Revolution #555, August 6, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution

June 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

 

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

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

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

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

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

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

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

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

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

How We Could Defeat Them

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

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

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

What IS an Actual Revolution?

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people. Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing, for an actual revolution. Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!

 


 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Nighttime Screening of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! in South Central LA and Getting Organized For Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Los Angeles, Saturday night, July 28. Outdoor, night-time screening of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! in the park. People from all walks of life came out and engaged with the leadership that humanity needs as a part of stepping into the movement for an actual revolution.

On Saturday night, July 28, 40 people gathered at a park in South Central LA to watch excerpts of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, a talk by Bob Avakian, the most radical revolutionary on the planet and the architect of the new communism.

This was a lively and exciting scene from the beginning. We scheduled some time to socialize and hang out about an hour before we showed excerpts from the film. We had all of our displays of the “5 Stops” on one side of a giant projector screen, and on the other, there were literature and organizing tables from both the Revolution Club as well as The Bob Avakian Institute. People came from the area right near the park (which is also near the Revolution Club Organizing Center) and others came from areas up to 60 miles away. Some people were drawn in who were just walking by the park and saw the big banner: “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown” or the big displays of the “5 Stops.” Someone who wanted to show support but couldn’t come, made some agua fresca, thinking people would need to drink something cold and refreshing during the warm summer night in which this would be taking place.

There were people who have known about BA for some time and others who had only heard his name but wanted to know who he is and what this movement for revolution is all about. A few people who showed up expressed that they were angry and tired of all the shit going on and that they just want to fight, they were eager to find out more about how we could actually make a revolution.

We thought it would be important to do an introduction to who BA is, in addition to the excerpts, but without giving a whole speech, so we decided to show BA Through the Years and let people see for themselves.

A way to work on the strategy for revolution together, 100 posters on 100 poles: BAsics 3:1

At the end of the social hour and just before the screening of the excerpts started, two members of the Revolution Club called on people to take part in an effort to put up 100 posters of the quote 3:1 from BAsics on 100 poles this week. Beginning to get this up in a mass way is important and significant for people to concretely be organized into the movement for revolution and go to work on the strategy to make that revolution. This is an example of the work that the masses of people need to do now as part of not only spreading the word about the leadership and the science we have but also in transforming the ways people are being influenced by different class forces.

Putting forward our strengths: Three sections from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

We picked out three sections that we wanted people to get into: “How Long Must This Nightmare of Oppression & Brutality Go On?,” “A Revolutionary Situation… The Role of Youth… & How to Work Today So That There Is A Revolutionary Force When That Time Comes,” and “Could We Really Win... Really?” We then encouraged people to go online and watch the whole thing.

We chose these because BA lays bare the problem in this system of capitalism/imperialism with tremendous heart. Then the last sections bring to life in a concrete way what a revolution is and how it’s possible.

As night fell, this was a beautiful scene. A warm summer night. Banners lit up by spotlights with people intensely watching a big screen with the leader seriously breaking down how a real revolution could be made.

Putting on the RNL shirt, stepping into the movement for revolution

After the screening, a member of the Revolution Club called on people to step into the movement for revolution by throwing on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirt and begin to fight for a whole new world beyond the horrific shit that this system does to people. One youth immediately got up and joined the Club members who had lined up in the front. After he put the shirt on and stood next to the Revolution Club, he said to the crowd, “Come on, I can’t be the only one.” Others began to respond, and one after another people started coming forward to grab a shirt and form up. Six people in total came up and joined in the chants: “It’s time, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time... to get organized for a REAL revolution.” The leading Revolution Club member read the “Points of Attention for the Revolution” and also called on people in the audience to contribute funds as part of them stepping forward.

After the showing people stuck around to seriously discuss what they had just seen on the screen. One person said, “This is what I’ve been looking for, I’m ready!” while another person who has often ran into the Revolution Club at different protests went up to someone and stated, “I don’t want to keep just going to protests, I want to be part of a movement for a revolution.” Someone who has been part of “the life” and has shown up to different things, referenced what BA said in the film about not acting out of frustration and said that was him. He talked about how that is a lot of how he has been feeling, angry and emotional about what this regime is doing and just not being able to take it any longer. There was a whole back-and-forth drawing from what was said in the film and coming to the conclusion that we had to fight to win or else whatever we do, no matter how righteous the sentiment behind it is, is not going to count for shit in the end.

Some people bought BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for the revolution, and copies of BA’s seminal work, THE NEW COMMUNISM.

A last minute fight

The day before the screening, at 4 pm (right at the end of the day), the Parks Department tried to say we couldn’t go ahead with our event despite previous approval. They tried to lay down all this bureaucratic bullshit and threatened that if we went ahead, we would be stopped by the “local safety officers”—in other words, pigs.

We immediately mobilized, contacting lawyers and supporters. A range of people responded including lawyers who thought the particular threat was outrageous, but also thought the whole permitting process of the Parks Department is unacceptable and should be fought. These are people who don’t necessarily agree with the need for revolution, but intend to fight for the space for this to be discussed—and feel especially up against it in “Trump’s America.”

If the city was going to go ahead with this outrageous silencing, we were going to fight it, and use this attack to make this screening even further known. At the last minute, they backed off and said we could go ahead with the screening. In this, we had a few lawyers who said they’d be on call and supporters who came to make sure we didn’t get messed with.

All this was very important for the screening, and even more important if you’re thinking about what’s required to make a real revolution.

Important lessons for building a mass movement: Solid core with a lot of elasticity based on the solid core

Very importantly, as the Club was summing up this experience, different people continued to emphasize the importance of putting BA in front of people. We can’t do what we need to do without BA being integral to everything that we are doing, people have to hear directly from BA as much as possible, there is just no way that we are going to be able to replace the level at which BA applies the scientific method and approach to the most challenging contradictions that humanity is up against by giving our own interpretations. We were able to see how engagement with BA can change everything in what and how people begin to think about life or death questions.

On the basis of putting BA forward in this way, while doing our best to apply the method and approach being modeled by BA, we were also able to see the possibility for people to come forward in waves into a mass movement for revolution not just ones and twos into the Revolution Club. Too often we’ve summed up discussions with individuals that we’ve struggled to bring forward around how did we do at putting forth the challenge, which more often than not amounted to joining the Revolution Club. This is important, and essential, but there are many ways to involve people into contributing to the overall strategy to make a real revolution, which involves many different people putting forward our strengths but also the needs of the revolution. Here, it was important to put this challenge to everyone there to step into the revolution and in meeting this, they worked on each other. One thing that we summed up is that we have to continually wrangle with how to understand the process of building and unleashing a mass movement for revolution and struggle to not fall back into old ways of doing things that won’t lead anywhere. The stakes are too high and all of humanity is counting on us whether they realize it or not.

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

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:1


"Yes, this is a film, but that is not its essence. This is a daring, substantive, scientific summoning to revolution. 6+ hours that can change how you see the world and what you do with the rest of your life. Is this hype? No."
—From one of the filmmakers

Watch the Film HERE

Find out more about this Film HERE

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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

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

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Watching BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

“You will begin to see the world as a whole. You’ll begin to start seeing that it’s not about our thing or your thing. It’s about a humanity thing”

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following are excerpts from interviews at the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—Nothing Less! screening at a park in South Central, Los Angeles.

Young guy from San Fernando Valley who was among the first to step up to join the rev, put on the shirt, etc

What brought you here today?

Really, honestly, I heard about you guys from the protest—the one that happened awhile back for keeping families together—and ever since then I’ve had this little fire in me and I need to do something. And I don’t know who it was that called me but they called me this weekend and I didn’t answer, but they sent me a text and said that this is happening today. So I drove all the way over here from the Valley just to come because I am so ready just to do something and make this change.

What did you think of Bob Avakian?

He’s amazing, he’s amazing. I agree with a lot of the things he says, like most of the things he says. It’s spot on!

Was there anything in particular that stood out to you?

Well, he was talking about the Bloods and the Crips and how they did all that and the government stopped them. They were trying so hard to be right and they just wouldn’t let them. Honestly, that got to me.

You know Bob Avakian keeps putting out straightforwardly changing things is going to take a revolution, nothing less than that. What did you think of that?

That’s not something you hear every day. That’s what we needed to hear, what I needed to hear because it’s so true. Like that sign says, we can’t reform, we must overthrow it because it was made to be the way it is, you know. So we got to change that completely. And I think this is great that it’s already been here for people like me who want to do this. So the fact that I want to do this and I can come here and this is already set up and we can just go is just great.

What would you say to other people who haven’t seen or heard Avakian?

I would say just look at it. He speaks for himself. I mean I really just heard about him right now and I’m like alright, I’m so ready to just check this out.

Black man who discovered the event while walking through the park

What did you think of Bob Avakian?

Wellllll, first he’s an atheist and I’m a Christian, but his speech was powerful and it was true. I mean you could shorten it up like that. We all need to work together and come to a solution and that solution is first caring for one another. You got to care and you got to love and then you got to work out the problems.

What did you think about him being very straightforwardly about revolution, the need for a revolution?

Yeah, I don’t know nothing about revolution, but I do know about solutions. And if he is a revolutionist, he has solutions and big ideas that we need to work on and listen to. He makes some good points. He really does. And I hope things work out for him. Keep moving, keep doing it!

Latino from the San Fernando Valley, late teens or early 20’s, he is an actor. (His friend stepped up right away to put on the shirt [the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt] and join the revolution while he held back for a bit and finally decided to do the same.)

What did you think?

I didn’t really know what I was walking into. I came over here with a blank mind, which I think is good because I didn’t come with any biased opinions or anything. And I really do believe, I agree with a lot of the things that Bob said and what the movement stands for. To be honest, I think I still need to do more individual research. But for the basis, I really do feel that it’s kind of what we need right now.

In what way?

Well, I think that there definitely needs to be a reform. There needs to be a reform, the way things are going right now it’s very bleak and I feel like it’s only gonna get worse. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat—it’s the system right now that’s very....it’s bad you know. The system is bad. I feel there needs to be a sudden political change too.

With Trump we have a fascist in the White House, the Democrats aren’t doing anything to get rid of it. What do you think is the solution?

Yeah, it’s like going along with the quote “Actions speak louder that words.” And right now there is a—they’re talking about in the film and the members here that there’s a scientific blueprint on how to achieve said goal. So I think that’s a vital difference. A lot of the times with a lot of the movements, they had an idea, a philosophy to say—but they didn’t really have anything laid down, you know, like a guide book. The wonderful thing about this is that it’s right there for us to see scientifically. I feel like it’s going to be a long process but I feel like this movement can make a lot of noise and it can open a lot of people’s eyes and maybe kind of awaken a different opinion or a different perspective.

Man from Refuse Fascism

What made you come here today?

I’m part of Refuse Fascism and we were at the jazz festival today putting out the word for Refuse Fascism which is In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. And so I support the Revolution Club and Bob Avakian and so the film tonight was part of the day for me.

Was there anything in the film you just saw that struck you pretty sharply?

Well, the fact that he said several times there has to be a particular situation before we begin a revolution, which makes total sense—we’re not exactly there right now but we are certainly moving in that direction as far as with the fascist regime that’s in the White House right now. And people are not paying attention or in denial, whatever the case may be—counting on the Democrats, whatever it is. So that’s what we’re out trying to do—talk to people, struggle with people and hopefully have a basic conversation about what it is that’s actually happening right now. And Bob talks about all that.

Bob Avakian talks about what is happening in society and he also speaks about the need for revolution. What do you think about that in relation to what you are doing? And he talks with people who might not agree with the need for revolution now.

Right! I agree, I agree. And I think that every time you listen to Bob in different periods of time, you know, you look back to what he said 10 years ago or 8 years ago or whatever, the dude was right on as far as what was happening then and even in one of his latest talks he was talking about things that are actually happening now. You know a year or two ago he was talking about something and now it’s happening. So, I agree!

Latino, mid to late 30’s, who knows people around the Revolution Club

What brought you here?

What brought me here? Well, because I honestly believe in the direction that this organization is trying to lead the people.

Which is what? How do you see this?

Okay, what I see is that this system that they’ve created has given the whole society a sickness, a disease, of this system is created to benefit all peoples when in reality the system was only created to help Trump’s peoples. You know, not necessarily Trump himself, because Trump is just a name. What he represents has always existed that this country...

That’s a sickness that old America, which is not a country for everybody, they’ve put chains in people’s minds, believing in the 20’s, from the 40’s to the 60’s movement to the 80’s believing that progress is possible. Just be patient and believe in the system. But it just repeats itself over and over again proving to the people that it is not true. It’s not true! Therefore that’s a sickness. If you keep believing in something that repetitively proves to be not true, that’s a sickness. And like Bob says, we gotta take the antibiotics away from those who hold it. And I don’t only take when he says antibiotic, I don’t only take that as the diseases.

There’s a sickness in our mind to believe in a system that is not made for everybody. So therefore, the only antibiotic to break free from that type of slavery, whether you’re Black, white or Brown, if you believe in a system that ain’t created for everybody and it just continuously shows you that, that’s a sickness. And the only antibiotic for that is knowledge and truth. So therefore, the only thing is to take that knowledge and spread the antibiotic to the mass, the majority, is to learn and know what they know. And instead of keeping it to ourselves... like, okay, there was this thing. You had the Republicans and the Democrats sitting at a table and the conservatives were making fun of the Democrats. Hey, why do you take the Negroes and give them jobs and stuff, you know. Why are you helping to elevate them. And the Democrats tell them, well you’re missing the whole picture. We have to do that because then they start growing hate and anger and want to revolt. So therefore, we take a few and help elevate them and that will show and give them some kind of hope that if you work hard enough, then you can be something. And the Republican goes, yeah but that’s crazy. Why would you want to do that? And the Democrat goes, yeah but we only pick the smart ones. And the Republicans say that’s even worse, why would you pick the smart ones? And the Democrats say, well if we leave them in the hood, if we leave them in the ghettos, that smart one is going to teach all the other ones. Therefore, he’ll form an army. So we want to take those smart ones, manipulate them into our beliefs and then brainwash him and make him hate his identity so that by the time people realize he’s truly smart, his people will already hate him because they’ll look at him as a traitor.

How did you hear about this event?

I heard about it through Instagram and I have friends involved in it. I’m always out there with you guys...

Have you seen works by Bob Avakian before?

Yeah, I’ve seen a few videos and went to something at a church in Hollywood.

What would you say to people who don’t know about Bob Avakian, haven’t seen these films or read these books.

About his ideology or the man himself?

Both.

Well, about his ideology, because me being Brown and identity politics at the moment (laughs) which Bob kind of....okay, put it like this. If you’re into identity politics you believe for your peoples. Bob has—and I believe it’s number 8 in BAsics [BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian]—he mentions that once you start paying attention and want to be a revolutionary, it’s only a matter of time before you realize the only revolutionary that matters is a Communist, the Communist revolutionary, because you will no longer see the world through your immediate world. You will begin to see the world as a whole. You’ll begin to start seeing that it’s not about our thing or your thing. It’s about a humanity thing and that we need to begin uprooting. And the only way to begin uprooting is to realize that if you focus on just Brown people, you’re just pulling the weeds on the left side of your garden and you still have weeds in the center, and weeds in the right. So, the only way, once you become a Communist revolutionary you understand that you need to start pulling the weeds throughout the whole garden. So you no longer focus on the left side of the garden because if you just focus on the left side of the garden, you’re defeating yourself already.

So now that you’ve talked about all that, let’s talk about Bob Avakian.

What I thought about Bob is that he’s a man filled with knowledge I am willing to accept. That he speaks in a way that is a little offensive but humorously because if you believe in religion you’re like “Oh, what the fuck”. But then he comes back and tells you that in the same way we’re atheists. We don’t believe in nothing but, this is why we don’t believe in nothing but just because we think that way doesn’t mean that we must disregard everybody else. We can’t disregard it. Our ideology and our main goal is to unite everyone and accept everyone for their ideologies. But our agenda is to wake them up and understand that the only way for a true revolution is to destroy the system that’s been created. I mean that’s just what it is. Like I said, if you want to continue living in the system we’ve been living in you’re sick in the head. You know what I mean, plain and simple. You don’t want the antibiotic.

What you say to people who have never heard about Bob Avakian, never heard about the revolution he is talking about?

Okay, look, first of all—listen to a member of the Revolution Club speak and how passionate she is as she speaks because what she is speaking is what Bob is preaching. So therefore, like I said, if you’re into identity politics, she’s a Brown woman—watch her. And then once you hear her speak that identity shit goes away. You know what I mean? Plain and simple, listen, there’s this book BAsics. You read the BAsics, embrace the knowledge but don’t just read it. It’s not a one time book. It’s like the Bible, you have to dissect it. Cross out what you don’t like, dissect it—I don’t mean cross out, I mean highlight what you like, then dissect it, break it down, keep going, keep going and once you take the time to enter the mind of Bob you will see a future that is unbelievable.

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

The Epidemic of White Supremacy—Official and “Unofficial”—Must Be Stopped.

This Means Revolution—Nothing Less! This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!

All Out August 12 to Politically Defeat These Nazis Now and Further Build a Movement to Mobilize Millions for an Actual Revolution!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:1

This simple and basic truth has been driven home with extreme intensity this summer. There are the “free range,” tiny-brained, white wannabe pigs who are calling the real pigs on Black people who are just going about their business—when any simple encounter between a cop and a Black person can end in the murder of the African-American and the exoneration of the pig—or who even take matters into their own hands, like the racist white who murdered the unarmed Markeis McGlockton for shoving him, while Markeis was walking away.1

Meanwhile, as we write—open white supremacists rallied in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, protected by the pigs, and on Sunday took to the streets of Berkeley (!), California. Next week, these Nazi Kluckers plan to assemble in DC for a rally celebrating their vicious armed demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, where they attacked scores of people and murdered Heather Heyer. (See “ALERT: Fascists Openly Threaten to Run Amok in DC; This Must Not Be Allowed!”) And all this comes on top of the utterly racist forced separation of Mexican and Central American children from their parents at the border—something which recalls all too clearly slavery days, when the “founders” of this country and their ilk would sell off children from their parents, sending them away forever. (Watch “The Terror of Deportations—Millions of Families Split Apart” from the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!)

This shit must be STOPPED! STOPPED!!! This means opposing these Nazi pukes next weekend. There are very high stakes to people coming out to stand up against these racist assholes, right here and right now, and denying them a political victory. And this means over these next months mounting a movement to politically drive out Trump and Pence, the fascist ringleaders of this shit, and all the henchmen and henchwomen of their stinking regime, through massive nonviolent protests, flooding the streets with thousands and then millions. (See the call from RefuseFascism.org: "In the Name of Humanity, Come to DC to Say NO to White Supremacy and a Fascist America!")

But beyond that, and central to it all, this SYSTEM that grew up on 246 years (246!) of slavery and another century beyond that of super-exploited Black labor in the fields and then the factories, that seized the land of Mexico for slavery and then oppressed and exploited Mexicans and Chicanos, that stole this country in the first place from the Native inhabitants, 90 percent of whom were wiped out in wars and epidemics—this system MUST BE OVERTHROWN! This system that now has no way to exploit millions of Black people—so now the system mass incarcerates them and kills them off, and puts them in situations in which they are set against each other—this system MUST BE OVERTHROWN! This system that relentlessly exploits and oppresses Latinos and locks Native American Indians in the open-air concentration camps they call reservations—this system MUST BE OVERTHROWN!

They have no answer to this. Obama was no answer—he just told people “you can make it if you try, look at me”—and now Trump is set to take this shit to genocide! This system MUST...BE...OVERTHROWN!

It is no longer necessary to live under this system—the expiration date on this shit is long past due. The scientific FACT is that we can STOP this brutal oppression, along with the oppression and degradation of women and LGBTQ people; we can STOP the demonization and ruthless persecution of immigrants; we can STOP the wars and occupations which they are constantly carrying out, backing up, and planning; and we can STOP the suicidal plunder of the environment by these capitalists. No, not by reform—that’s hopeless—but by REVOLUTION. So, no, we cannot reform this... but we CAN overthrow it. We CAN carry out an actual revolution, which means not some minor changes within this system but the actual overthrow, yes overthrow, of this system, through actually defeating its armed forces of oppression and repression, when the necessary conditions (a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions) have been brought into being (as set forth in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution). We CAN dismantle the institutions of this system and build a whole new society on a radically different economic and political basis, as embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian (BA). There is the basis, in the new communism and the leadership of BA, to make all this a reality. And this is something that we are working toward, as both the mass movement for an actual revolution and getting organized into it, reaching out and growing as we do.

The hour is getting late. Do not stand aside. Join with us to stand against these Nazis and Kluckers this weekend, uniting broadly with people from many different views who are taking this up. Then get with the revolution, putting our heads together to spread this everywhere—and get organized for an actual revolution.

1#Brooklyn Becky: Cops Called on Suspicious-Looking ‘Black’ Woman Waiting for Uber in the Rain

An Ohio state contractor who, in a fit of road rage, took it upon himself to follow a Black man

#ServingYourNeighborhoodWhileBlack: Calif. Safeway Calls Cops on Black Woman Donating to the Homeless, Accuses Her of Shoplifting

Mother Says Medics Denied Her Daughter an Ambulance Ride Because They Assumed She Couldn’t Afford It. Her Daughter Died Days Later”. [back]

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

The “Stand Your Ground” Murder of Markeis McGlockton and the Epidemic of White Supremacist Assaults on Black People Sweeping America

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On July 19, Markeis McGlockton, a 28-year-old Black man and his five-year-old son were in a convenience store in Clearwater, Florida, when he heard his girlfriend Britany Jacobs and two other young children were being accosted in their car parked outside. Michael Drejka, an older white man, was aggressively berating Jacobs for being in a handicapped parking place.

Markeis came out, saw what was going on, and shoved Drejka, who fell down. Drejka was unhurt, and Markeis was moving away and clearly didn’t have a weapon, but Drejka pulled a gun and shot Markeis dead. Pinellas County police refused to press charges against Drejka because they claimed Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law gave him the right to “defend” himself—never mind this white fuck is a racist who’d previously threatened to kill a Black truck driver over the parking spot.

Watch the video, and if your blood isn’t boiling, watch it again.

There’s the insult of “justifiable homicide,” and now “it’s not about race, it’s about self-defense” when it’s plain for anyone with eyes to see that “stand your ground” shit is about giving white people a license to murder Black people. Does anyone think Black people with guns are treated the same as white people with guns?

What other law makes the killer’s self-described “state of mind” determine guilt or innocence? Well, there’s one other place—when pigs murder someone and then claim they “feared for their lives.” This went down—yet again—in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on July 23: A 31-year-old Black man, Thurman Blevins, was murdered by police as he was running away, fearing for his life, begging the cops not to kill him. A week later, the prosecutor announced the pigs wouldn’t be charged.

The National Epidemic of White Supremacist Assaults on Black People

These are but two examples of the epidemic of official and unofficial white violence against Black and Brown people sweeping America.

On July 23, two young sisters, Nia and Letifah Wilson, were stabbed for no apparent reason, other than being Black, by a white man outside a BART station in Oakland, California. Nia, 18 years old, had her throat slit and died.

On July 9, Crystle Galloway, a 30-year-old Black woman, died of a stroke five days after Hillsborough County, Florida, paramedics refused to take her by ambulance to a hospital (or check her vital signs) because they said she couldn’t afford it.

A recently released video from October 2017 shows Louisiana police strangling Armando Frank, a 44-year-old Black man, to death—simply for asking to see an arrest warrant before they took him into custody!

Then there are the countless examples of everyday racist assaults, confrontations, and siccing pigs on Black people. Just to name some of these, and just from the past month:

This violent white supremacy is being openly celebrated—and further organized—by “alt-right” Nazis and white supremacists who held rallies in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, August 4 and Berkeley, California, on Sunday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of their murderous fascist rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both protests were marked by the fascists being greatly outnumbered by a wide range of anti-fascist, anti-racist protesters—including in the Bay Area from Revolution Books and Refuse Fascism—and by the police protecting the Nazis and attacking protesters!

Last year’s “Unite the Right” gathering in Charlottesville was an outrage during which anti-Nazi/white supremacist protestor Heather Heyer was murdered and dozens of other courageous protesters were assaulted by these Nazis. The fact that these fascists are celebrating this now shows they are deadly serious about spreading fascism and violently assaulting those who stand in their way.

And the fact that Trump continues to incite hate-filled white supremacy—through racist tweets, KKKampaign rallies, and official actions—and has refused to ever directly condemn the alt-right/Nazi crimes at Charlottesville shows that all this putrid, dangerous white-supremacist shit is being backed up from the highest offices of the land.

None of this can be allowed to stand!

