revcom.us, July 29, 2019 through August 4, 2019 (#606)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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The following is taken from a recent talk given by Bob Avakian

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

| revcom.us

 

Note Added by the Author, Fall 2019

This work is the edited text of a talk given in the spring of 2019, and the following section (“Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of ‘Painless Progress’”) has been published (posted at revcom.us) beginning in the summer of this year.  In late September 2019, Nancy Pelosi (and the Democratic Party leadership of which she is a prominent representative), after a prolonged stubborn insistence on refusing to impeach Donald Trump, reversed course and announced that an “impeachment inquiry” of Trump would be undertaken. This reversal was hinged upon—and Pelosi and Company have made an attempt to focus this “impeachment inquiry” overwhelmingly, if not solely, on—the revelation (stemming from a report by a government “whistleblower”) that Trump has been involved in an effort to pressure the government of Ukraine to do Trump the “favor” of digging up (or “cooking up”) dirt on Joe Biden, former Vice President (under Obama) and a leading contender for the Democratic Party nomination for the presidential election in 2020.  Pelosi and the Democrats have identified this as an abuse of presidential power, in pursuit of Trump’s personal interests (particularly looking ahead to the 2020 election) and have given emphasis to their insistence that, in making this “favor” the basis (and the price) for the continuation of the U.S. military aid to Ukraine, in its confrontation with pro-Russian forces, Trump “undermined U.S. national security,” particularly in relation to its major adversary Russia.  In other words, while, from their bourgeois perspective, their concern is very real in regard to the imperialist “national interests” of the U.S., the “norms” of how this system’s rule has been imposed and maintained, the importance to them of a “peaceful transition” from one administration to another through elections—and the danger posed to this by Trump’s trampling on these “norms”—Pelosi and Company, in focusing this “impeachment inquiry” on this narrow basis, have underlined the fact that they are acting in accordance with their sense of the interests of U.S. capitalist imperialism and its drive to remain the dominant imperialist power in the world, and that they continue to refuse to demand Trump’s ouster on the basis of his many outrageous statements and acts directed against masses of people, not only in the U.S. but internationally:  his overt racism and promotion of white supremacy and white supremacist violence; his gross misogyny and attacks on the rights of women, including very prominently the right to abortion, and on LGBT rights; his repeated calls for and backing of intensified brutal repression and suppression of dissent; his discrimination against Muslims and his cruel targeting of immigrants, involving confinement in concentration camp-like conditions, including for those fleeing from persecution and the very real threat of death in their “home countries” and seeking asylum on that basis, and the separation of even very young children from their parents; his assault on science and the scientific pursuit of the truth, including denial of the science of climate change and continuing moves to undermine and reverse even minor and completely ineffective protections of the environment; his threats to destroy countries, including through the use of nuclear weapons—in short, his all-around drive to fully consolidate fascist rule and implement a horrific, fascist agenda, with terrible consequences for the masses of humanity

While, as of this writing, it is not clear what this “impeachment inquiry” will lead to—whether Trump will actually be impeached in the House of Representatives, and what will happen then in the Senate to determine whether he should be convicted and removed from office—it is already clear that the way in which the Democrats are seeking to narrowly focus the move to oust Trump emphasizes yet again the importance of these basic points of orientation:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent.  We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide 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.

Clearly, the removal of not just Trump, but also the Christian Fascist Vice President Mike Pence, and indeed this whole fascist regime, is of urgent importance.  But this will only serve the fundamental interests of the masses of people—not just in this country but in the world as a whole—if this is achieved, not on the basis of confining things within the terms of and through the furthering of the “national interests” of the monstrously oppressive U.S. empire, but on the basis of the mobilization of mass opposition to the fascism of this Trump/Pence regime, which has been produced by and risen to power through the “normal functioning” of this system, of which it is an extreme but not somehow an “alien” expression.

~~~~~~~~~~

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

All this—even the seemingly more “benign,” or oblivious, individualism—links up with the repeated and stubborn insistence on chasing after the illusion of painless progress. If something makes people uncomfortable—and still more, if it holds out the prospect of sacrifice, necessary sacrifice, on their part—far too many people turn away from it. As I’ve pointed out before, there’s this whole attitude of approaching reality as if it’s a “buffet,” or approaching it like a consumer: “Well, that makes me uncomfortable. I’ll just leave that to the side. I don’t want to look at that because that makes me uncomfortable.”

I am going to talk later about some of the more ridiculous and outrageous forms of this. But just to give a little preview, as I pointed out in The New Communism, some people went on one of the college campuses a couple of years ago with a poster of Stolen Lives, people who’d been killed by police (not all of them, by any means, but dozens), and someone came up and started whining: “I don’t like that poster, it makes me feel unsafe.” As I commented at the time: Oh, boo-hoo! Let’s get out of this boo-hoo shit and start talking about and engaging seriously what’s happening to masses of people, one significant part of which is represented by what’s on that poster.

One of the most common and problematical forms of this repeated and stubborn insistence on chasing after the illusion of “painless progress,” particularly among people who consider themselves somewhat enlightened (or progressive, or “woke,” or however they want to put it), is what we very rightly term BEB—Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit—and the phenomenon that people continually confine themselves to the narrow limits of what is presented to them by one section of the ruling class, as embodied in the Democratic Party: “These are the limits of what I’ll consider in terms of possibly bringing about change”—because this is the well-worn rut of what is, at least up to this point, relatively safe in terms of political engagement. It may even become not-so-safe in the future, depending on how things go with these fascists who are working to consolidate their power right now through the ruling regime of Trump and Pence. But for now it seems relatively painless. It is also completely ineffectual and doesn’t bring about any kind of change that’s needed, but it’s a way to feel that you’re doing something while avoiding any sacrifice, and even any real discomfort.

One of the ways this gets expressed, along with the BEB, is people, in their masses, not confronting the reality of Trump/Pence fascism, and therefore not acting in a way commensurate with the danger and the potentially even greater horrors this represents.

Just to step back, and to speak to a very important element of this that I’ve touched on before, Trump’s election—through the electoral college, not the popular vote—is, in a real sense, an extension of slavery: the people who voted for Trump are the kind of people who would have been pro-slavery, had they been around at the time of slavery in the United States. And those who find it acceptable to have the overt white supremacist Trump in the White House are the kind of people who would have ignored or would have openly accepted and justified or rationalized slavery when it existed. And here I have to invoke what I thought was a very insightful comment by Ron Reagan (yes, Ronald Reagan’s maverick son, who is also, to his great credit, an unabashed atheist): Trump’s much-analyzed, over-analyzed, “base” will continue supporting him, no matter what he does, Ron Reagan has pointed out (and this is very insightful), because Trump hates all the same people they hate.

As opposed to all the obfuscation about the economic difficulties people are going through, blah, blah, blah, that is often used to rationalize why people voted for and continue to support Trump, what Ron Reagan has sharply pointed to is the essence of Trump’s “base.” And, by the way, notice how all the mainstream media, CNN and so on, continually use this term: Trump’s “base.” This is a neutral term, “base.” These are a bunch of fascists, okay? And by using these euphemisms, or these neutral terms, like “base,” you’re obscuring and keeping people from seeing what is actually represented by Trump and those who support him, and the depth of the real danger this poses. Ron Reagan’s comment is very much to the point. He went on to elaborate: They hate LGBT people, they hate women (independent women, and really all women), they hate Black people, they hate immigrants, they hate Muslims, and so on. And Trump hates all the same people they hate.

That is why they’ll never desert him, whatever he does. That is why he could very rightly make the comment: “I could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue in New York City and these people wouldn’t turn against me.”

At the same time, it has to be bluntly said: For the millions, and tens of millions, who say they hate everything Trump stands for and what he is doing but who, after all this time, have still not taken to the streets in sustained mobilization demanding that the Trump/Pence regime must go, this makes them collaborators with this fascist regime and themselves guilty of the egregious crime of tolerating this regime when they still could have the possibility of achieving the demand that it must go, through such mass mobilization!

To paraphrase Paul Simon: They are squandering their resistance for a pocketful of mumbles—and worse—from the Democratic Party.

It is long past time—and there is still time, but not much time—for this to change, for masses of people to finally take to the streets, and stay in the streets, with the firm resolve that this fascist regime must go!

And here are some very relevant questions for the millions and tens of millions who hate everything Trump stands for but have failed or refused to mobilize, in their masses, in non-violent but sustained action around the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power, as has been called for by Refuse Fascism: If you will not take to the streets now to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go, what will you do if Trump is re-elected (perhaps through the electoral college, even if he again loses the popular vote)? And what will you do if Trump loses the election (even by the electoral college count) but then refuses to recognize the results and insists he is still President?!

At the same time, it is necessary to point to the very serious problems with the dangerous naiveté and “left” posturing of certain “progressive” intellectuals. For example, someone like Glenn Greenwald, who has done some good things in exposing the violations of people’s rights under this system—human rights, civil rights and civil liberties—but who, whenever anything’s brought out about the terrible crimes and horrors that are represented by the Trump/Pence regime, insists upon immediately saying things like, “Yes, but what about Hillary Clinton, and what about the Democrats, and the terrible things they have done?” All of which is true. As we have pointed out: The Democratic Party is a machine of massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. And this does need to be brought out. At the same time, it is necessary to recognize that the Republican Party is fascist, and if you don’t understand that this has real meaning and real importance—and every time someone speaks to the outrages and horrors perpetrated by these fascists, you insist on immediately raising, “Yes, but what about the Democrats?”—you’re leading people, or pointing people, away from an understanding of the real dynamics going on here and the real dangers.

And then there is Slavoj Žižek. As is very bluntly, and very accurately, put in the article by Raymond Lotta, “Slavoj Žižek Is a Puffed-Up Idiot Who Does Great Damage”:

Slavoj Žižek, an influential fool-of-a-philosopher who often poses as a “communist,” declared his support for Donald Trump on British TV. A victory for Trump, according to Žižek, will help the Republicans and Democrats “rethink themselves”—and could bring about “a kind of big awakening.” And speaking from his “what-me-worry” perch [Lotta goes on], Žižek pronounced that Trump “will not introduce fascism.”

As Lotta then succinctly states: “This is wrong, this is poison.” And it is similar to the kind of wrong and dangerous thinking that people like Glenn Greenwald fall into and propagate. Similarly to Glenn Greenwald, it involves playing down the actual reality and danger of what’s represented by fascism, even as, once again, the Democratic Party is an instrument of bourgeois dictatorship, and a machine of massive war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This kind of wrong thinking is also exemplified by someone like Julian Assange, who actually, from all appearances, and it does seem to be the case, contributed to the machinations that went on around the Trump campaign, involving, it does seem, the Russians in this, and who did so with the same kind of rationalization that Žižek put forward, as cited by Raymond Lotta—that Clinton and the Democratic Party represent the old establishment, the old ways of doing things, and if they’re defeated and somebody who’s outside the establishment gets in, it will shake things up. I have heard Assange saying (his own words, not just others characterizing what his position is): “Maybe this will lead to a negative change, or maybe it will lead to a positive change, but at least it will lead to change, or it will hold open the possibility of change.”

Well, what kind of change is it actually leading to? There’s no room for agnosticism or ignorance about what kind of change it is leading to. Yes, bourgeois dictatorship in any form is very bad for the masses of people, very oppressive and repressive of the masses of people, and needs to be overthrown. But an overt fascist dictatorship that tramples on any pretense of upholding rights for people is not something that should be put in the category of “maybe it’ll be a positive change, or maybe it’ll be a negative change.”

Now, at the same time as making this sharp critique, particularly with regard to Julian Assange, it is very important to emphasize the need to oppose the persecution of Assange by the U.S. imperialists, whose persecution of him is in response to and revenge for his part—not in something to do with the Russians, but overwhelmingly in exposing just some of the monstrous crimes of this system. In this regard, there was an interesting article called “Julian Assange and the Woeful State of Whistle-Blowers” by Edward Wasserman, who’s a professor of journalism and the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. (This article appeared in the New York Times on Saturday, April 27 of this year, 2019.) Wasserman points out that, with whatever his failings are, political and personal, Julian Assange, through WikiLeaks, “enabled spectacular disclosure of official secrets,” including, as Wasserman himself puts it, “war crimes, torture and atrocities on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan” by the U.S. And this is why he’s being attacked in the legal arena and politically by the U.S. ruling class. This dimension is where people need to rally to Assange’s defense, even with his limitations and failings. And the need and importance of defending Assange, particularly from political/legal persecution by the U.S. government, has been greatly heightened by the fact that this government (headed by the Trump/Pence fascist regime) has now piled on very serious charges of espionage in this process of persecution, with dire implications not just for Assange but for any and all who would dare to uncover and expose the war crimes and crimes against humanity continually carried out by U.S. imperialism and its institutions of violence and repression.

Yet, without in any way failing to give due importance and emphasis to opposing these repressive moves by the U.S. government, it remains necessary and there is also great importance to criticizing this outlook and approach embodied in the thinking of people like Assange and Glenn Greenwald, as well as Žižek. The idea that these bourgeois (or “establishment”) politicians are just “all the same,” without any analysis of the nuances, or even the blatant differences, between them and the consequences of this for the masses of people, the masses of humanity—this is very harmful.

Here it is worth looking at the criticism that was raised of the German communists in the period of the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s. The slogan was attributed to the German communists: “Nach Hitler, Uns,” (meaning: “After Hitler, Us”). In other words, the same kind of thinking—that Hitler actually heading up the government would shake up things and would cause such a crisis in society that, then, the communists would have a chance to come to power. This represented a very serious underestimation of what was represented by Hitler and the Nazis, and the terrible consequences of this for humanity. Yes, the communists there should have been consistently and firmly opposing the whole system on a revolutionary basis, but it was also very important and necessary to recognize that Hitler and the Nazis were a particularly perverse and extreme representation of all the horrors of this system, and would carry them out in very extreme forms.

So, in relation to all this, there is a need for a scientific approach to building opposition to the fascism embodied in the Trump/Pence regime in the U.S. today, in a way that is based on and proceeds from the understanding that’s captured in works of mine like “The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It” and “Not Being Jerry Rubin, or Even Dimitrov, but Actually Being Revolutionary Communists: THE CHALLENGE OF DEFENDING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS—FROM A COMMUNIST PERSPECTIVE, AND NO OTHER.” (These articles are available at revcom.us. They are part of the Collected Works of Bob Avakian.)

As I have stressed several times, and as concentrated in the slogan we have brought forward: “The Republican Party is Fascist, The Democratic Party is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.” This emphasizes the importance of both aspects of things: recognizing the particularity of what’s represented by the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and the Republican Party as a whole, and confronting the nature and massive crimes of the whole system, and all those who are functionaries and enforcers of this system, definitely including the Democratic Party.

In an article in the New York Times (Tuesday, July 16, 2019), “Racism Comes Out of the Closet,” Paul Krugman makes the point that not just Donald Trump but the Republican Party as a whole has gone from “dog whistling” racism to overtly and crudely expressing it. Krugman concludes this article this way, referring to the Republican Party’s dropping of even any pretense of opposing racism:

It’s tempting to say that Republican claims to support racial equality were always hypocritical; it’s even tempting to welcome the move from dog whistles to open racism. But if hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, what we’re seeing now is a party that no longer feels the need to pay that tribute. And that’s deeply frightening.

Krugman does have a point—an important and relevant point—here, as far as it goes. The problem is that it doesn’t go far enough, and in particular does not break out of the constricting terms of contradictions and conflicts among ruling class parties (the Republicans and the Democrats). The stance of hypocritically pretending opposition to such outrages as racist oppression, while in fact acting as the representatives, functionaries and enforcers of a system that has this oppression built into it and could not exist without this oppression—this does not just apply to the Republican Party in the past (if it ever applied to that party at all over the past 50 years and more) but also applies to the Democratic Party. What is concentrated in this situation is the need to recognize, and correctly handle, a very real and acute contradiction: the fact that, on the one hand, the Democratic Party, as much as the Republican Party, is a party of a system that continually commits, and cannot help committing, massive crimes against the masses of humanity and embodies an existential threat to the very future of humanity; and, on the other hand, the fact that (to paraphrase what is cited above from Krugman’s article) there is a very real difference and very direct danger embodied in the fact that one of these ruling class parties (the Republicans) openly abandons much of the pretense of being anything other than a rapacious, and yes racist, plunderer of human beings and of the environment. This requires the correct synthesis of, in fundamental terms, opposing the whole system, of which both of these parties are instruments, and actively working, in an ongoing way, toward the strategic goal of abolishing this whole system, while also, with the same fundamental strategic perspective, recognizing the acute immediate danger posed by the fascist Trump/Pence regime and working urgently to bring forward masses of people in non-violent but sustained mobilization around the demand that this regime must go!

Failing to really recognize and act on this understanding, in its different aspects and its full dimension, is very much related to individualism—particularly in the form of seeking the illusion of painless progress, rather than being willing to confront inconvenient and uncomfortable truths and to act accordingly, even with the sacrifices that might be required.

With all the nuances and particularities of contradictions that do have to be recognized, this crucial truth can be put in this basic and concentrated way:

The Democratic Party Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution.

