolution in the U.S. seriously, knows that this phenomenon, among others—there’s the power of the ruling class and its military, its repressive apparatus overall, its massive machinery of destruction and death—yes, all that’s real. But also very real is this weight of the middle class, even with the undermining of the conditions of significant sections of the middle class. It’s all very contradictory, and we have to approach this strategically and not in a determinist way which looks at it, once again, like “all that’s possible is what is.” But do we look beneath the surface? Do we see the contradictions? Do we see the motion and development? Do we see where...the possibilities that might lie ahead, the contradictory directions things might go, and how we might—and need to, and in fact, must—act on that to transform it in the direction it needs to go in?

So, in terms of the possibility of revolution, you’re never going see it if you don’t break out of the self-contained logic and the determinist logic of just looking at things as they are and then getting caught up in thinking that the way things are is the only way they could be. Why? Because that’s the way they are. Now, when you state it like that, it seems like an obvious tautology, but that’s the thinking that most people are caught up in. “Well, you can’t do things that way.” Why not? “Because that’s not how things are done.” Why aren’t they done that way? “Well, because they’re done differently.” I mean when you break it down, that’s really what a lot of people’s arguments are. What if we don’t accept that that’s the way things have to be? What if there are material conditions in the world that say that there’s a possibility for them to be radically different? Then what?

Now, the next thing I want to talk about and touch on briefly is “How We Can Win” as an actual living guideline and working document. And to stress this I would ...I would formulate this—to stress how this needs to be approached as a living guideline and working document, I would put it this way: “How We Can Win” needs to be taken up and applied and constantly gone back to and dug into more deeply—but taken up and applied all while that’s going on—in the way of working back from the third part, consistently applying the second part, on the basis of the first part.

Now, what do I mean by that? The third part speaks to how we could actually defeat them when the times come, under radically different conditions with the emergence of a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions—just to emphasize that. But projecting to the possibility of those conditions, it talks about how we could defeat them and lays out certain concentrated principles. The point, after all, is to make revolution, and making revolution does require defeating them. So you have to work back from that. That’s what we’re going for, and if we don’t do that, everything else we do ultimately—not at every point along the way, but ultimately, in the final analysis—amounts to nothing. It amounts to tinkering around and leaving the system the way it is. So we have to actually get to the point where there is a real chance to win, with millions fighting for revolution in a revolutionary situation.

So working back from that, we have to be consistently applying the second part of “How We Can Win”—what it is that we need to do now. How do we go about implementing a strategy in its various dimensions and approaching this strategically, as strategic commanders, to wield this as a strategy so that all the component parts are mutually reinforcing each other on a strategic level? And what’s that grounded in? It’s not grounded in some fanciful idea that it would be nice to have a different society, and because that would be nice we ought to subject everybody to everything that has to go into achieving that, including all the upheaval and all the radical disruption, and yes, all the destruction that will be brought down overwhelmingly by the forces of the old order viciously resisting. No, it’s not that. No, it’s not that we had a nice idea and we’re going to subject everybody to all that because of that nice idea which has no basis in reality. No, it’s because we need a revolution, and why we need a revolution—which comes back to what I was saying earlier in terms of the world as it is, what’s concentrated in the 5 Stops, the horrors of all that, the very real peril to humanity that it’s posing, and the possibility of a radical transformation to something that’s much, much better. It’s not just much better but it’s better in qualitative terms, it’s a whole different kind of world—the basis for which exists within the contradictions of the very world we live in now, including the people who are caught up in those contradictions.

So it’s a matter of consistently wielding this as a living guideline and working document, working back from the third part, consistently applying the second part, on the basis of the first part—on the basis of why there is a necessity and possibility for revolution in the first place, and the desirability. And in this context I just want to say very briefly a few words about Chicago.

We’ve concentrated in Chicago because it has become a concentration point objectively of very important social confrontations and social contradictions. The ruling class, as such, is seizing on it as a bludgeon for greatly heightening its murderous repression that’s carried out among the masses of people who are concentrated in the inner cities in particular, but also as an ideological weapon that it’s been working on for decades—which is not very different from, and is essentially the same as, what I quoted from that wife and campaign manager of that Congressman back at the end of the 19th century—that these are a bunch of savage animals. And we even hear some of the masses telling us: “They’re too far gone, try to get the five-year-olds. These kids, by the time they’re teenagers, they’re too far gone.” No, they’re not, but it’s going to be a very intense, fierce struggle to win them to revolution. But you keep know, for decades they’ve been portraying these masses in this way through all the culture, through all the pig shows on TV, through everything the politicians have done. They portray these masses as savage beasts, like this woman said.

And I kept thinking to myself: How the fuck do they keep getting these juries that let these pigs off, or refuse to convict them, one after another, when the evidence of cold-blooded murder is overwhelming and right in front of your face? It’s partly who they get on juries, and it’s partly how the prosecution doesn’t prosecute and accepts the terms, the very narrow terms, of whether the cop had a legitimate fear for his life or whatever—which has racism written into it and institutionalized. “If I’m a cop and I hate Black people, well, then every time I see one of these young Black youth, I’m afraid of them because I hate them, and therefore I can do anything I want to them.” And then the prosecutors accept that and try to work with that basic logic, try to work within it. And you know what the judges... how they’re slanting things. But still you’ve got these juries—how do they not convict, even with all that? Because people who get on these juries, in particular, have been conditioned for years and decades on how to look at this: “If we don’t let these cops do what they gotta do, these savage beasts are gonna run wild, they’re gonna come in our neighborhood and rape the women and burn down everything and steal everything and murder everybody.” This is how they do this. They’re using Chicago as a big battering ram and a big sledgehammer ideologically to go further with that as part of, in practice, greatly heightening the repression, the murderous repression. It’s nothing less than murderous repression with genocidal, yes, real genocidal dimensions.

And so we’ve recognized this. This is a gauntlet that’s been thrown down by the ruling class, and is objectively a gauntlet that we have to pick up and transform. And there is nobody else who’s going to do this—not because of some sort of human nature that we have that’s different from other people, but because people don’t have the science. They don’t have the science to recognize what the actual situation is, what the contradictory situation is. Yes, what the very negative factors are, including in what people are into—not just what they do but how they think, and what needs to be really compellingly struggled with in a very fierce way to rupture them out of that and to get them to actually rise to the potential they have to be emancipators of humanity, to be a backbone of a revolution whose goal is the emancipation of all humanity. And furthermore, having entered into this, there is no way that we are not going to fight through on it. We have to fight through on it because of what it represents objectively, which I was just speaking to. And, on top of that, we have to fight through on it because we’ve gone to the masses and said we’re going to do so. And goddamn it, we’re not going to not do that!

Now, that doesn’t solve the problems. That’s just a basic point of fundamental orientation, and then we have to go to work on the problems—which we are. But I will say, on the positive side, if and as we make even beginning qualitative breakthroughs to bringing forward a critical mass, particularly among the youth, who are won to this revolution and don’t just put the shirt on one day—you know, “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” and take it off the next—which is something—but actually get all the way in with this and are really not only willing but fired up to go out and struggle with everybody else about “this is what we need to be with,” and have the vision—a scientifically grounded vision, not a vision that’s cooked up in somebody’s head which has nothing to do with reality and is in conflict with reality, but a scientifically grounded vision—of how we could have a radically different world in which people don’t have to be put through this, all this unnecessary suffering and horror that they’re put through every day, not just the people here but people all over the world. As we make real breakthroughs on that, then, you know, the struggle is going to intensify a thousand-fold. And we have to be prepared for that. We have to be, as we once said, down for the whole thing. We have to be ready to fight that all the way through. It’s not the whole of the revolution by any means, but it is a crucial concentration point of the fight for revolution in this society and in this world. And even all over the world people know about Chicago.

So think of the positive side. What’s it going to mean if the banner of revolution—in a real sense, and real people actually raising and fighting for that banner among others like them and going out more broadly in society and fighting for it—what’s it going to mean positively as that comes forward and the fight is waged not to have it suppressed? I just want to emphasize: this is the stakes of this battle. It’s not everything we’re doing, it’s not even everything we’re doing among the basic masses, but it is a concentration point and carries tremendous stakes and implications.

Next, I want to say a few things about potential civil war between two sections of the people. I notice that the reactionaries, the fascists, are constantly talking about this and gearing up for it in a real way. And if things more fully develop, this is going to be more and more a feature, not just of the future, but in the present struggle. And it already is. I noticed, in reading reports about the July 15th Refuse Fascism demonstrations, the question had to be fought out: Are people afraid to come out because if you go to the Trump star (or whatever it is) in LA, the fascists are going to be there to defend it? In Houston they’re saying (the fascists are saying) they’re going to come armed to confront the demonstrations. This is going to increase more and more. And are people going to fight through that and recognize that if you capitulate to this, things are only going to get worse? They’ve got to be won to stand up to it. So this is in embryonic forms now, in terms of the potential civil war between the different sections of people—the reactionary, and the positive and ultimately revolutionary side of the people. But how this gets fought out now—I don’t mean fought out in military terms, just to be clear. But how it gets fought out politically now and whether people stand up to this, and whether, yes, they defend themselves if they’re attacked, not initiate attack but defend themselves if they’re attacked, whether they refuse to back down—carries real stakes and has real consequences in terms of where society is going to go and whether, first of all, this fascist regime could be driven out, and then beyond that whether a radically different society could be brought into being through revolution.

And within this I do want to say a few words about the role of the youth, especially from the basic masses. Now, I know Farrakhan has this thing, always posing as the general whose army is not ready: “I want to lead you”... (He also says, “Justice or else”—but it’s really or else nothing.... But, anyway he says,) “I want to lead you, but you’re not ready to be led. You’ve got to stop doing all this bad stuff you’re doing because I can’t lead you. You’re not ready to be led. You’ve gotta get out of all this bad stuff and get into all this reactionary shit that I’m promoting. And then I’ll lead you.” Where is he going to lead you?—that’s another question. But there is a real phenomenon. You could issue a call to these youth who are killing each other: “Stop doing that, let’s go out and take on these real fuckers who need to be taken on.” But that would not lead to a good result, at this point, because people need to be transformed, people need to fight the power and transform themselves and transform whole groups of people in increasing waves for revolution. And it’s not the Farrakhan thing: “First you have to be perfect, according to my perverted vision of what’s perfect, and then maybe I’ll lead you somewhere where you don’t need to and shouldn’t go. But you’re not ready yet.” It’s not that, but there does have to be transformation of people.

They have to take up the Points of Attention for the Revolution, including the ones that really sharply concentrate things among the masses—like the second one, around women, if I remember correctly. And the sixth one. How do we break out of this revenge? I saw an interesting...I was reading an article about Mosul in The New York Times Magazine and this question of revenge came up with one of know, it’s perverse... it’s one of the Iraqi military officers who’s waged this battle of devastation and destruction on Mosul. But the question of revenge came up, because everybody’s had people killed by all the sides of this religious sectarian conflict. And one of these guys said: “We have to put aside the revenge, otherwise everybody will be dead.” And there is a certain point to that, not in the way he’s making it, but in terms of the masses, in particular the youth. We have to break out of that—not just so everybody won’t be dead, but so we can get to a whole different place in this country and in the world. And on the basis of that, then these youth can come to the forefront. On the basis of fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution, they can come forward and be a force who can be in the forefront of beating back these fascists. I don’t mean attacking them. Again, the sixth point is we don’t initiate violence. In the present stage of things, we do not initiate violence and we’re against all violence among the people and against the people. But that doesn’t mean people don’t have a right to defend themselves if they are not the ones who initiate the violence, if violence is... if illegitimate violence is directed against them, they have a right to defend themselves. And they have a right to be even... besides the question of physical defense when attacked, there’s a question of being a bold revolutionary force that gives backbone to people, which is fundamentally even more important. So that’s something else to think about in terms of how we struggle with people and what lofty sights we raise their vision to.

And I want to say a few words, before moving on to the final point in this section, about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic. We often say it’s the systematic application of the new communism, a sweeping vision and concrete guideline for a radically different and truly liberating society and world. And this is true. But this has to really be understood as how and why that’s so, and has to be taken up as such.

In this context, I want to read the following from THE NEW COMMUNISM, speaking about this Constitution: “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.” And here’s a very important sentence: “So this Constitution is set up to provide the basic methods and means to deal with that contradiction....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.”

I want to underscore this sentence: “This Constitution is set up to provide the basic methods and means to deal with that contradiction.” And really grasping what is being said in a very concentrated way there is really crucial to understanding the full dimensions of what this Constitution is actually doing and what it is—what’s both the heart of it and the many different particular dimensions of it, and how they all fit together and are all serving that purpose, of dealing with that very basic contradiction in all of its complexity.

And just a word on how this Constitution actually got developed. At a certain point, I did go back and read everything from the Magna Carta to Plato’s Republic and the U.S. Constitution, to the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and other similar documents, and then some constitutions from the Soviet Union when it was socialist and China when it was socialist. And that was important—that’s what I did right before sitting down to actually wage the struggle to work through the contradictions in theory and embody them in this Constitution. But even more fundamental than that, what I did was repeatedly go back, over the course of a number of years actually, to what I could identify as some of the main contradictions that such a constitution needed to deal with, including this one that I just pinpointed, reading from THE NEW COMMUNISM. And, in particular, how does solid core and elasticity on the basis of the solid core—how should it be applied in a constitution of this kind? How does it apply to the state? How does it apply to civil society and the relations among people, as well as their relations with the state? How do you actually institutionalize the leadership that’s necessary and the understanding concentrated in such a leadership that is necessary in order for society to go where it needs to go, and at the same time institutionalize the provision of the means for many different people of diverse viewpoints and inclinations to be part of this process, while the process continues to go where it needs to go? These were the contradictions I was wrestling with repeatedly.

I even had little diagrams, which then got translated into concrete provisions in the Constitution—like, okay, here’s the Party, a diagram for the Party to ...what are the institutions the Party really needed to lead? The legal apparatus, the courts, the executive, the institutions of defense and security. But how do you do that in a way that isn’t just what we’re accused of doing? For example, Ajith in his polemic says: “Well, this stuff about the Party being... has to be faithful to the Constitution or has to adhere to the Constitution—that doesn’t mean anything, because the Party can suspend the Constitution.” Well, no, it doesn’t actually say that. The Party itself cannot in this Constitution take that step. As referred to under the rights of the people, Point H there, where it says under emergency situations, where literally the existence of the Republic is at stake, certain rights could be suspended, there are a lot of provisions for how that has to be done in a certain way and how it has to be overseen, so it isn’t just arbitrary. But it isn’t the Party that does that. There are institutionalized mechanisms for how that is done that is not just the Party acting unilaterally and acting willfully and arbitrarily on the basis that it doesn’t like something that’s happened. So a lot of struggle went on with how do you actually handle the solid core and elasticity on the basis of the solid core—how do you actually institutionalize it so there’s a very strong basis for things to be led where they need to be go and, on the other hand, for there to be this whole process of a lot of ferment, a lot of diverse thinking, a lot of diversity in culture, even down to the level of how these things will be supported that are oppositional to the direction things need to go in.

And if you go through this Constitution you can see the tension there that’s being worked with—the objective tension of how do you handle that contradiction. That’s what’s so important about this Constitution—that it’s dealing with that contradiction that I spoke to, reading from THE NEW COMMUNISM, but it’s dealing with it in all the manifold ways and many different ways this is going to arise, anticipating as much as possible—because, of course, everything can’t be anticipated—but anticipating as much as possible, and to a very great degree, all these kinds of contradictions, specific contradictions that really get back to the question of solid core and elasticity on the basis of the solid core. How does society go where it needs to go, but then this is not a process of force-marching it there, and there’s a lot of diversity and a lot of wrangling and even a lot of opposition along the way, but it all can go where it needs to go if things are done correctly. It’s not a matter of institutionalizing in the sense that it becomes automatic, but the institutional means are provided for how to struggle through those contradictions. And this really has to be understood. I’m going a little bit into how I approached this because I think it shines further light on what is actually embodied in this Constitution and how important it is, what it’s actually dealing with, and the whole radically different way than this has been dealt with before. Not that it’s rejecting all the past experience (of socialist society) or saying that was principally negative, but it is a radical leap, and it is in some ways breaking with some things, as we’ve said. So I just want to emphasize that point, and it’s really important to wield this Constitution with that kind of understanding and to fight through all the petty objections and whatever to actually get people to engage: This is the kind of society we’re going for, this is what we intend to do. And it isn’t us imposing our unilateral will on everybody, but it does have a direction to it, because that’s a direction things need to go, and at the same time it is envisioning and embodying and institutionalizing a living process full of contradiction and full of diversity and opposition and struggle as a necessary part of that process.

