revcom.us, August 19, 2019 through August 25, 2019 (#609)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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1619-2019: Introducing A New Series:

The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to Emancipate Humanity

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

—Bob Avakian

Four centuries ago, in August 1619, the first slaves in the colonies that became the United States were brought to Jamestown, Virginia. They were approximately 20 men and women kidnapped captives, most likely from the kingdom of Ndongo in modern-day Angola. Bought by the Jamestown settlers from English pirates who had seized them from a Portuguese slave ship, they were put to work on the tobacco fields of the South. They formed part of over 12.5 million kidnapped and enslaved captives from Africa shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in what is known as the Middle Passage, a voyage of misery and death in horrific conditions of brutal whippings, casual violence and the rape of women captives. Captives who were sick were thrown overboard, so often that sharks would follow the ships. Nearly two million did not survive this journey.

One of the cruelest instruments of commerce, the slave ship defined and shaped America, in conjunction with “the whipping machine,” critical to cotton production in the slave states of the South, and capitalist accumulation of wealth across the emergent United States.

Among some sections of liberal and progressive people, this anniversary is bringing forth a long-needed and welcome reckoning with the actual history of this country, not only the unspeakable horrors and brutality of slavery but how it defined, shaped and put its stamp on every facet of American society from its very origins and founding. It is calling forth beginning examination of and starting to touch on the continuing legacy of slavery in white supremacy and the oppression of Black people, and how it is originating in and still woven into the fabric of this system of capitalism and this society, foundational to the wealth and position of this country today. For example, this is manifest in the 1619 Project of the New York Times, among a range of works from other intellectuals and artists.

As a seminal anniversary and in the midst of this ferment, revcom.us and associated social media aim to play—through the fall and coming year—a vital and needed role in the questioning, discussion and debates, centered around the historic breakthroughs and extensive works of Bob Avakian (BA) on the actual character of the relationship between capitalism and white supremacy, and how the latter could actually—and only—be overcome through a revolution aimed at the emancipation of all humanity... a communist revolution.

To this end, we will have a series focused on the theme of The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to Emancipate Humanity. It really does matter, from the perspective and goals of making revolution and emancipating humanity, that people follow through on this reckoning and confrontation, learning more about the history of this country and its founding and foundations. It matters, even more, that people follow through on their convictions and go beyond their comfort zone, to logical and scientific conclusions such as what BA says in the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:

White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly “stitched together” through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apart. White supremacy and capitalism—it is not possible to overcome and finally abolish the one without overthrowing and finally abolishing the other.

There are sharp choices and futures posed now.

First, there is the MAGA-style open re-assertion and imposition of white supremacy with potentially genocidal implications.

Second, there are efforts like that of the Times and many progressive public intellectuals to open up and make available the actual history of this country, in an effort to “save America” or, in the words of Nikole Hannah-Jones, the editor and driving force behind the Times’ project, to cast Black people as “the perfecters of this democracy” within the myth and comforting narrative of America as constantly striving for and gradually achieving “a more perfect union.”

Third, there is the real urgent necessity of getting organized now for an ACTUAL revolution to overthrow and defeat the system of American capitalism-imperialism, and the white supremacy woven into its fabric. As Bob Avakian has characterized:

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

BAsics 3:19

Follow revcom.us throughout the autumn, as we not only bring forward the seminal work of BA on this, but enter into and bring that work to bear on the crucial debate on the cause of the problem, and the actual solution.

September 9, 2019:

Q&A: What will it take for masses of white people to break from white supremacy?

September 2, 2019:

August 26, 2019:

The Oppression of Black People and Other People of Color, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt

August 19, 2019:

The following is an excerpt from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, a talk given by Bob Avakian in 2006 and published as a pamphlet in 2008.

Slavery, White Supremacy, and Democracy in America

Read excerpt here

Listen to speech: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Excerpt from:

Communism and
Jeffersonian Democracy

By Bob Avakian

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Slavery, White Supremacy, and Democracy in America

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, a talk given by Bob Avakian in 2006 and published as a pamphlet in 2008. We encourage readers to read the entire work, available online here.

 

American Democracy: “They Kill People
for Saying What You’re Saying”

To begin—and to immediately touch on the basic reality of how this country is ruled and what its democracy actually amounts to—I want to recount a story I have told several times, because, in a simple and straightforward way, it concentrates so much of importance. Back in 1979, I went on a speaking tour in many of the major cities in the U.S., and in connection with that I made a number of media appearances. At one point I did a taped TV program, on which I was interviewed by several Black journalists in Cleveland. Right after the taping of this program, during which I had laid out clearly my revolutionary viewpoint, the woman who was moderating the program turned to me and said, very matter-of-factly: “My, you’re awfully brave.” Well, this sort of took me aback, so I asked her: “Why do you say that?” And she replied, in the same matter-of-fact tone: “You know, they kill people for saying what you’re saying.”

As I have pointed out a number of times in telling this story, what is very significant about this exchange, and her comments in particular, is that she didn’t even say: “You know, they kill people for trying to do what you’re talking about.” She said simply: they kill people for saying what you’re saying. In this, she was cutting right to the quick, and in fact getting right to the essence of “American democracy.”

And this was not just an odd comment from this particular Black journalist. It is not at all uncommon to hear comments of this kind from Black people and others who have had experience with the brutality and murder commonly carried out by the police, especially in the inner cities across America—or people who, in any case, have some sense of the actual history of this country and in particular the way it has dealt with those who are regarded, by the powers-that-be, as a significant threat, of one kind or another, to their rule. Among many such people there is, if not a profound scientific understanding, nevertheless a basic sense of the real nature of how things are run in this country—of the real relationship between the people who actually rule this society (however people think of that) and the people over whom they rule in running the society (however people understand that).

This is the reason I feel it is important to recount this story frequently—not only because that journalist’s comment hit me very sharply at the time and struck me as very incisive, but because it does capture in a very concentrated way some essential things which far too many people, including many formally educated people, are actually ignorant of—or choose to ignore.

Another anecdote from “everyday life” also brings out this same basic point rather sharply, and unexpectedly. Recently, there was a story on ESPN/The Magazine online, by Scoop Jackson, a Black writer whose material has also appeared in publications such as Slam magazine. This article for ESPN/The Magazine was about Etan Thomas, a professional basketball player on the Washington Wizards (they can’t be called the Washington Bullets anymore—can’t have bullets in Washington other than those directed by the government). [Laughter] Etan Thomas is what they call a “role player” for the Wizards—he comes off the bench, scores a few points a game—he has talent but he’s not a prominent player. And he is someone who, unfortunately, is kind of a rarity these days in professional sports in the U.S.: a progressive guy who is outspoken with his views. He has spoken at some of the anti-war rallies; he’s written poetry condemning the Bush administration and politicians in general and speaking to the glaring contradiction between the way that they talk about things in society and the way things actually are. He has spoken about wanting to drag these politicians down to the inner cities and force them to see what really goes on there, what people there are put through. So, this article by Scoop Jackson is mainly about Etan Thomas’s politics, but in the middle of this article Jackson comments that if Thomas averaged 30 points a game, he might be dead.

Now, to be clear, Jackson doesn’t mean that it’s dangerous to score 30 points a game, in the sense that the effort, the exertion involved in this, might kill him. No, the clear implication is that if Etan Thomas were a prominent player on the level of a Michael Jordan, capturing that kind of media attention and the imagination of masses of people—and if, from that position, he were saying the things he’s saying—he would probably be assassinated by the powers-that-be. Thomas is not calling for revolution, but he is indicting certain outrages of the system—and if he were doing that as a really prominent player, they might very well kill him, because it’s too dangerous to have someone with that level of prominence saying even the kinds of things that Thomas is saying.

These “slices of life” do capture something very essential, and provide a kind of backdrop for a fuller discussion of the much-vaunted “American freedom and democracy,” of the system that rules and shapes this society, and of the need for a radically different society and world.

“Jeffersonian Democracy”:
Ideals, Illusions, and Reality

As the title suggests, much of this discussion will unfold in relation to the ideas of Thomas Jefferson and the ideal of “Jeffersonian democracy,” and the contrast between that and the viewpoint and program of communism—which represents, in reality, a far more liberating vision of human freedom.

Jefferson, and his political philosophy, stand in a real sense as an emblem of what is in fact bourgeois democracy—and in reality bourgeois dictatorship—in the history of the United States of America. And, as Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore point out, while “America’s historical memory” of Jefferson “has been rooted in distinct features of his protean career,” for many people Jefferson “remains the spokesman of a radical and popular democracy never achieved in America.”1 In other words, many people—and many progressive people, in particular—who acknowledge that historically there have been, and today there still remain, what they regard as serious “flaws” in the way democracy is actually practiced in the U.S., nevertheless cling to the notion that somehow if this system could actually be made to live up to its ideals, then it would indeed be the best of all possible systems, not only in conception but in reality. And many of these people cling to Jefferson as the personification of, as Kramnick and Moore put it, “a radical and popular democracy” which has “never [been] achieved in America,” but which they long to see fulfilled.

To put this in other—more blunt, and scientific—terms, Jefferson stands as a personification and a concentration of many of the illusions of people in the middle strata in particular, and more specifically many in the intelligentsia, who have not ruptured with, and in fact stubbornly cleave to, a bourgeois-democratic view of the world. And not only is this the case broadly in society, but it has even been true, believe it or not, in the history of the communist movement in this country. We have the phenomenon—which is both astounding and disgraceful, if you’re coming at things from a genuinely communist perspective—of the old Communist Party, USA upholding Jefferson as a model. Even at the height of 1960s radicalism, if you went around the country looking for the CP, where could you find them? In their Jefferson Bookstores! This is a glaring example of how people who claim to be opposed to capitalism and the imperialism of the U.S.—and even some who claim to be communists—have wrapped themselves in the mantle of bourgeois democracy, particularly as that is personified by Thomas Jefferson. Back in the day, it used to be quite a lot of fun to get into a discussion with CP people about why they had Jefferson Bookstores. Besides the obvious fact that Jefferson was a slaveholder, there was the more general fact that Jefferson is a representative of the system that the CP claimed, at least, to be working to get rid of. And that’s just the point: You cannot get rid of this system if you proceed on the basis of upholding and extolling one of the main representatives of that very system, someone who is indeed emblematic of what that system is all about. And, in reality, you cannot get rid of the egregious outrages that many do recognize are committed by the government of the United States, unless you get rid of the whole system of which these egregious outrages are a concentrated expression and of which this government—and in particular its executive power and armed forces—are an instrument and enforcer. You cannot change all this while at the same time clinging to the ideas and ideals that characterize this system and dominate this society—ideas and ideals of which Thomas Jefferson is, in fact, a fitting representative.

Jefferson’s ideal of a good and just society—
and the reality of slavery

 Let’s get into this further by examining Jefferson’s notion of an agrarian model as the concentration of the good, just and virtuous society.2 This vision of Jefferson’s involved a number of rather sharp ironies, which it is worth exploring.

The first irony: Jefferson extolled the yeoman, that is, the small independent landowning farmer, as the emblem—and the existence of many such farmers as the basis—for the best form of government and of a virtuous society. To cite Kramnick and Moore once again: “For Jefferson the moral possibilities of democracy depended on keeping America an agricultural nation. That is, he did not think that democracy and the morality necessary to sustain democracy could flourish under social conditions that destroyed the economic independence of individuals.” (The Godless Constitution, p. 152) Yet Jefferson consistently acted in the interests of the aristocratic large landowning and slaveholding class in the southern United States, in opposition to the interests of small farmers—and, of course, this was also in opposition to the interests of that group of individuals who most glaringly did not have independence economically, or in any other way: the slaves, who did not actually count as individuals in the eyes of the slaveholders.

In reality, Jefferson’s agrarian society turned out to be a society based on slavery and ruled by slaveowners.

