Revolution #557, August 20, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/457/how-we-can-win-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/366/what-is-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 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!

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/547/commitment-and-process-of-building-movement-for-revolution-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 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!*

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/all-out-for-the-august-30-harlem-film-showing-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

All Out for the August 30 Harlem Film Showing Under the Stars of Bob Avakian’s Talk —

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!
In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America—A Better World
IS Possible!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Thursday, August 30, at the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater, Harlem, New York City, there is going to be an open air screening of the film of Bob Avakian’s talk THE TRUMP PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible!

Sponsored by Revolution Books, The Bob Avakian Institute, and the Revolution Books Education Fund, it will be a special evening—watching the film of Bob Avakian’s talk under the stars with hundreds of others. As our new poster publicizing the showing says, “If you haven’t heard Bob Avakian, you haven’t heard the hard truth of how we got to a fascist Trump/Pence Regime and how only we can end this nightmare.” We encourage everyone reading this to mark your calendars to attend—and start spreading the word for—what should be a truly special evening.

Why this film matters

Right now millions of people are being confronted by the heinous workings of this system—immigrant children kidnapped from their parents by the government... white supremacists and Nazis marching on Washington... the right to abortion being savaged... global warming worsening, with its effects felt more disastrously throughout the world... all driven forward by the Trump/Pence regime that is simultaneously threatening the fire and fury of nuclear war and destruction. But most people don’t understand how we got here and what it will take to actually end this nightmare.

Just look at some of the clips from the film: “What are we facing?” or “The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today” or “Why is it that the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?

This outdoor screening is a rare chance for people from many different backgrounds who don’t regularly mix to come together and collectively engage this and take up the moral challenge and call to action Avakian puts forth. Bob Avakian is the most radical revolutionary on the planet, and in this one-hour talk, with depth, passion, and humor, he leads us to fully confront the history of the USA, the larger contradictions facing all of humanity at this moment and how we can actually bring about a resolution to these contradictions that would be in the interests of humanity and the planet. This film is also a doorway to all those who agonize over the state of the world to learn more about and engage Avakian’s work on emancipating humanity—on getting free once and for all.

Matthew Shipp, composer and musician, said this about the film: “Avakian skillfully weaves together the unique challenge we confront with the very specific brand of American fascism we face with Trump, the white nationalist Christian fascism of Pence, together with a historical context of how we got here—while issuing a very specific call to action now because this is a true worldwide emergency.”

Organizing for hundreds from different sections of people

A recent planning/organizing meeting I attended paints an initial picture of the vibrancy and ferment of a movement around this film beginning to take root and how this contributes to building a movement for an actual revolution as well as the broader—and more immediate—goal of driving out the fascist Trump/Pence regime. The meeting included people fresh from the confrontation with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in DC who brought greater appreciation of how important this film is to understanding the roots and agenda of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. We started by watching the trailer of THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!, the clip on why the Democrats are not the answer, and the video “Bob Avakian Through the Years,” which features footage from Bob Avakian’s speeches starting with a 1969 appearance at a Black Panther rally. Someone who has gotten involved more recently in the movement for revolution commented that the video of BA through the years shows how “he has remained true to his revolutionary convictions from the beginning” and how he has an ability “to speak in the moment, to speak in real terms ... that people can absorb and understand ... one of the best signs of a leader.” All this is part of a growing movement for revolution with people learning what we have as the How We Can WIN pamphlet lays out, what our strengths are, a lot of which resides in leadership, and specifically the leadership of Bob Avakian, who is able to combine high theoretical and scientific breakthroughs with a deep and visceral feel for the masses of people and the ability to break things down and connect in a living way.

The meeting was abuzz with ideas about how this can really contribute to the struggle to drive the regime from power and introduce people to the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian: “Let’s get to the students right when school starts” (City College of New York [CCNY] opens three days before the showing); “If we get over 200 people to the showing, that would be a big deal... different kinds of people from around Harlem, the city, and even people visiting from other parts of the world”; someone else: “A place like Harlem that concentrates America was never great ... and now Nazis marching in Inwood (Black and Latino community in upper Manhattan) ... has massive implications for locking down the country.” The woman who remarked about BA through the years: “There’s good news to spread. How we can get out of this mess and make revolution ... there is the answer, and you can start at Marcus Garvey Park.”

People wrangled with how to build a mass movement around the showing, getting people involved, doing outings together, and summing up what people are saying and how we can get them involved in spreading the word with a lot of emphasis on social media. At the end of the meeting, people did videos of people saying why they’re going on the 30th, some did them as individuals and some in groups—and we will be getting these out right away. One particular need was people talking about how to be raising funds in everything we’re doing, and helping people see that donating funds is a crucial way to contribute and be part of the movement for revolution and the struggle to drive the regime from power... and right now the importance and potential impact of the film showing.

A Host Committee of voices of conscience is coming together in the lead up to this evening, to lend their name to publicity, and to help ensure the success of the showing: Herb Boyd, author, educator, and activist; Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; Nkosi Anderson, PhD candidate, Union Theological Seminary; David Orenstein, professor of anthropology, Medgar Evers College; Pastor Doris Johnson from Jamaica, Queens; and Rev. Luis Barrios, professor of Latin American and Latina/o Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Over the next 10 days the Revolution Club, Revolution Books, and people involved in Refuse Fascism who appreciate the depth of the argument brought out by BA in this film will be going all out to build for this showing—and you are needed and can participate in many different ways.

One key element is groups of people coming together to organize yourself and your friends to go together—this could be groups of students or even a class at CCNY and Medgar Evers College, which opens up on the 27th, or it could be some of the courageous resisters who just went down to DC together bringing their friends who were impressed by what they did down there, or a group of people around the Revolution Club coming together to raise funds for this film showing by selling hundreds of “America Was NEVER Great!” stickers. The basic idea is people like you inspiring and organizing your own friends to come together for this experience.

Other elements of our plan include making Harlem buzz with this film showing, with posters up in stores and where people live, lively scenes with flyers and tables at the various events in Marcus Garvey Park. We are reaching out to important Harlem institutions like the Schomburg Center and the Fortune Society, as well as legal organizations and teachers and professors, right as school is opening up. And we have a team of phone bankers who are reaching out to hundreds of people the movement for revolution has met over the last six months as well as any of the people who have seen the movie already and have a special role in sharing this with others.

 

If you are in the New York City area, here are some of the key ways you can be part of this, but please share with us your own thoughts, ideas, and plans (write to Revolution Books at revbooksnyc@yahoo.com or call 212-691-3345).

  1. Mark your calendar to be there yourself on August 30 at 7 pm in Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater.
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/280253829406410
    Eventbrite: www.eventbrite.com/e/open-air-screening-bob-avakian-on-the-trumppence-regime-must-go-tickets-48924945830
  2. Invite your friends on Facebook, coworkers, put up flyers in your local coffee shop.
  3. Make a tax deductible donation here and ask others to match your donation.
  4. Join up with the Revolution Club or Revolution Books—invite us to join you or join up with planned outings (contact Revolution Club at nycrevclub@gmail.com; see above for Revolution Books contact info).

Donate to
Revolution Books Education Fund HERE

The Marcus Garvey film showing is a special occasion (though we hope to inspire others to organize similar showings around the country). This film showing has very particular technical needs, and we have hired Rooftop Films, who have generously given us a 20 percent reduction. We need to raise $5,000 to cover technical needs, promotion, and materials. We ask everyone to make a tax-deductible donation to the Revolution Books Education Fund. Please be generous, your $500, $100, or $50 donation is much needed.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/brennan-affair-sharp-infighting-at-top-but-our-enemys-enemies-are-not-our-friends-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

The “Brennan Affair”

Sharp Infighting at the Top as Trump Moves to Forge Full Fascist Control of the Empire’s Instruments of Power... BUT Our “Enemy’s Enemies” Are NOT Our Friends

WE Need to Fight to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime—and Get Rid of the Whole System—in the Interests of HUMANITY

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In a Nutshell: Donald Trump’s move to revoke security clearances of former high-level CIA and other “intelligence agency” officials is a major move to consolidate a fully fascist regime able to wield compliant repressive institutions of the capitalist-imperialist state against its foes. Sharp struggle has erupted over this involving other ruling class—that is, imperialist—forces that fear Trump’s approach could lead to disaster for the U.S. empire. This struggle is ongoing, and no one can say at this point how it will turn out. Neither side in this struggle at the top represents the interests of humanity or anything remotely progressive. The CIA is responsible for literally millions of deaths around the world since World War 2 and continues to wreak havoc on people today, and the FBI has spied on, disrupted, framed people up, and conspired in assassination during its entire time of existence, including today. But the infighting among the rulers may well present openings for mass resistance from below that is about driving out this regime. And those possible openings need to be seized and taken advantage of, from the standpoint of opposing its past and future crimes against humanity here and around the world, in the interests of humanity.

****

On August 15, the Trump/Pence regime took the unprecedented step of stripping the security clearance from John Brennan, the former director of the CIA, because of Brennan’s role as an outspoken ruling class critic of Trump. (Brennan recently said Trump’s behavior towards Russia was “nothing short of treasonous.”)

With the attack on Brennan as its “icebreaker,” the regime is now moving to revoke clearances for nearly a dozen former officials of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Justice Department, and others in the so-called “law enforcement and intelligence community” (which in reality is the U.S. apparatus of spying, repression, torture, and terror directed against people of the whole world as well as in the U.S.). Trump also stepped up denunciations of the mainstream media, and he reportedly demanded that the Justice Department arrest Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former White House official who now is dissing Trump as racist and misogynist.

Brennan continues to call out Trump, and 13 former intelligence chiefs signed an open letter denouncing Trump’s action as an attempt to suppress free speech (while at the same time distancing themselves somewhat from Brennan’s aggressive approach). Seventy-five former CIA officers have now signed a similar letter. A retired Navy admiral wrote Trump saying that it would be “an honor” if Trump took his security clearance as well. Others said Trump was on the road to “authoritarianism.”

But it is the Trump/Pence regime that holds and wields power, not these critics. And Trump’s new moves are a leap in the consolidation of fascist rule.

Fascism is characterized by extreme concentration of power in the hands of a small ruling group, and, most of all, the top leader, and by open terror, unrestrained by law and due process, against both the masses of people and ruling class opponents.

The significance of Trump’s attack on the former intelligence officials is not the personal consequences for Brennan or others of losing security clearance. Rather, it is that Trump is using his executive power to punish his ruling class political opponents, without regard for established norms, rules, or law, as he previously threatened to do, (e.g., with the ugly “lock her up” chants during his campaign).

And the fact that he is going after people who have been very high up in the ruling apparatus and remain well-connected, amplifies the threat to others. Both within the repressive institutions of “the intelligence community” and broadly in society, it is a chilling message: Opposition to fascist reorganization, or even personal criticism of Trump, will not be tolerated. Dissidents will be purged. The instruments of state violence will be reforged on a fully fascist basis, obedient to Trump’s authority and unbounded by due process.

And if opponents within the ruling class can be attacked in this way, the fascist regime will do a hundred times more to people who are challenging the whole oppressive order—to political activists, revolutionaries and communists, and to the masses of people as a whole.

In this volatile situation, where millions sense that the country is moving towards fascist dictatorship or chaos or both, people like Brennan, former FBI director James Comey, Robert Mueller, and others being attacked by Trump are being promoted by liberal pundits and politicians as “our last hope,” “the adults in the room,” or even as popular heroes! And the role of the masses of people is presented as cheering them on, and of course, “vote in November.”

But in reality, this orientation is absolutely deadly, not just for people in the U.S., but for humanity as a whole.

The CIA and FBI Are Your Enemies, Not Your Friends

In the midst of a tsunami of liberals fawning on people like Brennan, let’s get clear on who they really are.

The CIA is a crucial instrument of U.S. imperialist domination of the people of the world. This is the organization that dispatches drones that hover constantly over rural villages in Pakistan, in Libya, in Yemen, in Somalia, terrorizing the masses, ready at any moment to call in massive airstrikes if their operators perceive a gathering of villagers as a “threat.” This is the organization that cranked out fake “evidence” of “weapons of mass destruction” and “terrorist connections” (that did not really exist) in Iraq to justify the 2003 U.S. invasion that ended up killing a million people and all but destroying the Iraqi nation. This is the organization that set up secret “black site” torture centers around the world, where suspects were waterboarded, slammed into walls, and imprisoned in coffins until they were broken in body and spirit, with the torture at times continuing even after the CIA realized they were innocent.

