revcom.us, January 4, 2021 through January 10, 2021 (#681)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/633/bob-avakian-a-radically-different-leader-en.html

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

| revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian is completely different than the endless stream of bourgeois politicians who are put forward as “leaders,” whose goal is to maintain one variation or another of this system of capitalism-imperialism that is founded on and perpetuates itself through cruel and literally life-stealing exploitation, murderous oppression, and massive destruction, in all parts of the world. BA is a revolutionary who bases himself on the scientific understanding that this system must finally be overthrown through an organized struggle involving millions of people, and replaced with a system that is oriented to and capable of meeting the most fundamental needs of humanity and enabling humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth.

Bob Avakian is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the "new communism."

BA is the author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, an inspiring application of the new communism—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a new socialist society, whose fundamental goal is to bring about a world without classes and class distinctions, a world without exploitation and oppression, and without the destructive divisions and antagonisms among people: a communist world.

Ardea Skybreak, a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and a follower of Bob Avakian, speaks to the importance of what he has brought forward:

Bob Avakian ... on the basis of decades of hard work [has been] developing a whole body of work—theory to advance the science of communism, to advance the science of revolution, to more deeply explain where the problems come from, what the strategy is for getting out of this mess, what the methods and approaches should be to stay on track and actually build a better world, to build a society that most human beings would want to live in. (From Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak)

BA is a leader who is firmly convinced, on the basis of a consistently scientific method and approach, that the goal must be nothing less than all-out revolution, and who at the same time has emphasized:

the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justifies the means.” It is a bedrock principle of the new communism that the “means” of this movement must flow from and be consistent with the fundamental “ends” of abolishing all exploitation and oppression through revolution led on a scientific basis. (From Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary)

As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it broadly accessible.

A leader like this has never before existed in the history of this country, and this leadership is of tremendous importance for the emancipation of all humanity.

What is urgently needed now is for continually growing numbers of people—in the thousands, and ultimately millions—to become conscious and active followers of BA, building the revolutionary movement, based on the new communism, for which BA provides this unprecedented leadership.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/bob-avakian-for-the-liberation-of-black-people-en.html

BOB AVAKIAN FOR THE LIBERATION OF BLACK PEOPLE
AND THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL HUMANITY

| revcom.us

 

One of the things that comes through most powerfully in Bob Avakian’s memoir1 is that a profound hatred for the oppression of Black people has been a defining part of Bob Avakian’s life from the time, as a teenager, he learned about the lives of the Black people with whom he developed deep ties of friendship. Never feeling that, because he is white, “it is not his place” to be involved in the struggle against this oppression—but, on the contrary, determined to contribute whatever he could to this struggle—Bob Avakian (BA), from the time he worked closely with the Black Panther Party in its revolutionary days in the 1960s, has made the liberation of Black people a defining part of his life’s commitment and work. As he developed as a revolutionary communist, and emerged as the foremost revolutionary leader and thinker in the world, this commitment has become even deeper and has been strongly interwoven with a dedication to the emancipation of all humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation.

As BA has written about his life’s work:

Why was I doing the work I was doing? Once again, we’re back to for whom and for what. I wasn’t doing this work for myself. When I was young, in middle school and then even more so in high school, my life got changed in a very major way by coming into contact with people that I hadn’t really known that much before, in particular Black people. I started learning about their situation and how that relates to what goes on in this society as a whole. I was drawn to the culture—not just the music and the art overall, but the whole way of going through the world—of the Black people who became my friends, and the world they introduced me to. And I came to the point of recognizing: these are my people. Now, I knew they had a different life experience than I did. But these are my people—I don’t see a separation—it’s not like there are some other people “over there” who are going through all this and somehow that’s removed from me. These are my people. And then I began to recognize more deeply what people were being put through, the oppression they were constantly subjected to, the horrors of daily life as well as the bigger ways in which the system came down on them. And as I went further through life and began to approach the question of what needs to be done about this, and was introduced to taking up a scientific approach to this, I realized that my people were more than this. I realized that my people were Chicanos and other Latinos and other oppressed people in the U.S.; they were people in Vietnam and China; they were women...they were the oppressed and exploited of the world...and through some struggle, and having to cast off some wrong thinking, I have learned that they are LGBT people as well.

These are my people, the oppressed and exploited people of the world. They are suffering terribly, and something has to be done about this. So it is necessary to dig in and systematically take up the science that can show the way to put an end to all this, and bring something much better into being. You have to persevere and keep struggling to go forward in this way. And when you run into new problems or setbacks, you have to go more deeply into this, rather than putting it aside and giving up.

So this is why I’ve been doing the work that I’ve been doing.2

Bob Avakian grew up in Berkeley, California. Unable, because of a life-threatening illness, to be directly involved in struggles taking place against racial oppression for several years after graduating from high school in 1961, BA nevertheless closely followed and strongly supported the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, and at the same time was influenced by and supportive of the militant stand and role of Malcolm X. This was reflected in an article that BA wrote at the age of 19 in 1962 supporting the struggle of Black people. (This article was submitted to the liberal magazine Saturday Review. Although the article was not published, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Norman Cousins, personally replied—indicating that, although the magazine had chosen not to publish this article, he recognized that the article spoke, in a strikingly compelling way, to very important questions.)

Having recovered from his illness, in 1964, BA became actively involved in the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley, where he was a student. The central issue of this movement was the right of students to carry out activity on the campus in support of the civil rights movement. BA was among the 800 who were arrested during the occupation of the university administration building, which was the high point of the movement and led to winning its demands.

As the civil rights movement increasingly gave way to a more militant Black liberation movement in the second half of the 1960s, BA was strongly influenced by this. He left the university and dedicated his life to working for radical change. As a result of direct contact and discussions with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of the Black Panther Party, and getting to know Eldridge Cleaver (who also became a leader of the BPP), BA worked closely with the Black Panther Party from its earliest days and at the height of its revolutionary role and influence.

In 1967, BA attended rallies, and spoke at one of the rallies, held by the BPP in North Richmond to protest the killing there of Denzil Dowell, part of the long and continuing chain of murders of Black people by police.

In 1968, when Huey Newton was facing murder charges as a result of a shoot-out with Oakland cops, BA spoke—along with a number of key figures in the Black liberation movement, including Stokely Carmichael, Rap Brown, James Forman, and leaders of the Black Panther Party— at a Free Huey rally held in the Oakland auditorium on the occasion of Huey Newton’s birthday.

BA worked tirelessly to build support, including among white people, for the demand to “Free Huey!” At a “Free Huey” rally at the courthouse in Oakland where Huey Newton’s trial was being held, BA was arrested for “desecrating” (burning) the American flag.

During this time, at the invitation of BPP leaders, BA wrote a number of articles for the Black Panther newspaper.

At a rally of thousands, led by the Black Panther Party, on May First, 1969, BA spoke of the need for revolution and called on white people in particular to more actively take part in movements for revolutionary change in the U.S., and to support such movements throughout the world.

By the beginning of the 1970s, millions of people in this country were in favor of some kind of revolutionary change, but they faced profound challenges. How could this revolution be made—or was it even possible to make a revolution here, up against such powerful forces of oppression and repression? Which were the key forces that had to be mobilized to have a real chance to carry out such a revolution? What kind of leadership was needed, and what methods and approaches should that leadership be based on? The difficulties in confronting and seeking the answers to these hard questions, combined with brutal and often murderous repression by the powers-that-be, led many revolutionary organizations, including the Black Panther Party, to split and end up departing from the road that could lead to real revolution.

By this time, partly because of the influence of the Black Panther Party, which had popularized the “Red Book” of quotations from the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, BA had become convinced not only that revolution was necessary, and was possible, but that it had to be led by a vanguard force that based itself on the scientific method and approach of communism, as it had been developed initially by Karl Marx, then further developed by V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution in the early part of the 20th century, and then in turn further developed by Mao, who led the Chinese revolution and the new, socialist society in China, until his death in 1976. BA led in the formation of the Revolutionary Union at the end of the 1960s, with the aim of working toward the establishment of the vanguard party of revolution, based on the science of communism. During the first part of the 1970s, BA was both the practical leader and the leading theoretician of the Revolutionary Union, writing much of the essays and polemics for its theoretical journal Red Papers. This included major articles, particularly in Red Papers 5 and 6, that involved groundbreaking scientific materialist analysis of the situation of Black people, historically and down to the present—how and why their particular conditions of oppression had changed, from the time of slavery to the present era, and how this objectively put Black people in a potentially powerful position to be a driving force not only for their own liberation but for the communist revolution whose fundamental aim is the abolition of all oppression and exploitation. These articles included powerful polemics, arguing against positions and programs that would not lead to, but would actually work against, this liberation and the revolutionary transformation of the world as a whole.

In 1975, with BA’s leadership, the Revolutionary Communist Party was founded, with the aim of being the vanguard force for the revolution that was, and continues to be, profoundly necessary. Over the decades since then, BA has fought to keep that Party on the revolutionary road and to bring forward new revolutionary forces to revitalize and strengthen the vanguard forces for the revolution that is now, all the more urgently, required. While continuing to provide practical guidance to the revolutionary forces, BA, through summing up the experience (positive and negative) of the communist movement, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, has brought forward a new synthesis of communism (also referred to as the new communism) which, most decisively, has established communism on an even more consistently scientific basis. As BA’s Official Biography explains, the new communism “is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. It provides the basis—the science, the strategy, and the leadership—for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.”3

A defining part of this new communism is the emphasis it gives to the struggle for the liberation of Black people, and the relation of this to the ending of all oppression. And this has continued to stand out in BA’s leadership role and work over the decades, up to the present.  At revcom.us there is a special section, Bob Avakian on The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppressionwhich contains clips from films and selections from the writings of BA on this question. The following are just a few examples of important works and leadership by Bob Avakian, over the past few decades, that speak to this decisive question.

The book Reflections, Sketches & Provocations, written by Bob Avakian during the 1980s, contains a number of commentaries, speaking in a number of dimensions to the oppression of Black people and the struggle against this oppression, including support for rebellions following the murder of Black people by police. This book begins with the essay “Hill Street Bullshit, Richard Pryor Routines, and the Real Deal,” which powerfully exposes how terror against Black people, and other oppressed people, is “part of the job” of the police—and is “a reward” for carrying out the role of maintaining the “law and order” that keeps the oppressed in their desperate and miserable conditions. Going deeper, it speaks to how this is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism, which has had this oppression built into it from the very beginning.

In the 1990s, BA raised the idea that there should be a day, every year, when people mobilized to protest police brutality, mass incarceration and repression by the government. This proposal was taken up and a broad coalition, including family members of people killed by police, was formed to initiate, in 1996, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. At its height, over the next decade, this National Day of Protest, held every October 22nd, rallied thousands of people in dozens of cities across the country. And activities by people who have been part of this coalition have continued since then.

During the past two decades, BA has given a number of filmed speeches, and written articles, essays and books, in which the liberation of Black people and its crucial relation to the communist revolution, aiming for the emancipation of all humanity, has been a major question.

BA’s 2003 speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, begins with a searing exposure and condemnation of lynching, and speaks to the horrific reality of slavery and the oppression of Black people down to today, including the continual murder of Black people by police.3

In 2006, BA gave a series of 7 Talks, in which once again the oppression of Black people, and the struggle for their liberation, is a major theme. One of these 7 Talks, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, begins by speaking to the experience of Black people in this country; and the question of slavery and the overall oppression of Black people is, of course, a major part of this talk. It is in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy that the following is clearly stated:

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

(This is also the very first statement in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution.)3

At the beginning of BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!, in 2012, this point is stated emphatically:

Let’s start with just one great crime of this system: police murder—after murder—after murder—of Black people and Latinos, especially youth.3

This is part of the powerful exposure in this speech of the role that continuing murders by police play in enforcing this monstrous system of exploitation and oppression, the system of capitalism-imperialism.

At the beginning of his October 2017 speech The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible,  BA speaks powerfully to the horrors of slavery in this country—including the rape by slavemasters of huge numbers of enslaved women. This speech shows how the murderous oppression of Black people, continuing down to today, is one of the main roots of the fascism that has come to power in this country with the Trump/Pence regime; and, in this speech, BA repeatedly returns to the critical importance of the fight against this oppression.3

BA’s 2018 speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution begins this way:

In 2012 in Revolution—Nothing Less! I talked about the outrageous murder of Ramarley Graham earlier that same year—shot down in his own house in the Bronx by the New York City police. He was only 18 years old. Do I have to tell you what “race” he was?! His mother kept saying: “This has to STOP!” And his father repeated over and over: "WHY did they kill my son?! WHY did they kill my son?!" New York cops then loudly rallied around their fellow pig who murdered Ramarley in cold blood, viciously taunting Ramarley's family and loved ones, demonstrating yet one more time the ugly truth that, in the way this country has been built, and for the powers-that-be in this country, the humanity of Black people has never counted for anything—they have never been valued as human beings, but only as things to be exploited, oppressed, and repressed. Six years later, and with cold-blooded murders by police continuing in an unbroken chain, I will say again what I said then: How many more times does this have to happen? How many more times do the tears and the cries of anguish and anger have to pour forth from the wounded hearts of people?! How many more times, when another of these outrageous murders is perpetrated by the police, do we have to hear those words that pour gasoline on the already burning wounds: “justifiable homicide, justified use of force” by police?! How many more?!3

In that 2018 speech, BA not only powerfully exposes once again the horrific oppression that this system of capitalism-imperialism inflicts on Black people, and on other oppressed people in this country and throughout the world, and the grave danger this system poses to the very future of humanity; he also lays out in this speech (and in a more recent article A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution3) the strategic approach that could make it possible for this system to be finally overthrown through a revolution in which millions and millions of people are led to fight to put an end to this system and bring a radically different and much better system into being.

In the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for that radically different and much better system is set forth. And the principles and means for finally putting an end, at long last, to the oppression of Black people is a major part of that Constitution.3

This year (2020), BA has written as many as 30 articles in which this decisive question—the oppression, and the struggle for the liberation, of Black people—is a recurring subject.3

In the speeches and writings of BA overall, there is not only powerful, penetrating exposure and uncompromising condemnation of brutal and murderous oppression but, even more importantly, there is scientific analysis of how all this is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism and of the need, the possibility, and the means for making revolution to overthrow this system and finally put an end to all the outrageous and unnecessary suffering that the masses of humanity are continually subjected to under this system.

***

It is a very precious thing for the oppressed of the earth when they have a leader whose life is dedicated to their emancipation, and who has the determination, and the scientific method, developed over decades, to point the way, and continue to carve out the path, to achieving that emancipation. BA is such a leader. As emphasized in the article Bob Avakian: A Radically Different Leader—A Whole New Framework For Human Emancipation:

As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it broadly accessible.3

One of the things that most distinguishes BA’s role as a revolutionary leader is his willingness—indeed, his insistence—on telling people the truth, even when they may not want to hear it. This comes through in the way BA exposes and refutes unscientific ways of thinking—all kinds of “conspiracy” theories and superstitious ideas—that lead people, including the most bitterly oppressed people, away from understanding the world as it actually is, and keep them from seeing not just the need, but the possibility, of radically changing the world, in a way that will lead to ending oppression. A big problem that BA has taken on, straight-up, is the role of religion as a mental chain on the masses of Black people, and other oppressed people, and the need to break this chain in order to most powerfully wage the struggle to finally be free of all oppression. BA has repeatedly emphasized that, in order to end oppression, “you have to want revolution badly enough to be scientific about it.”

Science means judging whether something is true, or not, by whether there is evidence that it actually corresponds to reality—and not believing something because it makes you feel good to believe it, or not refusing to believe something because it makes you uncomfortable. In the article Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach To Changing The World, BA has spoken directly to this problem:

many of the basic masses, who are bitterly oppressed under this system, also are suspicious of and even are inclined to reject science and scientifically-grounded analysis. But this also leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of unfounded “conspiracy theories” and other wrong and harmful ideas, including the notion that nothing people do will make a difference because “it’s all in god’s hands.”3

In the 2014 Dialogue with Cornel West (REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion), which took place during the upsurge of protest and rebellion in response to the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, while speaking to the importance of uniting people broadly in the struggle against oppression, including people who hold religious views, BA also emphasized that the revolution that is needed to finally put an end to oppression must be led with a scientific, not a religious, outlook and method.3

From the start of the article Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression, written this year (2020), BA does not hold back in speaking to these critical questions:

In 1863, mid-way in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finally issued the Emancipation Proclamation and, as a result of the Civil War, Black people were formally freed from literal, physical slavery. But today the question is: When, and how, will Black people finally be free from all forms of slavery and oppression? And this poses straight-up this big question:

When will Black people finally emancipate themselves from the mental slavery of religion?!....

Once more, the question is sharply posed: How can Black people be finally and fully emancipated from centuries of oppression, and how does this relate to ending all oppression, of all people, everywhere?

The answer is that the possibility of this is real, but it can happen only on the basis of a scientific approach to changing the world and the scientifically-grounded understanding that this oppression is rooted in and caused by the system of capitalism-imperialism—the same system that is viciously exploiting and murderously oppressing people not just in this country but all over the world and is plundering the natural environmentand that this system must and can be overthrown through an actual revolution and replaced by a radically different and far better system: socialism, whose final goal is a communist world, without any oppression or exploitation of anyone, anywhere.3

****

From his early years, forging close personal ties with Black people and increasingly learning about their lived experience, to his development as this rare leader who has brought forth the most advanced scientific revolutionary theory with the new communism—a defining part of the life and work of Bob Avakian has been the liberation of Black people from centuries of oppression, and the understanding of how this relates to, and is a crucial driving force in, the communist revolution to finally abolish every form of oppression and exploitation, everywhere.

BA himself has expressed this in the following poetically powerful statement:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

 


1. From Ike to Mao and Beyond, My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary CommunistA Memoir by Bob AvakianInsight Press, 2005. [back]

2. Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, first printing, 2016, pp. 321-22. In addition to THE NEW COMMUNISM, in other recent works by BA—in particular Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summaryand Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism—the oppression and the struggle for the liberation of Black people, and its relation to the emancipation of humanity as a whole, is a prominent subject. These works are available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. All of these works are available at revcom.us. (Information about how to acquire the print and e-book editions of BAsics can be found at revcom.us. Audio of the 7 Talks is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us; and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy has been published in a print edition, the text of which can also be found in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.)

The film of the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, is also available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.

The article Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach To Changing The World (longer and shorter versions) is available at revcom.us as well.

The importance of Bob Avakian as a revolutionary leader, who has further developed communism as a consistently scientific method and approach, is a central theme in SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak. Ardea Skybreak is a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, who is also the author of the important book THE SCIENCE OF EVOLUTION AND THE MYTH OF CREATIONISM, Knowing What’s Real And Why It Matters. Each of these books by Ardea Skybreak is published by Insight Press, and the Interview with Ardea Skybreak (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION) is also available at revcom.us

The following articles, written by Bob Avakian this year (2020), which speak to the oppression of Black people and the struggle to end this oppression, are available as well at revcom.us:

Donald Trump—Genocidal Racist (Parts 1-10) 

Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System

Police And Prisons: Reformist Illusions And The Revolutionary Solution

Anything But The Truth—Bob Avakian Exposes Lies, Distortions, Distractions and Evasions About the Murderous Oppression of Black People

Lynching, Murder By Police—Damn This Whole System! We Don’t Have To Live This Way!

Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression

Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James And The Whole Truth

Donald Trump Isn’t “Tough,” He’s A Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces

Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces Trump Isn’t “Tough”—Part 2: Who Really Has Heart?

Trump And Pigs: A Racist Love Affair

Fucker Carlson, Fascist “Fox News” And The Broadcast Of White Supremacy

Bob Avakian on Black Trump Supporters: What If Jews Had Supported Hitler?!

Bob Avakian On: A Beautiful Uprising: Right And Wrong, Methods And Principles

On Statues, Monuments, And Celebrating—Or Ending—Oppression

Fascists Today And The Confederacy: A Direct Line, A Direct Connection Between All The Oppression

Patriarchy And Male Supremacy, Or Revolution And Ending All Oppression

Sounding Like Southern Segregationists: It’s Not Just Trump—It’s Democrats Too

Bob Avakian Brings Out the Truth: Barack Obama Says Police Murdering Black People Should Not Be Normal—Unless He’s President

Bob Avakian On Ugly Words & Phrases

Bob Avakian On Tulsa Racist Mobs

A Real Revolution--A Real Chance To Win: Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution

[back]

Get to know BA

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/index.html

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/trumps-fascist-moves-to-overturn-election-intensify-en.html

Vicious and Unhinged, Gangster and Utterly Groundless

Trump’s Fascist Moves to Overturn Election Intensify

| revcom.us

 

For the past several weeks, despite losing the 2020 election, Trump has been fighting viciously to illegally stay in power. In just the past week, here’s what’s happened:

To call this extraordinary or unprecedented barely begins to do justice to it. And it is an irony—and an outrage—that up to now the main voices in the media that are ringing the alarm on this have been more mainstream Republican commentators and senators like Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who, for various reasons, oppose these Trump moves. Where are the Democrats in all this? Actually collaborating with Trump in an ill-conceived move to pass an addition to the stimulus bill, while he is moving to overturn the election.

All this shows a basic and essential truth. The fascist Trump-Pence regime of the past four years—the one still in power as we speak and desperately lashing out to stay in power—was not a blip that we will painlessly pivot out of. As Bob Avakian has analyzed over 25 years, fascism in the U.S. is a deeply dug-in movement organized and directed by a section of the imperialist ruling class which is convinced that this is the necessary solution to the extremely intractable problems, conflicts and challenges that that system faces. This fascist movement has organized tens of millions around its political program of white supremacy, male supremacy and vicious America-first chauvinism.

Some Basic Facts

Fact: Biden decisively won the election by over 7 million votes and 78 electoral votes.

Fact: Every state that was close has had its votes counted, recounted, gone over with a fine-tooth comb and counted again, by Democratic and Republican officials, and the result is the same: Biden won.2

Fact: Lawyers for Trump and other fascists have gone to court over 60 times, including to the Supreme Court, and every time but once (and that case was a petty matter that affected nothing), the result was the same: Biden won.

Fact: Trump’s attorney general Barr, a long-time Christian fascist who slavishly served Trump for nearly two years, said there was no fraud significant enough to affect the outcome of the election. Trump’s head of cybersecurity, Christopher Krebs, said this was the most secure election ever—a statement for which he was promptly fired.

We could go on. But we don’t need to. The truth is the truth. Trump lost. Biden was elected president. Yet Trump and tens of millions of his followers not only insist on living out a dangerous lie, but on using force to jam it down the throats of the rest of the world.

What Are the Implications?

Five extremely negative ones.

First, there is an attempt to overturn a lawful election and re-install a dangerous fascist regime. The odds may be against this now, but it would be extremely unwise to depend on things staying the same. Just look at the last week!

Second, there is an attempt, which is actually making significant headway, to cohere a fascist battering ram for the next period. This would be made up of a bloc of elected officials who view and act as if the Biden administration is illegitimate AND an armed street-fighting force on call to dominate the public square. Thus there would be a well-organized political arm and a fanatical paramilitary force answering directly to Trump that could be poised, if and as conditions change in certain ways, to re-seize control in a literal coup. Short of that, they will be positioned to disrupt and obstruct the Biden/Harris administration and further corrupt and pervert the terms of political debate in this society.

Third, there is a concerted attempt to hammer in place the view that the votes of Black people should not be counted, at least in any contest in which their votes may make the difference. Trump’s legal offensive has been particularly directed against the major cities of Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee—all of which have significant African-American populations which “made the difference” in their states. It is not said openly but strongly implied that the vote-count margins in these cities, i.e. Democratic votes over Republicans, should not be allowed to make a difference.3 This goes to the roots of this regime, a point repeatedly emphasized by Bob Avakian on the direct link between the Trump regime and the Confederacy (see here and here).

Fourth, there is a struggle among fascist ruling class forces over how best to advance their program to fully remake the governing norms of this country. Trump is determined to keep things under his thumb while other forces seem, for now, less willing to tie this movement to Trump’s immediate interests and desires. They seem to see a more advantageous path in recognizing Biden, while moving to obstruct and sabotage his administration in ways not too tied to Trump himself. This can be seen, to take just one dramatic example among others, in Pat Robertson, the long-time Christian fascist operative, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, telling Trump to exit the scene. Right now, the forces around Trump have resisted this, and as we have described have seized a great deal of initiative in the past several days. To be clear: all agree on the program of white supremacy, male supremacy and vicious American chauvinism, backed up by severe repression and enforced religious domination—but there are differences on how to achieve this.

Fifth, further damage is being done to epistemological integrity—the notion that the truth is the truth, no matter its implications. We’ve written about this before: what it does when tens of millions of people are led to deny basic facts of reality and to take up literally lunatic ideas, each more insane than the previous one.4 But those like Hawley—who says that he is supporting the attempt to deny Biden the presidency because “voters in his state” were “deeply angry and disillusioned” about the election—now add a new wrinkle of deception: the idea that because one’s constituents, driven by their prejudices and ignorance, think something happened, no matter how outlandish and ridiculous, “well, then let’s stop everything, let’s prevent the law from being implemented, and call an investigation to hear their charges.” This is the logic of witch trials—the judge at such trials purports to be neutral—“he only wants to hear the charges.” Yet once you give credence to the charges—then the fallacies that spew forth to “justify” the outrageous charges, such as “witches are casting curses that are harming people”—then you are on the road to exactly what has happened in every witch trial frenzy, bar none: the imprisonment, torture and slaughter of innocent people.

What Are the Stakes?

If this succeeds in its maximum aim—an outright coup—the consequences for humanity would be incalculably bad, and possibly catastrophic. And if it makes headway in its “lesser aims”—which will amount to advancing the cohesion, influence and aggressive capabilities of the organized fascist movement—that also will have extremely negative repercussions; including on the situation of the masses of people and on the ability of those who want to see a better world to wage that struggle.

But as yet there is a lack of anything approaching a commensurate response from those who oppose this fascism—whether from the grassroots “decent people” and those who want to see action against the bitter injustices of the world, or the top Democratic politicians whose role in this society is to corral, misdirect and suppress those sections of society that do want a more just world. Indeed, the inaction of the Democrats, the failure to use their podiums, pulpits, money and extensive organizational resources to call this out for the outrageously dangerous trajectory that it is—all this is unconscionable.

The reason for this lies in their program, as distinct from the fascists, to meet the multiple crises facing the U.S. system and those who rule it: A program which includes both gestures toward diversity, inclusion and limited reform (designed to hold the empire together) AND conciliating with and placating the fascists, “reaching across the aisle,” which as BA has said, can only be on the terms of fascism. The Democrats’ marginally “inclusive” program is extremely dangerous to humanity precisely because it is seductive to those who wish only to go back to normal and enjoy—or get in the scramble for—what are in fact the privileges of empire. A program which, in point of fact, also relies on the projection of military force and internal repression, if not in such blatant, and blatantly vicious, form.

The stakes of breaking free of the stranglehold and acting are the survival of hope for humanity—certainly long-term and perhaps very directly.

And What Must Be Done Now?

Many things, but two above all and very immediately:

It is incumbent on everyone who cares about the future of humanity to delve deeper into the character of the threat we face. This did not arise with one election, and it is obviously not going away—in fact, it is further metastasizing in extremely dangerous ways before our eyes. The fact-based, scientifically-founded analysis of the deep roots and living, real-world dynamics of this threat that has been done by Bob Avakian—and the paths that he has put forward for fighting it as part of building a movement for an actual revolution—are essential to anyone serious about confronting this.

It is also incumbent on—and it is immediately urgent for—everyone who cares about the outcome of this extremely dangerous period we find ourselves in to ACT. Refuse Fascism has put forward ways for people to come together in the face of this, to build understanding, strength and effectiveness—for the fight today, and the fight to come. Go here to find out what they are doing right now, this week, to counter this... and to learn about and get involved in their larger program.

To end where we began: if you thought the fascist threat is over, it is not. Face the reality; and start to take independent action, with others, that can really change it.

 

FOOTNOTES

1. By law, at least one senator was needed to force a debate on the electors, and Hawley was the first senator to join in. [back]

2. Congress is supposed to register and count the votes that have been certified by the individual states, not decide if the votes are correct, which is the job of the states, which happened on December 14. [back]

3. It is worth noting here that most of the cities actually turned in a higher percentage for Trump this year than in 2016. Where Trump lost ground, badly, was in the suburbs around these cities. That is where there is a marked discrepancy unfavorable to Trump in the anti-Trump vote between this election and last one. Yet all the fire is directed against the cities. [back]

4. Trump said months ago, before anyone voted at all, that he could only lose if the election was rigged, and the more he said this lie, the more people who really wanted him to win began to believe and be prepared for this conspiracy-explanation, that all kinds of government, Democrats, Republican officials all were in on making Biden win. [back]

Bob Avakian on: The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

RefuseFascism.org

UPDATE: Tensions, Threats and Uncertainties Swirl in the Persian Gulf—Danger of U.S./Israel Aggression against Iran Remains

On December 30, two U.S. nuclear-capable B-52 bombers flew within 60 miles of Iran in a provocative, aggressive show of force—the third time B-52s have been deployed in the region in the last several months. The very next day, the Pentagon suddenly announced that the aircraft carrier Nimitz, which has been patrolling off the coast of Iran, was heading back to the U.S. in an effort to defuse tensions. While some media reports described this as a welcome sign that the U.S. was trying to avert any clash with Iran that could spiral into a wider war in what is expected to be the final weeks of the Trump/Pence regime, this is far from certain—and we don’t know the full picture. And on Sunday, January 3, Trump's Defense Secretary reversed course yet again, announcing that the Nimitz will stay near Iran after all, claiming there were "recent threats" from Iran.

As we’ve analyzed, these recent developments come in the wake of decades of U.S. imperialist hostility and aggression toward Iran. And the U.S. is making these moves not because Iran’s 80 plus million people are ruled by reactionary Islamic theocrats who spread oppressive fundamentalism around the region and brutally repress the Iranian people, but because Iran’s Islamic Republic is seen as an obstacle to U.S. imperialism’s domination of the oil-rich and strategic Middle East region. This domination has been enforced since the 1950s through wars, invasions, interventions, and backing savage, head-chopping, torturing tyrants—all of which has snuffed out or cut short millions of lives and made millions more unbearable.

These horrors have been escalated for the past four years by the Trump/Pence regime which repudiated a nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers—which Iran had been abiding by—and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran. The sanctions greatly increased the suffering of the Iranian people. Just days ago, on December 23, Trump tweet-threatened Iran that if a single American was killed by Iran or its allies, Iran would pay an enormous price. Trump and his fascist movement are deadly serious about attempting to retain power. Attacking Iran could in some way further their fascist coup attempt. So people must remain alert, follow revcom.us, and as we wrote:

First, people must firmly oppose any and all attacks by the U.S. and its puppets (Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc.) against Iran. And those within the U.S. must politically work for the defeat of “their own” rulers in any war they launch in the Middle East.