One striking example that a number of people have pointed to in this regard is the Louisiana Purchase (the purchase by the United States government of the Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803). Having suffered significant military setbacks—and dramatically so in the attempt to put down the armed rebellion of slaves in Haiti which had been initiated under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture—Napoleon Bonaparte, ruler of France, reckoned that he couldn’t easily hold on to this territory in the Americas, and so Jefferson, then President of the United States, stepped in to quickly grab up this territory. In this he acted primarily in the interests of the slaveowners and in order to spread the slaveowning system into the new territories acquired through this act—not to develop an agrarian society based on a multitude of small farmers. This is just one example of many that could be cited which clearly illustrate that Jefferson consistently acted in the interests of the slaveowning class—in conflict with the interests not only of the slaves but also of the yeoman in the South, as well as the rising capitalist class centered in the North.

The whole southern way of life depended on slavery—that was its fundamental economic basis. Even small landowners who didn’t own slaves strove to get into a position to own some. And, with regard to Jefferson himself, not only his economic status but also his political fortunes, including his election to the presidency, depended on slavery, and in particular the “three-fifths” provision in the Constitution of the United States—the so-called “three-fifths compromise,” which established that, for the purposes of taxation but also of voting and representation in the government, each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a human being. As many northerners pointed out at the time, coming from various positions and with various motives, this “compromise” essentially allowed the southern states, where slaves were counted as property, to accumulate greater representation in the national government, because of the multiplication of this “human property.” In other words, northerners who owned property—for example, farms or factories—did not get to count each factory or farm as part of a formula for determining how much representation a northern state would have in the national government (in the House of Representatives, in particular), but the slave states got to count three-fifths of all the slaves, at any given time, in terms of this representation. This tilted things toward the southern states, in terms of the national political structure, from the beginning of the country. In fact, this was something that the southern states insisted upon as a condition of their joining with the northern states to form the United States of America, as a country with a single national government. Even those in the North who, on the basis of moral conviction and/or economic interest, were opposed to slavery, ended up capitulating to this demand, because forming this new country was more important to them—was understood by them to be more essential to their interests—than abolishing slavery. Thus, while this “three-fifths” provision in the Constitution was a compromise, this compromise gave a certain disproportionate power to the South, to the class of southern slaveowners; and this enabled them, up until the Civil War nearly 100 years later, to block and counter steps that would have gone in the direction of abolishing slavery.

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

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

Slavery, White Supremacy, and
Democracy in America

Historian Edmund S. Morgan in American Slavery, American Freedom, which is cited in David Brion Davis’s book Inhuman Bondage, argues that for Jefferson and other Virginia slaveowners, such as George Washington (“father of our country”) and James Madison (who was the principal author of the U.S. Constitution and who himself became president of the United States), there was a certain kind of unity—a unity of opposites, as we communists would say—between how they viewed whites, and on the other hand, Black Africans, mulattoes, and Indians. Here I am going to quote from Morgan and provide some commentary on what he says, to highlight the essential points.

Morgan points out: “Racism thus absorbed in Virginia the fear and contempt that men in England, whether Whig or Tory, monarchist or republican, felt for the inarticulate lower classes” of their own “race.” What Morgan is getting at is that in Europe, on the part of the “liberals” as well as the “conservatives” (the Whigs and the Tories), there was an open contempt, especially among the upper, ruling classes and their political representatives, for the “ignorant rabble” of the lower classes, while in the United States this did not find exactly the same expression because a lot of this contempt was, to so speak, deflected and directed toward the masses of Black people—who were overwhelmingly enslaved, especially in the South—and toward mulattoes and Indians.

Morgan continues—and this is very significant in terms of the whole development of bourgeois democracy in the U.S.: “Racism made it possible for white Virginians to develop a devotion to equality”—equality for whites, we should underline—“that English republicans had declared to be the soul of liberty.” And Morgan points out that one of the things that made this possible was the fact that, in Virginia, “There were too few free poor on hand to matter.” In other words, because of racism and viewing Africans, mulattoes, and Indians as lesser beings not really deserving of freedom, white Virginians could, without feeling an acute contradiction, articulate, as Jefferson did in the Declaration of Independence, lofty principles about the equality and inalienable rights of all people. They were speaking about white people—and more specifically white men—while explicitly excluding these other groups of people—most especially the people of African origin whom they enslaved. The one went together with the other: the inclusion of some and the exclusion of others, the notion of equality among white people (though this too was not a reality) and the subjugation and enslavement of Black people, mulattoes, and Indians. Here is the paradox and the irony, here is a profound contradiction, built into the United States of America from its very beginning: These Virginians, whose ideas have exerted a very great influence on the conception of freedom in this country—and the embodiment of this in founding documents of this country—represented the interests of the slaveowning class among whites, yet they could declare that they were speaking in universal terms about freedom for all people. They could proclaim a republic, in opposition to a monarchy, they could extol the principles of a government consisting of representatives chosen by the people, and the freedoms associated with republicanism—and they could believe in this—even while practicing and defending slavery, as well as other forms of exploitation and oppression.

As Morgan puts it: “by lumping Indians, mulattoes and Negroes in a single pariah class”—that is, by putting them in a category of beings who are not really to be considered human and not to be afforded the rights and freedoms that human beings should have—“Virginians had paved the way for a similar lumping of small and large planters in a single master class.” Here again we see the dialectical (contradictory) unity between the exclusion of one part of society, and the notion of the unity of the others—identified as white people—even with the class divisions among them.

Morgan points to a very profound conclusion: “Racism became an essential, if unacknowledged, ingredient of the republican ideology that enabled Virginians”—like Washington and Madison, as well as Jefferson—“to lead the nation.”3

This speaks to a very significant particularity, or peculiarity, of bourgeois society and the principles of bourgeois democracy as they developed from the very beginning of, and have evolved historically in, the United States. As David Brion Davis points out, Morgan argues that racial slavery enabled Virginia’s slaveowning planter class to coopt the poorer whites and thus perpetuate a highly exploitative and unequal society under the banner of republican liberty. As Davis puts it: “Virginia’s slavery and racism became, paradoxically, the social and ideological basis for America’s dedication to freedom and equality.” (Inhuman Bondage, p. 135)

This is very important to understand, not only in terms of the founding of this country, but in terms of its implications and its consequences throughout the history of the country, down to today. The republican ideology and notions of freedom that have characterized the way in which the United States has been conceived and ruled have indeed included, as fundamental elements, racism and the oppression of Black people, and other “people of color”: the exclusion of these groups—overtly and explicitly, or at least in reality and in practice—from the prevailing notion and application of freedom, and their subjugation from the very beginning and in the essential functioning of the country. And there has been a definite tendency for this to contribute in various ways to blunting the overall class conflicts in American society and the class consciousness of the proletarians—among the whites in particular, but also in a different way among Black people and other oppressed nationalities.

All this relates to the first irony I mentioned: Jefferson talked about a yeoman-based agrarian society as the model society, but actually, in opposition to that, he consistently upheld and fought for the interests of the slaveowning class; and the agrarian society that in reality he was an embodiment of, and a spokesman for, was a slave-owning plantation system.

Bourgeois Democracy, Bourgeois Elitism

The second irony is that, while Jefferson extolled the yeoman and the notion of a yeoman-based society, he firmly believed that such yeomen had to be led and headed by members of more elite strata, intellectually and economically—of which Jefferson himself was a representative. And here is an irony within this irony, so to speak: With regard to “Jeffersonian democrats”—this applies to bourgeois-democrats more generally, but in particular to those who uphold and extol Jefferson and his ideas and ideals as the model of a great society, even if it has yet to be fully achieved—many of them are among those who are very quick to attack communists, and in particular Lenin and his work What Is To Be Done?, for alleged elitism! How often have we heard them say things like: “Communists like Lenin think that the masses are too stupid to know what’s good for them! They think these masses have to have elite intellectuals ordering them about and telling them what’s good for them, since they’re too stupid to know what they really want and need—that’s what the communist view is, that’s what Lenin was arguing in What Is To Be Done?

Here, I don’t have time to go into all the ways in which that is a gross distortion of what Lenin was actually arguing in What Is To Be Done?. But the fact is that the essence of what he’s arguing there is the opposite of these accusations: He is insisting on both the ability and the necessity for the masses to understand the basic dynamics of objective reality, and of human society in particular, in order to consciously struggle to transform society, to make revolution with the final aim of bringing a communist world into being. He is emphasizing that this is the only way that such a radical transformation of society can actually come about. And, yes, he is insisting that the masses need a vanguard to lead them in this struggle—a vanguard whose purpose is precisely to enable the masses themselves to make revolution, and not to substitute for them (or attempt to substitute for them) in doing that.

So here’s “the irony within the irony”: Many of these Jeffersonian (bourgeois) democrats never tire of hurling the charge of “elitism” against communism, and against Lenin in particular, and yet their hero and model Thomas Jefferson was himself a firm believer in the idea that the common people needed an economic and intellectual elite to guide them to the virtuous society. This is the logic Jefferson would have followed, if he had actually tried to bring such a society into being—which he did not.

Commodities, Polarization,
Inequality, and Exploitation

And the third irony: If Jefferson’s yeoman-based society had in fact been realized—and there are many reasons why it could not have been, but if it had been realized—before very long it would have given rise to and been supplanted by polarization and the emergence of elites ruling over the “common people.” If you envision a society consisting of a large number of farmers, each holding a small amount of land and farming independently on that land, well first of all, there are many “natural conditions,” if you will, that will differ among these landholdings—different conditions of the soil, the topography, and other environmental and geological factors—which will favor some over others.

Take Virginia itself, for example. I pointed to this in the “Revolution” talk:4 Why is there a West Virginia? The basic reason is that the territory of this state—which, before the Civil War, was the western part of Virginia—has a very different terrain than most of the rest of Virginia: this western area is very hilly and rocky, it has a lot of coal, but it is not so favorable for small farming or for farming in general (there is some small farming, but it’s not nearly as favorable for farming as some of the other parts of Virginia, and other parts of the South, which have a much richer soil). That is the underlying reason why, at the time of the Civil War, this western part of the state broke away from Virginia and the Confederacy: the economic conditions and interests of people there were, in significant ways, different.

There is also the very important question of how different parcels of land are situated in relation to water, and other factors which confer an advantage (or disadvantage) to those owning the land. These differences, and their effects and consequences in terms of farm output and related factors, would assert themselves, even if you started out with everybody having approximately the same size farm, with many small farmers independently carrying out family farming—with all the patriarchy and male supremacy that goes along with that, let us not forget. You would have had inequalities within these families and family farms, and there would have been the developing polarization and inequalities between the different farmers, even if you just took a region of the country like the South, to say nothing of the fact that you had farmlands opening further to the West, you had farms of a different kind in the northeast of the country at its beginning, plus you had agriculture in other countries and world trade, which would have penetrated into all this and would have reacted upon and influenced the polarization already developing within agrarian-based society in the U.S. And let’s imagine that somehow the government said: “OK, we will implement the ‘Jeffersonian model’: everybody has to be a small farmer—or, if everybody doesn’t have to be a small farmer, at least the base of the whole economy and the whole society has to be small farmers—and if anybody starts getting much bigger than anybody else, in terms of landholdings, we’ll take part of their land away and give it to others, so there will once again be more equal distribution of small farmland throughout the country.” Well, eventually you would have had wars, armed conflicts, over that, because those whom you were hindering in that way (those whose land you were taking away in order to “equalize” things) would have resisted, and if you kept doing this they would have rebelled and taken to arms.

And then, again, there is the whole world market and its influence on all this. At the time of the founding of the U.S., if you look at the sale of the southern cotton and tobacco and other products, such as sugar, where were they going? To a large degree, it was to the world market, to Europe and other places. In order to maintain a situation of more or less equal landholdings, you would have had to stop everybody from producing for the world market, because if they produced for the world market, inequality would have been fostered and reinforced: Some farmers would have done better than others, would have found a more favorable market at any given time for whatever product these farmers were growing. And that would have reacted upon and intensified the polarization that was already developing. It would have been necessary to step in with the government and militarily shut off the country from the world market.