Brennan was deeply involved in much of this and has been called the “assassination czar” for his role in drone attacks. He staunchly defended the “black sites,” saying they were “vital,” helped cover up the large number of civilian casualties from drone attacks, and justified kidnapping “suspects” and handing them over to be tortured by U.S. allies that are even less hemmed in than the CIA by any pretense of respect for human rights.

For 70 years, the CIA has organized or backed coups in dozens of countries, including Chile, Brazil, Guatemala, Iran, Haiti, Congo, and Indonesia, each and every one of which was aimed at—and succeeded in—overthrowing popular elected governments that were not fully subservient to the U.S., and installing “U.S.-compliant” dictatorships that terrorized their own populations in the service of imperialism. In Indonesia alone, at least 500,000 civilians were slaughtered by the forces the U.S. backed, and the CIA actually provided lists to the Indonesian military of suspected communists to be murdered. In addition, the CIA has extensively collaborated in torture and assassination in many other countries.

And the fucking FBI? The whole purpose of the FBI from its founding has been to spy on and repress political dissidents. In the ’60s it led in the assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, murdered in his bed, and of dozens of other Panthers. It spied on Martin Luther King Jr. and attempted to blackmail him. It helped set up Malcolm X for assassination. The FBI closely monitored communist leader Bob Avakian from early on, and helped in the attempt to jail him for hundreds of years. And this is not “ancient history”—in 2015, then-FBI Director James Comey gave a major speech loudly proclaiming that public protests against the epidemic of police murders of Black and Brown people were keeping cops from doing their job and causing an increase in crime. In 2017, the FBI produced and circulated an internal report labeling nonviolent activists against police murder as “Black Identity Extremists” who threaten the safety of police.

These are not “knights in shining armor” coming to save us—they are world-class gangsters and moral monstrosities.

Their Conflicts with Trump Are Not Over Whether but How Best to Fuck Over and Repress the People

So if all that is true—and it clearly is—then why are Brennan and others so sharply at odds with a fascist like Trump? The answer is that they believe Trump will endanger the domination of the U.S. empire over the world, and the control of the U.S. ruling class over its “home” population. Read or listen to what Brennan and similar forces say—and don’t say—about Trump. You will hear nothing about, or at most passing reference to, Trump’s true crimes against humanity—his imprisonment of immigrant children, his denial of the right to asylum to desperate refugees, his abandonment of Puerto Rico after last year’s hurricanes leading to over a thousand unnecessary deaths, his whipping up of racism against Black and Brown people, his vicious misogyny, and so on. Nor have they sharply differed with him on his threats to annihilate North Korea, nor his current sanctions and war threats against Iran, nor his all-out support for Israel’s increasingly genocidal attacks on the Palestinian people.

Some of Trump’s ruling class opponents may have some disagreements with some of these things, but they are not deal-breakers. No, their differences are over how to maintain their empire of blood and horror. As we wrote in July, “Trump represents and fights for a fascist section of the ruling class that aims to radically remake U.S. institutions and policies. This group believes that the ‘world order’ that the U.S. has headed for 70 years no longer serves U.S. imperialist domination.... This requires them to break up or radically re-set terms for all previous agreements.... These fascists also believe that certain basic democratic traditions of U.S. political system and rule of law, no matter how ineffectual, violated, limited, hypocritical and bitterly contested they may be in actual practice, stand as barriers to the extreme, open and unbridled white supremacy, national chauvinism, and patriarchy that the fascists require to reorder society.”

In the same article, we pointed out that “The previously dominant section of the ruling class thinks this will lead to disaster for U.S. imperialist interests and have been trying to at least constrain the fascists. While their differences over what best protects and advances the interests of the U.S. ruling class as a whole in the contentious global system of imperialism are sharp, what is more fundamental for all of them is their unity in defending the interests of U.S. imperialism.” [Emphasis added.]

Our Stance Must NOT Be to “Choose Sides,” but to Bring Forward the People to Fight for the Interests of Humanity, and on that Basis, Take Advantage of the Conflicts Among the Oppressors

So does that mean that the infighting going on now doesn’t matter?

No! As pointed out in the two paragraphs that often appear here at revcom on the Democrats and the struggle among the powers that be, this infighting can provide openings for “‘the struggle from below’—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.”

But these opportunities cannot and will not be seized or realized with an orientation of rooting for the anti-Trump forces in the U.S. ruling class. For one thing, because they are ruling class forces, and do not want to do anything that exacerbates the existing crisis and potentially weakens their class’ grip on society and power in the world, their opposition to the regime is extremely narrow and limited. They don’t even oppose the whole regime—including the Christian fascist Mike Pence—but instead pointedly limit their criticism to Trump alone. Nor do they want to see millions of oppressed and progressive people in the streets pushing for the ouster of the whole regime, for fear this could lead to larger social upheaval and debate over the nature and future of this oppressive society (i.e, of their system) as a whole.

And most fundamentally, as already noted, they want to keep the terms of things squarely within their framework of how best to maintain and expand a cruel and outmoded world order—or in other words, HOW to “Make America Great Again.” Fanatical and blind pro-American patriotism is so central to the ruling class “critique” of Trump that when New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo simply stated that America’s history of open racism and persecution of LGBTQ people was “never that great,” he came under withering attack, not just from Trump and the Republicans, but from Democrats, and very quickly walked back his comments.

No, as infighting intensifies, as the stakes get higher, we need people who refuse to sit passively on the sidelines waiting for a powerful savior that will never come—at least not to save us. We need new forces, youth and others, to step up and fight for a real road forward, joining in RefuseFascism.org’s effort to bring first thousands and then millions into the streets in determined nonviolent protest that will not stop until the whole regime is driven from power, and who are willing to help lead those millions in what will undoubtedly be an intense and difficult struggle. And, we need leaders who take this on guided by a larger vision—and as an integral part of a strategic approach—of forging the path to an all the way communist revolution that can move humanity beyond the era in which oppression, exploitation and imperialist war were the order of the day for centuries and millennia (see BAsics 6:3 from Bob Avakian).

These right-wing politicians (generally grouped within the Republican Party) can, will, and do actively mobilize this essentially fascist social base...yet, on the other side, the sections of the ruling class that are more generally represented by the Democratic Party are very reluctant to, and in fact resistant to, mobilizing...the base of people whose votes and support in the bourgeois political arena the Democrats seek to gain. This (Democratic Party) side of the ruling class generally is not desirous of—and in fact recoils at the idea of—calling that base into the streets, mobilizing them either to take on the opposing forces in the ruling class and their social base or in general to struggle for the programs that the Democratic Party itself claims to represent and actually in some measure does seek to implement....

As an amplification of the basic point here, it is important to recognize this: Within the framework of the capitalist-imperialist system, and with the underlying dynamics of this system, which fundamentally set the terms, and the confines, of “official” and “acceptable” politics, fascism—that is, the imposition of a form of dictatorship which openly relies on violence and terror to maintain the rule and the imperatives of the capitalist-imperialist system—is one possible resolution of the contradictions that this system is facing—a resolution that could, at a certain point, more or less correspond to the compelling needs of this system and its ruling class—while revolution and real socialism, aiming toward the final goal of communism, throughout the world, is also a possible resolution of these contradictions, but one that would most definitely not be acceptable to the capitalist-imperialist ruling class nor compatible with the imperatives of this system!

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:11

Clip: "Why is it the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?"

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

I have several times noted the fact that for the advanced forces, for those who come to the forefront of the revolutionary struggle, there is a heavy weight to carry. It is demanding a lot of them to play this role, to be the ones to most steadfastly carry the revolutionary struggle along. But it is not too much to demand.

In basketball there are those players who are not only outstanding in general but who specifically make the big plays at the crucial moments. These are the ones who want the ball when crunch time comes, when the whole game is on the line. They are the ones who love to go into the home court of the biggest rivals and rise to their greatest right in the face of the other team and their howling, screaming fans. These are the ones who not only soar to great heights themselves but in so doing raise the level of their team as a whole. Why shouldn't the advanced forces of proletarian revolution—those who have the most profound interest in this revolution and the most profound desire for revolution—why shouldn't they be capable of this kind of greatness?

Bob Avakian, BAsics 6:3

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/stop-trying-to-win-a-patriotism-contest-with-donald-trump-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

To All Who Care About Humanity: STOP Trying to Win a “Patriotism” Contest with Donald Trump!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

One of the most disgusting aspects of the “Brennan affair” is the way that it has turned so many liberals and progressives—many of whom are well aware of the long and ugly history of the CIA and the FBI—into slavish and slobbering admirers of these very agencies. Watch MSNBC, or for that matter, Bill Maher, for even an hour, read the comments section of articles in the New York Times, and you will see anchors, pundits, and ordinary people alike talking about these so-called “heroes” who “dedicate their whole lives” to “protecting our country.” And along with this is the frequent refrain that it is the opponents of Donald Trump who are “the true patriots,” standing up for the values of “our great country,” the values that, supposedly, “really make America great.”

These are completely wrong terms for taking on the Trump/Pence fascist regime, much less for moving beyond that and bringing about a radically different, truly liberating world. Some progressive people may think that by promoting Brennan and the like, and by wrapping themselves in American patriotism, they are doing what is necessary to stop the existential threat to humanity represented by Trump. But the reality is that this means standing with the imperialist rulers—who are all monstrous oppressors and exploiters—and against the people of the world, including the oppressed in this country.

Nor is this a contest we can win. Trump is right to drape himself in the American flag: his cruel attacks on refugees and immigrants, his brutal misogyny, and his super-nationalist hostility towards other nations and peoples are entirely consistent with the whole history of the U.S.—the slavery, the genocide, the imperialist invasions, the lynchings, the savage exploitation of immigrant workers, the persecution of LGBTQ people, and so much more. These are the things that made America “great”—that is, the greatest imperialist power in history. Trump can have that flag, that history, and that outlook.

Those who truly want to put an end to the needless suffering, the wars, and the environmental devastation that Trump’s America has wrought need to cast off the disgusting and deadly chains of American patriotism and chauvinism—and think and act based on the real interests of humanity!

See Also:

The “Brennan Affair”

Sharp Infighting at the Top as Trump Moves to Forge Full Fascist Control of the Empire’s Instruments of Power... BUT Our “Enemy’s Enemies” Are NOT Our Friends.

WE Need to Fight to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime—and Get Rid of the Whole System—in the Interests of HUMANITY

Read more.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/trumps-assaults-on-immigrants-are-concentration-of-americas-history-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Trump’s Nazi Assaults on Immigrants Aren’t a Repudiation of America’s History and Values—They’re a Concentration of Them!

They Must Be STOPPED! This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Trump and his cohorts are justifying their war on immigrants by viciously demonizing them as “rapists” and “vermin” from “shithole countries” who are “infesting” America. This is the same language Adolf Hitler used to target and dehumanize Jews, Roma people (gypsies), and others in Nazi Germany.

Laura Ingraham of Fox News recently chimed in to the fascist chorus, expressing her outrage that today millions more nonwhite immigrants—especially Brown people—live in the U.S. compared to past decades: “The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” she complained, whining that “Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like.”

Who Is Stealing from Whom?

Motherfucker, did the people of Mexico vote for America to steal half their land in 1846? Did El Salvadorans and Guatemalans vote for the U.S. to arm death squads and military juntas that massacred well over 150,000 people during the 1980s, turning their countries into uninhabitable hellholes? Did these millions of people “like” that? Did they “like” being forced to trek thousands of miles, risking their lives, to escape near-certain death?

Ingraham’s poison is a version of the America First lie that immigrants are “taking advantage of” America and “stealing” from “real Americans.”

Stealing? You stole this whole country from the Native peoples through genocide! You stole the Southwest—including Texas and California, now two of the U.S.’s largest and wealthiest states—through war with Mexico. You stole Hawai`i and Puerto Rico through invasions and war. And you bartered with other colonial predators to get the rest: You grabbed the Mississippi and the continent’s heartland from France and Alaska from Russia. And just to be clear, the Louisiana Purchase from France and the 1846-48 war on Mexico weren’t about expanding “freedom”—they were about expanding the slave system!

You stole the very lives of Africans who’d been captured and brought to America in chains! You built up this country on the backs of enslaved Black people, and made millions buying and selling human beings like so much cattle, splitting families up whenever it suited the slave masters and slave traders—a savage practice that echoes today in how you’re ripping immigrant families apart at the border.

Then you accumulated more wealth by brutally exploiting wave after wave of immigrants—in cotton and agriculture, building the railroads, in your factories—people from Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. (In the early 1900s, a quarter of the entire workforce exploited by U.S. capital was made up of immigrants.)