Here a challenge needs to be issued to all those who insist on the position that “the Democrats are the only realistic alternative”: On the website revcom.us, there is the “American Crime” series, which chronicles and outlines many of the most horrific crimes of the U.S. ruling class, going back to the beginning of this country and right up to the present, carried out under Republican and Democratic administrations. Here is the challenge: Go read that “American Crime” series and then come back and try to explain why it’s a decent thing to do to be caught up in supporting the Democrats.

Along with its other crimes, and its particular role in maintaining and enforcing this system, in the current circumstances the Democratic Party is also an active facilitator of fascism because of its refusal, even on the terms of the system it represents, to do anything meaningful to oppose the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime. This is concentrated in the insistence by Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi (or Piglosi, as she should be called) that impeachment is, once again, off the table. Some people may not remember (or may have chosen to forget), and others may not even know, but there was a massive sentiment to impeach George W. Bush back around 2005-2006, in particular because of the way he took the country to war, attacking and invading Iraq, causing massive destruction and death in that country, on the basis of systematic lies that were very consciously perpetrated by his whole regime, including Colin Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and the rest, who deliberately and systematically lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and supposedly threatening the U.S. (and “allies” of the U.S.) with those weapons. These lies were the rationalization for perpetrating the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq—which, in fact, was an international war crime. There was a mass sentiment toward impeachment of George W. Bush largely on that basis. Well, when the Democrats, in the 2006 election, won control of both houses of Congress, immediately Nancy Piglosi said impeachment is off the table. And now she’s doing the same thing again—and she’s doing this not just as an individual, but as representative of the leadership of the Democratic Party. To borrow a term from the gang scene, the “shot-callers” of the Democratic Party are saying: “We shouldn’t impeach Trump because that will just serve him; he’s trying to goad us into impeaching him.” As though it would not be a good thing for Trump to be impeached. Piglosi insists: “We’re not gonna fall for that, we’re gonna hold Trump accountable.”  Oh yeah? How? How are you going to hold him accountable when you refuse to use one of the most powerful instruments you have, impeachment, to actually do something meaningful to oppose what he’s doing?

I saw a commentator on one of the networks the other day who made an observation which (along with and despite a bunch of nonsense that she was also spouting) was actually somewhat insightful and important. She said: “Laws don’t enforce themselves. If you can do something and get away with it, the law is meaningless.” Well, Piglosi, your “accountability” (holding Trump “accountable”) is meaningless because you are refusing to exercise the most effective means you might have to “hold him accountable.”

Now, some people say that this is just being done by Piglosi and the rest because they have the 2020 election in mind, and they don’t want to feed the Republican Party ammunition for their insistence that “this is a witch hunt” against Trump and the Republican Party. That may be a secondary consideration on the part of the Democrats, but if you listen to Piglosi she’s telling us what the deal actually is. She’s saying it would further divide the country to impeach Trump—as if the “country” is not already very deeply and very intensely divided, at this point, which is precisely why someone like Trump could get elected in the first place.

But there are really three reasons, or we could call them “three fears,” that Piglosi and the rest have. They’re afraid of Trump and the Republicans, so they’re allowing Trump and the Republicans to set the terms of what they can do. Their “logic” goes like this: “Since Trump would lash back if we tried to impeach him, therefore we shouldn’t try to impeach him.” This is the logic of what they’re saying, even if they don’t directly and explicitly articulate it like that. So they’re letting the Republicans set the terms—which, of course, only causes the Republicans to be even more aggressive in pursuit of their agenda and in defying and trampling on the “norms” of this system. Even according to their own bourgeois “principles,” the Democrats should be acting on the basis of what’s in their Constitution, not according to what the Republicans will allow them to do.

Secondly, along with being afraid of Trump and the Republican Party, they are afraid of the reality that laws don’t enforce themselves. They’re afraid that if they impeach Trump—and if, somehow, they even succeeded not only in impeaching him, but actually getting him convicted in the Senate—that Trump might well declare: “Fuck you, I’m the President, I don’t recognize this impeachment.” Then, what and whom can they turn to? This brings up the other dimension of this second point: They’re afraid of Trump’s “base.” They’re afraid of these fascist forces out there who are being encouraged and goaded by Trump to increasingly act in a violent manner and who (as I’ll speak to shortly) do have a lot of weapons and are demonstrating not only their willingness, but their eagerness, to use them. So Piglosi and the rest are afraid of that.

But at least as much—and here is the “third fear”—they are afraid of the people on the other side of the divide in the country, the people who tend to vote for the Democrats, especially the basic masses of oppressed people. They are afraid of the very people, basic masses and others, whom the Democratic Party is responsible for “corralling” into the BEB and “domesticating” their dissent. They’re afraid of the people who are angry about what’s represented by Trump and Pence. They don’t want those people out in the street, unless it is contained within the narrow confines of what the Democratic Party, and the system it serves, can allow. And they don’t want the confrontation between those people and the fascists who have rallied behind Trump. You think they want to see masses of Black people, immigrants, and others, including masses of people from different strata who are furious over Trump—you think they want to see them in the streets in direct and determined opposition to what is represented by Trump and Pence? That’s one of the worst nightmares of Piglosi and Company, not only because of the potential for militant confrontation with the fascists, but because people could then get completely out of the control of the Democratic Party, and the whole system of which the Democrats are representatives, functionaries, and enforcers. A big part of what they are representing and enforcing would be seriously jeopardized.

So this is what’s really going on with Piglosi and the rest in stubbornly resisting a move toward impeachment.

And then we come to one of the main aggressively fascist functionaries in the Republican Party, the Congressman from Iowa, Steve King. Recently, along with all of his other outrageous postings and overtly racist, misogynist, and crudely derogatory statements about Muslims and immigrants, and so on, King recently posted a meme, with this comment, on his official campaign page:

Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.

Now, it has to be said that there is a “demented insight” in this comment. Obviously, this is a vicious attack on trans people, as well as those supportive of their rights. So, on the one hand, this is an outrageous statement, a thoroughly reactionary and vicious statement. But it does express a certain demented insight, or a demented representation of some truth, because while people are rightly supporting the rights of trans people, gay people, women and others, there are real limitations and problems with the spontaneous outlook prevailing among those on the correct side of the divide. There is a narrowness along lines of “identity,” and an ignoring of, or a not paying sufficient attention to, the larger dynamics that are shaping up in the society (and the world) as a whole, and the implications of this, as represented, once again, by the fact that, while people are fighting around or raising some resistance around this or that particular instance of oppression, discrimination and prejudice, they are not rallying to take on the whole massive assault that’s embodied in the Trump/Pence regime, let alone the whole system that has produced this regime. There is the serious problem that, as a whole, people who consider themselves “progressive” or “woke” have, to put it mildly, not made any real rupture with American chauvinism (about which I will have more to say shortly). And, related to this, there is the fundamental problem of attempting to resolve the conflict with what is represented by the Trump/Pence regime and its fascist “base,” with its “8 trillion bullets,” through relying on (or seeking a return to) what have been the “norms” of the bourgeois order in this country (and, on the part of some, this involves a call for “restoring civility”) while the fascists are determined to trample on and tear up these “norms” and are perfectly happy to have those who oppose them adopt the stance of “civility” (accommodation) toward their unrelenting fascist offensive. Although this does not apply absolutely, it is far too much the case that the words of the poet William Butler Yeats describe this very serious situation: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.” And so, while things could be heading toward a civil war, and it could come down to that even in the not-too-distant future, the present lineup is very unfavorable for anybody who represents anything decent in the world.

All this is, in a demented kind of way, represented in King’s statement that one side has about 8 trillion bullets while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use. Again, it’s not that the question of bathroom use and the larger questions it encapsulates is unimportant. It is important. But there’s a larger picture here of this developing trend or motion toward a civil war which right now is very one-sided in a very bad way, and if things continue on this trajectory the outcome could truly be disastrous.

So that should be serious food for thought—and not only that, but also a serious spur to action for people who do care about all the various ways in which people are being brought under attack and oppression is being intensified all across the board against large sections of the people who need to be brought together to fight against the offensive from these fascist forces—and, in more fundamental terms, need to be brought forward on the basis of recognizing that it’s the whole system, out of which this fascist phenomenon has arisen, and which embodies such terrible oppression of people not just here but all around the world, that needs to be swept away.

Now, another element of this that we can’t overlook is that, while a lot of what King describes applies in a certain demented way, particularly to progressive or so-called “woke” middle class people, there is another kind of problem with regard to more basic oppressed people, and in particular the youth—a big problem that their guns are now aimed at each other. And without going more fully into this right now, this is something that needs to be radically transformed in building a movement for an actual revolution.

So here we come to the question of the relation between building for an actual revolution and the still very urgent question of driving out this fascist regime. The following from Part 2 of Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution remains extremely relevant and important:

The relation between the struggle against this fascist regime and building the revolution is not a “straight road” or a “one-way street”: It must not be approached, by those who understand the need for revolution, as if “first we must build a mass movement to drive out this regime, and then we can turn our attention to working directly for revolution.” No. It is crucial to unite and mobilize people, from different perspectives, very broadly, around the demand that this regime must go, but it will be much more difficult to do this on the scale and with the determination that is required to meet this objective if there are not, at the same time, greater and greater numbers of people who have been brought forward around the understanding that it is necessary to put an end not only to this regime but to the system out of whose deep and defining contradictions this regime has arisen, a system which by its very nature has imposed, and will continue to impose, horrific and completely unnecessary suffering on the masses of humanity, until this system itself is abolished. And the more that people are brought forward to be consciously, actively working for revolution, the growing strength and “moral authority” of this revolutionary force will in turn strengthen the resolve of growing numbers of people to drive out this fascist regime now in power, even as many will not be (and some will perhaps never be) won to revolution.

 

Now available to be printed as a pamphlet:

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THE NEW COMMUNISM

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

Download PDF of book here

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/605/fascists-and-communists-completely-opposed-worlds-apart-en.html

Fascists and Communists:
Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart

By Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Fascists stand for and are determined to intensify, to grotesque and hideous dimensions, every dimension of oppression and exploitation and all the horrors perpetrated by the system of capitalism-imperialism. Communists, and in particular the advocates of the new communism, are determined to put an end to all these horrors, and potentially even worse horrors, through the overthrow of the system of capitalism-imperialism and the abolition of all relations of exploitation and oppression, throughout the world.

Look at the 5 STOPS—fascists and communists, and in particular the advocates of the new communism, are on diametrically opposed sides of these crucial dividing lines: The fascists are determined to fortify and extend to even more monstrous proportions, and with potentially catastrophic consequences for humanity, all the horrors embodied in those 5 STOPS, while the communists, and in particular the advocates of the new communism, stand for and fight for precisely a STOP to all this.

Fascists base themselves on and actively promote blind adherence to hateful prejudice, willful ignorance and aggressive paranoia, in opposition to rational thinking and discourse, science and the scientific method. Communists, and in particular the advocates of the new communism, base themselves on and seek to apply the most consistent scientific method, including the importance of learning from and critically assimilating the insights, criticisms, etc. of others who disagree with or even ardently oppose them.

As pointed out in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, it is not that people calling themselves communists have never acted in opposition to the basic principles of communism, and it is not that there have been no shortcomings and errors, even some grievous errors, in the history of the communist movement and socialist society; but a scientific approach and analysis shows that this has not been the main trend and character of the communist movement and socialist society led by communists; and the notion of communism as representing a “totalitarian nightmare” is fundamentally in conflict with reality and is on the contrary the invention and distortion of functionaries, enforcers and intellectual camp followers of the exploitative and oppressive system of capitalism and imperialism, which the communist revolution aims to overthrow and advance human society beyond, through the abolition of all exploitation and oppression. (If anyone is sincerely interested in actually understanding what is represented by the “theory” of “totalitarianism,” and in particular the use of this “theory” to distort and slander what is represented by communism, in Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? they can find a systematic discussion, dissection and refutation of the basic thesis and methods in The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, whose work is the most celebrated embodiment of this “theory” of “totalitarianism” and its use to distort and slander what is represented by communism.)

And, once again, there is the further, qualitative development of communism with the new communism which I have brought forward—which involves a scientific analysis and synthesis of the historical experience, positive and negative, of the communist movement and the first great wave of communist-led revolution and socialist society, and the significance of which is highlighted and concentrated in particular in the first of the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Download PDF of "Fascists and Communists: Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart" for printing and distribution

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/605/a-critical-challenge-an-urgent-appeal-en.html

From THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible – A Talk by Bob Avakian

A Critical Challenge, an Urgent Appeal

| revcom.us

 

[W]hether we consider ourselves revolutionaries, convinced of the need for a radical overturning of the system and thorough transformation of society, or we believe that it is possible to bring about changes that will lead to a more just society within this system; whether our understanding is that America is not, and cannot be, a force for good in the world, or we hope it still can become that—all of us need to come together, and act together, with the urgency that corresponds to the terrible present and the gravely imperiled future that this fascist regime represents for humanity, and with the conviction that something far better is necessary and possible.

We may have differences about what that “something far better” is, and how it can be brought about—and we should continue to discuss and debate this, with the orientation of seeking the truth, whether convenient or inconvenient, comfortable or uncomfortable, and following the truth wherever it leads—but it is not only possible but crucial and urgent that we unite—and actively go forward to win truly massive numbers of people—to act, in a really meaningful way, to bring about the removal of this fascist regime before it can fully consolidate its rule and bring down the full effect of its horrific agenda. In the “Paul Krugman” article, I put it this way:

“Krugman is a proponent of capitalism, whereas I am an advocate of communism, a new communism, who is convinced that what is ultimately and fundamentally required to deal with the current horrors facing the masses of humanity, and the looming threat to the very existence of humanity, is a truly radical and emancipating revolution. But that is not the immediate question and challenge before all of us at this present moment. Rather, it is to deal with the grave danger posed by those now in power, through nonviolent but massive and sustained political action—the mobilization of first thousands, growing into millions, determined to get and remain in the streets until this regime is removed from power. Does not the common recognition that this regime ‘may end up destroying civilization,’ demand of us—of all those, of many divergent viewpoints, who can recognize that these are the stakes for humanity—that we act together, and do everything in our power, to bring about the massive political manifestation that is urgently needed to drive out this regime?”

And, in concluding, let me go back to what I wrote at the end of that article:

“It is in this spirit and with this understanding that it is crucial for everyone—those, like Paul Krugman, with a prominent platform from which to influence public opinion, as well as those without such a platform—who do recognize and agonize over what is at stake for humanity to act, from their own perspective, to give meaningful support to, and indeed to become actively involved in, the critical work building toward November 4: publicly endorsing and promoting the Call from Refuse Fascism, helping to break through what is effectively a white-out of this by the mainstream media, donating and raising funds, directing people to the RefuseFascism.org website, and in countless other ways helping to develop the necessary political and organizational basis for what RefuseFascism very rightly calls ‘this great cause.’ For it is the massive and sustained political mobilization called for by RefuseFascism that truly represents the prospect of forging a positive path through and beyond this extremely dangerous and potentially disastrous situation.” 

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met. This means working and organizing with all our creativity and determination to bring thousands, eventually millions of people into the streets of cities and towns, to demand:

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

RefuseFascism.org welcomes individuals and organizations from many different points of view who share our determination to refuse to accept a fascist America, to join and/or partner with us in this great cause.

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

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/national-revolution-tour-marks-100th-anniversary-of-racist-riots-in-chicago-en.html

National Revolution Tour Marks 100th Anniversary Of Racist Riots in Chicago and The Resistance To Them:

"No More! We Need A Whole New World...
We Need Revolution!"

| revcom.us

 

On Saturday, July 27, the National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution marked the 100th anniversary of a racist mob attack—and the resistance to it—in Chicago. The attacks by white beachgoers on Black youth Eugene Williams led to a week of conflict in which 25 Black people and 13 whites were killed. The authorities then clamped vicious repression and a whole system of segregation on Black people; one whose legacy continues in Chicago.

Two dozen people, wearing BA Speaks: “REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts, marched in tight formation onto the beach where this happened. They fanned out among beach-goers through the afternoon and called people together for a 5:30 p.m. program at the waterfront to mark the event. The day ended with a powerful ceremony in which participants put rocks on an American flag and spoke of their determination to get to a world where the white supremacy that murdered Eugene Williams, along with the other outrages and needless suffering brought down by this system, really are no more, and were led by Maggie Brown to sing together “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.” They then took flowers, to symbolize the future we were dedicating ourselves to.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/605/identity-politics-blues-en.html

| revcom.us

 

"Identity Politics Blues"

 

I don’t even know who the hell I am

I got twenty-five identities and twenty-five brands

I drove to the intersection and my car just stalled

I sure am feeling really confused

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I heard someone saying they had truth to tell

but they got white skin and a penis as well

so I knew that they couldn’t possibly be right

never knew that truth had a gender or hue

‘Till I got these postmodern identity politics blues

 

So I shouted out loud to every woman and man

“I’m eight-fifteenths indigenous and ten percent trans!