Now, before moving on to the final section here, I want to talk about what is posed by the Trump/Pence fascist regime—how to oppose this, and how this relates to the fundamental strategic goal of revolution.

First of all, identifying the Trump/Pence regime is important. I’ll come back to that a little bit more and how that comes up in the actual work and struggle in Refuse Fascism and what it’s aiming for. One thing I think we should understand, an important part of this whole picture and we can understand it partly in terms of historical analogy, is what we could call—since Trump is the “master of the deal” according to him—Trump’s deal with the Christian Fascists. You see, I think it’s pretty important for us to understand what happened here with Trump and particularly this dimension of it. If you look back over Trump, he used to be pro-choice, a lot of his views were not in line with those of the Republican Party and in particular the Christian Fascists. The racism, the crude misogyny—yes. But a lot of it was out of line with their position. And, at a certain point, there was a recognition from the two sides of some important things from their points of view. Trump, I think it’s fair to say, could not have won the election if the Christian Fascists had not only—not only if they had opposed him, but if they’d been unenthusiastic about him. And you would think: well, why him? Ted Cruz is much more in line with these Christian Fascists, and he’s much more of a Christian Fascist lunatic himself. He’s right in the heart of that stuff. Why not Ted Cruz, from their point of view? Because at a certain point—and this is spoken to in The Coming Civil War articles—you can’t keep dangling as bait before these fascist forces, and in particular the Christian Fascists, about you’re going to do this and that, like get rid of abortion and suppress the gays and all this kind of stuff. You can’t keep dangling that and never deliver on it, and at a certain point if you do, they’re going to break away from that. And in a sense that’s what has happened. Trump ran within the Republican primaries, but he was not really of the Republican Party. And what Trump represented to these forces—which is why, even when the Hollywood Access tape pussy-grabbing thing came out, they didn’t turn against him (you know, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and all these others)—because they recognized: “Here is somebody who is going outside of the whole rules and the way this is done in the ‘swamp of Washington,’ who will actually carry through on this stuff. So even though Ted Cruz is more like what we’re about, he’s too much been a part of those dynamics. Trump is outside of that. Trump will actually carry through on these things.” And Trump, for his part, recognized that if he didn’t get this force behind him, he was not going to be able to do it.

The historical analogy this calls to mind is the deal Hitler made with the military in 1934. Hitler came to power, but for a long time the military was not really under his command. It still was under the more traditional command. And at a certain point Trump (I mean Hitler) struck a deal in 1934 with the military. The military would come under his command, and in return he would smash the Storm Troopers, the SA, the brown shirts—which he did. And there’s a certain analogy here to Trump and the Christian Fascists, that Trump took up their program. Look who he nominated to the Supreme Court, a Christian Fascist lunatic, Gorsuch. And look who he’s nominating.... he’s doing what he said he would do, as far as the main programmatic things. He’s delivering what these other people wouldn’t carry through and deliver for them because they were still “playing the game” of bourgeois politics as it’s been carried out. So this is an important thing to understand.

Pence is obviously a critical linchpin in this, in this alliance, this uniting of what’s represented by Trump—his own personal ambitions and everything bound up with that—and the Christian Fascists, and programmatically what he (Trump) has taken up in order to get where he’s going and in order to keep going with it. And this is why the regular bourgeois institutions, especially those more in the center of things, like CNN, the Democratic Party and so on, they keep bringing in historical analogies which don’t pan out or don’t pan out completely. You know, they keep saying: “He can’t do that, that’s not the way things are done.” But then he does it, because he’s not playing by those rules. He’s not working within the norms as they’ve been. He is going directly up against them, precisely as an important part of what he’s doing. I mean who ever heard of somebody tweeting all this stuff—not just the asinine stuff but the actual really fascist stuff, including attacks on other people within the ruling structures. You know, Comey’s a nut job, Adam Schiff is a sleazy Democratic politician. I mean, who heard of anybody doing that—that’s outside the norms. This is an important part of what Trump is doing. And Pence is a real linchpin of this, cementing the Christian Fascists—or hinging them together, if you want to continue the analogy: Trump and what he represents and particularly the Christian Fascists. And it’s worth pointing out what was quoted from Andrew Sullivan way back in the Clinton supplement, The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy...And Why Clinton the Democrats Are No Answer, where it says: nowadays some are saying the religious fundamentalist element of this right-wing thing is not the going thing, it’s the fiscal conservatives who want to cut social programs, cut benefits to people, slash taxes for the rich, and so on—those are the ones who have the initiative. And it was pointed out: Well, that may be a very temporary thing, but in an overall sense these Christian Fascists are the ones more setting the terms within this whole fascist thing. And Sullivan pointed out: Even people who are fiscal conservatives—this is writing way back almost 20 years ago, but it’s even more true now—even the ones who are fiscal conservatives have to wrap up their program in this language of this Christian fundamentalism. So this is an important point to understand. And I’ll come back to the whole question of: Well, if we get rid of Trump, then we’ll get Pence, and that might be even worse.

I think it’s important to identify what we can call the triad of fascism, that is, the unapologetic aggressive assertion of white supremacy, male supremacy and American supremacy (or racism, misogyny and bellicose xenophobic jingoism, if you want to use other terminology), reinforced with defiantly—not apologetically, defiantly—ignorant and belligerent opposition to science and rational thought, combined with equally ignorant and belligerent assertion of the “superiority of western civilization,” as evidenced in Trump’s recent speech in Poland. And once again, referring back to what I read from Jackson Lears’ The Rebirth of a Nation, speaking about things at the turn of the previous century, more than 100 years ago, you can see sharply manifested the intertwining and mutual reinforcement of all of this.

Along with this, we have the fascist thuggery—both physical thuggery and intellectual thuggery: mindless storm troopers, coupled with perverted pretensions of victimhood and irrational rationalizations for atrocities. Think about it: You have these storm troopers—you know, the Oath Keepers, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the rest of these people, the Proud Boys, or whatever they’re called—out there in the streets carrying guns, and so on. And you have the NRA videos basically calling for people to engage in civil war against anything positive in society. But you also have the Ann Coulters and others out there with their intellectual thuggery, presenting at one and the same time the Christian Fascists and other fascists as victims. Somehow these people—whose representatives are in power, with a fascist regime implementing its program—somehow they’re the victims, they’re the Christians in the Coliseum with the lions being turned loose on them. Why? Well, there is this book by this guy—his name is, it’s not Jimmy Kimmel, it’s another Kimmel (Michael Kimmel)—called Angry White Men. And he made a statement which I think speaks to a lot of this sort of mobilized resentment, this frustrated entitlement. He said: If you’ve been in a situation—speaking about men who feel aggrieved these days because “the bitches are getting everything their way”—if you’re used to having everything 100% in your favor, and then it’s cut down to 75%, I guess it feels like you’re being persecuted. And that’s essentially what’s happening here. There have been certain concessions to the struggle against things like white supremacy, and patriarchy in different forms, and so on and so forth. So this feels to these people like their birthright of superiority—even if they’re not wealthy and powerful, all of them, some of them are—their birthright is being undercut and diminished and destroyed by these minor concessions. I think this is very important to understand. Then there’s the irrational rationalizations for atrocity. I mean just look at Ann Coulter—pure irrationality but in the service of all kinds of horrendous things—advocacy of horrendous acts: Go in (to Muslim countries), and kill all their leaders, convert them all to Christianity—on and on and on—you can cite these things endlessly.

So I think it is very important to understand this phenomenon. But I also want to stress, again, the importance of not being cowed by it, but boldly countering these fascist thugs in every sphere—including the intellectual sphere and including the physical storm troopers—but, at the same time, doing so as part of a broader movement to drive out this fascist regime, and from our standpoint, in terms of what’s fundamentally needed, part of advancing the 3 Prepares: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Fight All-out for Revolution With a Real Chance of Winning.

It’s very important, in connection with all this and overall, to correctly handle the contradiction between the essence of the bourgeois capitalist state, the dictatorial essence of that, and the appearance of democracy—which, on the other hand, the fascists are moving to resolve in their own way by getting rid of the appearance and moving to grotesque outright dictatorship. And in all this, once again, we can see the long shadow of slavery and the continuing oppression of Black people playing a pivotal role, including in fascist rule today. Among this is its expression through the normal electoral set-up. This includes the whole voter suppression thing, which has taken another leap with this commission supposedly investigating voter fraud, which is really a commission for further voter suppression. And you can see it in the skewing of the electoral process to favor the conservative—that is, the reactionary and fascist-inclined—areas and forces. I saw on one of these programs—I think it was on MSNBC—somebody was saying that there is an analysis that by the year 2030 (or something like that, within a couple of decades anyway) 30% of the population will be represented by 70% of the Senate, and 70% of the population will be represented by 30%. This is an important phenomenon, because is it necessary for them to do away with all the electoral processes? It may not be necessary, because things are skewed toward these rural areas, and small states which tend to be highly rural as well (in many cases, not in all cases). Then you don’t necessarily have to do away with the whole electoral process. And that’s an additional reason—not the most essential reason, but an additional reason—why this whole Democratic Party strategy of “We’re going to flip all these elections in 2018 and win the White House back in 2020,” is out of line with what’s actually happening. I’m not saying they couldn’t possibly win an election, if there is an election in those years, but there’s something going on here. Which, once again, if you think about what led to the electoral college in the first place, and the way the representation in the Senate is set up, and on top of that the way the Congressional districts have been gerrymandered so that sometimes you have like one district... you have a lot of Black people in an area, they’re overwhelmingly in one district, and then all the other districts are the white people in the area... all this kind of thing is part of what they’ve been building up for decades now, which is taking another leap.

And we have to understand, and struggle for people to understand, the straight-up Nazi mentality of this fascism and its consciously genocidal—not only implications but intentions. I go back to that comment, once again, by that “sleazy Congressman,” Adam Schiff. I remember seeing him talking about the original Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act, or whatever they call it) when it was passed. One of his constituents came up to him and asked him how he voted on it, and he said he voted for it, for Obamacare. And his constituent is obviously displeased and asks him: “Why’d you vote for it?” He gave a number of reasons, and then he said: “Well, and besides, one of the main reasons is that people who otherwise couldn’t afford health care can now get it.” Then this guy said: “And you think that’s a good thing?” Adam Schiff said: “Yes, I do. Don’t you?” And the guy said: “No! If they can’t afford it, they shouldn’t have it.” Now, think about the implications of this kind on mentality that’s been built up and primed among sections of the people into a fascist force. This depraved world view that certain types of people—including obviously Black people, other oppressed peoples, but also old people, sick people, women and so on, especially ones who want to have birth control and abortion—that these are people who are seen by these fascist forces as a drain and a stain on society and civilization, and who, therefore, deserve to die (or, what is the same thing, do not deserve to live or to be assisted to live).

There’s a great deal concentrated in and great importance to this statement which appears regularly on

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent. We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This is extremely important, and it was very heartening to read about what happened in L.A. when the Trump fascist people came out and were yelling: “U.S.A., U.S.A.,” and the people who were there with Refuse Fascism were led to chant: “Humanity first! Humanity first!”—which drowned out, and actually in the short run silenced, these fascists.

Now, it is also important to go on with the second part of this statement which says:

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

The Democrats, and the section of the ruling class generally aligned with them, do not and cannot provide any answer to this fascism that is in the interests of the people, of humanity, because they are part of the same system which has created the conditions that gave rise to and fostered this fascism, and they share with the fascist section of the ruling class fundamental interests and assumptions, not least grotesque American chauvinism. This repeatedly comes out from all these institutions of the media and the Democratic Party. And all you have to do is think back to the 2016 Democratic Party Convention that nominated that hawk Hillary Clinton and think how this got concentrated, when not only was there militarism and “U.S.A., U.S.A.” emanating from the stage, but then this got concentrated when some of the people from Oregon, I believe it was, at a certain point, in opposition to all this jingoism and chauvinism, began to chant, “No War, No War, No War,” and they were drowned out by the mass of the delegates yelling, “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.” So just think about that.

Or think about the question of the fundamental lie of American society—the fundamental lie that “you can make it if you try.” Now, think about this: In the middle of the election, a Trump campaign functionary in Ohio was forced to resign—even a Trump campaign functionary was forced to resign—because she said: If you’re Black and in America today and you’re not making it, it’s your own fault, you aren’t trying hard enough, you’re not working hard enough. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the essence of what she said. She had to resign from the Trump campaign because of that. That’s because she put it in baldly negative terms, openly blaming the people. But I would like somebody to explain to me: What is the difference in logic between that and Barack Obama’s statement in his victory speech in the 2012 election when he said: The great thing about America is if you work hard you can succeed. What is the difference in substance, in the essence of what’s being said, between that and what this woman in Ohio in the Trump campaign had to resign because she said? It’s exactly the same statement, except one is put in very negative terms, and the other is put in very “positive, hopeful” terms by the man of the “audacity of hope.” But it’s exactly the same message, because what is the logic of: If you work hard in America and do the right things, you can succeed? The logic is: If you’re not succeeding, you’re not doing the right things and not working hard—which is exactly what the woman from the Trump campaign said and had to resign over. So you can see a number—we could go through others, but I am running out of time, so I won’t—but there are many other examples in which they share fundamental assumptions because of the very nature of the system that they represent.

So, in sum on this, even as they do have real and in some aspects very acute differences and conflicts with the fascist section of the ruling class, including over the norms of political rule, they are an expression and an instrument of the same capitalist-imperialist system which produces daily horrors for humanity on a massive scale and which has spewed forth this fascism as a response to a situation that has resulted, above all and most fundamentally, from the basic contradictions and dynamics of this very system that all these politicians and political forces represent and serve.

Now, many have raised: If we drive out Trump—here I want speak to this—then we’ll just get Pence, and if anything he is even worse. Here it’s worth referring back to what was said earlier about the deal between Trump and the Christian Fascists, which Pence symbolizes and whose outlook and program he aggressively spreads and fights for, that of the Christian Fascists. But it’s important to understand that it’s not a matter of just driving out Trump and getting Pence. That way of seeing things, once again, reflects still too much being confined within, and weighed down by, the normal way of seeing and doing things, which is precisely the trap that people have to break out of in their millions and millions. It is a matter not of getting rid of Trump and getting Pence, but it is a matter of driving out the whole Trump/Pence regime. It is a matter of a massive and sustained political mobilization and resistance from below. It is a matter of changing the whole political landscape, the whole political situation, culture and atmosphere in society. If, and as, this begins to happen on the scale and with the determination that is needed, this, in turn, will have significant repercussions among the ruling political forces, creating or deepening cracks and divisions among them and forcing at least sections of the “liberal” ruling class forces to pretend to recognize the legitimacy of what this mass mobilization is demanding, while at the same time seeking to co-opt it and bring it back within the normal and “acceptable” channels and positions. This, in turn, must be responded to by seizing on the further openings that are created by all this, to draw even greater numbers of people into the massive and sustained mobilization. And this overall dynamic must be continued, amplified and accelerated toward the goal of actually driving out this regime before it can fully consolidate its rule and implement its program. All this will be necessary and crucial in order to drive out this regime, and driving out this whole regime in this way would create more favorable conditions for bringing about even further positive change in the interests of not just people in this country who are sick to death of this regime and refuse to accept a fascist America, but of all humanity.

The last thing on this point: there’s the question of what is the relationship between the principal objective now of driving out this fascist regime and the fundamental objective of the revolution we need. Here we have to speak very briefly to Naomi Klein and her book No is Not Enough. Now, it’s very significant that she had to put out a book with that title, even though she didn’t put the exclamation point on the NO. It’s very significant she had to speak to this NO. And what is the answer to that? The answer is, first of all: NO is necessary, vitally necessary. Driving out this regime, in other words, is critical at this point. At the same time, no, it is not enough. And the fact is—which we, again, going back to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, have to be bringing to people in a very bold and vigorous way—that there is a real, viable radical alternative beyond just driving out this regime: the new communism, the revolution it is the foundation for, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic it has brought forth.

In conclusion on this point, we can go back to the conclusion of the Weimar Republic article and what it says there: that the attack by fascist forces on the Weimar Republic, especially when these fascist forces are in power, is something that has to be opposed; but what needs to be brought forward, fundamentally and ultimately, is not the Weimar Republic, or an even more grotesque and murderous form of what is represented by the Weimar Republic—that is, the bourgeois-democratic form of bourgeois dictatorship and the capitalist-imperialist system it enforces—but the radical alternative represented by revolution, represented and embodied in the new society, the new society represented and embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, and the ultimate goal of a communist world. That is what fundamentally and ultimately needs to replace the Weimar Republic—and, at this point, the road to that lies through driving out this regime and then carrying forward the struggle toward that goal of revolution and a radically new society.