BACKGROUND:

*As the U.S. Ratchets Up War Moves Against Iran ...and as Iran Steps Up Its Repression Against Its People ...What Are the Stakes for Humanity?, revcom.us, December 8, 2020

*Trump and the Fascists Greatly Heightened the Danger of War with Iran—but Biden and the Democrats Also Represent the Predatory Interests of Imperialism, revcom.us, December 7, 2020

*Fascist Trump/Pence Regime Threatens Attacks, Increases Deadly Sanctions Against Iran. NO to U.S. War on Iran! NO to Increased Repression within Iran!, revcom.us,

November 23, 2020

*Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist Assassinated—U.S. and Israel, Keep Your Bloody Hands Off Iran!, revcom.us, November 30, 2020

*ALERT: Trump Considers Options for Military Attack on Iran
No U.S. War on Iran! Trump/Pence OUT NOW!
, revcom.us, November 16, 2020

Watch BA's whole speech:
Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/january-6-fascists-gathering-in-dc-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Fascists are gathering on the 6th in DC, in an extraordinary attempt from within and without the halls of power, to overturn the election.


Proud Boys at "Million MAGA March" Washington, D.C. Photo: AP

Vicious and Unhinged, Gangster and Utterly Groundless

Trump’s Fascist Moves to Overturn Election Intensify

The fascist Trump-Pence regime of the past four years—the one still in power as we speak and desperately lashing out to stay in power—was not a blip that we will painlessly pivot out of. As Bob Avakian has analyzed over 25 years, fascism in the U.S. is a deeply dug-in movement organized and directed by a section of the imperialist ruling class which is convinced that this is the necessary solution to the extremely intractable problems, conflicts and challenges that that system faces. This fascist movement has organized tens of millions around its political program of white supremacy, male supremacy and vicious America-first chauvinism.

For the past several weeks, despite losing the 2020 election, Trump has been fighting viciously to illegally stay in power. In just the past week, here’s what’s happened...

Read more

 

 


 

JANUARY 4 AND 5: DO NOT MISS VIDEO OF RADIO SHOWS confronting Trump's unprecedented attempt to overturn the election and the mobilization of his violent supporters in Washington, DC on January 6

Read more

We Only Want the World with Sunsara Taylor, Carl Dix and Michael Coard

WHAT IS THE DANGER OF TRUMP'S ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION?

 


Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

As fascists converge on DC on January 6, take a stand to say Trump Lost! Fascists Get Out!

Trump's unprecedented attempt to overturn the election is fascist and must be opposed!

Biden won the Electoral College and the popular vote by more than 7 million. Yet Trump persists with his lunatic claim that he won the election, escalating his attempted coup into a showdown and throwdown on January 6—the date Congress should follow their constitutional duty and certify Biden’s win.

Trump has incited fascist mobs to go “wild” in DC on that day. He has Republican legislators promising to demand the election results be thrown out, and even inquired about the possibility of invoking the Insurrection Act to implement martial law.

Whether or not Trump succeeds in overturning this election, his fascist movement is succeeding in tearing up the norms of government and growing a battle-hardened base determined to fight forward.

The Democratic Party has downplayed and dismissed this fascist coup attempt, insisting that their coup can’t win, so mobilizing against it inside and outside of DC only helps the Trumpites. This goes along with Biden’s insistence on reaching across the aisle in reconciliation. This is a dangerous delusion that normalizes and legitimizes the fascist assault on the elections and fascists rampaging through the streets. It fuels the passivity and acquiescence of the decent people, demobilizing the millions who should be organized to stand up against these outrages.

It is criminally complicit to give Trump’s fascist assault space to gain momentum, and a profound problem for humanity that the millions who rightly voted against Trump have been silent in the face of this. Transforming this dangerous situation must begin now—through creative and visible forms of opposition that break down our isolation and passivity and build our strength for the enormous struggle ahead. These fascists will not just fade away on their own.

As fascists converge on DC, join others to say Trump Lost! Fascists Get Out! Put these posters in your windows and around town and spread this message on social media. Saturate the streets with art and statements of love and solidarity for all those who are under the gun and targets of this hateful regime.

At 5 pm in DC, bang pots and pans to drown out the fascist voices descending on their city.

 

 




 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/fascists-converge-on-dc-on-january-6-long-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

As fascists converge on DC on January 6, take a stand to say Trump Lost! Fascists Get Out!

Trump's unprecedented attempt to overturn the election is fascist and must be opposed!

| revcom.us

 

Biden won the Electoral College and the popular vote by more than 7 million. Election officials deemed this one of the most secure elections in American history. Dozens of GOP lawsuits to challenge the results have been thrown out for lack of evidence.

Yet Trump persists with his lunatic claim that he won the election, escalating his attempted coup into a showdown and throwdown on January 6—the date Congress should follow their constitutional duty and certify Biden’s win. Trump has even inquired about the possibility of invoking the Insurrection Act to implement martial law.

Now, at least 140 House Republicans have said they plan to vote against certifying Biden’s electoral victory. Senator Josh Hawley announced he would challenge Biden’s win in the Senate, forcing a debate on election fraud that never happened, casting Trump as a victim, and Ted Cruz leads a group of senators vowing to reject the results unless a special commission conducts a 10-day audit.

Meanwhile, Trump called his followers—the same thugs who vandalized Black churches and assaulted bystanders on December 12—back to DC for a “wild” rally on January 6. Trump calls it a protest, but let’s call it what it really is—a NAZI rally filled with white supremacist “grievances” and dangerous verbal attacks on his political enemies, emboldening his base to “fight for Trump” with threats and acts of violence.

This is unprecedented behavior for a sitting president. It has disrupted the peaceful transition of power, “legitimized’’ the lie of a stolen election in the eyes of many millions of Trump’s supporters, and mobilized white supremacist MAGA mobs to rampage, terrorize, and intimidate anyone who stands in their way. With these maneuvers, Trump and his goons have seized the initiative, dominating the airwaves, normalizing fascist lies, and setting the terms... in the halls of power and in the streets. In the midst of all this, Trump is escalating the threat of military aggression against Iran and COVID deaths are raging out of control.

Whether or not Trump succeeds in overturning this election, his fascist movement is succeeding in tearing up the norms of government and growing a battle-hardened base determined to fight forward.

The Democratic Party has downplayed and dismissed this fascist coup attempt, insisting that their coup can’t win so mobilizing against it inside and outside of DC only helps the Trumpites. This goes along with Biden’s insistence on reaching across the aisle in reconciliation. This is a dangerous delusion that normalizes and legitimizes the fascist assault on the elections and fascists rampaging through the streets. It fuels the passivity and acquiescence of the decent people, demobilizing the millions who should be organized to stand up against these outrages.

It is criminally complicit to give Trump’s fascist assault space to gain momentum, and a profound problem for humanity that the millions who rightly voted against Trump have been silent in the face of this. Transforming this dangerous situation must begin now—through creative and visible forms of opposition that break down our isolation and passivity and build our strength for the enormous struggle ahead. These fascists will not just fade away on their own.

As fascists converge on DC, join others to say Trump Lost! Fascists Get Out! Put these posters in your windows and around town and spread this message on social media. Saturate the streets with art and statements of love and solidarity for all those who are under the gun and targets of this hateful regime.

At 5:00 pm in DC, bang pots and pans to drown out the fascist voices descending on their city.

We also call on organizations and individuals to reach out to us (info@refusefascism.org) with your ideas, your fears and questions, your plans and your willingness to dialogue and work together on transforming this situation. Acting together to stop a fascist America is still our urgent call, not for ourselves alone but for all of humanity.

HOW YOU CAN ACT NOWPOSTERS IN WINDOWS, BANG POTS AND PANS ON JANUARY 6... PLANS & RESOURCES >>

See also:


Photo: AP

Fascists are gathering on the 6th in DC, in an extraordinary attempt from within and without the halls of power, to overturn the election.

Read more

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/680/fundraising-livestream-the-get-organized-for-an-actual-revolution-tour-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Announcing a Fundraising Livestream for the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour –
SUNDAY, JANUARY 10

3 pm PST / 6 pm EST
facebook.com/therevcoms
youtube.com/therevcoms

 

To supporters, friends, and comrades of the Revolution Tour... and to ALL those who want to see a new, different and better world,

Welcome to 2021! 

The Revolution Tour is carrying forward into the New Year its mission to put revolution on the map, and to bring forward the new communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian so that it becomes a real and growing force. 

In the course of this tumultuous and challenging year, major strides have been taken. And we on the Tour intend to impact the political terrain in a major way in 2021. 

2020 saw a capitalist-imperialist system up against its limits, with answers neither to the long-range crises it has created that have put the lives of billions and possibly the future of humanity at risk, nor to the immediate horrors of the COVID pandemic and the rise of fascism in the U.S. and other parts of the world. 

The Revolution Tour fought to bring forward a whole different and much better future in the face of that:

Your support was crucial in all of this; and your continued—or first-time—support is needed now to carry this forward even as the Tour is taking time to dig deeply into that experience and analyze its most important lessons in order to prepare to go out more boldly and with more impact in the new year 2021.

To do that, we need your support. We are transforming the world and doing new things, struggling to break through—and most of all, we are learning as we go. 

Go now to revcom.us for a page of sights and sounds from the Tour. And tune in on Sunday, January 10, for a fundraising webinar reviewing the year past and looking toward the future.

Find out more about The Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour >>

How to Donate to the National Revolution Tour

  • Venmo: “@RevolutionTour”
  • CashApp: $revtour
  • Send a check or money order,
    payable to RCP Publications,
    memo line: National Revolution Tour. Mail to:
    • RCP Publications
      Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
      Chicago, IL 60654-0486

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/sample-fundraiser-to-prospective-donors-supporters-of-national-revolution-tour-en.html

New fundraising letter

Donate to bring a whole new world into being

| revcom.us

 

Editors' Note: We received this from volunteers for the National Revolution Tour.

Dear friends,

As 2021 begins, donate to something that can make all the difference for positive change: the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. Donate HERE and tune in Sunday, January 31 to a fundraising livestream, 3 pm PST / 6 pm EST at youtube.com/therevcoms.

Only one month into this year, and already the whole world has witnessed an unprecedented fascist coup attempt on January 6, with thousands of MAGA mobs incited by Trump himself, violently storming the capital, waving confederate flags and hanging nooses.  In the face of this, we are being told (by people in the Democratic Party), “don’t worry, soon things will all go back to normal...” A “normal” rooted in a system that exploits literally billions of people all around the world, a “normal” leading to the devastation of our planet... a “normal” that gave rise to this fascism.

But these are NOT our only choices. The real question, posed by Bob Avakian (BA), the revolutionary leader who has developed a new communism, is “RADICAL CHANGE IS COMING: WILL IT BE EMANCIPATING OR ENSLAVING—REVOLUTIONARY, OR REACTIONARY?”

That is up to us—and up to you!

The National Revolution Tour is fighting for hope on a scientific foundation, spreading BA’s leadership and works everywhere and getting organized for an actual revolution. This is not about tinkering on the margins of this system, but of overthrowing this system for something radically different, as represented by the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America authored by BA.

As one recent donor put it, “Now is not just a matter of supporting people who can physically go to protests when you can’t, it is a matter of supporting people who can project revolutionary ideology to people whom you will never see. People not just in this country, but around the world...” 

That’s what this National Revolution Tour and the volunteers on it are all about: the emancipation of all humanity... bringing to life the interests of those that people in this country too often ignore.  But the fact is those are our people too, and we have a responsibility to them... a responsibility to bring into being a world where no child anywhere is suffocated by this system or afraid of the brutal enforcers of this system... all brought upon them by the unnecessary conditions of this system.  A system that can't be reformed, but must be overthrown.  

Volunteers on the Tour have gathered from all over the country, uprooting their lives to be part of something greater than themselves, struggling to break people out of “me first” individualism. They are digging deeply into BA’s work, learning how to become revolutionary leaders. They need your support for food, housing, PPE, materials, video equipment... for this to reach all of society.  We are aiming to raise $50,000 by February 15... tune in to the livestream to hear big plans for 2021!

As another donor, a recent college graduate, put it, “Not only do we have to fight for revolution, we have to FUND the Revolution.” 

So donate and be a part of raising funds for the National Revolution Tour fighting to bring a whole better world into being!

Volunteers from the National Revolution Tour

Download Word version of this letter

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/680/revolution-tour-sights-n-sounds-2020-en.html

Sights and Sounds of The National Revolution Tour 2020

| revcom.us

 

The COVID Pandemic

The Beautiful Rising

Minneapolis


The Revcoms in Minneapolis

Los Angeles

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

From Bob Avakian


The Revolution Club, Chicago taking BA and the revolution to the masses on the South Shore.


(Read the 10-part series)

The 2020 Elections

August 1, 2020 —
STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN
ON THE IMMEDIATE CRITICAL SITUATION,
THE URGENT NEED TO DRIVE OUT
THE FASCIST TRUMP/PENCE REGIME,
VOTING IN THIS ELECTION, AND
THE FUNDAMENTAL NEED FOR REVOLUTION

Read more


The Refuse Fascism Handmaids brigade at the Supreme Court, part of a series of creative and bold nonviolent actions in DC and across the country that reached millions with a challenge to confront the reality that Trump is already stealing the election.

Find out more about The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour >>

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/679/watch-the-special-december-24-episode-of-the-rnl-show-stepping-into-the-future-en.html

ANNOUNCING: The RNL Show presents a special holiday screening of the documentary STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE!

| revcom.us

 

Dear friends,

The RNL Show is proud to present a special holiday online premiere of the documentary film:

STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE:
On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics—
A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World

December 24, 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET
YouTube.com/TheRevComs

Up against a fascist movement that increasingly grows stronger in the U.S. and worldwide ... up against the monstrous system—capitalism-imperialism—that not only gives rise to fascism but during “normal times” keeps grinding the lives of billions of people into the ground ... up against a putrid culture that justifies all these horrors and encourages so many to want to get in on this degradation ... up against all the horrors of the world of today ... We invite you to STEP INTO THE FUTURE!

On April 11, 2011, Harlem Stage in NYC came alive with music, poetry, dance, visual art, and words of revolution on the occasion of the publication of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.

STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE is the 2013 documentary film that tells the story of that night, and the reflections of the artists and participants: what inspired them, their hopes and their dreams. 

Come on a journey with us. Imagine a whole different art and culture ... Imagine if this culture, instead of degrading people, lifted us up ... Imagine if it gave us a vision of a whole different world ...

The film features performances and interviews with: 

Matthew Shipp and William Parker / David Murray / reg e gaines / Maluca Mala / Abiodun Oyewole / Outernational / Maggie Brown / Guillermo E. Brown / Moist Paula Henderson / Aladdin and Avirodh Sharma / and others

The film also features interviews, new and archival film with: 

Bob Avakian / Dr. Cornel West / Richard Brown / Annie Day / Carl Dix / Leah Bonvissuto / Sabel / Kyle Goen / Dread Scott / Joe Veale / Alejandro del Fuego

Watch the online premiere of STEPPING INTO THE FUTURE, December 24, Thursday, 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET. YouTube.com/TheRevComs

The handbook for revolution. You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics.

Get the free e-book:

  • Right-click to download the e‑book for the Kindle here.
  • Right-click to download the e‑book for other e-readers here.
  • For instructions on downloading and moving files from your computer to your e‑reader, click here.

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/482/skybreak-a-communist-statesman-modeling-communist-leadership-en.html

Excerpt from SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak

A Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early part of 2015, over a number of days, Revolution conducted a wide-ranging interview with Ardea Skybreak. A scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, Skybreak is the author of, among other works, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, and Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women's Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. This interview was first published online at www.revcom.us.

This excerpt from the interview, “A Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership,” is a ‘must-read-and-review’ for all those concerned with making revolution and bringing into being a radically different and far better world.

Q: I think that that’s a really important point, and it relates to something you said a minute ago, that you felt BA really came across as a statesman in this Dialogue1. And maybe you could explain that a little bit more, because I think that’s a really important point and I know you were saying earlier that you felt like you really got a sense being at this Dialogue, experiencing it, that this is the leader of the revolution, this is somebody who could lead the future society. So I don’t know if you wanted to speak a little more to that.

Ardea Skybreak Science and Revolution excerpts A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What Is New in the New Synthesis? The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic--A Visionary and Concrete Application of the New Synthesis Serious Engagement with the New Synthesis--The Difference It Could Make An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

AS: Yes, the reason I felt the statesman aspect, too, is that I think we live in a complicated period, that there are a lot of challenges in this period to actually advance the revolutionary struggle, to deal with the actual fight–the “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution” aspect of things is going on right now in a way it hasn’t for some time, in particular around the police murders. And, look, BA leads the work of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and there’s not a single initiative, I’m sure, of the Revolutionary Communist Party, that doesn’t have the stamp of leadership of BA and of the top leadership of the Party on it, in terms of how it’s unfolded. As you can see from the diversity of things that are taken up by this Party, and as reflected in the website revcom.us, there are a lot of very challenging contradictions to deal with. And that gives only a hint of what this leadership involves.

I don’t think most people have any idea what revolutionary leadership is about. A lot of people think that a leader of revolution is kind of like an “activist” leader, sort of like a leader of a demonstration, what I think of as tactical leadership. But overall revolutionary leadership is not just tactical. Of course there does need to be tactical leadership in various dimensions, and I’m not trying to devalue that. There is very much a need for the kind of person who might be agitating in a demonstration, for instance, helping to put forward a better understanding of what people are fighting about, and leading people, even tactically, in the streets, for instance in a demonstration. But there’s an important point to be made about how the leader of a revolution and the leader of a new society has to be an all-round statesman and has to be more like a strategic commander of the revolution as a whole. And there’s a formulation that’s been put forward recently that a communist leader–and not just the top leadership, but every single revolutionary communist–has to think of themselves and strive to be a strategic leader of the revolution, “a strategic commander of the revolution, not just a tactical leader, and not just a strategic philosopher.” This is very important. In other words, if you’re going to lead a revolution, lead the seizure of state power and become a leader of a new society–and that’s what I mean by statesman–you have to fully recognize and grapple with the complexity of what you’re doing and the many different levels and layers of it, and the many different contradictions among the people. You have to deal with the fact that you don’t have absolute freedom at any given time, and yet you’re trying to move things in a certain direction. You’re trying to be true to your principles, and you’re promoting that openly, but at the same time you’re dealing with the people you’re leading, who often don’t understand, at least not with any depth, what you’re putting forward in leading them, or who tend to distort what you’re putting forward, because they don’t understand things well enough or because they’re being shaped and influenced by other programs, other outlooks and methods.

So strategic leadership is a very, very complex task, and that’s also involved in why, as I mentioned earlier, so many natural scientists are at a complete loss when they try to address social transformations and they suddenly seem to forget everything they ever knew about basic scientific methods! Part of that is also because so many people have a completely wrong view of what actually constitutes overall leadership in the social arena, especially as pertains to revolutionary change. Much of the time they seem to think a political leader is just somebody with a bullhorn in a demonstration. But that’s tactical leadership, that’s not the overall strategic commander type of leadership that can guide an actual overall radical transformation of a whole society through revolution and the building of a whole new kind of society on a fundamentally different economic basis, with everything that flows from that. That kind of multi-faceted leadership is a much more complex task, and most people today frankly have little or no conception of all that it involves.

And there’s the question of dealing with the audiences–if you wanna put it that way, there are many different audiences. You’re not trying to be all things to all people. You are actually trying to meet the objective interests of the international proletariat, by which I mean–it’s not any individual proletarian that’s the question–there’s an international, world-wide class of people who don’t own the means of production, who have no ability to run society under this system, who can really only sell themselves basically, under this capitalist-imperialist system. They have the greatest interest–whether they know it or not as individual proletarians–as a class, they have the greatest interest of any class in actually going in the direction of communism and getting beyond all these class divisions and relations of exploitation and oppression. But is that the only class that’s going to be part of the process? No. The capitalist-imperialist ruling class is a very small segment of world society, or of any given society, but you do have all these other forces that kind of have one foot in one system, while one foot may be aspiring to something better. And those more “intermediate” strata, they tend to not be very constant, they tend to flip from one side to the other on any given day! Add to that the fact that hardly anybody has been given any scientific training, so hardly anybody tries to approach problems with any kind of consistently systematic and rigorous method. So you’ve got people going all over the place, you know, both in their thinking and in their actions. Bob Avakian’s talked about the challenge of “going to the brink of being drawn and quartered,” both in terms of getting to the revolutionary seizure of state power, and in terms of building a new society–that there are so many different kinds of people pulling in different directions, with different and opposing ideas, and so on.

And here’s another reason you need science. How can you know what’s best for society? How can you know what’s best for the majority of humanity? The capitalist-imperialists, they are proceeding on the basis of what’s best for their system. It’s not just a question of corporate greed, it’s not just that. It’s much more than that. They have a system that they need to maintain, a system that is based on profit, and we can talk about the fundamental contradiction of capitalism-imperialism, it might be worth touching on that a little bit. But the point is that they’re trying to keep their system going, but they don’t understand–even the people running this society often don’t even understand the deeper laws of their own system. But if you’re trying to bring into being a whole new kind of society, one that actually more fully meets the objective interests and needs of the vast majority of humanity, you’ve gotta do a lot of work, and you’ve gotta go up against a lot of misconceptions and prejudice and anti-scientific views. You have to deal with that diversity of views and opinions and with people pulling in all sorts of different directions, while at the same time not losing the reins of the process itself. That’s where the strategic commander role comes in. If you are confident in your scientific approach, then you can say with a quite a bit of certitude that you think it is possible to determine what is in fact in the objective interests of the majority of humanity, and what it would take to move in that direction. It’s like if you’re riding a horse. You’ve got your hands on the reins, so you’re not just going to let the horse run to any old place–the horse here being the process, not the people, but the process, right, the revolutionary process. But if you ride a horse and you pull the reins in too tightly, and you pull the horse’s head too hard, and the bit cuts into the horse’s mouth, and you’re not allowing it any kind of free rein, then that horse is going to stop dead in its tracks, or it’s going to buck, and in any case it’s not going to be able to be part of freely moving forward and advancing the process.

So there’s always a tension–the reason there’s a need, as BA has stressed, for “lots of elasticity, on the basis of the solid core” is not, as some people have incorrectly argued, just because the middle strata of people are going to “buck” and cause problems for you, are going be resentful, and so you’ll have to give ’em a bone here or there, to keep ’em from fighting you, or something. No! That would be disgusting. The real reason that you need to build in and allow for some genuine elasticity, on the basis of the solid core, is because society needs it, the process needs it. The revolutionary process itself needs to breathe, the revolutionary society needs to breathe, or it won’t be any good. Both the process of getting to the revolutionary seizure of power, and then the process of building the new society needs to breathe. And if you try to control it all too tightly and too rigidly–even if you happen to be right in what you’re doing at any given time, if you’re too tight and controlling, it’s just going to be discouraging and demoralizing to people, and people are not going to be given the scientific tools to figure it out enough themselves, and you’re going to end up with a repressive society, a rigid society and a rigid process.

And Bob Avakian really understands that, because he’s a good enough scientist to understand the material tension that exists, objectively, between what’s called the solid core, the certitude, the elements that you can actually be confident of, in terms of what’s wrong with the current society and what’s needed in a future society to benefit humanity, while at the same time understanding the need to sort of shepherd the process in such a way that it can encompass and incorporate the widest possible diversity of views and approaches from among the different strata of the masses in society.

I don’t know if I’m expressing this well enough, but he has certainly expressed this very well in many of his writings and talks, and I would encourage people to dig into this whole aspect of solid core with lots of elasticity on the basis of the solid core. And that last part–on the basis of the solid core–is very important to understand. You couldn’t have the right kind of elasticity without the solid core. You don’t wanna end up like you’re trying to herd cats, with everything and everybody going all over the place. There does need to be a solid core. In fact, the more you’ve got a firm handle, a rigorous scientific handle, on that solid core, on that core scientific theory, on that core accumulated knowledge and experience and on that core certitude, the more it should actually be possible to unleash and encourage broad elasticity and initiative among the people, both in the current revolutionary process as well as in the future socialist society, including in relation to the kind of dissent and broad societal ferment which can actively contribute to further advancing society in a good direction.

Q: As you were talking, one thing that is posed is that there is a unity, there is a connection between what you’re saying about the approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity, both in the process of making revolution to get to a future society on the road to communism, and then in that future society itself–there’s a connection between that approach all the way through the process of making revolution and getting to communism and your point about how you could really get a sense in this Dialogue of BA as the leader of that future society. And then there’s the point that you were making earlier, about why would BA do this Dialogue with Cornel West, if he weren’t actually applying and modeling that approach of solid core with a lot of elasticity? And so something I wanted to probe a little further is this point about how BA, in this Dialogue and in his whole body of work, he’s very much pulling no punches, he’s very much putting forward his understanding of the science of communism and of reality, and he’s not trying to finesse or smooth over differences, including with Cornel West, while at the same time he’s also very much recognizing the unity that they have, and the unity that needs to be forged broadly. And he’s taking the approach that there’s a lot that somebody like Cornel West–he has a lot of insights, there’s a lot that he can contribute to this whole revolutionary process, even while they’re very much getting into their differences. So, is there more you wanted to say about the application of solid core with a lot of elasticity even in terms of how BA was relating to Cornel West in this Dialogue?

AS: Well, I think you can see the application and modeling of “solid core with lots of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” in what BA does, both in relation to Cornel West on the one hand, and also what I was trying to say before in relation to the audience–or audiences, plural, because there are many different strata and different viewpoints represented in the audience–and what you see is, you see the certitude based on experience and knowledge. Look, think about in the natural sciences: If somebody happens to emerge who is the most advanced in their field of science, or in a particular development of the natural sciences, at a given time–somebody who is really advanced and really visionary and really is playing a leading role that way–it would be ridiculous for them to come out and just kind of act as if they don’t know what they know, or not struggle with people and not provide the evidence that they’ve accumulated and analyzed over, literally in this case, decades. Right? So even as he’s working with Cornel, he’s also not pulling any punches because, first of all, he respects people enough not to pander or condescend or pretend he doesn’t know what he actually knows. The only people he doesn’t respect are the exploiters and oppressors at the top of society. But he has enough respect for people, even people who might disagree with him in some important ways, to be honest and to explore differences with principle and integrity instead of condescending or pandering to people or pretending to have more agreement than he does.

He’s gonna call it like it is. He’s gonna tell people, including the audience...he knows this audience is holding on to a lot of different views and misconceptions that he thinks are very harmful. Like a lot of these religious views that are holding people back from understanding reality the way it actually is, and from seeing how it could be changed. His position is definitely not neutral–with religion, he’s not just saying look, that’s not where I’m at, but it’s all good, go ahead and believe whatever you’re gonna believe. He’s definitely not saying that. Instead, he’s really struggling with the audience, right down on the ground–he’s saying, you gotta give up some of this religion stuff, because it is actually harmful; it is clouding your understanding of the way reality really is; and, because it’s doing that, it’s actually making it harder for you to see the way forward, and to see how to transform society in a good direction. So you gotta get off this stuff! And he’s saying that to an audience of people, most of whom are religious, especially among the most oppressed–the very people who are most important for, and who most need to step forward to take up, the revolutionary process. He’s got enough respect, enough strategic confidence in people, to tell it like it is.

Now, in the situation where he’s working with Cornel, he’s working with a developed intellectual who’s also got a lot of experience in life, and who has studied many different things himself and analyzed many different philosophies. And BA’s got respect for that process, too. But he’s still going to call it like it is, and he’s going to bring out the evidence. What does it actually say in the Bible? What is the role of religion? Let’s get into it!

Some people might say, Well, I don’t need to hear all this, because I already don’t believe in God. Well, yes, you do need to hear all this, and do you know why? Because billions of people around the planet are deeply influenced by one or another religion, and they approach all of reality through the prism, through the lens, of their particular religion. This is the framework, this is the theoretical framework, if you want to call it that, that most people on this planet apply to try to make sense of the world, and of what’s wrong with it, and what could or couldn’t be done about it. Religion is a very major question, in the United States and all over the world. So Bob Avakian, on the one hand, in the Dialogue, you see him struggling with Cornel, but with a good method, a good warm method, because these are two people who do respect each other and who do like each other but who are just going to honestly tell each other and the audiences where they have some significant differences. And because they have principle and integrity, they’re able to put forward and clarify those important differences, so that the audiences will be better able to grapple with these questions themselves, when they go home and in an ongoing way.

At the same time, what I think Bob Avakian is modeling, with the elasticity part, is: Listen, this revolutionary process, it’s a very rich and complex and diverse process, which does have to involve a wide variety of people. In fact one of the points Bob Avakian has made repeatedly is that, at the time of the revolution and the actual seizure of state power, most of the people involved in the revolution are still going to be religious! In a country like the U.S., there’s no question that this is true. Most people won’t have given up their religion–even if they’ve decided to join in to be part of fighting for revolution and for socialism in different ways, most still won’t have completely broken with all that. And that’s just one example of having a materialist scientific understanding of reality, understanding just how complex it is, how complex the process is. But you’re not going to try to trick people who disagree with you into walking alongside you in the revolutionary process by concealing your views. No, that’s not what you should do. Instead, as a revolutionary communist, you’re going to be honest about those differences. But, if you’re serious about wanting to transform society in the interest of humanity, you’re also going to recognize that the process that you are arguing for, and that you are helping to give strategic leadership to, has to be able to encompass quite a diversity of people, who are not all going to see eye-to-eye with you on a number of different and important questions. And that this will be the case all along the way, even as people increasingly unite together to fight the common enemy, to seize power, and to build the new institutions and organs of a new society.

It’s because he really understands all this that Bob Avakian can, at one and the same time, genuinely and sincerely embrace and feel very warm towards someone like Cornel West (and I believe those feelings are very much reciprocated), and at the same time remain very clear about the importance of speaking to the differences, and speaking to why you need to take up a consistently scientific method and approach if you really want to change society for the better. And so yes, he’ll tell people bluntly why they should give up religion–all religions–because they get in the way of moving forward. It is a fact that all religions all around the world were invented long ago by human beings, to try to explain what they didn’t yet understand and to try to meet needs that can be transcended now. All around the world people invented different sets of supernatural beliefs to try to fill gaps in their understanding of things, in both the natural and social world, and as a mechanism for dealing with such things as death and loss. If you don’t yet have the scientific knowledge to understand how all life evolves, and how there is clear evidence that human beings themselves simply evolved from a long series of pre-existing species, you’re probably going to want to involve some kind of higher supernatural power to explain how we got here! [laughs] Every religion in the world has some of those commonalities. At the same time, they all have their different particular creation myths, and so on. And they have their different holy books, and prophets and stuff like that. And Bob Avakian is saying, Come on now, let’s get serious, let’s actually open up the Bible and see what it says. See, a dogmatic revolutionary might have said, Well, I don’t believe in god, and I think religion’s bad for the people, so I’m not even gonna pay any attention to it. But instead BA’s saying, religion’s a very important problem in the world, it’s a very important question, billions of people believe in some kind of god or some kind of religion, so we have to address this. And he did some homework, too. He did the work. He read the Bible, in its entirety. He knows the Bible. Unlike many people, he can tell you what’s in it. And he can tell you what these religious forces have argued. He can tell you something about the history of how human beings invented a lot of these religions. He can also speak to why people might be motivated to have a moral conscience on the basis of some of the things they learned in church or mosque or temple or whatever. At the same time, he can also show you, scientifically, the harm that it does to cling to this. And that it is not necessary. You can leave that stuff alone. You can just let it go. You can leave those old ways of thinking behind, and you can take up a philosophy and scientific method about transforming the world in the interests of all humanity, which is full of life, full of joy, full of spirit, full of art and culture, and not dead and cold in any way, but that doesn’t have to have these religious and supernatural trappings and all the old stuff that goes along with it.

 


The "Dialogue" referred to here is an event that took place in November 2014 at New York City's historic Riverside Church and was attended by 1900 people: REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion--A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST and BOB AVAKIAN.