In short, this would have been totally impractical and unrealizable. Even if you started out on that basis—of many farmers with more or less equal size landholdings—you couldn’t maintain it. This is fundamentally because all this would be—and in the actual history of the U.S. everything has been—within the overall context of commodity production and exchange. And there are two things to single out about that here: One, as what I have already sketched out illustrates, commodity production and exchange inevitably lead to inequalities, to polarization. The general operation of the commodity system means that there will be inequality; it means that some fare better in competition than others; it means that polarization develops. And what goes along with that—the second thing to emphasize here—is that labor power itself (the ability to work, in general) will become a commodity. You see this happening even today: Many farmers are no longer able to make it as farmers (or by farming alone); they are compelled to hire themselves out to others who are doing better (to other farmers, or to people running other businesses). In an agrarian society—and in particular one that is operating within an overall framework of capitalist commodity production and exchange—more and more people will be reduced to the position of being wage workers, having to sell their ability to work, their labor power, in order to live. You will also get that polarization—of capitalist and wage worker—along with the great unevenness that will continue to develop even among the class of landowners, broadly speaking. And when you add in the world market, once again, all this becomes much further accentuated.

So, along with the glaring contradiction between Jefferson’s proclamations about how “all men are created equal” and endowed with certain “inalienable rights,” on the one hand, and, on the other hand, not only the fact of his being a slaveowner but his repeated actions, including as president, on behalf of the whole slaveowning class, these other ironies (or contradictions—ironies are contradictions) that I have pinpointed and spoken to here are in turn an expression of the fundamental nature of the society in which Jefferson lived and functioned and of which he does stand as a legitimate champion: a system rooted in relations of exploitation and oppression.5

In sum on this point: In looking at what Jefferson wrote (in his “Notes on Virginia” and elsewhere) about the model of a good and virtuous society being one based on a multitude of yeoman farmers, and the conflict between this and the kind of society he actually upheld and fought for, we can extract from this some profound lessons about the nature of modern republican government as a bourgeois democracy—and about the nature of bourgeois democracy itself in general, as a form of class rule and domination, a dictatorship of the bourgeois class—as well as, more particularly, the specific expressions this has taken in the history of the United States, with the peculiar institution of slavery for more than a hundred years leading into the founding of this country, and for nearly a hundred more years after its founding.

 

Footnotes

1.  Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore, The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State, W.W. Norton & Company, New York/London, 2005, pp. 106–07. [back]

2. In this connection, there are several works that are of particular relevance: Garry Wills, NEGRO PRESIDENT: Jefferson and the Slave Power, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003; Roger G. Kennedy, Jefferson’s Lost Cause: Land, Farmers, Slavery, and the Louisiana Purchase, Oxford University Press, 2003; and David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, Oxford University Press, 2006 (and especially chapter 14, “The Politics of Slavery in the United States”). Here, I have to say that Davis, like far too many others these days, repeats in the course of this book an all too familiar and seemingly de rigueur anti-communism—an anti-communism that is not factually grounded, but is frankly rather more fatuous, swallowing down and regurgitating much of the crude distortions and slanders of the whole communist project and the experience of socialist countries, even speaking of this as if it were even worse, in many ways, than classical slavery. Unfortunately, this comes in the midst of, and mars, what are otherwise very valuable insights and analysis in this book by Davis—insights and analysis which nevertheless remain important to learn from. Among other things, this illustrates the great importance of the Setting the Record Straight project (and its website thisiscommunism.org) and the need for struggle with people like Davis, as well as more generally, over what is the actual reality of the historical experience of the communist movement and socialist society—and, methodologically, the need to consistently apply an approach of thinking critically, including specifically when it comes to attacks and slanders against communism, rather than uncritically accepting all this. [back]

3. The above quotes are from Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, as cited in David Brion Davis, Inhuman Bondage, the Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, p. 135. [back]

4. The full title of this talk is Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About. [back]

5. In a larger, more sweeping sense, the specific character of U.S. society, and its historical development, is a particular expression of the contradictions that are fundamental in all human society: the contradictions between the forces of production and the relations of production and between the economic base at any given and the superstructure of politics (including political institutions, structures and processes) and of ideology. Forces of production refers to the land, raw materials, machinery and other technology, along with people and their knowledge and skills, which can be utilized in production, while relations of production refers to the relations people enter into in carrying out production in a given society. In a fundamental sense, the character of the productive forces determines the character of the relations of production. As Karl Marx pointed out, in order to carry out production—in order to produce, and reproduce, the material requirements of life—people enter into very definite relations of production, and an economy cannot function (and cannot be understood) apart from these relations of people in production; but, in a basic sense, these production relations are independent of the wills of individuals—they are fundamentally determined, not by the ideas or plans of people, but by the character of the productive forces that are at hand. At the same time, it is a general phenomenon that the productive forces continue to be developed, and this tends to call forth changes in the production relations; for example, the creation and development of computers and other “information technology” have led to significant changes in the way production is carried out, even within the capitalist system. But when the productive forces have developed in such a way that the existing production relations as a whole have become, in a qualitative and profound sense, an obstacle to, a fetter on, the productive forces, then the objective necessity arises for a revolution in society, in order to be able to bring into being new production relations that can further unleash the productive forces in a qualitative way. The present era in history is one in which such a revolution is necessary and called for—to overthrow capitalism and replace its production relations with socialized relations of production, which correspond to the socialized character of the way production is carried out in today’s world (the fact that today’s large-scale production is, and can only be, carried out by large groups of people, organized into highly developed networks, working in common—and today this increasingly takes place on an international scale—as opposed to isolated individuals each working on their own products). Such a revolution—to transform the economic base of society (the production relations) must and can only take place in the superstructure, that is, through a political (and ideological) struggle which, so long as society is divided into exploiters and exploited, becomes concentrated in an all-out struggle for power over society, as embodied in the institutions of political power and expressed ultimately as the monopoly of armed force. What is radically new and unique about the communist revolution is that its objective is to overthrow the capitalist system of exploitation and to resolve the fundamental contradiction that characterizes capitalism—between the socialized character of production and the appropriation as privately-owned capital of what is produced through these socialized means—and this revolution will not only put an end to capitalist exploitation but to all exploitation, to the division of society into classes and to all oppressive social relations, and thereby will put an end to the need for, and the existence of, the state, a repressive apparatus wielded by the ruling class to enforce its rule over those it exploits and oppresses. [back]

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/are-black-youth-being-railroaded-to-life-in-prison-en.html

Are Black Youth (Again) Being Railroaded To Life In Prison—This Time Just Outside Chicago?

| revcom.us

 

Last week five youths from Chicago’s South Side were charged by suburban police with murder and held on $1 million bail.

Why? Because someone in the suburb of Old Mill Creek thought that five young men and a young woman who were in his driveway were trying to steal his car. The car owner shouted at them to leave and when one did not immediately do so, according to the man, he took a gun and fired several shots, killing the boy.

Now the five youths who were not shot are being charged by DA for their friend’s murder!

Early in the week, the story from the prosecutor was that the man heard something outside at 1 am, came out of his house, saw these youths and “thought they were trying to steal his Audi” (Chicago Tribune, “5 teens charged with murder as sixth killed in alleged car theft,” August 15). Police claimed that they recovered a knife from the man’s driveway. The prosecutor for Lake County (the area directly north of Chicago) immediately released names of all the suspects, including four juveniles, and alleged, without citing any proof at all, that “most” of the teens had “significant criminal histories.” The prosecutor also made all sorts of claims as to what the defendants have admitted to, dominating the front pages in Chicago for four straight days, with no reply from advocates for the youth.

What received barely any notice at all was that these youths who allegedly “committed murder” took their badly wounded “victim” (that is, their 14-year-old friend) with them, and stopped to ask police for help. One of these young people then stayed with his mortally wounded friend while the cop administered first aid. This young man was then arrested.

Does that sound like a bunch of cold-blooded murderers to you?

The great-uncle of the youth who was killed—Jaquan Swopes—was quoted by the Tribune as saying, “He (Jaquan) wasn’t given a chance. He was taken out like a damn dog. He was shot. Over a fucking car.

By Friday, the prosecutors embellished their story, now claiming that the man who killed Jaquan Swopes saw someone “advancing with something in his hand” (though he also said that the other five teens had retreated to their car) and believed “he was in danger of death” when he fired at the 14-year-old. They now added that the man had only intended to scare them and not hit them with his gun. Over the past several days, some defense lawyers in Chicago have been pointing out that Illinois law requires fear for one’s life to justify self-defense, and not merely protection of property. Other advocates also weighed in, saying that the law even on its own terms was being misused. They said that it should not be applied to teenagers who are often acting impulsively and without forethought. (Let us also note here that there could have been other reasons that the youths were walking up the man’s driveway.)

Already, this case evokes the painfully searing memories of hundreds of years of courtroom railroads of Black people and lynch-style justice. These youth are being tried in the press and could be sent away for life. Meanwhile, the man who actually killed the young man is being exonerated in advance by the prosecutor while the youth are being demonized. As for their so-called confessions, we refer you to Ava Duvernay’s Netflix TV show When They See Us, and other films and books about the Central Park 5—now the Exonerated 5—and what it reveals about the process used by the police to extract “confessions” from juveniles. Juveniles who despite their “convincing confessions” were later proven to have been innocent, with their so-called confessions the products of coercion and deception by the police.

Some Sharp—and Crucial—Questions

This case raises sharp questions about this whole system and its “way of life.”

What kind of a system sets things up so there are millions of Jaquans, here and all over the world, who—in the words of his great-uncle—was “a child who wasn’t given a chance to have any direction”?

What kind of a system rushes to demonize and incarcerate, for life, such youth, without any semblance of a fair hearing, when they are accused of a crime while it goes to great lengths to exonerate those who attack and even kill these youth?

The sadness of Jaquan’s great-uncle also brings to mind another sharp question posed by Bob Avakian in his speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, in the context of murders by police but just as applicable to this situation: “How many more times does this have to happen? How many more times do the tears and the cries of anguish and anger have to pour forth from the wounded hearts of people?!”

A Clear Answer

In that same speech, Bob Avakian also drew this critical conclusion:

White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly “stitched together” through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apartWhite supremacy and capitalism—it is not possible to overcome and finally abolish the one without overthrowing and finally abolishing the other.

The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour is crossing the country to organize those who want to make that overthrow and final abolition a reality, at the soonest possible time. The very same week that all this has been going down, the Tour, along with the Revolution Club, Chicago, has come under attack by a group of “ex”-cops and other fascists for tearing up the flag of that system at the Bud Billiken Day parade, whose stated mission is to support the youth in striving for education. This attack has been taken up by sections of the media. The revolutionaries have been answering back that there is no more important education for the youth than to know the true history of this country and the true nature of this system, and to act on that understanding by getting with the revolution. (Hear Carl Dix talking about this on WVON radio.)

With the railroad now going on in Lake County, the main slogan of the Tour and Club at Billiken Day rings out all the louder:

THIS SYSTEM HAS NO FUTURE FOR THE YOUTH—
THE REVOLUTION DOES!

NO MORE TO GENOCIDAL PERSECUTION, MASS INCARCERATION, POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE!


Jaquan Swopes

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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/escalating-fascist-offensive-against-immigrants-en.html

In the Last Month Alone:
Mass Murder, Death, Torture, Roundups, Threats, Terror, Assaults on Basic Rights—The Escalating Fascist Offensive Against Immigrants

| revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime’s fascist offensive against immigrants is advancing rapidly and relentlessly. Here are some of its main assaults in the last month alone.

July 14: Trump unleashes barrage of racist, anti-immigrant tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of color—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. He demanded the four, all U.S. citizens, “go back to the crime-infested places from which they came.” A few days later the chant “send her back” was taken up at a Trump rally.

July 15: Trump/Pence regime announces plan effectively barring Central American and other migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S. border on the grounds they had to first apply in countries they had traveled through. (The rule has been temporarily blocked in federal court.)

July 22:

July 23:

July 25: Seventh person dies in ICE custody since last October. The 44-year-old Mexican immigrant, Pedro Arriago-Santoya, had been jailed at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. He is the fourth person to die in this prison in the last two years.