Part 4: Once More on the Crucial Role of Leadership

Here, I refer people, in addition to what I’m going to say now, to the fourth part of THE NEW COMMUNISM.

As a matter of fundamental orientation and approach, what is needed are emancipators of humanity, “on fire for revolution” and wanting revolution badly enough to approach it scientifically; propagating, and fighting, consistently, boldly to win people to this revolution; not tailing but leading people, including through comradely but compelling struggle, to carry forward “Fight the power, and Transform the People, for Revolution,” and advance the “3 Prepares.”

In this context, I want to talk about something that is spoken to in one of the sections of Part 4 of THE NEW COMMUNISM—what’s referred to as another kind of pyramid. I want to speak to this both because it’s important and also because I have the sense that, at least in some ways, there’s been a misrepresentation (or a misunderstanding and misrepresentation) of what’s being said there. The point isn’t just that when you are engaging in political work and discussion and struggle with various class forces you have to never forget what it is you are standing on and what it is you represent in the fullest sense—not in a tailist sense—that you represent the fundamental interests of the exploited and oppressed of the world and the need for communism to put an end to that oppression and exploitation. That point is very important, that in working among all different sections of the people, as we must, we must never forget that most fundamental thing and have it constantly in mind. But if this point about another kind of pyramid is reduced to that, it’s going to be distorted and vitiated. Its real meaning is going to be lost—the essence of what’s being said here and the contradictions that it’s dealing with. The point here is not just that you have to not forget what fundamentally you’re representing and keep this consistently mind in going among all sections of the people; the point is that you need to go among all sections of the people, you need to engage in discussion and struggle with people of all different strata, and you need to engage in the realm of ideology and philosophy, if you will, theory—you need to do all that, and because you need to do that, then you need to not ever forget what it is that you represent, and you need to consistently fight to do that with the scientific outlook and method of communism as it’s been further developed through the new synthesis of communism. That’s the point of “another pyramid,” and if that first part is lost sight of it becomes narrowed down, and becomes in effect economism, and feeds economism and tailing the oppressed among the masses. It becomes a form of reification, of turning yourself into just a representative of those masses in a narrow, and even in a tailist, sense. So I want to stress that point. It’s really important that this point, which is a very important point, be understood correctly, in its full dimensions and in the full amplitude of the contradictions that it’s dealing with, in particular that contradiction between the need to go among all sections of the people and to engage in the struggle in the realm of ideology and theory and work in the realm of theory and discussion and struggle with people representing different world outlooks and ultimately different social forces and class interests—and in that context and because of the need to do that, never losing sight of what fundamentally it is you’re representing and what outlook and methodology you must bring to bear consistently in doing so.

What we need—once again, a point that’s stressed in the Interview with Ardea Skybreak, SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, as well as in THE NEW COMMUNISM—we need strategic commanders of the revolution, people consistently approaching everything from the strategic standpoint of how to work and fight through the contradictions to actually make revolution, continually grappling with the problems of the revolution, with the goal of advancing toward the emancipation of all humanity with the achievement of communism on a world scale as the consistent guiding orientation. And this means being—among other things, other important things—it means being alert to, and constantly seeking to draw lessons from, major events in society and the world, as well as grappling with and deepening the grasp and application of theory and, in particular, method, all in relation to the strategic objective of revolution and the ultimate goal of communism on a world scale.

Here, let’s talk a little bit about this question of weighing major social and world events— not approaching them in some abstract sense, but weighing them specifically in relation to the goal of revolution, and even more specifically, what is concentrated in “How We Can Win.” For example, a strategic commander of the revolution, when seeing the exposure and the living reality of the horror in Mosul, would think not only about the crimes of imperialism, as well as the crimes of these reactionary fundamentalist jihadists, not only about the devastation that’s brought about by these forces, but would also think about what can we learn from this in terms of what should and should not be done in actually making a revolution that has to go up against these forces, in particular the massive machinery of these imperialists. For example, what light does this shed on why, in the third part of “How We Can Win,” it talks about not openly controlling and governing territory until a very late stage in the overall struggle? What does the experience in Mosul have to do with that? What can you learn from that? Why is that principle in there? See, that’s the kind of thing that a strategic commander of the revolution—just to cite one example—would think about. Not because that’s the form of struggle that we’re engaging in now. We’re not. We’ve made that point many times. We’re talking about—and it’s very explicit in the third part of “How We Can Win”—a radically different, qualitatively different, situation with a ripening revolutionary situation and revolutionary people emerging in the millions and millions. But strategically we have to be thinking about that. What does this struggle going on at the ruling class levels of society—what does that have to do with our more immediate objectives, but even more fundamentally, with our strategic objectives?

I remember, back a long time ago, one of these youth who was very dogmatic and, not surprisingly, didn’t stick around after a while, but who was impressing everybody by memorizing many of my works—I remember talking in a meeting with some of these youth, including that person, about something I’d read in the New York Times. And he made the comment: “Why would you even bother to read the New York Times?”That is not a strategic commander of the revolution. It’s not just a question of, metaphorically speaking, “doing reconnaissance on the enemy”—politically speaking now. It’s a matter of looking at all the major events in society and the world and how different class forces are reacting to them and seeking to work on them, and what that has to do with our strategic goal and the application of our strategy to get toward that strategic goal. This is what it means, and everybody from the newest person in the ranks of the revolution to the most seasoned leader of the revolution, should be doing this on the level on which they’re capable at any given time and constantly striving to raise their level, not just individually but as part of the collective process, to be able to contribute more fully. This is a very important point I want to stress about strategic commanders—what that means and how that has to be applied, how people should be approaching it. We have to be thinking in terms of how are we actually going to make this revolution, how are we actually going to work through the contradictions and solve the problems of the revolution from here all the way forward. And what do all these different social events and world events and the actions of different class forces in relation to them have to do with all that, at every given point, as well as in an overall strategic sense?

And I want to say a word in this context about the new synthesis of communism, the new communism and the leadership of BA. “The basis for a new wave of communist revolution that is urgently needed in the world and the leading edge in building for that revolution in this country, as a crucial part of that worldwide revolutionary struggle”—I just read this like a mantra, on purpose, and that is not how it should be seen and approached. These are not empty words to be ignored or occasionally recited like religious incantations, but something to be deeply grasped and resolutely fought for— everyday, everywhere, among all sections of the people. And you have to basically ask yourself: Look, what is objectively the importance of this new synthesis of communism? What is objectively the importance of this leadership? And it gets back to the “As long as” sentence. (The “As long as” sentence refers to the understanding that, as long as we are basing ourselves on, and actively propagating and working toward, the goal of communist revolution, then it should be easy to promote and popularize the crucial role of BA’s leadership and the new synthesis of communism he has brought forward.) Do you really understand what’s being said there? Do you really understand what’s embodied in this new synthesis? Do you really understand what this leadership represents? And therefore do you go out among the masses of people to struggle with them about this, in a way that flows out of that scientific understanding and not out of religiosity? This is something very important for the masses of people to know about and to take up, to themselves become active fighters for, and to apply actively as part of the overall collective process of the revolution.

I want to read something important which we all can cite but we really need to, once again, struggle with people to deeply grasp and recognize the significance of this. The following is from the first of the January 1, 2016 Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party (It says “U.S.A.” but I’m just going to say Revolutionary Communist Party—No U.S.A, No U.S.A.—anyway, let’s get serious here, although I was serious about that, but anyway, to continue...) It says:

As Bob Avakian himself has emphasized, the new synthesis:

represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.


What is most fundamental and essential in the new synthesis is the further development and synthesis of communism as a scientific method and approach, and the more consistent application of this scientific method and approach to reality in general and in particular the revolutionary struggle to overturn and uproot all systems and relations of exploitation and oppression and advance to a communist world.

Now, is that important or not important? It depends on what you’re aiming for, what you understand, once again, about what the problem is and what the solution is. Sometimes people say... I saw somebody, a minister, quoted somewhere making a positive comment but he had to, of course, start it off with a slightly snarky, negative comment: While I don’t understand all this devotional stuff about BA, I have to say these revolutionary communists are everywhere, they’re always everywhere—I wish we could be like that. I’m paraphrasing, but he was saying: I wish we were as consistent and always there in the struggle.

Well, by the way, you are the one who deals in the devotional dimension of things. You are part of inventing a god, elevating something above human beings so you can engage in devotion toward it. That’s not what we do. But in any case, I don’t want to be snarky in turn. The point is, how do you understand why it is that the communists, when they’re actually acting with the method and approach and the line they should, are consistently out there fighting on all these different fronts—around the 5 Stops, for short—in opposition to this whole system? Why are they doing that? Because they have a scientific understanding of the problem and solution, for short.

And what does this “devotional element”—which must not be religious devotion, but science—what does this have to do with that? Once, again it’s back to the “As long as” sentence. Is it important that—is it true, first of all, that this science has been qualitatively developed, that there’s been a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has run through communism from the beginning up till now? Is that true? And is that important? The answer is yes and yes. But that’s the basis on which people have to really take this out and struggle with people about it. This is monumentally important to people—that there’s a more consistently scientific approach to understanding why people are in the situation they’re in and what must be done to get to a radically different situation which is liberatory, which is emancipating. If you approach it with religiosity and religious incantations, you’re not going to: A) convince anybody; and more fundamentally, you are actually undermining the very essence of what this is all about. Because it’s about science, and it’s not about religion.

And I want to go to the Sixth Resolution, where it speaks to the fact of BA being subordinate to the Party in one dimension but greater than the Party in another, and that the latter aspect is principal. Once again, we’re back to: what is the importance of what’s been brought forward here? There’s a unity between Resolution 1 and Resolution 6. I mean, there’s a unity between all of the Six Resolutions, but there’s a particular unity between Resolution 1 and Resolution 6. Why is this new synthesis important? How should we present this to people? To use a perhaps over-used but still valid analogy, imagine when Pasteur came forward and said: “I’ve developed something that will prevent people from going through the terrors and the horrors of rabies.” And people said: “Well, you can’t do that. Everybody knows there’s always going to be rabies, people are always going to have rabies. If you get bitten by a dog or a wild animal, you’re going to have rabies. What are you talking about?” Imagine if people had that attitude towards somebody that brought forward an actual way to deal with rabies so that people weren’t put through the whole... I mean it’s a horrific thing, rabies. Imagine if that were the attitude: “I don’t have to think about that.” Or imagine, in relation to the smallpox vaccine (and millions of people in the history of humanity suffered and died from smallpox) or the fact that the plague could be dealt with by antibiotics now, and it was a terrible scourge on humanity—imagine if when those things were brought forward people said: “I don’t care about that. Besides, you can’t do that. Everybody knows people will always get smallpox. It’s just the way it is. It’s human nature, people get smallpox, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So I don’t have to find out about your supposed vaccine that deals with rabies, or your vaccine that deals with smallpox.” Or imagine the Salk vaccine, dealing with polio— that was another scourge on people. Imagine if people said: “I really don’t care about that. Why are you making such a big deal about this guy Salk and the fact that he did something about polio? Everybody knows you always are going to have polio. That’s just the way it is. Children are going to go out to swim in water and they’re going to get polio—that’s just the way it is. You can’t do anything about it.” Imagine if people... I know there are people full of idiocy now about vaccines, including people who should know better, but imagine if that had been the reaction to these kinds of breakthroughs in medicine.

Well, we’re dealing with a much, much greater scourge on humanity than even these terrible diseases. And we’ve identified it—it’s capitalism-imperialism. And there’s an answer to it. It’s not some magic potion, but there’s an answer to it. There’s a way forward out of it. Is that important to the masses of people? Or can that also be dismissed in a flippant way, this irresponsible way: “People are always going to...society is always going to be like this...people are always going to be like this. It’s just human nature. This is the best of all possible worlds.” Or: “It’s no good, but you can’t do anything about it.” Why should we—when we’re talking about something that’s a road forward out of a much greater scourge for humanity than even those terrible diseases—why should we not be impatiently and vigorously struggling with people about that, if that’s what we run into? Or even the people who are not coming from such a bad place—masses of people out there who don’t even know what the problem is, they’re caught up in it and suffering terribly as a result of it, but they don’t know what the problem is. You know, it’s no different than people centuries ago who thought—and some of this still exists in the world today—people who thought that these terrible diseases were the result of demon possession, or whatever, because the Bible told them so. Or the religious authorities told them so. All these terrible ways in which ignorance was imposed on people in a way that reinforced the most horrific conditions of life that they were subjected to as a result of real material forces of the system they were forced to live under. Masses of people out there are going through all this horrific suffering—and on top of it, they don’t even understand what it is and why they’re going through it. And all too often they’re led and misled to blame themselves on top of all the rest of the horrors.

Is it important what we have to bring to them? Is it important that there’s not some magic solution or magic wand you can wave, but there is a road of struggle to deal with this scourge of humanity? Is it important that these things like the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, like the strategic approach to revolution, like an understanding of the relation between the struggle in one country and the worldwide struggle, like an understanding of how all these different 5 Stops relate to each other and relate to the fundamental dynamics of this system, and how they all have to be taken on in a unified struggle, that you can’t eliminate every form of oppression but one—is that important to people? Is that important to the people, not just in this country, but the people of the world? This is the question that has to be answered, and there is an answer to it. It’s extremely important, and people have to go out there and fight for this on nothing less than the basis of that scientific understanding, not with religiosity which leads them to drop it as soon as somebody challenges them, or lets these other people set the terms. There’s going to be lots of opposition, including from people who desperately need this, you know—the nationalism, “I don’t want to follow a white man, I want to follow somebody Black,” or whatever it is. And people have to be told: “Look, you don’t understand—we’ve never had leadership like this. This is something that we’ve never had before that we now have.” If you have a terrible disease you want to go to the doctor that actually might have a cure for this disease. And if it turns out that doctor is this nationality or this gender or that, well, so be it.

The question is: Are we going to find a solution to the terrors and horrors that people are being put through without even understanding why? That’s the way we have to go out to people. This is something we have that’s beyond anything that we’ve had before—way beyond anything we’ve had before. This new synthesis of communism, this scientific approach, what’s concentrated in that First Resolution and in the Sixth Resolution—the importance of that being fought for as the leading edge in building revolution in this country, and also as what is needed throughout the world for people to take up the fight for their emancipation—this is what we have to be grounding ourselves on. And if you do, then into play comes the “As long as” sentence: It’s not hard to go out and fight for this, if you actually are grounding yourself in what the problem is, what the solution is, what this is all about and what we’re all about.

This is critical in terms of the great challenge we face immediately before us—in an ongoing way, but acutely right now—forging a real revolutionary vanguard on the basis of the new communism. This is a contradiction and a challenge profoundly, that’s acutely posed now. We need a living, flowing OHIO, as we’ve described it, a process where people are moving forward from their first engagement with the revolution, through struggle and contradiction, and sometimes backward motion and forward again, toward actually becoming part of the vanguard of this revolution. We need to be continually bringing forward and recruiting into the Party new forces from among the basic masses, especially the youth, but also among students and intellectuals and other sections of the people, on the basis of the new communism and everything that it opens up and everything that it provides the path to, nothing else and nothing less.

So the final point I want to speak to is the interrelation and positive synergy, you could say, between bringing forward new forces, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the continuing Cultural Revolution within the Party at any given time to effect its radical transformation to really and fully becoming the vanguard it needs to be and to rise to the profound challenges that must be confronted, in an acute way now and repeatedly throughout the process of actually making revolution—aiming, once again, for nothing less than the emancipation of humanity with the achievement of communism throughout the world.