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/680/dire-situation-for-irans-political-prisoners-urgent-need-for-protest-en.html

Dire Situation for Iran's Political Prisoners and the Urgent Need for Worldwide Protest

| revcom.us

 

As Iran’s Islamic regime was preparing to ramp up a new wave of vicious repression, Amnesty International (AI) issued a detailed report, "Trampling Humanity: Mass Arrests, Disappearances and Torture Since Iran’s 2019 November Protests." A press release about the report opened with these bullet points about the situation:

What follows is a snapshot, the tip of the iceberg, to give an indication of the scale and scope of the horrific wave of repression by the theocratic regime in Iran in just the past two months.

Since the AI report mentioned above, the situation has become ever more dire with an alarming increase in death penalties quickly given and carried out in the cases of political prisoners in recent months. A recent mass international outcry followed the December 12 hanging of 47-year-old dissident blogger/journalist Rouhollah Zam. He was targeted by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) regime for favorably reporting on the protests inside Iran in 2017 and 2019. Rouhollah Zam had been living in exile in Paris since 2011 but was lured to Iraq where he was kidnapped and taken to Iran in October 2019, jailed, and given a sham trial that included a tortured confession in sealing his death sentence, even as his father is a member of the IRI regime.

The category of political prisoners is very broad. The Iranian regime’s crackdown this October included environmentalists, students, members of minority nationalities (e.g., Kurds, Arabs etc.) women’s right activists, teachers, labor union movement activists/organizers, artists, intellectuals, journalists, and just about anyone who can be deemed as opposing the regime in some way, and often on fabricated evidence or tortured confessions.

The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported last week that the IRI has greatly intensified executions of political prisoners. For example, three young Baloch (or Baluch)* men accused of belonging to militant Sunni Muslim groups were executed on December 23. There may be several more waiting this same fate. Executions are carried out even as lawyers are in the process of appealing their defendants’ sentence.

According to the CHRI website, also in late December, the IRI stepped up going after members of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA), such as detaining poet Amin Moradi. His lawyers suspect he will soon be charged with the typical “national security” charges. His arrest follows the October 2020 jailing of three senior IWA members, also on bogus charges after unjust trials.

In late November, both AI and the CHRI highlighted the case of 66-year-old political prisoner, German-Iranian dual national and women’s right activist Nahid Taghavi. She was arrested at her parent’s home in Tehran on October 16 and held in solitary confinement, denied family or attorney visits, needed medication and medical care. AI’s report sounded an alarm that she was being tortured. In mid-December, BBC highlighted the dangerously uncertain fate of a number of dual nationals now in the IRI prisons, including that of Taghavi as well as many others 

The detailed September AI report cited above has gruesome illustrations of some of the torture techniques used by the IRI—reminiscent of photos of America’s own torture techniques such as at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, the U.S. base at Guantánamo, Cuba, and numerous secret CIA “black sites” stretching across the globe. To paraphrase filmmaker Jeff Kaufman (Nasrin), commenting during the PEN/Ms panel discussion of his film, the answer to repression by the IRI is NOT for the U.S. to attack Iran. That is, the horror being perpetuated by the IRI on the Iranian people must be opposed—and any U.S. war threats/moves or vicious sanctions on Iran must be opposed, especially by people in this country.

As Bob Avakian said in the seminal work Bringing Forward Another Way:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these "outmodeds," you end up strengthening both. 

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity. It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

This scientific understanding mandates acting on the internationalist responsibility of people living in the U.S. to actively join the struggle for a rising chorus of condemnation of the IRI’s waves of repression to demand freedom and justice for all of Iran’s political prisoners NOW along with active opposition to any war threats/moves by the U.S. against Iran.

 


* These are inhabitants of the region of Balochistan in southern Iran. They speak the Rakhshani and Sarawani dialects of Balochi, an Iranian language. Its 2 million population mainly inhabit mountainous terrains that has allowed them to maintain a distinct cultural identity as a minority nationality inside Iran.  [back]

December 10 protest in Frankfurt, Germany, in support of political prisoners in Iran

See also:

NO to U.S. War on Iran! Free All Political Prisoners In Iran!
A Resource Page

Read more

Update on the Situation with Political Prisoner Nahid Taghavi 

This press statement is from Marian Claren, daughter of Nahid Taghavi, a German-Iranian dual national who is being held at Evin Prison in Iran.

December 28, 2020:

My mother, Nahid Taghavi’s health is deteriorating rapidly. In her latest call to my uncle on December 27th, she told him she is now taking Metformin which is a medicine for Type 2 diabetes. For the last 3 years, my mother has been successfully controlling her blood sugar through an effective diet and exercise programme which involved 2 to 3 hours of walking in fresh air every day. Now, after 73 days in solitary confinement in Evin Prison and the stress of 73 days of interrogations, her diabetes has returned after 3 years. Doctors say if my 66 year old mother’s diabetes is not brought under control, it will lead to kidney damage, nerve problems, heart attack and stroke. Enough is enough. She has to be released immediately and unconditionally!

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/679/bob-avakian-its-not-our-embassy-en.html

Excerpts from From Ike to Mao and Beyond—My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist, a memoir by Bob Avakian

"It's Not Our Embassy!"

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: We are sharing excerpts from Bob Avakian’s (BA) memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond, regarding the stand taken in support of the Iranian Revolution while BA and the Mao Defendants were themselves up on serious charges as a result of arrests at a powerful demonstration in January 1979 against Deng Xiaoping, who was being hosted triumphally at the White House by then-President Jimmy Carter.1 Throughout 1978 the Iranian Revolution against the regime of the Shah, which had been backed by U.S. Imperialism for several decades, was gaining ground.  By the fall of 1978 that revolution was causing major problems for the U.S. and its puppet Shah. In 1979, over a hundred volunteers had gathered in Washington D.C. to “Turn D.C. Upside Down” in defense of BA and the Mao Defendants, and a major rally of support was held at the Howard Theater on November 19, which BA spoke at. These excerpts give a sense of how BA gave leadership in this situation to carry out a fully internationalist orientation and position. For more about this whole situation, read fuller discussion in the memoir, and actually read the whole memoir.

EXCERPTS FROM PAGES 396-400 FOLLOW:

... This was the period when the Iranian revolution had reached its high point, and driven the Shah of Iran out of the country. I remember a headline in the Chicago Tribune when the Shah was teetering on his throne, just before he fell. This headline declared: “He May Be a Despot, But He’s Our Despot.” That was basically the stand of the Carter administration and the U.S. ruling class, right until the fall of the Shah. The U.S. had put him in power through a CIA coup in 1953, and they maintained him in power for almost three decades. And they were still doing what they could to protect him at the end. Then, after the Shah could no longer maintain his rule in Iran, they brought him into the U.S., after having tried to get a few other countries to take him.

People in Iran suspected the Shah was being given refuge here to prepare a counter-revolution, and a group of Iranian students and youth then seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran. The Iranians occupying the embassy got hold of the records there and proved that many of the embassy employees were spies and CIA agents who were working to undermine and reverse the course of the Iranian revolution and to bring Iran more fully back under the domination of the U.S.

With these students and others occupying the U.S. embassy, Ted Koppel pronounced “America Held Hostage,” and the occupation of the embassy became a big controversial issue in the U.S. There was a big uproar, and the ruling class in the U.S. worked to whip up all kinds of chauvinism toward the Iranian people, including Iranians living in the U.S., and to inflame reactionary sentiments among the American people about the Iranian revolution. This was happening at the same time as our case was getting ready to go to court and as we were working, through the efforts of the volunteers and in an all-around way, to build support for myself and the other Mao Tsetung Defendants and to promote and project the line and objectives of our Party broadly throughout society....

“It’s Not Our Embassy!”

At the same time, we had to take a stand in support of the Iranian revolution. This was something I felt very strongly about, and I spoke about this to the volunteers in D.C. The leadership of our Party was firmly united that it was very important to work to win people away from the whole chauvinist hysteria and mob mentality that was being whipped up. Iranian students in the U.S. were being attacked. When we would go out to do revolutionary work in general, and particularly to talk with people and do agitation about what was happening in Iran, larger numbers of people would gather. Things would get extremely heated, and sometimes there would be physical attacks on our people. But we were very determined that we had to take this on and turn it around, even as we had this major campaign and battle that we had to wage around the case flowing out of the demonstration against Deng Xiaoping.

One of the things that struck me, in reading a number of reports and talking to comrades who were involved in this work, is that while there was this hysteria, mob mentality and chauvinism whipped up against the Iranian people and the Iranians who lived in the U.S., and it was very widespread — the government and the media had put a lot of effort into this—it was also very superficial. When we talked with people about the history of what the U.S. had done in Iran, the torture and oppression to which it had subjected the Iranian people for decades through putting the Shah of Iran in power and keeping him in power since 1953; when we showed why the Iranian people were so angry at the U.S., and how they were determined to fight against the domination of the U.S. in their country—we could puncture this hysteria and quickly things would begin to change. As is so often the case with people who are whipped up around reactionary shit by the ruling class, there wasn’t any depth to it. People were largely acting out of ignorance and not understanding what was motivating the Iranian people, and what had been going on for decades in Iran — all of which had been hidden from people in the U.S....

We had worked closely with the many radical and revolutionary- minded students from Iran who were living and studying in various parts of the U.S. Ironically, they had been sent to the U.S. by the Shah. The Shah had this program to modernize enclaves of the Iranian economy, while the masses of people would be enmeshed and enslaved in deep poverty and oppression. So his government, working with the U.S. government, had financed a lot of these students to go to the U.S. to get training in things like engineering. But, especially because of the nature of the times, many of them had become radicalized —and by and large this was a secular anti-imperialist radicalism, rather than fundamentalist religious militancy. Many of them had become revolutionaries of one kind or another, and the communist and Maoist trend had a lot of initiative among these thousands of Iranian students. We continued to work closely with them and support them as the Iranian revolution developed, although some of them were beginning to go back to Iran to take part directly in the revolutionary upsurge there.

So when I gave this speech at the Howard Theater I talked about this and why it was important that we take a stand in support of the revolution in Iran and the Iranian students here who were coming under attack— it was, once again, a question of internationalism. It was our responsibility to oppose our own ruling class in trying to reinstitute and fasten down more tightly the domination and oppression of the Iranian people. And, as I put it in that speech: “It’s not our embassy, we don’t have an embassy, this is the embassy of the imperialist ruling class and we stand with the Iranian people.”36

This was controversial even among people close to us and among our broader supporters. Some people felt that by taking this stand, in the midst of this whole attack on us, we would be taking on an even bigger burden and bringing down even further repression on ourselves. We recognized this danger but our position was, as I put it in that speech: “If we don’t stand with the Iranian people, then we’re not worth defending. If we don’t uphold our internationalism and our communist principles, then we’re not worth defending.”

 

36. The RCP came out with a transcript of that part of the speech almost immediately after the rally, entitled “It’s Not Our Embassy.” Party members and supporters took this pamphlet out very broadly, generating controversy and through sharp struggle helping to repolarize the terms of debate in a more favorable way. [back]

 


1. After the death of the revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in 1976, Deng Xiaoping led a coup that overthrew socialism in China and restored capitalism. When Deng was invited to visit the U.S., Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party led a demonstration in Washington, DC, against the visit to expose what had happened in China and what Deng represented. The protest, which became an international incident, was viciously attacked by the police. Scores of protesters were brutally beaten and many were arrested, including BA. BA and about a dozen others, who faced what amounted to over 200 years in jail, were known as the Mao Defendants. For much more on this, see Bob Avakian’s memoir, Chapters 21 (“‘A Fitting Welcome” for Deng Xiaoping”) and Chapter 23 (“Stop the Railroad!”).  [back]

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/climate-change-and-savage-global-inequalities-en.html

Capitalism-imperialism, Climate Change, and Savage Global Inequalities

A picture essay from a reader

| revcom.us

 


The Brazilian Pantanal suffered the worst wildfires in its recorded history in July and August of 2020. More than 12%, of the area burned in those two months. (Photo: Gustavo Basso/NurPhoto via AP)

 

Five years ago, countries from around the world came together in Paris, France, in a process dominated by powerful regimes, and signed what was proclaimed as a “historic agreement” that they said would reverse climate change. In reality, the targets set by the Paris agreement were far from what is actually needed. And five years later, not a single large country is on track to meet even those inadequate pledges. 

2020 may set a record for average global temperature. The level of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases causing global warming, in the atmosphere has risen to 412 parts per million, well above a sustainable level. Sea ice levels in the Arctic reached record lows. 

Because the burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, Earth is facing a cascade of changes that will transform it in ways that will shatter the relative equilibrium of the natural world, as it has evolved over more than 100,000 years, in a matter of years or decades. There is a big unknown about whether countless species, whole ecosystems, or even humanity will ultimately survive this climate change. 

All of this is happening because the system of capitalism-imperialism has developed in a way which drives economies to use fossil fuels in the context of relentless competition between different groups of capitalists to maximize profits and between different countries for strategic advantage. 


Percentage of CO2 Emissions by country income Source; Oxfam

The devastation and loss of life from climate change does not fall equally on all countries. The 47 least developed countries are responsible for just 1 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions but have borne 69% of climate-related deaths since 1970. It is estimated that in 2020, 20 million people—mainly from the oppressed countries of Central and South America, Africa and Asia—were displaced by climate change.

Climate change doesn't just reflect global inequality but is making it worse. The gap between the economic output of the world’s richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without global warming, according to recent research from Stanford University. 

Like climate change, these global inequalities are the result of a system which rests on ruthless exploitation of billions of people in large parts of the world by a handful of capitalist-imperialist countries. To put an end to this, we need to make revolution and build a radically new socialist social and economic system, and ultimately a communist world.

 


Drought, Dry Rivers, and Fires in the Pantanal

Severe drought affected much of South America in 2020. One of the worst suffering is the Pantanal – the world's largest wetlands, spanning Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The Pantanal is experiencing its worst drought in almost 50 years and suffered record temperatures of more than 113 degrees Fahrenheit in 2020.

Wetlands are a unique ecosystem where the land remains flooded for part of the year, giving rise to unique species. According to a UN report, environmental degradation is more prominent within wetlands than any other ecosystem on Earth. The Pantanal is home to more than 4,700 species of plants and animals, including species facing dangers of extinction like the hyacinth macaw (the world’s largest parrot), jaguar and maned wolf.


A fisherman searches for eels in the mud of the dried-up Paraguay River on Oct. 8, 2020. The Paraguay River reached its lowest level in 50 years after months of drought. (Photo: AP/Jorge Saenz)


Neighbors line up for free food outside a primary school in Asunción, Paraguay. (Photo: AP/Jorge Saenz)

The Paraguay River reached its lowest level in 50 years in 2020. People are losing access to fresh water and forced to pay higher prices for fuels, and small- and medium-sized farmers are unable to sell their crops.

In 2020 fires in the Pantanal and the Amazon regions have been 46% larger than in 2019 when the fires received some international attention after protests during the G7 meeting of major world powers. The ongoing fires threaten to push the destruction of the Amazon ecosystem over a tipping point of no return. 

Like the widespread fires on the U.S. West Coast in recent years, the fires in the Amazon basin were fueled by the drying out of the forest floor, which greatly intensified fires and made them much harder to contain. One difference is that in the Amazon and other parts of South America, the fires are being deliberately set. 

While the media often depicts small farmers or landless peasants as responsible for the burning of the Amazon, most of the deliberately set fires are to clear the way for large-scale cattle ranching, cash crops, and, increasingly, marijuana production. These are for export to the U.S. and Western Europe, and much of the trade is controlled or financed by corporations based in these imperialist countries.

 


The number of fires in Brazil's Pantanal, the world's biggest tropical wetlands, more than doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by a state institute. (Photo: AP/Andre Penner)


Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal


Climate change migrants in Bangladesh after Cyclone Amphan (Photo: Kazi Salahuddin Razu/NurPhoto via AP)

Heavy rain and extensive flooding occurred over large parts of Africa and Asia in 2020. While extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and cyclones, are a part of nature, warmer ocean currents and other effects of climate change lead to larger and more powerful storms.

On May 20, Cyclone Amphan tore into India and Bangladesh with 130 mph winds. It was only the fourth super cyclone to hit the Bay of Bengal in the last 400 years. Amphan grew rapidly in the Indian Ocean, fueled by warm waters of up to 88 degrees F. 2.4 million people were displaced in West Bengal and 2.5 million in Bangladesh. More than 2.8 million homes were damaged.  

One of the hardest areas hit was Sundarbans, a grouping of small  islands in the delta between India and Bangladesh. The storm destroyed much of the mangrove forests, home to Royal Bengal tigers and other endangered species. Sea water surge has made much of the agricultural land unusable. Sea level rise will displace 18 million Bangladeshis within the next 40 years.

Shyamali Pramanik, a 30-year-old woman who lives at Ghormara Island in Sundarbans, broke down in tears as she was interviewed by the environmental news site Mongabay: “I had left livestock and a mud house before being shifted to a relief camp, but nothing is left now except a collapsed wall with no roof. I sold eggs and livestock for livelihood, but everything is gone. Soon, the rising water and erosion will wipe off our existence.”

 


Plague of Desert Locusts in East Africa


A desert locust swarm in Kenya. Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization FAO. (Photo: FAO/Sven Torfinn)

At the beginning of 2020, heavy rains brought hundreds of millions of desert locusts swarming into Kenya and other parts of East Africa, destroying crops. One locust swarm covered an area that was 25 miles by 37 miles and could eat as much food in one day as 85 million people.

This was the worst locust outbreak in Kenya in 75 years. A second wave of locusts, even larger than the first, overran the area again in June and July. The outbreak continues at the end of 2020. 

 

An Al Jazeera report described a mother of ten children, screaming and throwing rocks at the locusts that descended on her sorghum fields in northeast Ethiopia. But the insect swarms were so relentless that her entire crop – her family’s only source of income – was destroyed. “They never left for a week,” she said. “We are left with an empty harvest ... How can I feed my children like this?”

“Global warming played a role in creating the conditions required for the development, outbreak, and survival of the locusts,” scientists from the Intergovernmental Authority on Climate Prediction and Applications Centre wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that if the desert locusts continue to swarm, they can pose a threat to the livelihoods of 10% of the  world's population.


It Doesn't Have to Be This Way

This is just a glimpse into what has happened because of climate change combined with global inequalities in the LAST YEAR. Both factors are the products of capitalism-imperialism. This is intolerable! Much worse is coming. The number of climate refugees will grow to hundreds of millions, coastal areas will be submerged, mass starvation will intensify, and extinctions of species will accelerate.

May 17, 2020, people wade through a flooded street in Beledweyne, central Somalia. Flooding in central Somalia has affected nearly 1 million people, displacing about 400,000. (Photo: AP)

More than 170 people died in a landslide at a jade mine in Myanmar on July 2, following heavy rain. (Photo: AP/Zaw Moe Htet)

People cross a flooded street during Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 23, 2020. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and hit the Louisiana coast as a hurricane. (Photo: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery

Evacuees wait to board buses on Aug. 25, 2020, in Galveston, Texas as Hurricane Laura heads toward the Gulf Coast. (Photo: AP/David J. Phillip)

Capitalism-imperialism is destroying the planet. In the face of this looming catastrophe, only revolution gives humanity a real chance to save it. We need a radically different society that values nature and builds an ecologically sustainable economy, that values the billions of oppressed people on the planet and unleashes their vast creativity and initiative, one that is working to build a communist world free of all relations of exploitation and oppression.

 


 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/united-states-and-other-world-powers-hoard-covid-vaccines-en.html

U.S. and Other World Powers Hoard COVID Vaccines, Condemning Millions in Asia, Africa and Latin America to Unnecessary Suffering and Death

From a reader

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Last week revcom.us posted a letter from a member of the Revolution Tour (Parasitism, Pandemic, and the Needless Horrors of a Lopsided World) that shed light on how and why this system’s response to the coronavirus epidemic has been built on exploiting and deepening global inequalities and oppressive relations—and has failed miserably to prevent or minimize massive suffering and death. What follows below is a letter from another reader building on that.

There’s actually no way that anyone in India or anyone anywhere outside these rich countries is going to get their hands on one of these vaccines for love or for money. They just don’t exist outside of very few number of rich countries.

Achal Prabhala, Indian public health advocate

Under the radar, with little public attention, something truly shocking—a major crime against humanity that may lead to extended unnecessary suffering for millions of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America—is being carried forward. The global system dominating the world is now dictating that only one-fifth of people in the oppressed nations are worth protecting from the COVID plague.

This is no exaggeration.

Last spring, as the pandemic spread sickness, death and economic devastation around the world, the U.S., Britain, Europe and other imperialist powers began funding dozens of pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines. Instead of building on the desire of thousands of scientists to pool their efforts and share their knowledge to solve this problem threatening the whole planet, the big powers were in competition with each other to gain economic, political and strategic advantage, to make sure that their population got vaccinated first (and therefore got its economy back before others could1) and then to use their control over these precious supplies to build and wield influence over other countries.

And every corporation—while claiming it would distribute the vaccine to everyone on the planet (eventually!)—worked out secret purchasing arrangements with wealthy individual countries that could pay the highest price for the vaccine as it was produced. The imperialist countries also blocked efforts to suspend “intellectual property rights”—patents and so forth—that prevent companies in Third World countries from using the new vaccine technologies to more cheaply produce and distribute vaccines in their countries.2

And what is the result? On December 28, the New York Times reported that “A few months from now, a factory in South Africa is expected to begin churning out a million doses of Covid-19 vaccine each day in the African country hardest-hit by the pandemic. But those vials will probably be shipped to a distribution center in Europe and then rushed to Western countries that have pre-ordered them by the hundreds of millions. None have been set aside for South Africa ... [which] does not expect to see the first trickle of doses until around the middle of next year.”

There is a similar situation in India, a deeply impoverished country of 1.3 billion people who have already suffered incredibly from the pandemic.3 The pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (reportedly under pressure from its research partners at Oxford University) has promised to produce enough doses to vaccinate only a bit over one-third of the population... over the coming year.

Defeating the pandemic requires “herd immunity,” which would be achieved when enough of the population is immunized that the virus cannot spread and it starts to die out. Otherwise, not only will the virus keep circulating among the unvaccinated, but over time new strains of the virus will develop that existing vaccines do not protect against. COVID may then become “endemic,” meaning that this deadly disease becomes a constant part of society, sickening and killing millions more, ravaging the economy and weakening the society as a whole.

Most public health experts think herd immunity for COVID requires roughly 70 percent of the entire population to be immunized. And yet, according to the New York Times, (December 26), the international grouping that is working to provide aid to low- and middle-income countries “aims for 20 percent coverage at most by the end of 2021”—in other words, just one-fifth of the population. Some groups estimate that in reality, the 70 poorest countries of the world will only be able to vaccinate one-tenth of their people.

By contrast, the U.S. and other powers have been hoarding vaccine for themselves, and now have confirmed orders that will funnel the bulk of vaccine into their hands as it is produced. According to the Economist (November 12), Canada will have enough to vaccinate its entire population almost five times over; Britain almost three times; the U.S. and the European Union countries, about 1.5 times.

As the head of the African Centers for Disease Control4 put it: “The U.S. is not going to target 20 percent of its population. Europe is not going to target 20 percent of its population. Why do you think in Africa we should?”

It’s an important question. And yet, there is no evil genius or super-villain at work here... only the normal workings of a worldwide system—the system of capitalist-imperialism. Under this system, how even the most basic needs of human life are produced and distributed is determined by the drive for profit of different capitalist banks and corporations ruthlessly competing against each other, and by the competitive drive for global economic and strategic advantage of the “great powers.”

 


1. According to the New York Times, Israel’s Minister of Health made clear that even if Israel ended up overpaying for the vaccine, the cost would still be worth it in order to reopen the Israeli economy even one week earlier than its competitors. (Israel is not itself an imperialist power. But it is a highly militarized enforcer for U.S. imperialism, and as such its leaders largely reflect the basic outlook of the imperialist powers.) [back]

2. For instance, there are 20 vaccine manufacturers in India, and eight on the African continent. [back]

3. As of January 1, India has reported over 10 million COVID-19 cases and 150,000 deaths, both of which are likely gross undercounts. Go here for a report on the first COVID wave in India. [back]

4. The ACDC’s 2016 budget was $6.9 million. The U.S. CDC’s 2019 budget was $7.3 billion. [back]

Volunteers wait for vaccine trial, South AfricaSouth Africa: Volunteers wait to be checked at a vaccine trial facility for AstraZeneca which will produce millions of doses of vaccine a day. But the vaccine will probably be shipped to Europe and Western countries that have pre-ordered hundreds of millions of them. None have been set aside for South Africa which may see the first trickle of doses in late 2021. (Photo: AP)

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.

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

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/680/from-a-prisoner-revolutionary-political-consciousness-en.html

From a prisoner:

"How Revcom.us and Bob Avakian Helped Transform My 'Criminal Consciousness' to a Revolutionary Political Consciousness"

| revcom.us

 

I have been incarcerated for over 18 years. I was given 46 years to life under California’s draconian 3-strike law for a high speed chase which resulted in an injury.

This unjust sentence further fueled my anger, hate, and frustration for a system who has dismissed Black, Brown and even White lives as insignificant. And it further alienated me to a harmful “criminal consciousness.” I use the term “criminal consciousness” because as a “criminal,” I did have a consciousness. It was just misguided. It was based on anger and raw emotion from being followed, profiled, stopped, beaten, and harassed. As a young Black man I was aware and conscious of what this country felt about me. So my consciousness was built and based on abuse and mistreatment, it just had an angry emotion and misguided actions attached to it. But Revcom.us and Bob Avakian helped me turn my “criminal consciousness” to a revolutionary one. Here’s how they did it...

While not in any way condoning my criminal behavior/actions, they understood my energy and frustration. They told me that it could be re-directed in a positive revolutionary way. Initially I thought they were crazy. I felt no one understood. So I challenged them. With history, facts, and explanations that I hadn’t heard before they helped me see that my “criminal consciousness” could be turned around and used. Through hundreds of newsletters covering over a 10-year period, my prior “criminal consciousness” has been transformed to a revolutionary political consciousness. So it can be done. I think part of the way they were able to help transform me and countless others is their approach. They weren’t judgmental. Understanding and reaching people where they are, is I think their secret ingredient.

Another good thing is how they see value in people who society has thrown away. Revcom.us and Bob Avakian show those in prison they have value. And to people who have been told they are nothing, this is a big deal. Also I credit Revcom.us and Bob Avakian for engaging and including people from different walks of life. Respectfully and honestly disagreeing on some points, but agreeing on the goal is something else I think is good. Too many organizations are dismissive of people they don’t agree 100% with. And you lose a lot of people like that.

Another good thing I like is that they often show, print, and publish inmates’ words and writings. This is good because we feel like we are part of something. Many of us led the criminal lives we led because we didn’t feel part of anything. Amerika didn’t want us or accept us or understand us. So we went where we would feel wanted and accepted. And by showing our work, Revcom.us and Bob Avakian is saying “We understand you, we want you and accept you.” And with this kind of genuine relationship, there can be nothing but progress.

Revcom.us and Bob Avakian are providing valuable lessons, if people would pay attention. They are reaching people the WORLD needs, but can’t reach. Those of us in prison can and do have the ability to improve society. Look what George Jackson, Malcolm X and countless others have done and still are doing. Amerika sees a “prison.” Revcom.us and Bob Avakian see a university with many willing but misguided students. Looking at me and viewing me as a student, instead of a criminal, can bring out the best in me. It can further transform and re-shape my negative, destructive, and harmful criminal ways, to positive, productive and meaningful actions.

This is true “rehabilitation.” This system offers no meaningful “rehabilitation.” The public school system failed us and taught us we are nothing. No wonder many drop out. If you’re taught you’re nothing, you often act like you’re nothing. Many of us only acted how we were taught and treated. Public schools confused and angered us. Revcom.us and Bob Avakian woke us up, accepted us, and transformed us.

In closing, Revcom.us and Bob Avakian are saving lives. Because if many of us were left in the state we were in, Amerika would have a worse problem. I would encourage many other organizations to follow in the ways of Revcom.us and Bob Avakian. Because if you can successfully transform a “criminal consciousness” to a political revolutionary one, you have the very allies needed to make meaningful change. And it won’t happen without us. Thank you.

Bob Avakian Straight-Up on the Revolution... and the Gangs

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

Learn more about the film here.

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

THE PRISONERS REVOLUTIONARY LITERATURE FUND

Graphic imagePRLF is an educational literature fund that sends Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), works from Bob Avakian, and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S.

To donate to the work of the PRLF, go HERE.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/679/prisoner-letter-on-election-the-system-and-covid-en.html

From a Prisoner:

On the Election, Workings of the System, and COVID Pandemic: "Our sanitized torture chambers (cells) have now become death chambers for some"

| revcom.us

 

Dear Comrades & Friends,

I find it necessary to begin this letter with the following quoted passages from two of Bob Avakian’s talks: 

For those who cannot help but hunger for a “return” to some kind of “normalcy” as an answer to the madness of Trump, Pence and the rest—forget it, it is not going to happen!

And nobody should want a return to the “normalcy” of this system. The “normalcy” of this system has always included the barbaric oppression of Black people and other people of color, with systematic terror, brutality and murder to enforce this oppression. 

—“Radical Change Is Coming: Will It Be Emancipating, or
Enslaving—Revolutionary, or Reactionary?” 

...Trump’s initial denial of the scope and danger posed by this virus and his continuing lies about this; his gross American chauvinism, pitting this country against the rest of the world; his repeated tendency to recklessly deny medical science and ignore the recommendations of medical experts where it runs counter to his own narrowly conceived and dangerously shortsighted interests and objectives; and more—all this amplifies and fortifies the barriers that the “normal functioning” of the capitalist-imperialist system places in the way of a systematic and coordinated approach to combating the coronavirus.

—“The Deadly Illusion of ‘Normalcy’ and
the Revolutionary Way Forward”

Forgive me if I am unable to share in, or relate to the understandably felt (given the enormous stakes) euphoria and ecstasy of Biden’s win over Trump at the polls. Although, as the days go by, it is becoming clear that Trump’s 21st century Brownshirts (MAGA fascists) will not be voted away.

Since the age of 13 years old, I have spent most of my life buried alive beneath cold steel and concrete. I am now 41 years old. Just another statistic of the mass casualties resulting from the “normal workings” of this system, “normal workings” such as poverty, the “War on Drugs,” the declaring of us to be “super predators” by Hillary Clinton, Biden and Clinton’s “Crime Bill,” mass incarceration, and the spawning of Trump and his base of MAGA fascists ... all of which can be traced back to when the first ships carrying African slaves arrived to the shores of this country—a country that was founded on, and baptized in the blood and bones of genocide and slavery. (See BA’s “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” and “Fascists Today and the Confederacy: A Direct Line, A Direct Connection Between All the Oppression.”) 

On December 3, I tested positive for COVID-19. Last month, before Thanksgiving, there was an outbreak on my unit. As of Nov. 24, 78 officers were “pending test results” and 24 inmates had tested positive. That number has since skyrocketed. Once I reported my symptoms of losing my sense of smell and taste, fatigue and migraines on December 2, I was immediately removed from the unit and placed on an “Isolation” wing that consist of 78 cells per wing—all of which are filled up.

“Medical Isolation” here is being treated more as a punitive measure rather than anything having to do with our health. At first, we were being denied access to our property. We were simply placed in a cell with the clothes we were wearing, given a towel, and bedding, and told we will be given a shower once every 7 days. Once inmates heard about the deplorable conditions of isolation, they stopped reporting their symptoms, which now has led some inmates in being hospitalized. 

