Revolution #573, December 10, 2018 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

Iranian Dinner—A Benefit for the Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper |


On a cold December evening Revolution Books in Berkeley held a very successful fundraising dinner for the filmed speech by Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. The aroma of delicious Iranian food and Iranian music filled the store. The evening was warm, vibrant, defiant, and full of revolution. An unusual mix of people of different nationalities, ages, and points of view helped to make this an important step in raising funds to get this film out into society.

The event was hosted by some Iranian immigrants who were inspired by this film to do a lot of work to cook and provide a dinner with many delicious Iranian dishes. These immigrants had been figuring out ways to reach out to others and promote this film and one of the plans they came up with was to host this dinner.

At the dinner, one spoke in Farsi about why they were doing this. This is part of what they said:

When we watched this film, this film showed us clearly and with substance through historic development of the 5 Stops why and how these contradictions are real and how they cannot be eliminated under this system of capitalism-imperialism and why this system is not reformable and must be overthrown....

[T]his film was full of hope and very clearly shows you how this leader and this party has a real and clear strategy for revolution and emancipation of humanity.... This is like a sun obscured by the dark clouds of this heartless world of oppression and exploitation; let’s together push these clouds away and let this shine through the world, towards the emancipation of humanity....

They reached out to Revolution Books to put out a flyer and poster (and other forms of media) to invite people to this fundraiser dinner. The promotional materials quoted the film: “[W]e have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution.” And the materials had, in addition to the English headline “Delicious Homemade Iranian dinner! A Benefit for the Revolution!” writing in Farsi which said “A BRIDGE TOWARD THE EMANCIPATION OF HUMANITY.” Flyers and posters were distributed and posted up around the city of Berkeley, the University of California campus, and among many different strata of people, and there was some focus on reaching out to the Iranian community.

Nearly 50 people crowded into Revolution Books. There was a relatively short but excellent program during the dinner. A Revolution Club representative set the tone by reading part of a statement “A Call to Those Whose Hearts Are Aching” from some Iranian immigrants that is available online. Here is an excerpt from that call, which gives a further sense of the spirit of the evening:

We, a small group of Iranian immigrants living here in U.S., after watching the film of a talk given by comrade Bob Avakian last summer, are writing this letter to tell you about our experience with this film and to invite, encourage and really challenge others whose hearts are aching when hearing and seeing the world of horrors that humanity is going through throughout the world to really put aside some time and really, as soon as you can, sit down with a few friends, relatives and loved ones to watch this film. This film educates you, tells you why the world is the way it is and how it does not have to be this way anymore, and how another world is possible. But more than that, the film invites you in to see that you and others can become part of the bridge to revolution, to another and much better future. This film will change you as it changed all of us in one way or the other.

And then after the excerpts from the statement, everyone watched the powerful clip of the Q&A of the film, “Bob Avakian’s Answer to People Who Complain about Immigrants Crossing Borders.”

BA’s clip helped to further raise sights and lift the spirit of the entire event. No one else is bringing out like BA why immigrants and refugees are driven to move all over the world—and why we stand with the people and not with the U.S. and other imperialist powers who have ravaged the people of the world. And this has urgent meaning right now, with the crisis of immigrants at the U.S./Mexico border, with fascist attacks on immigrants all over the world, with cruel and savage attacks on humanity coming from this system in the war on Yemen, in the war in Syria, in the looming threat of major war against Iran. The Iranian hosts of the dinner spoke of how people in Iran are already suffering from the sanctions against Iran which are paving the way for war. All this points to the great need to overthrow and finally get rid of this system, and the urgent need right now to spread the word, and get this film everywhere.

This fundraising dinner lifted sights, offered revolutionary community, and pointed to how people can raise funds and further spread this film. There was a sense of being part of building a movement for revolution that stretches far beyond this city and this area and reaches across the country, and a warm invitation for people to join in, and take part in the struggle to put an end to the nightmare of this system.

Nearly $500 was raised (after expenses) by the dinner. At the end, people hardly wanted to leave and sat for a long time after eating, and got into conversations of all kinds. And many people left with cards and promotional materials for the film. Some were thinking about their holiday gatherings and showing this film to their relatives and loved ones. Some for whom this night was the first contact with the revolution and Bob Avakian’s voice said that they had a very meaningful evening. One of the suggestions the Iranian hosts were making as people left was to encourage people to hold these kinds of fundraising events amongst many different nationalities and among people from different parts of the world—in the spirit of making revolution and emancipating humanity.


“We . . . invite, encourage and really challenge others whose hearts are aching when hearing and seeing the world of horrors that humanity is going through throughout the world to really put aside some time and really, as soon as you can, sit down with a few friends, relatives and loved ones to watch this film.”

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 »

Watching a clip from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution at a benefit at Revolution Books in Berkeley. Photo: special to

Delicious Iranian food was served at a benefit for the Revolution at Revolution Books in Berkeley. Photo: special to

Revolution Books
2444 DURANT AVE. (@ Telegraph Ave.)
Berkeley, CA 94704
Photo: Revolution Books


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Revolution #573 December 10, 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.