We have to correctly handle this contradictory relationship. We have correctly identified that the main way we’re going to revolutionize this Party is by bringing in new forces on the basis of the new communism and nothing else and nothing less. And we have to be understanding that as a strategic goal but also one which we have to make immediate further breakthroughs on now, and in an ongoing way, at the same time as we need to continue to carry forward the struggle within the Party as it is at any given time—and especially as it is, given the positive injections (so to speak) of these new forces on the basis of the new communism—the continuing Cultural Revolution to actually effect the radical transformation of this Party to more fully and really become the vanguard it needs to be. We are acutely put to the test around this now, because of everything we’re up against in the objective situation, including this fascist regime and the fascist forces it is mobilizing and unleashing, as well as the wielding of state power that it now has largely in its hands—not without contradiction, but largely in its hands. And the horrors, the even greater horrors, this is going to bring forward. All that on the one hand. On the other hand, and dialectically related to that, the fundamental understanding of the problem and the solution and the need for revolution as the North Star we continually are guided by, in every particular immediate struggle and phase of things, whatever they might be, including the present one. So we have to handle well this contradiction. But we have to recognize this is a real challenge that we have to take up. It can’t be relegated to a secondary thing, buried underneath whatever immediate tasks there are. As Mao said, so many deeds do cry out to be done. There are so many pressing tasks and responsibilities that we do have to take up and shoulder, because we have the basis to do so and, in the fullest sense, nobody else does—not because, again, we have some better human nature, but because we have a scientific method and approach and its further development through the new synthesis. So we do have to meet all these immediate challenges; but, at the same time, and dialectically related to that, mutually reinforcing in either a positive or negative way, is the challenge of bringing forward new forces to the Party and making that an active process, an active task in that sense—something we’re continually and consistently working on—at the same time as we’re also carrying out the process of leading with this and only this line, and insisting on this and only this line, and modeling this and only this line. This is the contradiction we have to handle well because, look, we can talk about all the things we need to talk about, we can figure out how to move around all the particular challenges we face, but even in order to meet those challenges, as well as more fundamentally in order to actually get to the point where a solution can be brought about to this system that continually spews worse horror after worse horror, requires an instrumentality that has the scientific grounding and methodology to be able to lead through all the complexity and difficulty and the very daunting challenges of all kinds, including the repressive challenges that are bound to come, in order to do that.

So I want to end by emphasizing that: This really has to be, increasingly and more and more fully, a party that is based on this, this new communism, nothing else, nothing less, with all the contradiction and struggle that this is inevitably going to entail.





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Samantha Bee Has NOTHING to Apologize For

June 1, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



Samantha Bee: You have nothing to apologize for.

If you really felt so moved, you could have said something like: “I can see why some people who sincerely oppose the oppression of women might recoil at the language I used. But someone must say something that de-normalizes the hideous and truly genocidal crimes being committed by the Trump/Pence regime and normalized by the likes of Ivanka Trump. She is a criminal on an enormous scale. I used an ugly epithet to show an ugly truth. What is truly vile and vicious is holding up white babies to be cherished while the administration you work for rips Brown babies from their parents, feeds them into the maw of ‘detention centers,’ and worse. Did my words shock you? Well, these crimes of Trump and Pence SHOULD shock the conscience in a far, far greater way—and where is the outcry about THAT?

“So, no, I will NOT apologize for disrupting the air, and I will in fact use my platform, as long as I have it—and believe me, I will fight for every inch of it—to force people to look at the ugly truth, the reality of which is far uglier than anything I expressed in what I said about Ivanka Trump. It is NOT against the law to shout ‘FIRE!!’ in a crowded theater if the theater is on fire. And right now the motherfucking theater is a towering inferno!

“Finally, the hypocrisy of the Trump/Pence administration—the policies of which truly treat women as nothing more than ‘cunts,’ nothing more than either the pathway for a baby or something for people like the Degenerate-in-Chief to grab to show his dominance—in feigning outrage over this would be hardly worth mentioning, had it not been for the fact that so few have done so.”

So, Samantha Bee—learn from Kathy Griffin and withdraw your apology.

We have your back.







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

On Violence

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


We should recognize: not all “fighting and dying” is the same. There is the incessant brutality and carnage unleashed by exploiters and oppressors here and all around the world in defense of their system and empire that should always be opposed. There is petty senseless violence among the people that degrades and dehumanizes and ends up helping oppressors to keep the people down. But when great numbers of people stand up to fight against oppression and exploitation, for liberation, for emancipation, and not for themselves alone... and when they do so with methods that are not degrading or dehumanizing but are consistent with and an expression of the emancipating goal and are the complete opposite of those used by the exploiters, that can be truly uplifting and liberating, and highly moral.







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Open Letters to William Barber and Carmen Perez

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



To Reverend William Barber, who proposed carrying the U.S. flag in demonstrations during the week of Memorial Day:

Those who struggle for justice in America have an enemy, and that enemy is the U.S. ruling class of capitalist-imperialists and the system that they run. That enemy has a flag—a blood-soaked stars and stripes under which this enemy has committed horrendous and unmatched crimes over centuries, and which it continues to commit every day. The fact that the oppressed themselves have often died fighting for the very flag that subjugates them only makes it worse. You can NOT beat that enemy while you’re waving his flag.

And to Carmen Perez, of the Women’s March, who appealed to Ivanka Trump to stop the separation of immigrant children from their parents by ICE, and did so as an expectant mother to “a mother of three”: Ivanka Trump is a high-level functionary of a fascist regime attempting to clamp down power. The barbaric separation of children from parents is a linchpin and battering ram of that program. Appealing to the “hearts” of people who have proven over and over again that they are heartless feeds dangerous illusions and sets people up to be preyed upon yet again. To do this in a way that reinforces the reactionary sentimentalism promoted by this system makes it even worse. 

Deceiving and misleading the masses, in the hope of avoiding the necessary sharp battles to come, fools nobody but the people and helps nobody but the enemy.







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018


1,500 Refugee Children Went Missing Under U.S. Custody—Now Trump/Pence Regime Is Ensuring Thousands More Suffer the Same Fate

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


The U.S. government has admitted that almost 1,500 refugee children in their custody are missing! Children who faced nightmarish poverty, domestic abuse, and violence by gangs, drug cartels, and police—all bearing the fingerprints of U.S. domination of their countries—and were forced to flee, by themselves, without their parents. Who trekked hundreds of miles north from Central America and Mexico to the U.S. border. Who were then taken by the U.S. government and supposedly placed with families or sponsors to ensure their health and safety—except now the U.S. has no idea where many of them are. And their parents have no idea that their children are now effectively disappeared.

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement recently tried to find 7,835 children who arrived at the border and were declared “unaccompanied minors.” They were unable to locate 1,475. Some ended up with human traffickers. Two years ago, Associated Press investigators found over two dozen of these children under virtual slavery in Ohio in one of America’s largest egg-producing businesses, living in unimaginable squalor. (“Trafficked in America,” Frontline, April 24, 2018) Other children may have ended up with sexual abusers or may be on the streets. Some may be dead.

But the government isn’t organizing any search parties to find these children. This system took these children into its killing clutches and now claims it bears no responsibility, treating these precious, irreplaceable lives as just garbage to be disposed of!

And now, before our eyes, the Trump/Pence regime is taking draconian steps that will ensure that many more children are disappeared. They have declared that tearing every immigrant child away from her or his undocumented parents upon arrival is now official U.S. government policy. (See “Terror and Torture of Immigrant Children Now Official U.S. Policy”)

Listen to what John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, said as he defended the regime’s inhumane policy of criminalizing and imprisoning every refugee and stealing their children. “Don’t worry,” he said, because they “will be taken care of—put into foster care or whatever.”

“Or whatever”?! Like being “placed in homes” to be sexually assaulted, starved, or forced to work for little or no pay... or worse?

The Trump/Pence regime has taken this system’s crimes against immigrants to their fascist conclusion—ethnic genocide. Tearing every immigrant child away from her or his undocumented parents upon arrival is now a key link in the regime’s drive to clamp down with their fascist rule. The parallels to the program the Nazis implemented against Jews in Germany are chilling. Think about the 36-year-old Guatemalan woman in court in Arizona who asked when she could be reunited with her two children who’d been taken away when they crossed the border—and finding that neither the judge nor the prosecutor could answer her question. Or the Guatemalan man, deported after his 18-month-old child was taken away, who could not find his child.

¡Basta! No More! This fascist regime must be prevented from normalizing the ethnic cleansing of this country’s immigrants and committing other monstrous crimes against humanity. The current #WhereAreTheMissingChildren outrage across the media and social media about the tearing away and disappearing of refugee children is good. But it’s not enough!

Don’t waste time calling your senators or congresspeople, who will do nothing but tell you to cast a vote in November. Get into the streets now, and stay in the streets, until thousands have been brought forward, and then millions of people, demanding the Trump/Pence regime must go! And do it with your eyes and your energy on the prize—a radically different world where the efforts and creativity of children everywhere can finally be fully liberated!







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Part of Nationwide Raids:

Gestapo ICE Raids in Sanctuary Chicago Grab 156 Immigrants!

May 31, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Over a six-day period from May 19-24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement( ICE) raids snatched up 156 immigrants in 37 communities across the Chicago metropolitan area. This was part of a nationwide series of raids on immigrant communities by ICE named “Operation Keep Safe” (Sic[k]!), which has included raids in upstate New York a few weeks ago and in South and North California in February. Immigrants taken in the Chicago raids were from 11 countries, mostly from Mexico, but also Guatemala, Poland, El Salvador, Honduras, the Philippines, Ecuador, Jamaica, Jordan, Lithuania and New Zealand. One hundred forty-seven were men and nine were women, ages 19 to 64. Most had no prior convictions—their only “crime” is being undocumented. They were snatched from businesses, homes, in their cars, off streets and day-labor corners.

Imagine the terror of people in immigrant communities, worrying about loved ones and people they know, just as news was breaking about immigrant children being torn away from detained parents and others disappeared in the system, and Trump calling immigrants “animals.” What kind of animals tear parents away from their children? Inhuman monsters—like slave catchers chasing escaped slaves, also considered less than human and torn from their children—now in the service of a monstrous, fascist regime.

These raids in the Chicago area represent a major escalation of the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s program of ethnic cleansing. They have been enacting and implementing repressive anti-immigrant measures and laws, enabling police across the country to arrest immigrants, and enflaming a rabid, racist social base to carry out attacks, all aimed at driving out millions of immigrants. They are out to remove any obstacles in their way, legal, political and otherwise. They must not be allowed to succeed.

It is clear these raids were designed to terrorize whole communities. Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) reported on their blog that their hotline answered calls from people reporting immigration raids in several suburbs and cities near Chicago. Each of the calls received described draconian tactics used by ICE.

According to OCAD, “Evidence documented and gathered by community members over the last three days shows that ICE agents conducted this wave of raids with impunity. Media outlets and various social media posts showed ICE agents approaching cars and residences, terrorizing entire communities. We know that in some instances, agents entered people’s homes without a court-issued warrant and stopped people while driving, eventually taking individuals into custody for ‘speeding,’ blatantly acting outside of their own jurisdiction.” One local media report described ICE agents peering into someone’s basement window and advised people to keep their windows covered!

In the nearby city of St. Charles, ICE agents entered a restaurant with a photo of someone they were looking for and demanded to speak to the entire kitchen staff. An employee declared to a local television channel, “They did this without a court order and ended up taking six employees, who apparently did not have their papers in order.” Restaurants were a major target of the raids. Several had to shut down because almost all of their staff was detained in the raids, or because the employees are afraid to return.

ICE bragged about the raids in a release headlined: “ICE arrests 156 criminal aliens and immigration violators during Operation Keep Safe in Chicago area.” Richard Wong, Chicago-based ICE regional director, slandered immigrants and sanctuary cities, saying in the release: “ICE continues to face significant obstacles from dangerous policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. ‘Sanctuary cities’ not only provide refuge to illegal aliens, but they also protect criminal aliens who prey on people in their own communities.”

All this is taking place at a time of national attacks on sanctuary states and cities, and the officials who support them. Trump and Sessions recently escalated threats against Libby Schaaf, the Oakland mayor who warned residents of impending ICE raids during raids in North California in late February. In contrast, the raids in Chicago have been met with deafening silence by Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic senator Dick Durbin, both of whom claim to be staunch friends of immigrant communities, along with most of the English language media. This objectively amounts to collaboration with the Gestapo raids and the fascist Trump regime.

OCAD and the Latino Union of Chicago led a rally of 75-100 people on May 24 to protest a raid, which snatched up 30 immigrants, on a corner in a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood of Chicago where day laborers gather for work. Many organizations participated, including the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, PASO, Enlace Chicago, Workers Center for Racial Justice, Freedom First International, Refuse Fascism, Revolution Club Chicago, and the Chicago Federation of Labor. Undocumented immigrants spoke at the protest, detailing the terror and horror of families torn apart by these vicious raids. OCAD has also been circulating a petition demanding that Mayor Emanuel warn people in the Chicago area of impending raids on immigrants, as Libby Schaaf did.

Such protests are good, but MUCH, MUCH more is needed! This is an EMERGENCY! These attacks on immigrants are fucking intolerable. The legal assaults on sanctuary jurisdictions are fucking intolerable. THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

Millions of people hate this! Where are you? Religious institutions with sanctuary signs outside your doors? Sanctuary colleges and universities? Major immigrant rights and civil rights organizations? Restaurant owners who have declared themselves a sanctuary? Lawyers and others who flooded the airports to stop the Muslim ban? Dreamers and those who took to the streets to defend them? Everyone with a beating heart and a shred of humanity?

This is a turning point. All those who have acted in support of immigrants and against injustice and racism must act! There needs to be growing, creative no-business-as-usual protests around the ICE raids everywhere, NOW. Immigrants, sanctuary cities and states and the politicians who support them must be defended.

The Trump regime is implementing and escalating these Nazi atrocities against immigrants. The attack on immigrants is a linch pin and battering ram, as has called it, for a whole fascist program. There is an urgent need and a way forward for a growing movement to stop the nightmare of a fascist regime by driving it from power. Read, sign and share the Refuse Fascism Call to Action.

And people of conscience must be seriously questioning what kind of a system generates this American fascism, and watching the film of a talk by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America! A Better World IS Possible!

First They Came for the Immigrants. Not This Time, Motherfuckers!







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Border Patrol Murders Young Guatemalan Woman
Justice for Claudia Gómez González!

May 30, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Up and down the Rio Grande
A thousand footprints in the sand

Claudia Gómez González


Claudia Gómez González had studied to be an accountant. But she was unable to earn a living in her homeland, a country wracked by extreme poverty and violence; reeling from decades under the thumb of U.S. imperialism, including genocidal campaigns of mass slaughter by an American trained and funded military.2 In mid-May, she left her hometown to come to the U.S.—to continue her studies, live with her boyfriend in Virginia, get an income and support herself and help her family in Guatemala. She told her mother, “Mamita, we’re going to go on ahead. I’ll make money. There is no work here.”

Soon after Claudia Gómez crossed the river separating the U.S. and Mexico, she lay bleeding to death from a shot to the head by a Border Patrol pig. Her cold-blooded murder is a bloody concentration of the violence and repression the most heavily armed country on earth rains down upon impoverished, unarmed immigrants.

The Pigs’ Lies

The Border Patrol first said that one of their pigs had come “under attack by multiple subjects using blunt objects.” They called Claudia and the people she was with “assailants” who used two-by-fours as weapons. It was all a lie.

A woman living nearby recorded the aftermath of Claudia Gómez’s murder. Marta Martinez can be heard yelling in Spanish, “Why do you mistreat them? Why did you shoot the girl? You killed her. He killed the girl. She's there. She's dead. I saw you with the gun!" Martinez said the Border Patrol captured two men after the shooting, and an agent said to them, “This is what happens. You see? Be quiet; you have weapons.”

A couple of days later the Border Patrol dropped mention of “blunt objects,” and no longer claimed their agents had been assaulted. But they continue to uphold their actions, and have released no word of the whereabouts of the immigrants arrested that night.

A Death Zone

For decades, the U.S. has made its border with Mexico a death zone. Thousands of immigrants have died trying to cross the line that divides the two sides. Countless others have had their lives torn apart by imprisonment, brutality, and deportation. These abominations are not “collateral damage,” or the actions of “rogue agents.” They are the results of conscious policy enacted and enforced by the monsters who run the U.S. system of capitalism imperialism.

This is being taken to entirely new levels of slanderous insult and murderous assault by the Trump/Pence fascist regime. Vigils for Claudia Gómez were held in at least seven Texas cities, as well as Alexandria, Virginia, and Miami. Many more people should join in these protests, not only to call out this horrible murder but to demand a stop to all attacks on immigrants—and should join with Refuse Fascism to work to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

There is a moral and political challenge facing everyone. Are you okay with unarmed 20-year-old immigrant women being murdered by gun slinging pigs? Are you okay with a “commander-in-chief” who calls immigrants “animals” and has made relentless assaults on immigrants a battering ram for all-out fascism?

More fundamentally, the illegitimate system of capitalism-imperialism that gave rise to Trump/Pence can only be sustained by crushing literally hundreds of millions of lives. This system must be overthrown, through an actual revolution, when it is in deep crisis, and millions understand that its murderous violence is illegitimate, and are won to the need for revolution and the possibility of a radically different system and society. We are working and organizing right now to prepare the ground, the people, and the vanguard for that possibility.