Our sanitized torture chambers (cells) have now become death chambers for some. (Go to revcom.us and check out “Covid-19 Catastrophe Inside U.S. Prisons and Jails.”)

As I end this letter, I would like to request the following from the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund:

  1. Any and all info on the symptoms, and possible long-term effects of COVID-19, as well as the efficacy of the various vaccines
  2. Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
  3. Oil, Power, and Empire
  4. Science and Revolution, by Ardea Skybreak

There is no “normal” of this system that does not involve systematic injustice, continuing outrage and horror, for people here and all over the world.  

—Bob Avakian

Revolution—Nothing Less!

XXXXXXXXXX

 

See also:

The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

 

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Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/bob-avakian-an-appeal-to-those-the-system-has-cast-off-en.html

An Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off

Bob Avakian, BAsics, 3:16

revcom.us

 

An Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off.

Here I am speaking not only to prisoners but to those whose life is lived on the desperate edge, whether or not they find some work; to those without work or even homes; to all those the system and its enforcers treat as so much human waste material.

Raise your sights above the degradation and madness, the muck and demoralization, above the individual battle to survive and to "be somebody" on the terms of the imperialists—of fouler, more monstrous criminals than mythology has ever invented or jails ever held. Become a part of the human saviors of humanity: the gravediggers of this system and the bearers of the future communist society.

This is not just talk or an attempt to make poetry here: there are great tasks to be fulfilled, great struggles to be carried out, and yes great sacrifices to be made to accomplish all this. But there is a world to save—and to win—and in that process those the system has counted as nothing can count for a great deal. They represent a great reserve force that must become an active force for the proletarian revolution.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:16

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

Get the free e-book:

  • Right-click to download the e‑book for the Kindle here.
  • Right-click to download the e‑book for other e-readers here.
  • For instructions on downloading and moving files from your computer to your e‑reader, click here.

 

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Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/department-of-in-justice-gives-a-pass-to-cops-who-murdered-tamir-rice-en.html

Yet Another Reason to Get Rid of This System NOW, at the Soonest Possible Time!

Department of In-Justice Gives a Pass to Cops Who Murdered Tamir Rice!

by Carl Dix

| revcom.us

 

The Department of “Justice” (DOJ) decided not to bring any charges against the cops who murdered Tamir Rice in Cleveland on November 22, 2014. A years-long federal investigation ended with the DOJ deciding that “...the video of the shooting was of too poor a quality to conclusively establish what had happened.”

Tamir Rice was 12 years old. He was playing with a toy gun in Cleveland six years ago. 911 got a call about a Black male who was threatening people with a gun. The cops who responded to this call saw Tamir in a park and brought their car to a skidding stop right in front of him. One of them, Timothy Loehmann, jumped out and gunned Tamir down less than 2 seconds after they arrived! Less than 2 seconds!

I've seen the video, and it's clear enough to “conclusively establish” that those pigs barely had stopped their car before the killer cop jumped out and gunned Tamir down.

In a videotaped statement, Loehmann claimed he gave Tamir four verbal commands to drop the gun and show his hands and only fired after Tamir failed to comply. And he used the magic words murdering pigs always use when they kill someone: “I had to fire because I feared for my life and my partner's life.” Four verbal commands in less than 2 seconds? That was a goddamned lie, one that makes clear that the murdering pig didn't give Tamir any time to respond to any verbal commands he may have given. These cops got a report of a Black man with a gun (in an open carry state!), and they rolled up on Tamir alone in a gazebo in a city park and blew him away. Yet the DOJ decided this wasn't even worth putting before a jury!

Learning of this non-indictment was like getting punched in the gut. Think about it—here was a 12-year-old out playing as millions of kids do every day, whose life was suddenly snatched away by a cop in a split second. Just like 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr., who was murdered by a cop in Brooklyn as he played with a toy gun in 1994, or 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was murdered while she slept with her grandmother by a cop in Detroit in 2010, and so many other children.

Six years ago, this killer cop stole Tamir's life. Now, the DOJ decides to NOT bring charges, and the murdering pig gets to walk away scot-free. This kind of horrendous shit has been going on for too damn long, and it must be stopped, through making revolution, a real revolution, one in which millions of people are unleashed and led to overthrow this system and go on to build a totally different and far better system in its place. This kind of revolution is the only way to end once and for all the horror of police getting away with murdering Black people and all the other horrors this capitalist-imperialist system perpetrates on humanity.

The non-indictment of a murdering cop is completely in line with the stance of the Trump/Pence regime on policing. After all, this is a regime whose leader considers Black Lives Matter hate speech, has called for police to not be so nice with the people they arrest, and who has bragged “Trump loves cops and cops love Trump!” This regime's DOJ didn't bring a single indictment against a police officer for killing or brutalizing anyone in its four years.

At the same time, the refusal to indict this killer cop bears the stamp of the capitalist-imperialist system we live under. Law enforcement officers have killed hundreds of people every year for decades. Many of these victims of killer cops were unarmed and doing nothing wrong when their lives were stolen by those who are sworn to protect and serve. Killer cops are almost never punished for their crimes. While Trump's DOJ didn't indict a single cop in its four years, Obama's DOJ only indicted one cop in its eight years—Michael Slager, a white cop who shot Walter Scott in the back in South Carolina in April of 2015 and whose state trial ended in a mistrial.

The murder of Tamir Rice was no isolated incident. It is typical of the wanton murder and brutality that police perpetrate disproportionately against Black people. Together with mass incarceration, it forms the spearhead of a slow genocide targeting Black people. These horrors are unacceptable and must be stopped. As Bob Avakian said in the article “Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System”: “It is not only right but crucially important to rise up and wage a determined fight against this, but it is also crucial to recognize that this racist oppression will never be, can never be eliminated under this system – and to finally put an end to it, we need a radically different system.” This radically different system is not only necessary – it's possible. It can be brought into being through revolution, the kind of real revolution I spoke of above.

Tamir Rice
Tamir Rice

I've known and worked with a number of parents who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police. I have a lot of respect for the way many of them have went through that tremendous loss and developed the strength to stand up and fight for justice. I especially remember Nicholas Heyward Sr., who passed away December 31, 2019, the father of Nicholas Heyward Jr.

I met him in 1996, 2 years after that cop had murdered his son. He was looking for people he could join with to fight for justice. He hated what this system has done to Black people, and he came to hate all the injustices it perpetrates on people. As I said in a statement in remembrance of him last year: “He (Nicholas Heyward Sr.) didn’t just want to know that the system was perpetrating injustices against the people, he wanted to know why and what could be done to stop it. He searched for answers to these questions, and he found a lot in Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and the talks and writing he has done to bring to the masses of people the root cause of the problems the people face and why only an actual revolution could end all these horrors and bring about a radically different and better world.”

Many more people who want to see a better world, who want to see an end to police getting away with murdering Black people, to white supremacy and to all the other horrors people suffer under this system, need to follow Nicholas's example. People need to dig into the work Bob Avakian (BA) has done to figure out how to make revolution to get rid of this system and bring into being that different and better world. People need to follow this leader, BA, for the way out of this unnecessary madness and horror!

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/bob-avakian-racial-oppression-can-be-ended-en.html

RACIAL OPPRESSION
CAN BE ENDED—
BUT NOT UNDER THIS SYSTEM

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, we revcoms boldly put forward: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

This is not just a slogan—though it is a very good and very important slogan. It is the concentrated statement of a very profound truth, which is also captured in our slogan: This System Cannot Be Reformed—It Must Be Overthrown!

But what do we mean in saying that this system cannot be reformed, and why is that true? In Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, I speak to the “5 STOPS”—deep and defining contradictions of this system—and all the terrible suffering to which this system of capitalism-imperialism subjects the masses of humanity, and why all this cannot be ended under this system.1 Here I am going to focus on the systematic and murderous oppression of Black people, and racial oppression overall—which has been sharply exposed with the outpouring of outrage sparked by the murder of George Floyd—and discuss the basic reasons why this oppression cannot be eliminated under this system, but can (only) be ended through revolution.

The continuing terror and murder carried out by the police particularly against Black people (as well as Latinos and Native Americans) is not fundamentally because the police are racist—although, speaking of the police overall, that is certainly true. The fact that the police are racist is itself an expression and a function of the fact that terror and murder against Black people (and other people of color) is required by this system—is necessary in order to maintain the “order” of this all-around oppressive system—and this would be much more difficult to carry out if the police were not racist.

The Fundamental Causes of This Oppression

But, going deeper, why is this terror and murder necessary for this system, in order to ensure its “order” and its ongoing functioning? The answer is that, from the beginning of this country, white supremacy has been poured into the foundation and built into the institutions and the ongoing functioning of this system. Specifically with regard to Black people, the centuries of oppression they have suffered—from slavery days to the days of Jim Crow segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror, to the present time, with the continuing systematic discrimination against Black people, in every part of society (employment, housing, education, health care, and on and on)—all this has resulted in a situation where masses of Black people today, and in particular youth, have been robbed of a means for a decent life, with many maintained in conditions of desperate poverty and deprivation. This, again, is not simply because those who are in the seats of power and deciding government policy are racist (though that is true of most of them). It is fundamentally because of the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

Now, that is a big mouthful (“the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism”), so let’s break it down. This country was founded on the enslavement of masses of African people, as well as the genocidal subjugation of Native Americans and theft of their land (and its further development involved the conquest of huge parts of Mexico, reducing people of Mexican origin to second-class status as well). This required the propagation of racism to “justify” all the horrific oppression. Then, when the Civil War broke out over the question of slavery, and even when slavery was abolished as a result of that Civil War, given that white supremacy had been, and remained, such a crucial part of the “glue” holding the country together, the only way to “put it back together,” on the foundation of the capitalist system, was to once again forcefully assert white supremacy. That is why, very soon after the end of the Civil War, Black people were subjected to the system of Jim Crow segregation (backed up by systematic terror, punctuated by repeated lynchings), while the genocidal aggression against and theft of the land of Native Americans was stepped up, and immigrants from Mexico were subjected to ongoing discrimination and violence by the enforcers of this system.

Generations later, during World War 2, because of the needs of the rulers of this country in waging that war, large numbers of Black people were able to migrate to the North and get jobs in industries that served the war effort. And then, largely as a result of the fact that the U.S. was on the winning side of that war—and the fact that the war was not fought on its territory and it experienced no damage to its industrial facilities and infrastructure—there was an expansion of the economy in this country after the war. In this situation, significant numbers of Black people were able to continue getting employment in large numbers, including some better-paying jobs in factories (making steel, cars, and so on).

But, at the same time, because of the white supremacy built into the system over centuries—and the fact that really moving to overcome this would tear apart the fabric of the system and crack its very foundation—Black people continued to be subjected to systematic discrimination, including in employment (with “last hired and first fired” an accurate description of the situation of Black people with regard to employment). To cite another ugly example, government policy with regard to housing involved conscious, deliberate discrimination: after World War 2, loans were given to white people to enable them to buy their own homes, and increasingly move to the suburbs, while this was denied to Black veterans (and others) and instead Black people were piled into segregated housing projects in the inner cities. And this was part of the continuing systematic segregation and discrimination to which Black people were subjected.

As a result of the Civil Rights movement and then the more radical Black liberation movement in the 1960s, some concessions were made, and there has been an increase in the number of “Black faces in high places” and a growth of the Black middle class, although their situation is far more precarious than that of white middle class people (something which was cruelly demonstrated in the 2008 crisis, which resulted in large numbers of Black people losing their homes and much, if not all, of any savings they had). And, in more recent times, huge numbers of factories and other sources of jobs for people in the inner city have closed down, often moving their operations elsewhere—particularly to countries in the Third World (Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) where the desperate situation of masses of people, including children, has left them vulnerable to being super-exploited, at near-starvation wages.

All this, together with increased automation and “cybernation” of production, when combined with the ongoing segregation and discrimination built into this system, has led to a situation where huge numbers of Black people, and especially youth, have, for generations now, not only been unemployed but are left with no prospect of meaningful employment in the regular (“formal”) economy.

The “Toxic Combination” of Capitalism and Racism

Here we see the “toxic combination” of systematic, historically-evolved segregation and discrimination, enforced with brutal violence by the powers-that-be, together with the basic functioning and requirements of the capitalist economy—which involves the greater and greater concentration not just of wealth, but of the means of production (technology, factories and other physical structures, sources of raw materials, and so on) in the possession and under the control of large-scale capitalist enterprises and financial institutions, which are locked in cut-throat competition with each other, not just within a particular country but increasingly on a global scale, and are therefore driven to ruthlessly exploit people and constantly search for ways to even more viciously super-exploit large numbers of desperate people, including children, in a worldwide network of sweatshops. (For example, cell phones and computers depend on the mineral coltan which is mined under horrific conditions by people, including large numbers of children, in the Congo in Africa; and a large part of the clothes that are bought in the U.S. are produced by huge numbers of women working in horrific conditions in the Asian country of Bangladesh.)

In this situation, and especially with the growth of the international drug trade, and its deep penetration into the U.S., many of those, in particular youth, who found themselves locked out of the “formal economy,” have turned to drug-dealing, as well as other criminal activity—something which has been encouraged by government policy that has actually resulted in the movement of large amounts of drugs into the inner city, even as the authorities seize on this situation to carry out systematic repression against the youth in particular, with such things as “stop and frisk.” The result of all this has been a huge increase in mass incarceration, as well as the continual murder of large numbers of “minority” youth by police.

At the same time, the way that the U.S. has continued to dominate Mexico, as well as other parts of Latin America, and to distort the economies, corrupt the governments and bring ruin to the social relations among the people in those countries—all this has resulted in large numbers of people being forced to flee those countries and migrate to the U.S., where they are vulnerable to being viciously exploited in factories and farmlands, and other parts of the economy of this country. And large numbers of the younger generations of these immigrants have also formed (or joined existing) gangs and become involved in the drug trade and related crime.

More recently, however, in at least many of the inner-city neighborhoods, for a number of reasons—including the fact that the “crack epidemic” had taken a terrible toll on people—there has been a decrease in the trade in cocaine and the high profits this brought for the relatively small number of “higher-ups” in the drug trade hierarchy. For a period, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, given their desolation and desperation, the drug trade was a “major employer” of youth in the inner cities, female as well as male, and a major source of at least a basic income for many (even if the promise of “getting rich” remained an illusion for most). Now, even this source of employment and income—as perverse and harmful as it is—has dried up or greatly diminished for many. This has further added to the miserable situation of massive numbers of inner-city youth in particular who have no future—under this system—no future but prison, an early death or a life of desperate hustling, in one form or another, in the attempt to survive and care for loved ones.

All this cannot be changed—cannot be transformed and overcome—within the confines of this system. Despite what any politician (“liberal” or outright fascist like Trump) may say, there is no way that this system could “reverse itself,” bring large parts of industry back to the inner city and provide meaningful employment, with “a living wage” for all those it is now depriving of this. Even if the government had the “political will” to try to do this, doing so (with the employment of millions of formerly unemployed or “underemployed” people at a “living wage”) would seriously undermine the competitive positions of American capitalists in the global economy. And, if they attempted to do this while at the same time trying to seriously overcome the whole historically-evolved relations of white supremacy, this would completely disrupt the social “cohesion” that “holds this country together,” with white supremacy a crucial part of this.

It is one thing for “good-hearted people”—and in particular many white people—to say (and sincerely mean) that it is wrong for the police to just wantonly, cruelly murder people, and to mobilize in protest against this. But imagine what would happen if, under this system and with the way its economy functions, the government tried to adopt policies that would deal with the long-term unemployment of Black people in the inner cities, who have not only been denied jobs but also the training for the jobs that do exist—imagine what the reaction would be of many white people who would in fact lose their better-off positions as a result of these policies. Imagine what would happen if these kinds of policies were applied not just to employment, but to education, and on down the line. (We have already seen the “backlash” that was fostered in response to even minimal efforts to implement “affirmative action” programs in employment and education.)

Again, this is not simply a matter that “white people are racist.” Many are racist, although many do not want to be. But the deeper problem is that given the basic way the capitalist economy works, and how everyone is encouraged to be “out for yourself”—and, more fundamentally, the fact that people are actually driven and compelled to compete with each other in every significant part of life, including employment and education—it would actually create destructive chaos and conflict among the people, and tear apart the “cohesion” of the society, to try to really and fully undo and overcome the reality and effects of centuries of racist oppression—under this system.

This most definitely and emphatically is NOT an argument for holding back from struggling against every form of discrimination, inequality and oppression in every part of society. Fighting back against oppression, and wrenching concessions from the powers-that-be, is very important—in enabling masses of people to feel their own strength in standing up and standing together in opposing oppression, and drawing people from all parts of society to join in this struggle—rather than feeling isolated, beaten down and hopeless. And it is important in contributing to the ability of masses of people to gain the understanding and build up the organization necessary for the final all-out struggle to bring down the whole oppressive system. But that is just the point—as important as these mass struggles are, if they are not built toward, and do not finally get to the point of, taking on the whole system, with the aim of bringing it down, and bringing something much better into being, then, as I have emphasized before, even where concessions are won, “so long as this system remains in power, there will be powerful forces who will move to attack and undermine, and seek to reverse, even these partial gains,” and people will remain oppressed and once more weighed down with a feeling of demoralization, as they are once again divided and pitted against each other.2

The basic and crucial point is that the fight against racial oppression (and all oppression) must not remain confined within the limits of this system, and instead must be carried out and carried forward as part of the overall struggle toward the goal of abolishing this system. The fact that this oppression cannot be abolished under this system is not a reason for giving up in despair—it is a compelling reason why this system must be and can be abolishedand it is the fundamental basis for why people can be won to wage the revolutionary struggle to finally bring it down!

All this is why there will not be any real and meaningful move by the powers-that-be (and any of its politicians and political parties) to overcome the centuries-long experience and legacy of brutal racist oppression and the situation it has led to today, where millions and millions of Black youth and other youth of color have no prospect of a decent future—under this system.

As I have pointed out before: “So what does this system do with youth that have no future and no prospects? It contains them.... contains them violently.”3

And all this is why there is systemic and systematic police terror directed at Black people and other people of color. It is why this is brought down not only on the youth (and others) in the inner cities, but why it can and does lead to harassment, brutality and murder of any Black person, anywhere, even those with more education and status in society. If the system needs the police to “violently contain” the masses of people in the inner cities—and it does—then this is bound to “spill over” and be applied to Black people, and other people of color, more generally. The police have neither the interests, nor the ability, nor the will to make distinctions between “good” ....... (fill in the blank as to what racist terms they use) and “bad” ones. And, beyond that, the “random” nature of the brutality and murder makes it all the more effective in terrorizing people—making everyone, even the “better off,” feel, correctly, that they could be a target of this.

There IS a Solution: Revolution and a Radically New and Different World

It is for all these reasons that racist oppression will continue so long as people are living under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism. It is not only right but crucially important to rise up and wage a determined fight against this, but it is also crucial to recognize that this racist oppression will never be, can never be, eliminated under this system—and, to finally put an end to it, we need a radically different system.

We need a radically different economic system—a socialist economic system (mode of production) that is geared to and proceeds by developing and utilizing the means of production collectively, to meet the needs of the masses of people, materially (for employment, food, housing, health care, and so on) as well as their needs intellectually and culturally, and to provide them with the means not only to live a life worthy of human beings, but also to scientifically understand the basis and need, and to more and more consciously take part in, carrying forward the transformation of society to finally and completely eliminate all relations of oppression and exploitation, and to support that struggle throughout the world. And, as one of its highest priorities and goals, this will involve the determined struggle to overcome and finally eliminate racial oppression in every aspect of society.

The radically different socialist economy (mode of production) will provide the foundation on which the ongoing process of uprooting racial oppression, and all oppression, can be waged on favorable ground, and can finally succeed in overcoming all this. The following from my work Breakthroughs speaks to this key relation and process:

Ultimately, the mode of production sets the foundation and the limits of change, in terms of how you address any social problem, such as the oppression of women, or the oppression of Black people or Latinos, or the contradiction between mental work and manual work, or the situation with the environment, or the situation of immigrants, and so on. While all those things have reality and dynamics in their own right, and aren’t reducible to the economic system, they all take place within the framework and within the fundamental dynamics of that economic system; and that economic system, that mode of production, sets the foundation and the ultimate limits of change in regard to all those social questions. So, if you want to get rid of all these different forms of oppression, you have to address them in their own right, but you also have to fundamentally change the economic system to give you the ability to be able to carry through those changes in fundamental terms. To put it another way: You have to have an economic system that doesn’t prevent you from making those changes, and instead not only allows but provides a favorable foundation for making those changes.4

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America provides a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for such a radically different economic system, and for government institutions, laws and a legal system, as well as an approach to education, science, art and culture that go along with this mode of production and contribute to its continual development, opening the way to finally eliminating all oppression and exploitation.5 And in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (as well as other works of mine) the basic strategy is spelled out for carrying out the revolution that will make it possible to apply this Constitution in working to bring about a world free of all the unnecessary suffering and madness to which the masses of humanity are subjected under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

This is why, and this is how, racial oppression, and all the oppression, which is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, can be ended—but only through a revolution to abolish this system.

This is why we continue to emphasize this basic truth: we 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!

This is why we continue to boldly raise the slogan: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

 

1. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. The statement quoted in this part of this article is from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

3. Bob Avakian On Police Brutality And Murder: Consent Decrees Won’t Stop This—We Need A Revolution! This excerpt from a Question and Answer Session with Bob Avakian, after his presentation in 2018 in Chicago of the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

4. This statement is contained in Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, by Bob Avakian, which is available at revcom.us. It originally appeared in the book by Bob Avakian, The New Communism: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, 2016. Italics in the original. [back]

5. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

THE NEW COMMUNISM

The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, by Bob Avakian

Download PDF of book here

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/651/it-takes-science-and-leadership-to-truly-get-free-en.html

To Those Rising Up and Awakening:
It Takes Science and Leadership to Truly Get Free

| revcom.us

 

This is written especially to those who have been righteously standing up and fighting back against murder by police and the oppression of Black people more generally, and to all those who have taken heart and inspiration from this, who are newly encountering the Revolution. Welcome! We stand side by side with you in this struggle and unite with your outrage and fury against centuries of oppression that truly must be NO MORE. This outpouring of resistance must continue and it must grow. People must stay in the streets, and this upsurge must get bigger, broader, deeper, and even more determined. At the same time, the big question that now presents itself—one that literally millions of people are asking—is: What will it take to truly put an end to police brutality, murder by police, and the oppression of Black people, once and for all?

The answer is that it will take far more than just people staying in the streets and fighting back, as critically important as that is. And this oppression can never be ended by trying to make a few reforms to a system that is completely rotten to its core. As with any big problem—whether a natural disease like COVID-19 or a social disease like racial oppression—solving that problem will take a deep understanding of the cause of that problem and the solution to it. In other words: It will take science. And it will take leadership. So let’s talk about what science and leadership have to do with changing the world.

Many people hear “science” and think biology and ecology; climate change and the environment; chemistry and physics; labs and microscopes; medicine, technology and new inventions. All of these are very important examples of—or closely related to—science. But for some reason, many people don’t think you need science to understand and change human society as a whole, or even that you can apply science for this purpose. This makes absolutely no sense. Science means investigating reality, gathering evidence, analyzing that evidence, identifying patterns, and drawing conclusions about reality on that basis. Why would it possibly be that this scientific method can’t or shouldn’t be applied to understanding and changing society? Because human society is complicated? All the more reason you need science to understand it!

Many people hear “leadership” and think of an activist with a bullhorn or a person leading a protest. These can be important and necessary examples of leadership, but leadership in the most important sense is something much bigger than that: Leadership in that sense is a matter of identifying and leading others to see the most fundamental problems confronting humanity and the solutions to those problems. Leadership is a matter of saying “Here’s why we’re in this situation and here’s how we can get out of it.

In Bob Avakian (BA), we have the science, the leadership, and the understanding of problem and solution we need to not only emancipate Black people but all of humanity from centuries of oppression. Sound like a bold statement? GOOD. It’s meant to be. And it’s backed up with more than 50 years of substance.

BA came forward as a revolutionary in the 1960s, working and struggling alongside the Black Panthers. In the decades since he has been working tirelessly on bringing forward and continuing to develop the deep, scientific understanding of the need to NOT reform but rather overthrow and completely sweep away this system through an actual revolution; the strategy for bringing into being the conditions necessary to make that revolution and win in those conditions; and the vision for a completely new and radically different system, society, and world. Underlying all of this is BA’s scientific method, which he continues to apply to the biggest questions facing humanity while leading a movement for revolution. A deep understanding of and visceral hatred for the oppression of Black people and the ways that Black people suffer, and a burning desire to see Black people free of this oppression, is at the core of BA and everything he is about, and is a constant thread that runs through his life and work over decades.

People throughout society and throughout the world need to know about BA. Thousands now and ultimately millions need to follow him in order to make an actual revolution to get free of this monstrous system and bring a far better society, world, and future into being.

See for yourself. Start with BA’s powerful new statement, “NOTHING LESS!Read it and spread it to everyone you know. Go to revcom.us to see the latest articles from BA on an incredibly broad range of topics related to revolution and radically changing the world, and learn more about and find out how to get involved in the revolution BA is leading. Check out BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution, and the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Could Really Make Revolution. Go to the BA portal to get deeper into his extensive works. Learn more as you get involved in spreading this throughout society. Write to us to find out how you can specifically learn more and get involved. Write to us with your questions and let us know what’s on your mind.

One last thing: Make no mistake—hell yes, this is controversial. Once again, we say: GOOD. Think about this: Could there ever be a genuine movement for an actual revolution that didn’t offend anyone or make them uncomfortable!? There are all kinds of people out there who might talk a big game but are scared of an actual revolution, who want to get in on this system and try to get a better deal for themselves, or who just plain don’t know what they’re talking about. There are people who would have you believe that if the skin color of a person who has a way out for humanity is white, you shouldn’t listen to that person. Needless to say, these people are not going to like BA and what he stands for. And they’re going to come up with all kinds of lies, cheap shots, and slander to attack BA and cover their own asses. This kind of behavior is despicable, it is very harmful and it must be taken seriously and fought against. But it is not at all surprising.

So let’s end with a question back to you: Are you going to listen to lies and bullshit from the mouths of people who—in one form or another—want to keep the world basically the way it is? Or will you have the courage, integrity, and intellectual honesty to go directly to the source, get into BA, and see for yourself? Just how badly do you want to end oppression, change the world, and get free once and for all?

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Read more         

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/657/four-months-into-global-covid-economic-crisis-en.html

Four Months Into the Global COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis...
Notes on the Utter Cruelty and Obscene Irrationality of Capitalism-Imperialism

by Raymond Lotta

| revcom.us

 

[W]hile there is certainly a legitimate and positive desire on the part of people everywhere to get beyond the scourge of this virus, taking into account what is the actual situation for the masses of humanity under the “normal” domination of this system, no one should desire a return to the “normalcy” dictated by the capitalist-imperialist system

Bob Avakian, from The Deadly Illusion of “Normalcy” and the Revolutionary Way Forward

These are some initial reflections on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the imperialist world economy and the people of the world. These reflections are offered to contribute towards understanding this unprecedented situation and the potential for radical upheaval. Further reflections will be coming.

Part I

 1) A point of basic understanding and orientation. COVID-19 is a natural-biological phenomenon. It is a highly transmissible and lethal virus. But how this health crisis has unfolded and how it has been responded to...that has everything to do with, is stamped by, the system we live under. That system is capitalism-imperialism.

Humanity is facing a global health crisis on a scale unparalleled since the 1918 influenza pandemic. That pandemic infected one-third of the world's population and led to 50 million deaths. COVID-19 (coronavirus) was first detected in China in December 2019—and quickly became a global health crisis. Worldwide, there are now almost 14 million confirmed cases and over 590,000 (known) deaths.

There is no vaccine yet for the coronavirus, no effective therapy treatments. It is uncertain how long (now calculated in years) humanity will be facing the coronavirus and its consequences. This disease is occurring within, and humanity is tightly bound by, a global economic system: capitalism-imperialism.

This system is the greatest barrier to coping with this crisis in the interests of the billions on this planet. Why? 

Capitalism is organized around private ownership of highly developed and socialized means of production: factories and equipment, raw materials and technology, transport and communications, along with vast networks of distribution. This system has an inner dynamic. Capitalists are driven by competition to produce profit and more profit based on the exploitation of laborers who do not own or control those means of production.

Competition compels individual capitals to cheapen costs and expand production in order to gain market share and beat out rivals... or find themselves beaten. In telecommunications, Nokia, Apple, Samsung, and Huawei battle it out for markets, over patents, and for cost-efficiency in production (which includes child labor in the mines of Congo). 

This is a system in which profit governs, shapes, and distorts investment priorities and decisions through all sectors of the economy.

Consider these two facts in relation to disease prevention and treatment under capitalism:

No Conscious and Comprehensive Economic-Ecological Planning

Under this system, the resources and capabilities of human society are not utilized for the benefit and betterment of world humanity. There is NO conscious and comprehensive economic-ecological planning. On the one hand, the modern imperialist-capitalist economy is highly interdependent: GM needs aluminum and machine tools, trained workers, and people buy their autos. But in an economy of private ownership and control, of competing capitals, each aiming to maximize profits—those requirements are met through buying and selling on the market. Whether investments “pay off” is discovered “after the fact.”

Huge blocks of capital dominate the U.S. economy as a whole—and interact with each other fundamentally as rivals. The U.S. imperialist state safeguards the strategic interests of the capitalist ruling class (even as sections of the ruling class fight over how those interests should be met or might be changing).

So for all these reasons and more, it is NOT possible under this system to take the measure of the great needs of humanity and to rationally organize production and allocate resources to meet basic social needs, like food, shelter, and health, and to provide for a rich intellectual and cultural life. It's not what happens... and it can't. But it is possible! By making a revolution to overthrow this system and replace it with socialism in transition to communism as set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian.

In an economy of rapidly shifting markets, profit opportunities, and high-stakes competition—the horizons of individual capitals are short term. Tesla, Dell, Microsoft and others are not concerned about the long-term environmental impacts of mining cobalt for lithium batteries (not to mention the human cost). Again at the society-wide (and global) level, there is no advance planning. To anticipate and prepare for natural and health disasters, to the greatest degree possible given existing knowledge and forecasting capacity. To prepare for climate emergencies (like hurricanes and longer-term sea-level rise); for disease and health emergencies; and for other near- and longer-term challenges.

So before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a criminal lack of preparedness: little funding and little research and development of treatments for the kinds of animal-to-human diseases that have appeared more recently and more frequently worldwide... the abysmal failure to produce and stockpile protective medical equipment and supplies... and now the scattershot and fragmented response to this crisis... all exacerbated by an anti-science, fascist lunatic commanding the U.S. imperialist state.  

A Pandemic Taking Place in a System Divided Into Oppressor and Oppressed Countries

This is a system in which a handful of powerful capitalist countries like the U.S., China,** Japan, Russia, and Germany dominate and plunder the poor countries of the “global south.” As the coronavirus health emergency unfolded and worsened, these imperialist powers were competing for scientific and medical supplies. “Bidding away” (paying a higher price for) masks, gowns, gloves, and ventilators. In some cities of Brazil, supplies of chemical reagents for virus testing were effectively hijacked to the U.S.

Early in the crisis, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to restrict U.S. exports of key medical supplies, leaving many poorer countries scrambling for equipment to contain the virus and protect healthcare workers. On July 1, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it had purchased virtually the entire three-month global supply of remdesivir, a drug that has cut recovery times from the virus. 