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Revolution #573 December 10, 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:


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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

Ceremony and Celebration for New Members of the Revolution Club

by the Revolution Club, New York City

| Revolution Newspaper |


On a misty Sunday afternoon, people gathered at Revolution Books for an inspiring event full of heart and science, humor and revolutionary love for humanity. People came to a ceremony to celebrate a diverse group of individuals stepping up to officially join the Revolution Club. It was put together and hosted by leaders in the Revolution Club, and in attendance were current Revolution Club members, the newest recruits to the Revolution Club and their invited guests—family members, friends and partners, longtime revolutionaries and supporters of the movement for revolution, and others. One new member took the day off work and made a two-hour drive to be part of the ceremony. People active in came to be part of the experience. A ceremony like this was the first of its kind in NYC.

During the opening remarks to the ceremony, one of the co-hosts made the point that in a world and in a society where all around you everybody is hit with the same message to “only think about yourself” and forget about the larger world, forget about the 65 million refugees fleeing war, poverty, and hunger, forget about the destruction of the environment, and on and on, it is a great thing, in the face of all that, to have people saying they refuse to accept these horrors, they’re about the emancipation of all of humanity so “count me in!” This is a beautiful thing that was celebrated on this day.

The new recruits were given a warm welcome and presented with an official Revolution Club membership patch. Each new person went up on stage and shared a story or recounted the process that got them to this point. There were many heartfelt statements made and some went deep into the transformations they have gone through, politically and ideologically, as a result of running with the Revolution Club, struggling over the big questions confronting humanity and seriously engaging with Bob Avakian (BA) and the new communism. It was very moving for everyone involved.

The program featured the trailer of the new speech by Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution; it included a statement from Carl Dix; and there was a special performance from the revolutionary rock band Outernational; and important statements were made by current Revolution Club members who talked about their own experiences becoming revolutionaries and what it has meant to be part of this group and contribute to the world historic effort to emancipate humanity.

The Revolution Club co-hosts kept bringing the audience back to the core message: that this system cannot be reformed and it must be overthrown, that there’s leadership in Bob Avakian. and that today that’s the process people are stepping into in answering the call and challenge to be a part of the Revolution Club. They did a dramatic reading of the Points of Attention for the Revolution; and they called attention to the need to defeat the attempts by the system to silence and repress the Revolution Club in different cities, in particular highlighting the serious charges facing the comrades in Chicago and Los Angeles. And through all this they also gave a sense of the Revolution Club as an organization with national scope.

The program ended with a challenge to the audience to put on the R-NL! [BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!] T-shirt as part of taking a first step in powerfully representing for this revolution... there was a momentary silence and then a couple of people enthusiastically did. We called on new and current members of the Revolution Club as well as those who got a T-shirt that day to come up on stage for a group picture—with fists in the air—and we chanted, “This system can’t be reformed—It must be overthrown!”

As HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution puts it, the Revolution Club is “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.” Those responsible for putting the ceremony together worked hard in the days before to come up with a program that would capture this through statements, videos, and visuals. We wrestled with the importance of how this ceremony is part of the process of recruiting the thousands now into the revolution and bringing forward communists, and tried to present and convey the strategic importance of new and current members taking up the responsibility to be part of a force and organization—the Revolution Club—that is getting organized and ready to make real revolution—to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.

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 »


From Statements Made at the NYC Revolution Club Patch Ceremony

Prepared statement from a new member of the Revolution Club read at ceremony

I’ve long been convinced of the necessity for revolution and communism. Most of my adult life has been spent dedicated to studying the works from Marx to Mao, the history of the international communist movement, the breakthrough that marked the first stage of communist revolution, and fighting like hell for that right here in the belly of the beast. I have known about Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party for quite some time, reading bits and pieces of various works here and there, and occasionally “checking in” online to see what this revolution was up to. But for far, far too long I did not take it seriously. In fact, I was among those who were quite hostile to it. That all changed when I met supporters of the Party and its leadership, and when I opened myself up to struggling with them. There’s so much that I can say about the period between then and now, and my whole life leading up to this point... but instead, I’ll ask y’all: where am I standing now? I’m standing here and now to join the Revolution Club, to make a leap in my further transformation as an emancipator of humanity, to be a part of the vanguard of the future.

The truth is, before I linked up with this revolution, I was just about ready to give up on revolution. Because ideas, determination, resolve, drawing on experiences of the past—all of that alone can only take you so far. What was missing, what I so desperately needed, even if I didn’t know it at the time, was the living scientific method and approach that Bob Avakian has synthesized and brought forward. My mind was so full of dogmatism, idealism, a whole package of all that bullshit, even as I spoke vehemently against such things. For me, “science” had become synonymous with “philosophy” and “ideology,” which really means I was guided by religiosity more than anything else. The New Communism that Bob Avakian has brought forward has changed everything for me; I’m still in the process of shaking off the old ways of thinking, making the ruptures needed in order to really stand up to the challenges ahead. But I have accepted the invitation to join him on this revolutionary road, joining the collectivity of others who are fighting together to take up and enrich this science, and applying it to transform society towards the final aim of world communism.

Because all of humanity, the very planet itself, is counting on us to follow through on that. We have to become a major contending force in society, so that thousands and then millions more come to accept this invitation too. The work that BA has done objectively represents the only way out of the long nightmare that humanity has suffered, the endless horrors of capitalism-imperialism that all other projects for humanity will ultimately keep us locked within. We have seen a glimpse of what is possible in revolutions past, now we must go even further. And look, one thing those experiences taught us is that we should never be afraid to go against the tide, to go up against all the prevailing winds that lead the people away from what they must rise up to accomplish. We’re not anywhere close to where we need to be, but we have the basis for us to make huge leaps forward in this movement, and very quickly. With communism that is grounded in a scientific method and approach, and an inexhaustible impatience, we can live up to what we say we are. We can be the real, revolutionary communists that the world so desperately needs.