July 26:

July 28: A white supremacist, targeting immigrants, massacres three and wounds 15 at Gilroy, California Garlic Festival. The three murdered were 6, 13, and 25 years old.

August 1: Salvadoran migrant dies in Border Patrol custody. The 32-year-old father was being held in New Mexico. He is at least the 15th migrant, including seven children, to die in U.S. custody (ICE, Border Patrol, or other agencies) since September 2018.

August 2-3: Immigrant hunger strikers assaulted in Louisiana ICE Detention Center. Over 100 were teargassed, beaten, and shot with rubber bullets after they launched a hunger strike. Some 30 hunger strikers at another Louisiana facility were pepper sprayed the day before. According to Mother Jones magazine, ICE is now detaining over 54,000 people, an all-time high. This is “up from about 34,000 on an average day in 2016 and well above the 40,520 target Congress set for ICE” as part of a deal struck between the Trump/Pence regime and Congress to reduce detentions as a condition for more funding.

August 3: A white supremacist, echoing Trump rhetoric, targets Latinos and murders 22 at an El Paso Walmart. His fascist manifesto stated he was “defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”

August 6:

August 7:

August 12:

August 14:

August 15: Federal court denies Trump/Pence attempt to deny soap and toothpaste to migrant children. The Trump/Pence regime had argued it was not required to provide basic necessities or safe sanitary conditions to children detained at the border. According to a New York Times report (August 16), the regime may try to “upend” the court ruling and existing regulations with new ones.

The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants

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People protest ICE detention of people without immigration papers in the Lebanon, New Hampshire area July 29-August 1. Photo: AP


One of the 680 immigrants arrested by ICE in mass sweep of poultry plants in Mississippi, August 6. Photo: AP


Prison guard drives truck into anti-detention protesters in Rhode Island. The protest, organized by the Jewish activist group Never Again Action, was demanding that the ICE concentration camps be closed. Five protesters were hospitalized. Photo: AP

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/putting-it-on-the-line-for-immigrants-en.html

Putting It on the Line for Immigrants in Rhode Island and Vermont

| revcom.us

 

I joined this action because I’ve reached a point where I look at everything I’ve done so far and there’s no risk, no personal cost. If I look at this moment in history, and all I can say is that I posted some stuff and waved some signs, but was unwilling to take any risk or do anything that might cost me, I simply cannot live with that. ICE is perpetrating crimes against humanity. I will not be a person who looked the other way, who hoped it would go away.”

From the Facebook page of a young woman who was part of a protest in Rhode Island against attacks on immigrants

Protests demanding an end to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) concentration camps and mass arrests of immigrants intensified this past week. In Central Falls, Rhode Island, hundreds of people responded to a call from Never Again Action, a group of mainly young Jewish people, and protested outside the privately owned Wyatt Detention Facility. A prison guard deliberately drove his truck into a line of protesters, injuring several, and other guards then pepper sprayed the protesters. In the small town of Hartford, Vermont, about 200 people protested against ICE and local cooperation with it, and 26 were arrested when they blocked the town’s main intersection for several hours.

Earlier in the week, thousands of people in at least 25 cities and towns responded to a call to “Close the Camps” on a holiday that marks a Jewish day of mourning. In New York City, 700 marched through Manhattan streets, the busy West Side Highway was shut down by protesters sitting down and locking arms, and about 40 were arrested outside Amazon headquarters denouncing its cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. In Houston, six people were arrested on August 12 at a Never Again Action protest outside an ICE concentration camp for immigrant adolescents.

Rhode Island

In the early evening of August 14, singing and chanting protesters marched to the Wyatt concentration camp in Central Falls from a nearby park. The protesters were mostly Jewish youths from the area, along with some “elders,” and other youths and activists who supported the protest. About 40 people planned to link arms and peacefully block pedestrian and vehicle entrances to the camp. When the protesters recognized that there were no prisoner transfers going on, some of them moved to a nearby parking lot to prevent guards from leaving.

Then, as one woman wrote, “at about 9:30 pm, a guard in a black pickup truck roared down the street, and rammed directly into the line of protesters on that side. Two people were injured. Then, WITHIN SECONDS, a horde of guards came streaming out of the prison and pepper-sprayed the protesters, including the injured. Let me be clear: there is no way that they could have gotten there that fast unless there was some communication ahead of time from the guy in the truck about his plan. Many people were seriously injured by the amount and manner in which the pepper spray was used.... This was a premeditated attack....”

The protesters did not back down. Chants of “Shame, Shame!” and “the whole world is watching” echoed through the night, and the action was seen by millions on TV news, Facebook, and YouTube. A statement issued by Never Again Action in Rhode Island said, “Last night we experienced a small example of the violence that ICE uses against our immigrant neighbors every day. As Jews, our families taught us the lessons of the Holocaust, and we promised that we would speak out and act if we ever saw the warning signs of a group of people being targeted, dehumanized, and rounded up.”

Vermont

Outrage at the arrests and detention of immigrants has been rippling through the Upper Valley of Vermont and adjacent New Hampshire for weeks. According to a report in the Valley News, Trump’s “promised immigration raids appear to have arrived in the Upper Valley. Eighteen people without immigration documentation allowing them to enter or remain in the United States were apprehended when Border Patrol agents ‘conducted patrols’ in the Lebanon area between July 29 and Aug. 1....”

A Vermont/New Hampshire group called Rise! Upper Valley held several protests, demanding that ICE release migrants detained in the Dover Detention Center and that the town of Hartford pass a “welcoming ordinance” for immigrants. And they called on people not to “call or speak to the Hartford Police Department. They have proven they will not protect all members of our community. They cannot be trusted.”

The Hartford protesters were mostly area youths of several nationalities and gender identities, but also included some veteran activists from the region. Those arrested at the Hartford protest have been charged with being “rioters refusing to disperse.” One youth wrote after the busts, “I don’t know how to convince people that still don’t see it that we are experiencing a humanitarian crisis as a country. The agents that came into Hartford and conducted the raids were in plain clothes. Plain clothes. Do you understand the gravity of this fact? ICE agents have so much unquestionable power that they can come, in secret, into our community and steal members of it away without our public officials or community members knowing. That is sinister. That is fascism. How are you not terrified? I chose to get arrested because I’m terrified.”

Clarity, Courage, Determination

These protests come in the wake of mass murders of Latinos in El Paso and massive ICE raids rounding up hundreds of immigrants in Mississippi. They were marked by a fierce determination to put an end to the system’s relentless assaults on immigrants. A protester in Rhode Island told TV station WLNE, “Every time, we ask ourselves would I have done something during the Holocaust? Would I have done something? I want to make sure that when I tell my grandkids, ‘This is what was happening in the United States,’ and they say, ‘Well what did you do?’ I need to say that I did these things, and this is how it helped. Because I wouldn’t be able to live with myself otherwise.”

A woman told a reporter that when she heard of the protest in New York, she realized she had to shake off her “numbness” and be part of it. There is a need, and a basis, for many thousands and even millions more to shake off their numbness.

The clarity, courage, and determination expressed by these protesters in word and deed is a challenge and a call to everyone, including those who grasp the threat posed by the fascists who now hold, and are tightening their grip on, the reins of power. Can these become part of a driving force in challenging—and bringing down—the whole fascist regime?


In Central Falls, Rhode Island, hundreds of people protested outside the privately owned Wyatt Detention Facility. One woman wrote, "at about 9:30 pm, a guard in a black pickup truck roared down the street, and rammed directly into the line of protesters on that side. Two people were injured." Photo: AP


A Vermont/New Hampshire group called Rise! Upper Valley held several protests expressing outrage at the arrests and detention of immigrants. Photo: AP

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/members-of-refuse-fascism-and-the-revolution-club-la-are-being-dragged-into-court-en.html

Which Side Are YOU On?

Members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club, LA are being dragged into court for disrupting the business-as-usual of fascist normalization.
They need to be defended.

| revcom.us

 

From members of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

In the Fall of 2017, the #Freeway9 blocked rush-hour traffic on the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles with the message: Trump/Pence Must Go. In the Spring of 2018, the #UCLA5 disrupted Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury Secretary, speaking at UCLA, calling him out for being “part of a regime that is hellbent on consolidating fascism.” They were responding to the call from Refuse Fascism for mass, sustained, nonviolent protests to drive the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power—sounding the alarm and calling people into the streets.

For this, the “liberal” city of Los Angeles arrested all these people, spied on them, harassed them, prevented them from speaking out, involved the “counter-terrorist” division of the LAPD, and is now engaged in vindictive prosecution. Two defendants already went to trial, and the jury was unable to convict, with 9 jurors arguing for acquittal. (Go here for a basic fact sheet on these cases.)

Instead of giving them a heroes’ parade through the city, celebrating the #Freeway9 and #UCLA5 for their far-sightedness and conscience, and vowing to join them, the liberal Democrats who run this city continue to do the work of the fascist regime by prosecuting them and fighting to send them to jail.

They are sending a message to all: “Stay in line. Collaborate with the regime. Or else.”

Which will you choose?

Several weeks before the #Freeway9 brought traffic to a halt, a white supremacist murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville amidst torch-bearing Nazis in the streets chanting “you will not replace us.” What was to come wasn’t written, but it could be foreseen. If you hated what happened, and recognized the blood on Trump’s hands but thought you could rely on investigations and elections to stop this, you chose the wrong side—the side of passive complicity, of collaboration with this regime.

Fast forward almost two years later, to El Paso, Gilroy, immigrants tortured in concentration camps at the border, “send them back...”

You can again recognize the blood on the hands of this regime, but—if you don’t act commensurate with the actual dangers—you will also see the blood on your hands.

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

Wake up and shake off the passivity.

The normal channels that brought this regime to power will not stop it. On the contrary, as can be seen in the cases of the Freeway9 and UCLA5, the existing institutions of this system—including the Democratic Party—are greasing the skids for fascism. Stopping this will require stepping outside the bounds of this system’s politics as usual. It will mean upheaval and determined struggle. A big part of the role of the Democratic Party is exactly to tamp down this kind of struggle—working overtime to keep people locked into the normal, ineffectual confines of electoral politics and meaningless protest-as-usual. As Bob Avakian has said, “The Democratic Party is a major instrument of this monstrously oppressive system.”1 It is party of the mainstream imperialist wing of the capitalist rulers. The Democrats do have big differences with the fascist Republicans, but those differences are over how to expand and defend this empire... they are over how the masses of people, here and around the world, will be brutally oppressed and exploited... not over whether this will take place. While the fascists are preparing for civil war, tearing up what are supposed to be legal and civil rights, shredding the norms of imperialist functioning, the Democrats are desperately clinging to those norms—while the whole thing moves further to the right. Even as they themselves are under attack by the fascists, the last thing the Democrats want is for their social base, the people they claim to represent—oppressed people, progressive people and the broad middle strata—to get out from under their control.

They prefer—and will brutally enforce—the order of this system, even as it hurtles headlong towards fascism—than risk what would be required to prevent that fascism.2

Lift your sights to what humanity and history demands: defending these protesters and taking up their call for thousands and millions, in the streets, not stopping until the demand is met: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go... Now!

An Illegitimate, Unreformable System... the Need for Revolution

A system that uses its courts, police and prosecutors to criminalize those standing up to stop the catastrophe that is to come while the regime in power foments its violent, white supremacist, fascist social base is an illegitimate system. A system that spies on, harasses and arrests the people working to stop fascism, going so far as to call antifascists “domestic terrorists” while giving a green light to nazi stormtroopers... is an illegitimate system. A system that puts power into the hands of an open white supremacist thug like Donald Trump or a Dark Ages troglodyte like Mike Pence... and then tells you to hope in a delusion that the Democrats will stop them, is an illegitimate system.

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 Revolution Club is organizing for an actual revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time... to put an end to all forms of oppression, exploitation and degradation. The National Revolution Tour is traveling the country, recruiting for that revolution, to move toward the time when we can get rid of this—and bring a whole better world into being. We’re joining the call from Refuse Fascism, uniting broadly with everyone with a heart for humanity, for massive, sustained, nonviolent, determined protest of the people in the streets.