It is often remarked in the mainstream media that the healthcare systems and infrastructure of the poor countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (the so called “global south”) are “fragile” in these times of pandemic. That is a cruel and self-serving euphemism for healthcare systems stunted and decimated by imperialism.

In 2019, 64 countries, nearly half of them in Africa, spent more on paying back their external debt to imperialist lending institutions than on health! These countries have had to cut health budgets, health training, and health research over the years as a condition for receiving more loans from the imperialist countries. These loans reinforce and serve a whole structure of imperialist domination—export-oriented production, raw materials extraction, and other ways in which these countries are subordinated to serve the needs of imperialism. And with economies of the poor nations now experiencing steep economic declines, and when billions of additional dollars are needed to cope with this health crisis, debt payment will become an even greater weight on these countries (see Raymond Lotta, “From Vise Grip to Death Grip...”).

Imperialism “Warping” the World

Let's remind ourselves, a pandemic is a worldwide phenomenon (“pan” means “everywhere”). And here we are into the pandemic... and the development of a vaccine that might effectively prevent the disease is itself the object of intense rivalry between pharmaceutical giants and the national-imperialist states backing them, especially the U.S. and China. In the perverse logic of capital, “getting there first” will yield enormous profits for the companies that do so (“protected” by so-called intellectual property rights). And “getting there first” will accrue enormous leverage and control to the imperialist powers that do so.

Trump has christened the U.S. vaccine development effort “Operation Warp Speed.” Actually, the dictates of profit and imperialist maneuvering “warp” the safe development, application, and use of technology and scientific knowledge. A vaccine for “America first”? Fuck that... the whole world comes first!

To go back to the basic point of understanding: This pandemic is a natural-biological phenomenon, but how it has unfolded and how it is being dealt with are inextricably and horrifically bound up with the system we live under: capitalism-imperialism.

2. The world is experiencing both the biggest pandemic and the biggest economic contraction in 100 years. The immediate precipitant of the economic crisis was the coronavirus: the interruptions to production and disruptions to world trade. But the underlying character and dynamics of the ongoing economic crisis that is taking a huge toll on the lives and well-being of billions across this planet... is the profit-based system of capitalism-imperialism

The world capitalist economy was already facing weak economic growth and the massive, destabilizing build-up of debt before the pandemic. The pandemic and the measures by the major imperialist powers to contain this crisis, including through bail-outs of corporations and the injection of funds into the financial system, could destabilize things further.

Economic and geopolitical rivalry between U.S. imperialism and Chinese imperialism was intensifying before the pandemic, disrupting global trade and investment flows. This rivalry has sharpened through the pandemic.

Imperialist Supply Chains... Supply “Shocks”... and the Onset of Crisis

Let's start with imperialist supply chains, because this crisis started as what is called a “supply shock.” The world capitalist economy has grown more globalized over the past few decades.

Most products, whether cars, electronic devices, aircraft engines or pharmaceuticals, are produced through a vast global division of labor in which different units of production are part of a complex process of production. Raw materials that go into a computer are mined in Africa; assembly may go on in China. Target, H&M, and Walmart subcontract to firms in Bangladesh to produce T-shirts, dresses, and jeans—in hellish sweatshops that mainly employ women.

The physical product moves through different links and crosses multiple borders in global supply chains. And at each phase of production and transport, profits are siphoned off and concentrated outward and upward to the large transnational banks and corporations, headquartered in the imperialist countries, that organize and control these supply chains and to the imperialist governments. They pressure multiple suppliers to compete with each other to hold on to contracts by reducing costs—by more savagely exploiting their work force.

In March, the coronavirus was spreading through the global supply chains. It was infecting workers and causing disruptions to production. The early signs were plant closures in China and parts of Asia. Inventories of components that entered into production in different parts of the world from these supply chains were dwindling. China shut down much of its economy. As the virus spread to Europe and the U.S., measures were taken to contain the spread: restrictions on travel, retail closings, shelter-at-home and quarantines. Orders to suppliers in the poor countries were cancelled—resulting in massive layoffs. 

This led fairly quickly to a “shock” to the world capitalist economy: firms cutting back on investment as they faced declining demand; interruptions in supply; and uncertain future earnings prospects. Massive layoffs followed; banks stopped lending; key sectors in the imperialist countries, like the airlines industry. saw the wholesale evaporation of earnings; bankruptcies were looming; and many small businesses permanently closed. In the oppressed countries, economic activity ground to a halt, closing ports, shutting factories, canceling flights and emptying resorts. As mentioned earlier, governments in the dependent countries are liable for billions of dollars of debt payments.

Some Measures of Crisis

It is estimated by a financial arm of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that many of the world's economies may have shrunk in the first three months of this year anywhere between 25 and 40 percent (at an annual rate). According to projections by the IMF World Economic Outlook, June 2020, growth in the developed capitalist countries is expected to drop 8 percent in 2020. In India, the economy is projected to contract by 4.5 percent; Mexico and Brazil are expected to contract by 10.5 and 9.1 percent, respectively. Global trade is expected to decline by 11.9 percent in 2020.

Why is the above data important to take in, and why should we care? Because it reveals the serious plunge in economic activity. And exactly because of that, with masses of people losing sources of income and having to scramble for survival-- being subjected to even harsher social and economic conditions—it portends even worse suffering and impoverishment.

The “normal” workings of this system are intolerable for world humanity. This contraction will intensify and multiply the horrors.

Profitability, Stimulus, and Parasitism in the Imperialist Countries

With production and investment collapsing in March, the stock market tumbled and financial markets froze. The Federal Reserve Bank (the central bank of the U.S. that influences money flows and financial policy, like interest rates) stepped in with a massive injection of funds. This was to the tune of $3 trillion to prevent a financial meltdown bigger than what happened in 2008-9. It effectively lowered interest rates to zero to stimulate corporate borrowing. It purchased all kinds of debt—the outcome of which is that trillions of dollars were channeled to financial investors.

In the 4 months since then, the stock market has reached new highs. There has been a kind of decoupling of the stock market from the underlying economy, from the globalized base of production on which it ultimately rests and from which it ultimately cannot break free (to be discussed at another time). But there is this relative disconnect: the vast accumulation of financial wealth in the stock and bond markets by a stratum of investors—based on all manner of speculation—while the underlying economy is in crisis, and while billions suffer across the planet.

It is a reflection, and the further intensification, of the pre-pandemic situation. As several commentators have noted, the U.S. economy had been in a credit-fueled bubble for the 10 years since the Great Recession of 2008-09. The U.S. and other capitalist economies, but the U.S. in particular, have experienced low growth in productive investment and rising debt. Profitability, the return on investment, has been pinched in the productive sectors of the U.S. economy, and this has constrained investment.

The world economy had been growing at slower rates over the past few years. In 2019, global growth was the lowest since the global recession of 2008-9. And in this low-growth climate, competition for markets, for technological advantage, and for control over supply chains has grown. Corporate debt was already at high levels. Now, four months into the pandemic/economic crisis, corporate filings for bankruptcies are at their highest since 2009.

These are volatile financial and economic conditions that could lead to a “financial shock” and crisis that could undermine the stability of the dollar, the main currency in the world economy.

U.S.-China Rivalry Escalates

These conditions are also part of the backdrop of escalating U.S.-China imperial rivalry, economically and militarily. China's economy has rebounded slightly from the low point of production when the pandemic hit. China is expected to grow 1 percent this year. Given the expected decline in growth in the U.S., this means that the gap between the economies of the U.S. and China will shrink in China's favor, though the U.S. remains the dominant economic power in the world. Tensions between the U.S. and China have heightened through the pandemic: on trade and access to markets, around new telecommunications technologies, and about the role of the World Health Organization in contributing research and understanding to solving the crisis. And both China and the U.S. have bolstered military capabilities. The danger of conflict between these two powers is accelerating. I will be writing more about this and its implications for the people of the world.

In a highly interconnected world... in a world in which a pandemic is causing untold suffering... in a world in which international cooperation could not be more important... the dictates of imperialism reign supreme. It is cruel, it is irrational, it is unnecessary.


*Lifting the Patent Barrier to New Drugs and Energy Sources, New York Times, 4/12/16 [back]

**The People's Republic of China calls itself socialist. But it is a thoroughly capitalist society—organized around profit and based on exploitation. China exports capital throughout the world and has forged a global network of exploitation and influence challenging and contending with the U.S. and other imperialist powers. In 1949, a genuine revolution led by the communist revolutionary Mao Zedong came to power. A socialist society was created and hundreds of millions took up the cause of building a society free of exploitation and oppression. But a new capitalist class arose within the structures of the Communist Party and socialist state. Mao waged the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 to deepen the revolution and prevent capitalist restoration. But in 1976, this new capitalist class seized power. China has evolved into an imperialist power today. [back]

 

 


Major drug companies “opted out” of developing a vaccine against the malaria parasite that was killing hundreds of thousands of children in poor countries each year, especially in Africa, because there was no profit to be made from children who could not pay to be vaccinated. (Photo: WHO/Chris Black)

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)


Bangladeshi garment workers block a road demanding their unpaid wages during a protest in Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 16. More than a million of the 4.1 million workers in Bangladesh's garment industry have been furloughed or fired due to cancelled orders. (Photo: AP)


The maquiladora owned by the TECMA group in Ciudad Juárez was the center of a major COVID-19 outbreak. Thirteen employees at the factory have died of the disease, according to Mexican health officials. (Photo: Wikipedia)


Residents from all walks of life line up for a food giveaway in a neighborhood of Chicago, May 12. Food insecurity has added to the anxiety of millions of people, according to a new survey that finds 37 percent of unemployed Americans ran out of food in the past month, while 46 percent worried that they would. (Photo: AP)

See also:

The Coronavirus Pandemic —
A Resource Page

Read more


Locals provide drinking water to Indian migrant laborers making their way on foot back to their home villages because big cities were on lockdown amid fear over spread of coronavirus in New Delhi, India, March 28. (Photo: AP)

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/bob-avakian-basics-1-6-en.html

Imperialism means...

Bob Avakian, BAsics, 1:6

revcom.us

 

Imperialism means huge monopolies and financial institutions controlling the economies and the political systems—and the lives of people—not just in one country but all over the world. Imperialism means parasitic exploiters who oppress hundreds of millions of people and condemn them to untold misery; parasitic financiers who can cause millions to starve just by pressing a computer key and thereby shifting vast amounts of wealth from one place to another. Imperialism means war—war to put down the resistance and rebellion of the oppressed, and war between rival imperialist states—it means the leaders of these states can condemn humanity to unbelievable devastation, perhaps even total annihilation, with the push of a button.

Imperialism is capitalism at the stage where its basic contradictions have been raised to tremendously explosive levels. But imperialism also means that there will be revolution—the oppressed rising up to overthrow their exploiters and tormentors—and that this revolution will be a worldwide struggle to sweep away the global monster, imperialism.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:6

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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  • Right-click to download the e‑book for the Kindle here.
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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/680/understanding-the-world-to-make-revolution-and-emancipate-humanity-en.html

Understanding the world...to make revolution and emancipate humanity

Updated | revcom.us

 

How Do We Know What’s True?

Bob Avakian:
Why We Need A Scientific Method and Approach to Life and Our Struggle

This is a film clip from the 2014 Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, “Revolution and Religion,” at Riverside Church in New York City. Watch the entire Dialogue here.

What Is Capitalism, Part One

What Is Capitalism, Part Two

Dictatorship and Democracy, Part One

Democracy — Concentrating Some Essential Understanding

An excerpt from Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian

Read more

Read the entire work:

From the Preamble to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (emphasis added):

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....

Read the whole Preamble, including the first paragraph which sets the context, here.

Break ALL The Chains, Unleash the Fury of Women As A Mighty Force for Revolution!

"The Subjugation of Women and the Division of Society Into Masters and Slaves, Exploiters and Exploited" A clip from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women

Excerpt from the The New Communism, by Bob Avakian

Read more

Special issue of Revolution

Read more


 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/640/bob-avakian-the-deadly-illusion-of-normalcy-en.html

THE DEADLY ILLUSION OF "NORMALCY" AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAY FORWARD

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Even before the coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic, a New York Times columnist wrote about the lure of boredom—arguing that, after the years of Trump madness, having a sleep-inducing president (like Joe Biden) might be just what is needed. The impact of the coronavirus has reinforced and strengthened this tendency toward a “yearning for normalcy,” especially on the part of the section of the ruling class represented by the NYT and that section of society, particularly among the more formally educated middle strata, that for some time has, to a significant degree, identified with what is represented by the NYT.

But, in fundamental terms, this notion of a “return to normalcy” is an illusion that will be exploded by the nature and workings of the system of capitalism-imperialism to which the masses of humanity are subjected.

In the context of this current crisis, the exploitative and oppressive relations built into this system are asserting themselves in a pronounced way, within this country and internationally, just as they have in previous crises. For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit, in New Orleans and surrounding areas in 2005, even as broad sections of people suffered, it was poor Black people who were hit in the most devastating ways, because of the oppression and savage inequalities to which they were already subjected and because of the not-so-benign neglect and often malign actions of those in power. The same has been true with regard to AIDS—it is those who have been discriminated against and denigrated who have suffered the most—and the lop-sided burden of suffering has been especially pronounced on an international scale, with people in sub-Saharan Africa in particular enduring tremendous devastation.

Even as broad swaths of the population will be hit by the coronavirus, this inequality will once again have its effect in this country in relation to the current crisis—as immigrants, prisoners, the homeless, people in poor communities, particularly among the oppressed nationalities, and others who are subordinated, degraded and despised by the “normal workings” of this system and the powers that be, will be subjected to disproportionate suffering.1

And internationally the same dynamics apply in an even greater way. As I have pointed to previously:

we live in a world where large parts of humanity live in stark poverty, with 2.3 billion people lacking even rudimentary toilets or latrines and huge numbers suffering from preventable diseases, with millions of children dying every year from these diseases and from starvation, while 150 million children in the world are forced to engage in ruthlessly exploited child labor, and the whole world economy rests on a vast network of sweatshops, employing large numbers of women who are regularly subjected to sexual harassment and assault, a world where 65 million refugees have been displaced by war, poverty, persecution, and the effects of global warming.2

It is those, worldwide, who are maintained in these conditions who will be hit hardest in this crisis, as they have been in the past.

All this, combined with the continuing and rapidly deepening climate crisis, rooted in the dynamics of this system and increasingly posing an existential threat to all of humanity, will drive masses, millions and ultimately billions, of people to even further desperation, and no one on the planet will be able to avoid the repercussions and effects of all this.

The Immediate Dangers, the Fundamental Problem and the Revolutionary Solution

Several years ago, I pointed out:

Today, while the U.S. is, and loudly proclaims itself to be, the world’s number one superpower, it is riddled with sharpening contradictions, and facing growing challenges, within the country and internationally, and this has brought forth a fascist regime that now holds the reins of power, with the finger of a demented bully on the nuclear button—a regime that, without exaggeration, threatens not just greatly heightened suffering for the masses of humanity but the very existence of humanity itself.3

And, in a number of other countries, fascism has continued to gain strength, as a response—a fanatical, lunatic, and violent reaction—to changes being driven fundamentally by the necessities and dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system and the fact that this system does not have, and cannot have, any positive resolution to all this. Despite what many (especially many “liberals”) would like to believe, the notion that especially in times of crisis like this “we are all in this together” is in conflict with and is refuted by reality and specifically is not adhered to by the fascist forces. For example, gun sales in this country have skyrocketed even higher amidst this crisis, as “Second Amendment types” stock up even further on lethal weapons to “protect themselves” from “criminals” (and, on the part of many, to prepare themselves for the “civil war” they see coming). To refer again to the insights of African-American theologian Hubert Locke, what is involved with the fascist movement in this country is not just some abstract battle for the “hearts and minds” of people but a deadly serious struggle for power, with the aim—on the part particularly of the Christian fundamentalist driving force of this fascism—of “seizing the reins of government, manipulating the courts and judicial decisions, controlling the media, and making incursions into every possible corner of our private lives and relationships, so that what the religious right perceives as the will of God will reign in America.”4

This is why the commonly propagated notion that what has given rise to the sharp polarization in this country, and the madness associated with Trump, is a “departure from civility,” or more specifically that it flows from a failure on the part of educated middle class “liberals” to communicate with and try to understand the views of people in the “heartland”—all this is not only completely erroneous but actually a dangerous delusion. Writing a little more than 20 years ago, in her book Mobilizing Resentment, based on her extensive investigation into the right-wing movement in this country, Jean Hardisty recounts how, even where her efforts to engage in civil and friendly conversation with people of this kind would initially be returned with a certain superficial kindliness, as the conversation progressed she would repeatedly be subjected to the “brutal intolerance” that would come to the fore on the part of these right-wingers. As she graphically puts it: “when I give rightists the benefit of the doubt, out of respect for their right to their own worldview, they reward me every time with a kick in the teeth.” She sums up that what we are dealing with is

a well-financed, well-coordinated, savvy movement that has developed brilliant techniques of manipulation and has captured and molded a hospitable moment in history. The right’s quest for political power has become a frightening reality.5

And things have only gotten worse, and the danger this poses even greater, in the 20 or so years since Hardisty wrote this.

In very immediate terms, the outlook and methods as well as the priorities of the fascists, as concentrated in the Trump/Pence regime—with the appointment of the anti-scientific Pence to head government efforts around COVID-19; Trump’s initial denial of the scope and danger posed by this virus and his continuing lies about this; his gross American chauvinism, pitting this country against the rest of the world; his repeated tendency to recklessly deny medical science and ignore the recommendations of medical experts where it runs counter to his own narrowly conceived and dangerously shortsighted interests and objectives; and more—all this amplifies and fortifies the barriers that the “normal functioning” of the capitalist-imperialist system places in the way of a systematic and coordinated approach to combating the coronavirus. At the same time, there is the question of whether Trump will actually recognize the results of the election in November if (even in the electoral college count, as well as in the popular vote) he is not the winner—or whether there will even be an election, since it is not unthinkable that Trump would “delay” (or even outright cancel) the election, declaring that in the context of the coronavirus crisis it is too dangerous to have an election!

All this must be resisted and overcome to the greatest extent possible, while at the same time recognizing that it will require a radical transformation of society, and ultimately the world as a whole, to remove the powerful restraints that this system places on human beings and their ability to act in common to confront and transform the necessity they face, in an ongoing way and acutely so in times of crisis.

Whatever happens in regard to the elections that are scheduled to be held this November, and however the coronavirus crisis is resolved—or if it is not really resolved but becomes part of “cascading crises,” with one crisis leading to another... and another—there will be no returning to some idealized notion of “normalcy.” And, while there is certainly a legitimate and positive desire on the part of people everywhere to get beyond the scourge of this virus, taking into account what is the actual situation for the masses of humanity under the “normal” domination of this system, no one should desire a return to the “normalcy” dictated by the capitalist-imperialist system.

Underlying the immediate crisis, and the danger posed by the Trump/Pence regime and its fanatical fascist “base,” there is the more fundamental reality of the capitalist-imperialist system and the consequences of allowing this system to continue to dominate the world and determine the conditions of the masses of humanity and indeed the very fate of humanity itself. This crisis with the coronavirus has brought into sharp relief the reality that the capitalist system is not simply out of step with but is in fundamental conflict with, and a direct obstacle to, meeting the needs of the masses of humanity. Even as the capitalists and governments representing their interests have been forced to take certain emergency steps that in some ways run counter to the inherent dynamics of their system (such as massive intervention by the government in the functioning of the economy), the ways in which this system constitutes an obstacle to dealing with this crisis continue to assert themselves—including not only such perverse actions as the hoarding by some of vital medical and other supplies, in order to drive up the price, but also the fact that the creation of wealth under this system proceeds on the basis of ruthless exploitation and the impoverishment of masses of people throughout the world, while even in the “wealthier” countries there is significant poverty and large parts of the population live paycheck-to-paycheck and are only one serious crisis away from disaster; the ongoing rivalry between different capitalists (or associations of capital), with their private ownership of the means of production (land, raw materials, technology, factories and other structures) and private, competitive accumulation of wealth acts as a hindrance to necessary cooperation and the production of things that may be urgently needed but are not productive of private profit—and the whole ideology of advancing one’s interests at the expense of others, the individualism that is fostered by this system and is promoted to an extreme currently in this country, runs counter to and undermines inclinations toward cooperation and, yes, sacrifice for the greater good. Despite the dedicated efforts of many well-meaning people, even if the immediate crisis with the coronavirus is resolved, this will be done on the basis of intensifying the contradictions built into this system and the suffering of the masses of humanity who are already exploited and oppressed under this system.

All of this stands in sharp contrast with what is needed to deal in a truly meaningful way with crises like that occasioned by the coronavirus, and to meet the fundamental needs of humanity on an ongoing basis. It stands in sharp contrast to the socialist system envisioned in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, where there is social, not private, ownership of the means of production, social wealth is produced through cooperation not exploitation and is increasingly distributed in accordance with the needs of the people, not those of competing capitalists, and there is a government that represents and is geared to meeting the fundamental interests of humanity, and promotes that outlook among the people and involves them in the process of governance toward that end—not a government that is an extension of and can only represent the demands and dynamics of capital, with all the anarchy and ruthless exploitation that involves, within particular countries and on an international scale.6

Beyond the borders of any particular country, there is the great importance and potentially very positive role and impact of internationalism, which can only be really and fully realized with the overcoming of the barriers erected to international unity and cooperation by the workings of the capitalist-imperialist system—which is international in its scope of operations (that is, its exploitation) but consists of competing capitalists and rival capitalist states.7

Overcoming all this can be—and can only be—accomplished through the communist revolution and the increasing establishment of socialist countries in the world, proceeding on an internationalist basis and carrying out the economic, social and political transformations, as well as transformations in the ways of thinking and culture of the people, that will enable humanity to leap beyond the constraints and the terrible consequences which are imposed by the “normal” functioning of the capitalist-imperialist system and are greatly intensified in situations of crisis. This unprecedented revolution will make it possible for people to engage reality, and to confront crises, in a truly cooperative way as members of a world community of freely associating human beings, not separated and pitted against each other by divisions of country, class, nationality (or “race”), gender and other oppressive relations.

 


1. Materials posted at revcom.us, including communiqués from the revolutionary communists (revcoms) and the interview with Lenny Wolff on the Michael Slate radio show, speak to how this dynamic is already being expressed in this current crisis.  [back]

2. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make RevolutionThe text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Video of this speech by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us.  [back]

4. Reflections on Pacific School of Religion's Response to the Religious Right, by Dr. Hubert Locke, also available at revcom.us.  [back]

5. Jean Hardisty, Mobilizing Resentment, Conservative Resurgence From The John Birch Society To The Promise Keepers, Beacon Press Books, 1999, pp. 5, 6, 8.  [back]

6. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is available at revcom.us.  [back]

7. In the section “Globalization, the Nationality of Capital, and the Imperialist Nation‑State,” in Notes on Political Economy: Our Analysis of the 1980s, Issues of Methodology, and The Current World Situationpublished by the Revolutionary Communist Party (available online at revcom.us), there is an analysis of this major contradiction in the world today:

In the imperialist era, the circuits of capital become internationalized—and accumulation grows ever more global in reach and process. But imperialist capital remains anchored to national markets and national state formations....

In short, the anarchy bound up with global processes of capitalist development creates new problems of "control." The contradiction between internationalized accumulation and the national character of capital, far from being transcended, is intensified.

As “Notes” further states:

At the same time, capital requires an apparatus (the imperialist state) and the military wherewithal (which means a military industry) to secure the international environment within which it can globally thrive.  [back]

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

See also:

Reflections on Pacific School of Religion's Response to the Religious Right

by Dr. Hubert Locke

Reposted October 7, 2019. Originally posted January 29, 2006

Read more

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

 

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/641/bob-avakian-conspiracy-theories-or-a-scientific-approach-short-version-en.html

CONSPIRACY THEORIES, FASCIST "CERTITUDE," LIBERAL PARALYSIS, OR
A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO CHANGING THE WORLD

(Short Version—The Simple and Basic Truth)

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The coronavirus crisis has brought home very sharply the importance of science—the scientific method and approach to understanding and changing the world. But there is a big problem in how people have been trained and conditioned to think (or not think). While many “liberals” and “progressives” have, for far too long, allowed themselves to become paralyzed by ridiculous notions like “How can you know what is really true, no one can say that their truth is greater than someone else’s truth,” and so on, fascist forces, marked by a truly dark ages mentality, are firmly convinced of the “truth” of all manner of lunatic conspiracy theories promoting fascist “values” and objectives.

Put another way, in terms of major trends in society as a whole: Those who have the most certitude are those most out of touch with reality.

Further complicating the situation and an additional dimension to this problem is the fact that, although they do not share but strongly oppose the “values” and objectives of the fascists, many of the basic masses, who are bitterly oppressed under this system, also are suspicious of and even are inclined to reject science and scientifically-grounded analysis. But this also leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of unfounded “conspiracy theories” and other wrong and harmful ideas, including the notion that nothing people do will make a difference because “it’s all in god’s hands.”

The answer to all this is not giving up on understanding reality, or simply believing what sounds like it makes sense, or what is said by someone you know, or what gives you comfort (at least for a while). The truth of something does not depend on who says it, or how it makes you feel. Because something comes from a source you like does not make it true; and because something comes from a source you do not like does not make it untrue. And truth is not a “popularity contest.” Because a lot of people believe something does not make it true; and because only a few people believe something does not make it untrue.

Truth is objective—which means: Whether something is true or not depends on whether it corresponds to actual reality. (On some levels, the truth of things is obvious—for example, the truth that if it is raining hard and you are exposed to the rain for any length of time, you will get wet. But there are deeper levels to things, and the truth about them is more complex and requires more developed knowledge—for example, what causes rain, why it is raining where you are and not somewhere else, and so on. But in all cases, on all levels, the fact remains: Whether something is true or not depends on whether it corresponds to actual reality.) To sort out what is false from what is true and to stand on solid ground in terms of understanding things, you need the scientific method and approach to reality—and, yes, scientifically-grounded certitude, where such certitude can and must be established.

Ardea Skybreak, a professionally trained scientist and an advocate of the new communism as a further advance in the science of revolution, has made the point that science is not just somebody’s opinion but involves and requires investigating reality and systematizing what is learned through this process. She emphasizes that “Science is an evidence-based process” and

Science is very different than religion or mysticism, or things like that, which try to explain reality by invoking imaginary forces and which provide no actual evidence for any of their analyses. By contrast, science requires proof. It requires evidence.1

If you don’t judge things by whether there is compelling evidence for them—and if you don’t evaluate what people claim by weighing it against what the evidence shows about the actual reality—you can end up believing almost anything! Or, as Skybreak puts it:

Without science you are at the mercy of being manipulated, of having your thinking manipulated and not being able to tell what’s right from what’s wrong, what’s true from what’s false.2

Skybreak emphasizes the point that science is not mysterious, but is something that anyone can learn and apply. She also speaks to the fact that there has been bad science (including bad science used for racist purposes) but that you can and should use good science—the actual methods of science—to understand reality and expose and refute bad science. As she puts it, in simple and basic terms: “Whether you want to cure a disease or make a better society, you need that scientific evidence‑based process.”3

Opposing the scientific method and approach—and denying the possibility of arriving at important truths by applying this method and approach—can only lead to bad, sometimes extremely bad, results, leaving people weighed down by all kinds of ignorance and prejudice, depriving people of the ability to understand and change the world in a fundamentally positive direction. When, for example, Jonas Salk announced that he had finally developed a vaccine to deal with the terrible disease polio, should the response actually have been to be suspicious of this claim and reject it without even looking into it? Should people actually respond in that way if, or when, a vaccine is developed for COVID-19?! Examples of this kind could be cited almost endlessly.

It is worth repeating the very important point emphasized by Ardea Skybreak:

Whether you want to cure a disease or make a better society, you need that scientific evidence‑based process.

And specifically in terms of making a better society—in opposing the fascism of the Trump-Pence regime, and even more fundamentally in making a radical leap beyond this system of capitalism-imperialism (which has given rise to this fascism) and bringing into being a far better world—you need the scientific method and approach of the new communism.

 


1. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak, emphasis in the original. Ardea Skybreak is a professionally trained scientist in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology and an advocate of the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian. Skybreak is also the author of the very important book The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters, Insight Press, 2006. The entire interview with Ardea Skybreak (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION) is available at revcom.us.

In this interview Skybreak goes in some depth into how Bob Avakian, in summing up the historical experience of the communist movement and drawing from a broad range of human experience, has brought forward a new communism that embodies a further leap in the application of a scientific method and approach to the question of how a better society and world, free of exploitation and oppression, can actually be brought into being. This new communism is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed and has put communism on an even more consistently scientific basis, providing the strategy and leadership for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

In a number of works, and in particular the book THE NEW COMMUNISM, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, and Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary (which is available at revcom.us), Bob Avakian speaks to what is new in the new communism and its relation to previous communist theory.  [back]

2. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION.  [back]

3. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION.  [back]

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—
A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Read more

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

 

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/641/bob-avakian-conspiracy-theories-or-a-scientific-approach-long-version-en.html

CONSPIRACY THEORIES, FASCIST "CERTITUDE," LIBERAL PARALYSIS, OR
A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO CHANGING THE WORLD

(Longer Version—The Truth Elaborated)

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The coronavirus crisis has brought home very sharply the importance of science—the scientific method and approach to understanding and changing the world. But there is a big problem in how people have been trained and conditioned to think (or not think). Even as people in the medical field are proceeding on the basis of a scientific approach and, in the context of this coronavirus crisis, “liberals” are insisting that it is vitally important now to “listen to the scientists,” for far too long many “liberals” and “progressives” have allowed themselves to become paralyzed by relativist agnosticism, lacking—and often even rejecting the very idea of—certitude (with ridiculous notions like “How can you know what is really true, no one can say that their truth is greater than someone else’s truth,” and so on). Meanwhile, fascist forces, marked by a truly dark ages mentality, and firmly convinced of the “truth” of all manner of lunatic conspiracy theories promoting fascist “values” and objectives, are eagerly embracing callous philistinism, willfully rejecting critical thinking, smugly ignoring, defying and denigrating science and the scientific method.

Put another way, in terms of major trends in society as a whole: Those who have the most certitude are those most out of touch with reality.

Further complicating the situation and an additional dimension to this problem is the fact that, although they do not share but strongly oppose the “values” and objectives of the fascists, many of the basic masses, who are bitterly oppressed under this system, also are suspicious of and even are inclined to reject science and scientifically-grounded analysis. But this also leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of unfounded “conspiracy theories” and other wrong and harmful ideas, including the notion that nothing people do will make a difference because “it’s all in god’s hands.”

The answer to all this is not giving up on understanding reality, or simply believing what sounds like it makes sense, or what is said by someone you know, or what gives you comfort (at least for a while). The truth of something does not depend on who says it, or how it makes you feel. Because something comes from a source you like does not make it true; and because something comes from a source you do not like does not make it untrue. And truth is not a “popularity contest.” Because a lot of people believe something does not make it true; and because only a few people believe something does not make it untrue.

Truth is objective—which means: Whether something is true or not depends on whether it corresponds to actual reality. (On some levels, the truth of things is obvious—for example, the truth that if it is raining hard and you are exposed to the rain for any length of time, you will get wet. But there are deeper levels to things, and the truth about them is more complex and requires more developed knowledge—for example, what causes rain, why it is raining where you are and not somewhere else, and so on. But in all cases, on all levels, the fact remains: Whether something is true or not depends on whether it corresponds to actual reality.) To sort out what is false from what is true and to stand on solid ground in terms of understanding things, you need the scientific method and approach to reality—and, yes, scientifically-grounded certitude, where such certitude can and must be established.