New member

... it’s amazing to know that there are organizations out there that are actually fighting to emancipate all of humanity and not just one pocket or two here and there because the more you do any kind of activism the more you realize how interconnected all these issues are to the horror that is capitalism, so I’m really, really honored to be part of the movement to truly overthrow that so that we can actually live in a better world and actually make real progress and real change, so thank you everyone.

New member

... I’m a citizen of the world... and I’m very happy to be here with you, to be part of the Club, of the Revolution Club. And I’m very excited, very excited to fight against the capitalism-imperialism system. Yes I agree the Trump/Pence regime must go but the system we must definitely destroy it because like you say all the time a better world is possible. If we look around, whether in Haiti, Dominican Republic, in Mexico... you see the same thing, poverty, misery, ignorance, diseases... war, police brutality, all those things come from the capitalism system, capitalism-imperialism. And I believe like BA says all the time, this system cannot be reformed, cannot be reformed, this is the nature of the system, it must be totally, I’m going to use a very hard word, it must be totally destroyed... we must be serious and scientific and that’s what I love about the Revolution Club... And I would like to say thanks to them... on a daily basis those guys, you know, they call me all the time, I call them all the time, they come to my house, we really work together. Again I’m very happy to be with you and I know, I’m pretty sure, I’m not going to say 100 percent but at least 98 percent I will be helpful for the Revolution Club. Before I finish, on the Points of Attention for the Revolution... the first one is very important, “...We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.” This is very, very important, a lot of people they did that, they did that in the Dominican Republic, they did that in Haiti, they did that in Mexico... the second one is very important, they’re all important... the third one, “We fight for a world without borders”... I’m a citizen of the world, everywhere the capitalist-imperialist system exists I will fight against it... “and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages,” that’s the reason I speak four languages because since I was young I said I must communicate with all people in America, wherever you’re from, you’re from Venezuela or born in Venezuela or you were born in the Dominican Republic, or Haiti... “We do not tolerate insults, ‘jokes’ or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.” That’s very important.

Points of Attention for the Revolution

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

New member

... I’ve been around the movement for revolution for a long time fighting police brutality, standing up against the wars, but the longer that I’ve been around this the more I see, fuck, we need to get rid of this system, this system has to be overthrown it cannot be reformed and so some of us were talking about this quote the other day and this quote had a really big impact on me becoming a revolutionary. This is by Bob Avakian from BAsics 1:31.

If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you’ve already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world. If you can envision a world without any imperialism, exploitation, oppression—and the whole philosophy that rationalizes it—a world without division into classes or even different nations, and all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas that uphold this; if you can envision all this, then you have the basis for proletarian internationalism. And once you have raised your sights to all this, how could you not feel compelled to take an active part in the world historic struggle to realize it; why would you want to lower your sights to anything less?

So that’s why I’m part of this Revolution Club.

New member

So I’m so proud to be here—I just can’t even begin to tell you guys—but on top of that... we still need to do so much more. All of us here, I think. One step that I’m definitely taking as we move forward is I want to contribute not just more of my time, more of my being, more of my expertise that I have, but I must give monetarily as well. ... the intellectual integrity that we have within this room [is so high], we need to match that, and we need to talk to all of our friends we need to talk to family we need to talk to anyone that we can because the movement will go faster will happen better and more efficiently, because BA has already done all of the think work... and again the one message that BA has that nobody else has in this world today is putting humanity first and that’s what I want for all of us in this room.

A current member

... we are serious about this shit, but this is a thing where there’s no place on earth where you could run. There’s no running away from this shit that doesn’t involve on one level or another willfully blinding yourself towards it. Especially coming from this situation and as people have said furthermore none of this is necessary. But if you go out into the street you see that everyone has an explanation justifying why it is or why there’s only something you can do about it to change it in this way or that way to serve you, or them, or my people, or those people. And too few people know about this. And so as somebody that’s been around and in the club through these various stages of development. Why I’m wearing this patch today has to do with consciously stepping up to being part of solving this problem. Seeing it around and seeing that too few fucking people know about this shit and that absolutely none of this is necessary. I’ve had this patch put on consciously as part of taking responsibility of putting up and putting on this radical revolt against this revolting culture on the map, of deepening my understanding but also bringing my questions and working on the problems of the revolution. I’m putting on this patch as part of representing for this revolution wherever I am, and working to bring forward and inspire others as part of this and... it’s one thing to do this and work through this shit on your own and wrangle with these ideas on your own and it’s a different thing entirely to do it collectively with people working on the biggest problems of the revolution and so that’s why I’m wearing this patch today.