White Supremacy and Xenophobia: As American as Apple Pie

Through all this, Black people, Native American people, and nonwhite immigrants have been subjected to white supremacist oppression—treated like pariahs who aren’t fully or really part of the so-called “American people.”

When the needs of capitalism-imperialism and maintaining white supremacy demanded it, immigrants were terrorized, vilified, and stripped of their rights—like the Chinese after they worked like slaves building the railroads; the Japanese-Americans who were forced into concentration camps during World War 2; or the 1.3 million Mexicans who were driven out of the country during the 1950s after having been the backbone of the Southwest’s economy since the 1920s. Black people toiled in your fields as slaves and then as sharecroppers, then toiled some more in your factories—the last hired and the first fired—only to be cast out in recent decades when it was more profitable for the capitalists to exploit people in oppressed countries around the world.

A Worldwide Refugee Crisis Driven by Imperialist Destruction and Plunder

The U.S. and other, mostly Western, powers grew into imperialist empires, stretching their tentacles around the planet. The workings of capitalism-imperialism led to an enormous concentration of wealth and power in a handful of wealthy First World countries, and mass poverty, dislocation, and oppression in the Third World countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. This global system of exploitation and oppression, its wars, and the accelerating impact of climate change have generated massive migrations of millions seeking refuge and a way to live.

Faced with this, America’s rulers (and those of other Western imperialist powers) are increasingly relying on militarized borders and mass deportations to maintain their oppressive order and hold on society. This is why, even before the Trump/Pence regime escalated the assault on immigrants to new, fascist levels of brutality, Obama deported far more immigrants than any of his predecessors, all the while touting “border security.”

Did the many millions and millions enslaved, crippled, killed, or dislocated by U.S. capitalism-imperialism—inside or outside U.S. borders—have any choice, any voice or any “vote” in any of this?

No! Blaming immigrants for problems in America is like a rapist blaming his victim—or in America’s case, its millions upon millions of victims.

Exploitation and Abuse of Immigrants: Woven into U.S. History, Society, and Capitalism-Imperialism

Trump’s fascist assault on immigrants isn’t a repudiation of America’s history and values—as the Democrats and the media mouthpieces for this system claim. It’s an extreme concentration of that history and this system’s “values” now taken to the level of outright fascism and genocidal ethnic cleansing. Capitalism and white supremacy have been inseparably woven together throughout U.S. history right up to today. The oppression of immigrants and the creation of refugees are built into the very functioning of this whole system.

This is the America that Laura Ingraham the rest of the fascists—and yes, the Democrats—know, love, and want to maintain—even as they have sharp differences over how to do so.

The Democrats Are No Answer

Look at how the Democratic Party’s leadership is responding to the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist rampage against immigrants. They raise some criticisms of the regime’s immigration policies, but frame them in terms of what will “really make America secure” or “strong.” They refuse to make Trump/Pence’s Nazi assault on immigrants the moral and political dividing line it is. Why? Because the system they, too, represent can’t do without white supremacy and the abuse of immigrants, and a serious effort to challenge glaring injustices, much less uproot them, would unravel America’s oppressive social fabric. So instead, their focus—especially during elections—is on “jobs, the economy, and healthcare.”

In short, in the name of “political realism,” they are training millions to see things through the lens of “America’s interests,” to conciliate with racism, xenophobia, and fascism, and put American lives and their own economic well-being first—as immigrant children are being tortured and migrants are being sent to their deaths.

It DOESN’T Have to Be This Way—All This Suffering Is Completely Unnecessary

There’s nothing legitimate, much less emancipating, about any of this. As Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution and the architect of a new communism, has said, “There is nothing sacred to us about the USA, as it is presently constituted, or about the borders of the U.S. as they are presently constituted. Quite the opposite.” (BAsics 3:20)

In short, the horrors being inflicted on immigrants and refugees are intolerable and utterly unnecessary. People must NOT be forced to live this way—and they don’t need to live this way. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian, provides a sweeping vision and concrete plan for a radically new society built on a fundamentally different economic and political basis. A liberating society that aims to overcome the great divides that exist between those who work in the realm of ideas and those who mainly work with their hands, between men and women, and between different nationalities and regions; that protects the planet’s ecosystems; and that is aiming to advance revolution worldwide to uproot all exploitation and oppression in order to emancipate humanity. As part of this, “The orientation of the New Socialist Republic in North America is to welcome immigrants from all over the world who have a sincere desire to contribute to the goals and objectives of this Republic, as set forth in this Constitution and in laws and policies which are established and enacted in accordance with this Constitution.” (From the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, Article II, Section 3, H. Immigrants, Citizenship and Asylum.)

The Fight Right Now for an Actual Revolution

Creating such a new revolutionary society is possible, but ONLY on the basis of overthrowing this system and dismantling its institutions through an actual revolution. We need to be building the movement for this revolution now, so that this system can be overthrown, as soon as the conditions for that momentous, historic struggle have been brought into being. This movement welcomes immigrants, refugees, and all oppressed peoples—in fact it’s urgent that thousands and ultimately millions join in.

We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—mobilize people to fight like hell right now to beat back and STOP these vicious attacks on immigrants as well as other key outrages of this system. As the Revolutionary Communist Party statement on strategy, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW), states:

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 the while we’re doing this, we need to lift people’s sights to revolution by spreading BA’s pathbreaking leadership, HWCW, and the website revcom.us far and wide, and concretely organize people into the movement for an actual revolution. As we’re doing this, we also need to unite with a great many people coming from very many different perspectives to step outside the killing confines of politics as usual—as defined by the Republicans and Democrats—and drive out the fascist regime that imperils humanity and the Earth itself.

And as for the “debate” about who are the “real Americans”—people have to STOP thinking like Americans and start thinking about emancipating humanity!

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

Immigrants are full human beings, not “illegals” or criminals to be demonized, terrorized, hunted down, locked up and thrown out.

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

 


Hundreds protest at the U.S. Senate against the Trump administration's inhumane policies of separation of children from immigrant parents, Washington, DC, June 28.  ( Photo: AP)

Now, sometimes you see these fools get up, you know, like these ranchers and all this kind of shit, and you can imagine “W” down there on his ranch. And they say things like “I’m a self-made man. Nobody gave me anything. I did it all myself.” Yeah, you’re a “self-made man.” All the clothes you’re wearing, everything you’re using is made by other people. The machinery you’re driving around, the rifle you own was made by other people. Everything you have and use is made by other people. And right now, you’re exploiting Mexican immigrants on your ranch. And you’re sitting on land that was stolen from native peoples in the first place. But you’re a “self-made man."

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:16

“Why do people come here from all over the world?” - clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003 in the United States.

“Make America White Again”: The Trump/Pence War on Immigrants

“Make America White Again” is at the core of the whole Trump/Pence fascist program. They see the “browning” of America as an existential threat to the system of capitalism-imperialism—and they mean to carry out ethnic cleansing. The attack on immigrants is a linchpin and battering ram for imposing their whole fascist agenda.

The Trump/Pence regime is aggressively stepping up arrests and detentions: ICE made 37,734 noncriminal arrests in the 2017 fiscal year, more than twice the number in the previous year. The number of immigrants detained on a given day in 2017 was six times higher than in 1994.

The regime is also whipping up an atmosphere of terror, making it extremely difficult if not impossible for immigrants to even go about their daily lives. As Atlantic magazine notes, “Through deprivation and fear, the government can essentially drive undocumented immigrants out of the country.”

Here are just a few recent examples:

Denying children food, medicine, heat. A new Trump/Pence rule change would make it near-impossible for immigrants who now legally receive basic food, housing, and medical aid to obtain green cards. Their children, who are often citizens born in the U.S., depend on this aid. A million people could be impacted in New York City alone.

Lies and entrapment. ICE and the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) have conspired to bring immigrants married to U.S. citizens in for interviews—supposedly about their marital status—in order to arrest and deport them.

Tearing apart families. More than 500 of the 3,000 children ripped from their parents remain locked up. Of those 500, two-thirds are children of parents who have already been deported, which means their children may never see them again.

Torture and abuse. In one Virginia detention center, immigrant teenagers as young as 14 have been strapped to chairs and had bags put over their heads. Some were beaten while they were handcuffed and locked in solitary confinement for extended periods—even left nude and shivering in concrete cells.

Cruel, arbitrary arrests. On August 17, ICE agents in San Bernardino, California, took away Joel Arrona in handcuffs when he pulled his car into a gas station. He was driving his pregnant wife, Maria Venegas, to the hospital to give birth to their son. She had to drive the rest of the way to the hospital herself.

***

For more on the war on immigrants, see Refuse Fascism’s “The Trump/Pence Regime: Indicted for Terrorizing and Attacking Immigrants and Refugees.” Part of a series of indictments of the regime’s crimes on various fronts, this is a concise but comprehensive presentation of the evidence of the horrors being committed against immigrants and refugees. No one of conscience can remain silent after reading these indictments, and getting them out broadly can have a huge impact throughout society.

from Refuse Fascism

The Trump/Pence Regime: Indicted for Terrorizing and Attacking Immigrants and Refugees

Immigrants are full human beings, not “illegals” or criminals, to be demonized, terrorized, hunted down, locked up, and thrown out.

Read more.

American Crime

Case #67:
1848-1900: Brutal Exploitation and Ruthless Oppression of Chinese Immigrants

Between 1850 and 1900, Chinese immigrants were super-exploited in the mines, fields, and railways, and were subjected to savage discrimination and repression, including lynch-mob pogroms. Read more.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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

Revolution #557 August 20, 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

 

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us//avakian/science/24ba-science...forces-for-revolution-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

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

This excerpt comes from the section titled "III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution."

Excerpt from the section:
Forces For Revolution

Let’s dig further into the strategic approach to revolution. What are the main forces for revolution, and what are other groups in society where large numbers of people have to be won either to be actively involved, or to be supportive, or at least to have a stance of “friendly neutrality” toward the revolution (in other words, at least not opposing it)? Obviously, this relates to the point I was emphasizing before about not being encircled, surrounded, and crushed. What are key contradictions that have to be confronted—where necessity has to be transformed into freedom and initiative for the revolutionary forces, in significant ways—to create the basis to go all-out with a real chance of winning?

First, it is important to recognize that revolution can not and will not be made by just spreading the idea of revolution around, and perhaps getting some positive responses. (Hey, thumbs up on Facebook!... Tweet out a message in favor of revolution!) Yes, it is very important to propagate the need for revolution, in a living and compelling way; but here is a point that needs to be emphasized: Accumulating organized forces for revolution is, and must be, a key objective in building toward an actual revolution; and whether or not real advances are continually being made in accumulating such organized forces is a key measure of progress—or lack of progress—in building the movement for an actual revolution. Here we can take something from Marx and adapt it to the current point: Accumulate, Accumulate, Accumulate!—Accumulate more and more capital!—that, said Marx, is the Moses and prophets for the bourgeois. Well, we can say for the proletarian revolution: Accumulate, Accumulate, Accumulate!—Accumulate organized forces for this revolution!—that must be a crucial commandment and guide!

And it’s not just accumulate over here, off in some corner. We could put it this way: It’s accumulate, impact; accumulate further, impact more; accumulate further... and on and on—even while taking into account the larger picture of what’s happening out in the world at large, as is pointed to at the beginning of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity. What do I mean by accumulate, impact? I mean that when you have organized forces, you can have a magnified impact on political situations and on the political terrain overall. To just take an important but relatively small-scale example, compared to the society as a whole, imagine if, in these upsurges in Ferguson or in Baltimore, you had an organized force of revolutionary communists of even a hundred people who were able to come on the scene, putting forward that program and organizing people around that program in the midst of that upsurge—think of the way that you could change all the dynamics in that situation. Whereas, if you have a few people there, who are even doing very good work, your ability to impact that situation is gonna be so much more limited. Now, you still have to try to impact it to the maximum degree—and, to do that, one of the things you have to do is to get very good at agitation, which is something we really need to strengthen and develop. But imagine if you could have a major impact in situations like this.

I was watching this thing on CNN when Don Lemon was out in the street interviewing somebody in the aftermath of the massacre of Black people in that church in South Carolina. Now, someone portrayed Don Lemon this way, and I think this really captures something about the role he plays: “I’m Don Lemon—I’m not really a Black man, but sometimes I play one on TV.” That gets to an important aspect of the role he plays as a puppet for the powers-that-be. But, in any case, Don Lemon was out interviewing somebody, playing his usual Uncle Tom role, and this Black woman came up behind him and started yelling, and they were live so it was hard for them to cut away, it took them a while to cut away. She started yelling, “Talk about the anger, Don. Don’t talk about the forgiveness, talk about the anger, talk about the anger, Don. Obama’s an Uncle Tom, too, Don. Talk about how Obama’s an Uncle Tom, Don. Talk about the anger. Are you talking about the anger, Don? Don, you’re an Uncle Tom.” Now, this is one woman standing behind him. Imagine if you had a hundred people, not saying exactly what that woman was saying but even more impacting the situation with compelling agitation proceeding from a revolutionary communist understanding. Then it changes everything. It changes the whole terrain—even with that number of organized forces, you’re changing the whole terrain. And then every force in society has to react differently.