Science is not another “dogma”—another untested and unproved “set of beliefs”—it is the opposite of that. Conclusions based on the application of the scientific method are obviously important, but science is not just some “collection of conclusions,” and still less is it a set of “precepts” which are not drawn from reality and are out of keeping with reality, or which once reflected reality but have become frozen and “ossified” and no longer correspond to a changing reality. Science is above all and most essentially a method. In this regard the following, from an interview with Ardea Skybreak, a professionally trained scientist and an advocate of the new communism as a further advance in the science of revolution, is very relevant:

So I think it might be worth starting a little bit by talking about what is science, to demystify it a little bit. I mean, science deals with material reality, and you could say that all of nature and all of human society is the province of science, science can deal with all that. It’s a tool—science—a very powerful tool. It’s a method and approach for being able to tell what’s true, what corresponds to reality as it really is. In that sense, science is very different than religion or mysticism, or things like that, which try to explain reality by invoking imaginary forces and which provide no actual evidence for any of their analyses. By contrast, science requires proof. It requires evidence. It is an evidence‑based process. That’s very important. Science is an evidence‑based process.1

If you don’t judge things by whether there is compelling evidence for them—and if you don’t evaluate what people claim by weighing it against what the evidence shows about the actual reality—you can end up believing almost anything! Or, as Skybreak puts it:

Without science you are at the mercy of being manipulated, of having your thinking manipulated and not being able to tell what’s right from what’s wrong, what’s true from what’s false.2

And:

Whether you’re talking about the material reality of a disease, of a natural ecosystem, or of a social system that human beings live under, science allows you to analyze its components, its history, how it came to be the way it is, what it’s made of, what are its defining characteristics and underlying contradictoriness (and we’ll come back to that) and therefore also what is the basis for it to change, or to be changed, if your intent is to change it. Whether you want to cure a disease or make a better society, you need that scientific evidence‑based process.3

Skybreak emphasizes the point that science is not mysterious, but is something that anyone can learn and apply. She also speaks to the contradiction that sometimes people are turned off to science, partly because they have been given the wrong sense of what science is, and

Another reason people are sometimes turned off by science is because there has been bad science....sometimes in the course of history science has been used to promote the idea that some races are inferior to other races....Well, that’s junk science. In fact you can use rigorous scientific methods to prove that that was all bad science. It’s not just “morally” bad—it is that, but it’s also scientifically bad—it’s completely false and you can use good science to prove that.4

As I have put it, in line with the essential point made by Skybreak:

It is the “good science”—the scientific method and approach of proceeding from the evidence about reality to understand how reality actually is, why it is the way it is, and how it is changing and could be changed further—that we need to consistently apply if we want to transform the world to uproot oppression and exploitation.5

Consistently Applying a Scientific Method, Following the Truth Wherever It Leads

Far too often, and with no small amount of irony, educated middle class “liberals,” “progressives” and the “woke” act as if they are asserting some profound truth when they reject the very notion of “truth” and decry and denounce as dogmatic (or even tyrannical) those who say that they have arrived at certain definite truths. But, once again, opposing the scientific method and approach—and denying the possibility of arriving at important truths by applying this method and approach—can only lead to bad, sometimes extremely bad, results, leaving people weighed down by all kinds of ignorance and prejudice, depriving people of the ability to understand and change the world in a fundamentally positive direction. And is this approach—of denying the possibility or desirability of knowing the truth and denouncing those who say they have brought forward definite important truths—is this really valid and viable, something people can or should stick with? When, for example, Jonas Salk announced that he had finally developed a vaccine to deal with the terrible disease polio, should the response actually have been to be suspicious of this claim and reject it without even looking into it, and to criticize (or even ostracize) Salk for having the nerve to claim that he arrived at an important truth (an understanding of the disease polio and how to combat it)? Should people actually respond in that way if, or when, a vaccine is developed for COVID-19?! Examples of this kind could be cited almost endlessly.

As I have emphasized, speaking to what is a fundamental epistemological principle of the new communism:

The truth is an actual correct reflection of reality, including in its motion and development. And, of course, it is true that nobody can ever have all of the truth. That’s part of understanding reality correctly, part of the scientific method. But...it is true that you can come to definite and definitive determinations about the reality of many particular things, even while you always have to be open to learning more, and to the possibility that some of what you thought to be true may not turn out to be true, or new developments occur which mean that the world has changed in such a way that your understanding has to be modified. That’s all part of the scientific method as well. When we talk about the truth, we’re not talking about THE TRUTH as an absolute and final truth, but we are also not talking about a narrative. We’re talking about a scientific approach to understanding reality and then, on that basis, transforming it. And the scientific approach to that process of analyzing and synthesizing reality can come to important definitive conclusions, even as this is an ongoing process which is never complete because you can never grasp all of reality—including because it’s constantly changing and because there will always be aspects of reality that human beings will not even have penetrated at any given time, let alone come to understand.6

There is a definite connection between the relativism and agnosticism of far too many educated middle class “liberals” and their reluctance, if not stubborn refusal, to recognize the fascist danger posed by the Trump-Pence regime for what it is and what is required in the face of this—which is a determined struggle against this fascism, a struggle that does not rely or depend upon the “mainstream” section of the ruling class (as represented by institutions like the Democratic Party) and the system they serve, which has given rise to this fascism (out of whose basic contradictions this fascism has arisen as an attempt at a resolution of these contradictions within the confines of this system and in the most extreme terms).

Even more fundamentally, there is a definite connection between the relativism and agnosticism of such “liberals” and their resistance or stubborn refusal to apply a consistently scientific evidence-based approach, and on this basis to follow the truth wherever it leads, particularly when it comes to historical, social and political questions—because where it leads is to demolishing cherished illusions and prejudices of “liberals” regarding the actual role of this “great American democracy,” throughout its history and throughout the world; the actual nature of the system we live under, capitalism-imperialism; and the actual experience of revolutionary struggle against this system, and more particularly the experience of the communist movement and the socialist societies it has brought into being.

It is in deeply engaging these questions, and drawing from many different dimensions of human experience, that I have brought forward a new communism, which is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed and which has put communism on an even more consistently scientific basis, providing the strategy and leadership for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

In regard to all this, it is worth repeating the very important point emphasized by Ardea Skybreak:

Whether you want to cure a disease or make a better society, you need that scientific evidence‑based process.

And specifically in terms of making a better society—in opposing the fascism of the Trump-Pence regime, and even more fundamentally in making a radical leap beyond this capitalist-imperialist system (which has given rise to this fascism) and bringing into being a far better world—you need the scientific method and approach of the new communism.

 


1. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak, emphasis in the original. Ardea Skybreak is a professionally trained scientist in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology and an advocate of the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian. Skybreak is also the author of the very important book The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters, Insight Press, 2006. The entire interview with Ardea Skybreak (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION) is available at revcom.us.

In this interview Skybreak goes in some depth into how, in summing up the historical experience of the communist movement and drawing from a broad range of human experience, Bob Avakian has brought forward a new communism that embodies a further leap in the application of a scientific method and approach to the question of how a better society and world, free of exploitation and oppression, can actually be brought into being. As this article points out, the new communism “is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed and which has put communism on an even more consistently scientific basis, providing the strategy and leadership for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.”

In a number of works, and in particular the book THE NEW COMMUNISM, The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation (Insight Press, 2016) and Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary (which is available at revcom.us) Bob Avakian speaks to what is new in the new communism and its relation to previous communist theory.  [back]

2. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION  [back]

3. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION  [back]

4. SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION  [back]

5. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us.  [back]

6. Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summaryavailable at revcom.us.  [back]

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—
A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Read more

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

 

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/548/science-of-evolution-philosophical-relativism-en.html

“BUT HOW CAN WE EVER BE SURE ANYTHING IS TRUE?”: SUCH PHILOSOPHICAL RELATIVISM OFFERS CREATIONISTS EASY PICKINGS

June 18, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Following is an excerpt from The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters by Ardea Skybreak, published in 2006.

It’s important to think about how you can tell whether something is really true or not. What are the methods and approaches which can be used for getting at the truth and distinguishing it from falsehood? Without a basic grasp of these approaches and methods it’s easy to fall into accepting just about any lie or falsehood, especially if it seems to be put forward with conviction by people in positions of power and influence (governments, religious authorities, TV personalities, and so on).

It’s good to have a critical mind and to question everything. But then again it’s also important to recognize when at least the basic truth of something has already been clearly established. If human beings always went around thinking that “nothing is ever sure,” how could we ever survive or get anything done? Should we walk in front of a moving bus because “we can’t ever really know for sure” whether we’ll get run over? Should we not bother setting an alarm clock because we “can’t ever know for sure” that it will ring, or that it even really exists, or that we really exist and have a reason to get up? These examples may seem silly, but they make the point that, even just to function in day-to-day life, we human beings really need to have some way, some approach and method, which can help us to determine when something is actually true (or false).

Of course we’ll never have absolute truth—in the sense that we’ll never know everything there is to know about everything—but we do have some means and methods for getting to the point that we can say, with a high degree of confidence, that something is true—meaning that it actually corresponds to some aspect of material reality as it really is.

Again, the point is that it’s good and important to question everything, but it’s also good and important to recognize that not everything is forever up for grabs—sometimes we can know enough about something to accept it as true, stop agonizing about it, and move on. Such is the case with the basic theory of evolution.

But a lot of people in the United States today still don’t realize that we can be that sure about evolution. Anti-evolution and anti-science Christian fundamentalist Creationists have worked to confuse people’s thinking on this since the late 19th century, typically becoming particularly active and aggressive in times of social turmoil and when the overall direction of society is being broadly questioned and debated. It’s especially at such times that reactionaries resist all forms of social progress and call instead for looking backward and “restoring core values and traditions.” Today is no exception.

The Creationists have waged such determined anti-evolution and anti-science campaigns in recent years that U.S. universities are now reporting that they are getting very worried about growing scientific illiteracy in the country as a whole as they notice that more and more freshmen are arriving on campuses so poorly trained in even basic science that they actually believe “the scientific community is divided on whether evolution happened” and that “evolution is still just an unproven theory.” To state it clearly again: both those notions are completely false. The scientific community (in the U.S. and worldwide and in every field of science) is not “divided” on the basic facts of evolution. The consensus is overwhelming that (a) life has definitely evolved and that (b) the basic mechanisms involved in how life evolved and continues to evolve (such as natural selection) are by now well understood.

The “Theory of Evolution”—What a Scientific Theory Is

As for the question of evolution being “just an unproven theory”: this is also false. As spoken to throughout this book, there is an incredible amount of accumulated and mutually reinforcing evidence for evolution, and the general scientific consensus is that the theory of evolution is among the best-proven and best-documented theories in all of science.

But one of the favorite methods of the Creationists is to play on people’s ignorance and confusion about some basic words: in regular everyday English, the word “theory” often means “a guess” or something that has not been proven to be true. So the Creationists hope that when you hear the words “theory of evolution” you will automatically think it hasn’t yet been proven to be true. But, in scientific circles, the word “theory” has a very different meaning: a “scientific theory” is what scientists call a complex body of thought that ties together a number of different ideas and proposals which successfully explain—from a number of different angles—the basic principles and mechanisms involved in a natural process, such as the origins and later change and development of some part of actual material reality. So, for instance, scientists talk about the “theory of gravitation” or the “Copernican theory” (of the motion of the planets, including the earth, around the sun) but that doesn’t mean they’re “guessing” that objects fall towards the earth because of the pull of gravity or that they’re “guessing” that the earth goes around the sun rather than the other way around. The theory of gravitation and the Copernican theory are by now well documented and supported by the accumulated scientific evidence, and the same can be said of the scientific theory of evolution.

Of course scientific theories are always being further extended and developed as human knowledge expands and comes to understand some things that we didn’t previously understand. And as knowledge develops, it is inevitably the case that some old ideas are discovered to be wrong and therefore need to be discarded. Science actually advances by calling into question and critically reviewing previously established scientific notions. It is true that there is always going to be more to learn and discover about everything. But that doesn’t mean that we can never come down and say that something is true. People who like to say things like “but you can never be sure” fall into the mistaken outlook and approach known as philosophical relativism. (Of course, since human knowledge is never complete and perfect, and is always developing, people who think and act like they have “absolute truth” about everything, or everything important, fall into the erroneous method known as dogmatism, which is the “flip-side” of relativism.) But when we say something is “true” it simply means that there is good, compelling and concrete evidence (preferably from a number of different and mutually reinforcing sources and directions) that our understanding of something actually does closely correspond to how that something really is in objective reality, that is, in the real material world—which includes all that is part of the natural world and which encompasses the features and workings of human social organization as well. (See “Reality and Distortions of Reality—Objective Truth and Subjective Influences” on page 216.)

Scientific theories (whether pertaining to the world of nature or human society) do not get proven to be “true” overnight. Before any great idea or set of ideas can be confidently said to be “true,” it has to get put through the scientific crucible—that means it gets poked at and critiqued and challenged and tested over and over again and from countless different directions. A good scientific theory puts forward some predictions about what we should expect to find in the real world if the theory is true; and it also makes predictions about some of the things we should not be able to find in the world if the theory is true. This is known as the principle of “scientific falsifiability”: a genuine scientific theory, as a matter of principle, has to be capable of being disproved by facts (things which, if discovered, would prove your theory to be wrong). The theory of evolution could be falsified (proven wrong) if, for instance, fossilized dinosaur and human footprints were ever found in the same undisturbed rock layers, because that would mean dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time, and this would completely contradict everything we know about how and when different species evolved. Biologists can give many such examples of the kinds of things that—if they were ever found to exist—would make a complete shambles of evolutionary theory. So, like all good scientific theories, the theory of evolution is falsifiable in principle—but, as a point of fact, science has never found anything (not a single thing) that actually falsifies it. It has, however, found many, many things that support it.

The theory of divine Creation is a religious belief, not a scientific theory. One of the sure signs of that is that the theory of divine Creation is, by its very nature and definition, impossible to falsify. The Creationists refuse to give people any examples of any kind of scientific discoveries that they could accept as proof that their divine Creation theory is wrong after all. They make a principle of this, because for them it is a matter of absolute religious faith. But if you make a principle of saying that there is no possible way that any information could ever come to light that would prove your theory wrong, then you are, by definition, not being scientific, and your theory has nothing to do with science!

Again, the theory of evolution was, from its very beginnings, falsifiable as a matter of principle. But as it turns out, all the actual scientific data that has been collected in the nearly century and a half since Darwin published his major work on evolution has repeatedly supported the theory of biological evolution; and none of it has ever provided evidence to the contrary. This more than anything is why there is such a broad and solid scientific consensus on the matter.

RECOGNIZE, DEMAND AND FIGHT FOR SCIENTIFIC TRUTH

Throughout this book, it has been shown, from many different angles and different sources, that evolution is a well-established scientific truth which is upheld and applied by the vast majority of scientists in the world. But just because something is true doesn’t mean it will prevail at all times, especially when people who hold false views are able to wield or influence the machinery of the state to spread and impose those false views. People don’t always think about this enough. For instance, in the United States today there are some people who understand that evolution is a proven fact but who think that it’s just a waste of time to worry about the crazy Creationists because, after all, they’re not going to be able to change the fact that evolution is true. They seem to think that, at least in countries like the U.S., society “will never go back to a time when most people didn’t know life had evolved through natural processes”—so why waste energy addressing the creationist lunacy? But in my opinion it’s a serious mistake to be complacent about such aspects of the “culture wars” in the United States. I’ve heard the same argument made about the anti-abortion movement. (“Don’t worry, these people are nuts; women in the U.S. will never have to go back to the days when abortion was illegal and women did not have the right to determine whether or when they would bear a child.”) Oh yeah? Well, look around you—one step at a time the fundamentalist religious forces have managed to chip away at women’s fundamental right to control their own reproduction and in some parts of the country (especially rural areas) it has already become a practical impossibility for many women. In regard to evolution, the same types of fundamentalist reactionaries have managed to confuse a lot of people, take over school boards and even get disclaimers inserted into high school science textbooks, telling people that evolution is “controversial” and “an unproven theory” (it is not!). So why is it so hard to imagine that these people could make even further headway, especially when their right-wing political programs are the order of the day in the highest reaches of government?

And it’s not like there isn’t still a strong material basis for lots of people to be ignorant and confused about this. Looking not only at the U.S. but at the world as a whole, it is still the case that tremendous numbers of people have never been taught even the most basic facts of evolution (many have never even heard of it!): most believe instead one or another myth or superstition about how all the plants and animals and people came to be. Furthermore, the aggressively expanding Christian fundamentalist movement is a well-funded and well-organized movement which gets significant financial and ideological backing from conservative and reactionary political organizations. Evangelical and fundamentalist Christian movements in the United States in particular are closely allied with the political Right and growing fascist trends and developments (think back to the Santorum Amendment, for instance). Thanks to this support, Creationists have significant and regular access to mainstream media, where their viewpoints and activities are often reported uncritically and as straight news. They also own or control a lot of media outlets themselves: their radio and TV programs, books, pamphlets, museum exhibits, professional-looking web sites (just do a web search for the word “creationism” or look up the web sites of the ICR [Institute for Creation Research] or the Discovery Institute) now reach (and no doubt confuse) millions of people. They have money and other resources that allow them to regularly send speakers on tour to address school boards and parents’ groups, to speak on college campuses and in courtrooms, and to address Congress and other government officials. And, as pointed out before, they have powerful ties right up to the highest levels of the ruling class in American society.

Can a well-orchestrated and well-funded propaganda blitz in itself “reverse” the truth of evolution? Of course not. But it can do a lot of social damage by training legions of people (including the young and inexperienced) to firmly and zealously believe in completely wrong ideas and to increasingly reject not only evolution but even science more generally, as a method for learning about things and for transforming the world.

Of course the government, military and big corporate sectors themselves have to regularly make use of actual science to carry out their objectives (they need science to help them wage their wars or develop new pharmaceuticals, for instance), so they are not about to throw all science out the window. They will need to allow at least some people to continue to be trained in actual scientific principles and methods and to learn some actual truths about the way things are in reality—otherwise they could not continue to function and to enforce their rule and domination in the world. But that doesn’t mean they have to let everyone in on it!

For one thing, reactionary political forces have always found it useful to try to pass off as genuine “science” all sorts of completely false and non-scientific beliefs when it helps them to justify a reactionary political agenda: it should be enough to think for a minute about all the phony “scientific” theories of supposed racial or gender inferiority (phony “science,” which rested on absolutely no legitimate scientific evidence!) which have been used repeatedly to buttress and justify such things as the horrific enslavement of Africans, the Nazi extermination of Jews, the countless forcible restrictions on and coercion of women, and so on. So just because an idea is not true, and a whole lot of people know it is not true, doesn’t mean it can’t be put in the service of concretely aiding some very bad things!

In short, don’t underestimate the damage that can be done by the unchallenged promotion of wrong ideas, especially when they are being presented as “scientific.” What the Creationists of different stripes are doing by packaging their religious beliefs as “science” is not just trying to make their beliefs more acceptable to a somewhat scientifically oriented public, or trying to get their religious teachings into the public schools even though the Constitution is supposed to guarantee that people in the U.S. are not subjected to the imposition of religious doctrine and the tyranny of religious clerics and diktats. What the creationist program is also doing is working to undermine science itself—the whole method of science and the whole way science trains and encourages people to learn about everything in the world (and also how to change it) through a process of systematic and repeated observations and interactions with the material world as it actually is.

If the creationist frontal attack on science itself were ultimately successful it would set science back literally centuries and limit us to trying to understand and affect the world (or passively accept the way it is) on the basis of superstition and belief in the supernatural.

So what can people, in particular those who are not professional scientists, do to better understand what is wrong and untrue about what the Creationists put forward? The accompanying insert, “Some Things You Can Do to Learn More about Creationist Lies and Distortions” on page 222 offers some suggestions and indicates important sources of information.

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The Science of Evolution
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Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, The New Communism. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science."

Excerpt from the section:
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense

Now, let’s return to the question of epistemology—and more specifically, epistemology and morality. I have made the point—and this is also in BAsics26—that there is a place where epistemology and morality meet.27 What does that mean? It means that, if you come to understand certain things, then the question poses itself: what do you do about what you’ve come to understand? Do you follow it, or do you turn away from it, or adulterate it, water it down and change it into something else? These are the places where epistemology and morality meet. And this doesn’t happen just once, it happens repeatedly in life and in an ongoing way, for everyone. The challenges repeatedly pose themselves. As you’re learning about life and the world, what do you do with what you’re learning?

This brings us back to a scientific approach to the truth, especially as this is posed, once again, against wrong ways of approaching the world—and, in particular, let’s talk some more about relativism. This is out there in a big way, and it’s openly promoted, especially in academia—maybe I’ve got a “jones” about this, but not without good reason—you get this nonsense that, not only is there no objective reality, but that the mere claim that there is objective reality, and that you can come to know it, is a “totalitarian” concept. If you haven’t heard this yet, well, you won’t have to wait very long before you do. This is all over the place, in one form or another, but this is particularly so in academia, especially in this form: “To talk about the truth, that’s a totalizing concept—it’s not leaving room for other people’s ideas, it’s totalitarianism, it’s frightening—that’s what led to all the bad problems of the twentieth century, people talking and acting in that way, as if there’s objective reality and there’s truth that corresponds to objective reality.”

But, to go back to what was said earlier, there is in fact objective reality—and truth is in fact a correct reflection of, or in correspondence with, actual objective reality. That’s what truth is. And, yes, it’s true, nobody can ever know all of the truth about everything, and we should always be open to the idea that what we understand to be true about any particular thing may not be fully correct, or may even turn out to be essentially wrong. But we are not, and we should not be, agnostics: “Oh, who knows what’s true, you can’t really tell anything about the real world.” No. We proceed from the real world, we interact with the real world, we test our ideas against the real world, and we draw scientific conclusions from that, based on evidence and based on synthesizing, drawing the patterns in reality that emerge and can be identified from the accumulation of evidence. This is very important for us to insist upon.

Actually, when you think about it, everybody who’s a relativist is a relativist until it really matters to them. “I don’t believe that anybody can really tell what objective truth is. But, you know, for the last few weeks I haven’t been feeling well, so I went to the doctor. And the doctor tells me, ‘I’m gonna run some tests.’ And then they call me back later and say, ‘We ran some tests and it turns out you’ve got a problem with your kidney.’ Well, who are you to say I’ve got a problem with my kidney?” That’s not the way people, even the most diehard relativists, proceed when it really matters to them. Then they all of a sudden discover that there’s actually a real world and actually people who understand it and have something to say about what you might do to change it.

This relativism is not a correct way to approach reality or to understand reality, and it does great harm when people insist on it. It is not “totalitarian” to say that there is objective reality, that we can engage it and we can transform it. We can learn about it, and, yes, keep on learning, and keep on refining what we’ve learned, and maybe even discard some things. But there is an accumulation of knowledge by proceeding in this kind of way, with this kind of method and approach. And you don’t, and won’t, get anywhere you need to go by denying and opposing this approach to reality and truth.

Here’s another example of how people are relativists until it really matters to them. The most relativist person becomes a parent. They have a little kid. The little kid wants to walk across the street, right in the middle of traffic. “Well, that’s your reality, little Johnny or little Susie: if you don’t think those cars exist, I don’t want to force you to believe that they do.” No! “Stay here on the sidewalk, you can’t walk out in front of those cars, those cars are real. That’s true.” “Mommy/daddy you’re totalitarian.”

We have to understand: this is not a way that people can or should actually go through the real world. And we really have to go after this relativism, because it’s doing a great deal of harm. It’s keeping people from not only engaging and learning about the world, but from acting on all the horrible outrages that are going on. It’s paralyzing them, telling them that they can’t be certain about anything, or it’s not their “place,” because of this relativist identity politics. It’s somebody else’s “place” to do something about that, and how dare you care about and act about something which is “my property,” my oppression that belongs to me. I heard about how somebody went on campus with one of the posters showing all the people who’ve been killed by the police, and someone came up and said, “I don’t like that poster, you’re making me feel unsafe.” Oh, boo-hoo! What about the masses of people in the world, who aren’t safe? What about the women who can’t go through the world and be safe? What about the masses of people in the inner cities being shot down by the police, being tormented and tortured by just the daily workings of this system every day? What about what’s happening with the environment? What about the little children that their parents send from Central America to cross the border by themselves into this country because of the havoc that imperialism is wreaking on their countries, and they find this horrific treatment they get upon coming here? What about all that, while you’re trying to carve out a little safe haven for yourself, a little privileged place where you can be safe? How ‘bout we get into the real world and talk about what’s really going on and what needs to be done? Cut out all this boo-hoo shit, and let’s talk about what really needs to happen to have a kind of world where the masses of people can feel safe and can breathe.


26. Bob Avakian, BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian (RCP Publications, 2011). Available as a free e-book at revcom.us. [back]

27. BAsics 5:11

“There is a place where epistemology and morality meet. There is a place where you have to stand and say: It is not acceptable to refuse to look at something—or to refuse to believe something—because it makes you uncomfortable. And: It is not acceptable to believe something just because it makes you feel comfortable.”

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian [back]


 

 

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Internationalism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/644/bob-avakian-this-republic-ridiculous-outmoded-criminal-en.html

THIS REPUBLIC—RIDICULOUS, OUTMODED, CRIMINAL

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The story is frequently told, by enthusiasts of “this great American democracy,” that at the time of the founding of the country Benjamin Franklin was asked: “What kind of government do we have?” And he replied: “A Republic—if you can keep it.” And it has been “kept” for more than 200 years since then. But the question is now posed more sharply than ever: Is it worth keeping—should any decent person want to keep it?

In the present day, the ridiculous and outmoded nature of this republic stands out, and this is all the more glaring in the context of the developing coronavirus crisis. As just one dimension of this, there is the fact that this particular American bourgeois (capitalist) republic is divided into 50 states, and there are repeatedly conflicts between the different states and between the states and the federal government in their approaches to this coronavirus crisis, which interfere with and undermine a rational unified approach to dealing with this crisis—and this would be the case even if there were not the irrational, anti-scientific Trump and Pence and their fascist regime presiding over the federal government, although of course this regime has only made things far worse.

The fact that this particular bourgeois republic is ridiculous, and in its present form is outmoded even on its own terms, is also expressed in the way that national elections are held—with the head of state (the president) chosen not through direct popular vote but through an electoral college made up of electors chosen through voting in, once again, 50 separate states. (This set-up is also closely related to the fact that the “United States” at its founding contained a number of southern states which rested on a slave-based economy, and one of the main reasons for having the electoral college was to protect the interests of those states and their slave-owning ruling classes—something which went along with the provision in the Constitution that counted slaves as in effect three-fifths human beings, and most fundamentally as property.)

How ridiculous and outmoded this governmental system is (again, even on its own bourgeois terms) can also be seen in the fact that, as part of this set-up, each state elects two people to the Senate, even while some states have far greater populations than others. (It is the case today that states with 30 percent of the population elect 70 percent of the Senators, while the great majority of the population, the remaining 70 percent, is “represented” by only 30 percent of the Senators.)

Many have argued for various remedies to this situation, including abolishing the electoral college and having the president (and vice president) elected directly by popular vote. But, first of all, those who gain advantage in this situation—those who may lose the popular vote but might still win the electoral college count (and these days, this is likely to be Republicans)—are not going to simply give up their advantage.

And, with regard to the “lopsided” way in which the Senate is constituted, relative to the population in the states (the 30/70 vs.70/30 ratios referred to), there is no easy way to change this—and in fact, if anything it will become even more lopsided—fundamentally because the present “configuration” (or “distribution”) of the population in this country is grounded in major changes that have taken place in the economy over many, many decades: the increasing role of agribusiness and a great decline in the relative role of small farms and the number of people engaged in farming; and overall the heightened parasitism of this country, so that increasingly the actual production of things consumed is carried out through a vast international network of sweatshop super-exploitation, especially in the Third World of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, while the sectors abbreviated as “FIRE” (finance, insurance, and real estate), as well as high tech, play an increasingly significant role, along with services, in the economic activity carried out within this country itself. So, for those—particularly those concentrated in urban areas—who have a legitimate complaint regarding the disproportion between the population and how the Senators are selected, there is no realistic remedy since, given where the “FIRE” and high tech sectors have, for significant reasons, come to be concentrated, it would not be possible (or practical) to change the way the population is distributed (and concentrated) within this country without doing what is also not possible (and is not desired by people in the urban areas): changing the economy back to how it was constituted and how it functioned many, many generations ago, without the same degree of extreme parasitism there is today that allows for the high standard of living of significant sections of the population, including among the middle class (even as many others in the middle class were insecure and struggling economically even before the coronavirus crisis hit, to say nothing of the tens of millions of people subjected to dire poverty, and brutal oppression, in this country). And, once again, people in the smaller states with a representation in the Senate that is disproportionate to (larger than) the size of their populations are very unlikely to agree to having the Senate be chosen in some way that makes it correspond more to population (for example, having it be more like the House of Representatives, with a Senator representing not a state—with two for every state—but instead representing a population of a certain size), thereby eliminating the advantage the less populated states now have and giving the predominance to the urban areas with the larger populations.

And then, related to all this, there is that fascist Trump/Pence regime and (as I have analyzed in The Deadly Illusion of “Normalcy” and the Revolutionary Way Forward) the many ways in which its outlook and priorities actually sabotage a rational, scientifically based approach to dealing with the coronavirus crisis (and problems in general). And, beyond that: “This crisis with the coronavirus has brought into sharp relief the reality that the capitalist system is not simply out of step with but is in fundamental conflict with, and a direct obstacle to, meeting the needs of the masses of humanity.”1

Outmoded—and Criminal

It is not just that the particularly American bourgeois republic is outmoded, as well as ridiculous, “on its own terms,” but more fundamentally that the whole capitalist system is outmoded and criminal, and the American variant of this system is particularly criminal—and has been from its very founding. The fact is—a fact which cannot be ignored, evaded, or “explained away” without falling into accommodation and complicity with monstrous crimes—that this is a country founded on the enslavement of millions of African people and genocide against the original inhabitants of North America.