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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

From a member of the Revolution Club, Bay Area

Revolution Club Digs into the New Socialist Republic and the Environment, Economy, International Relations, and Education

| Revolution Newspaper |


Last weekend at our Revolution Club meeting we read and discussed some excerpts from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that talk about the environment and related topics. One of the Revolution Club members has been emphasizing the importance of envisioning the world we’re fighting for, and not having our thinking be so trapped in the way the world is now. And we’ve all been thinking a lot about the environment, since we spent so much time this past month literally choking on the smoke from fires fueled by global warming, while first the UN and then the U.S. government came out with dire reports about how little time we have to radically change everything in order to stop a climate catastrophe. Plus, after the revolution, we’re the ones who are gonna have to implement this Constitution and solve all these pressing problems while keeping things going forward toward a liberated communist world. And right now, at a time when more and more people are starting to identify “capitalism” (however they understand that) as the problem but can’t imagine anything beyond that, bringing people the understanding that there IS a radical solution to this environmental emergency is a key avenue for putting real revolution on the map. So this was a very important subject for us to dig into!

We had a really interesting discussion. After we read the part where it talks about how the New Socialist Republic will not develop or use nuclear weapons (Article I, Section 2, C. Defense and Security), which people really liked, someone raised the question of how you defend yourself from other countries which will still have nuclear weapons. Other people talked about how using nuclear weapons would turn us into what we’re fighting against, and the positive example of leadership that is set for the world by dismantling them, but how this problem can only really be dealt with by spreading revolution throughout the world.

We talked about what a consciously planned economy is, as opposed to worker-owned co-ops which someone had raised, and the need to move beyond a system where things are bought and sold as commodities. We discussed the three criteria of economic development (Article IV, Section 1), and the tension between them, and from what perspective these things would have to be weighed and balanced as you make decisions about what to produce, how to produce it, and where to allocate resources.

We explored some of the contradictions involved in international relations (Article I, Section 2, E. International Relations), becoming self-reliant while still having trade relations, but as much as possible not relying on long-distance shipping (for environmental reasons), and not relying on the super-exploitation of people throughout the world. We had a whole discussion about how we would go about repairing the damage that was done to these Third World countries, environmentally and in terms of the poverty, etc. People raised the question of what you would do with all the U.S. capital around the world, the factories and plantations, etc., and if there was something else that could be done besides just turning it over to the ruling classes of those countries. People brought up different ideas, like maybe we can send teams to other countries to build housing, etc., and what would happen if the oppressive governments tried to stop you from doing that, and how that too could hasten revolution in those countries.

Someone correctly raised the need to not just transform the economy, but also the culture. For example, she talked about a documentary she’d seen about the exploitation and environmental damage caused by the fashion industry and why, in addition to the socialist state taking over the means of production, we also have to change people’s felt need to have a Prada bag or whatever. We also talked about the principle of communism—from each according to their ability, to each according to their need—and all the changes in economics, social relations, and ideas that would be required to get there.

We talked about what it says in the Education section (Article I, Section 2, F. Education) about pursuing the truth, using rational and critical thinking, and teaching the scientific method (and teaching the truth of things that are true like evolution and global warming)... which people really liked, in comparison to the current school system, and especially in contrast with the proud ignorance of the people running the U.S. government now. One person said it sounded like the Enlightenment, and so we talked about Bob Avakian’s point, as discussed in "Marxism and the Enlightenment," about the Enlightenment dividing in two. We talked about the “solid core and elasticity” in this, in terms of core curriculum and the elasticity of whatever people do outside out that, and what difference it would make for this to be the core, not just in terms of education, but the whole character of society and how the new generation is being raised.

All of this is very much related to these two Q&A clips from Bob Avakian, which just got posted on “What Would Society Look Like Right After the Revolution?” and “ Would Mexico and Central America Still Be the U.S. Backyard After the Revolution?


CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America
(Draft Proposal)

Authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the RCP

Read and Download (PDF)

See Also:

How Would a Revolutionary Socialist Society Address the Environmental Emergency?

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

Read more.


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Revolution #573 December 10, 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.


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Revolution #573 December 10, 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 #573 December 10, 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


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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

Fired for Speaking Truth About Israel’s Crimes Against the Palestinian People

Professor, Author & Activist, Marc Lamont Hill, Fired by CNN

by Carl Dix

| Revolution Newspaper |


Author, professor, and activist Marc Lamont Hill was fired by CNN on November 29. Hill had been a commentator on the cable channel who made frequent appearances commenting on a variety of issues.

Why did they fire him? Their statement gave no reason for Hill “no longer being under contract” to CNN, but the timing and backdrop make clear that Hill was fired for a speech he gave on November 28 at an event at the United Nations (UN) marking the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In this speech, he called out the many atrocities the Israeli regime inflicts on the Palestinian people: the land, air, and sea blockade it enforces (together with Egypt) on Gaza that means people there have access to electricity only four hours a day, very little clean water to drink or bathe in, and an unemployment rate of 50 percent; the disproportionate violence, restrictions on freedom of movement, and widespread use of torture and solitary confinement Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are subjected to; the apartheid laws in Israel that make Palestinians there second-class citizens.

Hill brought his experience in the struggle of Black people against their oppression in this country into this speech. He said the variety of tactics employed in that struggle—from slave rebellions and urban uprisings to nonviolent direct actions—were key to the advances this struggle achieved. And he noted the participation of Palestinian-Americans in the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, against the police murder of Michael Brown. Hill ended his speech with a call to take solidarity beyond words to deeds and give support to the struggle for a “Free Palestine, from the river to the sea.” We are including in this issue of the website a video of Hill’s speech to let readers judge for themselves.