We don’t need to be relying on this system, we need to be getting organized to overthrow this system.


1. From a clip from the film WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION. [back]

2. To understand these underlying dynamics of this regime and why the Democrats are part of the problem, watch the film of Bob Avakian’s speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Also see “The Pyramid of Power and the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down” by Bob Avakian. [back]

The Pyramid of Power
And the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down

by Bob Avakian

Read more

  • Monday, August 26, 8:30 am
    Pack the Courtroom for a pre-trial hearing to dismiss all the charges because of the unconstitutional LAPD spying and discriminatory prosecution.
    1945 S. Hill Street, 7th Floor, Dept. 74
  • Call City Attorney Mike Feuer to demand:
    Drop the charges against the #Freeway9 and #UCLA5
    213.978.8100.
  • Sign and spread the petition demanding: Drop the Charges!
  • Spread the word of these cases all over social media, tag @RevClub_LA
  • Donate to support the defendants while they’re in court.
  • Invite the defendants and Revolution Club to speak on your campus:
    You Think You’re Woke, But You’re Sleepwalking Through a Nightmare!
    This System Can’t Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown.
    Why We Were Arrested for Disrupting the Business-as-Usual of Fascism
    And Why You Should Join Us In the Fight for the Future.

Contact the Revolution Club, LA at
323.424.6687
revclub_la@yahoo.com
@revclub_la

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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/608/stop-killing-each-other-get-into-the-revolution-en.html

Tuesday, August 20, in Chicago:

Discussion of Bob Avakian on:
Stop Killing Each Other; Get Into the Revolution

This system has no future for the youth,
but the revolution does.

| revcom.us

 

You Are Invited...
To Grapple with a Serious Problem:

Why are so many of our youth still caught up in joining the gangs and killing each other, instead of joining the revolution?

And what will it take to get them moving with the revolution and becoming a key part of getting ready to bring down the whole system that has got them in this terrible situation and that causes so much hell for people here and all over the world?

This is an extremely serious problem—worldwide, and very much so here in Chicago. The Revolution Club has been trying to go at this, but much, much more needs to be done. And your ideas and your voice are needed.

Last year, Bob Avakian (BA) raised this question to the audience at his talk Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. He asked for people’s ideas—how they saw the problem, how they saw dealing with it, and other things. An important conversation followed, led by BA, which included a former gang member, people from the community, the grandmother of a police murder victim, and revolutionary- and radical-minded people.

This Tuesday, we’re going to continue that conversation at the Revolution Club center, on 1857 E. 71st St. You’ll get a chance to see how BA approaches these questions and leads people into a scientific inquiry in this video. You’re invited to join a conversation that matters as we get into those questions ourselves.

We’re going to have two sessions—come to both if you can, or come to one.

We’ll start at 3:00 pm and watch a film clip where BA digs into the history of how the system put Black and Brown people into this situation, and discuss this together. Then, we’ll take a break at 5:30 and break bread together (a light dinner will be provided). We’ll get back into things at 6:30, viewing the clip on gangs, and discuss this together till 9 pm. If you can’t make the first part, it’s fine to just come for the second.

This will be a chance to grapple with these questions with people on the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. If it’s your first time, you’ll still be able to get into it. It’ll be serious... and it’ll be fun, too.

Tuesday, August 20:

Discussion of Bob Avakian on:

Stop Killing Each Other;
Get Into the Revolution

This system has no future for the youth, but the revolution does.

3:00 pm: Background
6:30 pm: The Question

Chicago Revolution Club Center
1857 E. 71st Street
Chicago, Illinois 60649
(312) 804-9121


If you want to look at the video of the conversation ahead of time, watch here:

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/608/the-revolution-club-marches-in-chicago-bud-billiken-parade-en.html

The Revolution Club Marches in Chicago's Bud Billiken Parade—Boldly Projecting Revolution and Organizing to Make It Real

from a member of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

From a flatbed truck, Noche Diaz of the National Revolution Tour agitated through a booming sound system to the people who lined the streets for the Bud Billiken Parade. Behind the truck, members of the Revolution Tour and Revolution Club marched in formation. Noche asked if they had heard of what happened in El Paso, where a white supremacist murdered 22 Latino people, and during the same weekend in Chicago, 59 people were shot by the violence amongst the youth, 7 dead. While our youth have their guns pointed at each other, these white supremacists are pointing their guns at these same people, who could be organized for revolution. Another member of the Revolution Tour held a copy of BAsics high in the air and told people straight up about the leader Bob Avakian and how he has forged a way to get humanity free, but you are needed to go to work on this to change the whole world now. Everyone was challenged to join in and be part of this revolution. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!

Fists from the crowd on each side of dividing rails were raised as people yelled out,

“REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS!”

“Revolution is what we need!”

“POWER TO THE PEOPLE!”

“YES!”

More fists were raised as members of the National Tour and the Revolution Club marched forward along with the flatbed truck that was decorated with banners that showed the leader of the revolution Bob Avakian (BA) on one side, the banner “This System Cannot Be Reformed—IT MUST BE OVERTHROWN!” on the other, and the statement “When the White Supremacists Are on the Offensive...We Stand With the Immigrants! We Refuse to Kill Each Other! We Say Revolution—NOTHING LESS!” For those people whose fists were raised, they were called upon to get with this revolution now, as they were organized by members of the Revolution Club on the ground organizing people and passing out palm cards—including a 12-year-old who put on the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” t-shirt and tirelessly got out palm cards and stickers to the crowd and running back to the truck for more materials to go back out with to the crowd.

Paying “Respect” to the U.S. Flag

A U.S. flag was displayed by a member of the Revolution Club ahead of the march. The revolutionaries on the truck agitated about the crimes committed against the people of the world under that flag—wars, invasions, nuclear bombs, police murders. The crowd began to chant, “Shred that rag!” Then, the revolutionary with the flag put it on the ground, stepped on it, picked it up, waved it and began ripping it. Most spectators cheered, some raised their fists, and a couple shook their heads and screamed out “YOU NEED JESUS!” A group of children jumped up and down in glee when the member brought the flag over to them over the rail for them to finish ripping and shredding, until a pig police appeared from behind them, stuck his snout out to attack the children and tried to grab the flag away from the club member. Without any success, he oinked, “Respect the flag!” and trotted away.

Marching Forward, Fists Up

The National Revolution Tour was joined by Revolution Club members from across the country at the Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on August 10, the second largest parade in the country, which brings thousands of people, mostly Black, to the south side of Chicago. There were floats of different colors and messages and organizations like stopping the violence, many addressing the main theme of enabling the youth to go back to school. There were young dancers making moves down the parade route and motorcycles blazing through popping wheelies for people to see, along with militarized youth and BEB (Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit; for example, Kamala Harris is BEB) campaigns. Nothing else in that parade was representing the interests of humanity and the planet, challenging people to get into this revolution now, exposing the system for what it was and laid out where the interests of the people lie and lifted people's hopes like the Revolution Club marching did.

We had a few dozen people in our contingent, which constituted a force that was able to march through the parade in a disciplined and attractive way that was open for anyone who wanted to join and put on a t-shirt, having agreed with the Points of Attention, with clear orientation and direction commanded from the flatbed truck in a compelling way that went under people's skin to bring them into the revolution. Our aim was to impact and accumulate on the basis of what is concentrated in BAsics 3:30.

Some of those we met days before when we shut down Lake Shore Drive joined us for the parade, bringing a special energy and defiance. This was the beginning of their stepping into the revolution. Members of the Revolution Club who came from out of state commented on the size and awe of the parade. Many had not even been in a parade before. Being a part of the contingent brought great joy and determination.

Message from the Revolution to You

Joe Veale spoke from the truck about being in the streets when he was younger and being a part of “the life.” He got out of that, and many other people can, too, to be a part of the revolution, to make your life count for emancipating humanity. People watching were being struggled with in a good way from the revolutionary float. We read the Points of Attention for the Revolution. The agitation and challenge from the flatbed were consistent and clear:

This system has no future for the youth but the REVOLUTION DOES

We Stand with Immigrants—TRUMP AND PENCE MUST GO!

NO MORE!

Along the parade route, there were many Black people, young and old, jumping from their seats running along the rails of the route or standing up straight to raise a fist or cry out “REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS!” A woman sitting on the side agreed and said, “Yes, there is no future for our youth under this system.” A woman with a youth organization raised her fist to cry out “NO MORE!” as she nodded her head at the agitation about driving out the Trump/Pence regime and heard the Points of Attention. She told us, “It’s a revolution—Trump and Pence, they gotta go! They are tearing families away from their homes. What happened in Mississippi should not have happened. Children are crying, people are dying, and Trump is fueling this! There needs to be a movement: THEY GOTTA GO!”

Many people got palm cards highlighting the upcoming film showing of Why We Need An Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution by Bob Avakian. We had a way for people to come in and be part on the spot by taking a photograph following @TuneIntoRevcom with a sign from the march. The Revolution had a booth toward the end of the march that people could meet at and get organized into the revolution.

As the march came to a stop, there was one last push for those who were able to go across the outer sections of the parade route, where people had seen and heard us to organize them into the revolution. Two young men came up to us to ask for materials, because they had seen our contingent and thought we were not just talking but were serious.

Revolution Booth

On the corner of the street was a booth with a banner “This System Has No Future For the Youth, The Revolution Does...” that was set up with books like BAsics and the Constitution for a New Socialist Republic in North America and The New Communism. Displays of the “5 STOPS,” an installation used on “Red Summer,” and The Points of Attention for the Revolution attracted people to come by the booth. We played the trailer for the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution” that we will be playing on Sunday, August 18. We also played a clip from the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, where BA talks about “What if...” and another clip of “BA Through the Years.” One person said, “Oh my god this makes complete sense. This is exactly what they do to us.” Another person said: “This is deep, this is really deep. People need to see this.” People also asked where could they see this film and for other clips of BA. The people gathered materials and were organized, and BAsics was sold.

Summing Up Lessons

At the end, we sat in a circle with about 50 people summing up the experience we had. Everyone spoke positively of the impact we made and how much joy it was to be a part of it. People spoke to how people had joined the contingent off of what was done on Thursday during the protest and shutdown of Lake Shore Drive. Others reflected on the strength of the agitation about BA and the leadership he is providing and the urgent need for more people to take this up, and how this was an advance even from earlier in the week off some collective summation the Tour had had. About a dozen new people joined and stayed from beginning to end. Someone said they were thrilled to be a part of and witnessing the action on Lake Shore Drive and that we did not back down. They also said we did not back down when a comrade during the parade brought a U.S. flag over to a group of children to rip up and a pig police attacked them. A young man said this was something he felt he had to be a part of after having tried to start an organization of his own but realized you can’t do it on your own but this is the one to be a part of it until his dying breath.

What the revolution did at the Bud Billiken Parade represented the interests of the seven billion people on the planet. We showed there was a radically different force on the scene having brought people from the impact made by shutting down Lake Shore Drive days before to the march at parade to make an impact there and organize people off of that impact for revolution, so the revolution can impact further to organize even more people. We were not going to back down from that goal, not from those who said revolution is not possible and not from any repression or attacks on the masses of people. We struggled with the youth who were about to get into a fight and were chased by the police. There was something to fight and live your life for and it was not that kind of life that they have for us, but the challenge was made to all to be a part of this revolution, whether photographing and following us, or to do more by joining the contingent on the spot as some people did. The message of the revolution was clear and loud, and so were the people in the crowd who were responding to it.

Carl Dix on WVON Chicago's Matt & Kim Show
Why the Revolution Tour was at the Bud Billikin parade, why people should come to see this film...

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/watch-this-what-if-en.html

Watch This: "What if..."

| revcom.us

 

To Revcom,

I came upon this video posted by the LA Revolution Club on Instagram. Moved in profound ways, I wrote: If you have a heart for humanity... if you feel that the people of the world could be and do so much better than all that is today... here’s a beautiful invitation. I then showed the video to two friends, each teared up. There is more that I could say about the video, about the words spoken and by whom, but instead, watch it, reflect on it, circulate it, and take it to heart and then decide what you are going to strive for and do....