These monstrous crimes of slavery and genocide, and an attempt to rationalize and justify them, were enshrined in the founding documents of this country. As noted, the Constitution institutionalized and codified slavery, and as I have put it:

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.2

In the Declaration of Independence, among the things for which the King of England is condemned, is the accusation that he promoted slave rebellions (“excited domestic Insurrections amongst us”) and “endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages.”3

And the monstrous crimes committed by the rulers of this country—and built into the very structures, relations, dynamics, and functioning of this system—have not only continued over the centuries since the country was first founded but have greatly expanded, subjecting literally billions of people, and countries all over the world, to merciless exploitation, murderous oppression, and the massive destruction of war, including the use of nuclear weapons at the end of World War 2. In sum, while many “liberals” join with the likes of Ronald Reagan in declaring this country “a shining city on the hill,” a beacon of liberty for the world, the truth is that:

This is a country founded on slavery and genocide, which has continued to viciously exploit and oppress people—and to carry out murderous invasions and coups, while ravaging the environment—with terrible consequences for the masses of people, in every part of the world.4

Putting an end to this ridiculous, outmoded, and criminal system, through a revolution aiming to bring into being a far better society, and world, is the challenge that must be confronted, and taken up, by all people of conscience who are willing to face—or who have no choice but to face—the reality of what this system is, and what it means to allow this system to continue existing and to dominate the world and determine the condition and the fate of humanity.5

 


1. The Deadly Illusion of “Normalcy” and the Revolutionary Way Forward is available at revcom.us.  [back]

2. BAsics 1:1 (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian).

Additional comments by the author:

Various apologists of “this great American democracy” point out that, after all, the United States had a Civil War which put an end to slavery—as if this somehow eliminates, or at least “softens” the terrible experience of slavery. (Some have even descended so far into moral degeneracy as to claim that Black people in America should be “grateful” for slavery being ended in this way—after more than two centuries of this slavery!) It is true that the Civil War ended up leading to the emancipation of the slaves. And it is for this reason that I have pointed out that, after this country was founded, and its independence consolidated, the Civil War is the only just war this country has ever fought (on the part of the Union side) while, instead of glorifying this war (as they frequently do with wars they wage) they often bemoan it as a tragedy—“pitting brother against brother.” This ignores the fact that, once they were enabled and allowed to do so, nearly 200,000 Black people fought in the Union Army during the Civil War, dying at a higher rate than their white counterparts—and those Black freedom fighters hardly regarded the whites in the Confederate Army, who were fighting to maintain slavery, as their “brothers”!

It is also another searing indictment of this whole system in this country that, only a decade after the Civil War, with the federal government putting an end to Reconstruction in the South, Black people were once again subjected to the most horrific atrocities, through the system of “Jim Crow” segregation, lynching and overall terror carried out by the Ku Klux Klan, with the backing and often the direct involvement of the authorities and the “legal system” in the South in particular. And, even with some concessions wrenched out of this system through the Civil Rights movement after World War 2, the fact is that Black people in this country have continued to be subjected to systematic oppression and continuing terror, now carried out mainly by the police, in all parts of the country.

The American Crime series at revcom.us chronicles and highlights many—though far from all—of the major and monstrous crimes committed by this system and its ruling class(es), throughout its history and throughout the world.  [back]

3. Bob Avakian has written the following regarding the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson:

It is sometimes claimed that Jefferson was actually opposed to slavery and wanted to see an end to it. And you can find statements by Jefferson where he says that slavery is in fact a blight and that it will have negative consequences for some time to come. There have also been misinterpretations of what Jefferson wrote about slavery. To take one important example, there are passages he wrote in drafts of the Declaration of Independence—some of which did not, but some of which did, make it into the final version of that Declaration—where the King of England and the British government were strongly condemned for supposedly imposing the slave trade on the United States. Now, there were, in fact, ways in which Jefferson and the slaveowning class in Virginia generally were opposed to aspects of the international slave trade, even while they themselves were involved in selling slaves to other states and to slaveowners in other territories. In this, the essential motivation of these Virginia slaveowners was that they didn’t want the price of a slave being driven down, since they themselves had become major sellers of slaves within America itself. This is, fundamentally, the reason that they were opposed to the continuation—once they did oppose it—of the international slave trade. They viewed this above all in terms of property, and supply and demand in relation to selling this particular kind of property—human beings. So, here again, Jefferson acted in the interests of the slave-owning class, and his “agrarian society” turned out to be a slaveowning plantation system—not a society of small independent yeomen.

This is of course related to, and in an overall sense part of, the larger contradiction between Jefferson’s lofty sounding statements in the Declaration of Independence about the equality of all men (note: all men) and their “inalienable rights” and, on the other hand, the glaring fact that Jefferson not only owned slaves himself but consistently acted on behalf of the class of slaveowners and the institution of slavery, even while voicing certain moral qualms about slavery and musings about its long-term consequences for the new American republic. (Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, available in BA’s Collected Works, at revcom.us, emphasis in the original.)  [back]

4. Bob Avakian On Impeachment, Crimes Against Humanity, Liberals and Lies, Provocative and Profound Truths, available at revcom.us.  [back]

5.  In Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, Bob Avakian speaks substantially to those questions; and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, provides a sweeping vision and a concrete blueprint for a radically different, socialist society, aiming for the final goal of a communist world, with the abolition of all exploitation and oppression. These works are also available at revcom.us.  [back]


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CAPITALISM-IMPERIALISM—THE SUFFOCATION OF SEVEN BILLION— AND THE PROFOUND NEED FOR A WORLD ON NEW FOUNDATIONS

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The rulers of this country, and those who represent their interests, are forever boasting about the supposed “freedom, initiative and creativity” that, according to them, the capitalist system (and only the capitalist system) makes possible, and the great wealth this has created for people in this country especially. And they continually slander communism as a repressive system where people have no freedom and their initiative and creativity is not encouraged and rewarded but stifled and suppressed. All this is fundamentally wrong and completely upside-down.

First of all, the wealth that these people boast about is extremely unevenly distributed, even within this country, where a very small percentage of the people control the great bulk of the wealth. But, beyond that and more essentially, this wealth rests on a foundation of unspeakable crimes against humanity, historically and right up to the present time. To begin with:

The USA is a country which established its territory and built the foundation of its wealth through the armed conquest of land, genocide, slavery, and ruthless exploitation of successive waves of immigrants to America.1

And today, “the wealth and power of the U.S. rests today on a worldwide system of imperialist exploitation”—an international network of sweatshops, mines and corporate-controlled farms—“that ensnares hundreds of millions, and ultimately billions, of people in conditions hardly better than those of slaves.”2

This system of capitalism-imperialism—a system resting on ruthless exploitation, and super-exploitation, of masses of people, and marked by the cut-throat competition between major capitalist enterprises and financial institutions, and rivalry between capitalist states—suffocates the freedom, initiative and creativity of billions of human beings (the great majority of the more than seven billion people on the earth) including the huge numbers of children who are slaving away at near-starvation wages, and the vast masses of people who have been uprooted from the countryside, throughout the Third World (of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) and are crowded into swelling shantytown slums in rapidly expanding urban areas, where most can only survive by hustling in the “informal” economy, legal and illegal.

The freedom, creativity and initiative of literally billions of women is suffocated and suppressed, often with extreme brutality, under this system, with the patriarchal male supremacy that is built into it.

Tens of millions of people have died, and countries have been devastated, in wars directly waged by rival imperialists (such as World Wars 1 and 2), or wars in which they have backed contending local forces—all to gain (or maintain) control of strategic parts of the world, in the bloody pursuit of key natural resources, markets, and domination of populations whose desperation leaves them vulnerable to life-stealing exploitation.

Here is a “snapshot” of the ugly reality beneath all the grand talk about the “greatness” of this system of capitalism-imperialism:

we live in a world where large parts of humanity live in stark poverty, with 2.3 billion people lacking even rudimentary toilets or latrines and huge numbers suffering from preventable diseases, with millions of children dying every year from these diseases and from starvation, while 150 million children in the world are forced to engage in ruthlessly exploited child labor, and the whole world economy rests on a vast network of sweatshops, employing large numbers of women who are regularly subjected to sexual harassment and assault, a world where 65 million refugees have been displaced by war, poverty, persecution, and the effects of global warming.3

And the very future of humanity is seriously, and increasingly, endangered by this system with its accelerating destruction of the environment as well as its ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation.

Within the U.S. itself (this “richest of all countries”) tens of millions, especially in the inner cities, are living in conditions of severe deprivation, with many denied the opportunity to find work at a “living wage,” or denied the opportunity to be employed at all (in the regular “formal economy”) while they are also subjected to discrimination in education, housing, health care, and every other dimension of society—with all this enforced through continual police terror, punctuated repeatedly by outright murder.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has both highlighted and heightened the profound inequalities, in the world as a whole, and within this country, as people who were already bitterly oppressed and impoverished, and denied access to decent health care, have been hit hardest by this pandemic.

And, even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, with its crushing effects on the livelihood of masses of people, tens of millions in this country who had been regularly employed were living paycheck-to-paycheck, striving to provide for loved ones and hoping to provide a better future for their children, with many saddled with huge debt and only a serious health crisis away from financial ruin, while their work created wealth for a capitalist (or capitalist corporation) dictating the conditions of work, treating people as cogs in a machine or in many cases the extension of a machine—whether on an assembly line or a computer—work that, in these conditions, can only be alienating and mind-numbing.

In these (and countless other) ways, this system crushes and deadens the human spirit as well as grinding away the life—or outright stealing the life—of billions of people in every part of the world.

Think of the tremendous waste—and outright destruction—of human potential that results from all this. All this is the consequence of the fact that the world, and the masses of humanity, are forced to live under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism

All this is the basis on which a relatively small part of the people within this country, and a very small part of humanity as whole, has the conditions and the “freedom” to develop and apply their initiative and creativity—only to have this serve, under this system, to reinforce the “lopsided,” highly unequal and profoundly oppressive conditions in the world as a whole and for the masses of people in the world.

And all this is completely unnecessary.

Revolution, the New Communism and the Unleashing of Human Potential

Even under these conditions imposed by this outmoded, monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism, creativity bursts through repeatedly in many different ways—and notably in music, literature and other expressions of art and culture—from every part of society and every part of the world, including among those most downpressed and despised by this system and its rulers. Think of how much greater this creativity could be—and all the ways it could be unleashed to meet the needs of the masses of people, materially as well as culturally—if the ways in which billions are chained down and suffocated by this system were shattered and cast off through revolution.

Through the decades of work I have carried out, drawing crucial lessons from the previous experience (positive but also negative) of the communist movement and a wide range of human experience, I have developed a more consistently scientific communist theory, the new communism, which provides the basis for leading this revolution: the methods and principles, and the strategy for carrying out this revolution and, in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and much better society, on an entirely new foundation—a radically different economic system (mode of production) based not on exploiting the masses of people but on unleashing their creativity and initiative to do away with exploitation and oppression of every kind.4 With this socialist mode of production the means of production (land, raw materials, machinery and other technology, factories and other physical structures, and so on) will be publicly owned (not privately owned by capitalist exploiters locked in chaotic and destructive competition and rivalry). This public ownership will make it possible to marshal and utilize the resources of society in a planned and flexible way, to meet people’s needs, both materially (for food, shelter, health care, and so on) and culturally and intellectually, in a continually expanding wayand to respond in a timely way to unforeseen developments and emergencies, while supporting the revolutionary struggle worldwide toward the goal of eliminating all exploitation and oppression everywhere with the achievement of communism throughout the world.

With this mode of production, people’s initiative and creativity will be encouraged and fostered, and there will be the basis for people to apply this initiative and creativity, in unprecedented ways, in the interests of the masses of people, and ultimately all of humanity: Everyone will be able to work and to acquire the basis for a decent life, while contributing to the development of society on the road to overcoming exploitation, inequality and oppression—contributing through their ideas as well as their work—without being forced into relentless competition with each other in order to survive, or striving to advance at the expense of others (a poisonous way of thinking that will be continually struggled against).

It is a fundamental understanding and principle of communism, which is given great emphasis in the new communism, that people are the most important productive force—not just as “producers” of the social wealth but also as conscious participants in the planning and overall development of the economy, not only for the benefit of the people in the particular country but most fundamentally to serve the revolutionary transformation of the entire world toward the goal of communism. And:

The development of the socialist economy has as its source and relies upon the initiative and work, intellectual as well as physical, of the masses of people, of the members of society broadly, in conditions which are increasingly freed from relations of exploitation, and with the aim of overcoming all vestiges and aspects of such relations, and the effects of such relations, not only in... [a particular socialist country] but everywhere on the earth.5

Along with, and fundamentally on the basis of, this radically different mode of production, there will be radically different political institutions and processes, and an ongoing struggle to transform the social relations which have embodied oppression, with the goal of abolishing and uprooting all relations of oppression as well as exploitation. There will be a radically different approach to education and culture—one which fosters and unleashes the scientific curiosity and artistic creativity of masses of people and “embraces” all this and enables it to contribute, “through many divergent paths, to the advance along a broad road toward the goal of communism.”6 There will be a radically different relation with the rest of the world—not exploiting and super-exploiting people around the world but supporting the struggle everywhere to throw off the rule of exploiters and oppressors and advance toward the goal of eliminating and uprooting all exploitation and oppression. And there will be a radically different relation with the environment—where human beings, instead of being chained to a system that plunders and destroys the rest of nature, are working together to be fit caretakers of the earth.

This will be a new society aiming for a whole new world, without the suffocation, suppression, and disfiguring of the potential for the masses of humanity to understand and change the world in accordance with what are in fact the fundamental interests of humanity—to live in a world where no part of humanity is subordinated to and dictated to by another part, and where all of humanity is no longer dictated to by the fundamental workings and dynamics of a system that requires antagonistic relations among people, enforced with the continual threat and use of massive violence, where the masses of humanity are no longer reduced to merely a means to make wealth for a small number who rule over them, or are cast off as “surplus” populations that can no longer be exploited in this way.

This new society and world will not be some kind of “utopia” where all problems and difficulties have “magically disappeared”—and it will not come as a “gift” from some non-existent god—but will be the result of the struggle of masses of people to cast off unbearable exploitation and oppression, and to transform themselves and their thinking in close inter-connection with this struggle to transform their conditions—struggle led by those who have taken up the scientific method and approach of the new communism and are winning growing numbers of people to themselves take up and apply this scientific method and approach to transforming the world in an increasingly conscious way on the basis of their voluntary initiative and cooperation.

All this will involve whole new dimensions of freedom, and unleashed initiative and creativity of the masses of humanity, on this whole new foundation, with radically different institutions and relations among people, and radically different ways of thinking that correspond to these emancipating relations among people.

 


1. From The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Video of this speech by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us.  [back]

2. BAsics 1:4 (Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian). This statement by Bob Avakian is originally from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, which is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.  [back]

3. This is from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make RevolutionVideo and the text of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us.  [back]

4. The strategy for revolution is spoken to in depth in the speech by Bob Avakian Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (video and the text of which are available at revcom.us), and further thinking on this is contained in A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution (which is also available at revcom.us). The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

5. From Article I, Section 2, sub-section A2, page 19 of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. The principles and guidelines for the development of the socialist economy are more fully laid out in Article IV of this Constitution.  [back]

6. From the “Preamble” to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.  [back]

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

See also:

Four Months Into the Global COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis...
Notes on the Utter Cruelty and Obscene Irrationality of Capitalism-Imperialism

by Raymond Lotta

Read more

The New Communism

Click to read and download (PDF)

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)

 

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Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/646/bob-avakian-on-emancipation-from-mental-slavery-all-oppression-en.html

Bob Avakian On
EMANCIPATION
FROM MENTAL SLAVERY AND ALL OPPRESSION

| revcom.us

 

In 1863, mid-way in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finally issued the Emancipation Proclamation and, as a result of the Civil War, Black people were formally freed from literal, physical slavery. But today the question is: When, and how, will Black people finally be free from all forms of slavery and oppression? And this poses straight-up this big question:

When will Black people finally emancipate themselves from the mental slavery of religion?!

We have seen the possibility of a world without oppression powerfully expressed in the not-too-distant past, during the radical upsurge that took place within this country and throughout the world during the 1960s and early 1970s.1 Within this country, the struggle of Black people was at the forefront of all this, and as that struggle became more radical in opposition to the system itself, and groups like the Black Panther Party, driven by the impatience and daring of Black youth, grew and gained influence, the advanced role of the struggle for Black liberation exerted an even more powerful positive role. And, as a very significant part of the widely and strongly held conviction that it was not only necessary but possible to put an end to the nightmare that had been endured for so long:

among Black people—who we’re always told are just sort of inherently religious—there was a massive turning away from religion, especially among the youth. Why? Because people were filled with hope, they didn’t believe that there was no hope for a better world. They were full of hope for a better world right in this world. And so, among Black people, there was, on the part of the youth in particular, a major turning away from religion and from all the old conventions that went along with religion that were conservatizing influences holding down the people.2

Hard Truths, Emancipating Truths

But the great promise of the 1960s radical upsurge, and the hopes that it raised, were not realized—fundamentally because things did not go all the way to an actual revolution. And, over the decades since then, through conscious policy by the ruling powers to foster the growth of more bourgeois and petit bourgeois strata among Black people, while at the same time maintaining and containing the masses of Black people in conditions of deprivation, oppression and vicious repression, this bitter reality has resulted:

Among the basic masses of people, including Black people (not the more middle class strata being developed through conscious ruling class policy, but the masses of oppressed people), there was a tremendous amount of demoralization and sense of defeat, and the introduction (including through deliberate ruling class policy and action) of massive amounts of drugs further intensified the desperate conditions of the basic masses and further reinforced the sense of demoralization. A lot of people were dying or being reduced to broken wretches on the basis of turning to drugs out of despair—the lack of hope, or the death, in immediate terms, of the hope that inspired so many people, on a real basis, through the course of the 1960s upsurge, which had now ebbed and been transformed. And this situation was made even more desperate and demoralizing with the growth of gangs in the ghettos and barrios of this country (as well as internationally), with youth drawn to the gangs in conditions of increasing deprivation and desperation and what was for most the illusion of getting rich, with the orientation of “get rich or die trying,” fueled by the growth of the drug trade and the influence of the putrid culture promoted throughout society that fostered and extolled the exploitation and degradation of others as the means for making it big, whether on Wall Street and on the world stage, or on the streets in the neighborhoods of the inner city.3

In the face of all this, amidst a feeling of fatalistic hopelessness, there has been, on the part of large numbers of Black people, a retreat into religion. It is often claimed that religion is what has allowed Black people to endure and persevere through all the trials and tribulations—the very real horrors—they have been subjected to throughout their experience in America, and that this remains the case now. But this is a logic of defeat—it rests on the underlying assumption (spoken or unspoken) that the system will basically remain as it has been, and that Black people will continue to be despised and discriminated against, persecuted, brutalized and terrorized, and the best they can hope for is to somehow survive, and strive to thrive, through all this—or, if you suffer in this life but you “get right with the Lord,” or submit to Allah, you will be rewarded in some “next life.”

Once more, the question is sharply posed: How can Black people be finally and fully emancipated from centuries of oppression, and how does this relate to ending all oppression, of all people, everywhere?

The answer is that the possibility of this is real, but it can happen only on the basis of a scientific approach to changing the world and the scientifically-grounded understanding that this oppression is rooted in and caused by the system of capitalism-imperialism—the same system that is viciously exploiting and murderously oppressing people not just in this country but all over the world and is plundering the natural environmentand that this system must and can be overthrown through an actual revolution and replaced by a radically different and far better system: socialism, whose final goal is a communist world, without any oppression or exploitation of anyone, anywhere.

As I have put it, expressing a simple and basic truth: “in fundamental terms, we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—ormake revolution!”4

And, in relation to this, I have also spoken to this profound truth:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.5

But here is another way that, in fundamental terms, there are two choices: either cling to the mental slavery of religion and remain oppressed, or cast off the mental chains of religion while rising up to fight with a real chance to get finally and fully free, in putting an end to all oppression and exploitation.

Religion may seem to give people comfort in the face of the oppression and anguish they are forced to endure, or to make people feel that with religion they can keep from “doing wrong”—or, even though they may “do wrong,” they still have some worth. And it is true that, for some people, their religious views are a motivation to fight against various forms of oppression, and many people who approach things from a religious standpoint have insights and knowledge that it is important to know about and learn from. But it is also true that, as a way of thinking and a guide to acting, religion relies on the invention of supernatural beings that do not exist but which are said to ultimately shape and control reality, including the fate of human beings. Religion calls on people to submit to those imaginary supernatural beings (or, to very human authorities speaking in the name of those imaginary supernatural beings) and to follow scriptures that in reality do not lead to ending oppression but actually promote and reinforce all kinds of degradation and horror. (This is something I have illustrated very concretely in the book Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, particularly with regard to the three main monotheistic [one-god] religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.6) In this way religion stands in direct opposition to taking up a consistently scientific approach to understanding reality and waging a scientifically-grounded fight to end all oppression.

This is why the powers-that-be, whose very existence, wealth and power rest on oppression and exploitation, continually promote religion. It is why the very same slavemasters who prohibited Black people from learning to read (and severely punished those who did) actively encouraged their slaves to take up religion and get down on their knees in prayer. And it is why today, the ruling powers in this country are only too willing to provide a platform for, and parade around, any Black people who are inclined to engage in passionate “god-talk.” This may be painful to hear, but the question is: is it true, or not? Think about it.

It is neither possible nor principled—and no one should ever try—to force people to give up beliefs they hold at any given time. In the most fundamental terms, emancipation—from every form of slavery and oppression—must be the voluntary and conscious act of people. But there is a great need and importance to waging ideological struggle, in a principled way but as sharply as necessary, to win people to take up a scientific approach to understanding, and changing, the world and break with ways of thinking that actually contribute to keeping them, and others, oppressed.

Again, it is true that many religious people take part now in important struggles against oppression; and it is also true that many religious people will be among the millions taking part in the revolution to do away with this whole oppressive system. But this revolution, and the continuing struggle to end all oppression and bring about real and complete emancipation, must be led by those, among the most oppressed, and others as well, who have taken up a scientific approach to changing the world and have cast off the mental slavery of religion, along with every other way of thinking that promotes, or at least rationalizes and objectively justifies, oppression.

A bitter truth is this:

Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.7

But, an even greater, emancipating truth is this:

The notion of a god, or gods, was created by humanity, in its infancy, out of ignorance. This has been perpetuated by ruling classes, for thousands of years since then, to serve their interests in exploiting and dominating the majority of people and keeping them enslaved to ignorance and irrationality.

Bringing about a new, and far better, world and future for humanity means overthrowing such exploiting classes and breaking free of and leaving behind forever such enslaving ignorance and irrationality.8

 


1. In HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASISBreaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism (available at revcom.us), Bob Avakian speaks to this major change taking place during the 1960s:

In the 1960s, masses of people all over the world, including in this country, were filled with hope and determination about the prospect of bringing into being a radically different and better world. Throughout the Third World, there were liberation struggles aimed at throwing off the yoke of colonial oppression that had been imposed on them for decades, generations and even centuries. And in the imperialist countries themselves—including, in particular, the U.S.—the generation that came of age in the 1960s had both the understanding of the need and a real belief in the possibility of bringing a radically different and better world into being, and was not interested in hearing all the arguments about why things had to be the way they are.  [back]

2. HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS.

In Bob Avakian Responds to Mark Rudd on the Lessons of the 1960s and the Need for an Actual Revolution (available at revcom.us), this point is emphasized:

in moving from the limitations of the civil rights movement to the more advanced position of demanding Black liberation and linking this with liberation struggles in the Third World, those Black revolutionaries exerted a powerful positive force in influencing the movements of those times, including among educated youth, toward a more revolutionary orientation, even as that orientation was (in the parlance of those times) a “mixed bag,” involving a complex of conflicting tendencies, including the revolutionary communism that was coming from China as well as various revolutionary nationalist and other contradictory trends.  [back]

3. HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS.  [back]

4. In the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, from which this quote is drawn, Bob Avakian speaks to those crucial questions. The text and video of this speech are available at revcom.us. And in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, (available at revcom.us) there is a sweeping vision and a concrete blueprint for a socialist society aiming for the final goal of communism throughout the world.  [back]

5. This statement, along with other works by Bob Avakian speaking to the oppression of Black people and the road to their full emancipation, is available at revcom.us.  [back]

6. Bob Avakian, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, Insight Press, 2008.  [back]

7. BAsics 4:1 (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian).  [back]

8. BAsics 4:17, emphasis added.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/donate-to-the-national-revolution-tour-en.html

Donate to the National Revolution Tour...

| revcom.us

 

Here are the ways:

  • Venmo: @RevolutionTour
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  • Send a check or money order,
    payable to RCP Publications and earmark it for National Revolution Tour. Mail to:
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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/critical-message-in-crucial-times-from-the-revcoms-en.html

A Critical Message in Crucial Times from the Revcoms

| revcom.us

 

To the readers of this site and to all friends and comrades of the revcoms:

We are in unprecedented times, uncharted territory; Trump has not only continued but doubled down on his effort toward a coup—toward illegally overturning the election and installing a fascist regime. Go here and here to get a sense of what has been done in just this last week and the stakes for humanity in this juncture; go herehereand here for a deeper analysis of the roots and dynamics of this very American fascism; and here to find out how people are acting to stop this.

On this site, and on the YouTube channel of the RNL—Revolution Nothing Less—Show, you will get the deepest, most scientific analysis available. For the next several days, we will post daily; come here every day to read it, then spread it. Check the RNL YouTube channel as well for timely posts.

Like many of you, we too are agonizing over the danger and damage of what is unfolding and how to mount a response commensurate to this challenge. The top Democrats pooh-pooh and “what-me-worry” this—“they can do what they want, but Biden will be president on January 21,” said Chuck Schumer, blowing off what many others have correctly called an unprecedented threat to the rule of law and the Constitution.  

All too many other people—the “decent people” who should be fighting this—are keeping their heads down and hoping the storm will pass over.  

In fact, we face extraordinary danger. “Waiting it out and hoping for the best” has throughout history proved disastrous at similar crossroads and will almost certainly do so now as well, if not today then tomorrow or the day after. So we will, in addition to making timely analysis in these next critical days, pose questions to and dialogue with you, our readers, on what is to be done to meet this challenge.

Stay tuned; and stay ready.

See:

Vicious And Unhinged, Gangster And Utterly Groundless

Trump's Fascist Moves To Overturn Election Intensify

Read more

Fascists are gathering on the 6th in DC, in an extraordinary attempt from within and without the halls of power, to overturn the election.

Go here to find out more on this and for the background on where this fascism came from and its deep roots.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/what-you-need-to-know-wednesday-january-6-2021-en.html

What You Need to Know: Wednesday, January 6, 2021

| revcom.us

 

Today will be an important, perhaps pivotal, day in Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election and carry out a fascist coup. Two big things will be happening, and there are important things to do in the face of that.

One: the Senate is supposed to officially confirm Joe Biden’s win in the electoral college. After this, there is no path with even a phony pretense of “legality” through which Trump could claim the presidency. Trump could then only hold onto it through a naked show of force—one form or another of a military coup.

Republicans in the Congress have organized to stop or at the minimum block and delay the process long enough for a special provision in the law to possibly click in which would allow the decision to shift to the House of Representatives, where the Republicans could win. Trump’s vice-president, Pence, will preside over this ceremony. Trump has openly demanded that Pence declare the votes of certain states that voted against Trump null and void, and through that ploy to illegally give Trump the victory.

Let’s recognize, and lead others to recognize, what this is: an attempt to illegally overturn the election to install fascism in power.

Two: Trump has supported calls for mass demonstrations demanding that the results of the election be overturned and has promised to speak at one. This will be the third of such demonstrations since the election; the last one was marked by organized assaults against anyone the fascists suspected of not being loyal to Trump. The fascist white supremacist Proud Boys tore down Black Lives Matter banners at historically Black churches. Refuse Fascism has called on people to protest this in various ways. Some of the fascists have vowed to stay in DC for the rest of the week.

An Explosive Mix

These two developments taken together create an explosive mix. All eyes will be—and should be—on DC.

In this context, people who oppose this fascism should be urgently getting word out on social media of the need to actually recognize what this is, call this out, get organized to fight it and take up some of the measures being called for by Refuse Fascism right now. Over the past two days, Sunsara Taylor has hosted important programs around this juncture on listener-supported Pacifica radio. These shows featured Andy Zee, Cornel West, and Reverend William H. Lamar IV from the Metropolitan AME church in DC (which was attacked earlier this month by the Proud Boys) yesterday (go here to see a video version); and Carl Dix and Michael Coard on Monday (go here). 

If you have not watched these shows, watch them, NOW; and if you have, then spread them, as far as you possibly can. These speakers break down the present-day danger and historical roots of what’s going on, making clear the political stakes to all who remain blind to this; and they struggle hard with the self-seeking individualism, obliviousness, and spinelessness that this system has imbued and reinforced in people. Get these out as a whole, or make clips of them, but get them out.

If you who are reading this take part in any actions today, get word of this to revcom.us by writing to: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

Other Significant Developments

Also yesterday: at least one Democratic candidate for the Senate—Raphael Warnock, the Black pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the historic church of Martin Luther King Jr.—won a “runoff” election against fascist Kelly Loeffler for one of the Senate seats from Georgia. Loeffler, a fascist lapdog, had vowed to support Trump’s coup attempt today in the Senate. In a second Senate race, the Democrat Jon Ossoff is running ahead of the Trumpite fascist David Perdue. If both are defeated, this will objectively represent a repudiation of Trump—who campaigned for them the Monday before the election, focusing almost entirely on his demand to overturn Georgia’s electoral win for Biden.

Finally: on Tuesday, the district attorney in Kenosha, Wisconsin refused to indict police for shooting Jacob Blake seven times in the back, almost murdering him and, in the process, paralyzing him. This utterly groundless and outrageous decision drives home again the basic point made by Bob Avakian: 

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To 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. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness. (Basics 1:24)

And the fact that:

White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly “stitched together” through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apartWhite supremacy and capitalism—it is not possible to overcome and finally abolish the one without overthrowing and finally abolishing the other. (From Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution, a speech by Bob Avakian)

This outrageous injustice should forcefully remind us: the urgent fight to prevent a fascist America must be built as part of a larger fight—the fight to make revolution in the U.S. as part of the worldwide struggle to emancipate humanity from all forms of exploitation, oppression, antagonistic conflicts and the suffocation of the spirit.

WHAT IS THE DANGER OF TRUMP'S ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION?

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See:

Vicious And Unhinged, Gangster And Utterly Groundless

Trump's Fascist Moves To Overturn Election Intensify

Read more

Fascists are gathering on the 6th in DC, in an extraordinary attempt from within and without the halls of power, to overturn the election.

Go here to find out more on this and for the background on where this fascism came from and its deep roots.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/danger-of-trumps-attempt-to-overturn-the-election-en.html

WHAT IS THE DANGER OF TRUMP'S ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION?

| revcom.us

 

Andy Zee: The Danger is FASCISM...

Cornel West on what's going on in DC and the importance of Refuse Fascism

Watch the entire discussion

An important roundtable hosted by Sunsara Taylor, host of We Only Want the World and co‑host of The RNL Show, featuring:

  • Rev. William H. Lamar IV, pastor of the Metropolitan A.M.E. church in Washington, D.C. which was attacked by Proud Boys during the last MAGA Overturn rally
  • Dr. Cornel West, revolutionary Christian, activist/scholar, co-host of The Tightrope podcast, and co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org
  • Andy Zee, host of The RNL — Revolution, Nothing Less — Show, follower of the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian, and co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org

If you want to be inspired, challenged and provoked to think deeply and likely in new ways about the danger posed by this fascist coup attempt; questions of science, faith and morality; revolution and the fight for emancipation; and more... all in the service of waging and winning the fight against fascism and for emancipation... then watch! Then, spread it and act on it together with others. 

 


Refuse Fascism co-initiator Sunsara Taylor hosts a round-table discussion on We Only Want the World on WPFW-FM in D.C. with Carl Dix and Michael Coard two days before Trump's fascist enablers in Congress try to overturn the election results, and his violent fascist supporters descend on D.C.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/pigs-walk-free-in-the-shooting-of-jacob-blake-en.html

Pigs Walk Free in the Shooting of Jacob Blake

| revcom.us

 

As a fascist coup attempt is taking place in the halls of Congress and the streets of Washington, DC to overturn the election of Biden as president, in Wisconsin on January 5 the District Attorney for Kenosha County announced that no charges would be brought against the cop who shot Jacob Blake in August. Shot in the back seven times in the front of his small children and captured in a video the whole world witnessed. 