that means you have to buy my merchandise”

even as I said it, though, I started to snooze

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I just read this book, you should really try it

“10 Quick Steps to Decolonize your Diet”

Now I can survive on agency alone

there’s nothing meaningless I will refuse

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I purchased an onion and started to cry

as I peeled back its layers of privilege, then I

threw it in the trash and typed a Facebook post

all I need now is someone to accuse

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I feel deep in my heart that I have love to give

I just hope that’s not “heteronormative’

but then who am I to even use that word?

Why must I be stricken with a cisgender muse?

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

Someone said “I’d like to report a crime,”

I said “Call the Arts section of The New York Times,”

there’s nothing decent that they won’t condemn

just be patient when they’re asking “who are you?!”

These damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

Yesterday, a cop punched a guy in the face

without a trigger warning and inside a safe space

he told the cop, the cop wasn’t impressed

the cop wasn’t woke and he was stuck in his views

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I went to the lecture on empowering dogs

someone started whispering “What about frogs?”

Pretty soon, things ground right to a halt

after all, who are we as humans to choose?

These damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I woke up in the morning for a leaderless swim

I had never swum before, but still I jumped right in

two minutes later, I promptly started to drown

the other swimmers smirked and just looked amused

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I somehow washed ashore and collapsed on the sand

I coughed and gasped for air and I could not understand

how the currents took me so far out to sea

it dawned on me that I might need to lose

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

So now I want to change the world, or at least I might

if I could just stop asking if I have the right

I’ve had it with these hustlers, fakes and fools

how much longer must we be abused

by these damn postmodern identity politics blues?

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/604/some-thoughts-on-the-national-tour-en.html

Some Thoughts On The National Tour

More On Putting the Problems and Needs of the Revolution Before the Masses

| revcom.us

 

Revolutionaries, even very new people, have to get together (meet) not just to get further enlightened and “educated” by being exposed to advanced materials and more developed leaders, but also to begin to talk with others (even very informally) about the needs of the revolution, the problems of the revolution, and their own ideas and insights about how to break through these problems.

It is not just... people who have been in and around the Clubs for some time who should do this—we should be learning how to have some “quick and simple” organizing meetings with brand new people, right as they begin to turn their faces in the right direction. These should be lively and dynamic, and while they should be led (so as to prevent them from going off into twenty million unproductive directions), this should be done with a light touch that works to allow air to breathe and initiative and questioning on the part of the new people present—new people should feel at one and the same time that this is all very serious (with a very developed strategy and seasoned innovative leadership at the helm, which they are going to be helped to engage and learn more about), but also that this is very exciting and challenging (and even fun) and, very importantly, that their own ideas about what is holding people back and how to break through and spread news of the revolution to millions, and organize thousands now, is something others present want to listen to and it’s something everybody, no matter how new, can get into batting around and implementing. It is the start of what it feels like to be in a “unit” (or a “team”) of revolutionaries, and it is what will make some at least want to “come back” on a more regular basis. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Tour is working to develop a mass movement for revolution, and to develop an organized force growing into thousands in the near term, and to provide entry level points for new people to not only learn, and not only get involved in concrete practice, but also right from the start get drawn into wrangling (with others, of different levels and abilities, and from different sections of society etc) with 5-2-6 and how to both meet the needs, and solve the current problems, of the revolution.

If we increasingly do “on the spot” or “same day” meetings, it is important that we have figured out ahead of time what the next “time and place” to continue this is going to be (and maybe the new people can help figure that out too). The point is that we do have to have a vision of “revolutionaries getting together regularly” in some form (even if fairly briefly and informally a lot of the time), otherwise we can’t organize and consolidate.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/604/revolution-tour-5-2-6-chicago-get-ready-en.html

You Think You're Woke... But You're Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare—This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!

The National Get Organized For An ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

We need a better world. And the National Tour is here in Chicago this summer, as part of ORGANIZING all over the country for a revolution to get to that world.

When we say “revolution,” we don’t mean some kind of bullshit voting that doesn’t change anything, or “work-within-the-system,” or heal-yourself” scheme. No. We are talking about mobilizing millions for an actual overthrow of this whole system. Overthrowing it, and then bringing in a totally new economic system and new constitution, and new ways of relating to each other, and the whole planet. We are talking about a revolution against all oppression, to emancipate humanity.

We have the strategy that could win such a revolution. We have the plan for what comes next. And we have Bob Avakian, who’s developed the science of revolution to a whole new level, who’s never given up or lost his heart for the people, and who is leading the revolution. You can learn more about all this by going to www.revcom.us and watching BA’s filmed speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution—And How We Could Really Make Revolution.

But while we have all that, and all that is extremely important, we do not have the people who are needed to make this a reality. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. What we need now are people who see the need for the big and radical change that is REVOLUTION, and want to do something to bring that about. People who want to fight for basic change and work on solving the problems we face in doing this... people who have ideas, as well as energy, to contribute. If you are that person, the National Revolution Tour is here in Chicago now to connect with you.

Look Around The World

Look at the border, where this government rips children away from their parents—with some even dying!—for the “crime” of desperately seeking a better life. Then look at the cities, where the police still beat down, mass-incarcerate, and kill off Black and Latino youth; or where ICE pulls off its raids. Look at what is being done to women, where—on top of everything else—now even the right to control their own bodies—to say when and if they want to have a child—is being taken away. Look at the ripping away of rights from LGBTQ people, and the murders going on of trans women. Meanwhile, the planet burns hotter... and Trump threatens war, to grab an even bigger share of the world.

And look at Chicago. The segregation, discrimination, and oppression of 100 years ago not only still goes on, in some very important ways it is worse! While Trump tells people of color to “go back where they came from,” the Chicago Police tell our youth to go back where they “come from,” even putting them on one-way, non-stop trains to the south side if they find “too many” of them downtown! This system has no future for the masses of Black and Latino youth other than being hounded and brutalized, arrested and even killed by the police. What makes it even worse is that instead of fighting the oppressor, too many of these youth have been set up to fight each other. But we aim to change all that.

What You Can Do... NOW

Bob Avakian tells the truth: “...we have two choices: either, live with all this, and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all; or, make revolution!”
Right now, while getting word of revolution out, we are also acting, to get things ready for revolution while we reach more people.

What we are planning:

Saturday, July 27 is the 100th anniversary of a vicious white mob attack on Black people on the 31st St. beach and a racist riot in Chicago. By the end of the week, dozens had been killed. The racist riot in Chicago and the resistance to it was the peak of a whole wave of racist assaults that began in April in Georgia, with the murders of six Black people by a white mob. It is also the anniversary of Black people righteously defending themselves against that in Chicago. Today there is an overt white supremacist in the White House, with his followers preparing for a civil war. We are going to be putting forward and organizing for revolution to do away with all oppression. We will be bringing together people of different colors, backgrounds and genders to emancipate all humanity. And we will be uniting with everyone who wants to commemorate this anniversary and say NO MORE to these kinds of horrors, everyone who wants to resist right now as well as commemorate, whatever their larger viewpoints.

Sunday, July 28 we will be having Future People Fundraising Party! Join with people all over the country to raise funds for the National Revolution Tour. We will be living the future today with music, art and ways of treating each other that reflect the world we are fighting to bring into being.

Be part of making this revolution a reality, in ways large and small. Follow us on social media. Donate. Come to the center at 1857 E. 71st St. and share your questions and your ideas. And join in to build this first big weekend of revolution on July 27-28.

Revolution Club Chicago 312-804-9121
Revolution Club Organizing Center, 1857 E. 71st St.

@tuneintorevcom     www.revcom.us
revclub.chi@gmail.com

Go All Out for the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour National Fundraising Weekend

Donate to the
Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Summer Fundraising Goal: $50,000

Read more

A Weekend of Revolution:

Saturday, July 27

100 years since the White Supremacist Riot in Chicagoand The Righteous Resistance against itof 1919...
We Say: NO MORE! Get Organized For An ACTUAL Revolution.

1:30pm March and Procession

Gather at 31st and Cottage Grove

5:30pm Commemoration and Call to Revolution

31st Street Beach, at the Historic 29th Street Location

Sunday, July 28

3:30 pm CDT

Tune into facebook.com/tuneintorevcom for the national livestream from Chicago

Find a group viewing of the livestream near you HERE

5pm-8pm: Future People Fundraising Party!

$15 ticket price
Elastic Arts,
3429 W. Diversey Ave. #208,
Chicago, 60647

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

Watch clips from speech HERE

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/604/the-national-revolution-tour-touches-down-in-chicago-en.html

The National Revolution Tour Touches Down in Chicago

| revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Tour
July 16, 2019

In mid-July, something new hit the streets of Chicago. Revolutionaries inspired by the vision and taking up the science of Bob Avakian’s New Communism took to the road in early 2019. These volunteers left their jobs and families behind to spread this revolution, build networks of support, and forge concrete organization throughout the country. After a real beginning in Los Angeles, which culminated in a march through South Central, the launch of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour Chicago leg came off of its headline-grabbing flag burnings on July 4 in Washington, DC and at the U.S.-Mexico border. News of the blood-soaked U.S. imperialist rag going up in flames in front of the White House, which happened at the same time as the fascist-in-chief Trump was having his Nazi rally, went out all over the world, and the righteous aspirations of millions for a world without America and everything it stands for was powerfully represented. In the fires that engulfed those flags, a new world could be glimpsed.

The Tour touched down in Chicago as a major jolt was breaking out around the Trump/Pence regime’s concentration camps for migrants and refugees, and the horrific overcrowded slave-ship conditions within them. The profound need for revolution is sharply posed around these continued atrocities, and the challenge before us is to accumulate thousands to influence the millions, putting this revolution, and the leadership of Bob Avakian and the New Synthesis of Communism he has brought forward, on the map.

Welcome Dinner for the Revolution Tour: Liveliness, Struggle, and the Sense of Something New...

On Friday night, July 12, the 15 or so members of the Tour were welcomed by upwards of 40 people at a dinner held in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The diverse crowd included activists from Refuse Fascism, family members of people killed by police, and new masses who had just met us that week. There was a sense among those who were already familiar with the revolution for some time but have not necessarily come out to everything we have been doing that something new and radically different from our past work is concentrated in this Tour. There was a real anticipation and curiosity that interpenetrated with the overall mood of liveliness and enthusiasm. People local to Chicago in and around the Revolution Club were encouraged to step further into this historic process that the Tour is working to unleash and be part of making this real this summer.

Many people cooked dishes and several restaurants donated food. Attendees contributed funds to the Revolution Tour, including by donating for photos of the July 4th action autographed by the notorious flag burner Joey Johnson.

At the same time as our welcome dinner, the local Refuse Fascism chapter was leading an important protest as part of actions happening worldwide. A few members of the Tour went to unite with this struggle, and Joey Johnson spoke on behalf of the Tour, including by recounting how he and others burned the flag on July 4th. When a second wave of attendees came to the dinner off of this protest, they brought another round of urgency and interest in the Tour's mission.

The Revolution Steps into the Resistance Against Trump's Concentration Camps

On Saturday, July 13, there was another rally against Trump's concentration camps, this one with a more mass character that we aimed to impact on a revolutionary basis. We united with people's deep outrage and the growing militancy among a section of people, and we struggled against the notions promoted from the stage that we could rely on the Democrats and other #BEB. We challenged people to lift their sights and step into the revolution, and fought for everyone to recognize the urgency of driving out the Trump/Pence regime because it is fascist. A big focus of ours was to organize new people to come the next day to see the filmed speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, by Bob Avakian, thereby meeting the leader of the revolution and gaining crucial understanding of how humanity can get free.

We also connected new people to our social media. We waged sharp struggle around the questions of reform or revolution, the role of leadership, and other questions sparked by the 5-2-6 broadsheet. We marched in formation, chanting, “Fuck your borders! Humanity first!” One member of the Tour reported, “There were some people on the sidelines whose faces lit up, raising their middle fingers and joining us...it was almost as if it had never crossed them to say 'Fuck Your Borders' & when they did; I wish I could describe the look on people's faces, it was like a mix of joy, surprise and freedom.” One young woman, who had written a song indicting Donald Trump, took to our mic and injected some creative energy into the contingent, marching with us and taking a “BA Speaks – Revolution, Nothing Less!” T-shirt. Drawing out the more radical minded, we represented an alternate pole of authority and attraction.

Getting into BA at the Revolution Organizing Center

On Sunday, July 14, members of the Tour, Revolution Club, broader supporters, and new people came together to watch and discuss the full speech from Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. After the speech, one of the Tour leaders led a discussion by posing the two parts of the title as questions: What did you learn about these things from this film? This unleashed a very rich discussion in which people’s questions and concerns were collectively wrangled with, including what is meant by “reform” and “revolution.” One member of the local Revolution Club did a sharp and substantive polemic about how, under this system, even the best-intentioned reforms will just lead “back to square one” and you'll be starting over, and over, and over again unless you overthrow the whole system. He gave examples from around the world and throughout history where people had righteously risen up, only to see their struggles drowned in blood and the oppression continue. In this light, he pointed to the tremendous significance of the science and strategy that BA had just broken down in the film.

Another Club member remarked that the first time he saw this film, BA “totally shredded apart” any notion he had left that this system can be reformed. He emphasized that BA fearlessly makes the case with evidence that the system cannot be reformed, and argued that we should challenge anyone who disagrees to provide their evidence to back up their argument. Others, including brand-new people, threw in their thoughts on how to spread this revolution further on the basis of what BA lays out in the speech, showing just a glimpse of what this sort of engagement with this film and this leader can unleash. We’ve also learned from the first leg of the Tour the importance of showing both parts of the film together, and that, as a recent article on revcom.us points out, “People linking up with BA is the most dynamic factor in bringing forward revolutionary forces and enabling masses of people to break with oppressive and unscientific modes of thought and actually work to consciously transform society in a revolutionary direction. BA is the greatest strength that the masses of people have.”

Throughout this all, we were beginning to get our feet wet out in the neighborhoods – sending teams out on the street to agitate and spread the revolution, get a sense of the city, and begin drawing some people forward through street rallies and provocations.

While we still have much more to accomplish here in Chicago, the first few days have been incredibly rich. As we finish this first dispatch, we have just announced big plans for the weekend of July 27th and 28th. Stay tuned here at revcom.us and @tuneintorevcom.

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

Watch clips from speech HERE

 

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| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed,
It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

 


Download and print the PDF of this Call


Download and print the PDF with space for local info


Letter from a comrade:
Hastening While Awaiting With The New Call To Get Organized

To you who are fed up with this society and “solutions” that are no solution...

To you who are angry and defiant and want to see an end to the white supremacy, the patriarchy and its many forms of gender oppression, the persecution of immigrants, the imperialist wars and occupations and threats, and the capitalist plunder and destruction of the environment—an end to all, or any, of the horrible forms of oppression and exploitation that define and intertwine with this capitalist-imperialist society...

To you who seek not justice for yourself or even just your own people, but the Emancipation of ALL Humanity...

To you who hate the fascism of Trump and Pence, but see through “vote for me and I’ll set you free” and any road that just makes the present horrors a little more tolerable for some within the U.S., while people around the world suffer even more...

To you who choke on “I’m woke,” “I’m good,” “No worries” when the world is being torn asunder and who have no patience for the putrid morals and relations of this culture...

To each and every person who senses that none of these horrors will be solved by this dog eat dog capitalist/imperialist system and that something radical—a real revolution—is needed... even as you have a thousand questions as to what that revolution would look like and whether it is even possible:

There Is a Way Out of This Madness!

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

We are constantly told, openly and by implication, that there is no alternative to the present order. But that is wrong!

There is a scientific approach that makes clear this madness is unnecessary and indicates the potential pathways for change. There is an actual plan for a radically different—and radically better—society, on the road to wiping out all exploitation and oppression, and emancipating humanity. There is a strategy to draw forward the millions and millions needed to make that happen. There is the leadership, in Bob Avakian (BA), the architect of the new communism and the leader of the revolution. These are great strengths on the people’s side. But, what is now missing and urgently needed is YOU—to get with, support, and become an organized part of the revolution.

There is a project to put this revolution before millions and organize thousands into it. That project is the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tourstarting out in Los Angeles in March and going around the country for the rest of the year. We’re going to boldly bring forward that science, strategy, and leadership for revolution and go right up against all the bullshit—the outmoded, petty, self-deceiving, and self-seeking bullshit that just ends up perpetuating the outrages of today.

But that’s not all. There’s no revolution without organization. We’re going to work: organizing for a revolution—enough now of everyone in “their lane,” with eyeballs glued to their screens. We’re gonna go everywhere, from the hard streets to the suburbs, from the hardscrabble rural areas to the campuses, and to wherever people are creating the new or debating the future. We’ll be giving people the concrete ways and means to support, contribute to, and join this revolution, in many different ways, big and small—with ideas and with practical involvement, with support and with questions and criticisms.