1. From “Across the Borderline,” by Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, James Dickinson  [back]

2. See the article in Revolution’s  “American Crime” series, “Reagan’s Butcher Carries out Genocide in Guatemala.”  [back]





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Sights and Sounds of
Building a Movement for Revolution

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution Club Chicago at “America Was Never Great—We Need Revolution” Memorial Day Picnic


Revolution Club NYC at “America Was Never Great—We Need Revolution” Memorial Day Picnic

The movement for revolution is going everywhere with HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for revolution, and recruiting people into this revolution. Members of the Revolution Clubs in different cities across the country have been taking this up, going out to campuses, street corners, subways, and other places—to agitate, agitate, agitate about the utter rottenness and intolerability of this system and the need to overthrow it... and to organize, organize, organize people into the movement for an actual revolution. Getting the word out about the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian (BA), and getting people into the new communism he’s brought forward. The revolutionaries are learning and summing up as they do this, and then going out to the masses of people some more. We are building a movement for revolution. Check back at regularly.

Find out about the Revolution Club

The Revolution Club in LA calling on people in Watts—who are among those who catch the most hell—to recognize that they share a common enemy with oppressed people around the world, and to become part of the organized forces for revolution. (Audio only)

Revolution Club Chicago at a transit hub

Revolution Club NYC reading the Points of Attention for the Revolution

Revolution Club Chicago disrupts Memorial Day ceremony








Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Reports from the Field:

Anti-Memorial Day Picnics…BA Film Showing, NYC…Agitating at a Transit Hub

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Anti-Memorial Day Picnics: Standing Against America—and Organizing for an Actual Revolution

New York City Memorial Day Picnic
Memorial Day Picnic in NYC

On Memorial Day weekend—when the whole country is supposed to be celebrating the “greatness” of this country and remembering the “sacrifice” of the troops who invaded and slaughtered around the world for this empire—people who want to overthrow this rotten system held “America Was Never Great—We Need Revolution” picnics in a number of cities. Revolution Clubs and people being newly drawn to the movement for an actual revolution came together to have fun and break bread—and at the same time this was part of the serious nationwide movement to organize for that revolution and to actively recruit people into its ranks.

New York City Memorial Day Picnic
Memorial Day Picnic in NYC

In the gathering at Marcus Garvey Park in New York’s Harlem, Club members gave lively examples of how they are going out all over to agitate to expose the system and call on people to get into the revolution—agitation, as the Club members said, that others can do themselves or by joining with the Revolution Club crews.

Chicago Memorial Day Picnic Memorial Day Picnic in Chicago.

At the Chicago picnic on the lakefront, Club members did a full reading of HOW WE CAN WINHow We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for this revolution, now being distributed, grappled with, and acted on across the country. According to a report from the picnic, one young man who came “was more seriously thinking about revolution by the end of it. He had been part of protests against police murder and as a child had been involved in or very close to the street life. He liked that this was about actively standing up against the crimes of this system, but in particular that it was not just about one kind of people but about humanity, about fighting this system for real.”

On this disgusting holiday for this bloody empire, a big theme of the revolutionary anti-Memorial Day picnics and other activities that weekend was “Thank You for Your Service? HELL NO! Fuck You for Your Service!” In Chicago, the Saturday before the picnic, the Revolution Club disrupted the “wreath-laying ceremony” that usually opens the big Memorial Day parade by kneeling on the American flag and chanting “1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery, Genocide, and War; 5, 6, 7, 8, America was NEVER great!”

Revolution Club Chicago disrupts Memorial Day ceremony.

Los Angeles Memorial Day Picnic
Memorial Day Picnic in Los Angeles

At the Los Angeles picnic, a Club member who is an Iraq War vet pointed to Bob Avakian’s quote “American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives” (BAsics 5:7) and talked about how “That is the orientation we got to take up if we’re going to get to an emancipatory society where we could actually throw off these shackles of oppression the United States brings down on people on a daily basis.” In New York, a young man made sure to wipe his feet on the flag when he stepped up to speak at the open mic.

A report from the New York picnic noted, “It was important to find the ways for people to express their unity with this revolutionary message, to cross the threshold and actually join this in beginning ways, whether through call-and-response chants/agitation, holding a sign, helping with set-up, bringing food, speaking out on the open mic, signing a banner, or being part of the group picture we did at the end.”  [back to top]

Some lessons from agitating and organizing on the basis of the strategy for revolution

Agitating and organizing at a transit hub

Last week, the Revolution Club went out to a busy transit hub. One person got on the microphone and started off speaking to some of the immediate outrages of this system, like what the Trump/Pence regime is doing to immigrants and how that is part of the functioning of this system and that we don’t have to live in a world like this. He grabbed the attention of one or two people as he talked about how the idea of voting to change this is an illusion, that what is needed is to overthrow this system, and how people stepping in to go to work on this revolution now is what needs to be done to get to the point where millions could be led in an all-out fight with a real chance to win. There was a dynamic that got going where some people were listening to him, others were stopped by hearing him and then entered into conversations with some of the other comrades there, getting copies of HOW WE CAN WIN––How We Can Really Make Revolution.

One person, who listened a bit and then said he had to go pick up his son, ended up in a serious discussion of making revolution, including wrestling with how the youth in the street life could be challenged in a serious way to step forward into doing this, and some of the real work the Revolutionary Communist Party has done to understand how to fight in a way that could deal with the strength of the enemy, and what we are doing now and need to do now—including himself—to advance the revolution now. He went through part of How We Can WIN and watched BA Through the Years, and ended up putting off picking up his son for an hour. He said he saw this as very real and that it could get somewhere and compared it to how the Black Panther Party started with a few but it caught hold. He had ideas for people he wanted to go take this to, and we made preliminary plans for getting some people together to get into this.

Part of the dynamic at this place was that the more some people stopped to listen, others wanted to find out what was going on. At one point, a woman who had met the Revolution Club somewhere else two weeks before and is starting to get into this, came to join up with the team. At the same time, a high school student who was attracted to the idea of doing something good for the people grabbed a stack of How We Can WIN and started passing them out. As the two of them passed out How We Can WIN next to each other this was another dynamic factor, drawing more people to reach out to grab a copy or stop and listen to the agitation. People were also coming over to look at the visual displays of the 5 Stops.

5 Stops Display at transit hub

Afterwards, we gathered together to sum up our experience, including the woman who had come to join in. We used the Observations article to help us. It says there, “Every time we go out we should be including people first getting involved in mass summations—teaching people basic scientific methods by summing up how what we did today or this week contributed to preparing the ground, preparing the people and preparing the vanguard—getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win. What did we learn, what mistakes do we need to learn from and correct, and—very importantly—what advances did we make that we have to get up on the website right away so the whole national movement for revolution can learn from it and the whole process is hastened and accelerated.”

One thing we summed up is that we had created a scene where it was coming across clearly to people that they were being called on to take part in something. And it was also pretty clear that the “something” they were being enlisted into was related to making an actual revolution to overthrow this system. We at least were able to say, in summing up what we knew of the thinking of particular individuals we interacted with, which people understood that we were really working to make an actual revolution and who were the people attracted to a serious force that is actually DOING SOMETHING about what is happening to people, but not necessarily clear yet on what that something is.

We summed up that the agitation being done was overall good, but that it could still be honed. In particular, we identified the need to get better at showing not just the intolerability of the 5 Stops, but why they are UNNECESSARY, how they are a result of the workings of this capitalist-imperialist system, that revolution really is the solution to that, and we have a battle plan we are implementing now to get to a point where millions really could be led to go all-out with a chance to win.

We also summed up that we can further develop a situation where people ARE actively enlisted on the spot by working more consciously to bring people together to listen to the agitation being done over the loudspeaker and interact collectively with that, rather than hearing a piece of the agitation and then splitting off into individual discussions.

One thing we talked about doing, but did not actually do, is write a report about this right away to send in to as is emphasized in the last part of that paragraph above about getting important experiences on the website right away so the whole national movement for revolution can learn from it and the whole process is hastened and accelerated. We are writing in now, but want to recognize and point out that this kind of reporting is really needed in real time to contribute to advancing the whole thing—which means not just looking at what we are doing in any particular area, but thinking as strategic commanders with the whole revolution in mind.

Finally, for now, there are a couple other points that are important to draw from this experience, and the experiences we’ve been having since then. One is that it is important to speak in the agitation to what is in the first paragraph of “What We Need To Do Now” in HOW WE CAN WIN addressing the first question that comes to mind for anyone who is seriously thinking about revolution: “To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions.” It matters to be able to speak to the fact that what we’re up against is not all-powerful, that in fact it does have strategic weaknesses and we can understand this and act on it.

The other thing that is vitally important, to end where this report began, is that the leadership of BA comes clearly through in the agitation and in the immediate discussions with people. The new communism IS a game-changer, and BA’s leadership is the biggest strength we have. People need to know this and they need to know BA directly right away. Showing BA Through the Years, using BAsics and selling copies of it, getting into parts of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, all are important ways people can engage BA right on the spot and get a whole other level of understanding of what this revolution is all about and the leadership we have.  [back to top]






Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Protesters Around the Country Demand an END to the Separation of Immigrant Children from Parents

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


People came together for protests and marches in dozens of cities around the country on Friday, June 1, to condemn and demand an immediate end to the Trump/Pence regime’s sadistic policy of tearing immigrant children and parents apart at the southern border. Protests were held in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta and many other cities. The ACLU was a part of organizing many of them, along with immigrant rights groups, SEIU and other unions, and more. In New York, well over 500 protesters took part in the “Jericho Walk,” repeatedly marching around the Office of Homeland Security in silence.

Over 600 children, as young as 18 months old, were taken from their parents in just the past month, as a result of the Jeff Sessions’s Department of In-Justice’s new “zero-tolerance” policy—which means charging every undocumented immigrant as a criminal and imprisoning them. To provoke their greatest fears, the government is not telling the parents where their children are being taken, nor when they will be rejoined. This is being done to refugees as well, most of them from Central America, who are seeking asylum after escaping the violence and poverty in their own countries. The Trump/Pence fascist regime is doing this in defiance of both U.S. immigration law and international agreements the U.S. has signed governing the treatment of refugees.

Democratic Party politicians spoke at many of these events, expressing concern while trying to channel people’s outrage into the dead end of elections. But reports of the rallies also described people who spoke from the heart about the inhumanity of what the government is doing. In front of the Houston City Hall a speaker said:

It's like babies being ripped out of their mothers' arms — literally ripped out of their mothers' arms. It's horrifying... And we can't rest until it stops happening.

Refuse Fascism took part in many of these actions. They reported that they “weren’t just protesting but sounding the alarm to the public, that this regime is a fascist regime and they are poised to do worse if they are not driven from power, letting people know our plan to drive them out and giving them concrete ways to be involved in such an effort.” In Seattle, where 200 gathered, a well-known Native American activist opened the rally speaking about the importance of stopping Trump’s attacks on immigrants and the painful U.S. history of genocide and the separation of families through the Native American boarding schools. She made a point of holding the Refuse Fascism sign from the stage during the entire rally that read “Call to Action: This Nightmare Must End, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go”.

While it was very important that these hundreds stood up in many cities, it is a shocking sign of the normalization of fascism that these Nazi-like attacks on children did not bring tens of thousands into the streets in angry and determined outrage. This is a situation that urgently demands to be transformed.


Hundreds in Seattle joined the nationwide day of protests against the new Trump administration policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents. (Photo: Elliot Stoller)





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Franklin Graham Brings His Fascist Road Show to Berkeley
No Handmaid's Tale! No KKK! No Fascist USA!

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Berkeley, Friday, June 1—Protesters mobilized by Refuse Fascism and faith organizations rallied and marched to confront and denounce Franklin Graham’s “Decision America Tour.” The protest and the Berkeley stop of Graham’s tour were covered by many media outlets. One called it a “clash of ideologies”—and it was. On one side was Christian fascist Graham exhorting people to “fix” America by being blind, unquestioning, and obedient followers of Jesus Christ AND Christian fascism. On the other, were people determined to stand with humanity, people who do not want the Handmaid’s Tale future of enforced patriarchy, female enslavement, and Christian fascism that the Trump/Pence regime seeks to hammer into place.

Graham included Berkeley in his 10-city California tour to attack what the city is known for—radical thought and activism: “Progressive? That’s just another word for godless,” he told his audience. “Sanctuary cities are a little picture of Hell,” he said on Fox News.

Who Is Franklin Graham?

Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church

Trump would not be president without powerful support from reactionary Christian fundamentalists like Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham.

Graham revels in Trump’s assaults on oppressed people: “He offended gays. He offended women. He offended the military. He offended black people. He offended the Hispanic people. He offended everybody! And he became president of the United States. Only God could do that.” (No, actually a powerful section of the U.S. ruling class and millions of racists did that.)

Graham’s a white supremacist who blames Blacks and Latinos for being shot down in cold blood by police: “Listen up—Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and everybody else. Most police shootings can be avoided. It comes down to respect for authority and obedience. If a police officer tells you to stop, you stop.”

Graham backs U.S. aggression around the world, and is a fanatical supporter of Israel. He attacks Muslims as followers of “a very evil and wicked religion.” He sees increased tolerance toward LGBTQ people as a sign that “We’re in a sick world, very sick.”

Facing Off with "God's Army" and Rabid Trump Supporters

At the protest rally to oppose Graham’s hateful message, two prominent Bay Area Black pastors spoke, as did a staff person from Revolution Books, and Christina DiEdoardo, an activist lawyer from San Francisco.

Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco branch of the NAACP and pastor of Third Baptist Church, denounced Graham’s “fraudulent spirituality” and his attacks on gay people and on immigrants. “We’re not fools. We will not be conned, we will not be steamrolled, because we are all one people in the fight for freedom and justice and equality.”

Rev. Dr. Charley Hames, senior pastor of the Beebe Memorial Cathedral, and President of the National Action Network’s Oakland chapter, said, “We will not be silent, but we will stay woke, we will stand firm, until this fascism will leave not only this area, but our country.”

Later, protesters marched into the area of Graham’s “revival” and faced off with what seemed to be non-uniformed security (some wearing shirts printed with “God’s Army”) and a group of bellicose Graham and Trump supporters.

An agitator for the march called out the whole “revival”: “I am going to tell you why we are here to protest Graham” and ripped into the fascist character of Graham, and the Trump/Pence regime.

A woman from La Colectiva, an immigrant women’s organization from the Mission District, silenced the rabid Trump supporters when she spoke passionately in Spanish about the Christian fascists complicity with the Trump regime’s brutality and murder of immigrants, including children.





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

France: Heroes and Immigrants

June 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


June 2, 2018. A World to Win News Service. France enjoyed a feel-good moment when President Emmanuel Macron held a much-publicized meeting with Mamoudou Gassama and promised citizenship to the young Malian living and working in Paris without papers. A video viewed by millions had shown him climbing up the outside of an apartment building to rescue a toddler dangling by one hand from a high balcony.

Gassama certainly deserved praise and more for his heroism, but Macron acted out of cynical calculation. The dignified treatment, for once, awarded to a migrant was meant to cast a humane light on a politician who is currently ramming legislation through parliament to make it easier to massively expel other immigrants. Many, like Gassama, are from France’s former colonies still under its domination, and, like Gassama, crossed deserts and seas to escape the results of how French looting and control shaped their country. As another politician proclaimed, making an exception for one African gives France the moral authority to deport hundreds of thousands. Even as the French media indulged in an orgy of self-congratulation, the police were once again destroying a migrant camp on the edges of Paris that was home to people like Gassama.

Also at about the same time, French courts moved to severely punish people for saving immigrants whose lives were in danger. Three young people from France, Italy and Switzerland were jailed for ten days and are now being subjected to long-term draconian restrictions on their lives and movement as they await trial. They are accused of taking part in a march of about 160 people that accompanied and protected African immigrants as they walked through the Alps from Italy into France. Such crossings have become increasingly dangerous since police totally blocked the more easily travelled roads and valleys between the two countries. Two immigrants were found dead in these forests in May. Vigilante actions in the area by fascist groups from all over Europe have made the situation even more perilous.

A local 73-year-old policeman’s widow who has become an immigration activist since her retirement is now on trial for walking into France with two young teenagers from Guinea. According to Amnesty International, the two had been illegally seized by police in France and taken to Italy, even though as minors travelling alone claiming refugee status, and recognized as such by an official French agency, they were supposedly under French government protection. Then Italian police refused to allow them to leave the border area, leaving them stranded in limbo. The woman met the two at a French border sign and walked with them to a French police post to demand that their rights be respected—for which she was arrested.

All four of these arrested Europeans face ten years in prison and huge fines because they are accused of having acted “in an organized band.” (In the case of the widow, the criminal “organized band” is Amnesty International.)