 

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Revolutionary Communism vs. “Democratic Socialism”: Two Basic Points

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Point One:

Democratic socialists—at their “most radical”—want to “redistribute the wealth” within the U.S. But think for a minute: Where does this great wealth come from? All the riches and resources piled up by capitalist-imperialist America have come, and come in large part, first from slavery and the theft of land domestically, and from its relentless economic, political, and military domination of the masses of people all over the world. The tens of millions of men, women, and children in the Third World laboring in the sweatshops and the fields; the slaughter carried out right now in your name in Yemen by the U.S.-backed Saudi forces; wars in dozens of other places, the grinding, brutal oppression carried out by American puppets and lackeys that drive immigrants to risk their lives to cross the Rio Grande (or the Mediterranean)—all this, historically and now, in multifaceted ways, feeds into the standard of living here, and in the other imperialist countries as well (even the so-called “socialist” countries of Scandinavia) sitting atop the imperialist food chain. Without a revolution that overthrows the whole system of capitalism-imperialism, all you’re doing is redistributing spoils and plunder atop this food chain, leaving intact the vast exploitative and oppressive economic and social relations that underlie this, crushing lives and destroying spirits. Fuck that. Only an internationalist revolution—one that immediately ends the U.S.’s exploitative economic relations and military dominance around the world, and views the newly liberated territory as a base area for revolution worldwide—is worth making. And only a society committed to that principle and outlook can stay on the road to an emancipated world.

Point Two:

Democratic socialists—again, at their “most radical”—envision taking over the machinery of government and “making it work” for the people. But quiet as it’s kept, this is a dictatorship—again, think for a minute: Who gives the orders to the police and the army? The class in power (the capitalist-imperialists) have a monopoly on the machinery of oppression and the legitimate use of force, and they have created massive armed forces that reflect the reactionary, putrid values and relations of this system. Even if democratic socialists were somehow to be elected, the capitalist class will use that obedient machinery, their armies, to murder those who would try even to seriously reform this system—as they did when they slaughtered countless people in Chile who supported Allende in 1973, or Sukarno in Indonesia in 1965, or Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and history is littered with such examples; or they will make a mockery of the sacrifice of the masses by absorbing you and your so-called “revolution” into their system based on exploitation, as they have done in South Africa.

Only an actual revolution—in which the hold of their dictatorship is broken and their machinery of oppression is defeated and dismantled—can bring in a whole new economic system, political system, and set of values and ways of relating to each other and get us on the road to human emancipation. The major means of production have to be seized from the capitalist class to establish a different economy to meet the needs of the people, an economy that does not rely on exploitation and is not driven by the accumulation of profit, and state power has to be seized by the revolutionary forces to make this possible. Only THIS—an actual revolution—can begin to deal with the savage exploitation, the howling inequalities, and the deep-rooted forms of oppression that are baked into this system. These so-called democratic socialists have no strategy to win millions to real revolution, nor do they have a way to lead them when it comes time to actually take on and defeat that machinery of oppression and repression. The revolutionary communists do, and you can find it here. These so-called democratic socialists have no vision and blueprint for a radically different economic and political system—genuine socialism—that is on the road to emancipating ALL of humanity. The revolutionary communists do, and you can find it here.

 

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:3

It is important first to make clear what, in basic terms, we mean when we say the goal is revolution, and in particular communist revolution. Revolution is not some kind of change in style, or a change in attitude, nor is it merely a change in certain relations within a society which remains fundamentally the same. Revolution means nothing less than the defeat and dismantling of the existing, oppressive state, serving the capitalist-imperialist system—and in particular its institutions of organized violence and repression, including its armed forces, police, courts, prisons, bureaucracies and administrative power—and the replacement of those reactionary institutions, those concentrations of reactionary coercion and violence, with revolutionary organs of political power, and other revolutionary institutions and governmental structures, whose basis has been laid through the whole process of building the movement for revolution, and then carrying out the seizure of power, when the conditions for that have been brought into being—which in a country like the U.S. would require a qualitative change in the objective situation, resulting in a deep-going crisis in society, and the emergence of a revolutionary people in the millions and millions, who have the leadership of a revolutionary communist vanguard and are conscious of the need for revolutionary change and determined to fight for it.

As I emphasized earlier in this talk, the seizure of power and radical change in the dominant institutions of society, when the conditions for this have been brought into being, makes possible further radical change throughout society—in the economy and economic relations, the social relations, and the politics, ideology and culture prevailing in society. The final aim of this revolution is communism, which means and requires the abolition of all relations of exploitation and oppression and all destructive antagonistic conflicts among human beings, throughout the world. Understood in this light, the seizure of power, in a particular country, is crucial and decisive, and opens the door to further radical change, and to strengthening and further advancing the revolutionary struggle throughout the world; but, at the same time, as crucial and decisive as that is, it is only the first step—or first great leap—in an overall struggle which must continue toward the final goal of this revolution: a radically new, communist world.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:3

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

ALERT: Fascists Openly Threaten to Run Amok in DC; This Must Not Be Allowed!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On August 12 in Washington, DC, fascist thugs will celebrate the one-year anniversary of their white supremacist action in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.  This action featured violent attacks on counter-protestors and the murder of one of them, Heather Heyer.  The celebration of this ugly viciousness cannot go unchallenged and must not rear its head again.  And indeed, many are righteously pledging to go there and confront these Nazi shitheads.

White supremacy is baked deeply into capitalist America, which amassed its great wealth first on the genocide and slavery that drove its “founding” and then on the imperialist domination of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Today the violent and aggressive restoration of blatant, openly vicious white supremacy has been a key feature of the Trump-Pence fascist regime.  This must be opposed and defeated, in whatever form it raises its head – and especially in this lynch-mob type shit.  And in fact the whole regime for which this is a spearpoint must be driven out, by massive nonviolent action.

This racist disease, so deeply stitched into capitalism-imperialism, can only be eliminated through revolution to end all oppression.  The movement for revolution must be there in DC on the 12th to be part of waging the needed struggle AND to bring forward, and actively organize people around, the solution to this madness: revolution, involving millions, to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.

Be there! Represent!

 


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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/554/north-korea-asks-trump-for-aid-in-putting-korean-war-dead-to-rest-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

North Korea Returns Remains of 55 U.S. Soldiers

Kim Jong-un Asks Trump for American Aid in Putting Korean War Dead to Rest

 

Following North Korea’s return of the remains of 55 U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950–53 Korean War on Thursday, it has been reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has written President Trump asking for U.S. aid in locating and identifying the remains of those North Koreans killed by America’s forces who’ve never been buried or accounted for.

One anonymous U.S. official told a major national newspaper that the administration would certainly consider Kim’s request and would like to help as a sign of American good faith, but cautioned that such an effort would be difficult to carry out. 

For one, he said, “While the U.S. keeps a meticulous record of American casualties, North Koreans were then viewed as subhuman—for instance the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Hanson Baldwin described North Koreans as ‘locusts,’ ‘Nazis,’ and ‘vermin’—so you can understand why we didn’t pay much attention to keeping records of their dead.”

According to this official, the task would be further complicated by the enormous number of North Koreans killed—an estimated two million civilians and 500,000 soldiers. “And that’s not even counting the 900,000 People’s Republic of China volunteers who were also killed in the war,” he added.  In addition, many North Koreans were killed by the half-million tons of bombs or the 32,557 tons of napalm dropped by U.S. forces. “You have to remember,” the official said, “we destroyed every North Korean building over one story high, so those casualties would have been dismembered by the blast or buried in rubble. And those hit with napalm would be even more of a challenge because those folks would have been literally burned to ashes. So certainly I think the public would understand why we’d have real difficulty in identifying these North Korean remains even with our most advanced forensic techniques.” 

“Finally, we have to be concerned about a political backlash here in America,” the official concluded, “which is why we haven’t released the full contents of Kim’s letter to the public.  Many patriotic Americans may see Kim’s request as an insult and affront to our great country. Democrats and Republicans all understand that American lives are far more important than others, including Koreans. So even suggesting there’s some equivalence between our 55 ‘great and beloved missing fallen,’ as President Trump tweeted, and the 2.5 million North Korean dead, or that America should spend precious time and money accounting for North Korea’s dead would be seen by millions of Americans as an outrage.”

So, this official concluded, all this would make Kim’s request very difficult for this country to fulfill, even as the Trump/Pence administration was striving to “Make America Great Again!” 

Marines in village street with prisoners.
Korea was devastated by the end of the war. Millions were killed and in the North, every building over one story was destroyed. Here, in September 1950, early in the war, U.S. Marines take prisoners from one bombed village. (Photo: U.S. Department of Defense/U.S. Marine Corps/S. Sgt. John Babyak, Jr.)

 

 

Find out more:

American Crime Case #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950

Take the Korea Pop Quiz: What do you REALLY know about Korea?

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

BAsics 3:28

From BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It is true that we cannot, by our mere will, or even merely by our actions themselves, transform the objective conditions in a qualitative sense—into a revolutionary situation. This cannot be done merely by our operating on, or reacting back on, the objective conditions through our conscious initiative. On the other hand....nobody can say exactly what the conscious initiative of the revolutionaries might be capable of producing, in reacting upon the objective situation at any given time—in part because nobody can predict all the other things that all the different forces in the world will be doing. Nobody’s understanding can encompass all that at a given time. We can identify trends and patterns, but there is the role of accident as well as the role of causality. And there is the fact that, although changes in what’s objective for us won’t come entirely, or perhaps not even mainly, through our “working on” the objective conditions (in some direct, one-to-one sense), nevertheless our “working on” them can bring about certain changes within a given framework of objective conditions and—in conjunction with and as part of a “mix,” together with many other elements, including other forces acting on the objective situation from their own viewpoints—this can, under certain circumstances, be part of the coming together of factors which does result in a qualitative change. And, again, it is important to emphasize that nobody can know exactly how all that will work out.

Revolution is not made by “formulas,” or by acting in accordance with stereotypical notions and preconceptions—it is a much more living, rich, and complex process than that. But it is an essential characteristic of revisionism (phony communism which has replaced a revolutionary orientation with a gradualist, and ultimately reformist one) to decide and declare that until some deus ex machina—some god-like EXTERNAL FACTOR—intervenes, there can be no essential change in the objective conditions and the most we can do, at any point, is to accept the given framework and work within it, rather than (as we have very correctly formulated it) constantly straining against the limits of the objective framework and seeking to transform the objective conditions to the maximum degree possible at any given time, always being tense to the possibility of different things coming together which bring about (or make possible the bringing about of) an actual qualitative rupture and leap in the objective situation....

So, if you are looking at things only in a linear way, then you only see the possibilities that are straight ahead—you have a kind of blinders on. On the other hand, if you have a correct, dialectical materialist approach, you recognize that many things can happen that are unanticipated, and you have to be constantly tense to that possibility while consistently working to transform necessity into freedom. So, again, that is a basic point of orientation.

 

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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

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

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution
At the Chicago Lake Shore Drive Shut Down

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club, Chicago:

In the wake of intense repression, brutality, and murder by Chicago police all summer, on August 2, hundreds of people marched on Chicago’s North Side to demand an end to the segregation, poverty, and violence against Black people in particular. In just the past two months, Chicago pigs shot several people, most recently murdering Harith “Snoop” Augustus, a respected barber they profiled, grabbed, and then shot repeatedly as he tried to get away. Snoop’s whole body was shot up, including a shot in the back of his head. This was a month after pigs murdered 24-year-old Maurice Granton Jr., shooting him in the back as he ran from them.

After Snoop’s murder, people protested in anger and were defiant and determined in the face of the pigs clubbing and beating people. Protests lasted for days, and in those days and in the aftermath, police have targeted people in that neighborhood, several times beating and arresting people out on the sidewalks in the middle of the day where everyone can see. Meanwhile, video recently released of the murder of Maurice Granton Jr. shows clearly police shooting him down while his hands were grabbing a fence he was trying to jump over, and then shows them taunting and threatening his friends who came running when he was shot.

People are furious and fed up, and the trial of the pig who killed Laquan McDonald in 2014 is scheduled to begin September 5. Laquan was the 17-year-old who was shot 16 times by police as he was walking away from them, and the video was hidden and covered up for a year by the police and mayor. Chicago authorities have now come up with a “consent decree” to make a show of making changes to a hated and widely known to be corrupt, brutal police force—and even in this illusion of change, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is opposing parts of it that seem to be going too far in putting limits on the police.

At the same time, the masses of people way too often continue to misdirect their anger toward each other. Told that they are nothing, treated as nothing by this system in a thousand ways, and seeking meaning in fighting over turf that isn’t even theirs, they lash out in heartbreaking ways, shooting and way too often killing each other. The Revolution Club has both joined with people in fighting the brutality and murder of the police and struggled with them to stop killing each other and to get organized into making revolution... for real.

In the context of all of this, Chicago police have come down with repression against the Revolution Club for exercising their right to call all this shit out and organize people for revolution, arresting Revolution Club members all summer and pulling up their cars in front of the Revolution Club Organizing Center in the week of protests after Snoop’s murder.

The protest August 2 was an important response to this whole situation, and the ministers and activists who organized it called for the shutdown of Lake Shore Drive on the North Side to disrupt the baseball game traffic. They called this protest in order to make the whole city take notice about their stand against not only the violence among the people, but also the brutality of the police and the tremendous inequality in general in the city. Their demands included the resignation of the mayor and police chief, and the protest involved people of all nationalities from all over the city.

The Revolution Club in Chicago joined in with this protest, and we were guided by HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, especially the following paragraph:

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

We put out the word very broadly for people who are part of the movement for revolution—those just beginning to step in and those who are more committed—to come with the Revolution Club to be part of fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution, projecting the message: This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown! Several people took up this call, mainly younger guys on the South Side, including some who have been getting deeply into the revolution in a very short period of time. When the Revolution Club crew marched onto the scene in formation, everyone took note. A journalist tweeted out a picture saying “@revclubchi has shown up to the protest.”

A Revolution Club member spoke over the bullhorn about what it will take to put an END to the intolerable situation where the youth have no future, speaking to the need to overthrow the system that is responsible for this and replace it with a new system. She spoke about the strategy and leadership we have in Bob Avakian and how to work right now to prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard for the time when millions can be led to go all-out for revolution. Two people who saw the Revolution Club march in and heard this agitation, joined on the spot, putting on REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts and joining the crew for the first half of the march.

The Revolution Club crew had an impact throughout the whole march and the rallies. The message that came through in our agitation, banners, and chants was: “This system can’t be reformed, it must be overthrown”—and this was part of opening up debate about reform or revolution in the context of other groups and individuals calling for reforms. From the beginning, there were groups and individuals we had a level of unity with, there were new people being drawn to the message of revolution, and people not sure what they thought of that message, and there were also a handful of “those who front for the oppressors and preach ‘reconciliation’ with this system” as well as “those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution.”

A number of people who were drawn to the message of revolution marched and chanted along with us, putting on stickers with the same message. We were aiming to have as big an impact as possible and to accumulate more forces for revolution on that basis, including giving people concrete ways to step in immediately. In addition to people who put on shirts and stickers, people volunteered to carry the signs of the “5 STOPS” which together was part of having even greater impact with REAL REVOLUTION on the whole march.

At the final rally, many different forces were in the mix, speaking over bullhorns, leading chants, putting forward their demands and their programs. As the Revolution Club spoke out there—uniting with the protest overall but also drawing a sharp divide between reform and revolution, putting forward the leadership and strategy for revolution, and organizing people into the revolution on the spot—a number of people were listening to this and when called on to step into the revolution by putting on a sticker, reached out to grab stacks of stickers to pass to those around them and some did put the stickers on themselves on the spot. This happened as some of “those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution,” were stepping in to try to stop this from happening. The people who were part of the Revolution Club crew stepped up with a lot of heart for the revolution and the leadership of the revolution, not tolerating any of the bullshit that was coming from these people. One newer person did a whole round of agitation on how getting new politicians doesn’t change shit, we need revolution, and then spoke with a lot of passion about how Bob Avakian has dedicated his life to this for decades. And this was all part of how different people were weighing and thinking about the different programs. The person leading the Revolution Club crew spoke over the mic about how fighting these things out is part of what goes into making revolution.

After the rally was over, the Revolution Club crew headed out, with a new person who had joined in during the march and run with the crew the whole time, including through being right in the middle of the contentious struggle that was going on at the end. As we were making our way down the street, a few blocks down a young woman stopped us and said she hadn’t been able to be part of the march because she was working, but wanted to support, so invited us into the café she worked in for cold water and free coffee. When we showed her HOW WE CAN WIN, she said, “I think I’ve found my people.” All of the people working in the café were happy to provide us with coffee and sparked up conversations with different people in the crew.

We stayed around for a minute to sum up together about the experience of the march, and looked at the Points of Attention as we talked about how to deal with things like actual physical threats against us that were made by someone. A newer person who was part of the struggle in South Shore against the police murder of Harith Augustus was frustrated by the fact that there were some of these people out there talking shit and acting in this kind of way. He hasn’t yet gotten that deeply into the strategy and leadership for this revolution, but was being influenced in a good way by others who have started to do that. And overall he felt like he was part of the team and wasn’t going to tolerate attacks on the team.

People were in high spirits about how the whole thing went. One person described the whole experience as “exciting and intense.” Afterwards, people wanted to keep hanging out together, so we all went to somebody’s house and had dinner and beer and watched the news together and looked at videos from the day. After we were done doing all that, we still stayed together a bit later into the night with people sharing some of their personal experiences of being fucked over by the system and then sharing interests and pictures of their kids—just enjoying being together with other people changing the world together.

“We are the revcoms! The mighty, mighty revcoms!”


 August 2, hundreds of people marched on Chicago’s North Side to demand an end to the segregation, poverty, and violence against Black people in particular. (Photo courtesy of ANF Chicago)

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/1237/ba-pyramid2.htm

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/508/bob_avakian_a-country-ruled-by-white-supremacists-since-when-is-that-acceptable-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

September 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A Country Ruled By White Supremacists—Since When Is That Acceptable?

by Bob Avakian

 

This article was originally published at revcom.us in September 2017. In light of Donald Trump's rants about "shithole" countries, we are re-posting this sharp and timely piece and urge readers to spread it broadly.

 

Jemele Hill, a commentator at ESPN, tweeted that Donald Trump is a white supremacist, whereupon White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Hill to be fired. (She has not been fired but had to issue an apology, saying she should not have implicated ESPN in her comments.) And then there is the comprehensive and compelling case made by Ta-Nehisi Coates, in the current issue of the Atlantic, that Trump’s defining ideology is white supremacy. Here it must be sharply raised:

What does it mean, and what does it require people to do, if an overt white supremacist is sitting in the White House, if this whole administration (regime) is based on white supremacy, if not only Jemele Hill’s comments, but Ta-Nehisi Coates’ argument in his Atlantic article, is accurate—which is the case? Is this something people just have to accept—that overt white supremacists are now ruling the country? Is it something that can, or should, wait until some future election (2018 or 2020) to see if it gets “worked out”? And who will cause this to “work out” in a good way, if their moral and political standard is that it is alright, or something people just have to accept, that the country is being openly ruled now by white supremacists?!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/1255/avakian_clinton_right_wing_conspiracy.htm

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Bob Avakian on the Right-Wing Agenda

The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy…
And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer

by Bob Avakian

November 10, 2016 | Originally posted October 17, 2004 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

EDITORS' NOTE (updated March 6, 2017): Two pieces by Bob Avakian shed a great deal of light on the current political juncture: its roots, its dynamics, and what must be done in response. "The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer" was published in 1998 and it concerns the impeachment of Bill Clinton. The other, "The Fascists and the Destruction of the 'Weimar Republic'...And What Will Replace It," was published in 2005, shortly after the re-election George W. Bush.

It should be noted that Mike Pence, Trump's vice president, is the same kind of lunatic yet "legitimate"—and deadly serious—fascist as Pat Robertson, whose outlook and program are discussed by Bob Avakian in "The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy..." But Pence is actually even more dangerous because he has been "legitimized" as the vice president.

We strongly recommend that our readers get into these, get them out and discuss them. It really has to be said that there has been nothing close to this analysis in its prescient and penetrating character (even as Bob Avakian draws on a wide range of sources to make this analysis).

"The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer" was originally published anonymously and so the author, Bob Avakian, is referred to in the third person; and also note that it was originally published during the presidency of Bill Clinton and so, unless otherwise noted, when "Clinton" is referred to this means Bill, and not Hillary, Clinton.

 

There is in fact a right-wing conspiracy. There is a concerted effort by the Christian Right and those allied with it to "get" Clinton--to force him from office. But more essentially and more importantly, there is a determined, many-sided effort by powerful forces within American society to put into effect an aggressively reactionary and repressive political and social agenda. Despite its fervent condemnations of "Big Government," this program actually involves a broad extension of Big Brother intrusion into people's everyday lives and a police-state battering ram smashing down supposed Constitutional rights and protections. All this has been justified--and "sanctified"--through a highly orchestrated crusade for traditional values and a professed moral righteousness represented by old-time religion.

While, on the one hand, Clinton has been a target of the most undisguised and vociferous right-wing forces--and in particular those associated with "The Religious Right"--the truth is that, to a large degree, the Clinton Presidency has been about promoting, and implementing, much of this program and its "moral-religious" rationalizations. And, even where they have had real differences--and at times bitter conflicts--with the self-proclaimed Right, Clinton and the Democrats have continually given ground to the Right and increasingly accepted the terms set by the Right as the "common ground" on which to differ and contend.

This is not because of the much-discussed "realities of electoral politics." Nor is it merely because all mainstream politicians are beholden to powerful financial interests. More fundamentally, it is because those who occupy seats of political power must, and can only, serve the economic and social system of which that political power is an extension. And, in the present period and the present "global environment," the requirements of the capitalist economic and social system not only demand that the lords of capital be able to carry out their supreme commandment, "let us prey," in a more unrestrained and more "mobile" way, on a world scale. They also demand, within American society itself, a slashing of major social programs and a heightening of the repressive powers of government, along with the fostering of a repressive social atmosphere. They demand what the organization Refuse and Resist! has called the politics of cruelty, or the politics of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy.

On this, the mainstream of the bourgeois body politic is in agreement, even while they differ and at times battle sharply over some of the terms, over the pace and the specific forms, with which to implement this politics--and the extremes to which it should be carried at any given time.

This whole politics can be opposed--very powerful opposition to it can be built--but it can only be done by refusing to be bound by the terms set by this system and the political framework within which all of its political representatives think and act. It can be done, not by trying to rely on Clinton and the Democrats, but by relying on and rallying the truly vast numbers of people who have a real interest in opposing this whole program--vast numbers of people among whom there is a stirring and a growing sense, if still largely undeveloped and untapped, that there is a need to stand up against and defeat this program.

A Presidency Under Fire from the Beginning

In the early stages of the "Monica Lewinsky scandal," Hillary Clinton made a foray into the media to proclaim that there was "a vast right-wing conspiracy"--which was not only behind the attacks on her husband then but which had targeted his Presidency from the start. This idea has been widely subjected to ridicule and criticism--including, not surprisingly, by those she was speaking of as the conspirators. And, as the "Lewinsky scandal" and the overall "Presidential crisis" has unfolded, the growing chorus from the powerful and influential has been that there should be more repentance and less accusation from the Clinton camp. But the question remains: Is there such a conspiracy? On one level, the answer could be given in single word: "Duh!" But it is necessary to get more deeply into what is represented by the contending political forces in the current "Presidential crisis" and where the interests of the people lie in relation to all this.

To begin with, it is worthwhile recalling the remarks of Jesse Helms, "Senior Senator from North Carolina"--and long-time father figure for southern lynch mob-ism--shortly after Clinton took office. Helms made statements to the general effect that Clinton was unworthy to be commander-in-chief of the armed forces; and Helms explicitly warned the President that he was so unpopular on the military bases in North Carolina that "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a body guard." This was actually quite extraordinary, but what is very significant is that it was treated, by the mainstream media and the political establishment, as rather ordinary. Not only did Helms "get away" with this (and, after all, if such a public statement had been made by an "ordinary citizen," it would almost certainly have been pursued by the authorities as a criminal threat on the life of the President), but, in the aftermath of this, there was no reduction whatever in Helms's power or "prestige"--if anything just the opposite.