The tour will go far and wide, spreading and showing the film of the historic 2018 speech by Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, that deeply answers the two questions in its title. And, the tour will get out the pamphlet, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, which concisely lays out the principles for how we get from the situation we are in today to actually winning an actual revolution.

Busting the People Out of Mental Shackles

We’ll call out the dead-end paths and mental shackles:

And we will definitely take on complicity with the Democratic Party, which poses as “the only alternative.” When in fact:

The Republican Party Is Fascist
The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!
We Need an Actual Revolution

The tour will IMPACT everywhere it goes—opening up debate, stirring up controversy, shaking up society so that people no longer feel they have to accept the unacceptable and adjust to injustice, and instead are inspired to get organized for a revolution to change everything.

The tour will work with the Revolution Clubs where they exist and help form new ones where they don’t. The tour will connect with people protesting and resisting this system’s crimes, especially those that concentrate the deep conflicts of this system. Stepping to people with revolution straight up, and coming from that place, we’ll unite in fighting injustice and oppression, and we’ll struggle with them to see the need and possibility for revolution. This is what it means to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. The tour and the Revolution Clubs are where you learn about the revolution while leading—contributing to building vanguard organization necessary to lead a revolution.

The tour kicks off in March in Los Angeles and Southern California. Your participation and your support are needed to start, sustain, popularize, and defend the tour.

What You Can Do NOW

A Radically Different and Better World IS Possible!

Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

 
Donate to
The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour:

 

 

 

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The Revolution Tour Is in NYC—$25,000 Needed in the Month of October

Updated | revcom.us

 

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour is now in New York City, boldly breaking onto the scene with the spirit of “You Think You’re Woke... But You’re Sleepwalking Through a Nightmare—This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!” The world is being shaken up on many fronts, and the Tour is taking this message into the midst of these momentous events. A great deal is demanded of these revolutionaries in times like these and funds are urgently needed to support this important work!

Members of the Tour have been out to the high schools and out in the midst of the major outpourings of mainly young people at the Climate Strike saying: “Capitalism Is A Straitjacket On Humanity’s Chance To Save Our Planet... Only A REAL Revolution Can Remove That Straitjacket.” They quickly traveled to Washington, DC, to join with a protest against Trump, and carried a big banner saying “American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives!—Bob Avakian” and “NO U.S. War On Iran!”—just as the danger of the Trump regime launching a war against Iran is sharpening. There in DC, members of the Tour attended the important national meeting called by Refuse Fascism to discuss calling people out into the streets in sustained nonviolent protests week after week to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power. In all of this, the Tour has been both uniting with people who are standing up in struggle while putting squarely before people that what is needed is to build a movement for an ACTUAL revolution and calling on people to be a part of this. And in the midst of all this, now some of the Tour volunteers are being called back to Los Angeles where they face grossly unjust charges stemming from standing up against the Trump/Pence regime in 2017 and 2018.

Film showings of the talks by Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! and Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution are planned in New York, and the Tour will be getting out in a major way on the campuses very soon.

But all of this can’t be done without raising greater funds right now. For the month of October, there is a need for a minimum of $25,000 to be raised to meet the most basic needs to sustain the volunteers, to print and distribute massive materials, to travel for trials, to travel to different cities on the East Coast—everywhere bringing out the message of the Tour in what promise to be turbulent times where this is needed more than ever.

 

$25,000 Is Needed in October

Donate $25, $50, $100, or another amount

You can also make this a monthly donation

Donations accepted here via PayPal and credit cards:


To Sustain and Donate by Mail:

Send Checks or Money Orders to:
    RCP Publications
    Box 3486 Merchandise Mart
    Chicago, IL 60654

Make checks payable to
"RCP Publications"
and mark them
“National Revolution Tour”


Click here to learn more about the Tour and follow its progress.

 

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Ten Basic Principles of Organizing

| revcom.us

 

These 10 points were prepared for a workshop at the June 9 organizing conference held by the National Revolution Tour in Los Angeles. While still a work in progress, people found these to be a helpful outline.

Keep these as an informal guide for your Club. Are you doing these? Are you staying on track?

  1. The two principles of the Revolution Club are: Humanity Needs Revolution and the New Communism and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.
  2. 5-2-6—the 5 Stops, the 2 Choices, and the 6 Points of Attention (POA)—are essential. Spread these everywhere...
  3. Boldly challenge people to live by the POAs and recruit into the Revolution Club those who agree with the 5 Stops and 2 Choices and who will strive to live by and fight for the Points of Attention.
  4. Bob Avakian’s leadership and work is a tremendous guide and amazing eye-opener. Get into BA and put BA before people—use BAsics (the book, quote cards, and posters [e.g., 1:13]), watch and show the films and question/answer sessions, get into the books, and discuss these in the Revolution Club...
  5. HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution is the strategy for revolution. The filmed speech of Bob Avakian, WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION, along with the questions and answers, expands on this. Read this pamphlet and watch the film, discuss them with others, read and watch them again and again, and as you come to understand them more deeply, increasingly use them to guide your work.  
  6. Don’t “meet people where they’re at.” Instead: disturb the air, bring them the truth, and generate controversy with a good spirit.
  7. Break down the barriers between the movement for revolution and the people; take the problems of the revolution to the masses.
  8. Put the revolution before people straight up, then let them find their own level of commitment. Building this movement is a process of unity as well as struggle.
  9. Accumulate new people into the revolution... then organize people to have impact on crucial struggles or big events... then accumulate more people... and on and on.
  10. This is a nationwide movement with the whole world in mind... use the web presence (the revcom.us website, social media, etc.) to learn how to understand what’s going on in the world and to get guidance for building the movement for revolution... to amplify what you or your group does... to raise questions... and to send your thoughts and actions.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/596/message-from-the-national-revolution-tour-en.html

Special REVOLUTION newspaper issue, March 2020

"You Think You're Woke...
But You're Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare

This System Cannot Be Reformed,
It Must Be Overthrown!"

A Message from: The National Get Organized
for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

To you who are fed up with this society and “solutions” that are no solution:

There Is a Way Out of This Madness!

Get Into Bob Avakian (BA)

A Radically Different Leader
Who Has Developed
A Whole New Framework
For Human Emancipation

5-2-6: 5 STOPS, 2 CHOICES, AND 6 POINTS OF ATTENTION - Easy to remember: concentrating the path to getting organized for revolution

5-2-6: 5 STOPS, 2 CHOICES, AND 6 POINTS OF ATTENTION - Easy to remember: concentrating the path to getting organized for revolution

5 STOPS—five horrific forms of oppression that this system can't reform away. The 5 STOPS:

STOP

Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!

STOP

The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!

STOP

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

STOP

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

STOP

Capitalism-Imperialism from
Destroying Our Planet!

Spread these everywhere

2 CHOICES:

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

—Bob Avakian

Spread this everywhere

6 POINTS OF ATTENTION which The Revolution Club upholds, lives by, and fights for.... Spread them. Take them up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spread these everywhere

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

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

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

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

Read more

BROADSHEET PDFs

(To order printed copies, contact Revolution, c/o RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart,
Chicago, IL 60654-0486 • 773-227-4066 • rcppubs@hotmail.com)

PAGE 1 - Download PDF

 

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“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Bob Avakian

Get Into:
Bob Avakian (BA)
the leader of the revolution

We have a great strength in the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), who over decades has developed the new communism, qualitatively advancing the science. BA breaks down why reality is the way it is, and how people can change it for the better.

He has developed the science, the strategy, and the concrete vision and blueprint for a radically different and much better society and world in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. At the same time, BA deeply understands and connects with the most oppressed, and he provides strategic leadership for the movement today.

The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

This broadsheet was put out by the National Tour To Get Organized for An Actual Revolution. If you agree with what you have read and want to help spread the word about this revolution, click here. To find out more about Bob Avakian and the new communism, click here.

To find out more and support the tour, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/583/you-think-you-are-woke-but-you-are-sleepwalking-en.html

You Think You Are Woke...
But You Are Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare

Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate All Humanity

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Read the #BEB - Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit - broadsheet

#BEB Revealed!

Read more

Read the text of this speech by Andy Zee

 

5 Reasons "The Green New Deal" Is Misleading, Dangerous and Part of the Problem

Delusion and Deception in Service of American Empire

Read more


Flooding in Indonesia

 

Noche Diaz Presenting the Lifetime Fire Extinguisher Award to Al Sharpton at the Sacramento, CA State Capitol.

Intersectionality: Feel-good Make-believe in the "Woke" Spaces of Empire

by Nayi Duniya

Welcome to the land of intersectionality—where a seemingly radical and all-encompassing framework can comprehend and traverse multiple oppressions faced by billions on this planet without the “messiness” of overthrowing the system that generates and enforces these oppressions; where truth is determined and wrong is righted by anointing the most oppressed as authority and leadership in struggles for reform; where the most fundamental and deep-seated social divisions and lopsided gulfs of the world such as between rich and poor nations are effectively ignored and where identified “intersections” and “direct experience” shared across “lanes” are sufficient to change the world.

This is feel-good make-believe “woke” world. In the real world of horrendous—and needless—suffering, it is a cruel joke inflicted upon the billions of humanity. The world is a horror for the vast majority—oppression and exploitation of whole peoples, genocidal wars and violence in the intimate sphere, millions driven off homes by conflict and global warming. This world is shaped and stamped by a system: the system of capitalism-imperialism.

READ MORE

IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

Have you ever noticed that the one privilege these “identity politics” hustlers don’t talk about is American privilege?—the privilege that comes from living in the USA, a country that plunders the world and whose wealth and power rests on brutal exploitation and oppression throughout the world, backed up by the massive violence of the American military. These hustlers want all they can get of that privilege. In opposition to that, what the masses of humanity need is to do away with and move beyond this whole vampire system, putting an end to all exploitation and oppression.

Share this on social media

Response to FEM Magazine:
Trying to Censor Revolutionaries in Safe Spaces of Empire

By Tala Deloria, Revolution Club, LA

After The Word on Wednesdays (an open mic poetry venue at UCLA) censored a revolutionary’s poem, we challenged the people attending to a debate about where the framework of intersectionality leads. They did not come to debate, but a contributor to FEM magazine wrote an article about the incident. This is a response to help bring clarity to the contention.

What we have here is two opposing models in contention. One aiming to sweep away oppression and exploitation throughout the planet, and the other aiming to curate the positions of oppressed people within this system—dictating who owns what oppression, and what stories can be told by whom—all of which leaves the world as it is.

READ MORE

Prison Abolition: How to Feel “Woke” Without Fundamentally Changing a Thing

A REVOLUTIONARY Intervention from Tala Deloria
Revolution Club member and UCLA student

If you’re serious about ending mass incarceration and police terror, you need to be talking about the OVERTHROW of this system. Anything short of this, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

This system of capitalism-imperialism is what’s driving the genocidal police terror and mass incarceration of over 2 million people, over half Black, Latino and Native American men and women. This same system terrorizes the globe with wars for empire, economic sanctions, coups, bombing and torture. It drives people from their homelands in desperation for a life and livelihood and then warehouses them in detention centers and concentration camps at the border. This same system enforces vicious misogyny, oppressive gender relations and has now brought to power a fascist regime reigning through undisguised dictatorship and intensified repression, concentrating the naked vileness that makes up the heart of America. This system CANNOT be reformed!

READ MORE

Stop Being Farra-CONNED!

We Don’t Need to GET IN ON Oppression,

We Need to END Oppression

Get With the Real Revolution

Welcome to Farrakhan’s “Saviours’ Day” message, where he will tell you how after 400 years of being bitterly oppressed, you should now learn to be a more obedient slave, prove you can be useful to your oppressors in hopes of negotiating a better deal and becoming their junior partners, and look to an imaginary ruler in the sky to one day give you a chance to be big-time oppressors.

READ MORE

Going After the Sacred Cows of Identity Politics on a College Campus—Opening the Debate on Reform or Revolution

You Think You’re Woke... But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare! Intersectionality, “democratic socialism,” and all the rest of that stuff will keep you locked within the system we have now. These approaches can only lead you to bickering, begging and bargaining for seats at the imperialist table. We need a revolution—NOT reform—a revolution to OVERTHROW everything rotten and emancipate all humanity.

We brought this message to an Ivy League campus and challenged people to debate. Before we got very far, campus security freaked out and kicked us off campus. So we came back, but this time with a satirical flyer from campus security that said, “A Message From Campus Security: Do Not Talk To The Communists On Campus.” We dressed up in a police jumpsuit and the ugliest pig mask you have ever seen and handed out the flyer. A picture of our flyer was tweeted out by a writer to 47+ thousand followers, we ended up in group texts and somebody told us that we’d been made into a meme.

READ MORE

Why I Went to Challenge Brittney Cooper—and What We Could All Learn From This

I recently went to an event on Black Feminism and Hip Hop to challenge Black feminist author Brittney Cooper. I brought an open letter written by a comrade of mine titled, “Hey Brittney Cooper—Do You Realize How Politically and Morally Bankrupt It Was For You To Invoke the War Criminal Nancy Pelosi When You Shut Down A Revolutionary?” When two of us in the audience separately posed this question to Cooper, she refused repeatedly to answer the question.

But the question matters. The problem of people taking up leadership based on “identity” rather than on the content of what is being brought forward and where those ideas will lead is extremely widespread and very damaging, far beyond Brittney Cooper as an individual. This kind of identity politics prevents people from thinking critically and sets them up to get played.

READ MORE

Barack Obama comes to Oakland to make you think this meatgrinder of a system works!

To the Commander-in-Chief who waged war on 7 countries, drone bombed wedding parties, presided over torture at Guantánamo, and backed Israel’s genocidal massacres in Gaza.

To chief demagogue & peddler of false "HOPE," whose MBK (My Brother’s Keeper) program is predicated on the notion that the problem is our youth, that it's their outlook and their "bad choices" that need to be reformed....

Whose Justice Department supported every single act of police violence that came before the Supreme Court, but called the youth in Baltimore “thugs” after they dared to rise up in rebellion after the murder of Freddie Gray....

To Barack Obama, we say NO MORE EXCUSES. This system has enslaved, brutalized, tortured and betrayed Black people for 400 years! Your system can’t be REFORMED, it must be OVERTHROWN!

READ MORE

Booker T Washington–Style House Slave and the Line Behind Jay Z's Power Move
(Whose line is it anyway?)

Booker T. Washington is known for proposing—and fighting for, including through the establishment of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)—a certain way that a recently enslaved and systematically oppressed people could become active members of society and to rise above the muck of the being deemed by birth less than human. He stressed that Black social mobility had to be approached by not messing with the white man's power but by striving to be just like them.

Recently, Jay Z pimped off of Colin Kaepernick's selfless resistance and then threw Kap under the bus when he declared, "We are past kneeling" and was featured in pictures with Roger Goodell, lead commissioner of the NFL. It's a giant power move that required distancing himself from anything too radical for the league – i.e.: athletes using their platform to call out the way this system's police kill Black and Brown people daily, all while portraying them as animal-like “thugs.”

Read more

Excerpts from a Daily Cal op-ed:
Berkeley needs to stand up to fascist ideas
by Rafael Kadaris

Over the last two years, pro-Trump fascists have attacked Revolution Books in Berkeley and even threatened to burn it down. This past Sunday, Sept. 1, pro-Trump protesters once again attempted to march on our bookstore but were prevented from doing so by a defiant and joyous counter-protest.

The call for their “No to Marxism” protest said, “Revolution Books is a communist anti-American store.” Innocent as charged. Revolution Books is the intellectual, cultural and political center of a movement for an actual revolution. At the heart of our store is the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian—a further development of Marxism and an even more scientific and liberating understanding of the world and how it can be radically changed.

We will not be intimidated by these anti-communist protesters. At the same time, these threats must be taken seriously. This fascism is not a sideshow or something that can be voted away, but it is deeply rooted in this system—it can and is “happening here.”...

Read more

 

On the cold-blooded police murder of Willie McCoy in Vallejo

This System Has No Future For Youth, But The Revolution DOES

This system has enslaved, brutalized, tortured, and betrayed Black people for 400 years! They have NEVER valued Black lives, except as labor to mercilessly exploit in building up the wealth of this country. And now, because this capitalist system has moved so much industrial work to places where they can pay people even less and make even more profit—and because Black people in racist America have always been last-hired and first-fired—this system has no jobs and no future for millions of people besides a jail cell or a police bullet. And they patrol whole neighborhoods like an occupying army, treating people like Willie McCoy as nothing but a “problem,” to be caged or killed off.

READ MORE

Fascists and Pelosians Have No Right to Condemn Anybody...

Blaming "the Benjamins" Whitewashes Reality: The U.S. Backs Israel Because It Is an Enforcer for the U.S. Empire

Basic point number 1: Donald Trump said there were “good people” among the murderous fascist mob chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Virginia. His regime has legitimized Nazis and created a climate that produced the most lethal anti-Semitic massacre in U.S. history, the mass killing at a Pittsburgh synagogue last October. Any leading figure who can uphold, or tolerate, or “reach across the aisle” to a fascist regime like that has very obviously forfeited any right to speak on who and what is anti-Semitic. So those people should shut up.