Once, not so many years ago, France bragged about being “a land of refuge.” An outcry from people who still held onto that idea forced a previous government to retreat from totally criminalizing what’s called “the crime of solidarity,” an ironic reference to the government’s reversal of the “duty of solidarity” in French law under which it is illegal to fail to help anyone in danger. Until now, French governments have claimed to distinguish between humanitarian acts by individual citizens and organized “human trafficking” for profit. The Macron government is acting to remove this distinction in law, as it already has in practice. Italy has been doing the same, threatening maximum criminal charges against NGO ship crews who rescue immigrants in danger of drowning.

By chance, the child Mamoudou Gassama saved from death was not an undocumented immigrant. Otherwise, Gassama could even face prison for “the crime of solidarity” himself. In any case, he was all the more courageous not only because he risked a mortal or crippling fall, but also because he had no reason to believe that his reward for coming out of the shadows would be anything but a police beating, handcuffs and deportation.


On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico:
“We need to overthrow this system, not try to ‘democratize’ it”

May 28, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


May 25, 2018. A World to Win News Service. Following are abridged excerpts from an extensive pamphlet put out by the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico, in view of the national general elections to be held in July. The entire text in Spanish is available at The explanations in brackets are by AWTWNS.

Much of the pamphlet is an exposure of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, long the standard-bearer of the traditional left and now considered the leading candidate, who promises to “democratize” a state that has earned widespread and intense discredit and hatred. It also explains how the electoral system serves to legitimate the rule of the big capitalists and landlords and Mexico’s domination by imperialism. These excerpts focus on the polemic against the Zapatistas, who led an armed peasant uprising in the southern state of Chiapas in 1994 before entering into an uneasy coexistence with Mexico’s governments since then. We made this choice because of the international influence of that trend and the thinking it represents among radical-minded people in many countries. [Official Zapatista website:]

We live in a world of unjust wars that kill and dislocate millions of people. Half of humanity is submerged in crushing poverty. Women are cruelly oppressed and subjected to male supremacy. Inequality is becoming increasingly abominable. The ecosystems that sustain life on our planet are being destroyed. Mexico and other countries are facing capitalist and imperialist projects to expand mining, pipelines, fracking, tourist development and luxury condominiums that lead to the expulsion of indigenous peoples, peasants and the poor in general, and devastate the environment. The Mexican state commits and covers up murder and disappearances. It tortures and unjustly imprisons hundreds of thousands of people, especially people at the bottom of society and those who oppose this system’s crimes.

How can we struggle against these horrors? How can we put an end to all this unjust and unnecessary suffering? How can society be changed? Should we “take power” in the existing state, as some people argue, or “change the world” without taking power, as others claim? Or will it take a real revolution?

Partisans of “taking power” from within or “changing the government” say that the existing state can be “democratized” and political and economic reforms achieved by changing the person and party or group heading the state. This argument is mainly associated with those seeking the election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and candidates of his Movement for National Renewal (MORENA).

Other people, like the leadership of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), assert that instead of “taking power” what’s needed is to organize autonomous or alternative projects “from below” to achieve “good governance” and political and economic reforms. They argue that those who “rise to power” become oppressors of the people. Under the current state, they have a point, as can be seen in the many cases of people, some originally with good intentions, who by joining the state apparatus became part of the problem, not the solution.

Supporters of AMLO and MORENA answer that those who don’t seek to “take power” only contribute to everything staying the same and can’t change anything important in society, and they, too, have a point. If the state is left as it is now, it will continue killing, disappearing, torturing and oppressing the people, among other horrendous crimes.

What these two positions have in common is the terms of the argument: whether or not to come to power within the existing state. Neither talks about the need to destroy the existing reactionary state. Neither talks about overthrowing the existing predominantly capitalist system. Both seek change within the present economic system.

This is more obvious in the case of AMLO and MORENA, which have assured the big Mexican and imperialist capitalists that they will respect and promote their interests. Despite its somewhat “anti-capitalist” rhetoric, however, the EZLN’s position of not struggling to put an end to the current state would also necessarily mean not putting an end to the economic and social relations that this state maintains and protects. It seeks to pressure the capitalist state not only “from below” by expanding and spreading “autonomous or alternative projects” but also “from above” through alliances meant to force the state to tolerate their existence and grant reforms within the deadly current system without a fundamental change in the situation of the immense majority of people.

Further, it’s a farce and a trick to proclaim yourself “anti-capitalist”, as the EZLN has done for more than a decade, when in reality you are struggling to reform and not end the capitalist system. The only real “anti-capitalism” is to struggle to abolish all capitalist economic relations. This struggle also requires struggling to overcome the division of society into classes, along with all the corresponding social relations (like the oppression of women, the division of the world into oppressed and oppressor nations, the split between manual and mental labour, etc.) and the corresponding ideas (male chauvinism, national chauvinism, the “me first” outlook, etc.).

Marx scientifically demonstrated, and experience since his time has confirmed, that the only way to achieve this is through communist revolution whose goal is the establishment of socialism as a transition and the advance of the world revolution until achieving communism, a worldwide society without classes and exploitation and oppression of any kind. It’s true that such a struggle is difficult, especially in today’s world situation, but this is the standard by which we should judge the EZLN and all political forces.

The problem with the EZLN position is not autonomous projects in themselves but the idea that their proliferation can lead to basic change without the need to overthrow the reactionary state, confiscate the property of the ruling classes and establish socialism as a transition to communism. The Zapatista project for an autonomous Chiapas and autonomous municipalities such as Cherán in the state of Michoacán, and community guards and police in Ostula, Michoacán, and the mountains of Guerrero, among others, have arisen from the righteous resistance of indigenous people and peasants, their need to defend themselves from the attacks of the system just to stay alive. They have taken back some land, curbed the cutting down of some forests and resisted and stopped (or postponed) some attempts by big capital to dispossess communities and destroy the environment. They have defended themselves, to some extent, from organized crime and the forces of the state, and not let themselves be smashed by the war of extermination capitalism-imperialism is waging against the original peoples. These struggles are brave and provide important lessons, and insofar as they continue struggling against the ravages and injustices of this system they should be supported by all those who hate oppression and want radical change.

Nevertheless, wrenching some autonomy on the local level under this system is not a solution. Self-government projects will not make the predominantly capitalist system disappear. It will continue assaulting indigenous peoples. It will continue killing and destroying until it is overthrown. Any autonomy that affects the interests of the system and the ruling classes will be attacked by them, and they won’t stop until that autonomy is disrupted and made to serve their needs, or forcibly destroyed. The state and its paramilitary gangs have unleashed murder, imprisonment and continuous harassment against the autonomous municipalities and police forces. For example, in Ostula, in 2010 and 2011, organized crime working in collusion with the state murdered an average of one community member every two weeks.

It’s very good to organize self-defence and self-government when the conditions make it possible to do so as part of resisting the system, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking it would be possible to spread “self-government” throughout the country until the fall of the state and the disappearance of the capitalist system of exploitation. The capitalists, imperialists and big landlords will never give up their property and power peacefully, and the state, which is their instrument of repression, can never be reformed to take the side of the people.

In addition to being under military siege, the autonomous municipalities are politically and economically “bombarded” by the system that has them surrounded. Very few changes can be implemented as long as capitalism continues to dominate the whole country. The main means of production remain in the hands of the capitalists, who continue exploiting and destroying, dominating everyone with their political and military power. Oppressive relationships and the capitalist ideology continue to predominate in society in general. Under these conditions autonomous projects can only involve very small sections of the people. As they try to keep their footing in the sea of capitalist exploitation in which they exist, the state uses coercion to force them to cooperate in some way and not “cross red lines” by fighting against the system.

Since shortly after the 1994 uprising, there has been an agreement, at least tacitly, between the EZLN and the government. Without granting them official recognition, the government tolerates the Zapatistas’ Good Government Boards in return for the EZLN restricting itself to “civil and peaceful struggle.” This doesn’t mean that they are no longer a target of state harassment. The state has continued to attack them in various ways, such as giving more benefits to surrounding communities, and arming, training and stoking paramilitary bands to attack and murder Zapatistas.

The EZLN, for its part, works with the reactionary state in matters such as organizing elections, reporting or turning over “criminals” to the state, and turning in “people smugglers” who fail to heed a first warning. (The Zapatistas label “people smuggling” a “crime against humanity”.) In 2016 the EZLN organized a National Indigenous Congress and convinced it to participate in the 2018 presidential elections with an indigenous woman as its independent candidate. They declared their aim is not to “come to power” but to generate “a process of combative reorganization, not only of original peoples but also workers, peasants, employees, tenant farmers, teachers and students, all the people whose silence and paralysis is synonymous not with apathy but the lack of a call to action... There could be generated a movement in which all the downtrodden converge, a great movement that will shake up the whole political system.”

Why call on “all the downtrodden” to participate in elections instead of organizing to expose and resist the atrocities committed by this system, independent of and in opposition to the electoral process? Why aim to “shake up the whole political system” instead of unmasking and resisting the whole capitalist economic and political system in struggle that is independent of the system’s institutions, struggle that contributes to forging the consciousness, organization, combativeness and leadership necessary for both strengthening the independent resistance and making the necessary preparations for a real revolution?

Seeking to have an independent candidate on the ballot and participating in the presidential election is sending the ruling classes a clear message that the EZLN continues to commit itself to staying within the system’s rules of the game for “political struggle.” This is why the ruling classes welcomed the EZLN’s campaign.

Under certain exceptional circumstances, at times it can be necessary to participate in bourgeois elections as a subordinate part of exposing the falseness of bourgeois democracy and the need to overthrow the whole system. This is what the Bolsheviks did at certain points in the Russian revolution, for instance, when the 1905 revolution had been defeated and elections were instituted for the first time in the country’s history. There is no such necessity to participate in the 2018 elections at a time when broad sections of the people are repudiating all of the bourgeois parties.

At times the organized struggle of the people can wrench certain concessions from the class enemy. One example is the physical, nonviolent defence of Atenco [a small community near Mexico City whose members waged a mass struggle to stop the expropriation of their lands to build an airport in 2002]. That struggle won broad support throughout society and was able to halt the airport project, an important victory. But before long the combined forces of the three levels of the state took vengeance, killing two people and raping two dozen women, and now they’re coming back with a new airport plan. Even if an attack in one particular place is beaten back, the system continues driving an enormous number of peasants and indigenous people from their land in other places.

As many people have pointed out, the situation for indigenous peoples is worse now than in 1994 [at the time of the Zapatista uprising]. Big capital, organized crime and the state’s armed forces are intensifying the plunder of natural resources and the expulsion of the peoples from their land, and autonomous projects face brutal repression. This is the truth. It’s indispensable to organize and strengthen the resistance, but if that’s done based on reformist illusions, that only disarms the people, weakens their capacity to resist and leads to demoralization.

If the resistance is going to really strengthen the struggle for emancipation, it must be guided by the simple truth that “The state isn’t negligent, it’s criminal” [in opposition to the claim that the state should be pressured to assume the responsibilities it is now neglecting, like protecting people’s lives] and casting off the illusion that somehow the state can be made to obey the people [as stated by the Zapatista slogan that the state should “rule while obeying”]. Instead of begging the ruling classes to “show us respect”, we should be driven by and spread the spirit of “fuck the whole system.” What’s needed is resistance that is really independent and aimed at the system and its state. Revolutionary communists should work to clearly explain to everyone just why the state is committing and covering up these crimes, and how they are rooted in the nature and functioning of the capitalist system. Such resistance can win partial and temporary victories, it can inspire and educate the people and create much better conditions for revolution, but it can’t bring an end to all this system’s horrors. We have to tell the people the truth, and explain that it is possible to stop all these atrocities if and only if there is a communist revolution. That’s why we say, “Fight the power and transform the people for revolution.”

In the real world, it’s impossible to put an end to repression and all the other horrors we experience and build a new economic and political system without exploitation without destroying the old system ruling over us. Only a revolutionary people’s war can liberate the people and lay the foundation for a new liberating society that would be a base area for the world revolution. Subcomandante Galeano [the Zapatista leader formerly known as Marcos] calls anyone who says this “dogmatic” and “sectarian”, but it’s the truth, and it’s what we all have to do if we want real emancipation for the oppressed and ultimately all of humanity.

This is an arduous and difficult struggle, but in it we have the advantage of the new communism developed by Bob Avakian on the basis of summing up the great positive lessons as well as the errors of the past socialist revolutions, analysing new conditions and learning from other spheres of knowledge to achieve a qualitative advance in the scientific method and approach for making revolution and emancipating humanity, laying the basis for a new stage in the communist revolution that is so urgently needed by the oppressed masses.

The Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico, is struggling to apply this new communism and has established the strategic orientation and initial basic programme for the liberating revolution Mexico needs.

It’s time to cast off the illusion that it’s possible to democratize and reform this outmoded and inhuman capitalist-imperialist system whether by working inside or outside the bourgeois state. What’s needed is to dedicate ourselves to the urgent and most basic need of the oppressed masses, a real revolution to sweep away this system and finally contribute to the emancipation of all humanity.


On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.








Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

American Crime

Case #40: Native American Boarding Schools: "Kill the Indian, Save the Man"

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Bob Avakian has written that one of three things that has “to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.” (See “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.”)

In that light, and in that spirit, “American Crime” is a regular feature of Each installment focuses on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.


THE CRIME: The cultural genocide of the Native Americans

The near extermination of the Native Americans in the centuries following 1492 is one of the great historical crimes committed by the rulers of this country—or any country. Credible estimates of the indigenous population in North America in 1492 are between 12.5 and 18.5 million. Through the combination of massive epidemics and the “Indian Wars” waged by the U.S. Army through the decades after the Civil War, by 1890 the estimated Native American population had been reduced to fewer than 240,000 in the U.S., and in Canada a third of that—a population reduction of 95 to 99 percent.

Beginning in the 1870s and lasting a century or more, the weight of U.S. policy toward the Native American population shifted from military annihilation to the forced “assimilation” of the survivors—making them “suitable” to be members of the society that had devastated and despised them.

“Education” became the key ingredient in the systematic process of cultural genocide of the remaining Native Americans. During the 1860s, schools organized by religious orders began to appear on reservations, aiming to convert the children to Christianity, teach them English, and train them to assimilate into the nation that had conquered and now dominated them.

But the U.S. Indian Commission concluded that assimilation could not be successful as long as the children still lived at home and returned to their families at the end of each day. Thus from the 1870s to the mid-20th century, it became U.S. policy that every Native American child would be taken from his/her home, family, community, and culture—beginning as early as five years of age—and sent to off-reservation boarding schools, where they were to remain for up to a decade in state-sponsored “educational” facilities. It is estimated there were as many as 500 Indian boarding schools in the U.S.: 153 federal Indian boarding schools and many more religious schools run by Christian denominations and paid for through contracts with the government. At its peak, this complex of boarding schools could hold nearly half of all Native American children at one time. A total of about 150,000 children attended these schools over their century-long existence.

Forced Assimilation through Education: Children on the reservations were taken from their parents and communities by force. Parents who didn’t cooperate had rations, clothing, and other assistance withheld. Police were sent to round up any children who weren’t made available. Beyond its enormous emotional trauma, the tribal leaders understood that the impact threatened the continued existence of their tribes.

From the moment of their arrival at a boarding school, the children were stripped of their indigenous identity and simultaneously indoctrinated to view their own heritage—and themselves—as something to be despised and eradicated. The boys’ heads were shaved and the children’s clothes were taken, replaced with uniforms. Their real names were changed to European names to both “civilize” and “Christianize” them. They were taught English and forbidden to speak their Native languages—even to each other—and were forced to abandon their Native beliefs and take up Christianity. All of this contributed to a sense that they had lost themselves.

Death by Hunger, Disease, and Overwork: The schools were run like military schools, marching to meals, and the “virtues” of patriotism and obedience were instilled. Their “education” was designed to serve an extreme assimilationist agenda, aiming to inculcate subservience. The curriculum in the self-described “industrial schools” focused on training, not education. The young women learned to become maids and household servants, or to work in commercial laundries. The young men were taught the skills needed to work for ranchers and farmers, or for factory, mine, and mill operators throughout the western U.S. And when the schools were required to be self-supporting, they functioned as factories or labor camps making money to pay for the schools' expenses.

Children were systematically found to be underfed and underweight—the result of the strict limits put on funds for food, together with the money taken by staff for their own use. This, together with forced labor, contributed to staggering disease-driven mortality rates. Epidemics of deadly infectious diseases were common, including tuberculosis and at times, smallpox. At the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, of the 73 Shoshone and Arapaho children enrolled between 1881 and 1894, only 26 survived. A 1908 study by the Smithsonian Institution found that, overall, only one in every five students was likely to be “entirely free” of symptoms of tuberculosis. Another study found in 1912 that 30 percent of all boarding school students had contracted trachoma, a contagious eye disease that can cause blindness.

Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of the children by those who ran these schools was widespread. Many of the youngsters died trying to escape the schools and return to their reservations. Those who were captured and brought back to the schools were brutally beaten. In fact, brutal physical abuse—torture—was brought down on boys and girls alike for any number of “violations.”

The Legacy of Cultural Genocide: Medical research links the boarding school experience with the current conditions of Native American society today. They associate the traumas of abuse, neglect, and separation from family and culture with high rates of suicide, substance and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse and violence, and other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. One Native American scholar described “‘residential school syndrome’—a complex and intractable blend of devastated self-concept and self-esteem, psychic numbing, chronic anxiety, insecurity and depression.”

This scholar concluded that the magnitude of the destructive effects of the boarding schools on Native people individually and collectively, not only in the immediacy of their existence but in the aftermath, was and remains immeasurable. You cannot truly appreciate the impact of the genocide suffered by Native Americans unless the impact of the boarding schools is understood.


The U.S. government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs were responsible for the creation, operation and oversight of the system of Native American boarding schools and the treatment of the children brought there for nearly a century. The abuse and trauma inflicted on these children were consistent with the purpose for which they were established—to carry out the forced assimilation of the survivors of a genocide into the society that despised and sought to destroy them completely. Theodore Roosevelt, as president, prior to taking office, said: “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are. And I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

Col. Richard Pratt created and ran the model for these “schools”—the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Pratt’s qualifications were based on his having been in charge of the Fort Marion military prison for Apache prisoners of war. The Carlisle school became the prototype of the comprehensive network of boarding schools which systematically brutalized, traumatized, and devastated 150,000 Native American children.

Various Christian denominations were complicit in the operation of the boarding schools. The majority of the schools were contracted out to a variety of Christian denominations, given responsibility for the “Christianization” of the Native Americans. Each church supervised the operation of the boarding schools within its area, making each complicit in carrying out the policies of cultural genocide that took place there. Physical, emotional and sexual abuses took place at Christian-run boarding schools. Students suffered beatings, physical restraint and isolation in dark cellars. Many students chose to run away. A Native American woman who survived the experience said they were taught that their language belonged to the devil; all things she’d learned at home were “ugly”; and that she “became ashamed of being Indian.” She learned to hate herself and her race as well.


Reform-minded white people argued that education in these schools was a key tool to help Indian tribes “assimilate” into the mainstream of the “American way of life.”  Indigenous culture was thought to be inferior, so people had to be taught the importance of private property, material wealth and monogamous nuclear families. The reformers assumed that it was necessary to “civilize” indigenous peoples, make them accept white men’s beliefs and value systems. That meant teaching them the skills, values, and beliefs of possessive individualism, meaning you care about yourself and what you as a person own. This opposed the basic Native American belief of communal ownership, which held that the land was for all people. As an 1856 U.S. Indian Commissioner put it: for assimilation to occur, it was necessary that Indians learn to say “I” instead of “we,” “me” instead of “us,” “mine” instead of “ours.”


Because the intention of the colonizers was to take everything possessed by the Native Americans, only the most thorough-going assimilation would substitute for the campaigns of physical extermination that had been relied on until then. This meant totally stripping Native Americans of their cultural identity and using “education” to inculcate subservience among the surviving population. An “education” designed to systematically deculturate these youths and simultaneously indoctrinate them to see their own heritage—and themselves—in terms deemed appropriate by a society that despised both to the point of seeking as a matter of policy their utter eradication.

In 1910, the U.S. Indian Commissioner described their policy as “a mighty pulverizing engine for breaking up [the last vestiges of] the tribal mass.” An 1892 speech by Col. Pratt captured both the purpose and the consequences of the Indian Boarding Schools:

A great general [Philip Sheridan] has said that the only good Indian is a dead one... In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.

Pratt’s dictum—“Kill the Indian, Save the Man”—captured the meaning of assimilation—Americanization—as applied to Native Americans.


The main source for this article is

Kill the Indian, Save the Man: The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools, by Ward Churchill, 2004, City Lights Books.





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Check It Out: Stranger Fruit

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The film Stranger Fruit is a documentary written and directed by Jason Pollock. The documentary follows the shooting death of 18-year-old Black high school student Michael Brown by pig Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. The film puts the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office under a microscope and also interviews Michael Brown’s family members.

The documentary shows the upsurge of outrage that swept across the country and the world: the heartbreaking grief and loss the Brown family suffered, like many Black and Brown people whose children or other family members have been murdered by police while the cops walk free.

The film was recently shown at Trinity United Church of Christ, in Southside Chicago. A panel discussion followed, including Mike Browns’ father, other families who had lost loved ones to police murder, and young people who spoke about living under the occupying army of police in their community, murders by police, and the fear they face every day of their lives.

Stranger Fruit tears the cover off the lies and distortions pumped out by the murdering pig Darren Wilson, the chief of police, the mayor of Ferguson, and by city, state, and federal government officials.

The film focuses on the forensic evidence that showed clearly that Darren Wilson not only shot Mike Brown six times, but how he came up to his body and shot him two more times in his head, killing him. This was a straight-up assassination. There is more forensic evidence that was recently introduced that shows the complete distortion of the actual facts, the lies about Mike Brown’s character, the cover-up and the blue wall of silence that went up the minute the police murdered Mike Brown.

In the aftermath of the killing, the system convened a grand jury that was all along about COVERING UP what happened. There was MORE than enough evidence on Day One to indict Darren Wilson immediately. The Brown family is fighting to reopen the case, given this new evidence that was NOT presented to the grand jury.

This is a film filled with heart, anguish and determination to get to the truth and should not be missed. It is now playing on Amazon Prime and will be on Starz premium channel.





Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in the Colorado Cake Shop Case Is a Major Step in Embedding Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry into Law

This Outrage Is Intolerable—It Cannot Be Allowed to Stand!

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



On Monday, the “highest court of the land” gave official endorsement to bigotry and hate against LGBTQ people. In a 7-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado cake shop owner who had refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, in violation of a state law barring discrimination based on “race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.”

Six years ago, David Mullins and Charlie Craig went to a baker in a Denver suburb to order a wedding cake for a party they were planning in celebration of their marriage. The Christian fundamentalist owner of the bakery, Jack Phillips, outright refused, saying that making a cake for a gay couple would violate his “religious beliefs.” Mullins and Craig filed a successful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, beginning a legal battle that has now culminated with the Supreme Court ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

In his majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy declared that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted with what he described as “clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated” Phillips. Kennedy aimed particular fire at one commission member, quoting the commissioner saying, in part, “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust...we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination.”

What does it say that in the year 2018, the overwhelming majority of the U.S. Supreme Court harshly attacks a true and indisputable statement about how religion has been used to justify immense horrors (see, for example, in relation to slavery in the U.S., Bob Avakian’s Away With All Gods!, in particular the section “The Bible Belt Is the Lynching Belt: Slavery, White Supremacy and Religion in America”)—while praising a hateful fundamentalist bigot for his “sincere religious beliefs”?!

It points to the fact that the upholding of “traditional family values”—with the subjugation of women, persecution of LGBTQ people, and other oppression that come with it—has been and continues to be an integral part of the system we live under, the system of capitalism-imperialism. Time’s up for this thoroughly rotten and monstrous system—it needs to be overthrown through an actual revolution!

And now, this system has brought forth a fascist regime that includes, as a key component, representatives of a powerful Christian fascist movement that has been working for decades to achieve their vision of re-cohering society under draconian religious fundamentalist norms and morality, including open demonization and persecution of LGBTQ people and Handmaid’s Tale-like clamping down on women. They have their sights on building an American theocracy—an undisguised white Christian nation with laws based on a literalist reading of the Bible, along with an aggressive, nuclear-armed “manifest destiny” imperialism around the world. If the Trump/Pence regime is allowed to succeed in consolidating its rule, this would bring unimaginably greater horrors down on humanity than what the U.S. empire has already carried out since it came on the world stage.

The Supreme Court’s cake shop ruling included some words claiming to reaffirm gay rights protections. If anyone is consoled and given hope by this, taking it as a sign that “maybe we can continue to rely on the system to do right”—that is a dangerous illusion. Look at what has been happening: The Trump/Pence regime has taken steps to legitimize discrimination against transgender people. Trump "joked" that Pence wants to hang all gay people. A Department of Justice lawyer argued that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prevent an employer from firing someone because of their sexual orientation. A Trump nominee for a federal judgeship is on record as saying, “Guess what? I attend a conservative Baptist church. We discriminate, all right. On the basis of sexual orientation, we discriminate.”

In the Supreme Court cake shop case, the Trump/Pence regime filed a brief for Phillips, stating that “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.” And now, the Supreme Court has handed down a decision that embeds anti-LGBTQ ignorance and prejudices into law, enforced by the state. The implications of this decision are far reaching and ominous. It could open the floodgates to all kinds of state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBTQ people, using religion and “free speech” as justifications—and it is a green light to stepped-up anti-LGBTQ discrimination and violence throughout society. The same anti-LGBTQ laws could also be used to justify vicious and cruel discrimination against Muslims, against people who speak Spanish, against Black people, and others.

All this must not just be opposed—it must be STOPPED!







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

The Hidden Hurricane Death Toll in Puerto Rico: Thousands Died as a Result of Conscious Racist and Colonialist U.S. Policy

June 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



“If it were 5,000 kittens, there would be outrage. If it was 5,000 dogs, there would be outrage. If it was 5,000 blonde-haired, blue-eyed women, there would be outrage.”

—Elizabeth Yeampierre, executive director of Uprose, a Latino organization in Brooklyn, on U.S. treatment of Puerto Rico1

A new study from Harvard University researchers estimates that roughly 5,000 Puerto Rican people died during and in the three months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck last September2, or over 70 times the official death toll of 64.

Many died in the initial storm—swept away by raging floods, crushed by their collapsing homes, hit by falling trees. But the great majority—mostly the elderly and sick—died in the weeks and months after the storm. They slowly suffocated in their homes as electric breathing machines clicked off; they were poisoned by their own bodies, unable to get to kidney dialysis centers because roads were blocked; they died in hospitals as vital surgeries were postponed; they died of diseases from untreated water. The rate of death from sepsis (infection) jumped by 50 percent after the storm.

These deadly conditions persisted, not for hours or days, but for months and months—in fact in large parts of Puerto Rico they still persist. As of March, almost six months after the storm, 46,000 people had tarps instead of roofs on their homes; only 40% of people who had applied to FEMA for home repair assistance had received any money; tens of thousands lacked any electricity and the whole national grid is still subject to frequent breakdown and vulnerable to complete collapse. And this is the situation as the 2018 hurricane season is beginning.

Indications are that the death rate in Puerto Rico remains markedly higher than before the storm. Conditions are so bad that hundreds of thousands have left the island permanently, a roughly five percent population drop.

These deaths were mainly unnecessary—the result of the complete refusal of the Trump/Pence regime to organize or fund a significant aid effort to Puerto Rico (as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands), coupled with the already impoverished and backward conditions imposed on Puerto Rico by 120 years of U.S. domination. Trump refused to mobilize government resources—there were not even any cabinet-level discussions of the disaster. He refused to provide significant debt relief to the near-bankrupt Puerto Rican government. He initially refused to suspend the Jones Act, which increases costs on relief shipments, then under pressure suspended it for 10 days. And crucially, normal procedures for mobilizing outside power utilities to help restore the shattered electrical grid were inexplicably rejected, and what little funds were allotted were often funneled into tiny, unqualified but politically connected companies like Whitefish Energy.

None of this was accident, incompetence or even corruption. No, this was both typical of U.S. oppression and neglect of Puerto Rico since it was colonized by the U.S. in 1898, and a reflection of the leap to fascism and open white supremacy of the Trump/Pence regime. 

From the time the storm hit Trump expressed open malevolence and contempt towards the Puerto Rican people. As their island lay in ruins Trump howled that “they want everything to be done for them,” complained they had thrown the U.S. budget “out of whack,” and tossed rolls of paper towels to desperate people. When Trump gave himself a “10 out of 10” for the recovery effort in October—which he has never backed away from—it was because from his imperialist, colonialist and white supremacist standpoint, the Puerto Rican people deserved no better than what they got.

These senseless deaths and the ongoing torment and destruction of Puerto Rico and its people are not a “natural disaster,” they are a towering crime of U.S. imperialism. This reality should provoke not only great outrage, but should drive oppressed people and all people of conscience to get with the preparations we are carrying out, and the movement we are building, for an actual revolution that could sweep this monstrosity away, and bring about a new society in which the blatant racism towards and callous abandonment of millions of people would be unimaginable.


1. Interviewed by the New York Times at a protest in New York City, June 2, 2018. [back]

2.  An exact death count has been difficult to establish, not just due to the massive chaos of the storm, but more importantly, the failure of the U.S. to reestablish power, communications and transportation infrastructure, the failure to even send relief workers to remote areas, and the politically-motivated efforts of the lackey regime of Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosselló to downplay the number.  Various studies have come to different estimates; almost all are over one thousand. [back]







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

A Statement from the Revolution Club, Los Angeles, in response to attacks, lies and slander being spread by an array of opportunists and counter-revolutionaries:

August 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


We base ourselves on and proceed from the fundamental, scientifically-grounded understanding that police brutality and murder, mass incarceration and the overall oppression of Black people, Latinos, and other oppressed peoples (the essence of which is captured in the first of the 5 Stops: “STOP—Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!”), as well as what is concentrated in the others of the 5 Stops*, cannot be eliminated under this system, and only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed (and if any of the various opportunists et. al., want to argue that all this can be eliminated under this system, let’s hear it!). We base ourselves not only on this scientifically-grounded understanding of the problem but also the solution—the science and the political strategy and program, that is needed to overthrow this system and bring into being a radically different and far better system, based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—and the leadership that has brought this forward: Bob Avakian, the new synthesis of communism, and the Revolutionary Communist Party, which has this new synthesis as its scientific basis for carrying out the revolution that is needed (and, if any of these opportunists have a different solution, which will actually deal with the real problem, again let’s hear it!). 

Yes, such a revolution—and, for that matter, meaningful resistance to the injustices and atrocities continually spewed forth by this system—will require self-sacrificing struggle on the part of everyone who is serious about going up against and finally putting an end to these outrages. We should all recognize that horror upon horror will be visited upon the masses of people, here and throughout the world, and the very existence and future of humanity will be threatened, so long as this system continues to rule and dominate the world. We should all cast away any illusions that ending the oppression, degradation, and destruction perpetrated by this system can somehow be achieved without great struggle and real sacrifice—that somehow “safe spaces” can be found within the confines of this monstrous system.  We should all be oriented and prepared to make the necessary sacrifices that are required to bring an end to this madness.

For our part, we seek to unite all who can be united in fighting the monstrous crimes of this system (as concentrated again in the 5 Stops), even as we, once again proceeding on the basis of the scientifically-grounded understanding of the problem and solution, work to have all this contribute to the actual revolution that is urgently needed—an approach which is concentrated in the formulation: Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.  At the same time, while we seek to unite with all who genuinely oppose and resist the crimes of the system, as for those opportunists who are intent on preserving this system and carving out a niche for themselves within it—and those who try to treat oppression and the fight against it as something they have a “right” to “own”—we will never go along with their attempts to dictate who can be involved in the fight against this system and its crimes, and how that fight has to be waged. To go along with that would do great harm to the masses of people, here and throughout the world, who are brutally oppressed by and suffer terribly under this system. Where such opportunists go beyond mere attempts to dictate the terms of things in this way, and engage in vicious lies and slanders about those who understand the need for and are actively working for an actual revolution—and especially where they attempt to carry out physical attacks on the revolutionaries—we will not tolerate this, and we will expose this and those who carry it out as doing the dirty work of the enemy and serving not the people but this oppressive system and the murderous forces who rule it. It is the fundamental interests of the masses of humanity, here and throughout the world—their need for a radical, emancipating revolution—that has to set the terms and be the standard, and not the petty inclinations and ambitions of those who are determined to obstruct the development of this urgently needed revolution.

*The Five Stops:







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Revolution Club Chicago responds to police murder of Maurice Granton Jr.

We Need to Fight the Power, and
Transform the People, for Revolution

June 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


On June 6, Chicago police carried out another act of terror and murder, shooting Maurice Granton Jr. in the back as he was RUNNING AWAY from them. People came up yelling in anguish in the face of the murdering pigs, and the pigs massed up to threaten them. Maurice was taken to the hospital, but was either already dead or died very soon after. Then, in the hospital waiting room, the family and friends of Maurice continued to be dehumanized and traumatized. They were made to wait for hours with no information released about whether he was dead or alive and then they were FORCED OUT of the waiting room and the hospital because they were demanding information! Some of his family who were at the hospital said they only found out he had died when the news started reporting it. Maurice, nicknamed “House Party” among his friends and loved ones, was only 24 years old, and the father of two young daughters.