On the part of powerful forces grouped in and around the Republican Party, there has all along been not just intense opposition but seemingly visceral animosity toward Clinton and his Presidency--and a willingness to diminish the "stature of the Presidency" overall in order to go after the particular President--which has no parallel in contemporary U.S. history. (Even the crisis that brought down Richard Nixon did not involve, on the part of his establishment opponents, the kind of public displays of contempt for the President--and a certain delight in dragging the President, and the Presidency along with him, through the mud--as has been exhibited by Clinton's most fervent adversaries.) From the beginning of the Clinton administration, and not just in the latest crisis, the basic stance of these forces has been that Clinton is unfit for the office of President and the Clinton Presidency is "illegitimate." In short, there has been, on the part of these forces, a continuing attempt to "get Clinton"--to discredit him within ruling class circles and in his public image--aiming, at a minimum, to deprive him of political clout and initiative, and if possible to force him from office.

For a number of years now, and particularly over the past year, the Starr investigation has been a main vehicle for this effort--leading up to the present crisis, where the question of impeachment (or resignation to head off impeachment) has come directly and immediately on the agenda. Besides the obvious and well-documented connections between various "conservative" (or "ultra-conservative") forces driving the effort to oust Clinton, Starr himself has ties with a number of these forces, including not only Jesse Helms (and his colleague Lauch Faircloth) but also those linked closely with Linda Tripp and her agent Lucianne Goldberg, and with the Paula Jones lawsuit against Clinton. (The NYT Magazine article by Andrew Sullivan, mentioned below, describes a number of the links among the various "conservatives" who have taken aim at Clinton. Also extensively tracing many of these connections is "The Young Person's Guide to Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy," which appeared recently in a Chicago anarchist publication, the Lumpen Times.

The Starr report itself, while it made legal arguments, was mainly, and rather overtly, crafted to "get" Clinton by embarrassing him politically (as well as personally). As noted by Clinton's defenders (and others as well), the Starr report--and its immediate dissemination through the various mass media--with all its "lurid and lascivious" detail, was aimed at creating a situation in which Clinton would be so discredited (or "disgraced") that he could no longer continue as President. (The reasons why Clinton's enemies were able to proceed in this way, and to get as far as they have, goes beyond and goes deeper than the fact that the Republicans have a majority in both houses of Congress--this is a question that will be returned to later.)

What Is the Right Really After?

On one level, it might seem somewhat curious--or simply demented--that these forces have made Clinton a target in this way. As pointed out in a major article in the New York Times Magazine : "Bill Clinton, arguably the most conservative Democratic President since Truman, becomes, for these conservatives, the apex of 1960s liberalism. The fact that he balanced the budget, signed welfare-reform legislation, has shredded many civil liberties in the war against terrorism, is in favor of the death penalty and signed the Defense of Marriage Act is immaterial to his conservative enemies." ("The Scolds," NYT Magazine, October 11, 1998. As an indication of his own stance, the author of this article, Andrew Sullivan, not only makes a point of saying that "I still think [Clinton] should resign" but goes on to profusely praise Ronald Reagan and to contrast Reagan's "good" conservatism with the "bad" conservatism of those now seeking to "get" Clinton.)

To this list of "achievements" of the Clinton Presidency cited by Sullivan must be added, among other things, the escalation of the war on immigrants, including a further leap in militarizing the border with Mexico, a move to dismantle public housing, and aggressive support for an "anti-crime" policy that involves rampant police brutality and murder and the criminalization of a whole generation of young Black males (and increasingly females) as well as Latinos and others in the inner cities. Sullivan's article further elaborates: Clinton is "a President whose economic policy is designed to please bond traders, who bombs Sudan and Afghanistan without warning [and, it should be added, who continues the combination of `economic sanctions' and the use as well as the threat of military attack against Iraq, which results in the deaths of thousands and thousands of Iraqis, especially children, every year] and who declares that the era of big government is over." And yet, as Sullivan puts it: in the view of his "conservative" adversaries, Clinton serves as "simply a cover for liberal radicalism." Again, and more sharply, the questions have to be posed: Why? And what are those leading this attack really after?

To get into this, let's return to the circumstances surrounding Jesse Helms's attack on Clinton at the start of his presidency. This was the time when, right after assuming office, Clinton announced his "gays in the military" policy--which, for the first time, would have explicitly allowed same-sex relations among people in the military (a policy from which, before long, Clinton retreated, adopting instead the current "don't ask/don't tell" standard). Clinton not only appointed unprecedented numbers of Black people and other "minorities" and women to positions of prominence within his administration and to posts in the federal government overall; he not only made Maya Angelou the keynote poet of his first Inauguration; Clinton also appointed an unprecedented number of gay people to White House staff posts and nominated an openly gay person for an ambassadorship. And, reversing the stand of the two previous Presidents, the Clinton administration has opposed attempts to make abortion illegal, even while conceding considerable ground--in moral as well as political terms--to those determined to have abortion treated as a sin as well as a crime (about this, more later). Along with that, during the 1992 election campaign, while making clear his support for the mass slaughter in Iraq carried out by the Bush administration, Clinton did not repudiate his opposition to the Vietnam war; and in some aspects he has identified himself with cultural expressions that are broadly seen as an outgrowth of the '60s (as manifested in a number of ways during Clinton's inauguration and, in a lighter but not insignificant symbolism, Clinton's appearance on the Arsenio Hall show, playing the saxophone, during that Presidential campaign).

All this makes Clinton a symbol--as well as a foil--for the political leaders and forces who insist that "traditional morality," as embodied in the patriarchal family as well as "right or wrong" patriotism--and rationalized in terms of fundamentalist Christianity--must be the basis for maintaining the cohesion and solidity of American capitalist society and the dominant position of imperial America in the world arena. In the vision these people profess, contemporary America--not just the government but the society as a whole--is in cultural and moral decline. More, it is in danger of disintegration and destruction. It is an America that, as formulated in the title of a recent book by Robert Bork, is "Slouching towards Gomorrah."

As Andrew Sullivan characterizes it, the viewpoint of Bork--whose nomination for the Supreme Court touched off sharp controversy in Congressional hearings, with the result that Bork did not get the Supreme Court seat--has evolved from that of being "the prophet of judicial restraint" to the point where "The only hope, Bork posits, is `the rise of an energetic, optimistic and politically sophisticated religious conservatism.' " Bork, and others like him, invoke the imagery and tone of Old Testament Prophets warning God's favored nation that, because it has deviated from the way of the Lord, it is incurring the Lord's wrath and stands on the precipice of devastation as the price of its sins. They argue that only a "moral revival"--based on what is proclaimed as a literalist- absolutist reading of the Bible and public policy dictated by such "biblical truth"--can save America from decline and damnation and preserve its position as the preeminent power in the world.

These people are deadly serious--and they are very powerful. During most of the current "Presidential crisis," they have had the initiative within the ranks of the conservatives and within the mainstream vehicle of openly conservative politics in America, the Republican Party. In the words of Andrew Sullivan: "even those conservative thinkers who still argue for a low-tax, small-government philosophy have been unable to make headway with their peers without cloaking their case in the austerity of moral revival." And while the very latest "conventional wisdom" is that this may no longer be the case--that, in the wake of the recent elections, "fiscal conservatism" is "in," as opposed to an emphasis on "social" conservatism and "morality"--a more sweeping analysis, looking beyond the pragmatic "spins" accompanying any immediate turn of events, shows that the advocates of "moral revival" have gained considerable ground over the past two decades, that they have succeeded to a considerable degree in setting the terms of the current "Presidential crisis," and that they continue to be a formidable force, highly connected and highly financed.

Deeper, More Decisive Contradictions

Why have these forces--and why has "conservatism" generally--gained so much influence and initiative within the dominant structures and institutions of American politics? The Chairman of our Party, Bob Avakian, has spoken to this in some recent writings on morality:1

"It is not surprising that, in the face of changes which tend to undermine or cause upheaval within [the prevailing capitalist] system--to say nothing of direct challenges to it--the ruling class of this society more aggressively asserts the authority of its `traditional morality' along with sharpening and more ruthlessly wielding its swords of repression. Thus, it is not only William Bennett and other `Conservatives' who are waging a holy crusade for `The Family' and `Family Values,' but they are joined and rivaled in this by the Democrats and `Liberals' of the ruling class.

"The fact is, however, that in this crusade, and more generally these days, the `Conservatives' have the initiative over the `Liberals.' Why? There are a number of underlying factors: major geopolitical changes, in particular the disintegration of the Soviet bloc and the Soviet Union; changes in the world economy--involving the further internationalization of production and of speculative and other parasitic activity by capital--together with changes in the U.S. economy, including significant shifts in the composition of the work force away from `blue-collar' jobs; and a huge increase in debt associated with the unprecedented U.S. military build-up during the 1980s (the cost of `winning the cold war').

"So the waning of liberalism must be seen against a broad canvas. On the one hand, economic and social shifts--like `downsizing' of industry and the decline of unions, suburbanization and the fracturing of the old-line urban political coalitions--have weakened the traditional social props of New Deal politics. On the other hand, intense global economic pressures and looming fiscal crisis are forcing drastic restructuring of government spending and social programs--this following years of restructuring in the private sector. This is an era of `lean and mean' and ever more mobile capitalism. It is about cheapening production, depressing wages and benefit levels, and creating a more flexible and `disposable' labor force. And it is about massively slashing New Deal/Great Society-type social spending--now decried as `unproductive cost burdens.' (Wasn't it the Democrat Clinton who coined the phrase, `end welfare as we know it'?) These and related factors have cut the ground from under the `New Deal consensus' and the concessionary programs (`war on poverty,' etc.) which have been the basis for Democratic Party administration of capitalist rule in the U.S.

"At the same time, many of these same factors, together with the struggle waged by the women's movement, have resulted in a situation where large numbers of women have not only the necessity but also the possibility of working outside the home. All this has been accompanied by a great deal of turmoil and upheaval, and one of its most important consequences has been that, from a number of angles and among various sectors of the population in the U.S., the basis of the traditional patriarchal family and the `traditional family values' associated with it has been significantly eroded. And yet all these changes are taking place within the confines of the same system--on the same foundation of capitalist economic relations.

"This is potentially a very explosive contradiction, and in many aspects this explosiveness is already erupting....

"The polarization and bitter struggle around the right to abortion has been a concentrated expression of this. Clearly, the essence of the anti-abortion `movement'--which from its inception has been led and orchestrated from `on high' (I am referring to the role of powerful ruling class figures, not the alleged inspiration from god)--has been to assert patriarchal control over women, including to insist on the defining role of women as breeders of children."

(From Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones: The Reality Beneath William Bennett's `Virtues,' Or We Need Morality, But Not Traditional Morality.)

Clinton represents an attempt to deal with these acute and potentially explosive contradictions by giving a certain expression to "inclusiveness"--to "diversity" and "multi-culturalism"--while retaining and fortifying the white supremacist and male supremacist relations that are an integral and indispensable part of the structure of U.S. capitalism-imperialism. In line with this, Clinton has promoted a less absolutist version of the "traditional values" and the "Judeo-Christian tradition" which has justified and reinforced the exploitative and oppressive relations on which this system is built.

But, in the view of Clinton's conservative and particularly his fundamentalist opponents, Clinton's program will not work and will only undermine the historically established girdings of the system, both in its economic base and in the superstructure of politics, culture and ideology--it will lead to the unraveling of the legitimating social "consensus" and social "cohesion" necessary to maintain this system. And the fact is that there are today in the U.S. broad numbers of people who, yes, participated in or were influenced by the movements of the '60s and have a corresponding commitment to social justice and equality, and who are unwilling to go along with the notion that America has some inherent moral right and obligation to bully its way around the world and impose a world order under its domination. At the same time, there is the phenomenon that, in some important aspects, the "recovery" of the U.S. economy that has taken place during the Clinton administration, and the more highly "globalized" and "flexible" production that has been a marked feature of this "recovery," has also contributed to "undermining the traditional family." And it has fostered the florescence of an outlook, particularly (though not exclusively) among more highly paid professionals, that involves no small amount of self-indulgence and, related to that, a weakening of some "traditional values," including old-style patriotism and the willingness to sacrifice for the officially defined and proclaimed "national interest."

In some significant ways, what was written 150 years ago in the Communist Manifesto,concerning the consequences of unfettered bourgeois commodity relations, is assuming a pronounced expression among sections of the U.S. population in the context of today's "post-Cold War" world capitalism. The following phrases from the Manifesto have a particular and powerful resonance: "the bourgeoisie, wherever it has gotten the upper hand...has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous `cash payment.' It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of Philistine sentimentalism in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value....In a word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation." There is a great irony here: the very "triumph" and "triumphalism" of capitalism in today's circumstances has produced effects and sentiments which tend to undermine, among significant sections of the U.S. population, the willingness to make personal sacrifices for "god and country"--that is, for the interests and requirements of the imperial ruling class, within the U.S. itself and in the world arena. In reaction to this, the "conservatives," with the Christian Right playing a decisive role, are attempting to revive and impose precisely "the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of Philistine sentimentalism"--to resurrect a situation where worldwide exploitation that is unsurpassed in its brutality is at the same time "veiled by religious and political illusions."

In this regard, there is a very interesting--and in some ways provocative--article, "The Erosion of American National Interests," in Foreign Affairs magazine (September/October 1997), by Samuel P. Huntington, a "conservative" who criticizes Clinton particularly for his promotion of "multi-culturalism" and "diversity." Huntington warns that the "disintegrative effects" of the end of the Cold War (in particular, the "loss" of the Soviet Union as a powerful enemy and serious rival for world domination), compounded by multi-culturalism and ethnic particularity within the U.S. itself, could lead to a lack of unity around "national interest" and undermine the necessary projection of American imperial power internationally. Huntington even goes so far as to say: "If multiculturalism prevails and if the consensus on liberal democracy disintegrates, the United States could join the Soviet Union on the ash heap of history." Clinton's Presidency is contributing to this, Huntington argues, because Clinton "is almost certainly the first President to promote the diversity rather than the unity of the country he leads."

Andrew Sullivan points out that, in the view of Robert Bork and other like-minded "conservatives," what is needed in order to bind together American society and prevent its disintegration or destruction "is either a fundamentalist religious revival, or a sobering great depression. (Bork seems to welcome both possibilities.)" And, adds Sullivan, another influential "conservative" writer, David Frum, advocates limiting government "not to expand personal freedom, but to so rob the middle class of financial security that they would have little choice but to return to the social mores of the 1950's."

A Lunatic Yet "Legitimate"—and Deadly Serious—Fascism

Not only are the politics and ideology of such people obviously reactionary, but in some cases they express ideas and advocate positions which, by contemporary standards of rationality, might well constitute certifiable insanity. (See, for example, any of the writings of Pat Robertson.) In one book, Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions , Robertson declares that Satan is responsible for most of the suffering in the world and that much, if not most, of the disease in the world is caused by sin. He insists that Karl Marx was "demonized" and a "satanic priest." Robertson also writes that "It is possible that a demon prince is in charge of New York, Detroit, St. Louis, or any other city." He argues that not only "satanists" but also "fortunetellers, spiritists, witches, warlocks" are "themselves consumed by satan"; that seances, ouija boards, transcendental meditation (and invocation of "names of Hindu gods") and even the game Dungeons and Dragons are all "potential sources of demon possession." Robertson also recalls that at one occasion, while in the Seattle-Tacoma area, an "awful depression seized me" and "I realized I was under demonic attack"--although, Robertson relates, he was able to defeat this attack by declaring: "Satan, in the name of Jesus, I cast you forth." This is the same Pat Robertson who writes: "When you look at the holy books of other religions, you find fantasy and bizarre supernatural events that do not commend themselves to reasonable people. But the Bible is actually authenticated by history." And it is the same Pat Robertson who attacks the well-established scientific fact of evolution--which even the Pope has come around to accepting, while attempting to "reconcile" it with "biblical truth.")

Yet people like Pat Robertson and others with the same basic viewpoint and program have not been pushed to the margin of social and political life in America. They are not only treated as legitimate participants in the political process, they are seriously contending for the predominant position in the political power structure and the running of society. Robertson himself made a bid for the Presidential nomination of the Republican Party in 1988.

At the least, the rise of people like Robertson signals that, in the corridors of finance and power, at this point there is not a well defined and broadly accepted consensus on the specific forms and means for exercising control in this period--which our Party has characterized as one of major transition with the potential for great upheaval. But there clearly is a fairly broad consensus among the ruling class that the social and political program of the fundamentalist reactionaries is an important element now in the "political mix." And, beyond the "hard-core" of the fundamentalist forces themselves, there are clearly powerful groupings who share the view that circumstances could arise which might call for the implementation of the fundamentalist program on a much more sweeping basis than at present.

What is also important to recognize is that within the armed forces there has been, for some time now, the development and cultivation of a situation in which the outlook of the fundamentalist reactionaries occupies a prominent place, including among higher level officers. In the book Making the Corps (which, as the title suggests, focuses on the Marine Corps but also discusses other branches of the American military) the author, Thomas E. Ricks, notes that "the military increasingly appears to lean toward partisan conservatism." Ricks cites a number of statements from people in the military illustrating this viewpoint, and he quotes a typical denunciation of "`cultural radicals, people who hate our Judeo-Christian culture...[whose] agenda has slowly codified into a new ideology, usually known as "multiculturalism" or "political correctness," that is in essence Marxism translated from economic into social and cultural terms.' " Ricks goes on to observe that this "reads like fairly standard right-wing American rhetoric of the nineties," such as might be expected from Robertson or Pat Buchanan, but its significance lies in the fact that its authors were two Marine reservists and William S. Lind, "a military analyst who has been influential on the doctrinal thinking of the Marines"; and, as Ricks expresses it, their "startling conclusion" is that "the next real war we fight is likely to be on American soil."

It must also be understood that, within the overall program of these forces, there is not only a repressive social and political agenda in general but, towards the masses in the inner cities, there is an outright genocidal element. And this is true despite the efforts of such forces to "clean up their image" in terms of racism--"apologizing" for a record of racism over a number of years, and declaring that they are opposed to racist oppression...as it took form in the past (for example, Jerry Falwell saying he was wrong in his vigorous opposition to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and '60s)--all the while continuing to aggressively champion a program that is not only extremely oppressive but, again, actually genocidal in its implications. This comes across, for example, in the discussion by Pat Robertson of crime and punishment, in particular capital punishment, in his book Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions . In that book--and, significantly, in a section of the book entitled "Christians and Government"--Robertson argues, in effect, for scrapping the current approach to the penal system in America and replacing it with one that applies "the biblical model" of ancient Israel--where "there were no prisons" and "public whippings were also administered to criminals." It is worth quoting Robertson at some length here:

"Today we place criminals in penitentiaries--places of confinement in which the offender is supposed to become penitent or sorry for his sins [note: not just crimes but `sins']. In truth, these places are breeding grounds for crime. In even the best of them, 85 percent of the inmates will be incarcerated again.

"Society must pay for the anguish suffered by the victims of crime, then pay again each year to hold the criminal in prison, a cost equivalent to an Ivy League college education. The biblical model is far wiser. The perpetrator of lesser crimes was returned to society where he was made to make restitution to his victim. The hard- core, habitual criminal was permanently removed from society through capital punishment. In neither case was society doubly victimized as we are today."

What might be lost in reading this--but is highly significant--is that, while Robertson says capital punishment is "a necessary corrective to violent crime," he does not limit himself to saying that people who commit crimes such as premeditated murder should be subject to capital punishment. Instead he uses the phrase "the hard-core, habitual criminal." And, in this discussion of capital punishment, Robertson writes the following in praise of the "biblical model":

"In ancient Israel, it was believed that blood shed in murder would defile the land and that shedding the blood of a killer was restitution to the land."

"Those who were considered incorrigible, who had committed unseemly acts that turned Israel against God or destroyed the fabric of society, had only one alternative--capital punishment. Through capital punishment, society was rid of that offense, and the land was cleansed of evil."

Here Robertson begins by speaking of murder, and he never specifically identifies any crime other than murder, but the fact is--and obviously this is well known to Robertson--in ancient Israel many acts besides murder brought the death penalty. As Robertson himself points out: "the same law that included the Ten Commandments also had clear provision for capital punishment for specific offenses." But, also very significantly, Robertson avoids saying what those offenses were. For they included not only murder but also the alleged crimes of homosexuality, practicing witchcraft and magic, worshipping idols and gods other than the god of Israel, adultery and fornication--which, for women, meant any sex outside marriage--and rebelliousness, or even disrespect, on the part of children toward their parents. As shown in these examples (and many others that could be cited), in ancient Israel capital punishment was meted out for a number of things which, according to long-established standards of bourgeois society, are not even crimes, or certainly are not crimes deserving capital punishment.

By phrasing things as he does--by what he says and does not say--Robertson leaves the opening to include not only those convicted of things like first-degree murder, but many others as well, in a very broad and "elastic" category of people who should be executed because, in the judgment of reactionary theocrats like Robertson, they somehow "defiled the land" through "unseemly acts" that turned god against his favored nation or "destroyed the fabric of society." And it is necessary to place this in the context of American society today, in which, through conscious government policy as well as the "normal operation" of the laws of capitalist accumulation and competition, whole sections of people are being consigned to the ranks of "unemployables," people for whom the only viable alternative within this system may be participation in the underground economy. With this in mind, we cannot avoid recognizing that the logic of Robertson's call for applying "the biblical model" for crime and punishment involves an unmistakable suggestion of a "final solution" against the masses of people in the inner cities as well as preparation for the use of extreme repression, and even execution, to punish a broad array of activities which today are treated as minor offenses or as no crime at all.

Here, too, the question must be posed: however much things might be framed in terms of "crime" and "criminals," given the reality that it is increasingly Black people, along with Latinos, who make up the prison population in the U.S., and given the whole reality of white supremacy and all the atrocities that have accompanied it throughout the history of the U.S., is it possible to believe that policies of mass extermination--through state-sponsored execution and/or in other forms--would be limited to those sections of Black people, and other peoples of color, who have actually committed what today are regarded as serious crimes? It is relevant to reflect on the implications of the statement by a speaker at a "conservative conference" in 1997 who, as Andrew Sullivan reports, not only denounced abortion and birth control but also "bemoaned that nonprocreative trends among white Europeans was leading to `race death.' " This blatant white supremacy--and the view that white women are breeders for the "white race"--is consistent with the logic of race war openly preached by Christian paramilitary forces and Nazi skinheads. And (to borrow Richard Pryor's phrasing) "the logical conclusion of the logic" of race war is genocide. In thinking about all this, it is worth keeping in mind that the "legitimate"--and prominent--fascists in America today include not only theocrats like Pat Robertson but also old-line, unreconstructed and unrepentant southern white supremacists, such as Jesse Helms.

The Theocrats and the Democrats—More in Common than in Conflict

Based on a serious examination--not only of their approach to crime and punishment but their overall politics and ideology--our Party has identified the fundamentalist theocrats like Robertson as Christian fascists. Their ideology and program, without exaggeration, amount to NAZI-ism dressed in religious robes and tailored to contemporary American society in the present world context. Today they are sharply at odds with Clinton and some aspects of the program he is advancing.

But in recognizing the horrific nature of these Christian fascist forces and what they are aiming to impose on society and the world, it would be a grievous error to overlook or underestimate the degree to which Clinton and the Democrats in general not only have agreement with but are actually implementing significant aspects of the same program and, where they are not actually taking the lead in this, are following, or giving way to, the initiative of the self-proclaimed Right. This stands out very sharply with regard to policies most directly affecting the masses of proletarians, and particularly those concentrated in the inner cities. To quote again from the essays on morality by Bob Avakian:

"The changes in the U.S. and in world economics and geopolitics have meant that millions of people on the bottom of American society, particularly those in the inner city ghettos and barrios, face the prospect of being more or less permanently `locked out' of any meaningful, or gainful, employment--except in the `underground economy,' centering largely around drugs, which has become a major economic factor and a major employer in every major urban area (and many smaller cities and towns and even rural areas as well).

"Here again, the need of the powers-that-be is to contain and maintain ultimate control over this situation--and over the masses of people on the bottom of society--and to erect and fortify barriers between them and other sections of society (`the middle class'). This explains the continuing increase in funds and forces devoted to crime and punishment--the police and prisons, the wars against these masses in the name of `war on drugs' and `war on crime'--on the one hand; and, on the other hand, the fact that these wars are never `won' but are always ongoing.

"All this sets the framework and the `tone' for ruling class politics in the U.S. It demands that the `leading edge' of this be an aggressive, mean-spirited assault on those on the bottom of society and the slashing of concessions to them--a war on the poor in place of a supposed war against poverty--along with an equally aggressive and mean-spirited crusade to promote and enforce `old-fashioned values' of patriarchy and patriotism as well as good old white chauvinism (racism).