Andy Zee

Watch: www.instagram.com/p/B1NQY38Ak2b/

 

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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/608/building-for-mass-film-screening-in-hyde-park-en.html

August 16, 2019:

Building for Mass Film Screening of Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution in Hyde Park

| revcom.us

 

The following is a report from a team of the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour going out to two different parts of Chicago with different cross sections of people.

We mainly got out the palm cards for the film screening and showed people the trailer for the film, which makes the case for why they need to be there on Sunday to watch the film.

All of this was infused with and guided by the orientation of the “3 reasons” which appear on the back of the palm card. This was the basis for our agitation, even as it was not limited to just that. On this outing more so than in those earlier in the week, real life came through in our agitation, even as it was mainly concise, punchy, and on message. There was a real openness to our agitation among a lot of people. We think this really speaks to the moment. Another new scene: people in not just one or two, but in groups of five or six at a time would gather together (or, rather, were led to do so with open arms but firm conviction by Tour and Revolution Club members) to view the trailer. Sometimes it was as simple as telling someone, “You really gotta watch this trailer!” and then they would come. All of our sign-ups came from people engaging the trailer. And those who did came off of it with a lot of substantive thoughts. This was not just passive engagement; people really felt a connection with what Bob Avakian was speaking about. Not just on today’s outing, but on others this week, people said things like, “Nobody is saying anything like this!”

The most responsive and open people we talked to (and organized) were young people, mainly people of color.

One comrade talked to a black immigrant from Senegal who recently came to this country. He was struck by the “STOP” poster on police brutality and murder and this caused him to stop and talk to us. He told us that he was the victim of constant police harassment.

A broad sentiment we encountered and sometimes heard outright was “FUCK DONALD TRUMP!” and we definitely united with this while we struggled to take it further to indicting the whole system that gave rise to Trump.

One white woman looked at our “STOP” display on the immigrant question and was brought to tears by the images of families being rounded up and torn apart. We brought her the “5-2-6” broadsheet, and off of the Points of Attention she recounted her experiences being a female in this world and how something desperately needs to be done about patriarchy. She told us that she regularly gets together with a group of like-minded women and talks about what’s going on in the world, and that a lot of the time they vent but feel like they are hopeless. After watching the trailer, she said that this group of women really needs to see the film, and she took materials promoting the screening to bring to them.

More generally, there was a sense among the advanced masses we drew forward with the trailer that “something needs to be done,” and that they wanted to learn more about this movement and this leader.

One Black woman who was righteously angry at the Trump/Pence regime and its agenda expressed that the youth deserve better and need to get out of killing each other when this contradiction was posed to her. She said that we need more programs for the youth to express their creativity, like poetry and dance expositions. She was also upset about the persecution of immigrants and said that she thinks we are all human beings and that America was built by immigrants. She took some posters for the film to put up at an intersection near a school and also in Englewood, a center of violence in the city. We invited her to post pictures of the posters when she put them up and to tag us on social media. She followed us on Facebook, both the national and the local club.

We also interacted with and tried to organize people from out of town or even out of state, including people from Michigan and Missouri. A young couple from Missouri was stopped by the palm card and the 5 Stops. They stayed and watched the trailer and were very struck by it. One of them had a very strong critique of “The Left” being inactive and not really being about revolution and aren’t doing anything. He commented that it was great that someone (BA) is actually leading this! He recognized that this was something very different! He was talking about the terrain in Missouri and we put to him that the Tour is going everywhere and he should link up with it. He bought BAsics as well. We have his contact information and will follow up with them soon on how to start a Revolution Club in their area.

A Black couple from Michigan watched the trailer, agreed that the system can’t be reformed, but had concerns about how we can make revolution and what would replace this system. There was a real interest here. We posed the three reasons and that we are on tour. They asked if the Tour could come to Michigan.

Pigs stir up controversy about the Revolution
Hear Carl Dix on WVON radio's Matt & Kim Show
Bringing the real deal about the Revolution

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/reflections-on-ferguson-five-years-later-en.html

Reflections on Ferguson, Five Years Later

| revcom.us

 

by some comrades who had responsibility for directly leading the struggle in Ferguson

This past weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the Ferguson rebellion. Michael Brown, a Black youth who had recently graduated high school, was shot down with his hands in the air by a pig in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. And that was not enough: The pigs then let Michael Brown’s dead body lie in the street for hour after hour after hour. The anger spread through the Black neighborhood where Michael’s lifeless body lay, like a lynching victim in the “old South”; that night people rose up and righteously defended themselves against heavily armed police. Night after night these youth fought back—despite the “best efforts” of “firemen” like Al Sharpton and too many others to stuff them back into the lives that this system has hammered them into.

Radical and revolutionary youth from around the country, including members of the Revolution Club, came to Ferguson to lend support to this uprising and many held demonstrations in their own cities. Black young people poured into the streets all over the country. Youth of other nationalities, including a lot of white youth, joined into this and also began disrupting symphonies and baseball games to demand of others, “which side are you on?” Something new was coming on the scene.

When the DA in the case delivered the “no indictment” decision in late November of that year and the craven murderer-in-blue of Michael Brown walked free, even more people poured into the streets—this time by the thousands and tens of thousands around the country. For a month they went to the streets day after day and night after night, blocking highways and disrupting business as usual. The police responded with heavy, often militarized repression, but were often forced to back off.

Important questions about the depth and scope of the oppression of Black people were beginning to be raised in the minds of millions... about why this was still going on and what to do about it... and where all this comes from. People were beginning to get a sense of their own potential power when they joined together.

At the same time, the ruling capitalist-imperialist class, Democratic Party division, was moving to “corral and domesticate” the protest, in the phrase of Bob Avakian. The Obama administration flew selected activists to the White House for a meeting. Certain voices—those promoting reforms and programs to work with and develop “understanding” and conciliation between the police and the people—were given a platform and promoted in the media; and certain voices—those of resistance and rebellion, those of revolution—were “whited out.” The framework of identity politics and restorative justice, which puts forward changing people’s understanding within the current system as the road forward, was given support from forces high up in the ruling class. Complex multi-point programs of reform were put out. Parades of Black politicians began to be elected to district attorney, city council, and mayor, and many, many new Black cops were hired—the Ferguson PD has gone from four Black pigs to 22 since the rebellion. Black police chiefs were installed. The Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) began promoting “consent decrees” promising to bring in a new era of “accountability.”1 Body cameras were put on police.

Meanwhile, heavy charges and sentences began coming down on those who had been arrested in the demonstrations. At least six activists in the struggle have lost their lives, some in what were, at the least, suspicious circumstances. The struggle did continue—masses of people, especially Black youth, rose up in Baltimore after the police murdered Freddie Gray in 2015, and 3,000 demonstrated in New York in October 2015 in a demonstration called by Rise Up October, a coalition which the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) helped initiate. But especially going into and then coming out of the election of Trump, the struggle subsided.

Five Years Later: And What Has Changed

Now, five years later, what has changed? In the wake of the rebellions initially sparked by the death of Michael Brown, the fascist and openly white supremacist Trump came into office, in part as a response to those rebellions. The rate of police murder has not changed since 2014, body cams and all. It is still an epidemic, taking roughly 1,000 lives a year. The rate of cops who get charged after killing someone has remained the same, which is virtually nil. The cops who do go to trial continue to get acquitted, at the same rate as before.

The MOST IMPORTANT Lessons of Ferguson

But the lesson here is NOT that rebellion and mass struggle does no good. Quite the opposite. Mass struggle, especially when it gets to the point that Ferguson did, can play an extremely critical role in advancing things toward revolution. The masses of people raise their heads—to quote HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, society is “jolted” and “many people question and resist what they normally accept.” We wrote above about some of what begins to come out in these struggles and some of what begins to come into being, but this deserves repeated emphasis.

BUT what the last five years so painfully make clear is first, that as Bob Avakian put forward in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution: “White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly ‘stitched together’ through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apart. White supremacy and capitalism—it is not possible to overcome and finally abolish the one without overthrowing and finally abolishing the other. No reform under this system will ever be anything more than partial and temporary and this has been borne out by what has followed from Ferguson.

It really IS true, as BA says, that there are 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!”

From this standpoint, these struggles cannot be left as they are, or simply supported—even militantly supported—but must be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination and organization. (from a Revolution Club, Los Angeles statement on police murder of Stephon Clark--emphasis added)

So, given this, what DOES need to be done? To again cite BA’s speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:

So, with this understanding and orientation, how do we go about hastening while awaiting? The means for doing this is concentrated in the formulation: “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.” Let’s start with the aim of all this—Revolution. In BAsics 3:1, I put it like this: “Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.” That is another simple and basic truth. We need to go to people—not just one or two people, not just a small number of people, but masses of people, reaching all over the country, in every part of society—straight up with revolution—instead of just letting “where they are at” set the terms, and trying to somehow “bring in” some idea about revolution within that limited framework. As BAsics 3:1 goes on to say: We do need to unite with people in all sorts of struggles short of revolution; but it is frankly ridiculous to think that something short of revolution could solve all the monumental problems and monstrous outrages that people face under this system. On the basis of going to people straight up with revolution, then, coming from that place, we need to unite with people in fighting injustice and oppression, and struggle to win more and more people to see the need and the possibility for revolution, and to get with this.

Here we have to say that while the political line of reformism coming from other forces (and given backing by Obama) held back and neutered the struggle in Ferguson, there were questions of revolutionary orientation and strategy within the RCP itself that did harm to what is most needed: the cause of revolution. To too large an extent, we ourselves did not proceed from what is cited above and thus fundamentally did NOT play the vanguard role required at that time. While the Revolution Clubs and people influenced by the party mobilized the masses in militant struggle and courageously took on the forces of repression, and while we fought against conciliationism and reform, we did this too much from within the terms of what would advance the immediate struggle against police murder.

We did not enough ground ourselves and everyone else in the revolution we need in doing so and come at everything from the standpoint laid out above in BA’s speech and BAsics 3:30. We did not anywhere near enough build on and build off of the truly great strength that the revolution has in Bob Avakian—in what he’s brought forward in the science through which to understand the world, the strategy for the revolution we need, and the vision of the new society as crystallized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which he authored.

This significant and costly shortcoming flowed from the idea that communists should above all, or as a starting point at least, put the immediate unity in the struggle and proving oneself the “best fighter” and only then put forth your revolutionary understanding once you have “established yourself.” This has been a historically dominant line in the communist movement, and it is one that is reinforced by the dominant social relations and ideas of this system. But if you don’t struggle with the ways in which this system conditions HOW people see the causes, goals, and means of what is needed right from the beginning and all the way through, then you will never get to communism and you won’t even make revolution. For these reasons this line has been and is one of the chief targets of the Cultural Revolution in the RCP, led by BA. (The Cultural Revolution within the RCP,USA was launched by Bob Avakian in the early 2000s, at a point when the whole party was in danger of giving up on the goal of revolution, in any real sense, and becoming revisionist. This is discussed in great depth in Part 4 of The New Communism. The current National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution is a concentrated expression of that Cultural Revolution. This Tour aims to build the mass revolutionary movement we need, including the thousands needed right now to form an organized core force FOR revolution and, as a crucial objective and necessary part of that, fundamentally and decisively break with that revisionist line.

What Must Be Done Now

Today, five years later, we write as a fascist and openly white supremacist regime rules from the White House and moves to further clamp fascism fully into place. Right now, this government is imprisoning and torturing immigrants, including children who are being torn from their parents, for the “crime” of fleeing repression and starvation. Right now, Trump uses the words of Hitler to describe Black people and the neighborhoods they live in. Right now, there are moves to strip women and LGBTQ people of basic rights, and there are threats of genocidal nuclear war coming from Trump (and actual barbaric wars now being waged with U.S. support and/or direct participation in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and other places). The breakneck plunder of the environment poses whether humanity will even continue to exist into the next century. And right now, the police continue murdering and brutalizing Black people, Latinos, immigrants, Native Americans, and other oppressed people—and now have open backing from the White House and DOJ. To paraphrase Gil Scott-Heron, in talking about an earlier struggle against police murder, “the dogs are still in the street.”