But point number 2: No amount of Benjamins ($100 bills) buys or sells strategic allies for this bloody-jawed empire. All the conspiracy theories about how the Israel lobby represents—as Omar insisted in a follow-up tweet—“allegiance to a foreign country” channel the outrage people in this country and around the world feel at Israel’s genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people into looking at the world through the lens of what is in the national interest of the United States! And when you look at the world through that lens, you are on your way to complicity with the ongoing crimes of an empire built on genocide, slavery, and wars of empire.

READ MORE

From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

The Green New Deal: Sustainable Snake Oil for a Green American Empire

The Green New Deal is not only an utterly ridiculous delusion, it’s a program for an American chauvinist “better business plan.” It promises a complete reconfiguration of the American economy without confronting the reality that things are produced through vast and interconnected global networks of exploitation, and it promises Americans better distribution of the spoils gained from that exploitation.

The problem isn’t that we need a better business plan for a Green American Empire. The problem is this system of capitalism-imperialism that’s driving the destruction of the planet.

READ MORE

From our readers:

Reform vs Revolution at a West Coast Climate Conference

Members of the Revolution Club, LA went to a conference at UC Irvine called Fire and Ice: The Shifting Narrative of Climate Change. The conference, attended by about 500 people, featured well known activists and authors against climate change like Bill McKibben, initiator of 350.org; Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction; and Nathaniel Rich of the New York Times.

Through our interventions and impact, we repolarized to where a central question at the conference was reform or revolution. Various speakers felt compelled to speak to that question from the stage, and our interventions drew clear lines that repelled some and drew in others who were either curious or appreciative of the sharpening of the terms.

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“The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice.”

Bullshit!

This System Has Enslaved, Betrayed Black People for 400 Years!

We Need an ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate ALL Humanity!

If ever a history brings out in vivid color that where there is oppression, there will be resistance, it is the history of Black people in America: a history of over 400 years of the most vicious, brutal and cruel oppression, from slavery, through Jim Crow lynchings and segregation, to today’s mass incarceration, police murder and brutality, with an open white supremacist back in the White House... and a history of heroic resistance and rebellion that has rocked this system on its heels and inspired people the world over, from slave rebellions to the Civil Rights Movement and Black Liberation struggles to today’s fights against police terror and mass incarceration.

If it was just a question of courage, of determination, and of sacrifice, Black people, and many oppressed people all over the world, would be liberated by now.

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Standing Up Against Trump’s National Emergency & Calling Bullshit on American Chauvinism and Unprincipled Attacks on RevCom

We went right up against the imperialist chauvinism of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). We called out how, by placing their focus on health care, education, and housing for people in the U.S., they are just fighting for a bigger share for Americans of the wealth America extracts through vicious exploitation and plunder from the sweatshops of Bangladesh to the starvation in Yemen to the mass rapes and civil war in Congo and beyond. In contrast, we are fighting for—and what humanity needs—is an actual revolution to overthrow this system of global imperialism and bring about a radically new world for all of humanity.

This got under people’s skin in a good way.

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What People Are Saying about the Tour

| revcom.us

 

From a Reader from Iran:

An Internationalist Salute and Call to Donate to the National Revolution Tour

I want to send an internationalist salute to the National Tour to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution and call for everyone to support it, to get involved with this all out struggle for a better world.

The present social and economic system we live under has become totally unbearable for billions of people throughout the world. We are also at a stage of human development when every conscious human being needs to seriously ask if our survival could be sustained in this capitalist-imperialist world order.

The urgent question begging for an urgent answer is whether we can tolerate the cries of tens of millions of dying, exploited and disease-ridden children? Tolerate the rapid destruction of the environment? Tolerate past and continual genocidal wars (direct or proxy) of the imperialists—invasions, occupations, bombings and even the possibility of nuclear war? Tolerate the everlasting white supremacy, mass incarceration, police brutality and murder of Black and Latino youth? Tolerate militarization of the border, cries of tens of millions of refugees, children ripped from parents and put in cages? Tolerate the misogyny that crushes women’s bodies and dreams generation after generation? Tolerate the normalization of outright fascism with the Trump/Pence regime? Tolerate all this that non-stop victimizes millions of people every minute of every day? Or...

In his truly breathtaking talk Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution, Bob Avakian (BA) keenly and seriously challenge those who are fed up with such monstrous capitalist-imperialist horrors to get organized and get rid of such a rotten and outdated system, to make revolution to replace it with a new and much better world—one dreamed and longed for by billions worldwide. There is no other way. I’ve watched this film many times and feel everyone should see it...

Read full statement

From Isabel Cardenas

The young people in the Revolution Club are focused on a better world for humanity.  They aren’t just thinking about people in this country, but also those in the entire world.  They are working for revolution because they are very courageous, and it takes committed people to carry out this National Revolution Tour.  I believe in what they are doing—organizing people—it takes time and it takes support.  These young people are tireless and need our support!  I say this from the bottom of my heart: When I was a young activist, I used to “hear things” about the Revolutionary Communist Party such as: “if those people give you literature, don’t take it...”—but I have come to know them, and I admire and respect them.  I also have heard some activists say that the RCP is “too radical....” And what comes to mind is that “If the Germans and Jews would have been just as radical during the Nazi period, millions of lives could have been saved.”  Nobody is as courageous as the RCP.  Everyone should start working with them and, most importantly, also donate to the National Revolution Tour.  It’s a worthy cause—just think of the cost for flyers, posters, travel, food and more.  Those with thousands of dollars should donate thousands.  I am able to donate hundreds.  Please go to the revcom.us website and commit to donate $50 or $100 a month.  This tour stands for the people who have no voice.  They are out to help humanity.  I believe in what they are doing, working for revolution.  Bob Avakian has the plan... what is needed is for people to organize themselves and study this plan. 

I am in! You should also join and support this worthy cause!

Isabel Cardenas
American-Salvadoran / USA Citizen
And Community Activist since 1960

From Carol Downer

Funding ourselves

May 3: Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour at my home for dinner. We had roasted chicken with coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy and hot rolls that I purchased from Von’s. Additionally, I purchased the ingredients for and prepared corn muffins and potato salad. Tour members helped me set out the dishes and finish up preparations. Other volunteers brought salad makings and an after-dinner pastry.

The tour members had organized several actions to spread the word about how grassroots activism to push for a revolution would be more effective than putting our efforts into bringing about social change through voting for social reforms. They were righteously tired and hungry, so the first order of business was to eat heartily. They were interested in my experiences in visiting Iran after the Iranian people had thrown out the Shah, a U.S.-supported ruthless dictator who commanded the fifth-largest army in the world in an almost bloodless revolution. So, I shared the exhilaration and joy that I had in being in a free country; I witnessed in Iran how a brave and resolute people had overthrown tyranny.* Then all of us shared the events of the day and enjoyed our political solidarity which cemented our friendship.

I encourage others to provide this kind of concrete support to the “Get Organized” tour as it goes around the country to stir people and challenge them to throw off their cynicism and join in the effort to mount demands for revolutionary change. Although I spent a few dollars and I devoted some time to shop for and prepare the food, the meal cost far less than if we had sat down at a restaurant or ordered take-out, and we were able to take as long as we wanted to eat our meal and socialize. Pooling our limited resources makes them go a long way. No time wasted applying for grants. No strings!

No one is going to fund us except ourselves, and why would we even want them to? Even the most benevolent funder wants you to submit proposals, file reports and evaluations. Also, that evening we created through our collective efforts a democratic, egalitarian event that celebrated our diversity in class, age and ethnicity and reinforced our revolutionary fervor. After the dishes were cleared, washed and put away, we ended the evening stronger. That strength came from ourselves, not from outside funding.


1. In 1978, millions and millions of Iranian people, from virtually all walks of life with a wide range of political viewpoints, rose up against the hated Shah and his regime, which was overthrown in February 1979. Millions had been awakened to political life, and their awakening and struggle continued in different ways after the revolution. However, by the early 1980s reactionary Islamic fundamentalists led by the Ayatollah Khomeini had brutally suppressed their opponents, which included Iranian communists, and were able to consolidate political power and establish the repressive theocracy that still rules Iran today. [back]

 

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Checks can be sent to:
RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
Chicago, IL 60654-0486 (Mark for the Tour)

From Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray:

April 17, 2019

Dear Friends,

I am referring you to open your minds and hearts to a message that has been begging for attention for 400 hundred years. I have personally listened to their presentation of the great concept they are embarking on, and suggest you do the same for their National Tour to Organize for an ACTUAL Revolution.

I am aware that there are many people in America who oppose communism on certain matters of great importance. I ask you to examine one matter which is birthed in communism, and that is what links us in the revolutionary need to emancipate humanity.

I am a Christian and not a communist nor am I an advocate of communism. However I commend all those who undertake the cause of justice and righteousness, such as opposing abuse of power by police and law enforcement, and opposing mass incarceration and massive homelessness. In Christian tradition, it is believed that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Therefore you should engage their message and decide for yourself as to its merit for support.

As part of this, you may want to review and engage the film by Bob Avakian, the founder and designer of the new communism titled Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray

From Fr. Luis Barrios, NYC:

“The revolution is not coming from the sky, sent in by God. We have to put together this revolution...”

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/596/field-reports-from-the-national-revolution-tour-en.html

Field Reports From The National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

Speech by Luan from the National Revolution Tour at the December 14 #OutNow! Protest in NYC

Donate to and Sustain the National Get Ready for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Luan from National Revolution Tour at Union Square, New York City, October 26 #OUTNOW rally.

Thousands in Chicago "Greet" Fascist Trump In Manner He Merits

From a member of the National Revolution Tour

October 29, 2019

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On the Righteous Rebellion Against Police Murder in Memphis:
How Long Will We Bury Our Own?
Until We Bury This System!

From the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour and the Revolution Club

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June 4—Nationwide: Stop the War on Women! Abortion on Demand Without Apology! We Need—and Demand—A Better World and the Full Emancipation of Women!
A Call From the Revolution Tour

The crowd at Les Mis at Pantages in Los Angeles applauded wildly as @revclub_la @SunsaraTaylor and the National Revolution Tour stood up for abortion rights and called people to the streets June 4.

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National Revolution Tour at the Los Angeles rally by presidential candidate Julian Castro, exposes him as #BEB


Dispatch from the National Revolution Tour:

Out Among the People, "Disturbing The Air"

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There's Only 2 Choices.
Which One Will You Choose?

This speech was delivered by Sunsara Taylor and Tala Deloria

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“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

More about the Tour »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Tala Deloria and Lenny Wolff talk about The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, and about the May 20 speaking event at UCLA on The Michael Slate Show


Andy Zee and Michelle Xai "Grand Experiment... As Serious As Your Life"

On The Michael Slate Show

LISTEN HERE


Noche Diaz Presenting the Lifetime Fire Extinguisher Award to Al Sharpton at the Sacramento, CA State Capitol.

Revolution Club at the State Capitol in Sacramento

 

Read flier here

Two members of the National Tour took this basic flyer to a MEChA conference at UCLA attended by hundreds of students from around the country. The flyer sparked controversy, including from some of the conference leadership, and this in turn sparked interest and real engagement.

The next day, a larger contingent of Revolution Club members marched with their banner in a MEChA march that, among other things, denounced U.S. imperialism in reference both to Latin America and oppressed communities within the U.S. And here too, a couple of dozen people wanted to get more deeply into the challenges posed by the revcoms.

Learning from this, we can see that a basic flyer like this can be a way to clearly set terms and on that basis generate engagement.

 

A Speech by Bob Avakian

This speech is in two parts.

Watch trailer, clips, Q&A sessions here »     Find out more, get organized »     Listen to audio clips from Q&A sessions »     Text of speech »
 

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

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

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

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

 

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Social Media Posts and Graphics for

The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

On this page are the key graphics that can be taken up everywhere to spread
The Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour


POSTERS

SOCIAL MEDIA

SPECIAL ISSUE OF REVOLUTION (MAY 1, 2019) BROADSHEET PDFs

PAGE 1 - Download PDF

(To order printed copies, contact Revolution, c/o RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart,
Chicago, IL 60654-0486 • 773-227-4066 • rcppubs@hotmail.com)

PAGE 2-3 - Download PDF

 

PAGE 4 - Download PDF

Points of Attention poster with space for local information (English):
(8.5x11"   |   11x17")

Large English language poster: 30x40"

Puntos de Atención poster with space for local information (Spanish):
(8.5x11"   |   11x17")

5 STOPS POSTERS (17x22)

Download PDF

Download PDF

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SOCIAL MEDIA

#POA4Rev

Post and share

#POA4Rev

Post and share

 

 

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

 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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The Crucial Importance of the New Communism and BA's Leadership

| revcom.us

 

The following is a summation of some group study and discussion of the new communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA).

First of all, I want to say that it has been truly great, deeply meaningful, critically important—and a lot of fun!—digging into the work, leadership and method of BA together. I have been thinking recently about some key themes and lessons that occur to me regarding our study and discussions and their purpose and importance. There is obviously so much that I could highlight—in terms of the key points we have gotten into in these sessions and the significance of these sessions—and trying to cover it all would be well beyond the scope of what I have written here (which ended up being longer than I envisioned when I started). However, I wanted to frame our work together with two overall themes.

The first of these themes is drawn from the beginning of a quote from BA: “Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.” (from BAsics 3:1)

The second theme is the critical role of revolutionary theory.

Let me briefly get further into each of these themes—in general, as it relates to the role and importance of BA and his leadership in the world, and also as it relates to our study and discussions.

Given how much there is to say on each of these two themes, I can only really scratch the surface here. But let’s start with the first one:

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

The understanding captured in this quote not only speaks to the state of the world and of humanity—and to what is urgently needed in light of this—but also, relatedly, illuminates WHY we have been engaging in this study and discussion together and WHY this is so important.

We have often talked—and very correctly so, to be clear—about having “cool” discussions. But it’s important to understand that this is NOT fundamentally about having “cool,” “interesting,” “fun” or “mentally stimulating” discussions, even though these discussions definitely ARE all of these things!

Rather, our work together has a specific purpose: to deepen our understanding of the world not just for the sake of knowledge in some academic sense, but in order to radically CHANGE the world. And, more specifically, to deepen our understanding and application of the science of revolution and communism, as this science has been qualitatively advanced in groundbreaking ways through the new communism brought forward by BA—deepening our grasp and application of this science as a key part of contributing to the process of making revolution on the basis of this new communism.

Just look at the world! We have talked about the “5 STOPS,” which speak to five key, defining contradictions of this capitalist-imperialist system. These 5 STOPS are: “STOP Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!”... “STOP the Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!... Stop Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!... Stop the Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!... Stop Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet!”

A quick glance at the news from the past few weeks alone will reveal that the contradictions spoken to in these 5 STOPS—and the staggering level of suffering and misery caused by these contradictions—are only intensifying.

This is on top of the countless other forms of tremendous poverty, deprivation, misery, exploitation, oppression and suffering spawned by this system and heaped upon literally billions of human beings and humanity as a whole every single day that this capitalist-imperialist system continues.

A key point to understand, which BA’s work illuminates so sharply and powerfully, is that NONE of these outrages are accidental, isolated or disconnected from each other. They have a common source—this SYSTEM of capitalism-imperialism. These outrages and horrors for humanity are woven into this system’s rules, its operation, its “DNA,” its roots, its historical and ongoing functioning. For this reason, the system CANNOT be reformed—it must be overthrown through revolution.

This point about the NEED for an actual revolution—as opposed to attempts to “fix” or “heal” or “reform” a system that in fact CANNOT be fixed, healed or reformed—in order to put an end to the countless ways that humanity suffers needlessly is, I believe, one vital takeaway from our study and discussions of BA’s work; it is one critical point on which our collective understanding should be significantly deepened.

Another one of these vital points that I think has been a theme of our study and discussions—especially recently, as we have watched the most recent film from BA (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) and listened to the Q & A from this film—is what an actual revolution IS, what it involves and what it requires.

An actual revolution does NOT just mean “a big change”—in one form or another—which is how many people think of it or try to define it. Rather, an actual revolution means overthrowing the capitalist-imperialist system, meeting and defeating its repressive force, dismantling its institutions and setting up a new, socialist system and state power and society—and, accordingly, new institutions—on the road to communism. Right now is NOT the time for an actual revolution, because the necessary conditions for this revolution do not yet exist. But right now IS the time to be working for, hastening (i.e., working to accelerate the emergence of) and preparing for an actual revolution.

This point leads us to the question of what we ALREADY do have, and what we DON’T yet have and therefore need to urgently work on bringing into being, in terms of the necessary factors and conditions for revolution.