"One after another, all kinds of `theories' and `studies'--claiming to show that there are innate and unchangeable differences between races and genders and other groupings in society which explain why some have and really should have a privileged and dominant positions over others--are spread and legitimized throughout the mass media. This, it is claimed, provides the `scientific explanation' for why programs that purport to overcome such inequalities are doomed to failure and must be gutted. What it actually provides further scientific proof of is the utter bankruptcy of a system and a ruling class that is abandoning even the pretense of overcoming profound inequalities and instead is inventing `profound reasons' why they cannot be overcome. And in all this, while the `liberals' have a role to play, the initiative belongs to the `conservatives.'"

Along with the fact that the Clinton administration has moved to implement much of the actual program of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy--including the gutting of concessionary social programs--where Clinton and the Democrats have differed with the "conservatives," they have offered lukewarm defenses while back-pedaling, as in the case of affirmative action. And, again, on the issue of abortion, they have taken positions which cede the moral and political initiative to the other side (abortion should be "legal but rare"--which implies that it is, at best, some kind of necessary evil). At the same time the Clinton administration has taken no real initiative to reverse the situation in which increasingly, for very large numbers of women, particularly poor women, young women, and those in rural areas, abortion is effectively unavailable even if still legal.

And if there is one area in which Clinton has boldly taken the initiative and refused to be outdone by his "conservative" opposition, it is in the sphere of repression and police-state measures. No leading political figure in America today--not even Rudolph Giuliani, Republican mayor of New York City, whose draconian and murderous police-state measures have provoked outrage among the masses and criticism from prestigious human rights organizations but have been profusely praised and put forward as a model by the political power structure and mainstream media--none has outdone Clinton. Clinton has consistently and aggressively supported and presided over the increasing use of the death penalty. He has (to recall Andrew Sullivan's formulation) "gutted civil liberties" in the name of "the war against terrorism." He has intensified the war against immigrants and the militarization of the border with Mexico. He has presided over a continuation, and even an escalation, of the criminalization of whole sections of people, in particular the youth in the inner cities, and the situation where increasingly funds are going to prisons instead of schools and, for growing numbers of inner-city youth, prisons instead of schools are the formative institutions and the face of the "future," if they have a future at all.

As one police chief recently observed, "never before has local law enforcement had such a powerful voice in Washington." And what does this mean "on the street" and in the neighborhoods where the people who are the targets of this "enforcement" are concentrated? It means unbridled harassment and insult, brutality and murder at the hands of the police. The Stolen Lives Project (a project of the Anthony Baez Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, and the October 22nd Coalition Against Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation) has so far brought to light over 1000 cases, just since 1990, where people were killed by the police, prison guards and the border patrol. The majority of these people were unarmed, murdered in cold blood, or in circumstances which were, at the least, highly suspicious--and in almost none of these cases have the killers been indicted for any crime.2 All this has become so flagrant that, for the first time in its history, Amnesty International has launched a major campaign focused on a Western country--the U.S., where, in the words of Amnesty International, police forces and the criminal and legal systems have engaged in "a persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations."

Along with all this, Clinton has actually put forward a political standard and rationale for treating whole groups of people as second-class citizens who do not have the same rights that are promised to others. One of the main expressions of this has been the formulation that Clinton has repeatedly used in speeches, press conferences, etc.: "If you abide by the law."

In this formulation we can see the exclusion in Clinton's "inclusiveness." If you abide by the law--and only if you abide by the law--then you have the right to compete for a place in the virtual bright new world that lies ahead, over that "bridge to the 21st century" of which Clinton also continually speaks. In this, subtly and insidiously, Clinton is installing a criterion which in practice reverses the supposed principle of "innocent until proven guilty"--applying instead the principle that it is only on the basis of proving that you are "innocent" that you are entitled to certain basic rights, such as due process. And, as all this is actually applied, there are whole groups of people--in particular the youth but also the masses more broadly in the inner cities--toward whom the "presumption of guilt" is in effect and for whom due process and related "Constitutional protections" do not hold. This is illustrated by such things as court decisions exercising "prior restraint" against inner-city youth, prohibiting them from doing things like hanging out together on the corner because they have been identified by law enforcement as "gang members." And in cities all over America there are "gang indexes," compiled by police, which establish the basis for treating youth as criminals merely because they are Black (or Latino) and may associate with "known gang members" or even may be declared "potential gang members." (Further exposure of this--including the fact that, in some cities, the police have admitted that such a "gang index" includes a majority of Black youth in certain age groups--is found in a series of articles in the RW : "Black Youth and the Criminalization of a Generation," RW Nos. 971-974, August 30, September 6, 13, 20, 1998. These articles are also available as a pamphlet.)

A graphic illustration of all this is the fact that, going beyond "three strikes laws," the Clinton administration has instituted a policy towards people in public housing which has been called "one strike and you're out" because it stipulates that people may be evicted from public housing if anyone in their household (or even a guest) is accused--not convicted but accused--of committing a `violent or drug-related' crime! This is part of an overall move to force people out of public housing and ultimately to dismantle public housing altogether. But, beyond that, it is part of the larger program of casting whole groups of people--and, above all, masses of proletarians who cannot even be profitably exploited through the "regular functioning" of capitalist society in this period of history--into a category of "criminals unless and until they can prove otherwise"...without due process...people who are destined for concentration camp life in prison--where they may be profitably exploited and/or face execution. And, given the whole history and essential nature of capitalist society in America, which has institutionalized white supremacy and cannot survive without it, it is hardly surprising that those who are being cast into this "criminal" category are largely, and increasingly, people of color.

To justify all this, Clinton has joined in the preaching about "personal responsibility." As utilized by Clinton as well as the "conservatives," this theme of "personal responsibility" is an ideological weapon which serves the function of blaming the people for the failure of bourgeois society to live up to principles and promises it proclaims, and in particular blaming those in the inner cities for the impoverished and oppressed conditions into which they have been cast and confined. It seeks to locate the cause of this situation--and the actions of people forcibly maintained in these conditions--in some alleged "moral failing" on the part of the people themselves, and to deny and obscure the real cause: the workings of the system itself and the policies of the powers- that-be. (Did the people in the ghettos and barrios "de-industrialize" the cities and forcibly segregate housing, or for that matter did the people in the rural areas bring about the domination of corporate and banking capital over the farm economy?) "Personal responsibility" adds insult to injury--and, more than that, "personal responsibility" serves as the "moral sermonizing" to accompany the politics of punishment, the pious words pronounced by the executioners.

False Friends—and Well-Laid Traps

To quote one writer, a self-described "old-school fan of the public sector," it has "become difficult to feel any enthusiasm for a government whose activism seems to consist mainly of harassing and jailing citizens. Those who hoped that a Clinton administration might slow or reverse this trend have been bitterly disappointed." (William Finnegan, Cold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country ) Yet, in the face of the mounting onslaught from The Right--both in general and more specifically in the current "Presidential crisis"--there are a number of people who might share a sense of bitter disappointment with the Clinton administration and the Democrats generally, yet are nonetheless rallying behind them. In the context of the recent elections, this support has largely been channeled into the electoral arena. In the days leading into the election, Clinton made a concerted effort to mobilize Black voters in particular. As he put it, in an appeal to Black clergy: "If you feel in your heart that you are part of my Presidency, then I ask you just one thing: Realize this is an important election." And, indeed, among Black people, including some influential figures in the arts and other fields, the sentiment has been voiced that Black people do have a special stake in Clinton's Presidency.

Of course, Clinton is not the first president about whom the claim has been made: he has shown some real commitment to the concerns of Black people. (This was also said about previous presidents, such as John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt, and even Lyndon Johnson.) But beyond this, it is argued that Clinton is intimately familiar with Black culture and comfortable with Black people. And more, the argument has been made (for example, in an article by Toni Morrison in The New Yorker ) that Clinton is "our first black president"--"Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime"--because "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas" and is being persecuted and "put in his place" on precisely this basis. Now, it is true that Clinton, who after all is a consummate bourgeois politician, has exhibited the ability, when he has found it expedient, to affect a certain affinity for aspects of Black culture. At the same time, when he has found it personally expedient or politically important for larger reasons, Clinton has indulged in symbolism designed to appeal, subtly or none too subtly, to white racism--such as his deliberate distancing of Jesse Jackson; his gratuitous attack on Sista Souljah during the 1992 campaign; his treatment of his own nominees and aides like Lani Guinier and Joycelyn Elders; and, very significantly, his seizing on photo opportunities to express support for the re-institution of chain gangs in southern prisons.

But even if Clinton were Black--"culturally" or actually--the fundamental point would still be this: If you take a cold, hard look at the reality of what the Clinton administration has done with regard to the masses of Black people and other oppressed people, including youth, poor women and others at the base of society, the only reasonable conclusion is that Clinton and his program represent a vicious and many-sided attack. As the saying goes, with friends like this, who needs enemies? And, in some important ways, Clinton has made a more effective enemy--has played a more effective role for the ruling class in its attacks on the masses of people--by posing as a friend. Many people have pointed out, for example, that had a Republican president signed into law the "welfare reform bill," it would likely have given rise to much more widespread and determined resistance. But much of this resistance was paralyzed because, as far as parties with their hands on the levers of political power in the present society, the alternative to Clinton and the Democrats is the Republicans, who are well-known and in many cases unabashed and openly belligerent enemies of progress for Black people, as well as for women and for oppressed people generally. Within the confines of bourgeois politics, there is no way out of this well-laid trap.

This trap has also ensnared a number of feminists who criticize some aspects of Clinton's "record for women's rights" but still see in Clinton not only "an ally in the White House" but "the first president elected by women," as a statement by the Feminist Majority puts it. Clinton's position of opposing attempts to outlaw abortion is often cited as an indication of how important his Presidency is for women. And it is true that abortion is hardly a question of secondary importance. In fact, in the present circumstances in the U.S., it is a concentration of the battle against patriarchal oppression and tradition's chains. This is definitely recognized, from their side, by the Christian fascists and those allied with them--as indicated, for example, in the comments of William Kristol, a leading figure among these "conservatives" (who not only appears regularly in the mainstream media but who also edits The Weekly Standard , a magazine founded by none other than media monopolizer Rupert Murdoch). Kristol is quoted as follows in the Andrew Sullivan NYT article: "Roe and abortion are the test. For if Republicans are incapable of grappling with this moral and political challenge; if they cannot earn a mandate to overturn Roe and move toward a post-abortion America, then in truth, there will be no conservative future."

Sullivan also cites the remarks of a "conservative" who, along with Kristol, spoke at a conference in Washington, DC in 1997. As Sullivan describes it, this speaker not only denounced abortion but also birth control "as the `homosexualization of heterosexual sex.'" Here, in this one statement, we see a concentrated expression of a number of key things: the connection between these people's opposition to abortion and to homosexuality; why opposition to abortion is so pivotal to their whole reactionary outlook and program; and why the basis on which they oppose abortion logically extends to birth control and generally to reproductive freedom for women. And, more than that, the underlying basis for all this comes through: the patriarchal family is above all a property relation--a crucial part of bourgeois property relations overall--in which the wife is in effect the possession of the husband, and her essential role is that of a breeder of children, above all male children, who can continue the lineage of the man and in particular inherit his property; and, in all this, the overriding and quintessential purpose of sex--"in the marriage bed"--is procreation. (It is also worth underlining that these remarks denouncing birth control as well as abortion as "the homosexualization of heterosexual sex" were made by the same speaker who "bemoaned that nonprocreative trends among white Europeans was leading to `race death.' ")

But what have been the dynamics of the struggle around abortion, particularly during the time that the Clinton administration has been in office? The forces striving for "a post-abortion America" have, through a combination of tactics--including unrelenting harassment of abortion clinics and providers, and arson, bombings and other attacks, as well as outright murder--made tremendous gains in effectively denying abortion to large numbers of women and in undercutting the training of new generations of potential providers. Beyond that, they have gone a long way in gaining the political and moral initiative and in setting the terms of the debate and struggle. And, it must be frankly admitted, they have succeeded in confusing and disorienting significant numbers of people, including many young women. (They have even made some headway in deflecting identification with the Nazis from themselves and onto abortion providers, through the perverted claim that abortions amount to a "holocaust.")

As pointed out in Bob Avakian's writings on morality: "It is one of the most outrageous ironies of the battle around abortion that the anti-abortionists have raised the specter of the Holocaust to characterize the abortion of fetuses, when their agenda, with regard to women and more generally, parallels very closely that of the Hitler fascists, who in fact attacked abortion--and restricted and criminalized it--as something contrary to the essential `motherhood' role of women." Meanwhile, the effect of having a "pro-choice" president (and Vice- president)--or, more accurately, the effect of falling into the notion that defending the right to abortion should essentially be reduced to dependence on Clinton (and Gore)--has been to render many of the forces in the women's movement passive and defensive, largely immobilized and paralyzed, in terms of mounting any mass mobilization in support of the right to abortion and in opposition to the attacks of the anti-abortion stormtroopers, and in terms of taking the moral and political offensive.

Real Opposition and a Real Alternative

There is no question whatever that the program and actions of the Christian fascists and those allied with them is something that must be decisively and urgently opposed. This is true not only in general but also specifically with regard to how they have framed the terms of the latest "Presidential crisis." Without overlooking the sexually exploitative indulgences for which Clinton has become notorious, the fact remains that, in terms of bourgeois politicians--including presidents who have been made into virtual icons (think of Kennedy, for example)--there is nothing new about all this... except that the President's enemies within the ruling class have decided to make this--and have been successful in making this--a public scandal and the pivot of a political crisis. As pointed out in a previous article in the RW on this crisis: "Talk of defaming the hallowed halls of the White House with sex is laughable--as the whole history of the U.S. power structure shows. Even more so when the great critics of lying under oath are the very people who supported the likes of Oliver North and the entire Reagan administration which lied to Congress and broke the law in the Iran/Contra affair." ("Scandal as Power Struggle in the U.S. Ruling Class: The Starr Report," by Redwing, RW , September 20, 1998).

That these forces have succeeded to the degree they have in creating and shaping this crisis seems to be due not only to their own efforts but also to other factors, including an apparent feeling among other sections of the ruling class (for example, those whose voice is the New York Times ) that Clinton has acted recklessly and has violated some principle of accountability to ruling class structures and procedures and has damaged the larger interests of system and empire that above all the president is supposed to uphold. There also seems to be, at this point, an absence of a "patrician force" within the ruling class capable of "rising above sectarian and partisan disputes" and acting as a "cohering center" upholding those larger interests--an absence that was lamented in a commentary, "Lack of Wise Men leaves the nation wanting," in USA Today (October 15, 1998). Although there have been a few efforts by some prominent people to at least partially play the role of such "Wise Men" in this crisis, none has so far succeeded in exerting sufficient influence to bring about a resolution that will be accepted by all sides. As this article is being written, the situation is still in flux.

In the aftermath of the recent elections--which have been presented as a serious setback for the Republicans and, more specifically, a decisive failure to get a "popular mandate" to oust Clinton (with this setback, in turn, being a significant factor in the "downfall" of Newt Gingrich)--there seems to be an increased likelihood that Clinton will be able to finish out his term, that some resolution will be found which leaves him in office. But, even if this proves to be the case, it will not eliminate the fact that, among those vying to run things, there are some very serious contradictions; it will not erase the fact that these conflicts erupted into an acute and bitter confrontation; it certainly will not change the sentiments of those who consider that Clinton is, and always has been, unfit to be president. Nor, despite the fact that these elections are now being portrayed as a victory for the "moderate center," will it change the fact that The Right--and in particular the Christian fascists and their allies--have been able to seize a great deal of initiative and to have a significant impact in defining the terms of not only the immediate "Presidential crisis" but bourgeois politics generally. (The very fact that politicians like the Bush Brothers are now being presented as representatives of the "moderate center" is itself an indication of how the "center" of "mainstream politics" is being continually moved to the Right in these times--and the fact that Clinton can be grouped together with Republicans like the Bush Brothers as part of the present "moderate center" is very telling.)

In relation to the current "presidential crisis," the forces openly identified as "Far Right" have been able, for a considerable period of time, to act as a driving force in an Inquisition which, among other things, aims to enshrine reactionary fundamentalist morality as a political standard--with powerful figures, like Senate majority leader Trent Lott, giving voice to that morality. This Inquisition has utilized and attempted to legitimize procedures and precedents, legal and otherwise, which involve spying on and prying into the personal lives of people and persecuting and legally prosecuting them on that basis, and generally trampling on supposed constitutional rights and protections in the process--and, as we (and others) have pointed out, if this can be done to the President what protection will ordinary people have?!

This Inquisition, and the ideology and politics bound up with it, is profoundly opposed to the interests of the people and should be resolutely resisted and repudiated. But, here again, even in seeking to defeat the attempt to oust him from office, Clinton in large part takes up the terms of his opponents. He makes a point of publicly declaring, "I have sinned "--which can only have the effect of strengthening the notion that Christian fundamentalist principles are a legitimate basis on which to judge political leaders and political programs and a legitimate basis for political decision-making. And, again, as we and others have pointed out, one of the great ironies of the effort to oust Clinton is that his enemies have used against him many of the civil-liberties-gutting laws and precedents he himself has aggressively established and enacted. If opposition to this Inquisition is reduced to the terms set, or accepted, by Clinton--and if it is primarily channeled into, or even limited to, the electoral arena and voting for Democrats (or, what is the same thing, voting against Republicans)--then the effect will be to weaken the resistance to the whole repressive and reactionary program which Clinton and the Democrats, and not only the Christian fascists and other "conservatives," have played a major part in promoting and implementing.

As to participation in the bourgeois electoral process, our Party has made clear our understanding that this process is an instrument of capitalist rule--an instrument of what is in fact bourgeois dictatorship. Which candidates are to be regarded as "serious contenders" and, more importantly, the terms of debate and contention and the "political alternatives" that are treated as legitimate and "realistic"--all this is determined within the ranks of the ruling class itself. Elections only offer the people the opportunity to choose among those alternatives. And one of the primary purposes of such elections is to give the appearance of a "popular mandate" to whatever reactionary policies are implemented by the ruling class through its governmental structures.

This understanding not only puts the dynamics of bourgeois politics in their true light but also highlights what is wrong with the notion--which is generally propagated around election time and has been put forward with particular intensity in relation to the recent election, including by some people who might be expected to know better--that if you don't vote, then you have no right to complain, or even no right to have a voice, in regard to how the country is run. This amounts to arguing that, if you have come to see that the bourgeois electoral process is part of the apparatus of oppressing the people, and that one of its main purposes is to politically misdirect people and dissipate their political energies in order to more effectively oppress them, then you have no right to oppose that oppression! What kind of logic is that, and whom does such logic serve?

It is also important to reject and refute the much-propagated notion that what shapes political decisions is that politicians are motivated primarily by the ambition to get elected (or re-elected) and they make political decisions on the basis of "reading the pulse of the electorate." This turns things upside-down and inside-out and in effect blames the people for the reactionary policies that are adopted by the government.

The truth is that political decision-making in a country like the U.S. is dominated by a class, the capitalist class, whose economically dominant position enables it to monopolize political power as well as the mass media and other means of disseminating ideas and culture. Of course, politicians in a bourgeois political system are motivated to a significant degree by personal ambitions, and they do seek to pursue those ambitions through the political structures and processes of that system. But even in this regard, getting elected and advancing your personal career as a bourgeois politician depends above all on getting big money support and getting favorable treatment in the mass media which, again, are controlled by the same big money interests.

In actuality, political decisions and government policies are arrived at through contention as well as collaboration within the ranks of the ruling class and its representatives. Through all this a general consensus is forged (and when necessary reforged on new terms) in regard to major questions and major developments in society and the world, including revolutionary wars and other struggles against the system--and, in fact, the inability to achieve such a consensus through the "normal" functioning and channels of the system is an indication of a serious crisis. In conformity with this process of decision-making and the consensus that is reached, orchestrated and many-sided propaganda campaigns are carried out through the mass media to shape public opinion around all important issues. (This includes the entertainment as well as the "news" media. For example, notice how repeatedly the need to be "tough on crime and criminals," and to use all necessary measures to "defeat terrorists," is dramatized, and how "family values" has recently become a major theme, not only on television but also in movies produced by that "Sodom of liberal decadence," Hollywood).

These dynamics of class rule and class struggle, rooted in the underlying economic compulsions and social relations of the system, are the basis for all government policy. This is the basis on which the New Deal was adopted by the American government in the context of the 1930s Great Depression. It is the basis on which the "war on poverty" became government policy during the upheavals of the 1960s. And it is the basis on which the New Deal and the "war on poverty" have now been abandoned, as discussed earlier in this article. It is the basis on which concessions were made to the struggle of Black people in the 1960s and the basis on which the government has backed away from and undercut many of these concessions. This is also the basis on which the U.S. got into the Vietnam war--and the basis on which it got out. It is the basis on which laws were changed (or the Constitution interpreted) in ways that vitally affect women, including particularly around abortion--and the basis on which the right to abortion is now under attack from powerful forces, in and out of government, and why even the those in government who claim to "defend" this right have cast it in a defensive and negative light (as expressed in the formula: "legal but rare"). In none of these cases--nor in countless others that could be cited--has the bourgeois electoral process been the decisive and determining thing.

It has been widely acclaimed that, in the recent elections, "minorities, women, and union members made the difference." It may be true that these votes made a difference in determining that the Democratic Party gained a few seats in Congress, but such votes did not and could not "make the difference" in determining the overall direction of government policy or in derailing the whole program of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy, on which the Democrats as well as the Republicans are fundamentally united. Once again, the range of programs and policies that all politicians must conform to, if they wish to remain in office, is determined not in the voting booths but within the ranks of the ruling class. And the result is, first of all, that the "choices" people have in voting have been "pre-selected" for them by those with the real power in society and, regardless of the outcome of any particular election, those with the real power will determine among themselves what political decisions will be made and what policies will be carried out on all important issues. This, more than anything else, explains why politicians consistently lie and go back on election promises. It also explains why reality never conforms to the notion that if oppressed people vote overwhelmingly for one bourgeois political party, then that party must somehow "deliver to them." How many times, for example, have Black people voted overwhelmingly for Democrats only to have the Democrats betray campaign "pitches" made to get those votes; and, within the confines of bourgeois electoral politics, what can Black people do to "punish" the Democrats for this repeated betrayal- -vote for the Republicans?!3

All this does not mean that the masses of people can have no effect on politics. They can have a great effect, even while the society is still ruled by the capitalist class--to say nothing of the profound effect they can achieve through the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist system and the radical transformation of society as a whole. But they can only have the most powerful effect by refusing to be confined within the framework set by the bourgeois electoral process and by mobilizing in political struggle that breaks out of the terms and limits set by those who dominate that electoral process.

A dramatic illustration of the reality and the principles involved here is provided by looking at two Presidential elections during the Vietnam war--one near the beginning and the other toward the end of that war. First, in 1964, a major theme of the campaign of Lyndon Johnson was that it was crucial to re-elect him as President because his Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater, had made clear that he would dramatically escalate the war in Vietnam. Johnson won in a "landslide," and no sooner was he re-elected than he himself presided over a massive escalation in the war. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese people, north and south, continued to wage a revolutionary war of resistance against U.S. aggression, and within the U.S. itself (as well as other countries) opposition to this aggression was mobilized on a greater and greater scale. After nearly a decade of U.S. attempts to impose its will on Vietnam and of increasing resistance to this, in 1972 the American Presidential election was said to involve a decisive choice between the "hawk" Richard Nixon and the "dove" George McGovern (many even argued that in order to end the war it was necessary to elect McGovern). Nixon won the election, with a huge margin of victory, and yet within a short time after this election, the U.S. government was forced to accept defeat and make a retreat out of Vietnam. The decisive thing in all this was obviously not the U.S. presidential elections but the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people against U.S. aggression and an increasingly powerful anti-war movement in the U.S., in the context of other major developments in the U.S. and internationally, including powerful revolutionary movements, struggles, and wars. Clearly, had the masses of people who opposed U.S. aggression in Vietnam based their political vision and involvement on the terms and "choices" offered by the American electoral process, they would have had a far less powerful effect on crucial events in Vietnam, in the U.S. itself, and in the world as a whole.

We recognize that, under the present circumstances, many people--including many who are disgusted by the whole politics of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy and want to defeat it--do vote in these bourgeois elections. Once more, it is important to emphasize that the decisive question now, in terms of taking on this whole reactionary offensive, is not whether people vote or refuse to take part in this electoral process but whether we accept, or refuse to accept, the terms set by the ruling political parties and the interests they serve.

It is extremely important to step back from the immediate situation and the terms in which things are presented to us, and ask: How did we get to the situation where the choices, the framework and limits we are supposed to accept are marked at one end by outright fascists and at the other end by someone who, as even a mainstream columnist describes him, is the most conservative Democratic President since Truman, who heads a Democratic administration that has served as an aggressive and effective instrument in a many-sided reactionary offensive against the basic masses and broader sections of people? Where will we be, before long, and what will the future look like, if people, especially those who see the need to oppose this reactionary offensive, nevertheless are convinced to confine their political objectives and activity within the logic and dynamic that has led us to the present situation? And, most importantly, how do we get out of this situation? The answer is that it must and can only be done by mobilizing broad ranks of people, uniting people from many different strata and walks of life, to build determined resistance to this whole reactionary program and to transform the whole terms of political contention and struggle, the whole "political terrain"--resistance that is not limited to and does not rely on the very political structures, institutions and processes that are the means through which this reactionary offensive is being carried out and given "legitimacy."

Taking Back the High Ground—Politically and Morally

A crucial part of doing this is, in fact, to directly and uncompromisingly take on the theocratic Christian fascists and those allied with them--not only in their political program but also in their ideological-religious rationalizations--and to pose a powerful positive alternative to this. These people attempt to seize the "moral high ground" by portraying themselves as the upholders of a tradition-steeped moral certainty, in opposition to moral relativism and self-indulgent degeneracy. They proclaim that they stand for a literal and absolute interpretation of "biblical truth" and adherence to biblically based commandments and law. But the truth is that the moral and ideological principles they proclaim are wildly in conflict even with what can be accepted in bourgeois-democratic society, to say nothing of a communist society in which all relations of exploitation and oppression have been eliminated and uprooted. And for that reason, the leading figures among them, who are above all conscious and calculating political operatives, do not and cannot insist on a literal and absolute application of biblical laws and commandments. To do that would actually undermine their political objectives. Instead, they "pick and choose" themselves which of these laws and commandments to insist on, and which to avoid or "explain away," according to the circumstances.

To cite one of many examples, in a full-page ad in the USA Today (August 26, 1998) a group of Christian fundamentalists praised the Southern Baptists for their stand on marriage: "Southern Baptists...you are right!" According to this ad, these Southern Baptists were "right" because they insisted that wives must "graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership" (!) and because they recognized that "the family was God's idea, not man's, and that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman for a lifetime.... Most importantly, you are right because your statement is based on biblical truth!" But the "biblical truth"--what is actually put forth in the bible--is that many, if not all, of the great patriarchs of ancient Israel had more than one wife (leaving aside the instances where such patriarchs slept with a wife's slave-maid in order to produce children, specifically male children, for the patriarch); and the great monarchs of that nation, such as David and Solomon, had scores of wives and concubines; and moreover, in the "Mosaic law" that is set down in the bible, provision is made for husbands to have more than one wife; and provision is made for the husband, though not the wife, to get rid of a spouse through divorce. So, we see that these Christian fundamentalists have not in actuality applied a literal and absolute reading of the Bible. Instead, they have "reinterpreted" such "biblical truth" to suit their objective of promoting monogamous patriarchal family bonds which correspond, not to the oppressive social relations enshrined in the Bible, but to those of contemporary capitalist society.

In the same way, someone such as Pat Robertson, or the heads of the Christian Coalition, do not insist today that, in accordance with "biblical truth," homosexuals as well as adulterers, fornicators, and rebellious children, along with fortune-tellers, witches, and so on, must be put to death. They do not insist that if a man accuses his wife of not being a virgin when they marry, her parents must provide physical evidence of her virginity (a blood-stained cloth) before the male elders of the town--and if they cannot provide such proof, the men of the town shall stone the women to death. They do not insist that, if a man rapes an unmarried woman, he must pay recompense--to her father--and must marry the woman he has raped. They do not insist that anyone who calls for worshipping any god other than the god of Israel (or who secretly conspires to promote such worship of "false gods") shall be put to death. They do not openly declare that it is not only permissible but glorious for god's chosen people, when they wage war on their enemies, to wipe out whole cities, to rape women and carry off any virgins they desire as war prizes, and to bash in the heads of the babies (although people like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and the rest have consistently supported the military of the U.S. and those allied with it when they have committed such atrocities). Yet all the practices, procedures, and punishments mentioned here are part of the "Mosaic laws and commandments"; and (we are told in Deuteronomy as well as elsewhere in the Old Testament) these laws and commandments are to be followed diligently and exactly, without the slightest deviation.

Once again, the leading Christian fascists do not insist on applying these and many other biblical laws and commandments because, under present circumstances, it would not be politically expedient for them to do so--it would be seen as barbarous by the great majority of people, even in bourgeois society, and it would actually undercut their political objectives. (However, if at any given time, they should decide that calling for, or even carrying out, such barbarous acts would be politically expedient, they would not hesitate to do so--as indicated by the fact that, at one point not long ago, William Bennett openly called for the beheading of drug dealers.)4 What they do is to set themselves up as the authorities, the "interpreters" and the "arbiters" of "biblical truth," who can and should decide, not only for themselves but for society as a whole, what in "God's absolute laws and commandments" and "absolute moral principles" can and must be applied and what must be ignored or explained away at any given time. This is why it is correct and necessary to identify them as theocrats: they do, in fact, seek a form of rule which is based on religious, and more specifically Christian, authority--as represented by people like themselves--in the service of the American capitalist-imperialist system. It is not necessary to be atheists, as we revolutionary communists are, in order to recognize the atrociously reactionary nature of such a political program and the need to vigorously oppose it.

But the opposition to these theocratic Christian fascists must go beyond merely insisting that they have no right to impose their particular interpretation of "biblical truth" on others and on society as a whole. Nor is it realistic, or correct, to make it a principle that people should keep their "private" or "personal" beliefs to themselves and not bring them into the public and particularly the political arena. People's political views will naturally be influenced by their ideological outlook. The essential question, with regard to all political programs, policies, and actions--and all beliefs and ideologies--is what is their content, what interests do they uphold and further, what effect do they have on society and the people? The world outlook and the political views and actions of the Christian fascists must be opposed because they serve to uphold and fortify horrendous oppression, exploitation, and plunder, of women, of whole peoples and nations, and of the masses of working people throughout the world. And, for that matter, the same applies to the political views and actions of Clinton and others who are in contention with the Christian fascists for predominance within the ruling structures of the American capitalist imperium.

At the same time, as necessary as it is to expose and oppose the whole reactionary political offensive, and its various ideological rationalizations, it is also necessary to bring forth political principles and values and culture which represent a real alternative to this reactionary onslaught.

As for our Party, our goal is the radical transformation of society, and of the world, to eliminate all oppressive and exploitative relations among people and to abolish all class distinctions and national antagonisms and barriers, to bring about, as the final goal, a freely associating community of human beings, worldwide. The morals and ideology we uphold and strive to apply are in accordance with that objective and are, at any given point, an expression of the link between the current struggle and the final goal. In this way, our outlook and principles, as well as our political program and actions, are in the most fundamental opposition to the Christian fascists and at the same time to all forms and expressions of bourgeois rule and bourgeois ideology. But we also recognize, consistent with our outlook and principles, that there is a need, and a basis, for building a broad unity in struggle against what has been referred to as the politics of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy and in general against the ways in which the masses of people, in the U.S. and throughout the world, are subjected to exploitation, oppression and plunder.

And we believe that, together with building this political unity in struggle, there is also a need and a basis to forge broad unity, among diverse forces, around values and cultural expressions that promote and celebrate equality, between men and women, and between peoples and nations; that stand against oppression and against violence which furthers and enforces such oppression; that oppose imperial domination by one nation over others and military bludgeoning to impose that domination; that foster relations among people based on an appreciation for diversity but also for community; values and culture that prize cooperation among people in place of cut-throat competition, that put the needs of people above the drive to accumulate wealth, that actually promote the global interests of humanity as opposed to narrow national antagonisms and great-power domination.

The development of unity around such values and cultural expressions, like the furthering of political unity in struggle, will be an ongoing process. Building this unity is a challenge that must be taken up by all those who recognize the horror of what is represented by the fundamentalist reactionaries and the implications of this for the masses of people; who refuse to accept that the only "alternative" to this is one which shares essential things in common with it; who recognize the need to confront--and to offer a positive alternative to--the whole politics of poverty, punishment, and patriarchy and the ideological rationalizations for this politics. It is a challenge that must be boldly and urgently taken up.


NOTES:

1These writings on morality have been published as a book: Preaching From a Pulpit of Bones: We Need Morality But Not Traditional Morality,Banner Press, May 1999.

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2 The Stolen Lives Project has now documented over 2,000 cases of people killed by law enforcement in the 1990s. The Project also reports that there has been a marked rise in the number of killings by law enforcement nationwide since September 11, 2001.

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3 For a fuller discussion of the role of elections in capitalist society, see Democracy, Can't We Do Better Than That, by Bob Avakian.

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4 More recently, during the current U.S. occupation of Iraq, the beheadings of hostages by Islamic have been loudly condemned as barbaric acts not only by progressive people but by the powers-that-be in the U.S.--in particular the Bush administration, which counts William Bennett among its most powerful supporters.

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/009/avakian-fascists-destruction-weimar.htm

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

The Fascists and the Destruction of the “Weimar Republic”...
And What Will Replace It

by Bob Avakian

July 16, 2018 | Originally posted July 24, 2005 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

EDITORS’ NOTE (July 16, 2018): We are giving prominence to this article to draw the lens back on questions that are right now very sharp and which are being covered in this week’s revcom.us issue. The following is part of a series of excerpts on various subjects drawn from conversations and discussions, as well as more formal talks, by Bob Avakian—from the period of the George W. Bush presidency, in which the threat of fascism took a leap... a leap which the Trump/Pence regime has now taken further. It has been edited for publication and footnotes have been added.

 

These reactionary religious fundamentalists in the U.S., whom we have very correctly identified as Christian Fascists, are actually calling for things to be done in society, and by the government, that many people still believe would not or could not really be done in a country like the U.S. “They could never really be serious about doing that,” many people will say, speaking of things like literally applying what the Bible says about homosexuals—that homosexuals must be put to death. Well, people had better realize how serious these Christian Fascists are, what they actually intend to do, and how serious the situation is. Among these Christian Fascists, including ones who are very influential and powerful, and powerfully connected, there is very definitely an intention of imposing “biblically based morality,” including things like the execution of homosexuals, as “the law of the land.”

Or take another dimension of this: the institution of marriage. In the dispute around gay marriage, some of the people defending the right to gay marriage have tried to answer the argument that gay marriage will undermine the institution of marriage by saying: “If you are really worried about the future of marriage, why don’t you do something about divorce?” Well, as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for!” I doubt very seriously if those who make this argument by way of defending the right to gay marriage—or at least the great majority of them—actually want to see a situation where divorce is outlawed. But, once again, people better realize how serious this is—and that there are powerful forces who are very serious indeed about outlawing divorce. The fact is that, in Louisiana and some other states, there is already a law providing for “covenant marriages.” There are two kinds of marriages in those states now: in addition to “regular” marriage, there is “covenant marriage,” which, as its religious overtones imply, is based on provisions taken from the Bible. These “covenant marriages” eliminate “no fault divorce,” they make it much more difficult for those who have entered into these marriages to get a divorce. At this point these “covenant marriages” are entered into voluntarily, and there is still the alternative of “regular” marriages— at this point! But these (for now voluntary) “covenant marriages” are part of a very definite and determined drive by Christian Fascist forces to get rid of divorce altogether—to outlaw it outright—and, in a male supremacist society like this, everybody knows, or should know, what that would mean. It would mean that millions and millions of women will be trapped in oppressive—and even physically and sexually abusive—marriages.

Claudia Koonz pointed out in her book The Nazi Conscience that, among the Nazis in Germany, there was a kind of “division of labor”: at times at least, Hitler would sound a more reasonable, and even at times conciliatory, tone—while his followers would be agitating and taking action around the most openly vicious and brutal measures, directed against Jewish people, communists, homosexuals, and others whom the Nazis regarded as an abomination and a blot upon German society. And all this laid the basis for the mass round-ups and executions, and the literal genocide, that followed under the rule of the Nazis. Similarly, the 21st-century American equivalent of Nazis, the Christian Fascists and others generally in the same camp, have their hitmen (and women), including those like David Horowitz, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter, who are openly foaming at the mouth with attacks on those they see as standing in the way of their program. And, besides attacking people who are genuinely opposed not only to this fascism but to the capitalist-imperialist system as a whole, one of the main lines of their assault is (to use a very relevant analogy) viciously going after the Weimar Republic (the bourgeois-democratic republic in Germany after World War 1, which was replaced and forcibly abolished when Hitler and the Nazis came to power in the 1930s). We have to understand the meaning and significance of this, and the purpose behind it.

Going after the equivalent of the Weimar Republic in the U.S. today, the Democratic Party and the “Liberals,” and so on—attacking them as nothing less than traitors—is part of an overall program aimed at silencing and outright suppressing, including through the force of the state, any group or section of society, even within the ruling class, that would pose an obstacle to the implementation of the program that the Christian Fascists, and forces in the same general camp with them, are very seriously seeking to impose on the U.S. (and indeed throughout the world). There is, and for some time there has been, a very definite, conscious and concerted effort by the forces in that general fascist camp to systematically attack not just communists, or anarchists and other radicals, but liberals, mainstream ruling class liberal politicians—attacking them as having been nothing less than traitors, from the time of the cold war to the “war on terror.”

David Horowitz’s latest book is called Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left.In looking it over it is clear that it is yet another diatribe that insists that the “liberals” and the left in the U.S. are at least objectively in the same camp with the Islamic fundamentalists and on the wrong side of the “war on terror.” This should be taken very seriously, including because Horowitz has ties with prominent and powerful Republican Party politicians and functionaries, right up to the White House. If you listen to Rush Limbaugh, at this point his main line of attack is not against radicals and communists, such as our party—his attacks are not so much directed against actual leftists all that much—but are much more directed against the mainstream ruling class liberals, because again one of the ways that fascism triumphs is by tearing down “the Weimar Republic”—going after bourgeois-democratic forces in the ruling class—attacking their decadence, their weakness, their inability to defend the national entity, etc. And this is a phenomenon that’s been developing over some time in the U.S., and is now very acute. Ann Coulter recently wrote a book with the explicit title: Treason. These people are out there creating public opinion around this, while Bush still maintains, much of the time, a posture of “inclusiveness” and willingness to work with other ruling class forces, at least on certain terms. Bush didn’t say, during his debates with Kerry, for example: “You are a traitor, and ought to be put to death.” But there are many people, aligned with and supporting Bush now, who are very definitely, and repeatedly, saying these kinds of things. When that is not repudiated by Bush and others in power, what does it mean? What are the implications of this?

The answer is not to seek to defend and maintain the “Weimar Republic” (bourgeois democracy—the “democratic form” of capitalist dictatorship 1) as such. That does not offer a real solution, and certainly not one in the interests of the masses of people and the great majority of humanity. But we should recognize and not be blind to what it means when these fascists put the “Weimar Republic”—by analogy, the liberals in the ruling class—in the camp of enemy, and go so far as to label them traitors, and go after them in that way. What is that preparing the ground for, what are the implications of that? The point, and our objective, once again, is not to defend the Weimar Republic—tailing and upholding the “liberal” section of the imperialist ruling class—but to fully recognize, and oppose in a radically different way and toward radically different ends, the seriousness of these attacks and what this all represents. In previous talks and writings I have spoken to this phenomenon of the unraveling of what for some time has been the “cohering center” of the society and the rule of the bourgeoisie in the U.S.—and how we are already seeing manifestations of that. 2 I have emphasized that all of this will not, by any means, be positive in the short run, and left to itself—and it is not the role of communists, it is not meeting our responsibilities, to simply stand by and celebrate all the unraveling of the existing cohering center and form of capitalist rule and think it is going to mean that something positive is bound to emerge from this and in fact is just going to “fall into our lap.” We have to take up the tremendous challenge of repolarization — repolarization for revolution.

The “Weimar Republic” does need to be replaced, and superseded. The bourgeois republic—the rule of capitalism and imperialism, in its bourgeois-democratic form—is in fact a repressive system of rule, rooted in a whole network and process of exploitation and oppression, which brings untold, and unnecessary, suffering to millions, and literally billions, of people, throughout the world, including within the republic itself. It needs to be replaced and superseded, however, not by an even more grotesque and more openly murderous form of the same system, but by a radically new society, and a radically different kind of state, that will open the way and lead finally to the abolition of all forms of oppressive and repressive rule and all relations of domination and exploitation, throughout the world.


NOTES:

1. In a number of places, including in the book Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? and a recent talk, “Dictatorship and Democracy, and the Socialist Transition to Communism,” Bob Avakian explains and examines how societies like the U.S., even where they may not be ruled through open, undisguised repression and terror, and even with all their talk of “democracy for all,” are in fact bourgeois dictatorships—rule over society by the capitalist class, or bourgeoisie, based fundamentally on a monopoly of armed force (and in particular “legitimate” armed force) by that capitalist class and its “right” and ability to use that armed power, including the police and armed forces as well as the courts and bureaucracies, to put down, as brutally as it sees fit, any opposition or resistance that poses a serious challenge to its rule.

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2. See the article “The Pyramid of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down” (Revolutionary Worker #1269, February 27, 2005). Also see previous articles in this current series by Bob Avakian, including “The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era” (RW #1274) and “The Center—Can It Hold? The Pyramid as Two Ladders” (Revolution #4), all available online at revcom.us)

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/485/skybreak-a-scientific-assessment-world-today-is-a-horror-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

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 Scientific Assessment: The World Today Is a Horror for the Majority of Humanity—And That Can Be Radically Changed

April 3, 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.

Question: Well, let’s keep going on this point about applying science to understand why the world is the way it is and how it could be different, and what could be done about that. Looking at the state of the world right now, in two senses—one, in a more overall sense, in terms of what are the conditions that the vast majority of humanity find themselves in right now, what is the state of the world in a more overall sense, but then, kind of zeroing in on one particular dimension of that, obviously it’s been very heartening these last few months that there have been things that we haven’t seen in this society in the U.S. in quite a while, in terms of massive resistance to this epidemic of police murder and police brutality, concentrated in the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions letting their killers go, with tens and tens of thousands of people directly in the streets around this, disrupting business as usual, and then millions of people here and around the world confronting all this—what I’m getting at is how would we apply science, both to the particularity of this moment and understanding that, but also looking in a more big picture sense at, as you were saying, why is the world this way and how it could be different?

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: Well, I would start off by saying, OK, let’s apply science to talking, first of all, about where humanity’s at, what’s the state of the world, what’s the state of this society that we live in. And it’s been said many times, including by BA, that the world, as it is, is a horror. Right? Now, this is being said by people, including BA, who are overall very appreciative of a lot of beauty in the world. Speaking for myself, trained as a biologist, as a natural scientist, I see beauty everywhere in the natural world, and among people, in the great diversity and richness of human experience and all the many different cultural expressions and the great variety of life, including social life. There is great beauty. But at the same time, it’s undeniable: The world is a horror for the majority of humanity at this point in history.

Now, let’s take the question of human suffering. It would be unscientific to think that you could ever completely eliminate human suffering. There will always be loss, there will always be death, there will always be grief, there will always be some forms of disease or some forms of catastrophes that negatively impact human beings. I don’t think you could ever say you would get to the point where there would never be any human suffering; that would be a completely idealized false world and illusion. But what you can say, is that it is possible to get to a world that is not characterized by so much unnecessary suffering.

And the reality of the world today—I mean, look at this society, what you were just talking about, all these police murders. You know, I can’t take it any more—and I won’t take it any more! Practically every single day, you hear about another person, usually Black or Latino, male, unarmed, who is gunned down in the streets by the police, and nothing is done about it! The authorities basically sanction it over and over again, because it’s built right into their system to need to have these kinds of things happen, to keep their kind of order, it’s that kind of repression that they require for their system to keep functioning relatively smoothly. What a system!

And there are so many things that are wrong in the world. The whole status of women in this country and all over the world—that women are still not treated like full human beings, that they’re constantly degraded and dehumanized, treated as play things, as sexual objects, as something short of full human beings, constantly raped and battered. And I’ve said this before: it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t happen to you as an individual—any time any woman anywhere in the world is raped, battered, pornified, or in other ways dehumanized and degraded, it degrades and dehumanizes all women everywhere.

And again I want to say that I really feel that...like BA in the recent Dialogue with Cornel West at Riverside Church talked about...the youth that are being gunned down by the police—these are our youth! I feel that, very strongly. And it’s just intolerable to have this loss of human life, this loss of human potential, that is just squandered away because of the workings of this system.

It is also intolerable to have a situation where there are endless wars. You can never get beyond this under this system: these wars of imperialism, these armies of occupation, people being put through horrible suffering for the interests of a capitalist class, a tiny sliver of humanity that benefits from this.

And what about on the planetary scale? The environmental crisis is real, people! It should be understood as an all-out global emergency. You know, the Earth itself is one thing, it can go on without us, but human beings’ ability to live on this planet is going to be severely restricted, very soon, if we don’t stop completely despoiling this planet and constantly degrading it. And the main reason we can’t deal with any of this, fast enough or on a large enough scale, is because of the dominant system that’s in place, the dominant form of social organization that’s in place. We need an actual revolution to completely dismantle the organization of society as it currently is configured and to replace it with a completely new form of organization that would go a long way towards getting rid of these problems.

Look, also, at the so-called problem of immigration. Why do we even have different countries? Think about it. Why do we have flags and national anthems, and why do we have borders? Why do we have whole populations of people that are pushed around and kept from having a decent life, when all they want to do is work and be productive members of society? Think of all the immigrants to this country who get pushed around, get brutalized, whose families are brutally torn apart, and who get incarcerated, forcibly deported or even gunned down on the border. Do you find that acceptable? I sure don’t! What makes Americans better than anybody else, by the way? Personally, I can’t stand the American flag, or the national anthem, or the Pledge of Allegiance, or any of these kinds of symbols that proclaim that one country or one population of one part of the world is somehow better than everybody else. That’s what’s called “jingoism,” or “national chauvinism”—that way of thinking is downright nasty and we should call it what it is and refuse to go along with it! We should all be thinking more like citizens of the world and not like Americans. But then you see people stand up in schools and at sporting events—they’re standing up for the flag and the anthem, and they’re putting their hands over their hearts and maybe even singing along, and often this is being done by people who are themselves being oppressed and degraded on a daily basis by the very system that they are saluting!

It’s time to put an end to this kind of stuff. Think about what you’re doing, what you’re saluting! People need to think more about this, and educate themselves about the true nature of this system. These police murders, for instance: they’re not an accident. They’ve been happening for a long time. They happen on a horrific scale. And they keep on happening, because the root of this problem can be found in the very foundations of this system.

The only good thing in this recent period, what you’re calling this “moment,” is that there’s a beautiful new thing that’s emerged, which is that people are standing up and resisting in ways we haven’t seen in this country in a long time. That’s a beautiful thing—the youth and others who stood up in Ferguson, very bravely, and said: NO! we’re not gonna take this any more. And the people who came out around the police murder of Eric Garner. And this did involve broader numbers of people, besides the most oppressed people who are most directly under the boot of the police. There were also people from the middle strata, including some white people, who came out and said: We don’t want to live in a society where this kind of stuff keeps happening. So that’s a good thing, although there needs to be a lot more of that kind of resistance. That kind of resistance is very, very important, and it needs to get bigger and it needs to spread. One of the things a scientific understanding and analysis can tell you is that protests are very good and very important. What’s been called “fighting the power” is very important. It builds the strength of the people. It serves notice on the people running society that their crimes are just not going to get over, and are not going to be tolerated any more. And that’s a very important part of what needs to happen. But it also has to go further. Why? Because a scientific analysis will also show you clear evidence that the whole way this system is structured, the whole way it’s built up at its core, at its very foundation, will keep regenerating these kinds of problems, these kinds of abuses, these kinds of outrages and injustices, over and over again, as long as this capitalist system itself is allowed to remain in place.

Sometimes we talk about the unresolvable contradictions of capitalism. If you use science to analyze this stuff, you will increasingly understand that this system cannot fix itself, and that it is not fundamentally capable of correcting these types of abuses. It cannot do away, ultimately, with the police murders of Black and Latino people in this society. It cannot do away with the rule of their enforcers, the brutality of their enforcers, that keeps a whole section of the people down. All this has a lot to do with why BA stresses all the time that you have to understand that this country, this system, was built on slavery. It’s not just what’s happening now, it goes back to the very beginning of this country. The United States got started, got built up, at its very founding, on the basis of slavery (and genocide of indigenous peoples), and everything that came out of that brutal beginning has carried over until today, and is a direct root cause of why today you have police enforcers, defenders of this capitalist system, who are routinely gunning down unarmed youth in the streets. There is a direct connection there. Science will show you that this connection is real and objective, and not just someone’s subjective opinion or empty speculation. To make such a claim you need concrete evidence—and the evidence is there.