In fact, right now we need more, not less, resistance. But most of all we need a movement for revolution in the thousands that enters into and builds this resistance in the way called for above. This past weekend people went into the streets in a number of cities to demonstrate. Especially if this signals the basis for a new upsurge, revolutionary communists should welcome and be part of struggle on this front, along the lines laid out above, drawing out and struggling over the correct lessons of the past five years, and building up forces for the only solution to the problem: revolution.

How to do that is laid out in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution:

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

1. A few months after the initial upheaval, Obama’s Department of Justice reversed the verdict on what actually happened—saying that Michael Brown did not have his hands up. The movie Stranger Fruit actually walks through the testimony and lays out an extremely strong case that Brown’s hands were up—with a number of witnesses, including some white, who maintained that; enough that the case should have gone to trial. But this was important for Obama to do in order to undercut the whole basis that the struggle was righteous and that the legal system is set up to justify such murders; and in particular, they were trying to gut the legitimacy of what became the cry of those fall protests: “hands up, don’t shoot!” [back]


Michael Brown

Ferguson, Missouri, August 13, 2014. Photo: AP

Ferguson, Missouri, November 25, 2014. Photo: AP

The Oppression of Black People and Other People of Color, by Bob Avakian

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

 

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Trial Approaches for Noche Diaz and Six Other Revolutionaries Illegitimately Arrested at Puerto Rican People's Parade

| revcom.us

 

In 2018 at the Puerto Rican People's Parade, more than a dozen police vamped on Revolution Club members in their T-shirts, grabbing as many as they could, including Noche Diaz, who was on the bullhorn. Some were brutally thrown to the ground with several police piled on top. Altogether, seven were arrested and hauled off to jail. These defendants have now been dragged through court proceeding after court proceeding for over a year on completely bogus charges. Noche is facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, resisting/obstructing and a violation of the sound ordinance. The other six are charged with obstructing/resisting. None of them did anything illegal. They were TALKING to people!

The authorities clearly did not want a revolutionary message to reach and challenge people who have borne the brunt of U.S. colonization and the utterly inhumane treatment of the island’s people in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The anger and outrage this stoked were still below the surface in 2018 but have since erupted into massive struggles rocking the island as the people took to the streets and forced the governor from office.

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria had landed a catastrophic hit on Puerto Rico, an island nation of over three million people.

Dozens died as a direct result of the storm. But in the days, weeks, and months after the storm, thousands more would die, hundreds of thousands would endure great suffering, and the entire economic, educational, and social infrastructure of Puerto Rico would be severely and permanently degraded. Almost all of that was completely un-necessary; it was the result of deliberate, genocidal inaction by the U.S. government and its refusal to organize a serious rescue and recovery effort for Puerto Rico.

This was the situation when the Revolution Club of Chicago went out to the 2018 Puerto Rican People's Parade and Festival which draws thousands each year. The club set up at a corner where they could maximize their interaction with people streaming by. They were met with an unjust mass arrest by the Chicago Police Department.

The Revolution Club was displaying the “5 Stops” panels and a special display about Puerto Rico, and the criminal (non) response of the U.S. government. Overhead was a banner calling for revolution. For more than two hours the club was reaching out to the crowds—exposing U.S. imperialism in Puerto Rico historically and today, its crimes in countries like Yemen where a school bus full of children was hit with U.S. bombs dropped by its ally, the Saudis; of children being ripped away from their parents on the southern border with Mexico; the murderous role of the police in enforcing this system of oppression. Through it all, the message rang out: This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown. Literature about how a revolution was possible was handed out and people were being signed up to get with the revolution.

After being out at the parade/festival site for about two hours, there was a pre-meditated assault on the Revolution Club crew who were TALKING to people going to the parade! There was no prior warning. The police rolled up over 12 deep, led by a high-ranking deputy chief. One would have to ask why he was there. The deputy chief personally later claimed that Noche used the bullhorn to “incite violence” against the police. And he determined this how? After a minute or two? The video shows that what Noche actually said was that the police constantly arrest the Revolution Club for no legitimate reason (TRUE) and he exposed their general role as enforcers for a brutal system of oppression (TRUE). This does not meet by any stretch ANY legal definition of inciting violence. The very fact that the deputy chief described it that way is both serious and reveals the real political nature of this arrest and prosecution.

The police, led by their deputy chief, stopped what was clearly First Amendment activity for political reasons and then made up criminal charges to justify the arrests.

This arrest was one of 14 incidents of CPD arresting and ticketing members of the Revolution Club. But that is not all. There were another 13 incidents of almost arrests. Why did the latter stay “almost” arrests? Because there was a lawyer present who intervened to prevent the arrests, thus highlighting the other arrests should never have happened.

The pretext in this case was a “sound ordinance” violation. In light of the overall past pattern of arrests and this case in particular, the ACLU wrote a substantial four-page memo to the Revolution Club advising them of their rights. The memo’s conclusion reads, “The Revolution Club and its members have a First Amendment right to attend permitted events in public forums, including the Puerto Rican People's Parade. At such events, you have a First Amendment right to communicate your message to others who are present in the forum, and police may not make you leave the area or limit your speech based on your message, the words you use to communicate your message, or your membership in the Revolution Club.... With respect to the sound amplification ordinance in particular, you are, in our opinion exempt from enforcement because you are participating in a permitted event.” [Editors’ note: In this case the parade and festival are considered permitted events.]

On August 14, all the defendants will appear in court with a legal team put together in anticipation of the case going to trial. At this hearing, the legal team is preparing to press for the discovery that a judge granted in a pretrial motion but which the state has not complied with to date.

Word of this illegitimate arrest and prosecution has to be spread and people rallied to defend the Revolution Club members who are facing these charges. The state is very afraid of this revolutionary force growing so they try to attack and suppress it. This has to boomerang on them by more people coming forward to be part of and learn more about the revolution and by broad strata, whether they agree with revolution or not, taking the right side in this fight to not let the state silence and jail people fighting for a better world.

People should call the office of the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx (the recently elected “reformer”) and demand that these charges be dropped: (312) 603-8600.


Noche Diaz


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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

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Plans to Scale Up Fundraising After Chicago Livestream

| revcom.us

 

The following was sent by a reader after a group watching of the Revolution Tour livestream on Sunday, July 28:

We wanted to share some of our experience with others.

First, our goal for August is $5,000. This seems it would be a good contribution from here to the total, and is a "stretch" but doable.

This was a mix of people who came to watch the livestream—people who have known the revolution for several years and people new to the revolution, including people involved in Refuse Fascism. People were intent throughout, and afterwards people engaged in informal discussion and real ideas and plans for raising funds for the tour. One person who attended started tearing up when his letter was read on the livestream. Writing is not something he's comfortable with as English is his fourth language, so this really mattered to him. Another person watched the livestream on Facebook and made a $50 pledge afterwards. A teacher brought cookies and brownies that she made which people took out and sold at one of the Pulgas (flea markets) to raise money for the tour.

Beginning plans were made, with two "prongs" of moving ahead: Expanding the number of people who are donating larger amounts (including trying to open up possibilities for people who can make substantial donations) and going broadly on a regular basis to key places (while keeping open the possibility of reaching out to other outpourings, parts of town, etc.). We need to make the fact that there is a National Tour building for an actual revolution underway much more widely known through the course of this effort.

People bought books like THE NEW COMMUNISM and BAsics and took copies of HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution to get deeper into what this revolution is all about.

Among the things planned:

An internationalist fundraising dinner. One of the teachers is going to find a location for this. We are going to work with some people who can build this among Iranians and Pakistanis in particular.

Moving forward, various immigrant communities are an area we are going to try to make headway among. Large numbers of people from many parts of the world characterize this city to an extent it does few others. This terrain is obviously full of contradictions and particular issues etc. among different nationalities, but overall is a potential strategic strength for our cause in general, and for this effort in particular.

Bake sales. The woman who is a teacher is going to doing some more baking, and looking into places that would be good to set up, as this area is not really a place with a lot of foot traffic.

A garage/yard sale. One thing we're trying to figure out is how to promote and advertise things like this. It's a different scene than it was in the old days of print, free newspapers, etc. One young person had some initial thoughts about this including someone who has more of an IT background.

We plan to be at two universities as school opens. We also want to pursue getting into some classes and working with some professors around this.

I think there is a pretty solid basis for all those who came to the livestream to participate in this and we need to develop some thinking quickly on how to go about developing some beginning collectivities that bring people forward, while mainly contributing to the effort to achieve the monetary goals. The immediate challenge is getting out of the gate on all this.

It would be very important to hear from others. How are you raising funds for the Revolution Tour? Send your plans and how it's going: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

Donate to the movement for revolution here.

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From the Revolution Club, LA

Fundraising, Building a Mass Movement, and Putting Revolution Straight Up to People

| revcom.us

 

The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour is on a mission to bring forward thousands across the country into the movement for revolution and put Bob Avakian and the new communism on the map. The first leg of the tour kicked off in Los Angeles in April 2019, and the tour is now in Chicago.

Fundraising is a key part of building a mass movement for revolution that goes beyond people giving a thumbs up to the idea of revolution and having that dissipate. When we heard the national call to raise $20,000 by August 1, we set a goal of raising $1,000 by raising $10 donations from 100 people. We have been reaching out to broader numbers of people, most who don't know anything about the National Tour or its work to change the whole world. So far, from our discussions with people, we've raised $830 from 34 people.

As we have been doing this, we have become much sharper with how we are putting the real concrete needs of the revolution to people, stepping from the truth concentrated in BAsics 3:1, “...We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit,” and joining struggle around THAT. Very importantly, we are putting the ask for money at the very beginning of our calls, and rolling up our sleeves to struggle ideologically. An important method in waging this struggle, especially with those who consider themselves “woke” or progressive, is challenging people to look at the 5 STOPS and make the argument how they see ending these things short of a revolution. We are also learning that not every donation is going to be a vigorous ideological struggle, some people want to donate immediately. The key is asking.

Some people really do appreciate being given the opportunity to contribute and be a part of the revolution. People have busy lives and schedules with constraints that make it very difficult to be a part of what the Revolution Club does on a day to day basis. Donating gives people a way to get some skin in the game and make a real contribution. It is a sacrifice, and some people have straight up thanked us for the opportunity. This is very different for us. We have been working to break from a model where people either run 24/7 with the Club or do something that feels very individual and cut off from the national picture. All this is connected to the next point:

We have focused on helping people see the national picture of the Tour and movement for revolution, finding the ways for those involved to see that they are a part of something bigger than themselves and the people they're talking to. Sometimes this means literally seeing each other on social media. Even how we formulated the fundraising goal was a part of bringing out this mass character.100 people donating $10 or more. When we called people, we asked them to be one of these hundred people. People tend to see their relationship to the revolution in a very individual and atomized way. Which is the same way they tend to see themselves in relationship to the rest of the world. People think about things in a different way when they are coming forward as part of a collective process, a mass movement, and asking people to be one of a hundred people is a part of breaking that down.

We have also been getting video statements and written statements from people about why they are contributing or why they are calling on other people to donate. How important is it that different voices of the movement be heard? Including some who are just stepping into the revolution. What impact could it have on someone on the whole other side of the country to hear someone just like them (or someone very different from them) making the case why this revolution is important? What we have found is that it has a really positive impact on people when they hear their statement has been spread on social media by other Revolution Clubs and that it has a real impact.

We also have been taking pictures of a money thermometer on our white board at the organizing center and sending it to people we are talking to. It seems this has an impact on people following through on their pledges. People want to make the thermometer go up! All of this is showing people that they are a part of something much larger and forging a sense that we are accomplishing a meaningful goal together. And raising funds for this National Tour is meaningful.