In terms of what we DO have: By far the biggest positive factor we have is BA. Through decades of work, BA has forged the new communism, which is the framework—and, most fundamentally, the scientific understanding and method—that humanity needs to make revolution and continue that revolution all the way to communism. Think about this: Just as the first round of communist revolutions would never have happened without the initial scientific breakthroughs and framework forged by Marx, so the next round of communist revolutions will not happen without millions of people taking up the further scientific breakthroughs and framework forged by BA.

The framework of the new communism includes: a comprehensive and further developed scientific understanding of the nature of the problem, that is, the nature of capitalism-imperialism, how it specifically operates, historically and in the world today, why and how it is responsible for the many different forms of suffering that humanity faces and why this system cannot be reformed and must be swept away through revolution; a viable strategy for revolution—for working now to hasten while awaiting a revolutionary situation and then winning in that future situation; and a concrete, vivid and thoroughly developed vision and “blueprint” for a radically different socialist society on the road to communism, as put forward in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA.

Most fundamentally and importantly—and this is a thread running through and underlying the understanding, strategy and vision—is the scientific METHOD of the new communism.

The new communism forged by BA builds upon—but also goes far beyond, and in some key ways breaks with—the past experience in theory and practice of the communist movement.

Speaking in depth to the totality and specific dimensions of the new communism is also beyond the scope of what I am writing here, but to quickly highlight some key points of this.

In terms of the totality of what is represented by the new communism, I want to quote the first of the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, which we have previously discussed. This first resolution makes the point that the new communism

represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

This point is important enough that I think it bears repeating in order to help facilitate ongoing further reflection: The new communism “represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

While—as this quote from the first resolution points out—communism’s method and approach has been FUNDAMENTALLY scientific, there have been important ways in which past socialist societies along with the communist movement, past and present, have taken up unscientific and even ANTI-scientific ways of thinking, methods and approaches to understanding and transforming reality, with very harmful effects.

The new communism brought forward by BA qualitatively resolves this contradiction, putting communism on a more firmly scientific footing and therefore carving out the method and framework that makes it possible—not inevitable, but possible—to confront and transform the many contradictions involved in making revolution and continuing that revolution all the way to communism.

Needless to say, this is a big deal in terms of the possibilities this new communism opens up for humanity!

While, once again, it is not possible to review in depth the various specific dimensions of the new communism, I want to highlight here three examples of this.

*First, the new communism breaks new ground—and breaks with unscientific approaches within the communist movement—in terms of its approach to the TRUTH, the process by which the truth should be pursued, understood and arrived at, and the importance of going for the truth not just in a general sense but specifically in terms of the goal of getting to communism.

The new communism’s approach to this breaks with the unscientific and harmful ideas—which have far too often and to far too great a degree infected the past and present of the communist movement at different points—that a particular section of society, such as communists, or the most oppressed and exploited, have a monopoly on truth; the idea that whether or not a statement is true should be evaluated based on the class (or social) position of the person making the statement; the idea that different classes have their own versions of the truth, i.e., that the proletariat has its truth and the bourgeoisie has its truth; the notion of “populist epistemology”—that whether or not something is true should be evaluated based on the numbers of people who believe it at a given time; the notion of “political truth”—the idea that whether or not something is true should be evaluated based on whether or not it is viewed as convenient at a given time.

Once again, all of those wrong ways of thinking are not just prevalent in society more broadly but have been significant problems in the past and present of the communist movement.

In opposition to all of this is the understanding encompassed in BA’s new communism that truth is... TRUTH! That it does NOT have a class character, nor is it determined by whether it is viewed as politically convenient in the short term, nor is it determined by the number of the masses who recognize it as truth at a given time. That truth is determined by whether or not something corresponds to objective reality, and it must be fully confronted in all of its dimensions—including those that might be unfortunate or inconvenient in the short run—as an essential part of actually getting to communism.

These points are encompassed in this very important quote from BA that speaks to a key breakthrough in understanding concentrated in the new communism:

Everything that is actually true is good for the proletariat, all truths can help us get to communism. (BAsics 4:5)

Once again, as BA has pointed out, the new communism’s breakthroughs in regard to the truth are not just a matter of recognizing that going for the truth is essential in general—though this understanding is encompassed, too—but that going for the truth is essential IN ORDER TO GET TO COMMUNISM.

*A second example of a specific key dimension of the new communism is its breakthrough in regard to internationalism—the understanding that “the whole world comes first.” This is not just a moral stand—although it is ALSO that—but represents a more fully scientific understanding of internationalism and its importance in the process of making and continuing revolution, and a rupture with and departure from unscientific understandings of internationalism in the past and present of the communist movement. This breakthrough developed with BA’s new communism includes the understanding that the world situation is principal—in other words, that it is the most important factor setting the terms—in regard to the process of making revolution in any particular country; that there can sometimes be a sharp contradiction between the needs of a particular socialist state and the need to advance the world revolution, and that advancing the world revolution must come first; and that in past revolutions there were sometimes important errors made by failing to recognize this and putting the needs of particular socialist countries above the world revolution. Here again, this is not just a matter of an abstract idea of internationalism, but principles based on the work BA has done to deeply engage and synthesize the correct understanding of and approach to the actual contradictions involved in consistently applying internationalism, with all the complexity and difficulty involved in this. (In this regard, the discussion of internationalism in BA’s book THE NEW COMMUNISM is very important.)

*A third example of specific dimensions in which the new communism has broken new ground is in terms of the method of “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core,” which is a scientific understanding which in fact ruptures with the past understanding and approach of the communist movement in important ways, including in the application of this method to the process of making revolution and leading the future socialist society.

In terms of epistemology (theory of knowledge) and method, “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” intertwines with some of the key points made earlier in regard to truth and comprehends that while the communist method and approach is the most systematic, comprehensive and effective means of getting to the truth, this does not mean that communists have a monopoly on the truth and are always correct or that those NOT applying the communist method and approach are always incorrect; rather, those coming from other outlooks, methods and approaches can discover important truths and shed important light on elements of reality. Therefore, the METHOD of solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core involves applying the communist outlook, method and approach to reality with a specific goal, making revolution and getting to communism, while also understanding the need—ON THE BASIS OF APPLYING THAT METHOD—to learn from, sift through and sort out what is brought forward through many diverse streams of human activity and by people coming from a broad range of perspectives, including those that are not communist and even opposed to communism in some cases.

Applying this understanding of solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core to the process of making revolution and then continuing that revolution in the future socialist society on the road to communism, BA’s new communism recognizes—on a level far beyond and in some cases in opposition to the way this was understood prior to the new communism—the complexity and diversity of human activity and thought that must be involved in the process of making revolution and leading a socialist society to communism. This includes recognizing in a whole new way and on a whole other level the importance of dissent, debate, experimentation, ferment and individuality—not individualism but individuality—in socialist society.

To contrast this with one example from the first wave of socialist societies: In socialist China—which, again, overall represented an enormous leap for humanity in so many different spheres and overall—Marxism was in essence viewed as an “official ideology” that people in socialist society should profess, while the new communism, and in particular the approach of “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core,” embodies the understanding that the leading element in socialist society needs to be communism, but this should not be enshrined and institutionalized as, in effect, an “official ideology” but put forward and struggled for as something people need to be won to and to consciously and voluntarily take up, while at the same time recognizing the importance of giving space to and engaging, and learning what can and should be learned from, the insights of others who have not, yet, been won to communism.

As positive as the overall experience of socialism in China was, BA’s new communism represents a very different vision of socialist society that involves a radical leap forward from even the best of the past.

So, these three examples—related to the approach towards truth, internationalism and solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core—are just that: three of many examples and points that could be offered to illustrate just how profoundly new BA’s new communism is, and the ways in which this new communism (to go back to the quote from the first of the six resolutions):

represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

The works that we have read, watched and listened to from BA have been an application and illustration of the new communism—and this has immersed us in this new communism, in an overall way, as captured by the quote from the first resolution as well as in various specific dimensions, including the three highlighted in this letter.

Accordingly, our study and discussion of this work should have deepened our understanding and application of the new communism and its scientific method. Many of our discussions, in fact, have involved studying BA’s scientific method and seeking to take up and apply this method ourselves, to the best of our ability, even while not being able to do this on anywhere near the same level that BA himself does. This focus on method has been extremely important and instructive, manifested, for instance, in the way that we have studied and sought to emulate the way that BA boldly confronts, plainly presents and systematically unpacks the key contradictions and questions of the revolution, involving and inviting others to join him on that journey.

So, once again to return to the question of what we HAVE in regard to the factors and conditions needed to make revolution, the biggest positive factor we have by far is BA, the scientific framework, breakthrough and understanding that he has forged with the new communism, and the ongoing leadership he is providing. This leadership, as highlighted in the second of those six resolutions, involves an extremely rare combination: the ability “to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to ‘break down’ complex theory and make it accessible to the masses of people.” Our viewing, listening, reading and related study/discussion has also driven home this rare combination point repeatedly and powerfully.

In terms of what we don’t yet have, and therefore urgently NEED to work on bringing into being in order to make an actual revolution: We don’t yet have masses of people, first in the thousands and then in the millions, who are won to this revolution and its leadership and developed as an organized force for this revolution; we don’t yet have a situation where the party that is needed to lead the revolution has grown and been expanded and strengthened to the point where it has the necessary ties and influence in society to actually lead a revolution; and we don’t yet have a revolutionary crisis in which the system is unable to rule in the traditional way.

So, the urgent task before us—not just us, but certainly ALSO us—is to take the critical things we DO have and go to work on bringing into being what we DON’T yet have.

This theme—of what we do have, what we don’t have, and what we therefore need to get busy doing—has been another theme both directly spoken to and objectively posed by the works of BA that we have dug into and by our discussions of these works.

Bringing into being the conditions that we don’t yet have is urgently necessary, absolutely possible and in line with reality and how it can be changed, and there is a strategy for going to work on this, as we have discussed recently. But this will not be easy—it will take lots of STRUGGLE, repeatedly and fundamentally on a societal level.

This understanding, too, is another theme that jumps out in reflecting on our study and discussion.

We should understand that we are not operating on an “empty playing field.” There can be a tendency, especially when people are young and still relatively inexperienced politically, to think that everyone with a decent heart will immediately rally to the correct understanding of reality as soon as they are exposed to this understanding. And without question, there is a tremendous basis to win MILLIONS of people to this revolution and its leadership because it DOES, in fact, correspond to reality and to what humanity needs, and no other program and line does.

However, the understanding of BA and the new communism is, to put it simply, contending with all kinds of wrong ways of thinking, on all kinds of questions, that are spontaneously called forth and actively and repeatedly promoted by this system, and it is contending with all kinds of wrong LINES—i.e., wrong outlooks and methods applied to reality—that keep people trapped within this system. This includes, but is not limited to, people in society who call themselves “socialists” or “communists” but are actually about nothing that has anything to do with actual socialism and communism and really just want to reform capitalism and perhaps slightly redistribute the wealth generated by the capitalist system of exploitation. These reformists have nothing to do with an actual revolution and bringing into being a radically different world—and in some cases they will even admit as much. In any case, these fake socialists and communists are often some of those who most viciously attack BA and the GENUINE communism represented by BA, the new communism, precisely because BA and the new communism ACTUALLY represent what they may PRETEND to be about but in reality fundamentally oppose: real revolution and communism.

Few things are as threatening to a poseur as someone who actually IS what they PRETEND to be.

Returning to society more broadly: sharp ideological struggle must be waged—not just on an individual level or in small numbers, but among MASSES OF PEOPLE, and on a SOCIETAL SCALE—to rupture people out of all the wrong ways of thinking and wrong lines that they are caught up in and into the framework of BA’s new communism.

Once again, there is every basis and every urgency to do this, exactly because BA and the new communism correspond to reality and how it can and must be changed, while these other lines and ways of thinking do NOT. But this will take determined, sharp struggle—of the sort emphasized and modeled by BA in the works that we have studied together.

This brings me to the point with which I want to briefly conclude, which is the second of the two themes I have emphasized.

The Importance of Revolutionary Theory

Another tendency that people can have when they are young and relatively inexperienced is the tendency to view “doing stuff” as the most important political task at hand. “Doing stuff” can be defined in a number of different ways, including things such as attending programs, events or protests or doing “on the ground” political outreach and work.

Well, first of all, the question of “doing WHAT stuff” is immediately posed. In other words, what KIND of political work and outreach are people doing, and what KIND of programs and protests—around what line—are people seeking to be involved in? This is obviously a key question.

It’s not the case, as people often think and sometimes say, that “it’s all good”—in other words, “liberal”/“progressive”/“socialist”/“communist”—“sure, sure we all basically want the same things and are on the same page.”

NO. While there are certainly some important areas in which genuine communists can find unity with broad ranks of progressives, there are different lines out there and these different lines are in contention and lead to fundamentally different understandings of the problem and solution in the world.

So, that’s the first question: doing “WHAT” stuff and with WHAT goal?

That said, “doing stuff” in the right sense—i.e., doing “practical work” on the ground and in the broader society to promote this revolution and its leadership, to organize people into the revolution, working to hasten and prepare for an actual revolution, to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution, including through different forms of political outreach, programs and discussions, demonstrations and protests, etc.—is extremely critical and important, and in fact urgently necessary.

But it is important to understand that in a movement for revolution—like any good team—everyone has different roles, and it is important for people to understand and embrace their roles in order to make the greatest possible contribution to the team and, in this case, to humanity.

However, even beyond this question of each person’s individual roles, there is the question of the decisiveness of revolutionary theory.

Once again, “doing stuff” in the right sense—i.e., practical revolutionary work—is critically important. If millions of people had the right theoretical understanding but didn’t act on that understanding in practice, nothing would change.

However—and this goes up against the ways people are trained to think in this society, and against the spontaneity of how people often see things when they are young (or new to things), but is nonetheless true and important—what is even more fundamental than “doing stuff” is the question of what people, individually and in their masses, UNDERSTAND. Whether and how people act—and the effect this has in the world—ultimately comes down to what people UNDERSTAND.

From that standpoint, it is crucial that people find the ways to do what we have been doing: immersing ourselves in, taking up and applying the most advanced revolutionary theory in the world, BA’s new communism, as part of the overall process of making revolution.

One final point: It is important not to look narrowly at what it means to TAKE UP and APPLY the new communism. This doesn’t just mean direct political work and outreach, which, once again, is very important. Taking up and applying this work means—in a BROADER sense—applying the understanding represented by BA and the new communism to understanding and changing reality. Very importantly, this includes sharing observations/ideas/questions and thoughts—about what you are learning and the material you are studying; about developments, changes and trends in society (and the world overall); about ways and openings to promote this revolution and its leadership; about how people (those you know and people more broadly) are viewing and discussing different things going on in society/the world, what this reveals about openings for revolution and jolts in society but also the need to transform people’s thinking; about major events and developments in music and the arts... just to give a few examples.

These are all VERY IMPORTANT contributions to the revolutionary process, and it would be wrong to think otherwise.

So, let me end this where I began: This process we have embarked on has been—and will continue to be—deeply meaningful, really exciting, and a lot of fun. And this is a crucial part of actually participating in and contributing to the process of building for the revolution that is so urgently needed.

THE NEW COMMUNISM

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

Download PDF of book here

Read more

Breakthroughs —

The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism
A Basic Summary

Updated prepublication copy, April 10, 2019
Read or download (searchable PDF)

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/the-empty-gaze-of-mike-pence-en.html

Originally posted at Counterpunch.org:

The Empty Gaze of Mike Pence

by Coco Das - Sarah Roark

| revcom.us

 

When people are not seen as human beings, but as a “storage” problem, the final solution becomes the “logical” solution. Are we going to let that happen?

In the 2001 movie, The Conspiracy, Nazi officials gather at a stately home to discuss what to do about the Jewish population, which for the most part has been removed from German society and are filling up concentration camps, work camps, and ghettos. They are becoming, as one of the characters terrifyingly puts it, a “storage” problem. The movie is based on the 1942 Wannsee Conference, where the “final solution” of mass genocide was discussed and decided upon.

Building the Wall, a play by Robert Schenkkan written around the 2016 election, takes place in the near future after Donald Trump is fictionally ousted from the presidency and imprisoned. It explores the intellectual and moral acrobatics of a private prison guard, himself narrating from the point of his own imprisonment, who found himself in charge of a large sports complex where thousands of immigrants were being held. There was an outbreak of cholera, which became a catalyst for his version of a “final solution.”

In both of these scripts, the logic of fascism takes over. The viewer is both sickened and seduced. At the end of two hours spent inside the heads of people who see whole groups of human beings as vermin, criminals, invaders, enemies, and mere bodies taking up space, you see that for them, there is no solution but genocide.

Which brings us to July 12th, 2019, when Mike Pence visited one of the regime’s concentration camps at the border. So much has happened since then that you might not remember what you saw. It’s become old news, quickly disappearing under the layers of ongoing atrocities in year three of the Trump era.