Or think about this: Every time the masses rise up now, you have this situation where—here they come again—these “community leaders,” which is an updated version of what the ruling class and its mouthpieces used to call “Responsible Negro Leaders.” They are mobilized by the ruling class: religious figures of various kinds (not all of them, but too many of them), so-called community leaders, and others, including some who claim to be on the side of the people—they come out there in the situation where the people are angry, they’re in the street and they’re confronting the police, and these forces form a line, linking arms together, and they face the people. Now imagine if you had a force of even 30 people in that situation that came out there and said, “You motherfuckers are facing the wrong way! If you’re supposedly standing with the people, you should be forming a line opposing the pigs. Those are the ones harming the people. Turn around and face down the pigs!” You change the whole terms—and then the Don Lemons really have to “go to commercial!” You are affecting the terrain by having organized forces united around a revolutionary line. Even in a situation like that, it goes out to the world, especially in this age of the internet. It goes all over the place. And then people do want to know: Who are those forces that did that? Who are those forces that stood with the people and stood between the police and the people, facing the police and not allowing the police to attack the people? Who are those people who, while they were doing this, said, “We’re doing this for revolution, to get rid of this brutality and murder, and all the other shit that people are going through in this country and around the world”? See, when you have organized forces moving like that, then you seriously impact the situation, and then you draw more forces. It’s not that they all join up with you right away, or that you should bring them fully into the ranks of revolution right away, before they even have a chance to get a basic understanding of what this revolution is all about. There’s work and struggle that has to go on. But you’re able to get this dynamic going where you’re growing, you’re wielding your organized forces for revolution in a way to significantly impact society and drawing people to you, and through struggle accumulating more organized forces... and then you are able to do more to affect the situation, once again through a lot of struggle. This is the dynamic we have to advance while, once again, not narrowing our sights to just that dynamic, but looking at the whole world and how we affect the whole world toward the goal of revolution. But this is why we have to be seriously working to accumulate organized forces for revolution and to wield those forces to impact the terrain, and accumulate and impact more, while not approaching that in a narrow and linear way (as if everything will just go forward, from advance to advance, in a simple straight line, directly out of what we’re doing).

This is the correct basis for the point that’s made, and for correctly understanding the point that’s made, in “On the Strategy for Revolution,” about the “thousands” and their relation to the “millions.” It’s not just some vague notion of “thousands of people” who sort of go “thumbs up” on the idea of revolution (or even are very enthusiastic about it). If you’re talking about leading millions, you need an organized force of thousands of people, a growing number of people, in the thousands, who are oriented, organized, trained and led to be an actual revolutionary force and pole of attraction—not some vague bunch of electrons floating around with no real solid core.

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

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

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

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

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

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

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

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

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

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

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

Revolution #557 August 20, 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 Communist Statesman, Modeling Communist Leadership

March 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/protests-to-stop-appointment-of-brett-kavanaugh-to-supreme-court-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

ALERT TO READERS

On Sunday, August 26:
Take the Revolution—and the Need for Determined Struggle to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime—into the Nationwide Protests to Stop the Appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Soon, on September 4, hearings are set to begin in the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If this confirmation goes forward, it will mark a radical transformation of the highest court in the land—a major leap in the consolidation of Trump/Pence’s fascist America.

Protests against this nomination have been called around the country for August 26; here is a link to find a protest near you: uniteforjustice2018.com.

Everyone who refuses to accept a fascist America should mobilize for and participate in these protests, uniting with people’s righteous outrage while also putting forward the need for, and organizing new people to take up, truly determined political struggle of masses of people to STOP this confirmation and drive out the whole fascist Trump/Pence regime as laid out in the Call to Action from RefuseFascism.org.

Those who see the need for revolution should contribute to this fight from the perspective of—and while boldly propagating the need for and organizing people into the movement for—an actual revolution as concentrated in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/trial-of-chicago-cop-who-murdered-laquan-mcdonald-begins-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

ALERT: Trial of Chicago Cop Who Murdered Laquan McDonald Begins September 5

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The trial of Jason Van Dyke, the pig who murdered 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on October 20, 2014, is set to begin in Chicago at the Cook County Courthouse on September 5.

This is the first time in almost 40 years that an on-duty Chicago cop has been put on trial. The only reason Van Dyke was even charged was because the city was rocked with wave after wave of protests after a video—that had been suppressed for a whole year by the police and city authorities—was released showing that Laquan was gunned down in a hail of bullets as he walked away from police. Smoke rose from his body lying on the street as he was shot over and over.

Laquan’s murderer has been out on bail and employed by the Fraternal Order of Police. There is a great deal at stake in this upcoming trial and ongoing efforts to cover up Laquan’s murder.

We call on readers to begin preparing now to act politically around this critically important trial, and not allow the killer cop to walk free. Stay tuned. Revcom.us will have more on this soon.

For background see “The Murder of Laquan McDonald: Cops, Lies and Videotape, Part 2” and “Chicago Goddam!

Laquan McDonald

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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

Revolution #557 August 20, 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 #557 August 20, 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.

[Return to article]

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.

[Return to article]

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.

[Return to article]

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.

[Return to article]

 

 


 

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

Revolution #557 August 20, 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.

[Return to article]

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)

[Return to article]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/august-26-nationwide-bring-refusefascism-message-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

From Refuse Fascism.org:

On August 26 nationwide, join RefuseFascism.org to bring this message into protests against Brett Kavanaugh

STOP the Appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court!

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

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime has already done shocking damage: from Trump’s Muslim Ban to his open encouragement of murderous white supremacists and Nazis; from his flippant threats of nuclear annihilation to his vile misogyny, threats against the media, and even tearing immigrant children from parents. If left in power, the Trump/Pence regime will effect a thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society. Nothing short of removing this entire regime will stop this nightmare. (From the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action)

Now, with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Trump/Pence regime is poised to impose an extreme and long-lastingtransformation of the highest court in this country—a major leap in the consolidation of fascism.

This must be stopped!

It’s not just that Kavanaugh would eviscerate women’s fundamental right to decide for themselves whether to bear children, which alone would be reason enough for millions to rise in massive political revolt. With Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court would be a rubber stamp to the whole Trump/Pence agenda: shredding the separation of church and state in favor of Christian fascism against women, LGBTQ people, science, and the environment; backing xenophobic ethnic cleansing of immigrants and terror against Black people to “Make America WHITE Again”; eviscerating civil liberties, the separation of powers, and the rule of law; unleashing even more vicious torture and military aggression against the people of the world.

The time to act is NOW—this nomination must be STOPPED! If Trump is allowed to consolidate a fascist Supreme Court, we will be fighting on much more difficult and dangerous ground. And if this goes down without a huge social battle to STOP it, we will be fighting under conditions where accommodation, not resistance, has greater initiative.

We must put ourselves on the line—through acts of nonviolent political protest and courageous resistance—to stop this confirmation.

Most of all, we must do this in a way that builds the unity and strength needed to launch a nationwide struggle beginning with tens of thousands in cities across the country that continue day after day and DO 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.

WE PLEDGE that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the Earth itself. Join us. Let’s stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we’ve got to demand: The Trump/Pence regime Must Go! (From the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action)

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

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

– – – – –

RefuseFascism.org *** @RefuseFascism *** 917-407-1286

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.

No! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!

Read, share and endorse the full Call to Action here.

Sign up to join with Refuse Fascism in Kavanaugh protests here.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/a-year-after-charlottesville-this-is-not-where-we-should-be-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 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”

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/cheers-to-mckenzie-mensa-king-fuck-the-police-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Cheers to Charles McKenzie, Vic Mensa, and Shaun King—Fuck the Police

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Two weeks ago Chicago police, working together with railroad police, parked a semi truck filled with Nike sneakers in the impoverished South Side Englewood neighborhood to “catch thieves.” Turns out these “bait truck” stings are not unusual for the CPD, but this one backfired big time. A neighborhood youth, Charles McKenzie, caught them in the act and posted a video of this pig scheme on Facebook. The video went viral and, to add insult to injury for these pigs, Vic Mensa and Shaun King jumped into the fray on the side of the people. Mensa laid plans to hand out free sneakers to youths from an “anti-bait truck” at the same exact spot where these pigs set up their sting.” Shaun King pinned McKenzie’s video of this ugly pig scam on his Twitter page, calling on people across the country to buy thousands of pairs of sneakers to pass out free to Chicago youth. Thousands of people responded. Three people, all adults, who were arrested at this “bait truck,” have all had their charges dropped as the Chicago police have been forced to back off in the face of this viral video and mass response to the free sneaker campaign.

See video and King’s post here.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/west-4th-street-b-ball-champs-remember-sean-bell-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

West 4th Street B-ball Champions Remember Sean Bell, Shot 50 Times by Police

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Friday, August 17, 2018. The Sean Bell All Stars won Kenny Graham’s Pro Classic tournament trophy after a hard-fought matchup with defending champions BK Stompers. The epic battle took place on a hot summer night at the “Cage” on West 4th Street in New York City.

Readers of Revolution newspaper will recall the name Sean Bell. He was the young Black man murdered by New York City pigs while sitting in a car with two friends on his wedding day in 2006. The pigs fired 50 shots, killing Sean and wounding his two companions. And the murderers-in-blue got off! (See “Outrage in New York: The Cold Truth About the Police Murder of Sean Bell.”)

Sean Bell was an ardent fan of the streetball team when they were known as “D.D.N.—Dats Dem N-----z.” They played with a swagger that bordered on outrageous and took on all comers. After Sean’s execution, the team approached his widow, Nicole Paultre Bell, for permission to name the team after Sean Bell as a way to keep his name alive and she agreed.

Original team star B.J. McFarlan is quoted in a story in the New York Daily News: “I’m sitting there and hoping sometimes. I was hoping they would mention Sean Bell after Alton Sterling, even though it’s 10 years. That they would bring him up, not just the ones that are closest to mind. That’s the way of life. More things happen; other names are brought up. The names bring up your memories of the situation of the people that were close to you. We can’t forget.”

No, we won’t forget.

“That’s the way of life” under this system. Harith Augustus, Stephon Clark, Maurice Granton Jr., Skyler Martin, James Edward Blackmon, Richard Black, Michael Neal, Joseph Santos, Arthur Kenzie Garner, Cynthia Fields—the names go on and on. According to killedbypolice.net, 719 people were killed by pigs between January 1 and July 31, 2018! An ongoing Washington Post project “has found that police have shot and killed 3,309 people since 2015, or more than twice as many fatal shootings per year as the average reported by the FBI.”

Revcom.us has said:

Black people have been kidnapped, murdered, enslaved, exploited, Jim-Crowed, lynched, segregated, rioted against, discriminated against, beaten, scorned and slandered, imprisoned, bitten by dogs, lied to and lied on, soft-soaped with hope and promised and tricked, sold out and shot out and shot down in the streets, and just goddamn brutalized and killed over and over, since day one....

Humanity needs revolution, a real revolution, a communist revolution. There is a way to win and a new world to build, there is a plan for all this, there is a leader—Bob Avakian (BA)—who has shown the way, and there is a party that he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

And get your hands on the strategy for revolution, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

 

Sean Bell defense denies drive to basket at Kenny Graham’s Pro-Classic championship game at New York’s West 4th Street courts.

There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn’t fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn’t make that one key foundation of what it’s all about.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:19

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/555/revolutionary-communism-vs-democratic-socialism-two-basic-points-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/556/people-righteously-protest-in-the-thousands-against-white-supremacist-nazis-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

One Year Since Charlottesville and the Murder of Heather Heyer

People Righteously Protest in the Thousands Against White Supremacist Nazis... Much Remains to Be Done!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Speaking to the epidemic of white supremacy and the Nazis’ plans to demonstrate on August 12 to celebrate their vicious armed demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, revcom.us wrote last week:

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.

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!

Millions of people in this country are sickened and angry about not only how armed Nazis and KKKers are aggressively taking their white supremacist shit into the street—but also how the fascist Trump has openly encouraged and emboldened these (his) storm-troopers, saying last year in the wake of Charlottesville that they are “fine people,” and attacking those who have bravely demonstrated against this scum.