This non-indictment of a murdering cop is completely in line with the stance of the Trump/Pence fascist regime on policing. After all, this is a regime headed by a genocidal racist who went to Kenosha to praise the police after they shot Jacob Blake, and met with the sheriff who had called for Black males to be warehoused until they perished. A fascist leader who considers the Black Lives Matter movement to be terrorist, and who has bragged, “Trump loves cops and cops love Trump!” Trump's pit bull Attorney General William Barr argued that the police shooting was justified right after it happened, in keeping with this regime's Department of “Justice” not bringing a single indictment against a police officer for killing or brutalizing anyone in its four years.

This summer, all across the country, day after day, people were protesting George Floyd's murder by police. In Kenosha, after Jacob Blake was shot, people there rose up in a fury, night after night demanding justice for Jacob Blake. Curfews, National Guard, tear gas and brutal repression met the protesters, but no arrests of the cops involved in the horrific shooting happened. Instead, two people taking part in the protests were shot dead by a teenage reactionary vigilante. The fascist media/movement turned that killer (Rittenhouse) into a hero, and raised two million dollars for bail to get him out of jail. Jacob Blake, who underwent multiple surgeries and is paralyzed from the waist down and undergoing intensive rehab, probably spent more time in the hospital than Rittenhouse spent in jail.

This is America's war on Black people. But it gets worse.

DA Acts as Defense Attorney for the Murdering Pig 

The case was never presented to a grand jury. The “press conference” announcing the non-indictment of the pig was a 90+ minute presentation by the District Attorney of Kenosha and an “independent, outside use-of-force expert” that was broadcast live. It could have been—NO, IT WAS—really the opening statement of a defense attorney for the cop who shot Jacob Blake. Under the guise of explaining why he was not going to charge the cop with anything, the DA put Jacob Blake on trial and blamed him for controlling his own shooting. Complete with slides and “evidence” that he claimed showed that the cop was justified in shooting Jacob Blake because there was supposedly a history of domestic violence, along with the claim that there was a warrant out for Jacob Blake which somehow justified trying to murder him within 65 seconds after the cops arrived on the scene. 65 seconds! 

The DA claimed that Jacob Blake, who was walking away from the gun-brandishing cops, turned a little when one cop grabbed his shirt to stop him as he got near the car where young children sat in the backseat—and that slight move threatened the cop’s life. This police murder of Black people is built into the law in this country—all that a killer cop has to do is say they “feared for their life.”    

But it got worse. The DA claimed that if there were a trial of the cop, Jacob Blake would be THE key witness, even though there were many eyewitnesses. The DA declared that Blake would be proven to be a liar so the cop would be acquitted!  

On a critical issue, the DA claimed Blake had a knife at some point while the use-of-force expert seemed to admit that Blake did NOT have a knife when he was shot. Regardless, Blake was clearly walking AWAY from the cops and he had his back to them.

Yet it got worse. The “use-of-force expert,” the Black former police chief of Madison, Wisconsin, purported to show why firing seven shots was justified. This pig had the nerve to go into some completely unrelated case where a man had killed his children and claiming that was the reason they had to shoot Blake in front of his children—to protect them! Blake’s son’s birthday, which was being celebrated that day, will be forever tied to seeing his father shot.

65 seconds... 7 shots... 0 indictments.

As Carl Dix wrote in a recent article on the non-indictment of the Cleveland cops who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice:

This regime's DOJ didn't bring a single indictment against a police officer for killing or brutalizing anyone in its four years.  At the same time, the refusal to indict this killer cop bears the stamp of the capitalist-imperialist system we live under. Law enforcement officers have killed hundreds of people every year for decades. Many of these victims of killer cops were unarmed and doing nothing wrong when their lives were stolen by those who are sworn to protect and serve. Killer cops are almost never punished for their crimes. While Trump's DOJ didn't indict a single cop in its four years, Obama's [and Biden's] DOJ only indicted one cop in its eight years—Michael Slager, a white cop who shot Walter Scott in the back in South Carolina in April of 2015 and whose state trial ended in a mistrial.

The murder of Tamir Rice [it is painful to say that you can substitute many other names of people killed and maimed by the police here—Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Jacob Blake... the list goes on and on] was no isolated incident. It is typical of the wanton murder and brutality that police perpetrate disproportionately against Black people. Together with mass incarceration, it forms the spearhead of a slow genocide targeting Black people. These horrors are unacceptable and must be stopped. As Bob Avakian said in the article “Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System”: “It is not only right but crucially important to rise up and wage a determined fight against this, but it is also crucial to recognize that this racist oppression will never be, can never be eliminated under this system—and to finally put an end to it, we need a radically different system.” This radically different system is not only necessary—it's possible. It can be brought into being through revolution...


Kenosha, September 1. Photo: twitter/therevcoms

Kenosha, September 1. Photo: twitter/therevcoms

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/fascists-storm-capital-we-cannot-sit-by-en.html

FASCISTS STORM CAPITOL...WE CANNOT SIT BY

| revcom.us

 

Tens of thousands of fascists, many of them armed, succeeded in stopping the final step of the official reporting and certification of Joe Biden’s clear-cut victory in the presidential election. They overcame police, took over the halls of Congress, vandalized offices, and forcibly drove the members of Congress out to take shelter.

This was nothing short of a coup attempt, called for by Trump, and backed up by mob violence.

The crowd had been riled up by one of Trump’s hour-long recitations of his groundless “grievances.” He called on the crowd to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and “be strong”—essentially a call to intimidate the “weak” Republicans who were not going along with his attempted coup—following up on Giuliani’s call for “trial by combat.” Hours into the violence, Trump refused to call his shock troops off, asking them only to “remain peaceful”—when they were not remotely peaceful in the first place; only under great pressure did he finally call on people to go home, hours after the paroxysm of reactionary violence.

There can be no more waiting. The need for the “decent people” to make clear their determination to stop this fascist danger has been overdue for years, and longer. Today is the payment for the passivity in the face of Charlottesville, of refugee children ripped from their parents and abandoned in cages, of the violent attacks on and unanswered defamation of the movement for Black lives.

So let’s learn that lesson. Now must be the time—nonviolently, in massive numbers—but now to stand up. To wait longer, to hold back amounts to capitulation. Even if these fascists are dispersed—and that is far from certain—there must be a powerful show of revulsion at what these people stand for and where they are hell-bent on taking this country... and the world.

Nobody can deny or should want to deny the shock and foreboding of seeing the rabid dogs of fascism rampage through the streets of DC.

The danger is NOW.

The time to stand up for humanity is NOW.

Follow @therevcoms

WHAT IS THE DANGER OF TRUMP'S ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN THE ELECTION?

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WPFW 89.3 "We Only Want the World" hosted by Sunsara Taylor, joined by Carl Dix, revolutionary communist and follower of Bob Avakian, and Michael Coard, lawyer and activist.

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/refuse-fascism-now-is-the-time-to-act-no-fascist-coup-en.html

| revcom.us

 

From RefuseFascism.org:

Now Is the Time to Act
No to a Fascist Coup!
TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

7 January 2021 For Immediate Release 
Contact: 202 556 3906 
Follow @RefuseFascism on social media 
Interviews with RefuseFascism.org Spokespeople Available

SATURDAY JANUARY 9 NATIONWIDE PROTESTS

On Wednesday, January 6th, we saw President Trump call forth and unleash fascist mobs to storm the U.S. Capitol.

This was an attempt at a coup. It did not succeed this time, but the danger from even a failed coup is to be taken seriously, setting the stage for them to come back sooner or later to re-seize power – with or without Trump. It leaves a bloc of elected officials who view and act as if the Biden administration is illegitimate and an armed street-fighting force “on call” to dominate the public square. They will continue to fight for their white supremacist, xenophobic, and patriarchal program. And, they will continue to undermine the very concept of truth – leaving tens of millions to be susceptible to the calls of demagogues and the vilest conspiracy theories.

Trump is still in power. There are 13 days in which he and/or his followers present a real and present danger to humanity.

The question is: will the “decent people” make clear our determination and act to stop this fascist danger? A united, public show of revulsion against Trump and a repudiation of his regime’s fascist program – through non-violent, sustained protest and resistance – has been overdue for years.

Biden won. But the streets and the discourse has been dominated by Trump and his followers. To cede the public square has consequences. We saw this on January 6. That’s why on Thursday January 7 at 5pm in cities across the country, Refuse Fascism is calling for safe social distance non-violent protests. It is time for people to stand up and say No more! No to the fascist coup! Trump/Pence Out Now!

They lost. They need to pack their things and go.

CLICK for RESOURCES: "Trump Lost! Fascists Get Out!" Poster Campaign

JANUARY 7 NATIONWIDE PROTESTS

Atlanta 5:00 pm, Piedmont & 10th St.  Boston 5:00 pm South Station, Main Entrance  Cleveland 5:00 pm East 55th & Carnegie Avenue  Chicago 5:00 pm Chicago Trump Tower  Houston 5:00 pm Montrose & Wertheimer  Detroit 5:00 pm Warren & Woodward  New York City 5:00 pm Times Square red steps, 46th & Broadway  Philadelphia 5:00 pm City Hall  Seattle 5:00 pm Westlake park, 4th and Pine

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE:

Andy Zee, host of the RNL - Revolution Nothing Less - Show; co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org; spokesperson for Revolution Books - his talks & writing can be found at Revcom.us and RefuseFascism.org

Sunsara Taylor @SunsaraTaylor is a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism, a co-host of the The RNL – Revolution, Nothing Less – Show, a writer for Revcom.us, and a host on WPFW and WBAI Radio.

Coco Das, National Editorial Board of RefuseFascism.org – @Coco_Das

Carl Dix, Carl Dix is a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and co-initiator with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network@Carl_Dix   

 


Watch On-Air/Online Roundtables - Confronting Trump’s Unprecedented Attempt to Overturn the Election and the January 6 Mobilization of his Violent Supporters in Washington, DC

WATCH ABOVE Jan 5, Roundtable: Sunsara Taylor hosts a discussion with Andy ZeeCornel West, and Rev. William H. Lamar IV, Pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, author of Washington Post op-ed “My church will replace our Black Lives Matter sign. Will America replace its own racist myth?” after his church was vandalized and their Black Lives Banner was burned by Proud Boys on Dec 12.

 

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/on-the-unprecedented-events-in-washington-dc-january-6-en.html

What Happened, Why...and What Must Be Done

ON THE UNPRECEDENTED EVENTS IN WASHINGTON, DC ON JANUARY 6

Updated | revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note and Update, January 11

The following article covers the attempted coup on January 6, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed and occupied Congress for several hours, forcing the senators and representatives to flee for safety and temporarily stopping the congressional certification of Biden’s clear victory in the election.

In response, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has called on Mike Pence to oust Trump from power through using the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which allows the cabinet to remove a president for being “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”) and has said that if they do not, she will move to impeach him. Articles of impeachment have been drafted by House Democrats, focused on Trump’s “incitement of insurrection” and responsibility for fueling the fascist mob violence in the Capitol on January 6, aiming to disrupt and prevent what should have been a routine certification of Biden’s electoral victory.

This is unprecedented, as are the events of the last week, which continue to cascade in their effects with at least five deaths now attributed to the mob-occupation of the Capitol. Because of this, many mainstream Republicans are expressing openness to these moves as well, including Senators like Romney, Toomey, Murkowski, Sasse, and others.

It has also become clearer and clearer that Trump remains extremely dangerous.

He must be prevented from launching a war, possibly even a nuclear war—as any last ditch, desperate effort to retain power in an “emergency” situation, or as a product of being “unhinged.” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went public with her fear by letting everyone know that she had spoken with Joint Chiefs Chair Mark Milley about “‘available precautions’ to prevent Trump from initiating military action abroad or using his sole authority to launch nuclear weapons.” (New York Times, January 9)

The grave danger also remains of Trump mobilizing for and giving leadership to more mayhem and possibly yet another coup attempt, one more serious and dangerous than January 6, especially with a fascist, thuggish base dangerously revved up with the complete and TOTAL lie that Trump won the election and that the stakes are too high for Biden to assume power.

The bottom-line is this: Trump must be removed from office at the soonest possible time and the whole Trump/Pence regime needs to be gone January 20! This is critical from the standpoint of the interests of humanity, heightened by the existential dangers represented by Trump and his regime. Constitutional means like the 25th Amendment, and/or impeachment and a speedy trial, could be key instrumentalities to make this happen. The fact that these are seriously on the table is positive. The question is whether a force from the tens of millions who hate everything Trump stands for and voted against him, and all who were sickened to their soul by the ugly spectacle last Wednesday, will make the demand of OUT NOW with enough moral force and power so that this urgent need will be met.

Two huge things happened on January 6.

First, Donald Trump fomented a coup attempt. He summoned a mob to come to DC to protest on the day that Biden was officially to be certified by Congress as the next president. He stirred up that mob for over an hour, telling them to march to the Capitol to “show strength.” Then he sent the mob to Congress, and refused to even make a show of calling them off for hours. Waving their Confederate, American and Trump flags like battle-axes, some of them armed, they scaled the walls and broke the windows and rampaged almost untouched through the halls, terrorizing legislators and vandalizing offices. Their sole demand: that Donald Trump, who lost the election by a decisive margin, must nevertheless be illegally put into power for four more years.

Second, this coup attempt was beaten back. Senators and Congresspeople from both parties managed to come together to do what they were legally required to do—which was to approve the returns reported by all the states—returns which had already been certified and verified, recounted and litigated—and to take the second-to-the-last step in making Biden officially the president, with the inauguration on January 20 completing the process of the peaceful transfer of power.1

We should pause and ask ourselves what the scenes of broken windows and overturned furniture, howling mobs and cowering legislators and laissez-faire police, tell us about the extremity of the situation. Mainstream commentators are absolutely correct to say that this is unprecedented in modern times, and to reach back to the U.S. Civil War for anything to compare it to. But they do not in any way sufficiently talk about the depth of the conflicts that have given rise to such extreme expressions.

The Threat Is Not Over: Part I

Despite the defeat on Wednesday, this threat has not passed. First, Donald Trump is still in office. According to press reports, his own people in the White House say they are “fearful that Trump could take actions resulting in further violence and death if he remains in office even for a few days”; they talk of a “bunker mentality” and say that he continues to justify the actions of his followers on Wednesday. His mobs are still in the streets of DC—relatively few were arrested by the Capitol Police.2 Other Trumpian mobs took to the streets in other cities.

But it’s much more than the mob. Nearly 150 Republican congresspeople, including the two leaders of the Republican delegation, along with seven Republican senators, STILL voted to illegally deprive Biden of office even after the mob had dispersed. An overnight poll cited in the Washington Post claimed that Republican voters surveyed favored the reactionary rampage by a 45% to 43% margin.

Both for these reasons—and for the more fundamental reason that to allow such a brazen attempt at a fascist coup to go unpunished lest it set a precedent—Trump must be removed from office as soon as possible.

The Threat Is Not Over: Part 2

What happened on January 6 did not begin when Trump called for people to come to DC. It did not begin when Trump became president. It is bigger than Trump. It is deeper than Trump. It is more dangerous than Trump per se—even while Trump has played a critical role in exploiting these divides, and cohering and marshaling somewhat diverse fascist forces.

Why this happened and how this happened are gone into deeply in the work of Bob Avakian (BA), going as far back to the mid-1990s right down to today, analyzing the dynamics of the Trump regime and giving critical direction on how to fight it. If you want to seriously understand what we face—and what went down on Wednesday makes clear the life-and-death nature of such an understanding—you must engage this work.

In short, however, a fascist movement has been built up for over 40 years—one in which a whole section of the population almost literally lives in a different world where their understanding of reality is determined by the reactionary fantasies of Christian schools and fanatical churches, Fox News/talk-radio lunacy and conspiracy websites, etc. These people have been reinforced in their beliefs that the rights fought for and won by Black people and other oppressed nationalities pose a threat to them, or diminish their standing. They are conditioned to perceive the challenges of women to the ways in which they are subordinated, or the recognition of the humanity of LGBTQ people, as something to be squashed. They have been taught to be xenophobic—to hate, or at least look with contempt on, people from other countries. They have been taught to worship the repressive arms of the state—the police and the army—and indeed many of these people are studded throughout those institutions. BA has pointed to the insight of Ron Reagan (the progressive son of the former [fascist] president Ronald Reagan), who remarked that why these people so closely identify with Trump is that he hates the same people they do.

What are some of the key underlying drivers of this overall, decades-long move toward fascism? The U.S. confronts unprecedented challenges around the world—the rise of China as an imperialist rival, the economic and social dislocations of the frenzied globalization of capitalist production, the growth of a vicious Islamic fundamentalism cohering opposition to imperialist domination but on a reactionary basis. In the face of that, driven by a different worldview and changes in U.S. society (including the changing ethnic composition), sections of the U.S. ruling class are—and have been—fighting for a more openly white supremacist and Christian-fascist reordering of U.S. society, as a cohering norm and to contend in a changing world situation.

In short, and as part of this, these fascists are fighting for a different form of rule, an openly dictatorial form in which those who have won some semblance of rights and dignity through bitter struggle under this form of capitalist rule are cast back into even more suffocating subordination, and those who resist, or who want to fight for a better, more just world, receive no rights but the prison cell, or worse.

Many commentators point to many elements on Wednesday—the racism, Trump’s megalomania (lunatic desire for power), the corruption and self-dealing, the terrorizing of opponents—and all these were clearly in play and on display. But at the heart of it—and what has yet to be fully confronted—is the fascism.

What Must Be Done

There is a real need to closely follow and answer the calls of Refuse Fascism in this period as they continue to lead struggle in different forms. This is critical and will be critical, not only until this immediate battle is fully resolved but to continue the struggle against fascism through the Biden administration. In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

At the same time, to reiterate what is said above, getting into BA—really digging into a scientific analysis of where this fascism came from, the threat it poses, and most of all, the way to get beyond a cycle of bouncing between one or another form of an imperialist rule that crushes, suffocates and murders people all over the world (even while fascism is more monstrous and grotesque, posing existential threats to humanity)—this right now is decisive to not just defeating fascism, but the urgently necessary work of actually emancipating humanity and averting ecological catastrophe—now, and in the days and years to come.

 


1. Through key points, a grouping of those who have previously cooperated, even slavishly cooperated, with Trump (people like Vice President Mike Pence and Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell) came down decisively against this move. To these forces, what Trump had been demanding—the overturning of the election results—would create and heighten conflicts within the U.S. and would overall “present a picture” that would be way too damaging to U.S. “standing” around the world in their deadly economic, political and military competition with other imperialist powers. These people are fascists—but they were not ready to stake the whole future of their project on the immediate fate of Donald Trump.  [back]

2. Adding to the outrage, some of those pigs took selfies with members of the mob, along with other forms of approval and even cooperation—a stark comparison to the brutality visited upon demonstrators against racism and police brutality just a few months ago.  [back]


Waving their Confederate, American and Trump flags like battle-axes, some of them armed. MAGA forces scaled walls, broke windows and rampaged almost untouched through the halls, terrorizing legislators and vandalizing offices. (Photo: AP)

Bob Avakian on:
The Need to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime and the Fundamental Need for Revolution

Videos and articles

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org

Now is the Time to Act
No to a Fascist Coup!
TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

MASS DEMONSTRATIONS THIS SATURDAY – JANUARY 9!

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/remarks-from-the-january-7-refuse-fascism-press-conference-en.html

Remarks from the January 7 Refuse Fascism Press Conference

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: The following are short excerpts from rush transcripts of remarks by some of the participants at the January 7 press conference by Refuse Fascism. The press conference announced plans for protests on Saturday, January 9, demanding: Now is the Time to Act. TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW! In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.

The complete press conference.

Hear from: Coco Das, writer, Refuse Fascism Editorial Board; Andy Zee, co‑initiator of RefuseFascism.org and host of The RNL – Revolution Nothing Less – ShowLilly Wachowski, filmmaker; Rosanna Arquette, actress and activist; Cornel West, author, activist, scholar; Rev. William H. Lamar IV, pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC; Arturo O’Farrill, musician; Ruchira Gupta, Indian journalist and activist; Steve Hofstetter, stand-up comedian; Jodie Sweetin, actress and activist.


Andy Zee, co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org and host of The RNL – Revolution Nothing Less – Show

This press conference today is for Refuse Fascism to really bring out what we have to do and what has just happened. Look, we've just gone through a milestone in U.S. history—an attempted self-coup organized by the president. And that is unprecedented. For now, and overwhelmingly likely, this coup has been defeated. But the fascist movement that we have been enduring for four years, at the highest levels of power in the U.S. and thus a world power, will likely be set back for a while, but that may only be a matter of time. We face real danger in the next 13 days and a very stark reality for the whole next period. So the message of today's press conference is that decent people—all those who are opposed to injustice, who care about and who want to work for the future of humanity that is in real existential peril, and is in even greater peril under the rule of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and whatever formation this fascism might take in the future—now at last, people do need to stand up again in appropriate ways in the public square.

(Rosanna Arquette, actress and activist, reads a statement issued by some signatories of the Refuse Fascism Pledge to the People of the World.)


Lilly Wachowski, filmmaker

Here we are at this moment in time where the threshold has been crossed. And what that allows is for a critical eye to be cast on what this movement is, what this fascist movement is, where it’s origins have come from. And that is the Confederacy. This is a white supremacist movement and it has direct ties to the Confederacy... It’s about all of us participating and standing up in this moment. And hopefully we will all have the backbone to do this.


Cornel West, author, activist, scholar

This is a moment in which we have to exercise our own personal integrity in a collective way, grounded in a solidarity with the least of these, those Franz Fanon called the wretched of the earth, because fascism is about the rule of big money and big military, that convince everyday people to scapegoat the most vulnerable rather than confront the most powerful, to downplay the predatory capitalist core of it, to downplay the white supremacist public face, and the other vicious forms of xenophobia. It is anti-Jewish, it is anti-Muslim, it is anti-Arab, it is anti-Palestinian, it is anti-trans, it is anti-gay, it is anti-lesbian, it is anti-all those cast as the degraded “other.” And because the milquetoast, centrist neo-liberals in the establishment of the Democratic Party have not been able to deliver the basic goods of food and shelter and education and Medicare, you end up with these fascist and neo-fascist fellow citizens, many of them catching hell, but directing their rage against the vulnerable rather than being part of a multi-racial struggle trying to overcome the predatory capitalism with its imperial tentacles.


Rev. William H. Lamar IV, pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC

You saw all of the symbolism yesterday, Confederate flags, Trump flags, all of the other symbolism, they raised a cross, and they also put up a noose. And let me be very clear that they were deploying symbols; they were dispatching symbols to communicate that these were the theological and the philosophical, the impetus behind what it is that they were doing... it is very clear that this movement is not so much about liberty, not so much about freedom, not so much about God, as it is about fascist leadership and purging undesirables. The American thirst and hunger to what I call “niggerization,” creating undesirables, dehumanizing Black, Brown, Native, LGBTQIA. We have to be clear that that is underneath what is happening... Our work is to continue to imagine the new world, to disrupt the present order by mobilizing and by turning out human beings willing to risk, willing to put their lives on the line. And finally we must construct together the new world. It is not enough to imagine, not enough to disrupt. But we must build together what is possible and our gathering today of atheist, of Christians, of people of all faith, shows that that is possible regardless of what we see.


Arturo O'Farrill, musician

We’ve got what, 13 days of this mad man—he needs to go. Pence needs to go. The whole thing needs to be thrown out. Every single one of those representatives that contested the election needs to go. And the idea that Black Lives Matter protesters would be met with military style policing, while these protesters were allowed to calmly walk into the Capitol, is just beyond belief. It is complicit, don’t fool yourself. This is complicit violence by the people that are in charge of our lives, and it’s based on racism and on a socio-economic terrorism. And so I urge everyone here to do all that they can, to go out and peacefully march, with masks, but be present, be present in every way that you can. Speak, speak loud, speak often and let people know that this is a fascist regime and it must to go.


Ruchira Gupta, Indian journalist and activist

I'm a journalist. I was born in India, lived in India, and saw the rise of fascism in India... The one thing that I have learned from my experiences, and which is what I want to share with all Americans who are listening in to today's press conference, is that if those who have come out so openly today to attack Capitol Hill are not taken seriously, are not held accountable, then you will fight for every inch of democratic space in the years to come. In India, the same thing happened 25 years ago. We did not take it so seriously. We said: Oh, India is too chaotic for fascism. Every Indian is very argumentative, so we will not allow the fascism to happen. Our democracy is too entrenched. One group of people cannot take over... They did. Because we did not hold them accountable. They were never punished for the demolition of the mosque. They were never punished for the race riots or the caste riots, and the religious riots that were unleashed on minorities after that, to the point that the one year that I've just spent in India, I have had to see every journalist friend who speaks up against this regime being interrogated. Some of them are in jail. One journalist friend was shot dead for investigating a story against this regime on the porch of a house while she was turning the key... And so opposition has been decimated as I speak. And this is the fascist label that I see being replicated in the United States....

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/refuse-fascism-january-9-now-is-the-time-to-act-trump-pence-out-now-en.html

From RefuseFascism.org:

January 9: Now Is the Time to Act TRUMP OUT NOW!
In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

| revcom.us

 

Trump Must GO NOW! In the wake of Trump’s failed fascist coup, we who have been outraged for four years at the Trump/Pence regime and all it has done, need to take to the streets Saturday, January 9. NOW is the moment – as calls ricochet through Congress to impeach Trump because of what he has done and the danger he poses – to put our bodies in the streets. Even before articles of impeachment have been filed, powerful voices – including among the Democrats – are arguing against it, saying that impeachment will undermine Biden’s ability to “reach across the aisle.” NO! This is the logic that got us to what we saw on Wednesday.

The time for silence and passivity is over! Decent people everywhere must stand up and demand: Trump/Pence Out Now!

We demand Trump’s immediate removal to stop the tremendous harm he can do in the next 12 days. We demand this now as part of building the strength of our side for the fight still ahead to decisively defeat this fascism that has been allowed to fester and spew forth.

Trump’s coup attempt did not succeed this time. But the danger from even a failed coup is to be taken seriously, setting the stage for them to come back sooner or later to re-seize power – with or without Trump. It leaves a bloc of elected officials who view and act as if the Biden administration is illegitimate and an armed street-fighting force “on call.” They will continue to fight for their white supremacist, xenophobic, and patriarchal program. They will continue to undermine the very concept of truth – leaving tens of millions to be susceptible to the calls of demagogues and the vilest conspiracy theories

The question is: will the “decent people” make clear our determination and act to stop this fascist danger? A united, public repudiation of Trump and his regime’s fascist program – through non-violent, sustained protest and resistance – has been overdue for years.

Now is the Time to Act
No to a Fascist Coup!
TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

MASS DEMONSTRATIONS THIS SATURDAY – JANUARY 9!

Watch the press conference.
Read the remarks.
Hear from: Coco Das, writer, Refuse Fascism Editorial Board; Andy Zee, co‑initiator of RefuseFascism.org and host of The RNL – Revolution Nothing Less – ShowLilly Wachowski, filmmaker; Rosanna Arquette, actress and activist; Cornel West, author, activist, scholar; Rev. William H. Lamar IV, pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC; Arturo O’Farrill, musician; Ruchira Gupta, Indian journalist and activist; Steve Hofstetter, stand-up comedian; Jodie Sweetin, actress and activist.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/681/statement-of-the-refusefascism-editorial-board-en.html

STATEMENT of the Refuse Fascism Editorial Board JANUARY 9, 2021
Read at rallies in cities across the country on 01/09/21

Trump Must Go Now! Out with the Whole Fascist Cabal!

In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America

| revcom.us

 

It matters that we are out here today – each of you and all of us together.

Last Wednesday, the world witnessed with shock: MAGA mobs storming the U.S. Capitol, climbing the walls, smashing windows, rampaging through the halls and looting Congressional offices—called forth and unleashed by Donald Trump, who could be called the wannabe second president of the Confederacy. Even AFTER this violent siege, 8 GOP senators and 139 representatives (that’s 2/3 of the Republifascists in the House of Representatives) still voted to overturn the election. A new poll yesterday showed that 77% of Republicans still support Trump.

This was an attempted fascist coup and it was years in the making.

That is the word: Fascism. What is that? It’s vigilantes shooting Black Lives Matter protesters. It’s open white supremacy. It’s refugees in concentration camps. It’s paramilitary forces using violence to suppress dissent. It is lie upon lie such that the very concept of what is real and what is true is destroyed. It is outright theocrats dominating the courts. It is the brazen open attempt to overturn of the election of Biden – it is shredding even the pretense of democracy.

Now, Trump MUST GO! The fascists are still rampaging at Statehouses around the country. They are bragging about their accomplishments, threatening further mayhem, and are already making their assault on January 6 a rallying cry to come back. Trump, for his part, is upholding his “stormtroopers” and is reportedly even more bellicose and unhinged. Every day Trump remains in power he poses a catastrophic danger to humanity.

What is more, he must be decisively repudiated – impeached and convicted – which would mean he could never come back to elected office. Even more important, this would be a real setback to the fascist movement he still leads.

This movement is not going away even with Trump removed. There are tens of millions of people, who have been led, organized and shaped in a fascist direction, with their own media and schools and institutions, for over 40 years, to view themselves as the “real America.” There are elected officials at all levels of government who view and will act as if the Biden administration is illegitimate and they now have an armed street-fighting force “on call” filled with revenge. Inside and outside the halls of power they will continue to fight for their white supremacist, xenophobic, and patriarchal program.

And, they will continue to undermine the very concept of truth – leaving tens of millions to be susceptible to the calls of demagogues and the vilest conspiracy theories. IF THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO DESIRE A JUST WORLD, WHO CARE ABOUT HUMANITY, FAIL TO ACT, IT WILL NOT APPEASE THESE FASCISTS; IT WILL LEAVE THEM A CLEAR FIELD TO ADVANCE. WE SAW ON WEDNESDAY WHERE THIS LEADS.

NOW is the moment – as calls ricochet through Congress to impeach Trump – for us to put our bodies in the streets, nonviolent but determined, to demand Trump's immediate removal. Now.

Already there is talk, including by some Democrats, that impeachment would only further divide the country, that it is time to move forward and get to the work of “healing” the country and governing. 

But the road to Wednesday’s fascist coup attempt was paved by this very refusal to hold Trump and his fascists accountable... again and again over four years. Not after Charlottesville. Not after children locked in cages. Not after Trump’s acquittal in a weakly pursued impeachment on very narrow grounds which only cemented Trump’s belief that he was above the law.

This passivity and accommodation must end now. To wait longer, to hold back, amounts to capitulation.

Now must be the time for the decent people to stand up—nonviolently in massive numbers, from many different backgrounds and political perspectives but united in our determination to act.

We demand Trump’s immediate removal to stop the tremendous harm he can do in the next 11 days. We demand this now as part of building the strength of our side for the fight to decisively defeat this fascism that has been allowed to fester and spew forth. Note well: A failed coup can lead to a successful coup or a “legitimate” return to power fueled by the same fascist program but with a vengeance.

The struggle for the future is far from over. Humanity needs us, needs you, to be in the streets, using safe disease prevention protocol but most of all demonstrating our values of respect for diversity and hunger for justice – in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of a vicious American fascism. We must continue to speak and act and call forth others. Our just and necessary demand that Trump be removed from power now must be met, not just for ourselves, but for humanity.

Trump Out Now!

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

REFUSE FASCISM organized protests Saturday, January 9

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

 

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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