But it should persist in your memory because it’s so singularly telling and chilling. We see an enormous crowd of men crammed behind chain-link fencing, begging for help. They’re telling us that they’re not even being allowed to clean themselves, but we don’t actually need them saying it — the masks the camp guards are wearing for the stench are right there for us to see, and the reporters on scene are experiencing it firsthand.

The Vice President stands with arms crossed, flanked by silent GOP luminaries all dressed in navy blazers and khakis to match his own. A uniformed man gestures around with a tour guide’s nonchalant air, explaining about the placement of different watchtowers monitoring for anyone “who gets rowdy.” But the most memorable thing in the video is what’s in Mike Pence’s eyes, or rather what’s not in them. His blank gaze travels over this mass of suffering men pleading to him without registering the faintest response. They might as well be livestock, or even empty air. There’s no sign that he even perceives human beings to be there. Because to him, they aren’t.

Upon coming out, he declares that the conditions in the camps are “providing care every American would be proud of.” Which clinches it: he didn’t see what we just saw. He didn’t see anything at all.

Afterward, amid deafening silence from conservatives, we hear a lot of mealy-mouthed pieties from well-meaning commentators on the left about how Trump has committed a strategic mistake letting Pence visit these camps. These videos are such a bad look. History won’t be kind. Goodness, his administration is so dumb they don’t even realize this — otherwise, why would they ever officially release the video?

They have it exactly backwards. The Trump/Pence regime definitely wants everyone to see this video. Because for their purposes, it’s excellent publicity. It causes terror in the regime’s targets. It induces a sense of despair in the opposition that they have reason to hope will make us numb and inert. For their base, it’s gratifying cruelty porn, exactly what they voted Trump in for.

And no matter what the viewer’s attitude, it indelibly creates a certain image of Central American people (and more broadly, all brown and black people): this is their proper habitat, literally penned up as a single mass, a herd of animals, filthy, untouchable. Things no respectable person will want to be near. Things that must be kept away from the uncontaminated.

They know that image has power in the subconscious, even when it’s rejected by the conscious mind. Don’t think it can’t affect your own thinking — regardless of your color or your politics — especially as such propaganda increases in volume and intensity. These are known techniques for getting a population to accept unconscionable depravities. Tested and time-honored. They are used because they work.

This is not a movie, or a play. We can’t get up at the end and know that either all of that is history or some hypothetical warning. Right now, a fascist regime is creating what they see as a “storage” problem, for which there will only be one solution if we don’t stop them. Don’t say that can’t happen here. Why did the Nazis study Jim Crow laws?

And don’t say that there’s no way to stop it but to wait until 2020, or that it’s too late to stop it now. Neither of those statements is true. Just since 2016, in many parts of the world, we’ve seen how to remove tyrannical regimes. It’s been done in South Korea, Armenia, Algeria, Sudan, and as we speak in Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, and Honduras. This is the plan and strategy of Refuse Fascism – sustained, unrelenting, non-violent mass protest by millions of people that does not quit until hated regime is gone.

The longer we wait to stand for our values and use our power, the more, as a society, we allow the logic of genocide to take hold. We must not go down that road. Very soon, the moment to launch the kind of sustained protests that can actually knock a fascist regime off the tracks has to be seized. Refuse Fascism is preparing for that moment. Join us. The future is calling.

 

This article was originally posted at Counterpunch.org on July 26.

Coco Das and Sarah Roark are members of the editorial collective of RefuseFascism.org. Follow them on Twitter. @coco_das @afterdaylight

 

Vice President Pence inspects the inhumane conditions at the McAllen, Texas detention camp, July 2019. (Screen capture NBC news)

 

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to RefuseFascism.org to learn more and find out how to participate.

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/puerto-rican-timeline-15-days-that-drove-a-hated-leader-from-power-en.html

A Puerto Rican Timeline:

15 Days That Drove a Hated Leader from Power

| revcom.us

 

I remember watching in awe when a series of mass demonstrations, spurred by the rising cost of living and other economic woes, ousted President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan this year. I could not imagine that happening in Puerto Rico. I had grown up thinking that Puerto Ricans simply accepted their lot in life. Sure, university students or union groups broke out into protest from time to time, but eventually those protests would fade out.

—Laura Oliviera Robles, a young Puerto Rican freelance journalist, New York Times, July 25, 2019

Over a bit more than two weeks, starting with a protest of dozens of activists, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in daily (and nightly) protests, often defying savage police repression, and giving birth to a movement that is determined to transform the intolerable conditions endured by the roughly 3.5 million Puerto Rican people, and forcing the resignation of the hated governor.

How did this happen?

It’s not possible to understand this without starting from the most basic reality of Puerto Rico—that for 120 years it has been a colony of the United States, that its whole economy has been dominated and distorted to serve the accumulation of wealth by the U.S., and that its government—including its notoriously brutal, corrupt, and repressive police force—was set up by the U.S. and exists to serve its control of the Puerto Rican people, while a thin strata of “elite” Puerto Ricans operate this machinery and collect their “slice” of the profit.

This reality has made a decent life in Puerto Rico nearly impossible, forcing millions to leave their homeland seeking opportunities in the U.S. It has led to a devastating economic crisis that is crippling the hopes and dreams of millions. And this was all capped off when the U.S. government virtually abandoned Puerto Rico in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria, leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths and intolerable suffering for millions. All this in turn has greatly aggravated other miseries, including violence among the people, and especially domestic violence against women.

Yet and still, it seemed that, as the journalist quoted above put it, there was little sustained protest and it appeared that “Puerto Ricans simply accepted their lot in life.”

And then...

On Tuesday, July 9, Sandra Rodríguez Cotto, a local blogger, leaked a small number of chats among Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his inner circle in which they made anti-gay, misogynistic, and other offensive comments about Puerto Ricans. This was followed on July 10 by the arrest of Rosselló’s secretary of education and other high officials on corruption charges.

The convergence of these two things began to tear away the facade of government legitimacy, so much so that Rosselló, in the middle of a European cruise, left his family behind and flew home to issue apologies and to hold morning-to-night meetings with high-level officials of his New Progressive Party (NPP). (The NPP, which advocates statehood for Puerto Rico, controls all three branches of the government there.)

Even at that early stage, some NPP leaders thought the situation was untenable, and that the chats “might drag down the whole party on the island.”

On Thursday, July 11, activists—100 at most—held the first protest at La Fortaleza (the governor’s mansion) calling for Rosselló to resign.

On Saturday, July 13, all 889 pages of the secret chats were released by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, a torrent of anti-woman, anti-gay “jokes,” as well as discussion of unleashing the police and other violence against their political foes, and jokes about people killed in the hurricane. As Professor Marisol LeBrón of the University of Texas wrote, “What the chat makes clear is that the current political arrangement cannot provide [a decent] future for Puerto Ricans. That’s why people are taking to the streets—not only to demand Rosselló’s resignation, but also to clearly express that the current political situation is unacceptable.”

Large-scale protests began to converge daily—and nightly—on La Fortaleza, some numbering in the tens of thousands.

The same day, Rosselló’s secretary of state resigned, proclaiming it his “moral obligation.”

On Sunday, July 14, Rosselló went to an evangelical church to seek “public contrition,” and to shore up the support of Christian conservatives, an important part of NPP’s base.

Mass demonstrations against Rosselló continued to grow.

On Monday, July 15, protests again laid siege to the governor’s mansion. Though things were peaceful for many hours, after dark the police suddenly declared the huge crowd illegal and ordered it to disperse, then quickly attacked with tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets. Apparently they hoped that the peaceful movement could be broken like this; one cop even boasted (in an ugly play on the protesters’ slogan that “we are more and we are unafraid,” that “Y la calle limpiesita y eso que eran más y no tenían miedo, se les olvidó que nosotros somos menos pero tenemos mucho gas” (“And the street is clear and those that were more and had no fear, they forgot that we’re fewer but we have a lot of gas.”—emphasis added)

But instead of breaking the resistance, these attacks further delegitimized the state and led to a mushrooming of protest, which involved a combination of well-organized major protests, (often called by political forces supporting independence for Puerto Rico) with a phenomenon of “autoconvocados”—self-organized protests by individuals, small groups, etc. that could involve mass readings of the constitution, singing, yoga, or many other expressions. These autoconvocados drew in more people and gave much greater breadth, and more of a sense that “El Pueblo” was on one side and the illegitimate government on the other.

On Wednesday, July 17, tens of thousands joined a march led by popular Puerto Rican celebrities like Bad Bunny, Residente, and Ricky Martin. And again on Thursday and Friday demonstrators surrounded the governor’s mansion.

On Saturday night, July 20, the people at the mansion were again attacked by the police; street battles went deep into the night with some journalists reporting that Old San Juan looked like “a war zone.”

Support in the ruling class was collapsing. A July 20 article in the Miami Herald reveals why:

If the effort doesn’t lead to [Rosselló’s] ouster, some say, it may serve as confirmation of an increasingly widespread fear that ordinary Puerto Ricans have little to no control over their political and economic future....

The Herald quoted a Puerto Rican-born sociologist:

All the allegations—and especially the chat—revealed the suspicions of many of us that we hail from a country of two realities... One is a powerful political class that controls every sphere of power, that does anything they want without any fear of the repercussions. The other one is of a social class that feels stuck and hopeless, that is now invigorated by the fact that they have nothing to lose, politically and socially, except for dignity and respect. This situation has touched a collective nerve that I don’t think will be emancipated until [Rosselló] resigns.

Yet in spite of his loss of legitimacy among the people and lack of ruling class support, on Sunday, July 21, Rosselló announced he would not resign (though he did promise not to run again).

This further infuriated the masses, but also posed a challenge. A young woman who had returned from the mainland to join the protests said:

Eventually we are going to get tired, and that exhaustion will consume us, and that’s when we will have to decide if we stop or we go there [to Fortaleza] even if we have to inflate a mattress and sleep in San Juan. But we are going to have to do it, because we are now the ones who will decide what is going to happen here.

This is the spirit that prevailed, and on Monday, July 22, hundreds of thousands—and a very broad spectrum of Puerto Ricans—turned out in pouring rain, seizing a major highway, and again, often facing off against hostile police, adamant that Rosselló must go. The same young woman explained it this way:

I realized this island is a treasure, and we all know it. So we’ve risen, we’ve awakened and we’re here because we’re not going to abandon our island. We’re not going to leave it and we’re going to defend it like it’s the most precious thing we have.

Finally it was clear there was no way forward for Rosselló. Though he stalled another couple of days, on Wednesday, July 24—close to midnight—he announced he would resign as of August 2.

The streets of San Juan erupted in jubilation!

Rosselló’s resignation is a great victory—the leaking of the chats as well as the arrests of corrupt officials opened a window on the oppressive nature of the regime, and by taking determined action—starting with only a few people—activists and broad masses were able to deliver a stunning repudiation of the way they have been treated and mistreated by the whole political setup in Puerto Rico.

The path forward out of the misery and oppression still needs to be carved, and a vanguard revolutionary party formed. But this struggle has enabled people in Puerto Rico—and all over—to dream of new possibilities, for the present and the future.

¡Adelante!

 


Demonstrators face off against police during protest against Governor Ricardo Rosselló, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 19. Photo: AP

Finally, it was clear there was no way forward for Rosselló. He stalled another couple of days, announcing on July 24 that he would resign as of August 2. Photo: AP

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/605/identity-politics-hustlers-sanitize-the-life-of-george-washington-en.html

Identity Politics Hustlers Sanitize "Life of George Washington"

| revcom.us

 

We received this article from a member of the Revolution Club.

“Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.”

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 4:1

In 1936, Victor Arnautoff, a renowned Russian immigrant artist who worked with the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, was commissioned to paint a mural at George Washington High School in San Francisco on the “Life of Washington.” At a time when Washington was almost universally celebrated as a great “founding father” who never told a lie and very few even knew that he owned slaves, Arnautoff painted some reality into his 13-panel fresco. One panel about Washington’s plantation, called “Mount Vernon,” shows slaves in the fields and loading bales of cotton onto a ship. Another panel entitled “Westward Vision” depicts Washington and other “founding fathers” peering over a map and pointing to the West, where a group of frontiersmen (painted in gray, like ghosts) stand over the body of a dead Native American warrior. At the bottom right, a white man and a Native American chief sit by a campfire smoking a peace pipe. Above the chief’s headdress is a broken tree limb representing the many broken treaties made by the U.S. government with Native peoples.


A section of the mural "Life of George Washington"

 
Last month, the San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously to destroy the mural, arguing that it “glorifies slavery, genocide, colonization, manifest destiny, and white supremacy,” and that students of color are “triggered” and “traumatized” by the images of enslavement and slaughter of Native Americans.

What the fuck?! These people have no problem sending kids to a school named after George Washington but they don’t want them to know the monster that he was, and the monstrous country that he founded. They have no problem with the big bronze statue of him at the school. They have no problem with the panel featuring Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton discussing a draft of the U.S. Constitution—a constitution that institutionalized slavery, a constitution that still enables the rulers of this capitalist-imperialist system to commit horror upon horror against Black people, Native people, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people, to wage war and exploit people all over the world in modern day slavery, while doing it all in the name of “We the people.”

If anything, Arnautoff is way too soft on Washington. One of the “Life of Washington” panels features Lady Liberty placing 13 white stars on a blue sky. Outside the school, Arnautoff created a bas-relief of Washington’s face and titled it “Statesmanship.” This is consistent with the non-revolutionary line of the Communist Party, USA, which Arnautoff became a member of, and which in the 1930s was embracing American democracy and its “Founding Fathers” in the name of building a United Front Against Fascism. In fact, the mural could’ve been much more graphic in depicting Washington’s crimes. The Sullivan Expedition, for example, in which Washington sent over 6,000 troops to upstate New York to wipe out over 50 Iroquois villages, ordering the “total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible”—villages in flames, scorched earth, refugees freezing during the Iroquois’ “Winter of Hunger.”1 Where’s the demand from the SF School Board to change the name of the school to Conotocarious—the “devourer of villages”—as Washington was known to the Iroquois?!

Despite its weaknesses, the “Life of Washington” clearly contains a subversive and anti-racist critique. And yet these opportunists dishonestly and moronically portray Arnautoff’s mural as some kind of Confederate monument celebrating oppression—not because it’s insufficiently critical of Washington, but precisely because of its truthful exposure of Washington’s role in the enslavement of Africans and extermination of the Native peoples! Let’s look at the identity politics hustle they use to rationalize this.

Students of color might be “triggered” by the images of a dead Indian and Black people picking cotton. So by that logic, should we stop teaching about slavery and genocide, too? Should we whitewash the textbooks (even more than they already are) so that no one finds out that anything traumatic happened in U.S. history? Keloid scars from slave whips, Lakota bodies in a ditch at Wounded Knee, skin peeling off survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Vietnamese girl running down the road burning from napalm, Iraqis being tortured and sexually humiliated by smiling U.S. soldiers, Eric Garner yelling “I can’t breathe,” father and daughter face down in the Rio Grande, and on and on. This is painful and infuriating to look at for anyone who cares about other human beings. But this is the history and present day reality of this country! A country that is rotten to the core—from the “Founders” and their founding documents, to Barack Obama the deporter-in-chief who bombed seven countries, to the grotesque MAGA fascist who spewed forth from the bowels of Amerikkkan capitalism—because all this oppression is built in to the system on which it’s based. A system that can’t be reformed and must be overthrown. That is a truth that must be confronted, and then acted on, if we are going to get beyond all this unnecessary trauma!

One advocate for painting over the murals wrote in The Nation, “people of color have a bright future, not just a tragic past.” Really? What planet are you living on? The one where 500 million “people of color” in South Asia will become climate refugees in the coming decades, where thirsty “people of color” in concentration camps are told to drink out of toilet bowls and congresswomen are told to go back to their country? Another commenter who wants the murals removed said, “school is meant to be a safe space where students can develop their minds instead of being hindered by the past.” First of all, cut the paternalistic “safe space” bullshit! Let students see the world as it actually is, and decide for themselves what they think about it... god forbid they might get outraged and want to change the world! These people who are so eager to unburden themselves of the past, by ignoring it, sound just like the people Bob Avakian describes in this passage from Breakthroughs:

It is very interesting: when these dark ages reactionaries started directing their attacks in the realm of education recently in Arizona, for example, one of the things they did was to move to get rid of Chicano studies. And I heard one of the people in the state education institution responsible for this decision declaring: We can’t have education that tells people that they’re part of a group in society that’s oppressed; we have to have education that tells people that they’re all just individuals.

Now, life would be much simpler if you could actually eliminate social oppression by refusing to talk about it. But, in the real world, these categories of people—these social relations, to put it a better way—exist objectively. They are part of the historically evolved relations in this society. You can’t just wish them away, and you can’t eliminate them by refusing to allow anyone to talk about them. (Of course, the purpose, and certainly the effect, in refusing to allow people to talk about these things is not actually to eliminate them but, on the contrary, to perpetuate and reinforce them.)2

Lastly, there is the argument that since Arnautoff is a white man, he had no right to depict the experiences of people of color. By this logic, Arnautoff’s mural would’ve been fine if he had “stayed in his lane” and just painted the scene at Mount Vernon without the slaves. Let’s just call this for what it is—the outlook of people who want to own oppression, not end it. And if you follow this to its conclusion, it’s the end of art. Just think about it. Thank god these franchise managers of oppression weren’t around to tell Billie Holiday and Nina Simone not to sing “Strange Fruit,” the haunting song about lynching, because it was written by a white man named Abel Meeropol.

And how should art be judged? Anti-mural people say that the criteria should not be the objective social content and overall social effect of the art, but rather the “lived experience” of students—and more specifically, since of course students at GW High School have many diverse views of the mural, that if even one Native American student feels “triggered,” the mural should go. Imagine a society run according to this standard! It’s not hard. We live in a society now where police can get away with anything if they “fear” for their safety. These identity politics hustlers aren’t interested in doing anything about that. They just want to create a little “safe space” bubble, where they can wield their identity as capital to impose their narrative and silence uncomfortable truths.

All the social justice rhetoric can’t hide the fact that their condescending call to shield students and slather them with “positive” images is just another version of the played out “American dream” lie that anyone can make it if they try. The San Francisco Board of Education should take a fresh look at their city! Where segregation is growing in the school system... where Black people make up 5 percent of the population and about 53 percent of the jail population... where Mario Woods, Kenneth Harding, Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, and so many more had their lives stolen by killer cops... where la migra terrorizes the community and Nancy Pelosi speaks of “keeping families together” while she gives Trump $4.6 billion for ICE and Border Patrol, so that more indigenous migrants from Guatemala like Claudia Gómez González and Jakelin Caal Maquin can die just like the Indian in the mural... a city flooded with tech money that could not exist without Third World sweatshops and coltan mines in the Congo where kids are worked like the slaves in Mount Vernon... where thousands of homeless are mocked and treated like human garbage.

To the youth in San Francisco and everywhere else: The world doesn’t have to be this way! All this wealth, technology, and interconnectedness could enable us to work together for the common good, to meet everyone’s material and intellectual needs, and solve the real problems humanity faces. But it’s going to take nothing less than a revolution to sweep this shithole world aside and bring the new one into being. We have a strategy for revolution and leadership in Bob Avakian, who has developed a new communism that is about emancipating all of humanity, not turning things upside down so that “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” And there is an important role for you in this revolution! Learn from the courage of Mamie Till. To change the world you must dare to understand it as it actually is. As Bob Avakian wrote:

3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better:

1) People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this.

2) People have to dig seriously and scientifically into how this system of capitalism-imperialism actually works, and what this actually causes in the world.

3) People have to look deeply into the solution to all this.

 

1. See “American Crime #90: The Sullivan Expedition, 1779—Genocide of Native Peoples and Scorched Earth in Upstate New York.” [back]

2. BREAKTHROUGHS: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, by Bob Avakian, is available online at revcom.us. [back]

IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

Have you ever noticed that the one privilege these “identity politics” hustlers don’t talk about is American privilege?—the privilege that comes from living in the USA, a country that plunders the world and whose wealth and power rests on brutal exploitation and oppression throughout the world, backed up by the massive violence of the American military. These hustlers want all they can get of that privilege. In opposition to that, what the masses of humanity need is to do away with and move beyond this whole vampire system, putting an end to all exploitation and oppression.

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Updated prepublication copy,
April 10, 2019
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/responses-to-revcom-polemic-on-identity-politics-hustlers-en.html

Responses to Revcom’s Polemic:
“Identity Politics Hustlers Sanitize the ‘Life of Washington’ ”

| revcom.us

 

From a Revolution Books, Berkeley, staff member:

In June, the San Francisco School Board infamously decided to destroy an 83-year-old mural series, installed at a high school, that was ahead of its time in blasting the myth that George Washington was a “truth-telling hero” who should be revered. Instead, Victor Arnautoff’s mural depicted Washington as an owner and vicious exploiter of other human beings—slaves—who expanded the U.S. through unleashing genocide against Native Americans.

The SF School Board’s decision received national media attention, and hundreds of people have signed petitions against white washing the murals.

Revcom.us dove into this nationwide controversy with an unsparing revolutionary polemic, “Identity Politics Hustlers sanitize the ‘Life of Washington,’” that cut through the School Board’s bullshit, revealed the reactionary, narrow, and dishonest outlook behind their decision, and showed how the people’s interests lie in revealing the actual truth about this country’s ugly history, not censoring it.

This polemic illuminated very important issues, so Revolution Books Berkeley and the Revolution Club, Bay Area, decided to seize the moment and send it out to artists and scholars who had weighed in on the controversy, including people who had signed one of the petitions. Many wrote back, and here are some of those responses.

We’re planning a public panel discussion on all this at Revolution Books Berkeley on August 22.

***

Dear __,

Thanks for contacting me. I’m wondering how you heard about me. I am working on a statement/blog post about all this, and I did send it to a couple people. I will be sending letters to various politicians too. I read your piece with great interest. It includes valuable details. As an AP art history teacher, I think it’s great that you have made such observations. A few ideas...

First, someone has suggested using the term “martyred Indian” or “martyred Native American” as a better descriptive term. A lot of reporting has misrepresented this part of the work, saying Washington (or settlers) are standing over the “dead Indian” rather than (indifferently and greyed out) walking past (and behind), also, Washington is to the left. I agree with your statement that Arnautoff is too soft, if anything.

I think he was a very nuanced artist who had to work within the constraints of his time, and it’s interesting that he did NOT make certain elements gory or sensationalized (no blood is on the martyred Indian), but worked in metaphor and allusion.

I also think it’s great that you bring up this point (there is the argument that since Arnautoff is a white man, he had no right to depict the experiences of people of color) because one of the “critiques” is that he didn’t “consult” with Native Americans and African Americans when he made this work. That shows a total ignorance about how art is made, and the freedom, independence and agency of an artist. An artist cannot go around asking everyone for their opinion and can never please everyone... no art would be made in this way.

I’ve been to your bookstore many times, though it has been years now.

Take Care,

An artist and teacher

***

Dear __,

Thank you for sending me a copy of your article critiquing the SF School Board’s bizarre proposal to destroy the Arnautoff murals at George Washington High School.

While my own view of America’s past and present is not as bleak as yours, the force and cogency of your arguments merit the hearing and opportunities for future discussion that publication provides. In the meantime, I’ll pass on your article to other interested colleagues.

Like a good book, the Arnautoff murals have provided generations of high school students an extraordinary opportunity to think about America’s complex past—about “costs and benefits.” It would certainly be tragic to lose such a resource.

Best wishes,

An Emeritus History Professor

***

Dear __,

I agree with your assessment. I’m on record with my strong disagreement with this censorship. Good luck.

Professor, African American Studies and Communications

***

Hi __,

I really enjoyed your article. Thank you for writing with such detail. Many of the articles about the mural controversy are woefully spare of all the elements in this story so it is refreshing to read something more in depth. I don’t think of George Washington as a monster myself but point well taken. Thanks for sending the article.

Musician and activist

***

Dear __:

Thank you for taking the time to write this! I have indeed shared it with my interested colleagues. Warm regards,

Associate Professor of Law

***

Hello __,

Someone notified us early this morning about your piece. You bring up many salient points. Thank you for advocating on our behalf.

Member of George Washington High School Alumni Association

***

Dear __,

Thank you very much for sending me your article on the Arnautoff mural. It is kind of you to ask my opinion and invite me to circulate it further.

It is an honest, well-written piece, with good arguments in support of your thesis. I am afraid it is your thesis that I object to, that I find more radical than I can support.

I am sure you and I approach this controversial issue from different histories. I am a retired white, middle class artist/academic, born at the tag end of the “silent generation.” I cannot be sure which of these characteristics, if any, influence my disagreement with your conclusion, but I state them so you can make any inferences you choose.

I am sure it is an over-simplification, but I see two main thrusts to our thesis. The first is that the Arnautoff mural must be preserved because it tells the truth about a major figure in our nation’s history.

With this I agree—totally, absolutely. We are on the same side as far as this goes.

But your second point, that Washington was a “monster,” is so far off the mark I can only conclude your vision has been warped by something akin to the seething anger that appears to be animating the SF Board of Education (although with a very different slant).

You view Arnautoff’s effort to expose Washington as weak and incomplete. I see his work as not only refreshing and revolutionary, but honestly balanced. Washington was a human being, neither a saint nor a monster.

I appreciate that some find it difficult to accept that men who do good may also do evil. We are complex creatures. We often submit to the temptations of our time and class, even when we have mixed feelings about our failings (as I am sure you know Washington did), and we can sometimes also manage to pursue goodness, even greatness, in other parts of our lives. This is the wonderful lesson that Victor Arnautoff understood and passed along to the faculty and students of Washington High School. It is the lesson I took as a student of the school.

The Constitution that you see as supporting slavery (at the time) is the same document I see as supporting the Bill of Rights and eventually the 13th Amendment. Washington (and others, slave owners and non-slave owners) created the master plan which they knew was essential for an ever-improving union.

I am sorry I cannot agree with your message. I welcome your support of the mural, regardless of our disagreement. Maybe I will take some time to set down more of my own thoughts on the matter. If I do, I thank you for the inspiration.

With respect,

Professor emeritus, of a performing arts dept.

***

I have been following in the Chronicle and NY Times the story of the Mural.
I agree with all the protest to keep it. i am not a communist, i am an artist.

Conceptual artist

See also:

Identity Politics Hustlers Sanitize "Life of George Washington"

Read more


A section of the mural "Life of George Washington"

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-39-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

 

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

 

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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

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

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Major Controversy Erupts Over LAPD Spying on Refuse Fascism

| revcom.us

 

A major controversy has erupted in Los Angeles about the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spying on and criminalizing political protest against the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

This has now broken into the editorial section of the LA Times with the lead editorial on the LAPD infiltrating Refuse Fascism, spying on and recording constitutionally protected political organizing and speech. There is a long and sordid history of LAPD political spying and “information gathering” aimed at progressive and radical movements, against police critics inside of city government, and even on the political establishment. In 1975 the LAPD was ordered to destroy files on 55,000 people. Instead they just hid them, and even leaked them to fascist organizers, which was uncovered through a series of lawsuits through the ’80s. This is what the LA Times editorial calls the “LAPD's surveillance hall of shame.” Through court cases and a lot of struggle, there have been consent decrees, reorganization and federal court rulings aimed at “reforming” the police. The LA Times editorial writes, “it is not clear why the department has to keep relearning the same lesson: Snooping on the public in order to gather intelligence is off-limits unless authorities have a reasonable belief that there is a crime afoot. Without a credible tip or other evidence, monitoring a conversation or a meeting amounts to a fishing expedition at best. When directed at people of a particular political leaning, race or creed, it’s unlawful harassment.”

This illegal spying only came to light because of the determined and heroic resistance of the members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club who were arrested and dragged into court, facing illegitimate criminal charges that could land them in jail for up to three years. They were arrested in protests aimed at sounding the alarm and calling people into the streets to stop this fascist nightmare. For more on these cases, and the upcoming trials in August and September, go here.

Word of this needs to spread further—exposing what the LAPD has done and demanding the charges in three trials, currently set for August and September, be dropped. Things people can and should do:

» Call City Attorney Mike Feuer to demand: Drop the charges against the #Freeway9 and #UCLA5. 213.978.8100.

» Sign petition demanding charges be dropped.

» Read/share statements of support from Cornel West, Yusef Salaam, Bill Ayers, Edward Asner

LAPD Chief Pig Goes on the Attack with Slander and Lies

Last Tuesday, July 23, at the LA Police Commission, when questioned as to who from the Police Commission approved this spying, LAPD Chief Moore went on the attack, spreading slander and lies about Refuse Fascism. He claimed that “members that identified themselves as being within this group had traveled to other parts of the country, and that in other parts of the country, there had been criminal acts including vandalism, assault with a deadly weapon or arson...” This would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous. You went somewhere, while you were there some people may have done something illegal, therefore you should be investigated. This was not just an attempt to justify the LAPD’s unconstitutional spying, but a disinformation campaign—a deliberate spreading of false information to try to justify, and deflect from the fact that legal, protected speech and organizing is being targeted by the LAPD (and possibly higher), and to justify more of the same.

This is all the more dangerous against a backdrop of a rapidly consolidating fascist America where protest and dissent are being criminalized, where Trump is calling for locking up his political opponents, vilifying the press and mobilizing and whipping up a fascist social base at Ku Klux Klan style rallies... a time of concentration camps and the looming possibility of war turning to nuclear war.

It was these dangers—the existential threat represented by the Trump/Pence regime—that these protesters were warning of. In the fall of 2017, they recognized that, as Refuse Fascism said, “Only the determined struggle of millions of people acting together with courage and conviction can drive this regime from power.” Not elections, not investigations, not petitions, not lobbying, not posting your outrage on social media and staying home. This is more true now than ever. They broke with the normal routine of protest-as-usual—disrupting traffic on the 101 Freeway and disrupting the polite presentation at UCLA given by the fascist Steve Mnuchin—calling for millions in the streets.

The Democratic Party: Greasing the Skids for Fascism

As these trials reveal, it is this kind of protest that the Democratic Party machinery in the DA’s office (and perhaps higher) is working overtime to suppress and contain. It is likely that this spying was known and approved high up in offices currently held by the Democratic Party in the city of Los Angeles and in the state of California. Why is it that Mike Feuer’s office spent almost a year building these cases—compiling 57 charges against 11 people? Why is he now doubling down to retry these cases?

It’s because they represent the same capitalist system—and they are seeking to resolve the big differences they have with the whole fascist direction Trump and the Republicans are fighting to bolt into place—on the basis of their interests in preserving that system. The Democrats’ job is to make people think their party is at least responsive to their interests and to think that they have a stake in a capitalist democracy that claims to represent “the will of the people.” The Democrats have a shared interest in the plunder of the world and in an America First competition with their imperialist rivals. They have a shared interest in draconian measures of controlling immigration which they euphemistically call “border security,” when their own system, with its wars, invasions, coups and economic domination, has devastated the countries to the south and created the mass migration they consider an immigration crisis, to begin with. The leadership of the Democratic Party is opposing impeachment because it would “tear the country apart,” which means they find it preferable to live with the horrors this regime is bringing down on the heads of people here and all around the world. This is a party that is more afraid of the people getting out of bounds of the official channels they want people confined within and demobilized by than they are of the order of fascism.

Bob Avakian (BA), in making the case for Refuse Fascism, called on people to get out beyond the confines of this kind of politics, to confront that this is fascism, that it comes out of the origins and history of America and to break with the American chauvinism that makes people think “fascism can’t happen here.” To stop thinking like an American and to start thinking about humanity.

Refuse Fascism is right when it calls for massive non-violent mobilization “growing from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The whole world will take heart. This will shake millions awake, with many losing their adjustment to life under this regime. The international credibility of the regime will be undermined. A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.”

There is still time, but not much time, for people to mobilize in their millions to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! Just as the people in Puerto Rico have done and following examples in Hong Kong, Sudan, Armenia and more.

What Kind of a System IS This?!

Several defendants in these cases are part of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour: seeing the need to prevent the consolidation of fascism as part of making revolution to bring a whole better future into being. Alex Hernandez, one of the defendants in the Freeway 9 case who is a part of the National Revolution Tour, said, “What kind of system sends its armed forces of repression to spy on and criminalize people who are standing up for the interests of humanity while the regime is torturing immigrants at the border and threatening to murder 10 million Afghan people?! This system is illegitimate and needs to be overthrown at the soonest possible time.”

The National Revolution Tour is working to do that, putting before society the need for revolution, the possibility of revolution and the leadership for revolution in BA. There is a solution to this madness. The National Tour is setting out to organize thousands of people into the revolution over the course of a year. It is involving people in the strategy for revolution, spreading the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America written by BA and working with people to solve the problems of the revolution... including very immediately why people aren’t in the streets in their millions acting now to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Alex, in talking about why he got on the 101 Freeway in 2017 said, “When I found out about BA, and learned more deeply about the horrors happening to people all around the world, when I learned about the possibility for revolution, I said: I want to dedicate my life to that, to the emancipation of humanity. I decided I couldn't stand aside. When Trump came to power, threatening fire and fury against North Korea, threatening a fascist America, I decided I couldn’t stand aside. Now—with all that this regime has done in the last two and a half years and is threatening to do—that question is really before everyone.”

 

 

Los Angeles Times editorial July 28, 2019

 

"Order or Justice?"

A Clip from a 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

 

From Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:
Bob Avakian On Revolution And The Fight Against Fascism

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Download this clip

 

Members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were arrested in protests aimed at sounding the alarm and calling people into the streets to stop this fascist nightmare. For more on these cases, and the upcoming trials in August and September, go here.

 

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to RefuseFascism.org to learn more and find out how to participate.

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Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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