As we go to press Sunday night, here is a brief recap and roundup with more to follow soon—stay tuned to revcom.us.

Washington, DC

Thousands of people drowned out and overwhelmed the handful of neo-Nazi white supremacists who attempted to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their murderous rampage in Charlottesville, Virginia last year.

Some two dozen of these fascists showed up, escorted and protected by hundreds of police, as they marched from the subway through the streets of Washington, DC to Lafayette Park across the street from the White House. These thugs were given a big green light by their leader, fascist-in-chief Donald Trump, whose tweets signaled everything but explicit backing for these “celebrations,” in the shadow, appropriately, of the White House, no less.

Meanwhile, several thousand or more counter-protesters gathered at Freedom Plaza blocks away, then filled the streets for blocks as they marched to Lafayette Park where they vastly outnumbered the Nazi-white supremacists who were surrounded and protected by police. Chants included "Nazis go home!" "Shame! Shame! Shame!" “Black Lives Matter!”

“You can’t deny this energy right here!! Its sooo live!!” @RefuseFascism tweeted. “Lots of different groups, ideologies and backgrounds- all united in the mission to politically defeat the white supremacists in the streets AND the White House!!”

Within this, the Revolution Club powerfully represented for the revolution, and Refuse Fascism contingents, signs and posters were an important presence throughout the day. The Revolution Club was briefly covered on CNN, MSNBC and other outlets, a Politico video interview with Samantha Goldman of Refuse Fascism has been viewed over 15,000 times, and Revolution/revcom.us and Refuse Fascism signs and banners were visible throughout the day’s coverage. (Pictures and video on this page, stay tuned for further reports.)

Charlottesville, Virginia

In Charlottesville, on the one-year anniversary, the city declared a state of emergency, mobilized at least a thousand cops, and tried to shut the whole city down. But in the face of this, and even though the fascists didn’t plan on showing up, hundreds of anti-KKK/Nazi protesters, including students from the University of Virginia, marched through downtown Charlottesville on Saturday.

Last year in Charlottesville when the fascists rallied, police stood by and watched as the fascists attacked counter protesters. In the past year, sympathy and support for Trump, and the Nazis and KKKers has become even clearer among the pigs. And recently in Portland and Berkeley, the cops stood by as fascists rallied and marched and attacked those protesting the fascists.

One banner this year in Charlottesville got it right, saying: “Last year they came with torches. This year they come with badges.” People stopped for a moment of silence where Heather Heyer was killed last year by a white racist ramming his car into the crowd. Heather’s mother, Susan Bro was there and told the crowd, “Focus on the issues—that's exactly what Heather would say... It’s not all about Heather ... it never was.”

The Washington Post reported that, “Fascism and racism: It was just about all anyone was talking about Saturday. Up and down the streets of downtown, people discussed what those forces are in America, and what they are in Charlottesville.”

Then on Sunday, hundreds marched and rallied again even though the white supremacists planned to rally in Washington, DC, not in Charlottesville. They wanted to make it clear that the fascists will not go unopposed in Charlottesville. People chanted, “Old Jim Crow, new Jim Crow, this racist system has got to go” and “cops and Klan go hand in hand.”

Moving Forward... Much Remains to be Done!

While many would consider the white supremacist Nazi thugs a "no or low-show" this weekend, it is important to recognize the degree to which sections of them—and their rhetoric—have become “mainstreamed” and normalized over the last year in the context of this fascist regime, and its propaganda organs like Fox News. It is noteworthy that most mainstream media outlets carried some form of white-supremacist rally organizer Jason Kessler’s message from Sunday that closely echoed Laura Ingraham from Fox News who went on a rant about “the America we know and love does not exist anymore” and “massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and these are changes none of us voted for, and most of us don’t like.”

Trump felt the freedom this weekend to tweet that “all” forms of racism should be condemned, thereby steadfastly refusing to call out the new-Nazis who planned marches to celebrate the one year anniversary of Charlottesville. This, at the same time as he is perfectly willing to call Black people “dumb” and chastise Black NFL players for protesting mass incarceration and police brutality during the singing of the national anthem at games. This, at the same time as he and his regime continue the extreme demonization of immigrants and pursue policies that treat them as sub-human. As we have been reporting, this occurs as incidents of racist whites—influenced by the tenor of the times—calling the pigs on Black people going about their business is on the rise—at Starbucks, college dorms, swimming pools and bus stops. This, when any encounter between Black people and the pigs can end in murder and the cop exonerated. This weekend’s events followed Nazi marches in Portland and Berkeley last week, fully backed by local and state police forces who then turned on those protesting these Nazis.

It is really good that people—in their thousands—came out in righteous and defiant protest against these Nazis this weekend, and as we stand together against these Nazis and Kluckers, uniting broadly with people from many different views, we have to take this struggle further—to take up the call and challenge from RefuseFascism.org, to drive this fascist regime from power, through mass non-violent sustained mobilization. The fascist Trump/Pence regime and the white supremacist Nazi thugs go together—it is of a package, characteristic of fascism, with any normalization of the regime contributing to the normalization of white supremacy.

And as we do this, with others from various different perspectives, there is a core reality to continue to act on:

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 above quote is from this article.

Washington DC, August 12

 

At Freedom Plaza. Photo: twitter/@NYCRevClub

 

At Freedom Plaza. Photo: twitter/@TheArtist_MBS

 

At Lafayette Park. Photo: twitter/@revclubchi

 

At Lafayette Park. Photo: twitter/@revclubchi

 

Revolution Club organizing for revolution.

 

“When you put on this shirt, YOU STEP INTO THE REVOLUTION.” Photo: twitter

 

RefuseFascism.org in the march.

 

RefuseFascism.org organizing. Photo: twitter/@revclubchi

Charlottesville, VA, August 11 and 12

 

Photo: AP

 

Photo: AP

 

Photo: twitter/@jordangreentcb

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/556/first-thoughts-standing-up-in-dc-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

As we go to press…

First Thoughts from Members of RefuseFascism.org and the Revolution Club After an Intense Day Standing Up Against White Supremacists in DC

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

The following correspondence is drawn from some of the initial thoughts people shared in a summation gathering held by members of RefuseFascism.org and the Revolution Club after an intense day of standing together with many other forces against the white supremacists who marched in DC on August 12. We look forward to learning more fully about the impact of the day overall throughout society, as well as the actions of protesters in Charlottesville the day before.

No one knew what to expect on the anniversary of Heather Heyer's murder by white supremacists and Nazis who ran amok last year in Charlottesville, terrorizing students with lynch-mob torches at night, savagely beating down Deandre Harris, violently assaulting members of the Revolution Club and many others, and running a car into a crowd of protesters.

In the days leading up to the August 12 showdown between the Unite the Right 2 rally of white supremacists and the broad counter-protests that were being built for, volunteers with RefuseFascism.org as well as members of the Revolution Clubs from different parts of the country fanned out around Washington, DC. Overwhelmingly, people were disgusted and furious about white supremacists planning to march past the White House, but there was also palpable fear: “What if they kill again?” “What if they come armed?” No one had it far from their minds that Heather Heyer had given her life last year.

Every single one of the thousands of people who came out to counter-protest had to grapple with that fear, and those who came out did so with courage and determination. The defiance and joy was palpable. The day was filled with different protests and break-away marches. A few confrontations with fascists and many more with police. Chanting and dancing. Digging into big questions and getting organized. Here, I am not going to try to capture everything that happened in the march. Instead, I want to share some of the reflections and observations among the volunteers with RefuseFascism.org and the Revolution Club at the end of the day when about 50 of us gathered for pizza.

****

A young Black man who had never been to a protest like this had driven down in a van with others that morning. He explained how he met the RevComs at his school, which is focused on African American history, culture, literature and perspective. He explained that because of that, and because there is so much ugly history, he has often started to think about all white people “in a certain way.” But what struck him most about the counter-protest is how many different kinds of people were there, especially how many white people had come out to stand up. He was also moved that there were people who protested who were from entirely different countries. He said the whole day gave him hope in a way that he hadn’t really expected, he’d never seen white people act this way and it made him think that maybe if we keep fighting we’ll get to a day when people look back and laugh and scratch their heads that such a thing as white supremacy and all these other nightmares ever existed.

A young woman with RefuseFascism.org explained how she was banned from the area of the protest for several months stemming from an illegitimate arrest when she stood in front of the Treasury Department and read an open letter/challenge to debate to Steve Mnuchin. She was furious and wanted everyone to deeply contemplate what it means about this society that she and another woman with Refuse Fascism were banned from being in the streets to oppose fascism for trying to exercise their first amendment rights against Mnuchin, but the fascists who want genocide have police protection and a permit to spew their racist shit without restriction. She added that, while she hadn’t been able to be out there, she’d followed the whole day on social media and, “You all looked so great! I could sense your spirit even in the pictures.” Then she added, as she choked back tears, “I just wanted to say the name of Heather Heyer out loud and to say that today, every single person in this room really honored her legacy.”

A Black woman who grew up in Mississippi had shared how her mother had taken in Freedom Summer volunteers and, because of this, even the Black children who lived next door to her were not allowed to play with her out of fear of attacks from white supremacists. She told us that after the march, she got a call from her aunt who told her, “Thank god there were more of you than there were of them! And, you are just like your mother.” Everyone burst into applause.

A member of the Revolution Club observed that, “There was something happening out there today, people being determined and everyone who came out really being on a mission not to let these Nazi motherfuckers win the day... In the Revolution Club crew, we were giving people strength and organizing them into the revolution, letting them know there is a way out of this and a leadership in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party so that we can fight to go all the way to an actual revolution to get rid of the system and all the hell that means for humanity. It was striking how much this resonated with people, that if you want to end the white supremacy and what gave rise to it, you are not going to do that within the existing system, you are going to have to overthrow that system and set up a whole new system—that is what BA has been working on and we can do this but you need to get into it. At one point, someone in the club just started chanting, “Overthrow! Overthrow! Overthrow the system!” and everyone around us started chanting it with us. Some people put on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, marched with us. The whole thing was really significant and impacted society.”

We were just wrapping up our dinner and summation when our two last volunteers arrived. One of them explained, “A year ago today I was at home and saw everything on livestream, I cried all day long. So just being here for the anniversary, and thinking these assholes will come here... I am dumbfounded...” We were surprised to learn that she and her friend along with others had been kettled today, detained by police en masse, and then, when her friend demanded to know from the cops how they could do something so illegitimate, the cop pulled out pepper-spray, pointed it directly in her friend’s face, and sprayed and sprayed and sprayed. She repeated, “Last year I cried and cried all day at what the Nazis did, but this year it was the police. Oh my gosh, this is happening in America... I just don’t know. I am so sad. Speechless. But I also have to give it up. He was sprayed in the eyes and blinded and down on the ground writhing and two medics were dragging him away and he puts both arms up like this [demonstrates] and yells, ‘KEEP FIGHTING!’ It was awesome.” Again, people applauded. First, for the individual who held his head high and felt pride in having stood up despite the pepper spray. Then for everyone who had come out and run together and who spent the next hour devouring more pizza, deepening bonds, digging into the biggest questions about changing the world, and then getting on the road to go back to our homes to take this forward.


All photos: Special to www.revcom.us

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/north-carolina-students-topple-racist-confederate-statue-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

North Carolina Students Topple Racist Confederate Statue!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

With the call “Everybody pull,” students and other protesters at the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill toppled the Confederate statue on the campus known as “Silent Sam” on Monday night, August 20. This was a righteous, courageous action to take down an ugly white supremacist symbol that should’ve been removed long ago. The statue was of a soldier in the slaveowners’ army—one of over 1,500 monuments, buildings, roads, schools, parks and military bases especially in the South but also across the U.S. honoring the military and leaders of the Confederate states that fought to defend and expand the enslavement of Black people during the Civil War. Like many other such racist monuments, this statue was erected at the height of the Jim Crow era when Black people in the South faced open segregation and lynch mob-KKK terror. 1

“It’s time to build monuments to honor those who have been murdered by white supremacy,” said student activist Maya Little at the Monday night action. “It's time to tear down Silent Sam. It’s time to tear down UNC’s institutional white supremacy.” The protest Monday night had initially been called to support Little, who was arrested this spring for throwing red ink and her own blood on “Silent Sam.” Before pulling down the statue, protesters put up an “alternative monument” that included the statement “For a world without white supremacy.”

The stand of the UNC officials has been shameful. Not only should they have had this statue removed already, now that people have taken the matter into their own hands, the school administration is threatening retaliation. The chancellor called the people’s action “unlawful and dangerous” and said that the police are investigation “vandalism” and “assessing the full extent of the damage.” Any attempt by the school officials and police to punish the students and other protesters must be denounced and opposed!

It would be a very good thing if there were many public ceremonies to remove these monuments, where the masses of people were able to speak out about the history of slavery and Jim Crow and their effects down to today—and if people move to tear down these symbols of the defenders of slavery, they should be defended. The debate and controversy over all this would serve to deeply educate people about the true history of the U.S., so that growing numbers of people—including white people—come to despise what these monuments stand for.

What does it say that this is not what is widely happening right now—and, in fact, that racist/fascist mobs emboldened by the rise of the Trump/Pence regime are openly and often violently promoting white supremacy? It shows that even the basic question of slavery being wrong, with all the implication that has for the humanity, treatment and even the right of Black people to live, is far from settled in this country, in these times. There’s an urgent need for active, broad, mass opposition to the brutal oppression of Black people that this country was built on, that continues today under the capitalist-imperialist system, and that is now being virulently whipped up and escalated by the fascist Trump/Pence regime with potentially genocidal consequences.

 


1. See the American Crime series article on “Monuments to the Confederacy Across the United States” [back]

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/reflections-on-the-one-year-anniversary-of-charlottesville-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Reflections on the Courageous Outpourings on the One Year Anniversary of Charlottesville in Light of the Even Bigger Struggles to Come

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Backdrop and Significance of the One Year Anniversary of Charlottesville 2017

The march last year in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 was a watershed moment putting before the world the white supremacist fascist movement that has been unleashed by the Trump/Pence regime now at the helm of the U.S. empire. 

They chanted: “You will not replace us—viciously and openly targeting Black people, Jews, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. They wielded torches, backed up with bats, clubs, fists, shields, guns, and a high speed car murdering Heather Heyer. They raised the NAZI slogan, “Blood and Soil”—an unadulterated assertion of white supremacy and fascism exposing the deep contradictions and essence of AmeriKKKa that is being further unleashed by a fascist regime. Trump’s brazen support of this signaled to the world what is unfolding.

This was followed by a year of the most vicious fascist white supremacist attacks from the Trump/Pence regime: openly championing white supremacist police violence, state-enforced terror and torture against immigrants including small children, NAZI language of “animals” and “shithole countries” deployed by Trump, strengthening of Christian fascist assaults on women and LGBTQ people, heightened repression from the state, heightened threats of war including nuclear war, and much more.

The specter of civil war was conjured by Trump’s rallies, his tweets and the virulence of his fascist thugs—especially the fascist separation and caging of immigrant children which echoed the separation of Black people over hundreds of years of slavery as well as the current grinding genocide of mass incarceration, child “protective” services, and more, which Trump is moving to accelerate.

In recent months, there has been more talk in various mainstream media of the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and of fascist movements internationally, even as normalization and accommodation to the regime has deepened among many who despise the direction of the regime.

At stake this year in Portland, Berkeley, Charlottesville, and Washington, DC—locations of fascist rallies and counter-protests surrounding the Charlottesville anniversary—was the question: Would this stand? Or, would this fascist commemoration of Charlottesville be met by a movement to a put a stop to this white supremacist onslaught? Would there be a force and movement for revolution on the scene with the determination, the vision, plan and organization to prepare today to put an end to the system that spawned this fascism?

The Courageous Resistance in the Street Is Important, but Must Be Built On and Transformed Through Struggle to Meet the Bigger Challenges Ahead

The Charlottesville anniversary was marked by mass and courageous resistance. In DC on August 12, as well as in Charlottesville, Berkeley, and Portland in the days and weeks before it, thousands of people overcame fear and uncertainty to stand up and say no.

In Portland, Berkeley, and Charlottesville, police came in riot gear itching for confrontation. Some protesters accurately noted, “Last year we faced thugs with torches, this year we faced thugs wearing badges.” In Portland, one protester had a police-fired metal projectile lodged in his helmet in what could have been a life-threatening injury.

In DC, many of the organizers of the #ShutItDownDC coalition behind the main protests had themselves only recently defeated bogus charges carrying heavy prison sentences, up to 60 years for some, that had been pinned on nearly 200 people for protesting Trump’s inauguration. Members of the Revolution Club who came from Chicago and New York had been on the front lines of last year’s bloody assault by Nazis in Charlottesville, some sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, joined protesters in Charlottesville and opened herself up to days of interviews in major media around the world always keeping the focus on the white supremacy her daughter gave her life to end.

What was most significant here, even as the numbers of counter-protesters only numbered in the low thousands in each city, was the emergence of a section of people who are again rising up—prepared to take risks to act, to put themselves on the line, so that this white supremacist fascist shit does not stand. This needs to be built on and led in a direction that stops it and that ultimately—and “ultimately” may well not be something far off in the future—digs it up at the roots through an actual revolution.

To draw a point from How We Can WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW), all this was an indication of the potential for thousands to get organized now into the ranks of the revolution and be influencing millions. But, as pointed to in HWCW, this needs to be “transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization”

Within this mix, the Revolution Clubs from Chicago and New York represented powerfully in DC. This nascent force united with the broader resistance while putting forth the real roots of the problem we face: the system of capitalism-imperialism which has white supremacy woven into its DNA; as well as the only solution: an actual revolution that overthrows this system and establishes a radically new economic system, a new social system and a new revolutionary state power as laid out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. In the days leading up to August 12, the Club fanned out around DC propagating the need for revolution and promoting the leadership of Bob Avakian and his new synthesis of communism, as well as mobilizing people to join the protests. Some of those met joined up with the Club for Sunday’s protest, putting on the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” T-shirt, along with new people who did the same throughout the day itself. Many more were both challenged by, and attracted to, the Club’s message. Some were visibly uncomfortable the first time they heard the Club chant, “1-2-3-4, Slavery, Genocide and War! 5-6-7-8 America Was NEVER Great!” but then would join in after they listened to the Club’s agitation. All this—the content of the Club’s agitation and chants, the collective force for revolution being boldly represented, and the highly developed leadership and strategy concentrated in HWCW that was being grabbed up by protesters who encountered the Club—stood out starkly in contrast to positive, but still often shallow and at times misguided, sentiments being expressed by others at the protest, including through chants like “Whose streets? Our streets!” “Whose Country? Our country!” and simply “Fuck You Nazis!”

The Revolution Club united with and at times marched with a contingent from RefuseFascism.org who also made a powerful impact on the scene. One reporter tweeted out, “Refuse Fascism are one of the first groups to arrive at Freedom Plaza. ~50 strong, they just moved in with their characteristic chant - ‘in the name of humanity, we refuse a fascist America.’” This RefuseFascism.org contingent included volunteers from Cleveland, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and the DC area to not only mobilize against the white supremacists in the street but to call out—and get people organized to drive out—the white supremacists and fascists inside the White House. They, too, had fanned out around DC in the previous days building for the protest. On the day itself, volunteers worked together to distribute hundreds of signs, which made it into almost all the media coverage and which read, “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” as well as hundreds of stickers, and copies of the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action. When word came that the white supremacists were heading towards the White House early, RefuseFascism.org worked with the Revolution Club and others to lead a march of hundreds into the streets to join with a Black Lives Matter contingent and get there first. Along the way, they led hundreds to take the RefuseFascism.org Pledge to drive out the regime.

All this takes on heightened importance because as much as people deeply detest and were determined to stand against the white supremacy that is now riding high, even among those in the streets—and all the more so among those who stayed home—there is the illusion (really delusion) that the way to stop all this is through the midterm elections, by relying on Mueller’s investigation, or by just taking on individual white supremacists and Nazis by confronting them on the ground and working to get them fired and banished from public life. But this will not resolve or stop the fascism that humanity is facing.

In addition to all the other ways that the Democrats have repeatedly capitulated to and worked to normalize the Trump/Pence fascist regime—from turning their backs on DACA youth to celebrating Trump’s use of military terror and violence as “presidential” to insisting that impeachment is “off the table”—it should be noted that the Democratic Party leadership has been completely silent in the face of Trump’s recent wave of virulent anti-Black racism. They have not defended the NFL players attacked by Trump. Their leaders joined in scolding Maxine Waters when Trump assailed her, rather than coming to her defense. And not a single one of them showed up in DC to stand against the white supremacists. As for confronting the fascists on the street, this is righteous and necessary but is not a strategy for removing a fascist regime from power.

Only by people stepping outside the official channels of elections, supporting the Democrats, counting on Mueller, etc. can the people realize their real potential to stop a fascist America—by taking up the mission laid out by RefuseFascism.org: “We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.” A key tool in forging the necessary understanding among the people to mount this fight for the future of humanity is the Film of a Talk by Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist AmericaA Better World IS Possible!”

What Must Be Done Now

Right now, everyone who sees the need for radical and fundamental change needs to work aggressively, boldly, and systematically to bring forward a mass movement for revolution of thousands of people using HWCW as a living guideline. As that document says, “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.” How We Can Win goes on to talk about more of our strengths we must be spreading—the website, revcom.us, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, and more—as well as how we need to be mobilizing growing numbers to fight the power and transform the people for revolution.

At the same time, everyone who refuses to accept a fascist America must build off recent advances in DC and in previous powerful actions taken over the summer to advance the mission of RefuseFascism.org to mobilize thousands and eventually millions to launch sustained, mass, nonviolent protests that do not stop until the Trump/Pence regime has been driven from power. RefuseFascism.org must now become a truly mass organization, uniting people from a great diversity of political perspectives to fight with courage and conviction in the name of humanity to stop a fascist America.

In a recent talk, Bob Avakian made this point, “both to meet the immediate challenge of creating a political situation in which this regime will be removed from power—and in which the political initiative has been seized to a great degree by those who are determined to turn back the assault on humanity that is being carried out by this regime and to strive for a better world, however they understand that—and to advance toward the fundamental goal of revolution, it is vitally important that all those who have come to understand the need for revolution actively contribute to building the movement to drive out this regime, and do so from the perspective of and in the overall framework of building for revolution.

This is a time to prepare for struggle—against a regime that must be driven from power through determined struggle of the people, and against a system that cannot be reformed.

With nothing less than the future of humanity in the balance, if not now, when?

 


Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC, August 12, 2018. Photo: twitter/@TheArtist_MBS


The Revolution Club in Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC, August 12, 2018. Photo: twitter/@NYCRevClub

RefuseFascism.org in the march.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/a-couple-thoughts-on-the-recent-dc-protests-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

A Couple Thoughts on the Recent DC Protests in Light of What We Are Preparing For: AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club NYC:

In reflecting on last weekend in DC with the Revolution Club, I have been thinking about the point in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW) where it says, “We need to take into account the actual strengths of the system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions.” The protests in DC revealed some very “strategic weaknesses” of this system in different ways, on different levels. In listening to the Revolution Club and RefuseFascism.org describe some of the experience on the ground in their report back at Revolution Books in NYC, along with the experience I had there, as well as during the drive with others to and from DC, this point stands out. And it is something we need to sum up for everyone, from the people who ran with us in one way or another to the people who are reading about all of this and are checking out the movement for revolution.

Even though some stories from the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism talked about the fear that some people expressed, and despite the fact that there should have been many times over the amount of people that did show up to the DC protests, at the same time the people who actually attended came from different strata, not only from among “those who catch the worst hell” but also from those “who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system.” And as several of the stories reflected, many of these folks were both challenged by the Revolution Club’s agitation around our basic message—that this system can’t be reformed and must be overthrown, and that we have the leadership in Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as well as the strategy and plan to make an actual revolution—and the chants and slogans, but also there was attraction to this. The chant “This system can’t be reformed—it must be overthrown!” resonated with many in the crowd, including among people from the middle strata. A number of them reached out for HWCW and took up the chant (as well as other chants we led). A number of people put on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, joined and marched with our contingent, and took up the challenge from the Revolution Club to step into this.

One of the comments from one of the volunteers at the report back was instructive in terms of this point from HWCW about disrupting 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.” A young intellectual of Haitian background said this experience (his first major protest) taught him that maybe the whole world is not against the people of the Caribbean. Similarly, another volunteer recounted her interpretation of the positive response she thought many of the folks marching with Black Lives Matter (BLM) had when they ran into Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club (and the other 200 or so people who took to the streets with us). She said she thought maybe many of the Black people in the BLM contingent thought, “OK, this is going to just be Black people standing up,” but then felt even more emboldened when they ran into the Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club contingent, which was very multinational and very radical and revolutionary, with a lot of substance. Anyway, the Haitian brother said, “Perhaps I was wrong about that; that may not be the case.” This is a small example, but an important one, of disrupting the ruling powers’ attempts to “encircle” the most oppressed... and instead mobilizing to “encircle” them, “by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.” This is strategic in terms of winning when the time comes.