Another new advance was raising $168 using a bullhorn outside of a big George Clinton concert. We asked people to step into the revolution by donating, we talked about the 5 STOPS and the 2 choices, and challenged people to break out of the individualism, the bourgeois electoral bullshit, and the running away from the reality that nothing will change without tremendous sacrifice.

When you put the need for a contribution right up front, people also raise a lot of differences—not just about the funds, but raising a lot of the obstacles in their thinking to revolution. These are questions we want to be struggling over. We heard a lot of arguments that amounted to people just looking out for themselves—whether it be the daily struggle to survive, the argument we should just look out for “our people” (i.e., Black people, or American people), or the illusion that if we “keep our heads down, maybe the horrors won't visit me and those I most care about.” There's also big questions that come up about sacrifice. Both about giving money but then what the rulers make you pay when you stand up. Is it all worth it? A big part of the glue that holds together some of this different thinking is the false notion that there is no alternative to this system of capitalism/imperialism. But revolution is necessary and possible and there is a way that millions can work together now to bring a far better world into being. What could be more worth it than that?

 

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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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| 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!

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/601/ten-basic-principles-of-organizing-en.html

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/606/bob-avakian-individualism-beb-and-the-illusion-of-painless-progress-en.html

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.

 

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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

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/608/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-41-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

 

Every week, revcom.us features quotes from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. This week we have a set of six quotes. We encourage Revolution Clubs and other readers, everywhere, to take the time to discuss the quotes—the whole quotes—and to write us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com with accounts of these discussions, or thoughts provoked in yourself by reading the quotes.

 

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.

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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.

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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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/crucial-importance-of-the-new-communism-and-ba-en.html

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/608/refuse-fascism-solidarity-with-rhode-island-never-again-action-en.html

Reprinted from RefuseFascism.org

A Solidarity Statement from Refuse Fascism: Stand with the Rhode Island Never Again Action and other Immigrants Rights Protesters! Stand with Immigrants! We Demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

| revcom.us

 

Refuse Fascism is horrified and angered by an attack on brave resisters from Never Again Action in Central Falls, Rhode Island.

On Wednesday night, hundreds of protesters were doing what millions should be doing, raising their voices and putting their bodies on the line to fiercely oppose the terror of immigrants happening in our name. The demonization of immigrants, their concentration camps on the border, and the mass killings by fascist murderers inspired by this regime is the battering ram and linchpin of a whole fascist program that is being hammered into place, piece by piece by the Trump/Pence regime.

We say Basta Ya!/Enough! This whole regime must be driven from office, and only the power of the people acting together in nonviolent sustained mass protest to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go!” can stop their whole immoral, illegitimate and murderous program.

*** * ***

The Never Again Action protesters were sitting across the entrance of the parking lot of the Donald W. Wyatt ICE Detention Facility. A video shows a black truck plowing into them, clearly aiming to injure or kill them. The driver of the truck was a corrections officer wearing his badge and uniform. The protesters stood their ground, surrounding the truck with chants of “Shame!” and “The whole world is watching!” They were right, posing a challenge to everyone to set aside their fears and act on their conscience as children are being tortured inside this regime’s concentration camps. Seconds later, uniformed guards came out and pepper sprayed the protesters, ignoring the driver who had committed the assault.

The Rhode Island protesters issued a statement saying, “Last night we experienced a small example of the violence that ICE uses against our immigrant neighbors every day. As Jews, our families taught us the lessons of the Holocaust, and we promised that we would speak out and act if we ever saw the warning signs of a group of people being targeted, dehumanized, and rounded up.”

Federal and state laws to outlaw dissent, vindictive prosecutions, and organized and unleashed fascist thugs with a green light from the highest offices are all part of how fascism comes to envelop a whole society. Donald Trump himself said he longed for the days when protesters would be carried out on stretchers. In several states, including Rhode Island, bills have been introduced in state legislatures to protect drivers who cause injury or death to protesters.

Refuse Fascism maintains that the Trump/Pence regime must be driven from power through the actions of the people. We are organizing, and seeking to unite with people from many different points of view and struggles, for the time – which needs to come soon – when first thousands will take to the streets in protest in cities and towns across the country, not stopping but growing in numbers and coming back week after week and day after day demanding the regime be removed from power. We need to learn from Hong Kong, South Korea and Puerto Rico. If we want to close the camps, end family separation, and fight against every sick program of this American fascism, it is a necessary precondition that the Trump/Pence regime be driven from power at the soonest possible time. Just as the people of Puerto Rico did not wait to drive out their hated governor, we must not wait to drive out a regime that poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet.

Therefore, we call on every force for social justice and everyone with a heart to stand with and support the Central Falls protesters, and oppose every assault on those who are waging determined protest against this regime.

 

Video posted by Never Again Action

What is Refuse Fascism

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.

 

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

Trailer

The entire film with Q&A & sharable clips is 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/609/the-mass-protests-in-hong-kong-some-key-points-of-orientation-en.html

The Mass Protests in Hong Kong: Some Key Points of Orientation

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: We received this contribution late into publication and posting, but feel it is important to share with readers. Please tune into revcom.us for further updates, opinions, and orientation on this.

1) What triggered the summer wave of mass resistance

For the past 10 weeks, Hong Kong has been rocked by massive protests. Huge demonstrations and occupations (including of the main airport), strikes against the local government; and clashes with police and gangs linked to the government. At its height, over a million people (in a city of seven million) may have been involved in the outpourings.

Students and young people initially took to the streets to protest a proposed bill that allows suspects to be extradited—transferred—to the Chinese mainland to stand trial and face far harsher penalties. The protests triggered by the proposed bill soon widened into a larger protest against the local government itself, raising issues of political rights, expression, and dissent. The protests have also given voice to deep discontent over the lack of affordable housing, a growing pollution emergency, and Hong Kong’s enormous inequalities in wealth.

While a range of different class and political forces with their own aims and programs are involved in this rebellion, this movement is righteously seeking to resist the imposition of an even more oppressive regime of control over the lives and futures of the people of Hong Kong.

2) Some essential historical and contemporary facts

Hong Kong was seized from China at gunpoint by Great Britain in 1841. In 1898, the British brokered a 99-year lease of control over Hong Kong. After World War 2, Hong Kong became a cheap-manufacturing hub and a major financial center of Western globalized capitalism. Banks and stock markets facilitated the movement of capital through Asia, and Hong Kong’s ports shipped and re-shipped goods throughout the world.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1949 through a communist revolution that shattered the domination of imperialism over China and broke the back of the oppressive landlord system and foreign-controlled capitalism. A socialist society was created and hundreds of millions took up the cause of forging a society free of exploitation and oppression. But a new capitalist class arose within the structures of the Communist Party and the socialist state. Mao Zedong led millions in the Cultural Revolution to wage struggle to deepen the revolution and prevent the restoration of capitalism. But in 1976, this new capitalist class seized power.

The PRC continues to call itself socialist. But China is a thoroughly and brutally capitalist society—organized around profit and based on exploitation. China is governed by a highly-repressive capitalist ruling class. The regime, however, maintains the veneer of socialism for a number of reasons—including keeping the appearance of links to Mao and the 1949 revolution for legitimacy, and presenting itself as a new kind of power on the world imperialist stage.

In 1997, the British lease over Hong Kong ran out, and China regained control. In the two decades since, Hong Kong has continued to play a vital role as a financial center of world capitalism—while also serving the needs of China’s increasingly globally competitive and expanding capitalism. Most direct foreign investment into China flows through Hong Kong. And much of China’s outbound investment to other parts of the world passes through Hong Kong.

3) A just upsurge in a complex international situation

When Great Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997, the PRC granted Hong Kong a small measure of autonomy in its economic and political functioning and legal system. Now the central government is seeking to tighten its political control over Hong Kong, even as the local government is subservient to it. There are a number of reasons that China is putting greater restrictions on Hong Kong’s political fabric. Some have to do with the central government’s concern over the potential for political and social fragmentation in China, and keeping China stable and unified. And this is completely bound up with a defining factor of world economics and politics today: the challenge that China is mounting to U.S. global economic supremacy and intensifying rivalry between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest capitalist powers.

Hong Kong plays a major, if evolving, role in China’s global economic agenda; and the PRC will not tolerate a Hong Kong that spins out of control.

The local Hong Kong government has responded to the current wave of protests with brutal repression and threats of more repression. Meanwhile, the central government of the People’s Republic of China has made clear through official statements and movements of special military units that it is prepared to step in to quash the protests.

It is very good and fine that the people of Hong Kong are refusing to back off in the face of force and threats of force... and that the protests have increased in size and militancy. And in the face of the fascist Trump/Pence regime seeking to consolidate fascism in the U.S., the resistance and upheaval in Hong Kong is something that people here should learn from.


Protesters beam laser pointers at policemen during the anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Photo: AP


Photo: @AppleDaily

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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/609/cheers-to-art-spiegelman-en.html

Cheers to Art Spiegelman:
Censored by Marvel Comics for Comparing Trump to the Nazis of the 1930s-40s

| revcom.us

 

Art Spiegelman is an acclaimed graphic novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize for Maus, based on his father’s experience as a Polish Jew during the Holocaust, and the effect it had on him for the rest of his life. Maus was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer. Spiegelman is also a scholar of comics and graphic literature.

Spiegelman was asked by publisher The Folio Society to write an introduction to a soon-to-be-published book, Marvel: The Golden Age, 1939-1949, a collection of comics ranging from Captain America to The Human Torch.

Spiegelman submitted an essay that among other things examined the role such comics played for youth in the tumultuous and often terrifying years of the depression and World War 2, providing them

with mythic—almost god-like—secular saviours to deal with the threatening economic dislocations that surrounded them in the great depression and gave shape to their premonitions of impending global war. Comics allowed readers to escape into fantasy by projecting themselves on to invulnerable heroes.

Spiegelman went on to say:

Auschwitz and Hiroshima make more sense as dark comic book cataclysms than as events in our real world. In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America. International fascism again looms large (how quickly we humans forget—study these golden age comics hard, boys and girls!) and the dislocations that have followed the global economic meltdown of 2008 helped bring us to a point where the planet itself seems likely to melt down. Armageddon seems somehow plausible and we’re all turned into helpless children scared of forces grander than we can imagine, looking for respite and answers in superheroes flying across screens in our chapel of dreams.

After submitting the essay, Spiegelman was informed by the publisher that Marvel demanded that he remove the reference to Trump (the “Orange Skull” that “haunts America”) or they would not publish his essay. It turns out that the CEO of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, is a close friend, a close adviser, and major financial supporter of Trump.

Spiegelman refused to give in to this censorship, and instead withdrew his essay. Afterwards he wrote in The Guardian:

I didn’t think of myself as especially political compared with some of my fellow travellers, but when asked to kill a relatively anodyne [inoffensive] reference to an Orange Skull I realised that perhaps it had been irresponsible to be playful about the dire existential threat we now live with, and I withdrew my introduction.

He added that he has been forced to learn “yet again, that everything is political.”


Art Spiegelman

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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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/sunday-livestream-viewings-across-the-country-en.html

Sunday Livestream Viewings Across the Country

| revcom.us

 

Sunday August 25, 4:30 pm CDT on @tuneintorevcom

Watch Facebook Live from Chicago for the National Revolution Tour, and be part of contributing to the $50,000 August 31 fundraising goal.

This will be a chance to hear from the people who have been spreading the Get Organized For An ACTUAL Revolution Tour, how they have been impacting society with this message, what they have been learning. And they will be making the case for the need for major funds to push ahead to the next leg.

Here are some of the public gatherings in different cities for viewing the livestream.

New York City

5:30 pm
Revolution Books
437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Avenue @ 132nd Street
212-691-3345

Los Angeles

2 pm
Revolution Club Organizing Center
2716 S Vermont #8, by Vermont and Adams
(323) 424-6687
revclub_la@yahoo.com

Houston

Internationalist Fund Raising Dinner for the Get Organized For an ACTUAL Revolution Tour
3 pm, at the Havens Center
1827 W. Alabama, 77098

Donate to the
Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Summer Fundraising Goal: $50,000

Read more

 

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