Zionist forces immediately unleashed an internet outrage mob that condemned Hill and called for CNN and Temple University, where Lamont teaches, to fire him. Alan Dershowitz called him “an absolute bigot, anti-Semite, un-American, Anti-American,” and said, “He has advocated the killing of Jews.” The National Council of Young Israel said: “With his racist views and unabashed denigration of Israel, Dr. Hill does not deserve to be given any sort of platform that facilitates the dissemination of his bigotry, whether it be on Cable TV or in a classroom.”

None of Hill’s critics said that Israel didn’t do the things Hill called the Zionist regime out for doing. People who want to debate the facts Hill laid out in his speech should bring it on and engage in debate over it. But none of Hill’s detractors did this. Instead they said it was beyond the pale to allow him to have platforms to spread his call for support for the Palestinian cause on TV or on campuses. Yet CNN, which styles itself as a defender of the truth in opposition to the Trump/Pence regime’s attempts to muzzle the free press, folded quickly and fired Hill, censoring a voice speaking truth about Palestine.

CNN didn’t criticize anything that Hill said either. They didn’t say his remarks represented his own personal viewpoint and not that of their cable network. They MUZZLED him, and thru muzzling him delivered a message to others that if they want to be able to have access to platforms like CNN to speak, they better not say the kind of shit Hill did—they better bite their tongues when it comes to criticizing Israel.

They did this because the truth Hill was telling runs right up against the interests that media like CNN really serve—the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system. Israel was created 70 years ago as an outpost of imperialism in the Middle East. It was and is a fortress with which and thru which the U.S. exercises its domination of this vital and volatile region. Since the creation of Israel, every U.S. president has backed the Zionist regime’s assaults on the Palestinian people, no matter how murderous and horrific. CNN may take issue with the Trump/Pence regime over its attacks on the media and calling it “enemies of the people.” But when it comes to voices that speak truth that is inconvenient for the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system, CNN has no problems with muzzling them; and thru doing that delivering a message to others that such truth is something that will not have a platform to be spoken on their channel.

CNN firing Hill feeds the flames of the Zionist forces who targeted him. It is an example of why we in the Revolutionary Communist Party say CNN, the rest of the liberal media, and the Democrats can’t be relied on to carry forward the resistance to the fascist regime. They have sharp differences with it, and those differences are indeed significant and can be made use of by a struggle from below, but left to themselves forces like CNN will seek to resolve those differences in the interests of the ruling class of the system. If those interests call for silencing someone for speaking the truth, so be it.

This fight is continuing. Now that Hill has been fired from CNN, his critics are stepping up their calls for Temple to fire him, and powerful forces at Temple want to do just that.

Patrick O’Connor, the chair of the Temple University board, called Hill’s speech at the UN “hate speech,” and said: “I’m not happy. The board’s not happy. The administration’s not happy. People wanted to fire him right away. We’re going to look at what remedies we have.” Temple University trustee and major donor Leonard Barrack said: “He [Hill] called for the destruction of the State of Israel in code words. I am very upset about it. I think it was anti-Semitic.”

Supporters of Marc Lamont Hill are also mobilizing. National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) said: “NSJP stands in solidarity with Dr. Hill, commending the bravery and resilience he displayed by challenging the status quo and speaking out against the continued oppression, colonization, and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their historic homeland. Furthermore, NSJP strongly condemns CNN’s disturbing attempt to stifle free speech, as well as its active contribution to the censorship of political activists of color who denounce the evils of settler-colonialism and racialized violence.”

Twenty-seven Temple University professors have signed a letter of no confidence in board chair O’Connor for his comments on Hill’s UN speech. In it they say: “We are faculty, students and staff at Temple University writing in support of Marc Lamont Hill’s academic freedom to express his views on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We thought his arguments were passionate, considered, and thoughtful, and that they respected the humanity of Palestinians and Israelis. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree with him, we support his freedom to espouse his views.” The faculty union at Temple (American Federation of Teachers), the American Association of University Professors’ Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Governance, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have also expressed support for Hill.


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Revolution #573 December 10, 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


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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

On the Death of George H.W. Bush:

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead—Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism

| Revolution Newspaper |


The ceremonies surrounding the death of George H.W. Bush, like the ones around John McCain a few months ago, again brought out the sharp contradictions among different sections of the capitalist-imperialist rulers over how to resolve the crises they face. And it brought out as well the news organs of the liberal bourgeoisie to mourn the “days of the patricians,” when there was “civility and respect between political opponents within the government, based on a love of country.”

On one side sat Trump, stone-faced, representing the fascist future now being bolted into place. The “solution” that he and his regime, including Pence, represent is extreme and brutally ugly—and is one possible “solution” to those crises.

On the other side were those there to celebrate Bush and his era as one in which the institutions of the ruling class could be used to forge consensus—and by implication to criticize Trump for breaking the norms represented by Bush. In actual fact, in George Bush they were celebrating 70-plus years of bloody service to imperialism—a record in which Bush himself ordered or was deeply involved in the killing of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people.  (See “The Nostalgia for George H. W. Bush and the Dream of a Kinder, Gentler Imperialism.”) Beneath the nostalgia for Bush’s politeness, good humor, and decency—whether real, imagined, or exaggerated—they were objectively nostalgic for the “order” that Bush helped enforce, nostalgic for the days of ruling class unity he represented.

And all the while the drumbeat of horror was on the world’s split screen: children starving from a U.S.-backed war in Yemen; report after report being issued showing that the imperialists are accelerating the drive to ecological destruction; increasingly sharp contention between the U.S. and China; and attacks across the board within the U.S. on basic civil and human rights, and the rule of law.

Neither side of this funeral party has any answer fit for humanity. To be clear, the conflicts within the ruling class are significant and can be made use of, if there is a struggle from below, of masses of people fighting for their own interests.

But the main thing is this: There IS a solution to this madness. This whole system needs to be swept away through revolution and a better one put in its place. A different—a far better—world is possible: revolution and communism—the new communism, brought forward by Bob Avakian. There is the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

Get with THIS. Go here for why we need this revolution and the strategy to really win. Go here for the blueprint for the new society. And go here to learn more about this leadership.

A better world IS possible. And YOU have a role to play in bringing it into being.


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

Check out clips and audio of the film and Q&As

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


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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

The Nostalgia for George H. W. Bush and the Dream of a Kinder, Gentler Imperialism

| Revolution Newspaper |


In the week just past, the treatment of the death of George H. W. Bush called forth the hope of a “kinder, gentler America.” But do the facts back up those hopes?

Let’s start with this: In 1988, an Iranian commercial airliner, flying its normal route in Iranian airspace, was shot down by a U.S. Navy ship, illegally operating in Iranian waters. Two hundred ninety people, including 66 children, were killed. And what was then-Vice President Bush’s reaction? “I will never apologize for the United States—I don't care what the facts are. [Emphasis added]”

If you’re the leader of a country where the facts are that it enslaved tens of millions of African people for centuries... that it committed genocide against millions of Native Americans and then stole the lands of the rest... that it dropped the only two nuclear weapons that have ever been dropped, on two Japanese cities with no military installations... and then went on to kill millions in Korea in the 1950s and millions more in Vietnam in the ’60s and ’70s, along with other crimes too numerous to mention... all to ensure that the rulers of this country could exploit and plunder whoever and whatever they could get their hands on... then it probably makes sense to never apologize and to ignore, cover over, or just not care what the facts are.

But if you really want a better world, you do have to look at the facts.

“Kinder and Gentler”?

Leaving aside his stint as head of the CIA in 1976, Bush came to the top levels of national power in 1980 as vice-president, and then ruled as President from 1989 to 1993. Though, we could fill a whole edition of with crimes of U.S. Imperialism that George Herbert Walker Bush participated in his years working with CIA, and briefly as head of the CIA, and in the many positions he held as a “diplomat” in close proximity to brutal efforts to suppress people around the world.

In 1989, shortly after coming to office, Bush launched war against Panama. The de facto leader of Panama, Manuel Noriega, had been someone who worked with the CIA but then ran afoul of the U.S. when he was rumored to have become a double agent for Cuba. After Noriega annulled an election in Panama, Bush sent more American troops to guard the U.S.-owned canal there. When an off-duty U.S. Marine was killed, Bush launched an invasion! This invasion included wholesale massacres in El Chorrillo, a poor neighborhood where support for Panamanian President Noriega ran high. U.S. air power pulverized El Chorrillo from the air until it looked like “Little Hiroshima”; then U.S. troops moved through burning building by building, shooting the inhabitants in the streets, piling the dead and wounded together in heaps. At least hundreds of civilians, perhaps more, were killed in El Chorillo alone.

Flush with that “victory,” Bush went on to wage the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1990-91. Iraq had occupied Kuwait after what was at least an ambiguous signal from the U.S. Ambassador that it would not be opposed if it did so. Bush moved to marshal an international fighting force against Iraq in part on the basis of a campaign of outright lies about Iraqi troops having ripped babies from incubators in Kuwait and an imminent Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia. Quickly routing the vastly out-armed Iraqi forces, the U.S. used overwhelming air power to rain death on a retreating caravan of Iraqi soldiers, many of whom had abandoned their military vehicles, as well as on Kuwaiti civilians. At least 25,000 retreating Iraqi soldiers were slaughtered, many on what became known as The Highway of Death. The White House declared the dead to be “torturers, looters, and rapists.” During the war, the U.S. Air Force deliberately devastated Iraq’s civilian infrastructure (water purification plants, flour mills, power plants), leading to malnutrition and outbreaks of cholera and typhoid. One Census Bureau demographer estimated that by January 1992 some 70,000 Iraqi civilians had died due mainly to the destruction of water and power plants.1

And yes, Bush did, as vice president under Reagan, and then as President, play a major role in formulating a full-court press against its main imperialist rival in the world, the Soviet Union, which—along with a severe internal crisis—led to its collapse and the reintegration of much of its bloc into the U.S. empire. But this did NOT happen “without a shot” as Barack and Michelle Obama claimed in a formal statement on Bush’s death, but through a decades-long bloody campaign of coups, interventions and regional wars against Soviet interests on several continents—wars in which at least hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed and countries and regions like Central America, Afghanistan, and southern Africa were driven from the “regular” grinding oppression under imperialist thumbs into a straight-up nightmarish existence of war and ruin. All this took place in the context of and was set against a backdrop of a massive U.S. nuclear buildup that at different points brought the world to the brink of possible nuclear annihilation. (For example, see these articles in the “American Crime” series: "Operation Condor 1968-1980s: U.S.-Directed Campaign of Political Assassination and State Terror in Latin America”; “The 1973 CIA Coup In Chile.”)

“Thousand Points of...” What?

Bush was eulogized for trying to bring light to America, and for refusing to demonize whole sections of people, as Trump does.

Again, though, what are the facts?

Bush became president in 1988 after one of the dirtiest campaigns of those times, against the Democrat Michael Dukakis. There were slanders and lies, but the most notorious was the Willie Horton ad. This ad featured a Black prisoner who, while on furlough in Massachusetts, raped a white woman. While not “officially” sponsored by the campaign, Bush’s campaign manager and protégé, Lee Atwater, had bragged that he was going to make America think that Willie Horton was Dukakis’s running mate. The ad helped get Bush elected, but more fundamentally it served the ruling class program of demonizing Black people at a time when the system was furiously heightening the mass incarceration of Black, and Latino, masses.  

Bush continued the War on Drugs, which during the Reagan administration included not just vicious criminalization and repression rained down against Black and Latino people, but the continued pumping of drugs into the ghettos and barrios (including during his vice-presidency with, at minimum, the cooperation of high-ranking members of the Reagan Administration). During Bush’s time in office, as vice-president and then president, the federal prisoner population nearly tripled—with 60 percent Black or Latino.  The sheer amount of suffering embodied in this simple recital of facts hurts the mind to contemplate.

Much has been made of Bush’s vote for the Open Housing Act of 1968, which probably did cost him re-election to the House that year. And some have said that Bush regretted the Willie Horton ad. But the fact that Bush did not traffic in the most openly retrograde white supremacy as his regular public image (in distinction from people like Reagan or Trump) and even opposed it on occasion early in his career, and may to some extent have personally regretted the times he did, only underlines his willingness to use, legitimize, and reinforce the most vile white racism when he thought the chips were down and it would serve not just his career but even more the needs of the system which relies on that racism as an integral element of its social order.

In the early 1980s, when a section of the ruling class brought forward the Christian fascists as a major political force, Bush set aside whatever personal “social liberalism” he was said to have had in order to promote what he understood to be “larger” imperialist interests. Bush’s administration opposed federal funding for abortion and unsuccessfully urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.2 And, he nominated and pushed through the appointment of Christian fascist Clarence Thomas—widely considered the most reactionary Justice on the Supreme Court. 

Bush became president as the HIV/AIDS epidemic grew to massive scale—59,000 Americans, mainly gay men—had already died. But Bush was, according to LGBT activists, “absent” or “actively hostile” to the effort to find a cure, and he “utterly ignored” even the recommendations of his own National Commission on AIDS. Instead, Bush argued that AIDS was “a disease where you can control its spread by your own personal behavior” (and for the Bush administration, this did not mean education in safer sex, but total abstinence).

Nostalgia for the Norms

Bush was eulogized for not just respecting but befriending and even taking under his wing ruling class opponents like Bill Clinton, who defeated him. Bush left Clinton a world in which the U.S. seemed to be riding high, finally unchallenged. In fact, even as Bush was stepping down, deep centrifugal forces within U.S. society were being exacerbated, and new international challenges to U.S. dominance began to arise. These would find expression in extremely sharp contradictions between different blocs of the ruling class. The dynamics of how that unfolded and what brought it into being are beyond the scope of this piece, but we urge you to go to Bob Avakian’s “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer” to read what was a deep-going and highly prescient analysis. The point here is that the respect that Bush (generally) extended to his ruling class opponents did NOT extend to those whom the empire he headed exploited and oppressed; and the same holds true for those ex-presidents who mourned him.

There is no kinder, gentler imperialism; there are no thousand points of light under capitalism. And whether those who eulogize Bush care or not, those are the facts.


1. Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda, p.155, citing Philadelphia Inquirer, January 5, 2003. [back]

2. All Things Considered, December 8, 2018. [back]

Panama Invasion

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


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Revolution #573 December 10, 2018

Like a “Speeding Freight Train”: Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accelerate, Threaten the Planet

| Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

For the last three years people have been told that they should look to governments and the 2015 Paris Agreement to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and seriously deal with climate change. But despite all that is known about global warming and its devastating impacts on all life and human society, and despite solemn pledges made in the Paris climate negotiations, every year more and more greenhouse gases are being pumped into the atmosphere. And several recent scientific reports make clear that the global environmental emergency is not just continuing—it is accelerating toward catastrophe.

“We thought, perhaps hoped, emissions had peaked a few years ago,” Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford and an author of one of the reports, said. “After two years of renewed growth, that was wishful thinking.”

The Paris Agreement allowed each government to set climate goals for itself. And the goals which were set were known at the time to be far from enough to stop or even slow down climate change. The result after three years? Globally, carbon emissions broke records in 2017 and 2018. Almost no country is on track to even come close to meeting their Paris goals, including the U.S., which is rated by the research organization Climate Action Tracker as “critically insufficient” in meeting the goals.*

The repeated promises on climate change that the U.S. and other major polluters make are like a batterer vowing to “change his ways.” These capitalists make promises—and they not only go on carrying out their horrors, they amp them up.

Scientific Reports Issue Increasingly Dire Warnings

In October, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body responsible for studying climate change, issued a shocking report. The IPCC report said that, if the earth warms by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, (°C) people will face a horrific situation. Tens or hundreds of millions of people will be forced to migrate from their homes... rising sea levels will flood coastal regions and Pacific islands... droughts will disrupt the lives of more than 350 million people, leading to widespread famine... 99 percent of coral reefs in the world’s oceans will die. The report estimated that the planet would cross the 1.5°C threshold between 2030 and 2052—within the lives of most of the people alive today.   

Just two months later, two scientific reports were released saying that the IPCC scientists may have underestimated the urgency and the danger. These new reports say that 2018 will set a new record for greenhouse gas emissions. Worldwide fossil fuel emissions rose by 1.7 percent in 2017 and are set to rise 2.7 percent this year. One of the reports compared greenhouse gas emissions to a “speeding freight train” that will “make climate change faster and more furious than anticipated.” 

Since 2000 the planet has been warming at a rate of .2°C per decade, and that is the rate that the IPCC has used for its projections. The new studies predict that in the next 25 years, the earth’s temperature will increase at a rate of .25-.32°C per decade, a 25 percent to 60 percent increase above the previous predictions. This means that the world could breach the 1.5°C level ten years earlier than predicted by the IPCC—by 2030, just 11 years from now.

Lancet: For Centuries to Come

For several years the Lancet, one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world, has published the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change. The Countdown is a collaboration between 24 academic institutions and intergovernmental organizations based in every continent and with representation from a wide range of disciplines.

This year’s report, subtitled “shaping the health of nations for centuries to come,” reveals much of the human misery that lies behind the statistics on rising greenhouse gas emissions. 

Some of Lancet’s findings:

Rising sea levels will flood coastal regions where 50% of the world's population live. Bangladesh during heavy rains, 2018. (Photo: AP)

Droughts will disrupt lives of more than 411 million people, leading to widespread famine. Kenya. Photo credit: Buzz Kenya

In the report’s conclusion, the Lancet authors say that climate change is responsible for an “unacceptably high risk for the current and future health of populations across the world,” adding that it has the “potential to disrupt core public-health infrastructure and overwhelm health services.”

Climate Change Emergency

The bitter truth is that our planet is on a precipice. Plundering the earth for fossil fuels to fire the global economy without regard for their environmental impact is built into the capitalist-imperialist system. Only with a revolution that puts into place a radically new economic and political system can we begin to heal the planet’s scars. See here for excerpts from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America on how a revolutionary socialist society will address the climate crisis, and here  for a report on a Revolution Club discussion on those excerpts.


* According to Climate Action Tracker only Gambia and Morocco are on target to keep climate change at 1.5°C. Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines are on track for a 2.0°C increase. All of the other countries are rated either insufficient (corresponding to a 3 degree increase), highly insufficient (corresponding to a 4 degree increase), or, like the United States, critically insufficient (corresponding to an increase of greater than 4 degrees). [back]


The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism

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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.

USA: Climate Criminal #1

Global Climate Budget 2018 looks at emissions by country and found that China, the U.S., India, and the European Union are responsible for about 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. China produces 27 percent of global emissions, according to the report. The United States accounts for 15 percent of emissions, the European Union 10 percent and India 7 percent.

Some, including Trump, have seized on these numbers to say that countries like China or India are the most responsible for global warming. This is bullshit. A deeper look reveals the United States as the number one climate criminal in the world.

First, total global emissions do not take into account the population of a country. Looking at per person emissions, the U.S. is MUCH worse than any of the other countries on this list. The U.S. dumps more than twice the amount of carbon emissions per person as China or India: 16.07 tons per person into the air for the U.S. compared with 7.72 by China and 1.87 by India.

Second, historically the U.S. has been by far the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions with more than 26 percent of the total emissions, more than twice the total of the entire European Union, which is made up of 28 developed capitalist countries! Because greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a long period, much of these “historical” emissions are still in the atmosphere.

Third, the total emission numbers give no context. For example, India is in the midst of trying to bring electricity to 300 million people. This is not equivalent to people in the U.S. driving giant gas-guzzling SUVs. Estimates are that about 33 percent of China’s greenhouse gas emissions are for goods produced for export, much of which feeds both profit and consumption in the U.S.

Fourth, many ways that the U.S. contributes to climate change are not included. For example, at the insistence of the U.S. emissions by the military are not included in calculations related to climate change. That means the U.S. military, which produces more emissions than any other single institutional entity is not even counted. The United States leads the world in extracting oil and gas and is number two in coal mining and exports much of this—which means the U.S. profits from fossil fuels burned in other countries.

Finally, the U.S., more than any other country, is actively working to remove any constraints on its emissions of greenhouse gases. The two biggest sectors of the economy contributing to greenhouse gases in the U.S. are transportation and power. In August, Trump unveiled the misnamed “Affordable Clean Energy Act,” which, if it goes into effect, would increase the amount of greenhouse gases dumped in the atmosphere by power plants in the next decade by a factor of 12. Trump’s proposed changes to auto emission standards would allow an additional one billion tons of greenhouse gases to be pumped into the air annually.

Trump and his regime attack any effort to even recognize that climate change is an issue. For this reason, they are withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. While other countries are sending heads of state to the climate conference in Poland which is going on right now, Trump is sending the lowest-ranking official that he could to head the U.S. delegation, the principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) at the Department of State.

The U.S. delegation is planning just one event at the conference: a presentation promoting expanded use of fossil fuels!


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