It’s the same thing with the question of the oppression of women. It’s another one of those profoundly unresolvable contradictions of the existing system. This system cannot ultimately resolve that problem, which science can show has been deeply built into the root foundational structures of this capitalist system as well as those of previous oppressive and exploitative systems going way, way back in time. Yes, there are some women, a few—there are a few sections of women that can be allowed to move up the ladder, so to speak, under capitalism. The same can be said about Black people—a few can be allowed to move on up, to enter the professional middle strata or even become totally bourgeois, and you can elect some Black officials to high places and even have a Black president these days. But none of this changes anything fundamentally about the profound and relentless oppression faced by the vast majority of Black people in this country, and of other people of color as well. The same goes for women. Literally half of humanity—in other words, women—continues to be kept down, in all sorts of ways, in the U.S. and all around the world, and none of that changes just because you can now have a few female corporate CEOs or government representatives or a few very wealthy bourgeois women. None of that changes the ongoing fundamentally degraded and dehumanized status and experience of the vast majority of women here and throughout the world.

Wars of empire—there’s another one of those unresolvable contradictions of this system. It doesn’t ultimately matter whether, every now and then, even a few individual politicians or other representatives of the ruling class are willing to speak out—even sincerely—against one or another war of imperialist aggression. This ruling class is going to continue to wage wars of empire to extend and defend and consolidate their imperialist system. And they will do so over and over again. Why? Because the underlying dynamics of their system drive that process, whether any individual politician or other ruling class figure would like it to be that way or not. Do you see? The very machinery of this ghoulish system repeatedly requires such wars—for its ongoing maintenance, expansion, and consolidation.

So we have to confront the fact that what we call national oppression, the oppression of minority peoples, and the oppression of women, the wars of empire and the armies of occupation—none of this can ultimately be solved under this system. Science can analyze why none of this can fundamentally be solved under the structures of capitalism-imperialism. And this is something that BA has done a lot of work analyzing over decades, really deeply bringing to light why this system cannot be reformed, why it cannot just be fixed with a few quick fixes, why you have to have an actual revolution, rather than just work for a few little tweaks here or there.

And the same thing is very much the case with the question of the environment, the global environment. Even if you had a bunch of capitalists and other ruling class figures—you know, their government representatives in this country or in other countries—who personally became really convinced that there is an environmental emergency for the planet, and that steps really have to be taken to try to save the planetary environment and prevent all this degradation which is causing critical problems throughout the world—even if some (or even many) individuals in the ruling class became personally convinced of that, and even if they tried to institute a few reforms here or there, they would quickly run up against the limitations and obstacles of their own system! The capitalist-imperialist system is simply not set up and structured in such a way as to allow the kind of radical transformations that are actually needed to resolve the global environmental crisis. Because of the underlying structures and “rules of functioning” of their aggressively competitive and profit-driven system, capitalists are simply not capable, they do not have the material basis, to actually resolve this planetary environmental problem, with sufficient scope and scale, under the current system.

This is all very important to understand, and once again it takes science to deeply understand that you can’t just “convince” rulers to change, because they are themselves completely caught up in the rules and machinery of their own system, whether they like it or not. The machinery of the capitalist-imperialist system has basic rules of functioning, “rules” which ultimately cannot be changed without changing the type of system we live under. If you don’t understand this...if you think the way to change the world...if you think, for instance, that the way to keep the police from killing unarmed Black youth is to just to do a few “reforms,” like putting body cameras on the cops, or just do better education and training for the cops, you’re going to have a rude awakening, because their system will keep regenerating this form of terror and oppression. It can’t not do it.

Same thing with all those other situations. If you think that just empowering a few women or girls, in a few instances here or there, is going to get rid of the burden of the systemic oppression of women in this country and around the world, you’re deluding yourself. If you think that just expressing the people’s will not to go to war is actually going to be enough to ultimately put an end to all these imperial wars, you are also deluding yourself. And if you think that convincing the capitalists that it’s better for their bottom line to not degrade the environment so much, or that their children and grandchildren will suffer if we don’t actually save this planet...if you think that’s going to be enough to solve the global environmental crisis, you’re also deluding yourself.

Protest? Yes. Definitely. Protests are very important. It’s very important for masses of people, here and all over the world, to make clear that they won’t tolerate and be complicit in and accept any more these egregious abuses and injustices. It is important to say: NO, we won’t take this any more. As I’ve said before, it is part of building the strength of the people. But you have to go further and understand that there are built-in contradictions within the way economies and politics are set up under certain systems and that those underlying contradictions—there are clusters of them that lead to horrible injustices and abuses—are simply not resolvable by the capitalists, under a capitalist system. You need a different economy, you need a different ideology, you need a different worldview, you need different social objectives. You need different forces coming to the fore to implement that. You need state power. The people have to organize themselves for an actual revolution. And, you know, in the course of just this interview, I can’t really go into all the patterns that prove that those underlying contradictions of this system cannot be resolved by the system, but there is accumulated evidence, including very much spoken to in the extensive body of work of BA, that has been developed over decades, over more than 40 years. The work has been done, the work is deep and profound, it is scientific, it is methodical and systematic. And people should critically examine it, they should engage it, they should study it. It should not be dismissed by anyone superficially. It is getting at the underlying deeper problems and corresponding solutions.

I’ll just say this, and then I’ll stop for a minute on this point [laughs], but one of the most encouraging things about science, too, is that it shows you the potential for positive change, how we could change things in some really good ways. If you don’t have science, you’re kind of bopping around in life, running into problems, maybe solving a small problem here or there, but more problems keep coming up, and you don’t know what you’re doing, basically. But with science you can systematically figure out not only the source of the problems, but also what the basis is for positive change. One of the things that people don’t understand very often is that the basis for the revolutionary transformation of a society, of a social system, where that basis is located—it actually resides right within the contradictions of the system. In fact, right within those contradictions I was just talking about—the really big ones that this system cannot fix itself, that it cannot ultimately resolve. The fact that they can’t resolve these big things and that they keep driving people into the ground in different ways, actually creates the conditions which move in the direction...actually creates the basis for people to be able to work on those contradictions, to bring the people forward, in the thousands, in the millions, to move towards the ability to organize for an actual revolution, and build a new society on a whole different basis. That won’t resolve every problem overnight, obviously. But many, many of the big problems can be resolved to a great degree, thanks to science, and thanks to the conscious initiative of people organizing themselves collectively for an actual revolution.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/handmaids-strike-again-in-nyc-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org

RefuseFascism.org Handmaids Strike Again—This Time In NYC Against Pence and Nielsen

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For the second time in just over a week, RefuseFascism.org made headlines for boldly calling out the whole fascist program of the Trump/Pence Regime and, through dramatic protest, rallying people to pledge to go forward to drive out the whole regime.

Just two days after it was announced that Mike Pence and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would be in New York City for a cybersecurity conference, RefuseFascism.org mobilized two dozen women to protest in the blood-red cloaks of The Handmaid’s Tale, where women are enslaved as breeders for powerful men. They declared: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Each of the Handmaids carried a pair of baby shoes or a stuffed animal to represent the thousands of immigrant children who have been torn from their parents’ arms at the hands of the regime, including the direct supervision of Kirstjen Nielsen. After marching in together in with heads bowed, the Handmaids took turns silently piling their symbols of the children in a pile in front of them. Behind, held high by some of the men who joined in this dramatic action, was a bold banner which declared: "The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!. NO! In the name of humanity we refuse to accept a fascist America – RefuseFascism.org"

"While it is extremely powerful the way that the Handmaid outfit has become a potent symbol of protest in this dangerous time of the Trump/Pence Regime, it has generally been taken up mainly as a way to challenge theocratic restrictions on women’s right to abortion and birth control," explained one RefuseFascism.org organizer. "That is definitely an essential part of our protest because denying women the right to abortion is a form of enslaving women – and with the upcoming Supreme Court battle this is all the more urgent now. But we wore these outfits to represent more than that as well. It is the way the Bible is being used by this regime to assail recently won rights of LGBTQ people. It is the way Jeff Sessions used the Bible to justify immigrant child separation – the same Bible quote used to justify slavery in this country. And it is more than even this – it is the whole broader lesson of The Handmaid’s Tale, and really of fascism throughout history all over the world, that it is deadly to turn your back during the early stages of fascism, to tell yourself that lie that ‘It couldn’t happen here.’ It IS happening here, and we need to stand up now and drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime before it becomes too late."

For many who joined this protest, it was their first time working with RefuseFascism.org. Many had heard about and were inspired by the action the previous week in Philadelphia when Mike Pence was confronted by 100 women dressed as Handmaids. Copies of the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action were distributed to the protesters and many passersby who stopped to watch – and, often, shout words of encouragement and thanks to – the protesters.

Among those speaking at the protest was Therese Patricia Okoumou, an activist with Rise and Resist, who was arrested for climbing the Statue of Liberty on July 4 in protest of the immigrant children torn from their parents and locked in cages. She said, “It is an atrocity to imagine in the United States of America, in the 21 century we are using children as bait for political reason, for political gain.”

Also representing at the protest was the Revolution Club, coming from their determination that this system needs to be overthrown, standing with the movement to drive out the regime and inviting people to an open air screening of THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, August 30 at 6 pm at the Amphitheater, Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.

Even more than with the powerful action the week before in Philadelphia, the full message of RefuseFascism.org – indicting and calling out the all-round fascism of the Trump/Pence Regime and putting forward the vision and mission of driving it from power through mass, sustained nonviolent protest – came through in the media coverage. The NY Post reported, for example:

Pence, a devout Christian who has supported gay conversion therapy and once said women don't belong in the military, poses a "catastrophic threat to humanity" and is turning the U.S. into a world comparable to the hit series, the organizer's website states.

"The lesson of 'The Handmaid's Tale' is that fascism has to be stopped before it's too late," [protester Emma] Kaplan added…

[Philly protest organizer Samantha] Goldman spoke to The Post shortly after Tuesday's march wrapped up and said these protests are an "important part" of RefuseFascism.org's mission of driving Pence and President Trump out of office.

"They wake people up to the dangers posed by this regime and they help shake off the normalization. And when people see that, they begin to make connections and they learn that there is a movement they can be part of," the 30-year-old activist said.

She and other organizers hope for an "Arab Spring" like protest here in the U.S. where protestors fight daily to demand Trump and Pence leave office, much like the protests in Egypt, Tunisia and other middle-eastern countries between 2010 and 2014.

The protest in NYC took place immediately after a protest against Pence and Nielsen called by the ACLU.

Just two days later, RefuseFascism.org sprang into action once more, driving with the same costumes down to a protest that was organized by a new member of RF outside of Trump’s fascist rally in Wilkes Barre, PA. This protest, in the heart of so-called "Trump Country" was marked by spirited defiance and courage.

In the New York City protest, just as had happened in Philadelphia, the protest of Handmaids ended when the women threw off their costumes, raised their fists in the air, and recited the pledge at the end of RefuseFascism.org’s Call to Action:

"We pledge that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity," the women chanted, according to Gothamist. "Let's stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty to struggle with all we've got, to demand this nightmare must end.

"In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!
This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!"

Breaking Through in Media

The creative visual impact, and even beyond that, the message of Refuse Fascism, broke into the media in a way that hasn't happened before. Following are clips from coverage of the NYC protest.


Local ABC News coverage included video of Refuse Fascism co-initiator Sunsara Taylor, calling out the Trump/Pence regime as a “real life version of the Handmaid’s Tale.”


Refinery 29, an influential publication that reaches 500 million people globally – mainly young women – ran a substantial article on the NYC protest by Andrea González-Ramírez. From that piece:

“[The Trump-Pence administration] is a regime that’s shredding the rule of law and seeking to radically remake society, transforming the way this country is governed,” Samantha Goldman, one of the organizers, told Refinery29. “Fascism relies upon and foments xenophobia, misogyny, and white supremacy. You see the heart of the Christian fascist movement in this regime.”

The 31-year-old rattled off the ways she believes the administration is implementing fascism: The president calling the press “enemies of the people” even after the mass murder of local journalists in June, the attacks via policy on immigrants and people from Muslim-majority countries, the erosion of women’s rights, the appointing of hardline conservatives to the courts, the mass deregulation of environment-related industries despite the threat brought by climate change, the rollback of protections for the LGBTQ+ community, and the list went on.

Goldman, like most of the women who gathered at the protest, are convinced that the administration is a threat both domestically and globally…


Coverage of the protest in the Huffington Post, which reaches millions of people looking for an alternative voice of opposition to Trump, quoted 82-year-old protester Lillian Forman: “I see how America has changed since Trump's presidency and how it will continue to keep changing if he has his policies fulfilled," she said. "We're losing our liberties, our law protections and our balances. I saw what he did to the kids at the border, and if he can do that to little children — some of them mere babies, literally babies ― he will do anything."

And the Huff Po coverage featured significant quotes from the RefuseFascism.org site, including:

"Pence is a Christian fascist theocrat for whom the hellish world of the Handmaid's Tale is a model society: women forced to bear children against their will, the Bible invoked to persecute LGBTQ people and tear immigrant children from their parents," the website states. "Pence and Nielsen are part of a FASCIST REGIME that is poised to do even worse ― threatening war, even nuclear war, and destroying the environment for people the world over."

The piece reported that after shedding their symbolic Handmaid’s robes, protesters chanted:

"We pledge that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity," the women chanted, according to Gothamist. "Let's stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty to struggle with all we've got, to demand this nightmare must end."


Patch, a national online news network ran a story that included the following:

“Shame on this administration. Shame on you,” shouted immigration activist Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, who was arrested for climbing the Statue of Liberty on July 4. “It is an atrocity to imagine in the United States of America, in the 21 century we are using children as bait for political reason, for political gain.”

And:

...One Brooklyn woman took off work to join protestors.

“It’s deplorable what our country is doing — I knew I had to come down here when I heard Pence had the nerve to come to New York,” said Sara Ramirez, 32, who works in a Carroll Gardens animal hospital. “We need to be out on the streets making our voices known — everyday. It’s not enough just be appalled, you have to fight against the policies you disagree with.”…

“Our message is that these ideals are our future,” said Sunsara Taylor, a lead organizer with Refuse Fascism behind the event. “Mike Pence has been a dark ages, bigoted, anti-science theocrat for decades. He’s not going to change, but the people out here who don’t want his future — we’re trying to wake them up.”


The Canadian news network, Global News, ran video that included Sunsara Taylor saying:

"We are here to say no to Mike Pence, to [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and to the whole Trump/Pence regime. We’re wearing the Handmaids outfits because a big cornerstone of the Trump/Pence fascist regime is the open theocratic enslavement of women, the denial of the right to abortion and even birth control, reducing women to breeders of children; the attacks on recently won rights of LGBTQ people; and even the assault on immigrants. They’ve torn thousands of children from their parents and then Jeff Sessions comes out with a Bible quote to justify it. The same Bible quote that was used to justify slavery in this country.”


Both of the free papers passed out to subway riders had substantial coverage. Metro New York promoted the protest in advance, with a piece ending with Refuse Fascism’s slogan: "In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America" and a link to the RefuseFascism.org site. AM New York posted video and reported:

Protest organizers from Refuse Fascism, an anti-Trump/Pence movement, argue the religious liberty defense [invoked in the case of the Colorado bakery that refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple] is geared toward "enforcing bigotry and discrimination against LGBTQ people, and forced childbearing for women justified as 'expressing religious freedom.'

The protest of Handmaids ended when the women threw off their costumes, raised their fists in the air, and recited the pledge at the end of RefuseFascism.org's Call to Action.

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Mounting Reports of Deliberate Trauma Inflicted on Immigrant Children Detained by the Trump/Pence Regime

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Over several months the Trump/Pence regime ripped nearly 3,000 children away from their parents. Kids were told they were going to play or for a bath, or were ripped screaming from their mothers’ arms, and then disappeared to so-called “shelters” that even a federal prosecutor described as “prison-like setting[s].” In some, children are given psychotropic drugs—“zombified,” according to one attorney—as a form of control. Reports of sexual abuse and other physical and emotional abuse are starting to surface. Communication between kids and parents over months of imprisonment was spotty or nonexistent.

Now, as some of those children are reunited with their families, reports of deep trauma are emerging. An outgoing five-year-old whose favorite toy used to be a Minion from Despicable Me, was separated from his mom for 50 days. According to the New York Times, while detained he “shut down,” refusing to eat or bathe. He now “plays” at shackling and patting down “migrants,” pleads to be breastfed, and hides behind the sofa when visitors come. Other kids burst into tears when they see cops, are clingy and cry if their moms leave the room for a few minutes, or are emotionally withdrawn. One little girl grabbed scissors and tried to cut off her hair.

Many kids believe—or were told by ICE agents—that their parents abandoned them; some internalize this as “punishment” for something they did wrong. The Times quotes University of Houston psychology professor Johanna Bick: “There is no greater threat to a child’s emotional well-being than being separated from a primary caregiver. Even if it was for a short period, for a child, that’s an eternity.” A University of Miami study says that these “emotional scars [can] manifest themselves in physical ailments that, if left untreated, can turn into serious illnesses that can last a lifetime.”

And as much as we are being reassured by government and media that this dark chapter is now coming to an end, the reality is that in spite of a June 26 federal court order, nearly 500 children have not yet been reunited, mainly because the parents were deported or coerced to leave the U.S., often with the promise (lie) that this was how they could get their children back. And there is a real danger than many of these kids will be permanently orphaned.

Much of the media and leading Democratic politicians continue to say this protracted suffering reflects incompetence on the part of the Trump regime, “failure to plan” what to do after they kidnapped the children. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein calls it “a haphazard policy.” Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal criticized it as not “successful.” NO! That is prettifying the regime by covering over its fascist character. It is like saying an arsonist was “haphazard” because he didn’t arrange to have fire trucks on hand after he set his fire. The Trump/Pence policy is deliberate, not “haphazard.” Officials openly stated that their objective was “deterrence”—that is, by openly tormenting and torturing these children and their families, other potential immigrants from “shithole countries” would be “deterred” from fleeing to the U.S., even if their children’s lives were at risk in their homeland.

For the regime, the continued and permanent infliction of pain is a feature, not a bug. But for anyone with an ounce of humanity, it is an inescapable challenge to do everything we can, urgently, to drive this regime from power.

 

From the film of a talk by Bob Avakian, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION-NOTHING LESS!

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Despite Ban, New York City Still Subjecting Incarcerated Youth to Torture

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Three years ago, New York City banned solitary confinement for prisoners younger than 22—but today, the city is still finding a way to subject young people to this completely inhumane confinement.

Internationally, human rights groups have condemned solitary confinement as torture. Psychologists say the effects on young people are particularly devastating because the brains of adolescents are undergoing major structural growth. Boston psychiatrist Stuart Grassian points out that “even a few days of solitary confinement will predictably shift the EEG pattern towards an abnormal pattern characteristic of stupor and delirium.” This can literally drive an adult insane. For juveniles it is even more shattering.

But New York City has found an end run around its own supposed ban on solitary confinement of youths—transferring many young prisoners to facilities that don’t have this restriction. Such transfers have increased since 2015, and this year alone, at least 10 youths were transferred and eight ended up in solitary confinement in an upstate jail.

The ban came after damning exposure of what was happening to youths in solitary confinement on Rikers Island—the huge New York City jail that holds an average of 14,000 prisoners every day, overwhelmingly Black and Latino, hundreds of them teenagers, and over 40 percent suffering from diagnosed mental illnesses. One of the most horrific cases was Kalief Browder, who in 2010, at the age of 16, ended up on Rikers after being accused of stealing a backpack. Browder spent three years on Rikers waiting for trial, much of it in solitary confinement. Prosecutors eventually had to release him because of lack of evidence. Then two years later, Browder committed suicide—the result of having suffered mental and physical abuse in prison.

Mr. “Reform” de Blasio and other Democrats like to paint themselves as trying to do something about mass incarceration. First, Bill Clinton presided over the “war on drugs” which condemned so many Black and Latino people to decades, if not life, in prison—and accelerated the phenomenon of mass incarceration. Obama did absolutely nothing to address mass incarceration, while symbolically pardoning a few people at the end of his second term. He contributed to the continued demonization of Black youth, starting with his lecturing Black youth to “pull their pants up” and advocating the politics of personal responsibility and declaring how there are “no more excuses” (See “Barack [and Michelle] Obama, of All People, Did More Harm to Black People Over the Last Eight Years”). On the related horror of police killings of Black and Latino youths, his Department of Justice brought no criminal charges against the police who murdered Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and the many, many others who were killed by cops during his administration.

Now, Mayor Bill de Blasio—who says jail reforms have been partly inspired by what happened to Kalief Browder—is defending how the city is sending youths to face the same horrific conditions that led to the Browder’s death.

Steven Espinal, 19 years old, said that after he was transferred out of Rikers, guards at the new prison beat him so badly when he arrived that he lost hearing in one ear and passed blood in his urine. According to Espinal, as the guards beat him they kept saying, “This ain’t New York City. We do what we want.” After being hospitalized, Espinal was sentenced to 600 days in solitary confinement. (New York Times, July 22, 2018)

This isn’t just happening in New York. In fact, teenagers, even very young kids, are put in solitary confinement throughout the United States.

Author Nell Bernstein, who has interviewed hundreds of incarcerated youths, says about a third of young people locked up are put in solitary confinement. She said, “It’s called ‘ad seg,’ or ‘special housing unit’—or, my personal favorite, ‘reflection cottages.’ But, really, what happens—what the kids described to me was, for instance, a girl asserts that she’s feeling suicidal. The equivalent of a SWAT team rushes into her cell, strips her naked and throws her into an even more barren cell with only, like, a single, rough blanket to cover her. It’s used to respond to suicide threats. It’s used as punishment for aggressors. It’s used to protect those who are imposed upon by those aggressors. It can be used because there’s a shortage of teachers, and they can’t let the kids out of their rooms.... Fifteen hours is the maximum for adults under their standards. But I met kids who’d been in solitary for months.” (NPR, Fresh Air, June 4, 2014)

What kind of a fucked-up system puts youth in such horrendous, inhumane conditions? A system that has no future for millions of youth. A system with white supremacy built into the very marrow of its bones—that subjects especially Black and Latino youth to police murder and brutality, puts them in impoverished situations and locks them up away for decades. There are millions of reasons—but this alone is argument enough to sweep this system off the face of this planet.


Click to download and print as poster (PDF)

See also:

Kalief Browder

Statement by Carl Dix
Kalief Browder's Life Was Stolen By This System

June 11, 2015

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

“Lock Her Up!”: Jeff Sessions Whips Up America's Hitler Youth

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions—the most powerful law enforcement official in the country—smiled and joined in when hundreds of Trumpian high school students broke into chants of “Lock her up!” “Lock her up!” during his July 24 speech. Sessions was at a national conference of right-wing students organized by a group called Turning Point USA. Afterward, Sessions said, “I like this bunch, I gotta tell you. You’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em. Go get ’em.”

“Lock her up!” became a Trumpian fascist battle cry during the 2016 election, aimed at Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, and was chanted by tens of thousands of rabid reactionaries who flocked to stadiums to see Trump perform live. These “Lock her up!” chants were brimming with threats of extrajudicial, lynch-mob violence. They were fascistic declarations that the prevailing ruling class “norms” of at least appearances of due process and “bipartisanship” were no longer to be respected. Trump was saying outright that he wouldn’t just defeat Clinton at the polls, he’d have her (and perhaps any other opponents) arrested and jailed.

“Lock her up!” was also a declaration of the open, vitriolic misogyny that is a core element of the Trump/Pence fascist program. Hillary Clinton was responsible for many war crimes as Obama’s secretary of state. And in the 1990s, she was a key member of the Bill Clinton White House that greatly stepped up the mass incarceration directed largely at Black and Brown youth. But that’s certainly not why Trump supporters had such hatred for her—it was precisely the fact that she is a woman that stoked their patriarchal rage, expressed in T-shirts (“Trump that B...*”) and homemade posters of her in prison garb that were themselves a kind of sick, semi-pornographic assault.

The DOJ Has Never, NEVER Been About Justice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) that Sessions now heads has never been an instrument of, by, or for the people. It’s part of the dictatorship exercised by the capitalist-imperialist ruling class to enforce laws that uphold and maintain the functioning of their system of exploitation and its oppressive production and social relations. That’s why under Obama, the DOJ never prosecuted any killer cops—not the murderers of Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, or Michael Brown; not the killers of any of the hundreds of other people, disproportionately Black and Latino, who were killed by police on Obama’s watch.

Obama’s DOJ worked to derail the powerful “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” movement against police murder and terror that erupted after Michael Brown was murdered by pig Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, with phony expressions of concern and promises they would bring justice. Instead, they sided with Michael Brown’s murderer, refused to charge him with any crime, and even tried to discredit and reverse the truth that Michael had his hands up when he was shot dead.1

But now, putting the DOJ in the hands of the white-supremacist KKKlucker Jeff Sessions, as part of the Trump/Pence fascist regime overall, marked a terrible leap toward even greater horrors and injustices. We’ve already seen Sessions turn all border crossers—a great many of them refugees seeking asylum—into felons. Without hesitation, he has separated thousands of children from their parents. He has threatened criminal action against Democratic Party political opponents such as the mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, who warned of a series of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids aimed at immigrants just before they were launched.

But when Sessions takes up the chant “Lock her up,” it signals that past norms, even the rule of law, are being further torn up and that the instruments of state repression can now be turned against any opponent of this regime, not just the ruling class opponents of the Democratic Party, but more broadly among the masses of people. It’s a green light to extralegal, lynch mob-style violence. And it’s yet another sign that the DOJ has become an instrument for implementing a fascist program, locking in unchecked Trump/Pence rule, and punishing those who stand in the way.

Organizing Hitler Youth on Campuses

Turning Point USA operates the “Professor Watchlist,” which organizes right-wing students to identify, publicize, and attack professors whose scholarship, curricula, and role as public intellectuals stand in the way of the agenda of America’s fascists. It pumps large sums of money into campus elections with the goal of having its candidates become the future leaders of campus student organizations. All this is part of an overall campaign to crush critical thinking, censor and reverse scholarship on America’s actual history, role in the world, or treatment of the oppressed within its own borders, and “Nazify” the universities.2

Turning Point USA’s conference was part of their efforts to organize an American version of the Hitler Youth, and Sessions echoed their assaults on liberal universities, claiming they were “coddling” students and creating a “generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, supercilious snowflakes.” And his “Lock her up!” encouragement to these students was aimed at fostering an aggressive, get-ready-for-civil-war-and-violent-repression-type mentality in the youth—including to “take back the universities.”

(The liberal bourgeois New York Times' coverage of the conference normalized and prettified these fascist or fascist-leaning youths, characterizing them as “conservatives” or “right-leaning.”)

The Fight for the Future Cannot Be Avoided—and Must Not Be Shrunk From

Sessions, other members of the Trump/Pence regime who spoke at the conference, and fascist organizations like Turning Point USA, are aggressively organizing youths to fight for the future—a fascist future of violent white and male supremacy, Nazi assaults on immigrants, the plunder of the environment, and “America First” wars and domination.

There IS a tremendous struggle for the future unfolding right now which cannot be avoided—and should certainly not be shrunk from. The question of what KIND of future will be fought for is on the table.

It is tremendously important to oppose the foul crap being whipped up by the Klucker Sessions and the Trump/Pence regime and the all-around fascist assault that will make the hell America has always been for millions and millions even more excruciating and intolerable.

But the fact is that America was NEVER great and has always been a living hell for the oppressed here and worldwide. Why would we want to go back to a society that even on its “best day” was saturated with white supremacy, misogyny, and the most vicious chauvinism toward people around the world... the kind of society that not only breeds sewer creatures like Trump and Sessions but makes them “respectable” and powerful leaders?

A far better and truly liberating future is possible, thanks to the work Bob Avakian has done over decades to bring forward a new synthesis of communism—the new communism—which is embodied concretely in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Readers can dig into this new communism and the breakthrough for humanity that it represents, on the Bob Avakian portal at revcom.us. This visionary, viable, and revolutionary alternative to the horror that is capitalism-imperialism—whether bourgeois democrats or fascists are in charge—must be spread far and wide, and become a real pole throughout society.


1. See “DOJ Report: Coverup for the Police Murder of Michael Brown.”  [back]

2. See “‘Professor Watchlist’—Targeting Critical Thinking and Dissent in the Universities.”  [back]

As I have said a number of times: These reactionaries should not even be allowed to use “conservative” to describe themselves. We should say, “Conservative, my ass, these people are Nazis.”

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:26

Clip: "What are we facing?"

See and share the whole Talk and the Q&As!


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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima.

American Crime

Case #97:
August 6 and 9, 1945—The Nuclear Incineration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

May 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

American Crime is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

THE CRIME: At 8:15 am, on August 6, 1945, a blazing, million-degree fireball suddenly appeared just above the Japanese city of Hiroshima, instantly killing, burning alive, or vaporizing tens of thousands. Firestorms engulfed the city. Shockwaves and winds over 1,000 miles an hour came next, shattering bodies and buildings, hurling men, women, and children through the air. Nearly all structures were destroyed over a mile from ground zero.

“There were red burned and bloated dead bodies piled up high, the corpses with the guts and the eyes popped out, lines of ghost-looking people with burned frizzled hair and burned skin hanging,” one survivor recalled, and “barely living survivors who were not able to save their own children or parents.” In one room, there were 20 young men whose eyes had melted in their sockets. Clouds of dust turned the morning into twilight; later, black rain fell.

The U.S. had just exploded the first nuclear bomb over the center of a city of 350,000. Thousands who survived the blast soon experienced fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, hair and skin loss—the death knell of radiation sickness. By the end of 1945, between 140,000 and 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, had perished in Hiroshima. Hundreds of thousands more were wounded.

Later that day, President Harry Truman announced the bombing and threatened Japan: “If they do not now accept our terms [for immediate surrender] they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the likes of which has never been seen on this earth.” Three days later, on August 9, the U.S. dropped an even more powerful nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, destroying the city and murdering another 70,000 people.

Nagasaki mail carrier Sumiteru Taniguchi's back injuries, taken in January 1946, from the U.S. atomic bomb attack on August 9, 1945.
Nagasaki mail carrier Sumiteru Taniguchi's back injuries, taken in January 1946, from the U.S. atomic bomb attack on August 9, 1945.

THE CRIMINALS: President Harry S. Truman, who ordered the attack; U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson, who oversaw the war effort, including the building of this "most terrifying weapon ever known in human history"; General Leslie Groves, in charge of building the bomb; and the military command responsible for the bombing.

THE ALIBI: Dropping a nuclear bomb on Japan was needed to quickly end the war, avoiding a U.S. invasion which Presidents Roosevelt and Truman claimed would cost a million American lives.

“I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb.... We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans,” Truman stated after nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This alibi has been repeated by all presidents since: “What I think the president does appreciate is that President Truman made this decision for the right reasons,” said President Obama’s press secretary.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: Control of Japan and post-World War 2 global domination. The U.S. knew Japan would collapse without an invasion and was suing for peace weeks before Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On July 12, 1945, Truman admitted in his private diary that the U.S. had received a “telegram from [the] Jap Emperor asking for peace.”

But the U.S. rulers wanted to totally control post-war Japan, prevent the Soviet Union from gaining more ground in Japanese-held Manchuria and having more influence in the post-war setup—or “get in so much on the kill,” as one U.S. official put it. This meant terrorizing Japan into surrendering immediately. That’s why the U.S. incinerated Hiroshima and then Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on August 15, six days after the Nagasaki bombing. These were also warnings to any who might think about challenging America’s dominance of the postwar world, written in mounds of charred flesh and many tens of thousands of horribly disfigured survivors.

REPEAT OFFENDER: The U.S. has repeatedly considered and threatened the use of nuclear weapons to enforce its global dominance: In the 1950s, the U.S. planned for possible nuclear war with the Soviet Union, which they calculated would have killed 600 million; in 1958, 1973, and 1980 it put its forces on nuclear alert during Middle East crises in Iraq, Israel, and Iran; in 1969 President Richard Nixon threatened to nuke Vietnam; before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon secretly prepared for the possibility of using nuclear weapons; Obama has announced plans to spend over $1 trillion in the next 30 years on new nuclear weapons.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/refuse-fascism-come-to-dc-aug-10-12-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

From RefuseFascism.org

In the Name of Humanity, Come to DC to Say NO to White Supremacy and a Fascist America!

 

In the Name of Humanity, Come to Washington, DC to Say NO to White Supremacy and a Fascist America!

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

August 10- 12 > Register here to Join Us In DC

One year ago, white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched with torches through Charlottesville, VA, savagely beating people, and chanting “Blood & Soil!” and “Hail Trump!” This modern day lynch-mob culminated in the murder of Heather Heyer, when a white supremacist drove a car into a group of protesters.

These Nazis were anointed by Trump as “fine people”; fulfilling the vision he articulated on the campaign trail when he longed for the days when protesters were “carried out on stretcher[s].”

Trump’s “fine people” are enforcers of an American fascism rooted in white supremacy, misogyny and xenophobia wrapped in the American flag with the Bible taken literally. Fascism rules by organized repression and terror by the government and by the mob. The Trump/Pence Regime is using the state to terrorize immigrants and cage children, to assail the media, to ban Muslims. They have instructed police to take the gloves off further killing and brutalizing people of color. Recently won LGBTQ rights are under assault. Women are poised to lose the right to abortion and even birth control.

The Trump/Pence regime if left in power will effect a thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society. Nothing short of removing this entire regime will stop this nightmare. (From the Refuse Fascism Call to Action)

RefuseFascism.org joins with others in calling on everyone of conscience to counter-protest the white supremacist thugs converging on DC on August 12 and in saying:

NO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

Our actions to stop these fascist white supremacists should build the unity and strength needed to launch a nationwide struggle beginning with tens of thousands in cities across the country that continues day after day and DOES NOT STOP until the demand, This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!, is met. All who want to fight for a better future need to forge the unity to stop this fascism before it is too late.

This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

info@refusefascism.org | 917-407-1286 | @refusefascism | refusefascism.org

August 10- 12 > Register here to Join Us In DC

To deeply understand the threat to humanity posed by the Trump/Pence Regime…
Watch this film of a talk by Bob Avakian

The entire film with Q&A & sharable clips is here.

Read, shareadd your name to Refuse Fascism’s Call to Action that diagnoses the existential threat to humanity posed by the Trump/Pence Regime and the only way to stop it:

This Nightmare Must End:
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

In the Name of Humanity
We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America

We are horrified and angered at the shocking damage already done to lives here and around the world by the Trump/Pence regime.  We recognize that they are poised to do far worse, including threatening WAR, even nuclear war.  Through an unrelenting barrage of daily outrages and twitter outbursts, the Trump/Pence regime is radically remaking society – step by step hammering into place a vicious American fascism. This is not insult or exaggeration, it is what they are doing.

Therefore, WE RESOLVE that nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.

> Read, shareadd your name to the Call to Action

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Hundreds Stand Up to Fascists in Berkeley

Revolution Books Attacked—AGAIN!—This Time by Official Pigs

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From readers:

On Saturday, August 5, hundreds of people came out in Berkeley to stand up against the pro-Trump, MAGA-moron, white supremacist, fascist “No to Marxism” rally.  

The Revolution Club Bay Area and Revolution Books were out there organizing people into the revolution, and bringing the message straight up in the face of these Nazi anti-communists: No to fascism! No to white supremacy! No to capitalism! No to imperialism! YES to Marxism! YES to the New Communism! This system can't be reformed, it must be overthrown!

 

 

Revolution Books Berkeley has been attacked more than 10 times by fascists like these (including threats by fascist thugs in March to burn down the store). On Saturday, the store boldly set up a “Revolution Books Without Walls” display in MLK (Civic Center) Park, where the fascists planned to hold their rally. The display included important works of Marxist theory and featured Bob Avakian’s work that put communism even more fully and firmly on a scientific foundation—the new synthesis of communism.  

Protesters had come to the park to confront the Nazis. After a scuffle broke out between some fascists and anti-fascists, riot cops moved in en masse, brutalizing anti-fascist protesters and then charged the Revolution Books area, tearing its banner and stomping all over the books and emboldening the fascists to do the same. So after repeatedly being attacked by the fascists, this time Revolution Books was outrageously attacked by the Berkeley police!

But Revolution Books, the Revolution Club and some 100 others stood their ground and remained in the park for hours—surrounding and hounding the 30-some fascists, preventing them from having their rally. Some of the Nazis wore T-shirts celebrating the fascist generals in Argentina and Chile who murdered and tortured tens of thousands in the 1970s. Whenever they would spew their shit, people would drown them out with chants of “Remember Heather Heyer! Charlottesville Never Again!” and “1, 2, 3, 4 Slavery, Genocide and War—5, 6, 7, 8 America Was Never Great.” 

A member of the Revolution Club told revcom, “It was interesting, people were also taking up our ‘Yes to Marxism’ and ‘Yes to the New Communism’ chants in opposition to these Nazis and their ‘No to Marxism’ rally.”

Refuse Fascism joined with a group of some 500 activists who held a “Sweep Out the Fascists, Festival of Resilience” protest, which Revolution Books also endorsed. They gathered at nearby Ohlone Park and the plan was to march to MLK Park, but a massive mobilization of police from all over the Bay Area—with guns, batons, tasers, and gas grenades—blocked them.  The pigs lobbed smoke canisters and shot rubber bullets into the crowd and arrested over a dozen anti-fascists using a bullshit emergency city ordinance banning “weapons”—which included things like having picket signs or wearing bandanas.

Then, even more outrageously, the Berkeley police “doxxed” everyone they arrested—most all of them anti-fascists—by publishing their names, pictures, and the cities they are from, setting them up for further attack by fascist trolls. Adding insult to injury, the Berkeley pigs then posted a call on Twitter—really directed toward fascist snitches—for people to send them photos and videos of anyone who committed “crimes” during the protest.  

Afterward Revolution Books, Berkeley issued the following statement:

Revolution Books Stands up to
Fascist "No To Marxism" Rally—

Police Stomp Book Display


August 5: a second “No to Marxism” rally was called by fascists in MLK Park in Berkeley.  These are the fascists who have been attacking Revolution Books for over a year. Spawned by Amerikkka and unleashed by the fascist Trump regime, these racist, anti-immigrant, misogynist, anti-communists came to spew their garbage in the center of Berkeley! Hell No! We need to make Berkeley a Fascist Free Zone as part of the determined struggle of millions taking to the streets to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. The epidemic of white supremacy—official and “unofficial”—must be stopped. This means Revolution—Nothing Less! This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown!

So we took dozens of books—important Marxist classics, and featuring Bob Avakian's even more scientific and revolutionary re-envisioning of Marxism—the new synthesis of communism, books on science, immigration, police brutality & mass incarceration, books on imperialism and on the true history that America Was Never Great. We produced lots of free materials to pass out—including the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. And we called on people to join with us: 

No to fascism! No to white supremacy! No to capitalism! No to imperialism! YES to Marxism! YES to the New Communism! This system can't be reformed, it must be overthrown!

We set up our Revolution Books Without Walls display right in the middle of the park, before the fascists showed up.

And they did show up, protected by a massive police presence.  After a scuffle broke out between some fascists and anti-fascists, riot cops moved in en masse, brutalizing anti-fascist protesters and then charging the Rev Books area, stomping all over the books—and emboldening the fascists to do the same.  This police attack on Revolution Books Without Walls is outrageous and we call on everyone to stand with our store.

We give props to everyone who came out to oppose the fascists today—many more people should have shown up—and we call on people to donate what you can to our bookstore so we can continue to be everywhere we NEED to be, with the literature people need to understand, and to change the world. Come into the bookstore or donate online to this intellectual, political and cultural center of a movement for an actual revolution.

RevolutionBooks.org

 

Clip: "What are we facing?"

See and share the whole Talk and the Q&As!

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Historical Plaque Memorializing Emmett Till Vandalized—Third Time This Year!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A historical plaque memorializing Emmett Till was vandalized on July 26, shot up with bullets—again! This was the third time, the last time only 35 days earlier. The plaque is in Glendora, Mississippi, near where the 14-year-old's body was found in 1955 after he was lynched by racist whites. We will have more on this soon, but for now want to call our readers' attention to this recounting of the story of Emmett Till by Bob Avakian.

Bob Avakian, "Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence"

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Now They're Tasing 11-Year-Olds!
This System Can't Be Reformed—It Must Be OVERTHROWN!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Can you believe this shit? Now this fucking system is tasing 11-year-olds!!

Monday night, Aug. 6, an off-duty cop working security at a Kroger supermarket in Cincinnati, Ohio, came up on a young girl he thought might be shoplifting. She was 11 years old, in fifth grade, stood 4’11”, weighed 90 pounds, and had a backpack. And yeah, she’s Black.

When the pig approached her, she ignored him and moved away. So he tased her. In the back! 50,000 fucking volts for an 11-year-old!! Then police charged her with “theft” and “obstruction of justice.”

Donesha Gowdy still has marks on her back from the taser.  At an August 8 press conference, she described falling down when she was tased.  “I was shaking,” she said. Her mother Donna Gowdy thinks the cop might been tasing her while she was down.  Donesha is still in pain and has trouble sleeping.  Why did she walk away from the pig?  “Because I was scared.”  And what did it turn out Donesha had done?  Put a few snacks in her backpack—pop, chips and candy, worth what, a few dollars?  This outrageous attack on an 11-year-old has sparked uproar in Cincinnati. The chief pig claims to be very concerned and is talking about investigations and policy changes.  The city’s been forced to drop charges against Donesha.

This is bullshit! What does this barbaric attack say about this whole system?

First, why is ANY 11-year-old getting tased? And this wasn’t some “rogue cop”—official policy allows pigs to tase anyone between 7 and 70!  And no, it didn’t make a bit of difference that the chief pig and the tasing pig are both Black.

Second, even if she did take food with the intent not to pay—which this pig had no real way of knowing before he tased her—what kind of a system drives children to steal food?!?!

What kind of system? A system that has no right to exist, that cannot be reformed, and needs to be overthrown!

BAsics 1:20

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Why America Cannot Let Emmett Till Rest in Peace

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For a third time, some white-supremacist-fucks have vandalized a plaque commemorating the spot where Emmett Till’s tortured body was pulled from a Mississippi river in August 1955. Since this memorial marker was first installed in 2007, it has been stolen and then shot up with guns, most recently on July 26, 2018—a month after it had replaced another bullet-ridden plaque.

The despicable lynching and butchery of 14-year-old Emmett Till, falsely accused by Southern white society, was nothing new in Jim Crow Amerikkka. To hear the story, go here and here.  But what was totally new and unprecedented was the breadth and fierceness of the response to this outrage. The outpouring of rage instead of fear formed the outlook of a generation—among Black people especially but also among many white people. This echoed around the world, and called attention to the hypocrisy of the so-called “leader of the free world.” It shows how long-suppressed anger against injustices can suddenly and dramatically burst forth in mass and determined struggle and change the way that millions worldwide see things. 

This happened because a small number of people—starting with Emmett’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley, and others from Money, Mississippi such as Emmett’s uncle, stood up and spoke out defiantly before the world. She insisted on an open casket to make the world confront the gruesome remains of what had been her beautiful son at the hands of good ole American boys. In his 2017 book, The Blood of Emmett Till, author Timothy B. Tyson captures this in writing that “Emmett’s murder would never have become a watershed historical moment without Mamie finding the strength to make her private grief a public matter.”

The incredibly courageous and broad-minded role of Emmett’s mother was the spark igniting feelings that had been building among the masses of Black people for some time. It accelerated and spurred on an urgent sense that things MUST change. All this took shape in the civil rights movement during and after that moment. Mamie noted that “When people saw what happened to my son, men stood up who had never stood up before,” in this case by the heroic actions of a few people on a foundation of organizing that had been going on (including in Mississippi) and a seething anger among millions that continues to exist today.

America and its racist thugs, now a fascist reincarnation of the lynch mobs of the past under Trump, cannot give up the hatred of this memory because it portends possibilities of the dam bursting again, and again. The unbearable stink of white supremacy has Emmett’s blood screaming from its root for justice. The same system that allows these commemorative signs to be vandalized is the very same system that allowed Emmett Till and so many others to be murdered. It is a system that is marked for being overthrown by all those who may have never stood up before—but can and must do so now.

Bob Avakian, "Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence"

A clip from the film of the talk by Bob Avakian, "Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About." Watch the entire talk at Revolutiontalk.net.

Click here to read a transcript of this film clip.

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

The Righteous Aspiration of LeBron James, the Racist Sneer of Donald Trump, and the Need for an Actual Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the nearly 250 years of chattel slavery in America and the 150 years of “old”1 and new Jim Crow which followed it, one of the most vicious practices has been the violently enforced ignorance perpetrated against Black people by the white supremacists who have run this system. For centuries in this country, enslaved Black human beings who dared to learn or teach others to read were routinely tortured, sold away from their families, mutilated, or even murdered. For the century and a half that followed, Black children were either denied schooling outright or sent to segregated schools which were deprived of all resources; and when they dared to try to go to white schools, they were violently attacked by mobs of white racist morons.

Today, with the schools even more segregated than they were in 1954 when segregation was supposedly outlawed and with the disparities and inequalities even greater than they were then, with police locking down and brutalizing students right in school, and with Trump’s secretary of education set on both further slashing resources and channeling African-American children into Christian-fascist brainwashing factories, this “American-as-apple-pie” practice is alive and fucking sick as ever.

As part of this practice, white supremacists then and now have claimed that the results of this systematic, violence-enforced miseducation “proved” that Black people were intellectually inferior. Never mind that the tests they used to supposedly “prove” this were themselves loaded with cultural bias and heavily influenced by actual educational opportunity (and in the case of the SAT and other “scholastic aptitude” tests, influenced by the practice of wealthier, usually white or Asian, parents paying for tutors, test-taking classes, etc.). Every decade it seems, if not more often, some “highly-credentialed” racist comes forth with one more bogus argument which is given tons of publicity and which forces actual scientists and others applying science to yet again shoot down this vicious lie.

All this is background to the latest ugly display of this by Donald Trump, the never-read-a-book-and-proud-of-it apotheosis of American ignorance and arrogance: his attacks on the basketball star and public figure LeBron James.

The Aspiration of LeBron James

Last week, LeBron James opened a school for “at-risk” youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. James donated millions to making this a state-of-the-art public school (non-charter). He also dedicated money to give a bike and a helmet to every child going to this school so that they can explore the world around them.

The aspiration behind what LeBron James has done—the urge to do something concrete to at least begin enriching the present and saving the future of these children—is something that should be upheld and respected. It is outrageous that it takes a multi-millionaire to do this and that the scope of what he can do is limited to a single medium-sized city, but that’s the fault of this rotten system, and not James.

It was at the moment of the opening of the school that Donald Trump decided to launch an attack on James as being “dumb”—and to attack the Black CNN anchor Don Lemon as well. This is the same moronic pig who has used the “pulpit” of the presidency to attack Black Congresswoman (and Trump critic) Maxine Waters as “low IQ” and to attack Black football players who have dared to protest during the national anthem. Trump, like the slavemasters from whom he draws inspiration and the baying hounds that he leads, hates the specter of Black people getting educated. He finds it threatening.

So it is no surprise that Donald Trump would go on the attack against LeBron James for doing this and that he would call him “dumb.” Trump has been slashing what meager funds did exist for the public schools and for inner city schools in particular. But what makes Trump different than the string of presidents before him who have done the same is his particular fascist bent. Think about it: Trump says someone with not only the aspiration but the determination to see through an effort to actually educate some small portion of the children that this system has destined to fail is “dumb.” This is Nazi talk for “sub-human”—and deserving to be penned in, beaten down, and ultimately, if the powers-that-be so decide, sent to concentration camps.

Like all racists, Trump fears and hates the very idea of educating (not indoctrinating, but educating) Black children. He fears the potential of the oppressed once critical thinking is unleashed. Do you think it’s an accident that in his rant against the NFL players (mainly Black) who protested by kneeling during the national anthem that he also attacked the attempts to limit brain-damaging concussions in football? This is beyond sick. Trump is the modern-day version of the slavemaster who would cut out a slave’s tongue for learning to read and then ridicule her for being unable to talk; and then when she managed to communicate anyway, attack her once more.

Again: this is potentially a program of genocide and a program right now of greatly heightened draconian repression and privation. This is of a piece with intentionally traumatizing children of immigrants by separating them from their parents and in some cases permanently orphaning them. This not only has to be opposed, but this whole illegitimate fascist regime needs to be driven out.

The Democrats Have No Answer…

But let’s go further. James’s aspiration to educate the youth of Akron should raise a larger question. Why, nearly 65 years after this system so solemnly declared its intent to desegregate and equalize educational opportunities, are schools in many areas still segregated and becoming even more so, and inequalities in educational outcomes for students of different backgrounds barely dented and, again, becoming worse in many cases? Why must people rely on the good intentions and charity of one millionaire to help what is really a tiny, tiny portion of those who could contribute so much and flourish so greatly if the system was designed to foster that?

A further question: while Trump has taken this much further, what have the Democrats been doing all these decades, including when they were in power? What did Obama do as president—besides lecturing Black students to “pull their pants up” and stop “blaming” … a system designed to make them fail? What did the Clintons do, besides demonizing Black children as potential “super-predators,” stepping on the accelerator of mass incarceration, ending “welfare as we know it,” and committing so many other crimes? And where are the prominent Democrats today who are raising hell over Trump’s attacks on LeBron James and others, calling it out as totally racist and unacceptable, and calling for the ouster of such an outright and unapologetic white supremacist?

These Democrats have shown both yesterday and today that they have no answer to this, no way to stop this ugly practice at the very heart of white supremacy.

But the Revolution Does…

This system of capitalism-imperialism grew up with, and remains joined at the hip with, white supremacy. It has had 400 years to answer this and today, as we said, schools are more segregated than ever, Black youth and other youth of color continue to be channeled into the “school-to-prison pipeline,” and the virulent racism of America is openly exalted from the highest office of the land and barely opposed.

In fact, there IS a blueprint for a whole new system in which education would be specifically designed, among other things, to overcome the inequities and scars of the past, as part of producing a society of critical and creative thinkers, steeped in the scientific method. A society in which the oppression of Black and other oppressed nationalities would be taken apart and abolished, as part of emancipating all of humanity. This can be done—through REVOLUTION which overthrows this system.

THIS—not the fascist catastrophe represented by Trump, nor the “usual” capitalist-imperialist disaster which at its best still consigns millions to the meatgrinder—is the future we urgently need and that is actually very possible (go here to see how such a revolution can be made). The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, sets forth, as a whole and in many different specific sections, why and how the new revolutionary state will, to quote the preamble, “be based on the principle of equality between different nationalities and cultures and [will have] as one of its essential objectives fully overcoming national oppression and inequality, which [is] such a fundamental part of the imperialist USA throughout its history. Only on the basis of these principles and objectives can divisions among humanity by country and nation finally be overcome and surpassed and a world community of freely associating human beings be brought into being. This orientation [will also be] embodied in the various institutions of the state and in the functioning of the government in the New Socialist Republic in North America.” And speaking of education, it lays a blueprint for education in the new society that is as lofty and inspiring as it is practical.

Get with the revolution. Get into BA.

THIS SYSTEM CANNOT BE REFORMED! IT MUST BE OVERTHROWN!

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!


1. The fact that the “old” Jim Crow still lives has been shown over and over again this summer with white people deciding to put Black people “in their place,” sometimes with murder, and now with the Mississippi memorial marker for the lynching victim Emmett Till again being vandalized and shot up by racists. Read more here. [back]

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:11

Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957. One of nine African American students who enrolled in Little Rock Central High School, the first to integrate the school, attacked by a mob of white racist morons.

South Carolina, 2015. A Black high school student assaulted by cop—in the classroom.

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

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

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

Read and Download (PDF)

From Article 1, Section 2, F. Education

1. Education in the New Socialist Republic in North America shall be based in accordance with, and contribute to, the principles and objectives set forth in this Constitution. All education shall be public education, provided for financially through the allocation of funds from the central government and other levels of government, under the overall direction of the Executive Council of the central government.

Education providing not only for literacy and other basic skills and abilities but also for a grounding in the natural and social sciences, as well as art and culture and other spheres, and in the ability to work with ideas in general, shall be provided, at government expense, and shall be compulsory for all youth (both citizens and residents) within the New Socialist Republic in North America, in accordance with policy and guidelines that shall be adopted by the appropriate government bodies for this purpose. Advanced education, combining specialization with the continuance of overall, well-rounded learning, shall also be provided at government expense for those who meet the criteria and standards for this more advanced education, as set forth in policy and guidelines developed by the appropriate government bodies, in accordance with the principles and objectives embodied in this Constitution. And, on the basis of and in tempo with the development of the socialist economy and society overall, it shall be the orientation of the state to provide such advanced education to increasing numbers of the adult population. In furtherance of these ends, museums relating to history, natural history and science, art, and other spheres, as well as other institutions and programs, shall be developed in accordance with the basic principles and objectives set forth here, and shall be made available widely to the population as a whole.

Education, while valuing and giving expression to the circumstances and atmosphere that are favorable and conducive to learning and intellectual pursuit, shall avoid and combat an "ivory tower" environment and mentality and, on the contrary, shall promote interchanges between students and the broader ranks of the people, on the basis of and in keeping with the principles and policies of the educational system. At the same time, education at all levels shall combine intellectual pursuits with various kinds of physical labor, in ways and forms that correspond to and are appropriate for students of different ages and different levels of development, in order to foster the development of new generations of people with well-rounded experience, knowledge and abilities, and as part of working to transform the relation between intellectual and physical work so that this no longer constitutes the basis for social antagonism.

Overcoming, in society (and ultimately the world) as a whole, such antagonism relating to the division between mental and physical work, which is deeply rooted in the development of societies marked by oppressive and exploitative relations and which is itself a potential source of such relations, shall be a concern of the state overall, and attention shall be paid to this in all spheres of society. (pp 31-32)

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

From RefuseFascism.org:

Washington, DC Transit Workers “Draw the Line” at Providing Special Trains for White Supremacists

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the days leading up to the white supremacist, fascist “Unite the Right” rally, and mobilization of counter-protesters (including Refuse Fascism), the Washington, DC transit workers union exposed plans by the DC Metro system to provide special train cars for white nationalists and announced the union would “draw the line” at that.

“Sources have shared with ATU Local 689 that a hate group with Ku Klux Klan affiliation will be provided three private Metro rail cars and police escort to Foggy Bottom Metro Station for the ‘Unite the Right’ 2018 rally,” the union said in its statement.

ATU Local 689 President Jackie Jeter said that members of the union, the majority of whom are people of color, “draw the line” at providing special service for supporters of a group that espouses white nationalism.

“Local 689 is proud to provide transit to everyone for the many events we have in D.C. including the March of Life, the Women’s March and Black Lives Matters,” Jeter said. “We draw the line at giving special accommodation to hate groups and hate speech.”

Jeter also cited a recent legal case in which a court affirmed Metro’s decision to ban “controversial” advertisements from the bus and subway system. Jeter’s statement suggested that she believes Metro should use the same standard when determining whose specialized transit needs to accommodate.

“Considering that the courts granted Metro the ability to deny ads on buses and trains that are ‘issue-oriented,’ we find it hypocritical for [Wiedefeld] to make these unprecedented special accommodations for a hate group,” Jeter said.

“More than 80% of Local 689’s membership is people of color, the very people that the Ku Klux Klan and other white nationalist groups have killed, harassed and violated. The union has declared that it will not play a role in their special accommodation,” the union’s statement said.

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Today's Message from the Revolution

February 19, 2019 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution says, "Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution."

Be part of those thousands across the country. Check here every day. Spread these on social media. Join in with the Revolution Clubs on the ground and on social media. Report back with your thoughts, responses and suggestions at revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

 

February 19, 2019

1. "...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!"

- Bob Avakian from the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution
revcom.us/ActualRevSpeech/

ANNOUNCING, just released text of the speech. Dig deeply into the need and strategy for a real revolution.
Read it here:
revcom.us/avakian/Bob-Avakian-why-we-need-an-actual-revolution-and-how-we-can-really-make-revolution-en.html

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2. Want a whole different world? Do you HATE how we're forced to live under this nightmare of a system?!

THIS is where you go to get organized for revolution.
revcom.us

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3. Organizing meetings in cities across the country:

revcom.us/a/582/organizing-meetings-around-the-country-en.html

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Earlier messages

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/40-children-killed-in-american-backed-massacre-by-saudi-arabia-in-yemen-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

40 Children Killed in American-Backed Massacre by Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Saudis Call Bus Full of Kids "Legitimate Target"—U.S. Lies That It's Not Responsible

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update, August 19: It Was an American Bomb!
It was an American-made bomb that slaughtered 40 children and 11 other Yemenis on August 9! Pieces of the bomb—an MK82, a laser-guided, 500-pound bomb made by Lockheed Martin—were found last week by munitions experts and Yemeni journalists. The bomb had been sold to Saudi Arabia through the U.S. State Department.


Yemeni journalist Ahmad Algohbary holds up a piece of the U.S.-made bomb which killed 40 children last week. (Photo: @AhmadAlgohbary/Twitter)

On Thursday morning, August 9, a bus full of children was returning from a recreational outing in Sa’ada in northern Yemen. Suddenly, without warning, it was hit by a missile fired by a Saudi Arabian warplane. The bus was obliterated. Body parts were strewn all over the crowded street: 40 children on the bus had been massacred and another 56 wounded! Another 11 were dead and 23 wounded from the bombing.

America’s and Saudi Arabia’s hands are dripping with the blood of these—and literally tens of thousands more—Yemeni children killed by bombs, starvation and disease from this war!

This massacre isn’t some rare exception, some error: this is what Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-backed war looks like! They deliberately target civilians—bombing wedding parties, factories, mosques, schools—killing over 10,000, perhaps double or quadruple that. And they deliberately use starvation and disease as weapons of war—bombing hospitals, clinics, markets—even farms and fishermen—and hindering or blockading shipments of food, fuel and medicine.

Saudi Arabia is fighting this war with U.S. planes, U.S. bombs, U.S. intelligence, U.S. logistics, and U.S. political support. American troops have also been directly involved in Yemen. This is a high-tech slaughter from the air that would be TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE for Saudi Arabia to carry out without U.S. backing and direct involvement!

“The missiles that kill us, American-made,” one Yemeni told PBS. “The plane that kills us, American-made. The tanks, Abrams, American-made. You’re saying to me, ‘Where is America [in this war]?’ America is the whole thing.”

The result: 8.4 million Yemenis have been pushed to the brink of starvation, 20 of its 28 million people need humanitarian assistance, and Yemen suffered the worst cholera epidemic in history last year. Now Saudi Arabia—backed by the U.S.—has escalated the war, including an offensive on the port through which much of the aid comes into Yemen, and is threatening the people of this country with even greater horrors: 10 million more could face famine and death; millions more could be at risk of getting cholera.

This is a war that hits children the hardest—130 die of starvation or preventable disease every single day because of the war. In two years (2016-2017), 113,000 children in Yemen died of hunger or preventable disease. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) calls it a “cruel war on children.”1

Saudi Arabia immediately began spewing out lies—that their strike was aimed at a missile launcher and was a legitimate target. The strike took place in the middle of a crowded market with no military installations in sight. The Saudis claim children are being used as “human shields” in the war. So now, any of Yemen’s roughly 12 million children under 15 are targets?

U.S. military officials say they have no idea if they refueled the Saudi planes or provided the bombs for this particular savage war crime. The Pentagon claims it doesn’t keep track of these things. That’s like Nazi officials saying, “We just put Jews in the cattle cars, we have no idea where they end up.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department is pointedly refusing to condemn, or even criticize, the Saudi massacre—a clear signal of official U.S. support.

Think again about these 96 children in a country halfway around the world—96 children dead, maimed, bloody, wounded. What kind of a system deliberately massacres, starves and sickens children? U.S. capitalism-imperialism, that’s what kind.  

For the last three plus years, beginning under Obama and now escalated under Trump/Pence, the U.S. has been backing the war by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to crush the Houthi movement (which represents reactionary, outmoded forces in Yemen). They’ve done this to buttress Saudi Arabia, reassert its hold on Yemen (located at the strategic tip of the Arabian Peninsula), prevent the spread of Iranian influence, and maintain America’s stranglehold on the entire Middle East.

Controlling this region, which connects Asia, Africa and Europe and possesses vast oil reserves, is crucial to America’s global domination. War criminal and former Nixon official Henry Kissinger wrote that post-World War 2 Western prosperity was based on cheap Middle Eastern oil. Saudi Arabia, the world’s main oil spigot and one of the world’s most oppressive, medieval tyrannies, is a key cog in this setup.

Without dominating the world, and the Mideast in particular, the U.S. would not be the empire it is today. The wealth and resources piled up by capitalist-imperialist America have come first from slavery and theft of land domestically, and then from the relentless economic, political, and military domination of the masses of people all over the world. This is what enables the rulers to deliver the spoils—the standard of living—to people in this country that it does. This whole set up compels America’s imperialist rulers—Democrats and Republicans—to back or carry out massive, barbaric crimes like the slaughter of innocent children in Yemen. They NEED to commit these atrocities to keep their whole system going. 

No one with a shred of humanity can remain silent in the face of these intolerable crimes, much less excuse or root for this. Instead, people of conscience should hope for the U.S. rulers to fail in all this barbarity—and many, many more must be working actively now to push forward the movement for an actual revolution, toward the day when it becomes possible to overthrow this empire that has been and continues to be responsible for so many untold millions of deaths and so much suffering.

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


1. See “America’s Jaws Drip with the Blood of Yemen’s Children -- The War You Haven’t Heard About” at revcom.us [back]

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:8

The remains of the bus that had been filled with children when hit by a Saudi missile. Photo: AP

 

 

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Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

A Year After Charlottesville, This Is Not Where We Should Be

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

by Coco Das | Reprinted from Daily Kos

Last year’s Unite the Right terror rally in Charlottesville should have been the end of the Trump/Pence regime. Nazis marching through the streets chanting Heil Trump, taunts of genocide, savage violence by white supremacist mobs, the murder of Heather Heyer ... then Trump arrogantly blaming both sides and calling torch-carrying fascists “very fine people” should have been enough to condemn this regime to the scrapheap of history. What happened in Charlottesville was sickening and intolerable, and it had everything to do with the white supremacists in the White House. Charlottesville starkly exposed the alignment and mutually reinforcing relationship between the regime in power and violent vigilante street forces, both enforcing white supremacy as part of the cohering ideology of this vicious American fascism.

Now, a year later, they DARE to rally again, this time in front of the White House after they were denied a permit in Charlottesville. Imagine the callous entitlement of that, demanding to return to the scene where a woman was murdered and a Black man was chased and beaten by a gang of white supremacists and many others were threatened and terrorized—with claims that the white supremacists are the true victims, turning reality upside down in true fascist form. They are calling this a white civil rights rally, but we should call it what it really is, a bold victory lap and a chance to honor their president who has stood by them and delivered them so much.

Last year, many of us who were sickened by what we saw in Charlottesville took action; we marched, held candlelight vigils, and counter-protested every time these groups called another rally. People standing up against these naked displays of force did a lot to deny these white supremacists the legitimacy they wanted. But we did not go all the way. We did not drive out the regime that emboldened the re-assertion of white supremacist terror. We did not stop the regime that is rapidly reshaping American society to make this country safe for fascists and downright deadly for everyone they seek to subjugate and eliminate.

What followed Charlottesville? “Zero Tolerance” policies against immigrants amounting to ethnic cleansing. Silencing of NFL players who kneel in protest. Nearly 5000 preventable deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. An epidemic of police being called on Black people for simply existing in spaces as varied as coffee shops, public streets, and dormitory common rooms. The Muslim travel ban upheld by the Supreme Court. And more racist hate crimes against people of color.

A year after the horror in Charlottesville, this is NOT where we should be. Fascist thugs should not be allowed to show up in force again, anywhere, and neither should this fascist regime—with their cruel program of white, Christian, male, American supremacy—be allowed to continue to function. They should not be free to win the world they want, an unlivable world for the majority of humanity. We have to unite for the world we want with equal passion, and we have to win.

The one-year anniversary of Charlottesville should have been a day of mourning, not a day of doing this all over again. This weekend in DC, we need to stop these fascist street thugs, and as we do, if we really want to stop white supremacy from strengthening its grip, let’s build the movement to do what really needs to be done. Get with the plan and strategy of RefuseFascism.org. Don’t stop flooding the streets until we’ve sent Trump and his entire regime packing. It’s worth stepping outside the normal channels to do this. Our reward will be a future NOT ruled by genocidal lunatics.

***

Coco Das is a contributor to refusefascism.org, an organization mobilizing to drive out the Trump/Pence regime though a sustained, non-violent protest movement. Their slogan is “In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America.”

August 11- 12: In the Name of Humanity, Join Refuse Fascism in Washington, DC to Say NO to White Supremacy and a Fascist America!

RefuseFascism.org

Clip: "The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today"

Watch the entire film of the talk by Bob Avakian: “THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America A Better World IS Possible”

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/trump-pence-regime-whips-up-fascist-mobs-laws-target-anti-fascists-and-other-protesters-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

As the Trump/Pence Regime Whips Up Fascist Mobs: Federal and State Laws Target Anti-Fascist and Other Protesters

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At a time when vile, dangerous white supremacist/neo-Nazi mobs are being backed and incited from the highest offices of the land through Trump’s tweets, KKK-style speeches, and other actions, the government is stepping up efforts to use laws against anti-fascist protesters. In June, Republicans introduced a bill in the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives called the “Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018.” The bill would punish anyone who “injures, oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person” while “in disguise, including wearing a mask” with fines and an up to 15-year prison sentence.

“Antifa” refers to a range of anti-fascist and anti-racist groups with varying viewpoints, who act in different ways to defend against and take on fascist and white-supremacist goons, in the streets and on social media. Many Antifa identify themselves as anarchist in some way. In a piece on The Intercept website, writer Natasha Lennard pointed out that “anti-fascist demonstrators frequently wear masks for fear of harassment and retaliation from white supremacists” and that “while anti-masking laws are not uncommon and have often been used in the past to arrest leftist and anarchist protesters, the weight of sentencing proposed in the new bill raises the stakes considerably...”

As the name “Unmasking Antifa Act” makes clear, this bill doesn’t make even a pretense of being “even handed” in relation to the racist Nazi thugs like those who rampaged in Charlottesville last year on one side, and people who get out into the streets in outrage against those fascist fucks, on the other. And if this fascist bill becomes actual law, it will no doubt be used more broadly against people protesting against the fascist regime and various injustices and crimes of this system, beyond those identified with Antifa.

Shortly after this bill was introduced, federal prosecutors dropped felony charges against the last of the J20 defendants—about 200 protesters who faced long prison sentences after mass arrests on Trump’s Inauguration Day in Washington, DC, for simply being part of a demonstration during which some alleged destruction of property took place. The attempted political railroad of the J20 defendants was not only a vicious act of revenge against the righteous protests on the very first day of the Trump/Pence regime—it was a major escalation of fascist repression, with ominous implications. As part of this, the government demanded detailed information on visitors to a website that was used to organize the protests, and the site’s web hosting provider said complying with the order would have meant handing over information on about 1.3 million visitors.

Most of the J20 defendants worked together to defend themselves against the outrageous attacks by the government and won wide support. The defeat of their political railroad was a victory. But the government has by no means given up the drive to go after protesters through the laws and courts. Aside from the federal “Unmasking Antifa” bill, there has been a major rise in anti-protest laws at the state level—targeting things like demonstrating in large groups, wearing masks, and disrupting oil pipelines and other infrastructure, or protecting drivers from liability if they hit someone during a protest. The National Lawyers Guild reported earlier this year that 58 such bills had been proposed in 31 states.

Not all these bills have become law, but many have. For example, one signed by the Oklahoma governor in May dramatically increased fines and jail sentences for protesters who “trespass” on property containing “critical infrastructure facility”—including fossil fuel facilities. The new law is clearly aimed at environmental protesters in this state, which is a center of the oil and gas industry. Individual protesters convicted under the law could face up to a $100,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment—and organizations found to be a “conspirator” could be fined as much as $1 million.

These draconian laws are aimed at greatly ramping up potential punishment against those who step out to protest—and threatening and intimidating potential protesters. They are part of intensifying steps in the U.S. toward the fascist suppression and criminalization of all serious dissent and protest. This is where things are rapidly heading—and it underscores the necessity and urgency of tens of thousands, and then millions, stepping out to defy this fascist onslaught as part of a massive political movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.

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CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

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

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

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/revolution-club-los-angeles-members-outrageously-arrested-for-talking-about-revolution-at-a-public-park-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

Revolution Club Los Angeles Members Outrageously Arrested for Talking About Revolution at a Public Park!

Updated | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update: The three Revolution Club members have now been released from police custody. The Club tweeted, "Thanks for spreading the word, making phone calls and donations."

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

On Friday, August 10, 2018, three members of the LA Revolution Club went out to Normandie Park during a Summer Night Lights event. These are summer events where the police act like they're doing masses of people who live around these parks a favor by keeping the lights on a little longer and not running them out of the park. They prop up an “official staff” to make it seem as if people being allowed to stay in the park after dark is something to celebrate and be thankful to the police for.

When three members of the Revolution Club showed up to talk to people about the criminal and murderous nature of this system and the need to overthrow it, a petty overseer found this "inappropriate" and called on the cops there to remove the members of the Revolution Club—FROM A PUBLIC PARK!

When the crew didn't return to our organizing center and weren't answering their phones, one of us went down to the park to investigate and ask people if they had seen people in BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts passing out the pamphlet. Someone eventually told us that they had been arrested and they directed us to the person who would know more. When approached and asked if she knew more about the Revolution Club members and the arrests she smugly replied that the police arrested them because “They weren't listening...they were going around talking to people while the program was going on.” So we asked, “They were arrested for talking to people at a public park?” She responded, “Well, the things they were saying were inappropriate anyways.”

The Revolution Club has been going out broadly getting out and getting into the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution with people. This is an historic document that not only calls out the monstrousness and utter unreformability of this system, it also lays out how people can get organized now into the movement for an actual revolution to bring something far better into being. This is something the armed enforcers, who constantly murder and brutalize people, do not want to see connected up with those this system has no future for. They seized on this opportunity to go after the forces who actually do represent the interest of the masses of people, with these blatantly obvious illegitimate arrests. 

The members of the Revolution Club are being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown LA, charged with “trespassing” (602.1 pc) at a park that was purposefully open to the public all night long. 

This is a violation of people's legal rights and the people will not tolerate the authorities to arrest people for merely TALKING about the fight for a better world in a public space.

We’re told by the LAPD Asst. Watch Commander at MDC that two of them are being held in “padded cells” because they didn't answer questions, including by medical personnel in the jail! There is a potentially dangerous logic to this type of confinement—the revolutionaries need to get out of jail and be back on the streets right away.

Call the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center at 213/356-3448. Tell them to release the Revolution Club members now.  

We are collecting donations for a defense fund—go to tinyurl.com/fundtherevolution.

Let us know that you called, and how we keep you updated.

Revolution Club LA
(323) 424-6687
revclub_la@yahoo.com
@revclub_la
2716 S. Vermont Ave Unit 8
Los Angeles, CA

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Where you can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way as you learn more about the revolution...and, where you advance toward joining the vanguard of the revolution, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

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Revolution Club, Los Angeles

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/the-revolution-club-to-counter-protest-white-supremacists-in-dc-this-weekend-en.html

Revolution #555 August 6, 2018

For immediate release:

"White Supremacists Must Be Politically Defeated and Their System Must Be Overthrown!"
The Revolution Club to Counter-Protest White Supremacists in DC this Weekend

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

For immediate release
11 August 2018
@NYCRevClub
revclubmedia@gmail.com

The Revolution Club will join with others to counter-protest the white supremacists that Trump called “fine people” this Sunday, August 12 in Washington, DC on the anniversary of the murder of Heather Heyer as part of getting organized for an actual revolution. Their “REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS” contingent will meet at noon at Freedom Plaza at noon on August 12.

Lucha Bright, a member of the Chicago Revolution Club who was assaulted and sent to the hospital by white supremacists a year ago in Charlottesville (this assault was featured in Frontline/ProPublica’s special Documenting Hate), said, “Donald Trump is bringing back the racist terror of lynch mobs, auction blocks, slave whips, and Jim Crow. We intend to politically defeat these fascists this weekend and are getting organized for an actual revolution.”

The Revolution Club is recognizable by their iconic T-shirts emblazoned with the words, “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” which have been seen in protests and uprisings from Ferguson, Missouri, after the police murder of Michael Brown to the Republican National Convention where 17 were arrested for burning the American flag to recent protests against the separation of immigrant children. The letters “BA” on their shirts refer to Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, architect of the new communism, and author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically new society after the current system is overthrown through revolution.

****

Interviews available with Lucha Bright of the Chicago Revolution Club, who was assaulted and sent to the hospital by white supremacist Nazis in Charlottesville one year ago. She is organizing young people on Chicago’s South Side to stop fighting each other and turn their anger where it belongs—towards making a revolution that overthrows this system that has put them in this mess, that is carrying out genocide against them, and that has given rise to these Nazi shock troops.

The Revolution Club lives by the following Points of Attention:

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

Get with the Revolution Club!

Where you can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way as you learn more about the revolution...and, where you advance toward joining the vanguard of the revolution, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Read more

 

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