The pigs are saying Maurice had a gun and they put out a 30-second video to criminalize him and justify murdering him, claiming it shows him sitting down holding a gun before the pigs even came up on him. Again, THEY SHOT HIM IN THE BACK AS HE WAS RUNNING AWAY. Everything about this shows the wanton and arbitrary murder carried out by these pigs for no reason other than to terrorize the masses. Everything about this cries out the need for revolution, for overthrowing this system and replacing it with one where, as Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, says, “[I]f we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people.” (from BAsics 2:16)

How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?
Click to read

Editor’s note: Tyisha Miller was a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. Bob Avakian addressed this.

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 2:16

The Revolution Club Chicago put out a call for volunteers to join in going out to the street where Maurice was killed, to do what is said in the strategy for revolution, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution:

We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

A number of people responded, including three people who have stepped into the revolution in the last few weeks, and met up with the Revolution Club outside the train station near where Maurice was killed. As we were getting there and beginning to talk to people, we heard rumors that there was something going on, and later heard that a friend of Maurice’s had just been shot in violence among the masses.

The Revolution Club team posted up and agitated over the bullhorn about the outrage of the pigs murdering Maurice and about the way this system has people fighting each other, and how this is the same shit they do to people all over the world. We drew out how this is all only because of how THIS SYSTEM works and how there is a battle plan and leadership and organization to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time and replace it with a new socialist republic, and NOW IS THE TIME to go to work on shaping the conditions that would make that possible, hundreds and thousands getting organized now and influencing millions for revolution.

Everyone on the Revolution Club team was heartbroken at the murder of Maurice and serious about connecting people up with this revolution. We continually used HOW WE CAN WIN as orientation for the team—with some people before we went out, with others wielding it as we were out together, and then again with everyone afterwards when we summed up together. And we were getting it out to people and using it in our agitation and conversations.

Some of Maurice’s friends and family began to gather near where we were as the time got closer for the vigil to start around the corner. We joined together with them and some people spoke out powerfully, expressing their pain and fury. Then we all went over to the vigil that was organized by some activists and organizations that are part of trying to reform the police.

After their press conference and the release of balloons in honor of Maurice, the Revolution Club team grouped up all together and a spokesperson delivered a message to the vigil: that we were there with them against this intolerable murder, that this will not end without a revolution to overthrow this system, that we are preparing and getting organized now to get in position where millions could be led to do that, and that everyone there can and needs to be part of doing that. People clapped in response to that message and then some came up to find out more.

After the vigil, people were hanging out together for awhile and we stuck around to be there with them and talk further with people. The pigs were passing by periodically and a lawyer volunteer who had come to the vigil was hanging around too, conscious of the fact that the police might try to do something to people after the media and organizations were gone.

When everything was done, the Revolution Club team went a little ways away and sat down together to sum up. A couple of the new people on the team commented that they were glad we decided to stick around longer and stay with people and talk to people, that it was important to let people know we were really there with them and not just leaving when the news cameras leave.

One person was pretty emotional and talked about how this brought back memories of when his cousin was killed by the police. He was also observing that a number of the young people out at the vigil who were friends of Maurice were not that serious. He commented that our approach has to be to leave aside the people who aren’t serious right now, and push forward with the ones who are—and he pointed out that when he was teamed up with one of the Revolution Club members talking with people, they had met someone he thought was more serious and that the Revolution Club member has a way to get back to her.

At the end of the night, we made sure everyone was up on the importance of the upcoming Sunday showing of the film of Bob Avakian’s speech, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, making plans with people for themselves to be there but also to spread the word and work to get others there too.







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

June 9, 2018

Press Conference to Demand Chicago Police Release Joe Veale and the Members of the Revolution Club Immediately and to Demand No Mistreatment while in CPD Custody

June 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



Chicago, Illinois: At approximately 1:30 pm today, 9th District police unlawfully and illegitimately arrested Joe Veale and three members of the Revolution Club at a street festival on 47th Street in Back of the Yards. This is just a mile and a half from where Chicago police killed Maurice Granton Jr. on Wednesday, shooting him in the back as he ran from them.

Joe Veale and the Revolution Club members were speaking to the festival-goers about this criminal murder by police and about getting organized for revolution, and were targeted by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for that message—at least 15 police officers surrounded the Revolution Club and began arresting them. CPD has repeatedly targeted the Revolution Club, carrying out a series of harassing arrests last summer.

Joe Veale is a long-time revolutionary leader from the California Bay Area, a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party who was part of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s.

The Revolution Club and its supporters will gather in front of the 9th District police station, 3120 S. Halsted, Chicago, Illinois, at 5:30pm to demand the immediate release and no CPD mistreatment of Joe Veale and the Revolution Club members.






Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Five Things You Need to Know in Light of the Upcoming Supreme Court Abortion Case

by Sunsara Taylor

June 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


A decision is expected soon from the U.S. Supreme Court on a challenge to a 2015 California law that requires anti-abortion fake clinics (so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”) to disclose that they are not medically certified. The law also requires all licensed clinics that provide ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, and advice on birth control to post information about affordable abortion and contraception services offered by the state. The Supreme Court case, called NIFLA vs. Becerra, is the result of a challenge from the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, who claim that the government is violating their “right to free speech” by requiring them to promote medical services they do not approve of, namely abortion.

Here are five things you need to know about this case and the overall attack on abortion it is part of.

1. Fake Clinics Exist to Coerce Women and Girls to Bear Children Against Their Will

There are close to 4,000 fake clinics (so-called “Pregnancy Crisis Centers”) around the country. There are only 780 real abortion providers!

These fake clinics have been set up with only one purpose: to lure vulnerable women and girls for whom pregnancy is a “crisis” into what appears to be a supportive medical clinic, only to be plied with coercive anti-abortion shaming—and very frequently bald-faced LIES—aimed at pressuring them to bear children against their will. They do this even if the women come in looking for an abortion, even if they are in abusive relationships, even if they have no ability to support a child and don’t want one. These “clinics” are completely illegitimate, predatory, and ought to be shut down.

2. Being Prevented From Systematically LYING to Women to Deprive Them of a Basic and Fundamental Right Is NOT a Violation of “Free Speech”

Just as it is not a violation of the First Amendment for the government to regulate the labels on food products or what a lawyer must tell a client about their rights, it is not a violation for the government to regulate information provided by “Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” These regulations are not restrictions on speech, because they are required for the protection of the rights of the people being spoken to.

The right of women to decide for themselves when and whether to bear children is at the core of whether women are considered fully human. Without reproductive freedom, women cannot enter freely and fully into all realms of society.

3. This Lawsuit Is Just the Tip of a Theocratic Fascist Remaking of All of Society

This lawsuit is just the latest of a growing tsunami of Christian fascist assaults seeking—and succeeding in—twisting the law into an instrument of a Dark Ages theocracy. As revealed by Katherine Stewart in a recent New York Times op-ed, there are now “more than 70 bills before state legislatures” as part of a nationwide legal blitz by extreme Christian nationalists. Meanwhile, Trump has appointed a record number of federal judges. One of Trump’s judicial nominees said trans children are part of “Satan’s plan.” A judge Trump appointed compared abortion to slavery. Many reject the science of climate change. One championed laws that were later overturned for suppressing the African American vote with “surgical precision.” This means that the federal courts that hear this tsunami of legal challenges will be even more hostile than what exists now to women, LGBTQ people, Black people, science, and to the separation of church and state.

4. There Is No Legislative Path to Stopping This Juggernaut—The Regime Must Be Driven From Power

The 2015 California law that requires fake clinics to disclose their lack of medical licenses is part of a relatively new strategy among the pro-choice movement to pass legislation aimed at protecting the rights of women.

But while these laws are just, the larger picture is clear: abortion continues to be increasingly more difficult to access, more dangerous to provide, and more stigmatized than ever. Clinics are being forced to close. Women are being forced to go to desperate measures to secure abortions—often traveling hundreds of miles, going deep into debt, enduring sexual degradation to come up with the funds, losing their jobs, and more. Many are simply being forced to have children against their will. Meanwhile, Christian fascists are using every branch of government to lock into place a Dark Ages theocracy that chokes off what few rights remain.

Only through massive and sustained political struggle that steps outside the bounds of politics-as-usual and reverses this whole direction can this assault be stopped. Right now, this means joining with in getting prepared to launch the kind of sustained massive nonviolent movement of protests that can drive the whole fascist Trump/Pence regime from power.

5. We Do NOT Need to Live This Way—We Need to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution!

A system that puts the lives of half of humanity up for debate, a system that legislates and mandates Dark Ages ignorance and enslavement, a system that has brought forward the vile misogyny and disdain for humanity that is concentrated in the Trump/Pence regime, a system that sanctions all this with so-called “legitimacy” of its laws and its courts is a completely illegitimate system. It is also completely unnecessary. The very fact that these filthy fundamentalist predators have to peddle LIES and shame women and hound abortion providers and the rest reveals that oppression of women is something that must be enforced—and this system will keep on enforcing it until it is overthrown and cleared away and replaced by a radically new system.

A blueprint for this new, and much better, system is embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, the architect of the new communism. This new economic system, the new social relations it will foster, and the whole new legal and political system that will guide it will be a revolutionary framework that not only guarantees women’s full reproductive freedom starting Day 1, but goes to work at digging up the roots of all forms of misogyny and patriarchy as a key part of emancipating all of humanity all over the world. This is what all those who hate what is being hammered down by these fascists need to join with and make real.







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

As SCOTUS Sanctions Bigotry, Pride Means Fighting Back

by Eva Sahana | Reprinted from CounterPunch

June 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


The month of Pride should be a time of celebrating love, sharing our beautiful differences and embracing our shared humanity. Yet today the Supreme Court issued a ruling that targets and dehumanizes LGBTQ people, preventing us from living our lives free from discrimination and hatred. We’ve lost the right to buy wedding cakes, soon we’ll lose our right to healthcare, and untold horrors will come for us—and millions more around the world—if this continues. I’m not going to be forced into the shadows, so I am PROUD to share that I’m pansexual and wouldn’t want to be any other way.

Growing up Catholic, I was taught that homosexuality was a grave sin, a disgusting transgression, an unnatural and harmful phenomenon. And I really believed this. As a young teenager, as I found myself developing a crush on a girl in my geometry class, I started internalizing this homophobia. I truly, fiercely hated myself for feeling the way I did, never told anyone the truth, and constantly lied to myself, hoping I could “pray the gay away.” Changing this self-hatred and pain took years of questioning and challenging myself, breaking from that oppressive religion entirely, and opening my eyes to the reality: human beings are diverse and beautiful in so many ways, and my life would fall so short if I didn’t wake up and appreciate the captivating world before me.

As I’ve grown and transformed, I have loved people of all genders, and I’ve been so grateful to be surrounded by a small community of people who love and support me for who I am, and who respect all people, regardless of differences. But I’ve come to see that homophobia and anti-LGBTQ bigotry are lurking around every corner—from those who openly slander and shame us, to those who are silent when we’re denied our humanity.

In the Handmaids Tale, as the show sheds light on the process of Christian fascism consolidating power, a character named Emily tells another professor, “They can’t scare us back into the closet.” But they did. And if we don’t stop the fascists targeting us, they can do that here. These vile ideas aren’t just some old bigots’ opinions: they’re enforced by the most powerful military/police state on the planet. We know that police all over the country target people of color and LGBTQ people, and we remember Roxana Hernandez, a Honduran trans woman who recently died in ICE custody at the border. Pride itself originated as a righteous retaliation against police brutality. And now, the Trump/Pence regime is using the court to ramp up state-sanctioned bigotry across the country, while unleashing storm troopers on the ground to terrorize us. If they continue on this trajectory, dehumanizing us and stripping away our rights and protections, the horrors that could come down on us are almost unimaginable.

When we won the right to marry those we love, lots of us thought things would keep getting better. But they’re becoming so much worse, so much more dangerous than most currently realize. The recent Supreme Court ruling legalizes bigotry under the guise of “freedom of religion”, which has come to mean freedom to discriminate. At the same time, the Trump/Pence regime has a plan to revoke an Obama-era rule that prevented doctors from refusing healthcare to transgender people. When asked about gay people, Trump “joked” that Pence—who supports torturous “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ children—wants to hang them all. Meanwhile, they’re tearing hundreds of children from the arms of their parents at the border, and decimating all of Yemen—leaving a million with cholera and 18 million starving. How much worse can it get? I don’t want to find out.

This is why I’m part of a movement that doesn’t rely on the people in power to save us; they won’t. But there are so many of us on the right side of history—people we sit next to on the train, the guys at our bodegas, the old woman in the park, the kids playing on the basketball court—who share our outrage and our pain, who don’t want to see what happens next. I’m calling on everyone who feels moved to act to join the organization Refuse Fascism as we work to bring millions of us together in the streets to end this nightmare and drive out Trump, Pence, and all of the other anti-LGBTQ, pro-war, extremely racist, misogynistic, fascist members of their regime. Building this movement is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but in the face of genocide, nuclear war, and the devastation of our amazing planet, nothing could be more meaningful.

Remember that Pride has always been about resistance! Let’s make this one count.

Eva Sahana is a volunteer on the New York City steering committee of She is dedicated to driving out the Trump/Pence regime through mass, nonviolent resistance in the streets. Contact her at







Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Pardon Our Analysis*

June 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Giving Trump “credit” for pardoning the unjustly imprisoned 63-year-old Alice Johnson (at the request of Kim Kardashian)—while the machinery of mass incarceration is being ramped up, while he simultaneously continues to attack Black athletes for daring to protest, while children are being torn from their parents by ICE, and while 100 other things hurtle us down the road to full-out fascism—is nothing but giving “Massa” credit for sparing one slave a whipping so as to “prove” his fairness and benevolence. It is nothing but giving Hitler credit for “easing up” on the attacks against Jews before the Berlin Olympics (to change the “optics” of that event to normalize Nazi Germany) while the machinery of death is assembled, greased, and put into gear. Everything Trump does is in the service of clamping down fascism, period. Beyond its obvious intent—and apparent success—in creating confusion and distracting attention from what’s really happening, this move in particular is part of his campaign to normalize the notion of Trump pardoning people at his imperial whim—something he is doing to set things up for pardoning his henchmen and himself, if it comes to that.

But instead of exposing the cynicism, crude manipulation, and danger behind this move of Trump’s, instead of sounding the alarm, people like Van Jones, Linda Sarsour, and others have used their platform and “cred” to call on people to give credit (!) to Trump for “doing something good.” This stance is beyond idiotic; it is a betrayal. It misleads people, it lowers their guard, it befuddles them—in short, it does damage, incalculable damage, to what is badly needed, which is recognition of just how dangerous this regime is. And it is a crude political calculation—the reduction of Trump to a “normal politician,” all the better to justify channeling people’s outrage into the “normal” and utterly ineffectual (and deadly) channels and confines of the system that brought forward (and is now controlled by) Trump and Pence, and which Jones, Sarsour, and the rest either have gotten or are stepping down the road of wanting to get in on.

Finally: The fact that Trump is now calling on NFL players and other professional athletes to submit names of “friends” who should have pardons shows even further the cynicism of the deal being offered: stop your demonstrations during the anthem (in other words, shut the fuck up and betray your principles and the masses of people), and I’ll help your friends! And it also reinforces the notion that Trump’s pardon power is and should be unlimited and Trump himself floats above the rule of law altogether.


*With appreciation for the late, great Gil Scott-Heron, who did a song called “We Beg Your Pardon (Pardon Our Analysis).” [back]






Revolution #546 June 4, 2018

Act Now to Support Revolutionary Leader Joe Veale and 3 Members of the Revolution Club Chicago Arrested by the Police

June 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



On Saturday, June 9, Joe Veale and three members of the Revolution Club Chicago were arrested by the police at a street festival, near the neighborhood where the police murdered Maurice Granton Jr., shooting him in the back as he ran from them. Joe Veale and the Revolution Club members were speaking to the festival-goers about this criminal murder by police and about getting organized for revolution, and were targeted by the police for that message. Joe Veale is a long-time revolutionary leader from the Bay Area in California, a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party who was part of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s.

Joe Veale and the three Revolution Club members are now released from jail, and all are charged with trespass. One Club member who was bruised on the arm by the cops was charged with resisting/obstructing police.

The Revolution Club Chicago says here are things you can do right now: