Revolution #572, December 3, 2018 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Please note: this page is intended for quick printing of the entire issue. Some of the links may not work when clicked, and some images may be missing. Please go to the article's permalink if you require working links and images.




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

On the New U.S. Climate Report: A Dire Warning from the Scientific Community

| Revolution Newspaper |


Glaciers and snow cover are shrinking, and sea ice is retreating as seen here at Muir Glacier, Alaska. (Photos: William O. Field, August 13, 1941 and Bruce F. Molnia, August 31, 2004)


“Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. The assumption that current and future climate conditions will resemble the recent past is no longer valid.” These are the first words of a major report the U.S. government just released which shines a light on the horrific impact of climate change today and in the near future.

Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) was produced by 300 experts from government, indigenous communities, national laboratories, and universities. It has been approved by 13 federal agencies.

A Dire Future

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the present rate, the future world we will face will be grim, according to the report. Almost every sector of U.S. society and economy including air and water, forests, agriculture, power, transportation, biodiversity, the infrastructure, the coastline, urban and rural areas, health, and much more will be transformed. Andrew Light, an author of the report and a Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute, said that if there is not a significant reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, “We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of lives every year that are at risk because of climate change. And hundreds of billions of dollars.”

The report states clearly that because of climate change our future on the planet will be very different than it is at present. “The ecological resources that people depend on for livelihood, protection, and well-being are increasingly at risk,” according to the report, “and future generations can expect to experience and interact with natural systems that are much different than those that we see today.”

While NCA4 contains much new information and analysis which we should learn from, it is marred by basic methodological and political problems. It largely takes as its focus the impact that climate change is having on the U.S. economy, the U.S. military, and the U.S. position in the world, often reducing impacts to crudely financial terms. One of many examples is when the report cites severe flooding in Thailand in 2011, which resulted in 815 deaths and disrupted the lives of 13.6 million people, and caused great damage to the environment. This is treated not as a humanitarian and environmental crisis—instead the report talks about how the supply chains for U.S. electronics companies were affected.

It is absurd and profoundly wrong—and not scientific—to look at something like the oceans from the point of view of what the U.S. can get out of them. Oceans—and fundamentally the entire natural world—are something that humanity should leave in better condition for future generations of people and plant and animal life everywhere.

Climate Change Is Now

The previous U.S. climate assessment, issued just four years ago, largely spoke of climate change as something in the future and the worst outcomes as something future generations would see. This new climate assessment incorporates a great deal of scientific advances and also a lot of new investigation and work. For example, it notes that because of scientific advances it is now possible to see how climate change is behind many of the extreme weather-related events of recent years (such as hurricanes, floods, drought, wildfires, tornadoes, and heat waves), and it brings out example after example from many parts of the U.S. of how this is happening.

“High temperature extremes and heavy precipitation events are increasing. Glaciers and snow cover are shrinking, and sea ice is retreating. Seas are warming, rising, and becoming more acidic, and marine species are moving to new locations toward cooler waters,” the authors write. “Flooding is becoming more frequent along the U.S. coastline. Growing seasons are lengthening, and wildfires are increasing. These and many other changes are clear signs of a warming world.”

According to the report, in just the last three years, the United States has experienced 44 major climate-related disasters with more than $400 billion in damages. Tornadoes that struck the Midwest in March 2017, wildfires in the Western states, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season (which destroyed much of Puerto Rico), the 2017 drought that caused $2.5 billion in agricultural damage in the Northern Great Plains, and many other events all can be linked to climate change.

The report brings out the disproportional harm that climate change is bringing to poor communities and especially to indigenous people. For example, in Louisiana, the tribal community of Isle de Jean Charles is being forced to move in response to severe land loss, sea level rise, and coastal flooding. They have lived on the island since 1830 when they moved there to escape the “Indian Removal Act.” The same factors are also forcing tribal communities to be displaced in Alaska.

Trump Attacks the Report

The Trump administration’s response to an extensively researched, 1,600-page report prepared by government agencies and scientists and which warns of profound disruptions to society, is cover-up and dismissal. It attempted to bury the report by releasing it on Black Friday. One of the report’s editors said, “They dropped the report on Black Friday, and you know it’s the press who calls releasing anything on a Friday afternoon ‘taking out the trash’—this was burning it and burying it in the backyard.”

The New York Times ran a major article discussing the fact that the Trump administration had considered rewriting the report, or blocking it in other ways, but had decided instead to issue it as written as an official government report, and then just ignore and deny everything it said and refuse to carry out even the mild measures that the report advocates. The former head of the Environmental Protection Agency under Bush 1, William Reilly, said “This is a new frontier of disavowance of science, of disdain for fact.”

“No. No. I don’t believe it,” was Trump’s first response, three days after the report’s release. Sarah Sanders and commentators on Fox News said that the report is only based on worst case scenarios—which a ten-second glance at the report would refute.

The fact that the report WAS written and then released without being changed despite the open and well-known intense hostility and hatred of the Trump regime to climate science and science in general points in part to how there are scientists and environmental advocates throughout the government who are not folding in the face of the attacks but continuing to fight even within the government for a scientific approach. And the report, and its treatment by the regime, have been taken up by ruling class forces like the New York Times and the Democratic Party to take pokes at Trump. These ruling class forces agree that human activity is causing climate change, admit that many of its impacts are real, and claim to want to stop it. But despite the fact that the existence of human civilization could be at stake in how people respond to climate change, they have NO ANSWER, constrained by the very workings and imperatives of the system they preside over. (See sidebar.)

We Must Stop Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying the Planet

The National Climate Assessment has revealed much about the extent of the climate catastrophe that mankind faces and what we will face if the trajectory is not reversed.

“It shows us that climate change is not a distant issue. It’s not about plants, or animals, or a future generation. It’s about us, living now,” Katharine Hayhoe, an author of the report and an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University told the Guardian.

We must act NOW, with the urgency that the situation demands, to fight against the devastation caused by climate change, and work to make revolution, to put an end to the capitalist-imperialist system, and stop the destruction of the planet.

The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism

Share widely on social media

This video clip is from Bob Avakian's speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. Watch the speech and learn more about it here.

Wildfires have ravaged California in recent years.  This October the Camp Fire burned 153,000 acres, almost completely destroying the town of Paradise, population 27,000. 19,000 buildings, including 13,970 homes, burned. As of November 28, 88 people are confirmed dead and 196 are still missing.  (Photos: AP)

Seas are warming, oceans are rising, flooding is becoming more frequent along the U.S. coastline.  Shown: Assateague Island.  (Photo: National Park Service)

Oceans are becoming more acidic and warmer, damaging ecosystems. This has already led to mass bleaching of coral reefs and outbreaks of coral diseases. (Photo: NOAA/David Burdick)

In 2011, severe flooding in Thailand resulted in 815 deaths, and disrupted the lives of 13.6 million people, more than a fifth of the country's population. (Photo: AP)

In 2017 Hurricane Maria destroyed much of Puerto Rico. (Photo: AP)


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

How Would a Revolutionary Socialist Society Address the Environmental Emergency?

Excerpts from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

| Revolution Newspaper |


The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America is a visionary and concrete application of the new synthesis of communism, written by the architect of that new communism, Bob Avakian. It is a "blueprint" for the day after a revolution has established a socialist state. While the following excerpts speak to crucial aspects of the new socialist government's approach to the environment—from the economy and international relations, to art and culture, science and education, and more—the orientation of being "caretakers of the Earth" runs through the whole thing.

These are not the planks and promises of some bourgeois party platform. To do any of this would require an actual revolution. As the “Introductory Explanation on the Nature, Purpose and Role of This Constitution” explains:

In order to bring this new socialist state into being, it would be necessary to thoroughly defeat, dismantle and abolish the capitalist-imperialist state of the USA; and this in turn would only become possible with the development of a profound and acute crisis in society and the emergence of a revolutionary people, in the millions and millions, who have the leadership of a revolutionary communist vanguard and are conscious of the need for revolutionary change and determined to fight for it. To work for this objective–to hasten while awaiting the emergence of these necessary conditions, with the goal of revolution and ultimately communism clearly in mind–is the strategic orientation of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. And, as one important part of giving life to and carrying out this strategic orientation, we are publishing this “Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)”: as a contribution to a process in which growing numbers of people are seriously considering and grappling with whether, how, and in what form there could be a real alternative to the present capitalist-imperialist system and the unspeakable suffering and depredations it imposes on the great majority of people in the world, on humanity as a whole, as well as on the environment and the webs of interconnected species which inhabit this earth; to provide a more concrete sense of the basic nature, structure and functioning of the socialist society, and its government, envisioned here, and the principles and objectives underlying and guiding this; and to enable people to see, sharply outlined, what is in reality the radical difference between the society and government envisioned here and the capitalist-imperialist system which currently rules in this country and exercises domination over the world as a whole, with such terrible consequences.

We publish these excerpts at a time when the capitalist-imperialist plunder of the planet and the destruction of the webs of life themselves are actually accelerating. These pose the only real way out of this. But these are part of a larger vision and blueprint embodied in the Constitution, which we urge our readers to deeply engage.




This Constitution (Draft Proposal) is written with the future in mind. It is intended to set forth a basic model, and fundamental principles and guidelines, for the nature and functioning of a vastly different society and government than now exists: the New Socialist Republic in North America, a socialist state which would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history–communism–with the final abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

From the Introductory Explanation (p. i)




A. The Economy.

1. The basic character and objectives with regard to the economy and its development are set forth in Article IV. Here it is important to underline that the development of the economy, along socialist lines, is the foundation for carrying out the functions of government and affairs of state in the interests of the broad masses of people, within the New Socialist Republic in North America and in the world as a whole. The fundamental objective is to carry out the development of the economy and the transformation of economic relations, and relations in society and the world overall, in such a way as to eliminate and uproot all aspects of exploitation and oppression and so that finally the means of production (as distinguished from items of personal use and consumption) become the common property and resource of the whole of society, and ultimately all of humanity, in accordance with the fact that these means of production, and the wealth that is produced in general, are fundamentally the result of the labor, both intellectual and physical, of people throughout the world. With the achievement of communism, throughout the world, ownership of the means of production by the whole people will take place directly, that is, without the need for or the mediation of a state (although, once again, there will still be a need for, and a role of, government, in regard to the economy as well as other aspects of society, as discussed in the Preamble of this Constitution). Within a particular socialist country, before the goal of communism has been achieved on a world level–and this is particularly so with regard to the early stages of the socialist transition to communism, to which the New Socialist Republic in North America, and the Constitution embodying the principles of this Republic, now correspond–the ownership by society of the means of production will be expressed primarily and most essentially through the medium of the socialist state, and its increasingly predominant role in the ownership of means of production and the overall socialist economy, even as the state itself is being continually transformed in line with and in the direction of the achievement of communism.

From Article I, Section 2 (pp. 18-19)




B. The Environment.

1. In the development of the socialist economy, and in the overall functioning of the government, within the New Socialist Republic in North America and in its international relations, not only must the fundamental orientation and principles of proletarian internationalism be consistently adhered to and applied, but this has special and urgent relevance with regard to the environment. In addition to–and in a dimension far beyond–damage that had been done to the environment in previous periods of history, the fundamental dynamics and the overall operation of the capitalist-imperialist system in this era–not least the wars and other massive destruction this system repeatedly gives rise to and continually causes–have created an environmental crisis constituting a genuine and increasingly severe emergency, and this is being and will be continually heightened and exacerbated, for so long as the system of capitalism-imperialism continues to dominate, or to exert significant influence and force in, the world.

The establishment of the New Socialist Republic in North America, through the defeat of the imperialist state of the USA, while it could not have occurred without the unleashing of further violent and destructive acts on the part of that outmoded imperialist state, nevertheless represents a truly gigantic stride toward the emancipation of humanity and with regard to the ability to more frontally and comprehensively confront and address the critical environmental emergency threatening humanity and the other species and ecosystems (the complex webs of interacting and interrelating life) on this earth. In full recognition of this, the New Socialist Republic in North America, in its development of a socialist economy, in all spheres of government and social activity, and in its international relations, will apply itself–and the initiative, knowledge, energy and creativity of the masses of people who make up and are the backbone of this Republic–to addressing this environmental emergency, in its various dimensions, and will seek out the ways to do so through increasing cooperation and common endeavor with scientists, and people from all walks of life, in every part of the world, struggling and joining with others in struggle to overcome barriers that are placed in the way of such efforts by the operation of the capitalist-imperialist system and the functioning of imperialist and other reactionary states.

2. Already, in the period before the revolution that led to the establishment of the New Socialist Republic in North America, the Revolutionary Communist Party (in what was then the imperialist United States of America) published a special issue of its newspaper, Revolution (issue #199, April 6, 2010) which analyzed the extent, depth and urgency of the environmental crisis at that time and the fundamental elements and principles of a program for addressing this crisis. One of the distinguishing features of the New Socialist Republic in North America is its determination to apply the principles set forth at that time by the Revolutionary Communist Party–and what has been learned since, with further developments with regard to the environmental crisis and in the world more generally–in order to contribute all it can to solving this environmental crisis and, to the greatest degree possible, reversing its terrible and manifold effects, and to ushering in a new era in which human beings and their society can truly be fit caretakers of the earth.

From Article 1, Section 2 (pp. 21-22)




Article IV. The Economy and Economic Development in the New Socialist Republic in North America.

Section 1.

The economy of the New Socialist Republic in North America is a planned socialist economy, under the direction of the state and led by the Revolutionary Communist Party, in accordance with the principles and provisions set forth in Article I, Section 2 and elsewhere in this Constitution. Social production and economic development are guided and evaluated according to three overarching criteria:

1. Advancing the world revolution to uproot all exploitation and oppression and to emancipate all of humanity;

2. Meeting social need, creating a common material wealth that contributes to the all-around development of society and the individuals who make it up, and overcoming oppressive divisions between mental and manual labor, town and country, different regions and nationalities, and men and women;

3. Protecting, preserving, and enhancing the ecosystems and biodiversity of the planet for current and future generations.

Section 2.

Socialist production is based on and promotes relations and values of people working cooperatively for the common good and for the interests of world humanity. Socialist relations of production must enable the masses of people to gain increasing collective mastery over economic processes. In line with this orientation and these objectives, the exploitation of human labor, and the sale and purchase of labor power, is forbidden, except as this may be allowed and provided for, for a limited time on a transitional basis, and on a small scale, within the overall framework of socialist economic development and in accordance with socialist planning to effect such development.

Section 3.

In order to develop the economy along socialist lines it is necessary to put revolutionary politics in command of economic matters. To meet goals and solve problems of production, the state must mobilize the conscious activism of people in accordance with the principles and objectives set forth here and elsewhere in this Constitution. It must encourage initiative and creativity to advance the public interest.

Section 4.

1. A socialist economy operates according to principles of “socialist sustainable development.” It takes the “long view” of what is needed to benefit humanity and the planet. It organizes and regulates production and growth on the basis of awareness of natural limits and the interconnected web of ecosystems. It emphasizes safe and renewable sources of energy.

2. The state in the New Socialist Republic in North America recognizes special internationalist responsibilities to share knowledge and technology, to allocate resources, and to promote initiatives to protect the global environment–and to assist the people in other parts of the world, especially in the Third World, to cope with the damage caused by imperialist environmental despoliation and plunder.

pp. 78-79




Section 5. The System of Public-State Ownership is the

Foundation of the New Socialist Economy.


1. This form of ownership concentrates the highest interests of the proletariat and masses of people and the revolution which embodies those interests. It enables society to consciously and collectively utilize and develop social productive forces in order to transform society and the world and to enable humanity to truly become caretakers of the planet…


3. Land, waters, forests, minerals, and other natural resources are protected and managed as “public goods.” They fall within the scope of public-state ownership. Socialist-state ownership recognizes its responsibility to preserve the “commons”–the atmosphere, oceans, wildlife, and so forth–for all of humanity and for the future.


pp. 80-81




In contrast to the way in which the capitalist-imperialist state serves and enforces the interests of a small ruling group of exploiters, the New Socialist Republic in North America, with the continuing leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, bases itself on, and proceeds from, the fundamental interests of those most bitterly exploited and oppressed under the old system, and the masses of people broadly, and provides the means for them to play an increasingly widening role in the exercise of political power and the functioning of society in accordance with those interests–in order to carry forward the struggle to transform society, with the goal of uprooting and finally eliminating all oppressive and exploitative relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

This is a process and goal which, fundamentally and in the final analysis, can only be achieved on a global scale, with the advance to communism throughout the world. The orientation and principles of this state, as embodied in this Constitution, are internationalist: While giving due emphasis to meeting the material, intellectual and cultural needs of the people within this state, on a continually expanding basis, and to promoting the further transformation of this society to continue uprooting social inequalities and remaining aspects of exploitation and oppression, the socialist state must give fundamental priority to the advance of the revolutionary struggle, and the final goal of communism, throughout the world, and must adopt and carry out policies and actions which are in accordance with and give concrete effect to this internationalist orientation.

From the Preamble, p. 2

See Also:

On the New U.S. Climate Report: A Dire Warning from the Scientific Community

Read more.


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

With U.S. Ally Saudi Arabia in the News for Assassinating Dissident Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Test Your Knowledge With the “But That’s Not Who We Are” Quiz

| Revolution Newspaper |


The revelations in the wake of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi strengthen and seem to point to the allegation that the head of the Saudi Arabian government, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), had ordered the murder and dismemberment of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and with more news coming out about massive civilian deaths from the Saudi’s war in Yemen, Donald Trump issued an official Statement (“Stand With Saudi Arabia”) strongly supporting the Saudi government. This shocked millions of people. Trump’s mainstream critics make many points, but almost always return to the theme that “This is not who we are; this is not what America does; this is a betrayal of American values.”

But is that true? Test your knowledge of America’s role in the Middle East and what values and interests actually guide it. Take the “But That’s Not Who We Are” quiz.

I. Formation of the Modern Middle East

  1. The shape of today’s Middle East, the different countries, their borders—and the frequent wars waged there—was primarily shaped by:
    1. Natural geographic boundaries—rivers, mountains, deserts and oceans.
    2. Ancient tribal and national rivalries and wars, leading to the formations of countries that each represent one group that is hostile to the others.
    3. The intervention of foreign powers seeking to control the region.
    4. The nearly 1,400-year-old split between the Shiite and Sunni branches of Islam.
  2. Modern Saudi Arabia is:
    1. The continuation of an ancient kingdom established in the time of Mohammed.
    2. Ruled by a 1,000-year-old dynasty, broadly supported by the Saudi population.
    3. A fiercely independent nation whose control of oil gives it vast power to dictate to Western nations.
    4. All of the above.
    5. None of the above.

II. American Values

  1. Which world leader publicly argued that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it” to achieve his/her government’s political aims?
    1. Saddam Hussein (former president of Iraq)
    2. Madeleine Albright (Ambassador to the UN and then Secretary of State under President Clinton)
    3. Donald Trump
    4. Ali Khamenei (leader of Iran, which fought an eight-year war with Iraq)
    5. Bashar al-Assad (president of Syria, which borders Iraq)
    6. George W. Bush (president of the U.S. who waged the Second Gulf War against Iraq)
  2. True or False: As the self-proclaimed “leader of the free world” and defender of human rights and rule of law, the United States strongly denounced...
    1. The military coup in Egypt in July 2013 by General Sisi. After seizing power, Sisi’s troops opened fire on a sit-in protest in Cairo, killing at least 817 people. Then the government arrested and charged 739 protesters and opposition political leaders, sentencing 75 of them to death for their “role” in the deaths.
    2. The medieval penal system in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia beheaded nearly 600 people between the start of 2014 and April 2018, one-third of them for nonviolent drug offenses. In just the first four months of 2018, they beheaded 48 people, one half for nonviolent drug offenses.

III. Israel: Often, defenders of the U.S. role in the Middle East point to Israel, which they portray as “an island of democracy in a sea of despots,” “a haven for the persecuted Jewish people,” “a land without a people for a people without a land.” Then this narrative is used to justify America’s alliances with regimes like Saudi Arabia “in order to defend tiny, democratic Israel.”

  1. Which of the following is true:
    1. Theodore Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement that led to the establishment of Israel, said: “We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.”
    2. Israel keeps nearly two million Palestinians in what amounts to an open-air prison on the Gaza strip. The entire area—one of the most densely populated in the world—is fenced and walled in, and people approaching the wall can be shot on sight. Anyone and anything entering or leaving must go through Israeli military checkpoints, and getting out for medical treatment, education or anything else is extremely hard. The Israeli government has actually calculated how many calories the food allowed to enter must contain to keep people above the starvation level. In the spring of this year, Israeli soldiers killed at least 60 and wounded 2,700 unarmed protesters demanding an end to the siege of Gaza.
    3. Israel officially relegates the Palestinian people to second-class status. A new law on citizenship that has the weight of a constitutional amendment passed in July states that Israel is the “nation-state of the Jewish people,” and that the right of national self-determination is “unique to the Jewish people,” not to all citizens.  The law also fails to mention “democracy” or “equality” at all.
    4. None of this is true, it’s all lies!
    5. All of this is true, and well-documented.

IV. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia 

Which of the following is true?

  1. The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi:
    1. Came as a total shock to the U.S. government—it was completely out of character with Saudi traditions of respect for dissent and human rights;
    2. Was part of a disturbing pattern of repressive activity which the U.S. had sharply criticized before, even going to the point of threatening to cut off aid if there were not improvements;
    3. Was completely consistent with—even if a bit more open and flagrant than—the widely known practices of the Saudi Government throughout its alliance with the U.S., and which the U.S. has never seriously criticized or opposed.
  2. The War in Yemen: U.S. news media routinely refer to the war in Yemen as “a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.” How many Iranian and Saudi troops are fighting in Yemen?
    1. 75,000 Iranian troops and 75,000 Saudi troops
    2. 40,000 Iranian troops and 80,000 Saudi troops
    3. 90,000 Iranian troops and 25,000 Saudi troops
    4. Zero Iranian troops and 150,000 Saudi troops
  3. Saudi airstrikes in Yemen have destroyed more than 70 health care facilities in Yemen, a large portion while Obama was president. In August 2016, the Saudis bombed the triage area of the Abs District Hospital, which at that time was treating child victims of a recent Saudi bombing of a nearby school. 19 people were killed, 23 wounded, and Doctors Without Borders finally felt they had to pull their staff out of the whole region.

    Finally, President Obama could take it no longer and he:
    1. Strongly denounced Saudi Arabia for crimes against humanity;
    2. Announced the U.S. would cut off all aid to the Saudi military effort;
    3. Imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia to force them to stop committing war crimes;
    4. All of the above;
    5. Said nothing, went ahead with a $1.3 billion arms sale to the Saudis, but did worry about whether the U.S. could be legally implicated in Saudi war crimes.


Answers and Sources



Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Forward Another Way is a talk given by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters in 2006 and published in early 2007. This groundbreaking analysis, made during the George W. Bush years, continues to be very relevant, especially in the context of sharpening contradictions centered in the Middle East and aggressive U.S.-led moves against Iran. This work is an illustration of applying the scientific method to approaching international conflicts and understanding social and political contradictions—and identifying where the fundamental interests of humanity lie, providing concrete leadership and guidance for the strategic repolarization for revolution and a thoroughly internationalist orientation. Given the current situation in the world, we urge our readers to restudy this important work or to get into it for the first time. Read more


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

With U.S. Ally Saudi Arabia in the News for Assassinating Dissident Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Test Your Knowledge With the “But That’s Not Who We Are” Quiz

Answers and Sources

| Revolution Newspaper |


I. 1.

Answer: c. From the 1500s on into the 20th century, most of the Middle East was controlled by the Ottoman Empire centered in what is now Turkey. In 1908, oil was discovered in the region and it became the intense focus of the U.S. and of various European empires. During World War I (1914-1918), the British encouraged an Arab revolt against the Ottomans, but then when the Ottoman Empire was defeated, the British betrayed that revolt. In the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement (1916), Britain and France carved up much of the region between them based on their respective military strength, and without regard for the wishes or national sentiments of the various populations1. This led to the formation of the modern nations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The imperialists then used existing religious and ethnic conflicts to divide and conquer, in order to maintain control of their colonies.2 Later (1948), the state of Israel was established as an even more effective vehicle for control (see question III-1, below).

Since then, the U.S. and Russia have elbowed their way in, with the U.S. being the main power since the 1960s. And while other factors (national and religious rivalries, geography, etc.) certainly played a role in developments, the basic framework is set by the domination of imperialist powers, their extraction of wealth from the region, and their rivalries amongst each other3.

I. 2.

Answer: e. For hundreds of years a variety of tribal groups occupied the Saudi peninsula with no central state. In the wake of World War 1, the forerunners of the House of Saud waged war on the other groups to consolidate power, forging an alliance with the British Empire to do so4. Near the end of World War 2 (February 1945), the King of Saudi Arabia met with U.S. President Roosevelt—now clearly the rising imperialist power in the world—and agreed to provide oil to the U.S. in exchange for U.S. protection of his regime. This deal (which remains in effect today) essentially sealed Saudi Arabia’s position as a U.S. neo-colony. The main beneficiary of this has been the U.S., which not only has made hundreds of billions of dollars from Saudi oil, but has used its control of the peninsula and of Saudi oil as a key strategic resource for dominating the Middle East as a whole and in contending with other imperialist powers.

While the Saudi ruling class and upper strata has grown quite wealthy from this arrangement, large sections of people remain bitterly impoverished—in particular the millions of foreign workers brought in to work in agriculture, oil fields and other industry or as domestic servants to the Saudi elite5. Rivalries also wrack the ruling class itself, leading to a number of violent clashes over the years. Women have no rights, and even Muslims who differ from the extreme Wahhabist6 beliefs of the rulers suffer terrible persecution. The whole political, social and economic structure of Saudi Arabia is extremely brittle, and would not survive long without the solid backing of the U.S. (or some other imperialist power).

II. 1.

Answer: b. On May 2, 1996, on 60 Minutes, Leslie Stahl said that half a million Iraqi children had died as a result of U.S. sanctions against Iraq (aimed at forcing Saddam Hussein to be more compliant with U.S. interests in the region). She asked Albright if the political objectives were worth the lives of all those children, Albright said, “this is a very hard choice, but the price—we think the price is worth it.”

In July 2012, President Obama awarded Albright the “Medal of Freedom.”

II. 2.

Answer to a: False. The U.S. not only failed to denounce these horrendous acts of repression, but even refused to refer to the Egyptian military takeover as a “coup,” because using that word would, under U.S. law, require it to cut off aid. Egypt remained a close U.S. ally under Obama and now Trump.

Answer to b: False. The U.S. government ignores, and the U.S. media essentially buries, all news about the barbaric Saudi regime, and (as we have seen) maintains an extremely close relationship with it.

III. 1.

Answer: e. Israel was conceived as an outpost of European imperialism to dominate the Middle East and has played that role ever since. It was created by the violent ethnic cleansing of nearly a million Palestinians carried out through deceit, terror and massacre. And over time, the oppression of Palestinians has grown more severe, now tending in a genocidal direction.

IV. 1.

Answer: c. Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive states in the world. In an op-ed in the Guardian newspaper written over a month before Khashoggi’s murder, and while prominent liberal pundits like the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman were still singing the praises of MBS, Kenan Malik pointed to the case of five Saudi activists facing possible execution for “participating in protests,” “chanting slogans hostile to the regime,” and “filming protests and publishing on social media.” Malik cited a UN report on the “pattern of widespread and systematic arbitrary arrests and detention.” Malik noted that for the West, “the regime’s refusal to countenance any dissent has until now created a relatively stable state that is also pro-western,” a “bulwark” against radical movements or contending imperialist powers in the region.

Amnesty International reports that torture is widely used to extract confessions, which are then used to justify executing hundreds of dissidents. Amnesty also notes that Saudi women “are required to have the permission from a male guardian ... to enroll in higher education, seek employment, marry or travel.” The right of some women to drive has been granted, but women activists who had campaigned for this are still being threatened and arrested. In the 2000s, women who had been raped but were unable to prove it were subjected to being flogged for “adultery.” In 2014, a Saudi blogger received 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for “apostasy”—i.e., departing in some way from Islamic belief.

None of this or the countless other atrocities of the regime have received any significant attention in the Western media, or in any way affected the 70-year-long extremely close relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

IV. 2.

Answer: d. There is no evidence of any Iranian troops in Yemen. When Saudi Arabia launched its invasion of Yemen in 2015, their concern was that indigenous Houthi rebels who had taken over most of the country were “influenced” by Iran. There have been allegations—thus far unproven—that Iran has sent a small amount of weapons and advisers to help the Houthi.

IV. 3.

Answer: e. While the Obama administration was “unenthusiastic” about the war in Yemen, according to an Obama official cited by The Atlantic, their attitude was that “Yemen would be a ‘shit show’ whatever the United States does. So why further degrade a sometimes-unpleasant, but necessary relationship with the Saudis to produce the same end result?”


For more on all of this, go to


1. The New Yorker refers to Sykes-Picot as a “colonial carve-up" and notes that “Its map ignored local identities and political preferences. Borders were determined with a ruler—arbitrarily. At a briefing for Britain’s Prime Minister H. H. Asquith, in 1915, Sykes famously explained, “I should like to draw a line from the ‘E’ in Acre to the last ‘K’ in Kirkuk.” [back]

2. A British report in this period stated that “What we want ... is not a United Arabia, but a weak and disunited Arabia, split up into little principalities so far as possible under our suzerainty – but incapable of coordinated action against us, forming a buffer against the Powers in the West.” See “How Britain Carved Up the Middle East and Helped Create Saudi Arabia, by Mark Curtis. [back]

3. For instance, in 2007, after the U.S. invaded Iraq and incited rivalries between Shiites and Sunnis as a way of consolidating power, NPR’s Morning Edition noted that “Although the origins of the Sunni-Shiite split [in the 7th century] were violent, over the centuries Shiites and Sunnis lived peacefully together for long periods of time...”, but now, “that appears to be giving way to a new period of spreading conflict in the Middle East between Shiites and Sunnis.” [back]

4. Curtis notes that Britain “provided arms and money to Ibn Saud during the First World War, signing a treaty with him in 1915 and recognising him as the ruler of the Nejd province under British protection. By the end of the war, he was receiving a British subsidy of £5,000 a month” He then cites Said Aburish’s vivid description of Ibn Saud’s rise to power a few years later:

Ibn Saud’s “...‘savagery wreaked havoc across Arabia’, terrorising and mercilessly slaughtering his enemies. The conquest of Arabia cost the lives of around 400,000 people, since Saud’s forces did not take prisoners; over a million people fled to neighbouring countries. Numerous rebellions against the House of Saud subsequently took place, each put down in ‘mass killings of mostly innocent victims, including women and children.’ By the mid-1920s most of Arabia had been subdued, 40,000 people had been publicly executed and some 350,000 had had limbs amputated; the territory was divided into districts under the control of Saud’s relatives, a situation which largely prevails today.

“The British recognised Ibn Saud’s control of Arabia, and by 1922 his subsidy was raised to £100,000 a year by Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill.” [back]

5. In 2012, 66 percent of jobs in Saudi Arabia were done by an estimated eight million foreign workers who generally must surrender their visas to their employers, and who have virtually no legal rights. According to the Guardian, there are about 1.5 million foreign maids, many of whom “face intense exploitation and abuse, ranging from months of hard work without pay to physical violence to slavery-like conditions.” In 2013, at least 45 maids were on death row for “crimes” such as “sorcery,” “adultery” or “fornication”—charges often brought when domestic workers report having been raped by their employers. [back]

6. Wahhabism is an extremely strict form of Islam started by Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab in the 1700s, and brought to national power in Saudi Arabia with the ascension of the house of Saud in the 1920s. It demands severe punishments—including death—for any deviation from its interpretation of Islam, or for lack of loyalty to the King (or the Caliphate, if one exists). [back]



Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Trapped in Tijuana, Their Asylum Claims Stalled, Hundreds of Refugees Storm the U.S. Border

| Revolution Newspaper |


More than 6,000 Central American migrants and refugees, mostly from Honduras, have been stranded for weeks in a sports complex turned refugee camp in Tijuana, Mexico. The numbers are expected to grow to 10,000 in coming weeks. They've traveled 2,500 miles on foot in caravans, fleeing intolerable violence, poverty, and repression in the countries they left to apply for asylum at the U.S. border. As more refugees arrive each day, they confront an endless wait—because U.S. Customs and Border Protection has intentionally slowed the asylum screening process to fewer than 100 applicants a day at the very time they knew large numbers of refugees were approaching. At this rate, it could take months of waiting in Tijuana before all of these refugees will have their initial screening, at which they must show border inspectors they have a “credible fear” of persecution if they’re forced to return to Honduras, or another home country.

These refugees, including mothers with small children, are packed into a baseball stadium filled to nearly twice its capacity. People have run out of what money they had. They’re sleeping shoulder to shoulder on pieces of cardboard, washing their clothes and showering with cold water from leaking pipes, and standing in line for plates of rice and beans donated by the people of Tijuana. Where does their courage come from? A refugee with her two- and five-year-old children told a reporter from the Washington Post: “We’re fleeing death. They killed my aunt, and I can’t even tell you the rest right now, but I’m scared.” There are hundreds, thousands more with stories like this, now stranded at the border.

Tear Gas, Not Asylum, for Refugees

The frustration, anger and fear of what’s ahead had been growing day by day when, on Sunday, November 25, 500 of the migrants decided on a peaceful march to the border to pressure the U.S. to speed up the asylum process. When Mexican federal police in riot gear tried to stop the march, hundreds of marchers maneuvered around them and began running toward and climbing the border wall. U.S. Border Patrol agents, claiming rocks were being thrown, fired tear gas canisters over the border into Mexico. The gas spread everywhere, choking hundreds who had only marched, or were just in the area. Mothers were seen fleeing with small children, fearing they would die from the gas they were choking on.

For the next six hours the border crossing between Tijuana and San Diego—the busiest in the world—was shut down to all vehicle and foot traffic in either direction. Mexican authorities reported they arrested 39 migrants involved in the events; then on Monday, they announced they had deported 98 Central Americans involved in the protest the day before. And the U.S. Border Patrol claimed it had arrested 69 migrants who had made it to the U.S. side of the border. The next morning the Mexican government stationed 500 federal police outside the refugee camp to intimidate any migrants who stepped out. And U.S. officials have announced it will bring federal charges against anyone who crosses the border from now on.

Grotesque Lies and Slander from the Top

Trump and his Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, wasted no time slandering the migrants, lying about what had taken place, and using it to whip up hatred toward the thousands of refugees being prevented from applying for asylum. In response to the massive outcry condemning the use of tear gas on women and children, the bullshit out of the mouths of Trump and Nielsen reached new depths. Trump dared claim to the world that these weren’t parents but “grabbers.” He said, “They grab a child because they think they’ll have a certain status.” Taking a page from Israel’s lies justifying its bombings of occupied Gaza and other hideous crimes against the Palestinians, Nielsen claimed that the Central American immigrants in Tijuana are using women and children as “human shields.”

The fear and white chauvinism these leading fascists are whipping up has a purpose—to make good on Trump’s promise that “Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court.” That means even after a refugee arriving at the border has shown a credible fear of persecution if forced to return to where they came from, they will not be granted refuge but be forced to wait years in Mexico or some other country till their court hearing. This is in complete violation of U.S. and international law—but it is another of the fascist norms the regime is trying to hammer into place.

The System’s Brutal Answer to the Refugee Crisis

The Trump/Pence fascists, and the capitalist-imperialist system they are leading, are responding to a refugee crisis: the number of refugees—especially unaccompanied minors and families with small children coming to the U.S.-Mexico border from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador seeking asylum—has skyrocketed since 2014. Of course, it is these refugees who are suffering in this humanitarian crisis. But for the Trump/Pence regime and its fascist base, it is this country, the U.S., that is facing the crisis caused by these refugees. What crisis? For tens of millions with white supremacy in their veins, this country’s “identity” as a “white Christian nation” is viewed as under attack by the rising number of dark-skinned immigrants.

The millions of people who are being forced out of where they live and seeking refuge should be welcomed! But it is also the reality that it is the workings of this system that are responsible for forcing these migrants and refugees from their homelands, and there is no way to solve this unfolding crisis short of a revolution that overthrows this capitalist-imperialist system.

American imperialism, under Democrats and Republicans, has violated, preyed on, terrorized and exploited Central America since the 1800s. They turned Honduras into a “banana republic” at the end of the 19th century—and then invaded it seven times between 1903 and 1925 to keep it that way! The whole country became a plantation growing bananas and coffee for international companies, and a sweatshop for cheap labor. The U.S. turned it into a base for dirty wars in Central America in the 1980s. And in 2009, under Obama, the U.S. backed a military coup in Honduras that has led to killings and violence at unbearable levels.

The attacks on the migrants at the Tijuana-San Diego border is part of a fundamental assault on the right to asylum for refugees, including the rewriting of U.S. and international law by Trumpian executive edict. The fascist regime has a lot riding on pushing through with this, and there are great stakes for humanity in whether they are able to succeed. But the answer is not to “go back” to the program of the Democrats. How did President Obama respond to the humanitarian crisis in June of 2014 when the south Texas border was flooded with unaccompanied minors seeking escape from the gang violence and extreme poverty? He immediately requested almost $4 billion from Congress—but not to provide comfort, shelter and help connecting with family members. It was entirely directed toward speeding up the apparatus designed to send these immigrants back to the hell they fled; to expand the number of holding cells so they could all be safely caged; and to lock down the border so this problem would not arise in the future.

There are actual answers to the questions of why all of this is happening, in these articles in the American Crime series.1 And there is a way, through revolution, that all this can change, which can be heard, for example, in this clip from Bob Avakian and in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

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


1. See “Case #79: Ronald Reagan’s Honduras—The Atrocities of ‘Battalion 316’”; “Case #75: Obama, Clinton and the 2009 Military Coup in Honduras”; “Case #38: The U.S. Backs El Salvador’s Death Squad Government, 1980 to 1992” [back]


Refugee families confront border patrol at the Tijuana border, December 1. (Photo: AP)

Would Mexico And Central America Still Be the US Backyard After the Revolution?

Share widely on social media

Download this clip

This video clip is from the Q&A following the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. Watch the speech and learn more about it here.

Migrants storm the border at Tijuana, November 25. (Photo: AP)


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Protest at the U.S. border:

"Let Them In!"

| Revolution Newspaper |


From a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

Thousands of migrants are amassed at the U.S./Mexico border—forcibly held on the Mexico side in an arena in Tijuana. These are people who have had to flee for their lives and livelihood because of what this system has done, devastating their home countries.

Last Sunday, November 25, there was a protest on the U.S. side called by different organizations in support of the caravan, with the demand: Let Them In! This coincided with a protest of migrants demanding that the asylum process be speeded up, so they aren’t stuck in limbo indefinitely. When people decided to make a run for the border, this protest was attacked by the Border Patrol—throwing tear gas at these migrants, including small children and babies!

Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were there at the San Ysidro U.S./Mexico border as part of the protest, just a few feet away from the entrance to the U.S. About 500 people marched about a mile from a local park to the San Ysidro port of entry. We marched and chanted and brought the message of Revolution, the battle plan for revolution in the pamphlet How We Can Win—How We Can Really Make Revolution and the urgent need to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. We arrived at the port of entry and all 500 chanted “Let Them In!” We rallied there for about 30 minutes and marched back to the park. The people at the front of the protest announced that about 500 migrants were at the border demanding answers about why the U.S. had them just waiting in Tijuana in what are unlivable conditions. By the time the protest dispersed, we had confirmation that 500 migrants were at the entrance demanding to be let in. We could see about five military choppers from a distance hovering over the port of entry area. We decided to go over there and check out the scene.

When we arrived at the port of entry, it looked like something out of a crime scene. The streets were closed and all you could hear was the sound of helicopters and the Border Patrol making announcements about shutting down the border.

I was running with a contingent from Refuse Fascism. We brought our giant “Trump/Pence Must Go” banner and walked around. We didn’t know exactly what was happening, but we could see that all entrances to Mexico were shut down. Every time we looked up, we could see their military choppers with someone in there holding a machine gun. There were armored vehicles rolling up and down the streets. We walked around with the banner and did agitation at different corners around the different entrances to Mexico. We distributed a lot of materials to people who were outraged by what was happening. At one point, we had about a dozen people around us hearing our agitation and taking materials. At that point, our agitation was brought to a halt because we heard three loud “BOOMS,” and everyone started running to the port of entry yelling “That was tear gas!” We saw the smoke from the tear gas rising in the air. It was a chaotic scene.

We saw the photos of women and children dodging tear gas canisters—people who are fleeing the hell that the United States has made in Honduras and all across Latin America, who walked thousands of miles to apply for asylum—who now found themselves in the middle of a battlefield—confronted by riot police, helicopters with machine guns, and soldiers.

One person who has experience going to the border for the last decade said that he had never seen anything like this before in terms of its militarization. These people had machine guns—they looked like they were ready for war.

All this needs to be exposed. I'd never seen anything like this.

People need to understand that what we’re seeing is a fascist response to an unresolvable contradiction of this system—that the way this system functions, it continues to create unlivable hellholes, and it has no solution for this. They need to understand that, for all its strength, this is a strategic weakness for this system, and that there is a strategy to overthrow it.

All of this points to why getting out the film of the new talk by BA, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, is so key to changing that. Organizing people around the talk gives people the understanding of the way out and gives them a way to work to overthrow and tear down this system, which not only erects these illegitimate borders between the different parts of humanity but reproduces horror after intolerable horror as part of its basic functioning.

People who had walked thousands of miles to apply for asylum were confronted by riot police, helicopters, machine guns, and soldiers. Border Patrol threw tear gas at these migrants, including small children and babies! (Photo: AP)

Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism support the migrant caravan at the U.S./Tijuana border.

Share widely on social media


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

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. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need 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. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. 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. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. 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.

All this 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.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

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.


Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread






Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Answering the call to discuss BAsics – an important way to become much more scientific

| Revolution Newspaper |


From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

We wanted to write in to tell the newspaper how we’ve understood the importance of holding weekly BAsics discussions with a quote selected from every week, in relation to building a movement for an actual revolution. BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a selection of quotations and short essays—it really is the handbook for revolution. Each quote concentrates the scientific method that people need to understand and transform reality. Really digging into these quotes is a big way of how we see training people to lead and strengthening and expanding the solid core of the movement for revolution.

We’ve been asking people who haven’t led discussions like this before to step up and co-lead with more experienced comrades as a part of enabling them to develop their ability to lead and bring forward others to do the same. We’ve also been going out broadly, putting the quotes on poles around our Organizing Center and inviting new people.

While there has been some “bouncing off” the quotes—giving rise to discussing a whole range of questions—we have tried to more return to, and keep digging deeper into, the quotes themselves. There is so much science concentrated in these BAsics quotes and so much to “unpack.”

In the discussions, there has been an ongoing struggle over materialism vs. various forms of idealism or moralism—just treating the problem as rich vs. poor, or bad people doing bad things instead of understanding the deeper, underlying and driving dynamics of this system.

For example, in the discussion of BAsics 1:23, the first couple rounds left it as if the problem was that the monopoly of the legitimate use of armed force arose just because the ruling class had more money to buy that force. At a certain point, the person leading the discussion pointedly asked: “So this could be dealt with if we just took the money out of politics?” This sharpened up the discussion—because it’s clear that taking the money out of politics won’t change the basic nature and functioning of this system, and its repressive armed forces. This led people to get more deeply into what it means that this is a “bourgeois dictatorship, a dictatorship of the ruling capitalist class.” The capitalist class isn’t principally defined by having money, it’s principally defined by its control over the means of production. As one person put it, “Wait, this is about production, not just wealth.” In order to control those means of production, the state enforces the underlying production relations. Digging into this changed the whole discussion... then people got into the fact that the kind of democracy and dictatorship you have will flow out of all that. This is why you can’t just “level the playing field by getting the money out of politics.” THIS state enforces THIS system. In this, we also drew on BAsics 1:22.

In the most recent discussion, of BAsics 1:31, we dug more into historical materialism and the relationship between ideas and the economic base. There was a lot of exposure of the history of this country—what does American stand for and what does it do in the world? One person new to the revolution kept bringing it back to the importance of context—and how so much of the reactionary modes of thinking in this country stem from the fact that people constantly strip the contradictions we face of the actual material and historical context. For example, not understanding the present-day impact of the history of slavery and white supremacy. In addition to digging into the moral importance of internationalism, we got into the nature and functioning of imperialism and why you have to apply historical materialism to really understand the problem. There was also some discussion about how “all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas” uphold this system. First, if you can't see beyond a world divided into nations with America at the top of that heap, you accept the terms and take up the modes of thinking that justify all this. Second, we got into how this isn’t just bad people with bad ideas, but how the very operation of capitalism-imperialism enforces and engenders the ideas that lead to all the cutthroat, vicious competitiveness. How the very work required to imagine a world without America puts you more into thinking about things from the perspective of humanity first.

The more we got into all this—what America stands for and what it does in the world, and the thinking that justifies this—someone kind of marveled that they were still having a hard time imagining beyond all that. We encouraged people to dig more into the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and someone else brought in a lot of thinking from the recent series on Hurricane Florence. We also read BAsics 2:15 and talked more about the material basis to get beyond a world without America.

So as you can see from these two examples, these BAsics discussions are a very important way for the movement for revolution to become much more scientific—and it’s also an important and underestimated way to recruit and train new forces for revolution. You can see, even just from these discussions, what it means that “You can’t change the world if you don’t know the BAsics.”

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution

June 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


People need to be serious in whatever commitments they make—they need to follow through on such commitments—and we should set and struggle for this to be the standard and the actual reality. But getting involved in the movement for an actual revolution has a specific dynamic that differs, say, from joining a sports team or a music group. We should not demand “zero to sixty” right away—or, in any case, try to force a leap, rather than winning people to it as part of an overall revolutionary process. What we need to be building is a continually developing mass movement for revolution—yes, an actual revolution—with a vibrant “Ohio,”* through which exponentially growing numbers of people can be actively involved and continue to advance (not all, but many of them) through the dialectical interplay of contributing and learning in continually increasing dimensions. As for those who do reach the “advanced end” of this “Ohio,” again this raises the question of their becoming not only part of the Revolution Club but also making the further leap to becoming part of the communist vanguard; but here again as well, the question of commitment should not be approached (even if in a somewhat “backhanded” way) from the negative, defensive position that amounts to: “We have had people make commitments and then not keep them, and then disappear (‘ghost’) on us; so we are going to make sure you don’t (can’t) do that!” Rather, we should proceed with the recognition that commitment, while it involves and requires (repeated) leaps along the way, essentially corresponds to and is grounded in what aspirations have been awakened, or brought forward, in people, and what they are coming to understand is required in relation to that. So, again, while we do need to have a serious attitude with regard to people making and carrying through on commitments, this must be commensurate with what their understanding and sentiments are at a given point, and most essentially must be in the context of and contribute to the broader mass revolutionary movement that they are part of (or becoming part of) and, while not involving any tailing, should proceed from what they themselves have been won (yes, won through struggle, even at times sharp struggle) to see as a necessary and essential contribution to the revolution.


* The “Ohio” refers to the Ohio State marching band’s practice of marching in such a way as to spell out “OHIO” when viewed from above; in this process, band members who begin the first O, then move through the other letters of the word until they are at the last “O”. The point is that there is an analogous process involved in building any kind of progressive or revolutionary movement, in which people “move through” various levels of understanding and commitment, though this is not (“in the real world”) quite so linear and in lockstep as the Ohio State marching band!*






Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

You Can’t Change the World If You Don’t Know the BAsics

| Revolution Newspaper |



Every week, Revolution features one quote from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. We encourage Revolution Clubs and other readers, everywhere, to take the time to discuss the quote—the whole quote—and to write us at with accounts of these discussions, or thoughts provoked in yourself by reading the quote.


Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Check It Out:

Hasan Minhaj on Affirmative Action

| Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

I highly recommend the episode of “Patriot Act,” comedian Hasan Minhaj’s new Netflix show, where he explicitly takes on the bogus lawsuits now underway which are seeking to dismantle affirmative action in higher education under the claim that these measures (which aim to overcome past and current discrimination against Black people) actually discriminate against Asian-Americans.

Affirmative action has been under attack for so long, with racist forces hijacking and perverting much of the language of the civil rights movement, that many who once supported it are now completely defensive about it, and most millennials have probably never heard a robust defense of it.

But affirmative action, as Minhaj shows compellingly, really matters—even as it is not a full solution to racist discrimination in higher education. Noting, for example, that Caltech—which does not have affirmative action—had only nine Black students in 2012, he scoffed, “There are more Black people in the Wu-Tang Clan.”

What makes this episode so powerful—and so enjoyable to watch—is not only Minhaj's fierce moral opposition to the racism at the core of the attack on affirmative action and not just his biting yet endearing humor, but also his robust substantiation of his argument with hard-hitting facts and truthful statistics. He shows that there is no honest basis for the claims that affirmative action discriminates against white people or against Asians. With wide arms, Minhaj sharply challenges the Asians and South Asians who have gotten caught up in the drive to dismantle affirmative action to knock it off. He reminds people of the way that Chinese and other immigrants have long been discriminated against in this country and calls on these communities to carry forward the much more positive legacy many have had of fighting against this discrimination and in standing with others who face the same in different forms. And, yes, he does it all with humor, warmth, and high production value.

For a deeper examination of the history of affirmative action—both the struggle that gave rise to it and the ongoing efforts of this system and the racists it continually spawns to dismantle it—and a look at what it will ultimately take to overcome past and ongoing discrimination against Black people and other oppressed nationalities, see this 2013 article from Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. U. of Texas: Supreme Court Tightens Noose Around Affirmative Action.



Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

On the Death of George H.W. Bush

| Revolution Newspaper |


As we go to press, it seems that different sections of society, especially among the ruling class, are seeking to take advantage of this occasion to advance their vision of American society, and its role in the world. Stay tuned to for more on this.

At the same time, it is important to remember that Bush I, as head of the CIA and then president of the USA, among other top positions, was a war criminal, presiding over all kinds of murderous things the U.S. did against the people, both here and all around the world. George H.W. Bush served in different capacities as part of the ruling class of U.S. imperialism. He was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1971 to 1973; chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1973 to 1974; director of the CIA from 1976 to 1977; vice president in the Ronald Reagan administration from 1981 to 1989; and president of the United States from 1989 to 1993.

The American Crime series documents some of these crimes carried out when George H. W. Bush was CIA head, vice president, and president, including those he was directly involved in:

American Crime Case #95: Reagan's Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala

In the early 1980s, following a U.S.-backed coup by General José Efraín Ríos Montt, the Guatemalan military systematically destroyed more than 600 indigenous Mayan villages in the highlands of the country.

American Crime Case #87: Operation Condor 1968-1980s: U.S.-Directed Campaign of Political Assassination and State Terror in Latin America

The U.S. secretly organized, financed, and directed a campaign of political repression, torture, disappearances, and assassinations code-named Operation Condor.

American Crime Case #79: Ronald Reagan’s Honduras—The Atrocities of “Battalion 316”

The U.S. military and CIA trained, financed, and covered up the crimes of “Battalion 316”—a Honduran military death squad which carried out a campaign of torture, murder, and state-sponsored terror against the Honduran people during the 1980s.

American Crime Case #76: U.S.-UN Sanctions on Iraq—“A Legitimized Act of Mass Slaughter”

From 1990 until 2003, the U.S. and the United Nations imposed crippling economic sanctions on Iraq. The results were catastrophic for millions of Iraqis, especially for the young, the sick, and the elderly.

American Crime Case #43: The U.S. Invasion of Panama, 1989-1990

On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,684 troops and 300 aircraft, killing thousands of civilians and removing Manuel Noriega and his Panamanian Defense Force from power. Half of the neighborhood of Chorrillos—which had a pre-invasion population of approximately 25,000—was literally destroyed by U.S. troops and civilian residents were victims of direct attacks.

American Crime Case #38: The U.S. Backs El Salvador’s Death Squad Government, 1980 to 1992

Throughout the decade of the 1980s into the early 1990s, the U.S. government backed, trained, and financed the reactionary government and military of the Central American country of El Salvador in its murderous counterinsurgency war that killed tens of thousands of workers, peasants, students, intellectuals, artists, and others and forced hundreds of thousands to flee into exile.


“This System Is a Monstrous System for Millions of Children Around the World”

A clip from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS! In the fall of 2012, Bob Avakian gave a series of talks in different cities. This is a film of one of those talks. Watch the whole film and other selected clips at

American Crime Case #87: George H. W. Bush shakes hands with former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, the military dictator who took power following the CIA-orchestrated coup that overthrew and killed President Salvador Allende in 1973. December 6, 1990, Santiago, Chile. (Photo: AP)

American Crime Case #76: Iraqi children submit coupons to get monthly rations of soap, Baghdad, Iraq, December 1998. (Photo: AP)

Panama Invasion

American Crime Case #43: on December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,500 troops and 300 aircraft, killing thousands of civilians and removing Manuel Noriega.  (Photo: AP)

Death squad victims in San Salvador, El Salvador, 1981
American Crime Case #38: in El Salvador a right-wing government backed by the U.S. suppressed a leftist rebellion in a 12-year war beginning in 1980—killing and torturing more than 70,000 people in a country with a population of about six million. Above: "Death squad" victims in San Salvador, El Salvador, 1981.


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Another Innocent Black Man Killed by Pigs:

Alabama Police Murder of Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr.

| Revolution Newspaper |


November 22, Thanksgiving night. An altercation broke out in Hoover’s Riverchase Galleria—a shopping mall near Birmingham, Alabama. An 18-year-old man and a young girl were hit by gunfire. As frightened shoppers ran from the scene, a cop working security at the mall confronted Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., a 21-year-old Black man, and shot him dead.

The police immediately announced they had killed the gunman, saying, “They heard the gunfire, they engaged the subject, and they took out the threat.” They claimed Bradford had “brandished” a gun. But the next day, they changed their story, saying Bradford was not the shooter and that “there is at least one gunman still at-large.” And a couple of days later, they “clarified” their use of the word “brandished,” saying they had used the term because Bradford “was holding a gun”—in another words, he was not threatening anyone with the weapon.

When EJ was killed, a man down the corridor at the mall said, “That boy didn’t shoot at nobody. He’s dead! They just killed that Black boy for no reason.” Alabama does not have laws against public carrying of firearms. And EJ’s mother, April Pipkins, says her son had been licensed to carry a weapon.

Time and time again, cops murder people, then lie and cover it up. So why did they admit Bradford, known as EJ, was not the shooter? Not because an innocent man had been murdered. Pro-police “law enforcement analyst” Tom Fuentes “explained” on CNN that they had to do this because the actual shooter was still on the loose.

Reportedly, the pigs didn’t even notify EJ’s family right away about the murder. The family described how awful it was to learn about EJ’s death on social media, including video footage of him lying in a pool of blood on the mall floor.

On Saturday, November 24, more than 200 people, including several of EJ’s relatives, demonstrated outside the mall to demand justice. People with signs reading "Justice for EJ" and "Black Lives Matter” and chanting “No justice, no peace, no racist police” marched around the mall and then went inside.

EJ’s father, a former Marine, works at a jail for the Birmingham police. Ironically, EJ had wanted to join the U.S. military, which goes all around the world murdering, brutalizing and dominating oppressed people. A military which serves the interest of the ruling class that in the U.S. unleashes the police to “serve and protect” their capitalist-imperialist system and, as part of that, murder and terrorize people, especially Black, Latino, and Native people.

This was the second time in two weeks an innocent Black man was killed because a cop simply saw a “Black man with a gun.” On November 11, 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, an armed security guard in a bar just south of Chicago, was trying to subdue a shooter when a cop arrived, and Roberson was killed by the pig.

EJ, like Roberson, is now added to the list of more than 850 people who have been shot and killed by police in the United States this year.

As shoppers ran from a shooting scene, a cop at the mall confronted Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr., a 21-year-old Black man, and shot him dead.

“How Long?! How Many More Times Do The Tears Have To Flow?”

A clip from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2012. Watch the whole talk at


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

To the Revolution Club and all those who want to be part of digging more deeply into the Speech by Bob Avakian over the holidays

| Revolution Newspaper |


The holidays are a great time for people to come together.  And a great time to let them in on the revolution we so badly need—why we need nothing short of that, and how to do it.  It’s also a great time to let them “meet” the leader of the revolution—Bob Avakian.  In other words, let’s show the Speech to and use BA's Official Biography with everyone we know.

The holidays are also a great time for people to raise and give money to make the year ahead far better than this one. 

So, we are encouraging you to pull people together to make plans—to do so based on digging into the pamphlet How We Can WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

How We Can WIN begins the section on What We Need To Do Now with “To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific.” Let's start with the basic question: what is everything we're doing working towards?

How We Can WIN lays this out:

All this 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 murderous 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.

But doing that needs a strategy.  And while How We Can Win has different parts of the strategy, the first one and a big one is spreading the word.  Here’s what BA says about that in the speech:

First, it is important to understand that, although it is true (as I have said in The New Communism) that revolution cannot and will not be made just by “spreading the idea of revolution around, and perhaps getting some positive responses,” nevertheless it is also true that spreading the word about this revolution can itself be very important revolutionary work—an important part of building the movement for revolution. The fact is that, among those who really need to know about this, including those who most desperately need this revolution, very few have even heard about it—and they are living with the belief that this world, as it is, is the only one that’s possible, and for many this means that, on top of being subjected to continual brutality, degradation and torment, they are suffocated by the lack of hope. Raising people’s sights to the possibility of a radically different world can not only bring hope to people, on a scientific basis, but can also awaken a potentially powerful force for the revolution that could make this hope a reality. For these reasons: “We need 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.” Here again is the importance of the point I emphasized earlier about the great strengths we do have—and what is still missing: masses of people “who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system,” who need to be brought forward, wave after wave, and developed into conscious revolutionaries and revolutionary leaders.

Getting organized into the ranks of the revolution means acting together with others in a unified way, as an organized force, guided by the strategic plan and leadership for the revolution. So, let’s ask ourselves: what are we doing when we show the film?  How does that bring revolution closer?  How is this so critical to bringing in what is missing?

A big part of the revolution is relying on the masses of people for support.  Why do we need that money?  And how do we raise that money in a way that gives people an understanding of what the revolution is all about?  What happens when someone gives money—how does that change them?  And how is raising money—and working with people to raise money as they know how—how can that be part of them also raising their consciousness?

BA talks a lot about the “Points of Attention for the Revolution” (POA) in the film.  Why do you think he does that?  Why are the POA important?  How should the POA influence and be part of fundraising activities?

** In Part 2 of this speech, BA talks about the importance of people starting with “basic tasks that they can readily carry out and feel confident doing which make a real contribution to building the revolution, and can learn to take on more responsibility as they gain more experience and a deeper understanding.  The important thing is that they are part of the process of building the revolution, together with others.”

What does he mean by this being “a process?”  How would fundraising or hosting a film showing (or helping to spread word of that) fit into that?

** Where should we set up film showings or carry out fundraising?  What do you think about what How We Can Win says about who should be part of the revolution?  Why? 

** How can the discussion and engagement in those screenings be part of people wrangling with, and working on the problems of, the revolution, and why is that approach important?


The point is that everything we are doing, at all times, is part of making revolution—actively working, according to a strategic approach and plan, to move things, as fast as possible, toward the time when it will be possible for millions to fight all-out with a real chance to win.

Grasp Revolution, make plans and set goals.

Let's bring in 2019—building up the organized forces for revolution!




Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:


Watch it, spread it, fund it

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it

Points of Attention for the Revolution

The Revolution Club upholds, lives by and fights for the following principles:


Get a free email subscription to




Revolution #572 December 3, 2018

Question: What Do You Do With a System That Gives No Future to Millions of Black and Latino Youth; Whose Police Brutalize, Lock Them Up and Even Kill Them in Cold Blood, and Then Covers It Up?

Answer: Overthrow It.

| Revolution Newspaper |


Last fall, an on-duty Chicago cop (Jason Van Dyke) was put on trial for murdering Laquan McDonald. The trial was rare, the jury’s conviction for second degree murder even rarer. The trial was rare not because the police in Chicago rarely kill Black youths but because they are never prosecuted for it. From 2010 to 2016, police killed 92 people and wounded 170. Four out of five were Black. Before Van Dyke, no Chicago cop had ever been put on trial for shooting a Black person while on duty. (Chicago Tribune, August 26, 2016)

Now three former and current Chicago cops are being tried in a bench trial (a trial before a judge, not a jury) for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct, i.e., lying in official police reports to cover up and justify Van Dyke shooting Laquan. Both sides have rested and the judge said she will rule on December 19.

Laquan McDonald was just 17 years old. (His friends morphed their greeting, “Quon Dog” into an affectionate “Corn Dog.”) He had made a new start at an alternative high school on the South Side where the principal described him as quick to smile and hug his teachers. On an October night in 2014, Laquan was already surrounded by multiple police on a major street in an industrial section of the South Side of Chicago when Jason Van Dyke arrived on the scene. Seconds later, he jumped out of his patrol car and opened fire. Laquan crumpled to the ground. Van Dyke paused for a moment and then resumed shooting over and over and over. 16 shots. The eight Chicago pigs on the spot provided no first aid, no comfort.


The story of Laquan McDonald and really the millions of Laquans in inner city neighborhoods doesn’t start that night on a street on the South Side of Chicago. It doesn’t start with the hard life he had as a child. The story really starts decades and even centuries before he was born. You get a deep picture of this in Bob Avakian’s speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, as well as in the Q&A now posted. But just to briefly sum that up:

The U.S. was founded on slavery and genocide. After the long nightmare of slavery was ended after the Civil War, instead of genuine and lasting freedom for Black people there was violent reassertion of slavery by another name—sharecropping farming in the South, where Black people were kept in legal second-class citizen status, terrorized to stay “in their place” by the KKK and white Citizen Councils for decades, as well as forced into slave labor in prisons for “crimes” such as vagrancy, where many were literally worked to death.

When Black people were no longer needed to do that backbreaking labor down South, they were both driven off the land and lured to go north seeking freedom and a better life, only to be super-exploited in the lowest and dirtiest jobs in factories, steel mills and stockyards—if they could find work at all. In Chicago, like cities all over the U.S., Black people were segregated in overcrowded and dilapidated slums. White mobs rioted over and over again in the decades that followed whenever Black people dared to move into the “wrong neighborhood” or integrate the schools—all managed by the top real estate interests in the city, again for the benefit of their capitalist system.

Today those factories have long since closed and the rulers have no real way to make profits off of large swaths of the masses of Black people. Chicago is a city where years after the civil rights movement, segregation is still the rule of the day, when they are not literally driving Black people OUT OF the city... where the schools in Black neighborhoods are turned into virtual prisons and pipelines to actual prisons or the military, when they’re not being shut down... where masses of youth are consigned to lives of such hopelessness and desperation that crime, in the words even of one of the capitalist system’s defenders, becomes a “rational choice” and “the life” becomes a source of meaning for the youth so they are driven to murdering and shooting and crippling each other.

So what does this system do with youths who are robbed of any decent future or prospects? It contains them violently through heavily armed police forces that brutalize and murder them. The blue uniform of the police has replaced the white robe of the KKK and the mounted slave patrols and militias of the past. The role of the police “is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in....” (from BAsics 1:24)

This is the world that Laquan was born into and which condemned him even before he was born. This is the real story of the millions of Laquans and of the pigs who murdered him, who covered up his murder, of the city administration and all its agencies that shielded the police. This is the story that will not be told in the courtroom or the media.

If you want to understand WHY this keeps happening over and over for generations; if you want to understand why the oppression of Black people is poured into the foundation of this capitalist-imperialist system and why there is no future for the youth; if you want to understand why the Chicago consent decree was a product of the struggle against police brutality but won’t fundamentally solve the problem; if you want to understand why a revolution is the solution and how one could be made... if you agonize about this situation—then you need to watch the film of Bob Avakian’s talk Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution and listen to his answer during a Q&A in Chicago about the consent decree.

Anatomy of a Cover-Up

Oppression breeds resistance and people do rise up... and the system is forced to both repress and maneuver when they do. These trials in Chicago are only happening now because of what people did in Ferguson and Baltimore and all the other cities where people straightened their backs to demand police terror STOP! And as part of this, there was all the journalists’ exposures and the authorities’ mounting fear of how the city, including people who want to believe the police are “fair,” would be shocked and convulsed in response to the release of the video of the cold-blooded execution of Laquan and the massive cover-up that ran right up through the entire city administration.

Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor, describes “CPD standard operating procedure is, and has been for years, when an officer is accused of misconduct, when an officer uses force, it’s to justify it and circle the wagons and get the officer’s back. You don’t even need a conspiracy, it’s just standard operating procedures.” It is, he said, “investigation as cover-up.”

A car with a Latino man and his adult son in it had pulled over when the police started to surround Laquan in the middle of the street. They had a clear view of the events surrounding the shooting. These eye witnesses were made to leave without being asked for any information as potential witnesses. Police went into a nearby Burger King that night and after they had gained access to the relevant surveillance video, according to the BK manager, the portion of the video surrounding the shooting was erased.

Within hours after the shooting, Van Dyke and other officers who were on the scene of Laquan’s murder and the detective in charge of investigating it for the CPD met together back at area central. There they discussed the shooting and watched the dashcam video. Only AFTER this meeting did the pigs on the scene write their reports and get interviewed individually by the detective, David March, who was leading the investigation for the CPD. Two of the reports falsely claimed that Van Dyke was acting in defense of his life to stop McDonald’s attack, using identical language to Van Dyke’s description of the situation: that McDonald had committed battery right before Van Dyke shot him and was aggressively swinging a knife toward police... and that after Laquan was shot and on the ground, he was still a threat because he kept trying to get up with the knife in his hand.

One cop at the scene has testified that Detective March pressured her to lie in her report about what she saw and when she refused, he altered her report without her knowledge to make it sound like Laquan was a threat.

March’s investigation found that all the accounts by the officers were consistent with the video and concluded that the shooting was justified. A high ranking deputy chief reviewed and signed off on it, clearing Van Dyke of any wrongdoing. (This deputy chief was later allowed to retire with full pension.)

The video from one dashcam that captured the shooting is in stark contrast to all the lies that the police told. (Conveniently, the audio and the video on some dashcams were rendered inoperable prior to this.) The video clearly shows Laquan walking away from the police in the middle of a four lane street. He never committed an assault. His arm is at his side. It is never raised. He never lunged. In fact, Van Dyke advanced toward him as he opened fire. Laquan never tried to get up as bullet after bullet struck his body on the ground. It was, as the world would see, a ruthless execution of a Black teenager.

In the wake of the shooting, the whole machinery of the city administration went into gear to protect the murdering police and conceal the truth from ever seeing the light of day. The police chief saw the dashcam video early on as did the “Independent” Police Review Authority, the district attorney, the city’s legal counsel, and the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff. The “independent” agency’s investigation went nowhere in collusion with the mayor’s (documented in email exchanges that the city had to release.) In the midst of Emanuel’s mayoral race, the city council ratified a $5 million settlement in literally five seconds—no discussion, no questions. A settlement before a suit was even filed by McDonald’s family. The settlement stipulated that the video not be released. The mayor continued to fight in court to prevent the video from being released. All the people involved in this cover-up should have been indicted for their role in aiding and abetting the murder of Laquan, yet only three cops are facing charges.

It is important to remember that the cover-up almost worked as had countless others. The police narrative (i.e., lies) was duly reported as fact by all the mainstream media. A medical examiner put in his formal report that Laquan had lunged at police based on a phone call from Detective March. (March’s lawyer is now bizarrely claiming that someone impersonated him in the call to the medical examiner’s office!) No one even questioned the shooting at the time, until some clues about what a horrific murder it really was were leaked to journalist Jamie Kalven from the Invisible Institute. Almost a year after the murder, a judge finally ordered the dashcam video to be released to the public. Shocked by what they saw and how it was in stark contrast to the police narrative, people of all nationalities took to the streets in outrage night after night for weeks.

Cover-Up or Business As Usual?

The lawyer for Van Dyke’s partner, who is currently on trial, brought home the truth that this is how it works. He argued that there was nothing wrong with the cops meeting together after the shooting or the cops coordinating how they would handle the situation, “[T]hose factors are what occurs in every single major crime that occurs in this city. And it occurs at every single police department in this state and this country. This is not evidence of an agreement. This is typical standard operating procedure of what occurs in the wake of a major crime.”

The journalist Jamie Kalven, who has for decades exposed police brutality in Chicago, made an important observation: “While the term ‘code of silence’ evokes something essential—the coerced silence of police officers who observe but do not report abuses by their fellow officers—it is, in some respects a misnomer, a euphemism. The practices to which it refers are less a matter of silence than of tightly orchestrated lying and various means used to maintain narrative control.” And further, that it is not some "vague 'culture'" among cops but “a set of institutional mechanisms central to the operation” of the Chicago Police Department.” (See Kalven’s “Code of Silence” published online.)

The Trial

In this current trial, Laquan McDonald is once again being demonized and painted as responsible for his own death, AND the police who systematically lied in their reports are once again being given a platform to viciously claim his murder was justified. Along with allowing Laquan to be put on trial, the judge has also allowed wild and unfounded attacks by the defense on the personal character and integrity of witnesses against the police. In a surreal moment, one of the pigs’ attorneys actually grilled the Latino eyewitness who has courageously fought to tell the truth about what he saw that night—why didn’t he call 911 to report what he witnessed? Mr. Torres pointed out that when you call 911 you get the police who were already there. The whistle-blower cop was attacked by the defense, accused of lying to save her job so she wouldn’t have to return to working as a cashier at a fast food joint. She testified that as result of refusing to falsify her report and testifying in this trial, she has been labeled a rat and a traitor on the job, re-assigned to desk duty for fear that her fellow pigs would put her in harm’s way on the street.

The judge will make her ruling on the outcome of this trial on December 19. It remains to be seen if fear of further exposure of the whole judicial system will result in this judge, who is a former veteran prosecutor, finding these cops guilty or whether the whole weight of the system and everything the system has invested in protecting the police will result in the judge letting these pigs walk. And whatever the verdict, the fact that so few of the guilty have even been tried amounts in itself to a whitewash and an outrageous injustice, even on the terms of what this system CLAIMS to be about (equality before the law).

This trial could also could have ramifications on the upcoming sentencing of Van Dyke and his appeal of his guilty verdict for 2nd degree murder.

While it would be an outrage if any of these pigs walk free, it is still worse that this system goes on even after a few scapegoats are punished, creating new Laquans with the same brutality and the same orchestration of lies that cover it up.

This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown.

Concessions on police terror; violence among the youth; why you need a revolution: Q&A w Bob Avakian

If you want to understand WHY this keeps happening over and over for decades; if you want to understand why the oppression of Black people is poured into the foundation of this capitalist-imperialist system and why there is no future for the youth; if you want to understand why the Chicago consent decree was a product of the struggle against police brutality but won’t fundamentally solve the problem; if you want to understand why a revolution is the solution and how one could be made... if you agonize about this situation—then you need to watch the film of Bob Avakian’s talk Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution and listen to his answer during a Q&A in Chicago about the consent decree.

Eddie Johnson was named police chief when Garry McCarthy was forced to step down after the video of Laquan’s murder became public. Johnson was Emanuel’s hand-picked choice to run the department in the hopes that putting a Black cop in charge would quell the criticism of the department, which is notorious for its brutality. Even the Department of (in)Justice was forced to investigate the CPD in 2017 after the uproar in the city over Laquan’s murder and found a police “pattern of unlawful force” and that “the failure to review and investigate officer use of force has helped create a culture in which officers expect to use force and not be quest[ion]ed about the need for or propriety of that use.”

The Invisible Institute recently published a lengthy exposure at The Intercept about Eddie Johnson’s history in orchestrating and overseeing these cover-ups, protecting pigs involved in notorious shootings and excessive force complaints in case after case: Rekia Boyd, Dakota Bright, Niko Husband, Christian Green and many more. See “Use of Force—Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s Long Record of Justifying Police Misconduct and Shootings” published by Invisible Institute at The Intercept, November 14, 2018.



Get a free email subscription to