This reminds me of the point from BA about how we will not be able to do what needs to be done if you have a large section of people in the middle strata who generally go along with what is done (what the system does) to Black people and other oppressed masses and go along with the notion that the youth and others from these sections of the masses are all “monsters” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the essential point from what I remember). These are some of the things we need to be summing up with people, bringing alive what is in HWCW, wielding it, applying it, etc.

The last thing (for now) is how the Revolution Club, and in a different way Refuse Fascism, were uniting and contending with many frameworks out there about what is the problem, the solution, and what needs to be done. This was challenging and attractive, and again you can get a sense of this from the report back. There was some agitation that challenged the notion of “American exceptionalism” and the U.S. being a “force for good” in the world, but this could have been more sharper (I think). The chant, “1-2-3-4, Slavery, Genocide, and War; 5-6-7-8, America Was NEVER Great!” was important in terms of setting different terms (in particular among the broader middle strata). I also did want to highlight that there was one point when some of the basic Black youth from DC in the march seemed ready to throw down in ways that weren’t actually that strategic. It sounded like one of the brothers from the Chicago Revolution Club did a good job of asserting revolutionary authority and challenging these youths to make their sacrifice towards the emancipation of all humanity.

That’s it for now.

Report Back from Washington DC held in NYC August 14

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/revolution-books-challenging-students-reform-or-revolution-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Discussion At Revolution Books in Berkeley

Challenging Students at the Beginning of the School Year: “Reform or Revolution?”—What Will Your Life Be About?

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

About a week after most of the new students had arrived at the University of California at Berkeley (Cal) and the day before classes started, we held a discussion on “Reform or Revolution” at Revolution Books in Berkeley. We did a similar discussion about a month ago, which attracted a lot of new people, and so we decided to do it again once school started.  

Again, we built for it by setting up A-frame signs around Berkeley with a simple and bold announcement for a discussion on Reform or Revolution, along with the BAsics 3:2 quote. We did some postering and flyering at a freshman orientation event. Some students also found out about it because they had come into the bookstore in the last week.

About 35 people, including about 25 students showed up!! These were mostly new freshmen (freshpeople) and a few new transfer and international students. They came on their own, and some came in groups of three or four from the dorms.  These students seemed very excited to discover a place like Revolution Books! And although they were not initially very clear on what revolution is, they were drawn to the idea, and in various ways could see the limits of reforms. Several of them also had checked out Marx, and were interested/open to communism.

After introducing people to Revolution Books and Bob Avakian, I passed out a flyer with the “5 Stops” on it, speaking briefly to the contradiction between the magnitude of these problems, and the pathetic reform “solutions” we are offered, using some examples.

We gave everyone a copy to read along while another bookstore volunteer and I read the essay from Bob Avakian’s BAsics, “Reform or Revolution: Questions of Orientation, Questions of Morality,” aloud. I asked what people thought of the analogy BA lays out about the plague and antibiotics being hoarded and guarded by armed thugs and only distributed for profit, and the two alternatives in that situation—putting wet towels on people’s foreheads to ease their suffering, or organizing people to storm the compound to seize the antibiotics and distribute them among the people.

One student used the example of an NGO dedicated to providing healthcare in poor countries, but which doesn’t even scratch the surface of the problem. Another student said that she initially thought, “it’s not as simple” as that analogy, but that she actually thinks it IS that simple—people are dying from preventable things, while the resources they need are there. A third year student talked about the campaign to get people to stop using plastic straws, and how this is a distraction that takes people’s attention away from the corporations that are the real cause of environmental destruction. Another student agreed with this example, making the point that we are told that our morality lies in our personal consumer choices, rather than getting to the root of the problem. Another student agreed, but also said that stopping the use of plastic straws can be a good first step for someone, as they become more aware.

At this point I spoke to the importance of the head and the heart. Caring about these problems is fundamental—if you don’t care, if it doesn’t make your blood boil seeing all this oppression and unnecessary suffering, you can’t be a revolutionary. But at the same time, if you don’t understand what is the cause of that oppression and what is the solution to it, you also can’t be a revolutionary. I talked about the nature of the capitalist system, based on vast socially produced wealth, which is owned and controlled privately, and that basic things like food, medicine, and housing are produced, not to meet people’s basic needs, but as commodities to be sold for profit. This is why 10 million children are dying of preventable disease every year in the Third World. It really IS that simple!

An older Black woman disagreed with me that people who are being oppressed don’t understand the causes of their oppression, saying that everyone she talks to already knows the problem is capitalism. This was nonsense, which I challenged from a number of angles, and it was good for people to hear the back and forth on this. One student made the point that Marx was wrong about the idea that workers would automatically rise up and make revolution. Other people chimed in on this, adding that people should already be rising up given what’s happening. This was an important opportunity to speak to some of what is new in Bob Avakian’s New Communism, including the very important break with the unscientific notion that proletarians obtain revolutionary “class consciousness” simply by virtue of their oppressed/exploited condition, and that revolution was inevitable… and at the same time, the crucial strategy for revolution that has been developed. I held up the “5 Stops” flyer again, asking people to think about how many people care about one or more of these “Stops,” and that the basis for revolution lies in the fact that none of these huge problems can be solved without a revolution, and people can come to see that. I also pointed out how many people showed up here, hungry to dig into these important questions!

At this point we passed out HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution to people, briefly describing what it is, and encouraging people to take stacks of them to get to others. Grappling with this question of a revolution to actually defeat and dismantle the “armed thugs” who enforce the system, one young woman talked about the problem of a huge “power differential” in terms of weaponry, etc. She said, you would have to vastly outnumber them, but that maybe it would be more “practical” to convince the capitalists to share their wealth… although she didn’t think they would do that. Another student, returning to the antibiotics analogy, said that ultimately there’s no other way besides forcibly taking the antibiotics and distributing them among the people.

Lastly, the question of elections came up. Almost everyone thought that the “two party system” was bullshit, although one student insisted on the importance of local elections for things like school boards, using almost the identical argument that Bob Avakian had addressed in the essay, “How can I just sit back and wait for revolution, while people are suffering now.” Another bookstore volunteer talked about the strategic importance right now of “fighting the power and transforming the people, for revolution.”

At the end, I reiterated the importance of this discussion becoming a mass debate in society, and as part of that people can take these HOW WE CAN WIN pamphlets and get them to others (a number of people did). I encouraged everyone who appreciated this type of discussion and engagement to become a volunteer with the store. I acknowledged that there was a lot that was new for people, and that not everyone was convinced of the need for communist revolution, and that people should continue to come to the bookstore and get into Bob Avakian’s works… but for those who are convinced we need this type of revolution, or are leaning in that direction, I’m part of the Revolution Club that is seriously organizing now, preparing people for an actual revolution—and that youth and students are a key part of every revolution—and you should come talk to me about it! About five students came up to me afterwards, and others talked to other bookstore volunteers. We made a plan for this Friday to discuss HOW WE CAN WIN. One young woman who wanted to join the Revolution Club said that she really likes communism, but has a hard time with the accusations that get made about the history of communism, so she picked up the interview with Raymond Lotta in Revolution newspaper about this.

To Revolution Clubs and Revolution Books around the country: I really encourage you to do discussions like this, aimed at students, right at the beginning of the school year! The sooner the better, while they are very open to new things and checking out groups to get involved with, before they get bogged down in classes and homework. Keep it simple… put flyers/posters advertising a discussion of “Reform or Revolution” all over campus—I think people will come—and then read the BAsics essay and discuss! There’s so much in that beautiful essay to get into, which we barely touched on, including important questions about morality and epistemology, and how all that relates to “social approbation,” which is something that really weighs on young people. And it will be a great on-ramp to HOW WE CAN WIN, the strategy for an actual revolution. 

Get BAsics – Order from RCP Publications or download the eBook

Read about and download the 5 Stops Posters

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/cheers-to-relatives-of-mollie-tibbetts-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Cheers to Relatives of Mollie Tibbetts for Taking on Trump's Xenophobic Scapegoating Even Through Their Grief

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update: Mollie Tibbetts’ father condemns the use of Mollie’s death to promote racism

In a powerful September 1 op-ed in the Des Moines Register, Rob Tibbetts, the father of Mollie Tibbetts, condemned those who have “distorted and corrupted” his daughter’s death to advance “views she believed were profoundly racist” and called on them to stop. He did not identify anyone by name, but clearly he was referring to Trump and others around him.

Rob Tibbetts said the person accused of taking Mollie’s life, allegedly an undocumented immigrant, no more reflects the Latino community than white supremacists reflect all white people. “To suggest otherwise is a lie.” In the name of his entire family he extended an apology to Latino people for what’s being done to them in Mollie’s name. “We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody. And yes, we love your food.”

Tibbetts said his stepdaughter is Latina and her sons are Latino. “That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American.” And he said that the racist use of Mollie’s death “incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul.... It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.” He finished by calling on people to “turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt.” Cheers to Rob Tibbetts for his courage, in this painful moment, to refuse to allow the fascists to use his daughter’s death to promote their program of ethnic cleansing.

Mollie Tibbetts has been missing for a month, and now her body has been found. A tragic killing of a 20-year-old with her whole life ahead of her. An allegedly undocumented man (this has been disputed by his lawyer) has been charged with her killing. Trump wasted no seconds to convict not just this individual, but ALL undocumented immigrants... and really all immigrants. He is using this tragic death to spew out his demand for his racist border wall and even greater terror against immigrants already here, whom he calls “animals.” A move taken straight out of Hitler’s play book—constantly blasting out to the world every crime (real or invented) committed by Jews to intentionally paint all Jewish people as criminals and “vermin.”

In this context, it is all the more important that even through their grief, members of Mollie Tibbetts' family spoke out against this. Mollie’s aunt wrote on Facebook “Evil comes in every color,” a pointed rebuke to Trump’s use of this death to demonize all immigrants. And a cousin took on pro-Trump commentator Candace Owens on Twitter to blast the way she also tried to use Mollie Tibbetts' murder to fan anti-immigrant hatred:

Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/come-see-film-marcus-garvey-park-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Come See the Film of Bob Avakian's Razor-Sharp Speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! at the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater, Harlem, NYC, On August 30

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, says that “we are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime.” He says, and proves, that there is “a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.” This system, from its founding, has meant slavery, genocide, bitter exploitation, wars of empire, the rape, plunder and all-round oppression of women, the destruction of the environment and 1,001 other crimes. We need a revolution—nothing less!—to end that madness.

Today, with the Trump/Pence regime in power, this takes on the even more monstrous form of fascism.* This has already meant horror for people here and all over the world and could, if left in power, mean catastrophe. It will make any efforts to fight for a better world immeasurably harder. These fascists are on a mission and on a rampage, and this regime will not be deterred or stopped by indictments, hearings, conflicts among themselves, or special reports alone—in fact, they will “double down.” There must be massive, in-the-streets resistance.

In this light, Bob Avakian’s speech is more important than ever. Come out Thursday, August 30, 7 p.m., to Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater in Harlem (enter at 5th Ave. and 124th St.) to hear it.

Why?

1) To get truth about this regime. Bob Avakian delivers a scientific revolutionary analysis of the deep roots of this fascist regime, why it has come to power now...and what we must do about it.

2) To get organized: Come to the film and get hooked up with Refuse Fascism, which is organizing people all over the country for massive demonstrations to drive out this regime... the Revolution Club, which is fighting for revolution and the new communism of Bob Avakian, and urgently organizing people now to prepare to overthrow this system, when conditions are right (and waging the battle against the regime as part of that preparation)... and Revolution Books, the political, intellectual, and cultural center for the movement for an actual revolution, located right in Harlem. 

3) Most important: to “meet” the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian. He is the architect of a whole new framework for human emancipation. He has made theoretical breakthroughs, he has an ability to break down ideas so people can readily understand them, and he connects in visceral way with the basic people. This film can introduce you to him.

At a time when this regime is particularly pumping up white supremacy in all its ugliness, it would make a huge statement for hundreds of us together—all nationalities from all over the city—to come together in Harlem for this knife-sharp critique of what we face and to get connected to fight it, in a real way, to defeat this regime and go beyond to a whole different society.

Be part of building beginning now by calling 212-691-3345 or going to http://revolutionbooksnyc.org/.

*Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/prisoners-strike-called-in-17-states-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Prisoners Strike for Just Demands: A Courageous Fight That Must Be Supported!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

UPDATE: As the widespread prisoners strike that began on August 21 enters its third week, resistance and repression are both intensifying. For the full story on this strike, see below. Because of censorship by the authorities, information about what is going on with the strike is hard to come by. An August 28 press statement from strike support organizers said that prisoners were known to be participating in 11 states—Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, California, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida—with work stoppages, hunger strikes, and boycotts of prison commissary. Prisoners at a jail in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada reportedly went on strike in solidarity as well as with their own demands.

In Florida, there were unconfirmed reports of 11 of the state’s 143 prisons being struck by organized protests. In Indiana, prisoner rights activists announced that on August 27, several men in the SHU (Secure Housing Unit) of Wabash Valley prison were starting a hunger strike. The group Northwest Detention Center Resistance reported on August 31 that 62 prisoners at the immigrant prison in Tacoma, Washington, were on hunger strike, with another 20 sent to solitary the previous evening in retaliation for joining the protest. The prisoners issued a statement that they were “acting with solidarity for all those people who are being detained wrongfully and stand in support of all those women who have been separated from their children.”

There have been hundreds of solidarity actions on the outside. Rallies, phone zaps to prison authorities, banner drops about the strike, and teach-ins have been taking place in dozens of big cities and small towns from coast to coast—for example, a march of 70 in New Haven, Connecticut, and a rally of 500 in front of San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area. A support rally outside the Hyde prison in Fairfield, North Carolina, with chants and banners was met with over 100 prisoners joining in the political protest on the other side of the barb wired fence. The men stood in the yard for about an hour, in the face of guards threatening them, and held up their bed sheet banners that read “better food,” “in solidarity,” and “parole.”

Even before the strike started, the prison authorities had been carrying out increased repression against the prisoners and especially the leaders. A spokesperson for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee told the Guardian, “The retaliation and repression was instantaneous and constant. Leaders were picked off, one by one, and thrown into solitary in anticipation of the strike that was coming.” One prisoner, Kevin Rashid Johnson, wrote in an op-ed published in the Guardian that he was moved to a death row cell in another prison in Virginia: “I have never been sentenced to the death penalty, so there can be only one reason they have put me here—to shut me up and prevent me fraternizing with other prisoners as they fear I will radicalize them and encourage them to resist their oppression.”

The courageous and determined rallying cry from those brutalized and locked inside the dungeons of the so-called “land of the free” has gained attention around the world—including coverage in the Middle East (Al Jazeera) to Latin America (teleSUR). Prisoners’ demands and stories have been spread on social media, in the alternative media, and commented on in a few mainstream media (though news of the strike has been mainly suppressed in the latter so far). Prisoners in Greece and Palestine have issued statements supporting the strike.

The strike is set to continue until September 9, the anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising. Word about this righteous struggle of the prisoners—demanding recognition of their humanity—must spread further. And retaliation by the authorities against the strikers must be denounced and opposed.

See recent interview on The Michael Slate Show with Heather Anne Thompson, author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, about this current strike.

*********

On August 21—the 47th anniversary of the murder of the revolutionary leader George Jackson by guards at California’s San Quentin prison—prisoners in 17 states began a strike. The strike is set to end September 9—the anniversary of the heroic 1971 rebellion at Attica prison in New York.

The demands of the striking prisoners are first and foremost that there be “Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.” Other demands include ending prison slavery, ending “gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans," and rescinding laws that remove all possibility of “rehabilitation and parole” for prisoners. The complete list of demands are available online here.

The prisoners said that as part of the strike, they will carry out: work strikes (“Prisoners will not report to assigned jobs”); sit-ins (“In certain prisons, men and women will engage in peaceful sit-in protests.”); boycotts (“All spending should be halted.”); hunger strikes (“Men and women shall refuse to eat.”). The British newspaper Guardian wrote that this action, in the country that has by far the biggest prison population in the world, “has the potential to be the largest prison strike in U.S. history.”

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, a group helping publicize the strike, wrote, “Prisoners understand they are being treated as animals. Prisons in America are a warzone. Every day prisoners are harmed due to conditions of confinement. For some of us it’s as if we are already dead. So what do we have to lose?”

According to an August 24 report on the Marshall Project website, "Organizers say they have confirmed accounts of participation at Northwest Detention Center, an immigration detention center in Washington; Folsom State Prison in California; McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina; and Toledo Correctional Institution in Ohio. They have relied mostly on the word of families and volunteers who have been in touch with participating inmates."

Lee “Correctional Institute,” South Carolina

A press release calling for the strike said it was particularly in response to the repressive actions of prison authorities after a deadly outburst of fighting between prisoners tore through South Carolina’s Lee “Correctional” Institute in April of this year. One prisoner there told the Associated Press that bodies of dead and wounded men were “literally stacked on top of each other.” Prison and medical authorities allowed bleeding, beaten, and sometimes mortally wounded prisoners to lie unattended on the floor for hours. The press release calling for the current strike said, “Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology.”

Prison and government authorities blamed the violence at Lee on “gang warfare.” But Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, wrote in the New York Times, “Yes, it was a gang fight, prisoners tell me, but it was corrections officials who had decided to house rival gangs in the same dormitory, and it was the officials’ increasingly punitive policies that exacerbated tensions on the inside. … Punitive sentencing laws have taken away prisoners’ hope for the future. … Daily degradations grind away at men’s souls.”

A System Steeped in Oppression

Massive numbers of people, especially Black, Brown, and Native American youth, are behind bars in this country. Millions are held in inhumane conditions that amount to systematic, protracted torture. This is the reality and the future that the system of capitalism-imperialism has inflicted upon generation after generation of youth. It is utterly fucking unacceptable, and it must stop!

The prisoners in South Carolina and elsewhere are struggling to overcome the depraved outlook imposed by this system and its enforcers that sets them at each other’s throats. Their courageous fight must be supported. It must inspire people within and outside the “concrete and barbed wire” to build a movement for revolution aimed at overthrowing the system that offers millions of youth nothing but brutality, impoverishment, oppression, and imprisonment, and poisons them with the outlook of a system based on relentless exploitation of the many by the few.

Prison authorities are trying to prevent word and information on what is going on inside from reaching the outside world. Revcom will report more on this strike as information becomes available. Readers with knowledge of the strike at any location should correspond to us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com

George Jackson

Attica Prison Rebellion

 

The press release calling for the strike said, “Seven comrades lost their lives [at Lee Correctional Institute] during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology.”

 

THE PRISONERS REVOLUTIONARY LITERATURE FUND

Graphic imagePRLF is an educational literature fund that has sent Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), works from Bob Avakian, (Chairman of the RCP) and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S. for 10 years. PRLF has fought attempts by prison officials to censor these publications. For example, the ACLU of Southern California successfully represented PRLF in a censorship battle focused on Pelican Bay State Prison with statewide ramifications in California.

Donate here to support the work of the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/today/index.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Today's Message from the Revolution

March 26, 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.

 

 

March 26, 2019

1. WHY is fascism on the rise in the world? What IS the situation with communists internationally?

Q&A with Bob Avakian: Could you speak to the negative situation in the world & what we should do about it?

"...we have two choices: either, live with all this— & condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all— *or*, make revolution!" —Bob Avakian

This Q&A followed the speech: Why We Need An Actual Revolution & How We Can Really Make Revolution, at revcom.us/ActualRevSpeech/

Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Instagram

2.

revcom.us/avakian

Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Instagram

3. Anti-Zionism is NOT anti-Semitism.
It is anti-IMPERIALISM!

Stop US & Israeli murder & rampage in the Middle East!

Gaza Under Attack

Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Instagram

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/drop-the-charges-against-revolutionaries-and-refusefascism-activists-in-LA-en.html

Revolution #557 August 20, 2018

Drop the Charges Against Revolutionaries and RefuseFascism Activists in Los Angeles!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Pack the court room: Wednesday, September 5th 8:30am Metropolitan Courthouse ~ 1945 S. Hill St. (Washington & Hill, near the Metro Blue Line) Dept. 60

The Los Angeles city attorney has just criminally charged 11 members of Refuse Fascism, including members of the Revolution Club, an Iraq War vet, a Ph.D. student and college instructor, as well as a noted artist and University of Southern California (USC) professor. Their arraignment dates begin August 27 and continue through September and October. The multiple misdemeanor charges stem from three significant events, including two actions on the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles last fall, and from a public challenge in March to Trump’s treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin at UCLA.

These criminal charges by the LA city attorney represent an effort by the state to silence dissent against the Trump/Pence regime. They specifically target members of Refuse Fascism, including revolutionary communists and a professor, for being unwavering in their pledge to not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the Earth itself. The defendants are calling for tens of millions of people across the U.S. to get out of their comfort zones and not allow differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to demand: This Nightmare Must End—The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!

They need your support now:

The 101 Freeway stoppages, the first in September 2017 and the second in November 2017, were a clarion call to the whole of society that a dangerous fascist regime—the Trump/Pence regime—had seized and was consolidating power, and that we—the people of the world—faced an emergency situation and millions needed to rupture with “politics as usual.” Then and now, we have to face the reality that this regime poses an existential threat to humanity, and we need to act accordingly: to get into the streets in our tens of thousands—ultimately galvanizing millions—with the single objective of driving this fascist regime from power.

The September 2017 freeway action called for “NOV 4—IT BEGINS!”—an opening salvo that put the November 4 call for sustained protests on the map with the single objective of removing the fascist Trump/Pence regime (video). The November 2017 freeway action featured protesters unveiling a 60-foot banner on the downtown LA freeway at rush hour, which read “TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO” (video). These freeway actions aimed to “shake society awake” and caused widespread controversy. They were viewed by over five million people on social media, rattled the base of Trump/Pence fascist forces, and boldly put before people—including tens of millions of people who abhor the Trump/Pence regime—the urgent necessity to break out of the process of normalizing this dangerous fascist regime, to rupture with illusions that “it can't happen here” and to take up the urgent task of driving this fascist regime from power through nonviolent, massive, sustained nationwide protests.

UCLA’s invitation to treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin in February 2018—the first Trump/Pence regime cabinet member invited to speak at UCLA—was a grotesque normalization of fascism by UCLA authorities. On this big political stage (the action can be seen on videos that have been viewed by millions), Mnuchin, and the Trump/Pence regime, were eloquently exposed as murderous criminals whose fascist policies are destroying the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. The charges against the people who publicly challenged Mnuchin include “interfering with peaceful conduct of a campus facility,” “disturbing the peace,” “trespassing to interfere,” and “obstructing a public officer.” You can watch the video of three women publicly challenging Mnuchin as they are physically removed from the auditorium and arrested at Mnuchin’s presentation. This was followed by arrests of others—by UC police—who were protesting the unjust arrests that had just occurred in the auditorium, and then by UC police vamping on and arresting two of the same defendants one week later as they were merely standing in line to attend a talk at UCLA by Chelsea Manning!

These criminal charges are not only retaliation for these brave and righteous acts, but also concentrate efforts by authorities high up in the Trump/Pence regime and at UCLA (in league with other powerful forces on college campuses), to suppress and ultimately eliminate the space for protest at UCLA and on college campuses across the country—efforts that objectively give carte blanche to fascists on campus under the signboard of “free speech,” when in fact such fascists parading and being protected at UCLA and on other campuses are a critical front of the Trump/Pence regime’s intense drive to consolidate a fascist society and government, with dire implications for billions around the world.

Since December 2016, the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism has dedicated itself to driving the Trump/Pence regime from power, organizing and participating in countless rallies, marches, and other actions. Some of these actions have included acts of civil disobedience, where individuals have bravely risked arrest and put their lives on the line to oppose the consolidation of fascism in America. These individuals are now facing prosecution for their acts of conscience, with a number of arraignments scheduled for the coming weeks. Your support is needed NOW. Call the LA city attorney to demand the charges be dropped. Show up at the courthouse to demonstrate to the judges and prosecutors that the world is watching. Donate to help with legal costs. The charges (which include “conspiracy to commit a crime,” “obstruction of free movement of people,” “disobeying a police officer,” and “refusal to disperse”) carry fines and penalties of 2+ years jail time, meaning that these fellow freedom fighters could be locked up merely for acts of principled resistance, while the true criminals in Washington remain free to continue their hideous policies of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and planetary destruction.

 

Above, in September 2017, protesters Block Highway 101, Carrying signs that say November 4th it Begins... This nighmare must end. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! November 4 It Begins.

Below, in November 2017 5 protesters unfurl #TrumpPenceMustGo banner on the LA 101 freeway

No! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!

Read, share and endorse the full Refuse Fascism Call to Action here.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us: