revcom.us, October 21, 2019 through October 27, 2019 (#618)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/616/refuse-fascism-call-en.html

| revcom.us

#OUTNOW!

#OUTNOW!

We demand:
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!

Into the streets Saturday, November 16

MASS DEMONSTRATIONS, In cities and towns across the country, take to the streets with the demand:
TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

Everyone who is anguished and outraged by what the Trump/Pence regime is doing, join us in the streets on Saturday November 16 with signs and banners with the single unifying demand: Trump/Pence Out Now!

You, your school, your place of worship, your community, your organization, your cause, needs to show that people in this country are determined to stop the Trump/Pence regime from doing further damage to the people and planet NOW! The way to remove this regime is by sustained mass non-violent protest. Around the world people are taking to the streets in continuing protests demanding regime change – inspiring all of us with hope through their determination to show up week after week until they win. We can do no less here.

November 16 is the culmination of 4 weeks of launching the #OUTNOW! Movement. The purpose of these 4 weeks has been to launch, to model, and to forge a beginning force to inspire and cohere a movement with determination and unity for one goal: the removal of the Trump/Pence regime—now!

Spread the word of 11/16. Organize friends, your group, your cause out on 11/16. Let's show people in this country and the world: we will not adjust to the injustice and crimes of Trump & Pence. We will come out again and again until this regime is gone.

 

The Trump/Pence regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity. Concentration Camps on the border... environmental devastation accelerated... the danger of war, even nuclear, threatened... white supremacy rules... fascist mobs and racist mass murderers... truth and science erased... the right to abortion near gone... the rule of law and democratic and civil rights are stripped away... THIS IS FASCISM UNFOLDING.

Now, impeachment has begun. A momentous move, in which sharp political battle lines are drawn with high stakes. Trump himself threatens charges of treason and even invokes civil war. A virulent fascist movement sees their future bound up with the whole Trump/Pence regime. Where this ends up depends on us.

This is a moment when we – people of many different views and experience – must act together in mass, sustained, non-violent nationwide protests that continue until the Trump/Pence regime is removed from power. We begin with protests in NYC and LA on October 19 that announce four more consecutive Saturdays of protests in cities and towns across the country that gather more people and momentum so that in the weeks and months that follow, the movement grows to tens and hundreds of thousands and millions. What unifies all the diverse streams of people that need to pour into the streets is the single demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—Now!

For 3 years the Democratic Party leadership facilitated the Trump/Pence regime, even voting funds for border security when children were being separated from parents. Now, they want to restrict impeachment only to national security and Trump's violation of democratic norms to try to enlist Ukraine to undermine U.S.  elections. They have said they will not impeach on the whole array of fascist outrages. Thus far, they are not going after the whole fascist regime. Their approach would legitimate the whole Trump/Pence fascist program, leaving the cancer in place to grow more dangerously, especially if his Christo-fascist VP Pence is then allowed to take the presidency. Moreover, Trump has threatened that he may not leave office.

To “leave things to the Democrats” or wait til 2020 would be extremely dangerous. The only way to stop Trump and Pence and advance every struggle for justice is by the power of the people in the streets.

The world as we have known it is being torn asunder. We must cast off fear and passivity, and not allow our differences to stand in the way of rising together in the unprecedented, unrelenting non-violent mass #OUTNOW! protests to drive out the Trump/Pence regime.

We must seize on the impeachment crisis now erupting, taking history into our own hands and turning dread for the future into a force for hope!

Puerto Rico and Hong Kong show us how:
#TrumpPenceOutNOW!

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

@RefuseFascism     venmo @refuse-fascism
RefuseFascism.org

Click here for PDFs of printable flyers

For much more about #OUTNOW, visit RefuseFascism.org


Sign up at RefuseFascism.org

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/refuse-fascism-launches-the-OUTNOW-movement-in-LA-and-NYC-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Refuse Fascism Launches the #OUTNOW! Movement in LA & NYC to Demand The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—NOW!

Cornel West Joins 200 in March from Union Square to Trump Tower

Los Angeles March Viciously Attacked by Fascist Thugs

For immediate release 11:00 pm October 19 2019
Contact: Refuse Fascism (917) 407-1286
RefuseFascism.org
Interviews Available

 

Two hundred people in New York City and another 100 in LA turned out for spirited demonstrations to announce the launch of the #OUTNOW! Movement. The Los Angeles protest was viciously attacked by MAGA fascist thugs.

These protests begin five weeks of protest to grow an unrelenting, nonviolent movement of mass protest that continues week after week to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—NOW! that kicks off sustained protests until their demand is met.

In NYC Andy Zee, spokesperson for RefuseFascism.org, said that the “image of #OUTNOW that was in front of the Trump Tower has to be seen all over the world. This regime should not go on one day longer, 2020 is too late. We’re not here to follow that routine of assemble, march, go home and live your life. We have to get out and stay in the streets, disrupt business as usual, not only for ourselves but because humanity demands it.”

Cornel West, who kicked off the rally in Union Square, spoke after the march left Trump Tower: “We have culminated a magnificent march, we have initiated a historic anti-fascist coalition. I stand with those who are willing to put their bodies on the line and make their voices heard to make sure that there will never ever be a fascism in the United States of America.”

The New York rally was also addressed by Carl Dix; Sharonne Salaam—whose son Yusuf Salaam was one of the Central Park 5 attacked by Donald Trump at the time of his trial and who has continued to be attacked by Trump in the years since; as well as Juanita Young and Hawa Bah—whose sons were murdered by the NYPD. The New York Union Square rally marched 50 blocks to Trump Tower, where they spelled out #OUTNOW! in huge letters.

The rally in Los Angeles was attacked by a dozen fascist thugs wielding flag poles who targeted leaders of LA Refuse Fascism and pepper sprayed demonstrators in the eyes. Refuse Fascism was not deterred and marched forward, and vowed they would be back next week.

Both marches were marked by the presence of youth, many coming into protests against the Trump/Pence fascist regime for the first time, expressing a fierce determination to drive it out and fight for their future.

Puerto Rico and Hong Kong show us how: #TrumpPenceOutNOW!

#OUTNOW! Call from Refuse Fascism

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

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @RefuseFascism

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

 

New York City, #OUTNOW at Trump Tower

 

 

#OUTNOW

We demand:
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!

#OUTNOW! begins with five weeks of protest to launch, spread, and grow an unrelenting non-violent mass movement of protests that continue week after week to demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go – NOW! From there, we will continue to grow and not stop until the Trump/Pence Regime has been removed from power.

Read more

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/NYC-OUTNOW-is-born-en.html

#OUTNOW Is Born!
A New Cause for Hope for a World Free of the Trump/Pence Regime

| revcom.us

 

New York City—Some 200 people marched through the streets of New York and right up to the entrance of Trump Tower as part of a series of protests to inaugurate a new movement—the #OUTNOW movement—that will continue to hit the streets and grow until the Trump/Pence regime is removed from power. In front of the Tower, frequently illegitimately kept “off-limits” to protests, the marchers succeeded in raising four-foot high letters spelling the words: #-O-U-T-N-O-W-! for the whole world to see.

In a speech at the opening rally two hours before, Andy Zee, a co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org and the #OUTNOW Movement as well as the spokesperson for Revolution Books, addressed the stakes and urgency of the struggle being launched: “We are launching this movement to drive out this regime. This is not the easiest road, but it is the necessary road. We are in the middle of a political crisis of epic dimensions. It says in our call that the world that you have known is being torn asunder. It is not and cannot go back to what it was. Impeachment is a fight at the top of society. We can’t just do this based on the people on top. It has to be a groundswell from below. That’s what you’re out here doing today... people... have to see a movement out there that starts with thousands today and tens of thousands in a few weeks, that grows to the point where we will not relent on this.”

Cornel West—revolutionary Christian, author, academic and co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org—celebrated the diversity of views as well as the powerful unity of what brought everyone together: “We need a coalition. Christians. Muslims. Buddhists. Hindus. Agnostics. Atheists. This is a question of what kind of human being are you going to be at this particular moment when there are neo-fascists not just here but in other parts of the world... This is a profoundly human affair, and that’s why we march. There is always a critical slice of folk who are full of deep love and courage and willingness to take a risk, that constitute a catalyst for the larger group, not just in this country but around the world.”

Carl Dix emceed the rally where others delivered powerful speeches as well, including Juanita Young, Hawa Bah, and Andree Smith, all of whom are mothers whose children were murdered by police. Sharonne Salaam, a long-time activist and the mother of Yusef Salaam of the Central Park Five, also spoke. The Central Park Five—also now known as the Exonerated Five—were five very young Black and Brown teenagers demonized in national media and wrongfully convicted for a brutal rape of a white woman. At the time, Donald Trump took out full-page newspaper ads demanding a return of the death penalty with the intent that these children should be executed. Even after they spent many years in prison before being fully exonerated, Trump has refused to apologize and insisted that they should still be in prison. So it hit all the harder when Sharonne began her remarks by saying, “The first thing I want to say is Trump and Pence must go!”

The march that followed was spirited and loud, at times calling out to the throngs of people on the sidelines to join in on the spot and to come back again next week. Quite a few did join.

It truly was a high point when the march arrived at Trump Tower and prevailed in presenting its indictment and raising the #-O-U-T-N-O-W-! letters high in front of that hideous symbol of the Trump/Pence fascist presidency. They also presented symbols of the towering crimes of the Trump/Pence regime right at the foot of the Tower: children’s shoes for the migrant children separated from their parents, bloody coat hangers for the women who are poised to die without safe, legal abortions, plastic bottles for the environmental devastation being accelerated by the regime, and more.

But even then, the rally was not over and people were not ready to go home. They marched a bit further and then gathered in a nearby park. Some had come from as far away as Cleveland, Washington DC, Boston, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Carl Dix reminded the crowd: “We’re coming back week after week after week, and then it’s on. From that foundation, we are aiming to bring forward a grassroots movement that will be in the streets day after day, going from thousands to hundreds of thousands, to millions, creating a political crisis that can lead to the ouster of this regime.” To accomplish this great mission, everyone was called on to stick around and gather with others to get organized on the spot. Soon, the park was filled with different clusters – one for students, another for artists, another for out-of-towners, and one more for people who want to be part of street-team-promotion of #OUTNOW – where people were seriously strategizing and making plans to bring even more people back next week and in the days to come.

NYC: Marching from Union Square (below) to Trump Tower (above)

 

#OUTNOW

We demand:
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!

#OUTNOW! begins with five weeks of protest to launch, spread, and grow an unrelenting non-violent mass movement of protests that continue week after week to demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go – NOW! From there, we will continue to grow and not stop until the Trump/Pence Regime has been removed from power.

Read more

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/LA-demonstration-announces-out-now-on-the-beach-en.html

LA Demonstration Announces #OUTNOW on the Beach—Then Holds Its Ground and Marches Forward in the Face of Violent Fascist Attack  

| revcom.us

 

From a correspondent in Los Angeles:

A highly motivated, diverse and salty-mouthed group of demonstrators came out to the beach in Santa Monica to declare to the world the announcement of the #OUTNOW Movement that began today in NYC and LA. There were people who drove up from San Diego, and one person who contacted the Refuse Fascism national office and flew down from Seattle to be put to work for the cause. Chantelle Hershberger kicked it off—then others were called to the mic, started by a young woman who has thrown herself into this movement since the first meeting who told everyone there that she’d walk through hell to stop this. Others followed, including an immigration attorney, an impeachment activist, a Handmaid from San Diego, a member of the Revolution Club and others who all spoke to why they felt they could not wait till 2020 and why we had to launch a movement of the people growing every week until Trump and Pence are forced out—which needs to happen NOW. 

To begin, 50 people stood on rainbow fabric to spell out Trump/Pence Out Now! as they listened to speeches and got introduced to each other. Atlas Winfrey read a call-and-response poem that galvanized the group and prepared people for the march up onto the historic Santa Monica Pier.

About 10 to 15 fascists were buzzing around the demonstration like flying cockroaches—circling the demonstration with flags on heavy sticks and then weaving in and out of the letters trying to provoke people. As people were lining up to march, the fascists got more aggressive, pushing and shoving and blowing fog horns in people’s ears. People were disciplined and did not take the bait—and took off in a spirited march up onto the pier, where they stopped and held a rally where other people joined them and held signs—and the rally quickly grew to 100 people. As the marchers were linking hands and preparing to do a die-in on the pier, the fascists rushed people and attempted to break into the center of the circle, knocking many people to the ground. Several of them proceeded to spray people in the face with bear spray—targeting the people leading the demonstration and the UCLA5 as well as an Iraq War veteran whom the fascists really have a vendetta against. The bear spray is illegal to use on people, and is much more powerful stronger, and greater quantity than civilian or police pepper spray. At least 10 other people got directly sprayed in the face. As we write, three people have been sent to the emergency room for treatment, and Michelle Xai from Refuse Fascism may have had her arm broken.

People quickly regrouped as medics from Abolish ICE stepped in with milk of magnesia and water to treat people’s burning eyes and faces. The MCs got back on the bullhorns—their faces painted white and their eyes burning with chemicals and anger. People spoke to why we were here—and that the attack was obviously meant to intimidate people and put the fear of coming to demonstrations in the minds of people broadly, but it backfired big time as people linked arms and re-forged their circle—the whole incident underscoring the point that this fascist regime and the mobs of fascist thugs it is spawning has to be stopped! You could feel and see the unity and determination being forged into something fierce and new—something badly needed is now on the scene. The looks on people’s faces said it all—we aren’t scared, we are here and we are not stopping. An older man with a tracheostomy refused to leave for treatment and had his eyes and face washed out on the spot. Students who came with their fathers did not leave and stuck it out to the very end. Old and young people stood their ground. Everyone pledged that this would not stop them and that they would be back next week and the weeks after—that they would spread the news and bring more people back to MacArthur Park next week.

The fascist continued to crash into the center of the march, while the police stood by and did nothing—it was fucking ridiculous—so the march assembled and marched off the pier, chanting “Fuck your borders—humanity first,” with bystanders giving fists and a few fingers. Once at the promenade, people sat down to sum up and absorb the impact of the day and our collective experience with each other—people broke into small groups around students, artists, and social media and got hooked up into networks to work together through the week.

WE’RE GONNA BE BACK NEXT WEEK—with new friends bonded together in a way you do when you’ve been through a test like this together. We’ve got a diverse group of people who are figuring how to come back with more—heading for the next four weeks—to a centrally located immigrant neighborhood, where people from all nationalities and walks of life will be there to say to the immigrant community and the world that this fascist white-supremacist cruelty will not win the day. So Fuck You, Fascists—you only ended up making us stronger. We’re setting out to break the dam of millions who hate this—and wake up all those trying to wait it out—sounding the alarm that this has to be done now—it cannot wait—and it’s on us to do it. Dread fell away just enough for us all to glimpse a fighting chance for hope.

 

Launching #OUTNOW protests from Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles

Above: #OUTNOW at Santa Monica Pier October 19.
Below: Regrouping after being sprayed with bear spray by MAGA fascists at the Pier.
Photos: special to revcom.us

See also:

From RefuseFascism.org: The Trump/Pence #OUTNOW! Movement—Bear Sprayed in LA—Begins Nationwide Protests: Saturday, October 26

#OUTNOW

We demand:
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!

#OUTNOW! begins with five weeks of protest to launch, spread, and grow an unrelenting non-violent mass movement of protests that continue week after week to demand that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go – NOW! From there, we will continue to grow and not stop until the Trump/Pence Regime has been removed from power.

Read more

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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.

 

Now available to be printed as a pamphlet:

DOWNLOAD PDF for printing 2-sided as 5.5x8.5" brochure

DOWNLOAD PDF for printing 8.5x11 pamphlet

THE NEW COMMUNISM

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

Download PDF of book here

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

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/open-letter-to-bernie-supporters-en.html

An Open Letter To Bernie Supporters:

| revcom.us

 

An earlier version of this letter was handed out at Bernie Sanders' October 19 New York City rally.

You are here because you want to see a more just world. So do we.

You may also be here because on some level you get that the regime now in power is fascist, and you think campaigning for Bernie is an answer to that.

So we need to talk.

Two points:

One, the world that Bernie says he is fighting for is a more just world... for Americans.

But America grinds up billions of people in the global south to produce the wealth of this country. America suppresses them when they dare to rise up against a regime which the U.S. supports. America plunders the environments of these countries to far more devastating effect. America uses a small portion of the riches it gorges on as crumbs for the masses in this country—crumbs that amount to real privilege. This—the howling gap between America (and imperialist powers like America) and the rest of the world—is the most significant inequality and privilege there is. Bernie wants a bigger share of the crumbs from that. Is that what YOU want?

Bernie not only does not question these relations, he speaks of “national security”—a code word for the enforcement and expansion of that horror. Bernie supports human-killing economic sanctions against Venezuela. Bernie supported Israel’s violent, genocidal military assaults against the people of Gaza over the past decade. Do you want “national security”? Or do you want an end to the world where America does whatever it takes to maintain its empire and rains down death on whoever gets in the way of that? “National security” is nothing but the national interests of the imperialist ruling class.

Face it. Bernie’s dream of a fairer American empire for the people in the U.S. may make life easier for some people in the U.S. But why let yourself be constrained by the choices that they put before you? If humanity is to be emancipated, if revolution is to be REAL, that empire must be brought down.

Two, the overriding issue facing humanity right now is the existence of a fascist regime in the White House bent on consolidating its rule. Yes, in the October candidates’ debate, Sanders said impeachment is necessary—but only because of “national security” (there’s that phrase again) and the emoluments clause. First off, far from “violating national security,” as Bernie charged, Trump is promoting an even more violent strategy to defend America, with stepped-up nuclear weapon development and breaking out of nuclear treaties.

But more to the point: What about the children in concentration camps at the border? The virtually open calls for a white supremacist America? The encouragement Trump openly gives to police brutality? The Christian-fascist and misogynist attacks on the rights of women to control their own bodies and the similarly “inspired” assaults of the Justice Department and other arms of the regime against LGBTQ rights? The headlong daily acceleration of environmental destruction? The violations of the rule of law, the evisceration of the public school system in favor of religious, especially Christian-fascist, schools, the attacks on science itself, and on criticism? These are FASCIST deeds of a FASCIST regimeand fascism is a word that Bernie refuses to use. If Bernie were around in the 1930s, would he oppose Hitler for his “corruption” and the notion that he wasn’t defending German “national security,” and would he offer to work with him on “infrastructure” projects? Would YOU?

Look, the situation with the fascist regime now in the White House is urgent. If it weathers the storm and consolidates, this would devastate and cripple and very possibly wipe out for a long time any struggle for justice. It could, in fact, mean the extinction of humanity. But if people in their millions succeed in removing it through massive struggle from below, the horizons would expand in ways we can barely imagine right now.

If you are relying on the elections to change this, think about this: The cabal of Trumpite white supremacist/American chauvinist and Christian-fascist theocrats now in power have said that this is their “last chance.” Do you really think that these fascists will just go along with it if the impeachment or the election go against them? And if they don’t—then what? Again: think. Hard.

There is a movement, right now, gathering every Saturday and aiming to grow to something on the order of Puerto Rico or Hong Kong, demanding that in the name of humanity, the Trump/Pence fascist regime must be driven OUT NOW. And then... it’s on. You are needed in this movement, urgently. Learn about this at Refusefascism.org. Join this.

And if you really want a world in which not just Americans but all of humanity overcome the fetters of capitalism—then get into Bob Avakian, BA, who has brought forward a new communism. BA is not about crumbs for one section of one people, but a real revolution aiming at the overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist system and the emancipation of all humanity. Read the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which he wrote. Or watch his film Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.

There's a huge struggle that needs to be waged. See you on the front lines.

www.revcom.us @tuneintorevcom

 

 

Trailer from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution
Watch the whole speech
Watch clips from speech
Spread the trailer everywhere.

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

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

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

Read and Download (PDF)

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/bob-avakian-excerpts-en.html

Excerpts from:

Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis

Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism

by Bob Avakian

Updated | revcom.us

 

Revcom is sharing with our readers excerpts from this new work by Bob Avakian:

 

Lack of real hope for a better life in this world is a heavy chain weighing down, suffocating, and deeply scarring the masses of humanity, including the youth who are concentrated in the ghettos and barrios of this country as well as its overflowing torture chamber prisons. And the extreme individualism promoted throughout this society, the obsessive focus on “the self,” has reinforced the heavy lid on the sights of people, obscuring their ability to recognize the possibility of a radically different and better world, beyond the narrow and confining limits of this system, with all its very real horrors.

Posted December 9, 2019:

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.

* Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution is an important speech by Bob Avakian, given in the summer of 2018. The film and the written text of this speech are available at revcom.us.

 

Posted December 1, 2019:

I want to speak to the accusation that “You are going to get people killed!”  This is an accusation that has not infrequently been raised especially when we put forward, as we should, not only the need for revolution, but what this means—that it means the overthrow of the existing system through the defeat of its armed enforcers when the conditions for that have been brought into being:  the existence of a revolutionary people in the millions and millions and an acute revolutionary crisis throughout society.  What is our response to this accusation?

People, masses of people all over the world, are already being killed, and are suffering in horrendous ways while they are alive, because of this system—and one of the most painful expressions of this is the way in which huge numbers of people who are already terribly oppressed under this system, and the youth in particular, are being misled into killing each other, either in gang conflicts or in wars in the service of imperialists and other reactionary oppressors! Our goal is clear:

No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born.  I say no more of that. [BAsics 1:13]

Our goal is to finally put an end to all this!

As called for in “HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution,” we need to be serious and scientific in how we build this revolution—and our strategy and plan for revolution is exactly based on a serious and scientific method and approach.  That is why, among other things, in the Points of Attention for the Revolution, the 6th point makes clear:

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

It is this same method and approach that leads to this clear-cut, scientifically-based conclusion:

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

This is the understanding and the orientation that has to be brought forward, and vigorously fought for, among masses of people, and especially the youth, for whom this system really has no decent future—if, again, they have a future at all.

 

 

Posted November 11, 2019:

Individualism is a significant factor and "unifying element" in much of the negative trends that play a major role in keeping people from recognizing the reality and depth of the horrors continually brought about by this system—and recognizing the urgent need to act, together with others, to abolish and uproot all this, at its very source. This highlights and heightens the fact that individualism, which is encouraged and expressed in extreme forms in this particular society at this time, is a profound problem that must be confronted and transformed.

 

 

Virulent Individualism and Oblivious Individualism

These are two broad categories of individualism, which have some different particular characteristics but also have in common the basic focus on and preoccupation with the self. Virulent individualism is an extremely poisonous variation of this. It’s basically the view that “I’m out to get everything I can for myself and fuck everybody else. And if I have to trample on everybody else to get what I want, that’s just the way it is and I’m gonna do it the best I can, so I can get everything I want—I want it all and I want it now.”

Oblivious individualism is individualism that may not have those particular aggressive characteristics and may not even have a consciously hostile attitude toward other people in general, but involves going along pursuing one’s particular interests, aspirations, or “dreams,” without paying attention to the larger things that are going on in the world and the effect of this on masses of people throughout the world and indeed on the future of humanity.

 

 

As I pointed out in the Dialogue with Cornel West in 2014, the “selfie” is a perfect iconic representation of this whole outlook and this whole culture. It’s not that every “selfie” is in and of itself bad, of course. But there is a whole culture around it, even to the point where people go to a beautiful place in nature and what are they preoccupied with?  Taking a “selfie” of themself instead of taking in (and yes, taking photographs of) the vast beauty that’s stretched out before them. The important thing, with this outlook, is: “Here I am, look at me.” It’s the “look at me, look at me, look at me” ethos that is so predominant in both these forms of individualism, even in the one that’s not consciously virulent but is nevertheless strikingly oblivious.

 

 

I’m not necessarily opposed to people watching some videos or YouTubes of cats playing the violin (and similar things on the internet), but if that kind of thing is your preoccupation—let alone if snark and tearing down other people on the internet is your preoccupation—then, obviously, this is something any decent person should be very concerned about and strongly oppose and struggle sharply against.

 

 

Everywhere you turn you hear: “Oh, this is really gonna be good for developing her ‘brand’”; “Oh, they really have been very creative in how they’ve pumped up their ‘brand.’” You can’t turn around anywhere without hearing the word “brand” used in this kind of way. And this goes along, of course, with the glorification of entre-manure-ialism—which objectively amounts to the attempt to get in on the exploitation of people, becoming part of the overall process resting to a large degree on super-exploitation of masses of people, including children, in the Third World.

 

 

Oblivious individualism may seem more benign (or, in simple terms, less “nasty”) but it is nonetheless marked by being inexcusably ignorant of, or consciously choosing to ignore, what is happening in the larger world, beyond the self (and the narrow circle around oneself), and the consequences of this for the masses of people in the world, and ultimately for all of humanity—or paying attention to this only as it affects oneself in immediate and narrow terms.

 

 

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.”

 

 

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 starting 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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!

 

 

Posted November 4, 2019:

In the opening section of the book The New Communism (“Introduction and Orientation”) I spoke to the bitter reality that the masses of oppressed people are afraid to hope:

Afraid to hope that maybe the world doesn’t have to be this way, that maybe there is a way out of this. Afraid to hope, because their hopes have been dashed so many times.

This is a significant factor in why so many turn to religion—because there does not seem to be any hope for an end, in this world, to the terrible suffering and degradation to which they are continually subjected, which is imposed on them by the functioning of this system but which is also obscured and covered over by the very way this system operates and the role of its institutions, functionaries and enforcers, which systematically act to mislead people as to why the world is the way it is and whether and how it could really be changed, whether and in what way it is possible to put an end to all this unnecessary suffering.

Here stands out again the great importance of the scientific method and approach of communism, as this has been further developed through the new communism, and the reality and possibility of radical, emancipating change, in this world.

 

 

Confronting reality as it actually is—and as it is changing and developing—and understanding the underlying and driving forces in this, is crucial in order to play a decisive and leading role in bringing about this revolution and ushering in a whole new era in human history, which will shatter and remove forever not only the material chains—the economic, social and political shackles of exploitation and oppression—that enslave people in today’s world but also the mental chains, the ways of thinking and the culture, that correspond to and reinforce those material chains.

 

 

Religion is always presented as a source of “hope” or of consolation. But is it really a source of hope—or is it, in essence and in its defining aspect, a paralyzing illusion? Religion holds out the concept of consolation for suffering, and looking to another world and otherworldly forces to get some sort of consolation for all the suffering that people are subjected to, and in order to make it through the day. But the question is: Is what people need consolation for the suffering that they’re put through under this system, or do they need to rise up and abolish the system which embodies and enforces this suffering, and in so doing eliminate the need for consolation for suffering that they’re no longer being put through, the unnecessary suffering they’re being put through?

 

 

The Christian fundamentalists (including the current Vice President Mike Pence and others in powerful positions in government, the media, and other major institutions) are a driving force for theocratic fascism (tyrannical rule by Dark Ages religious authority). They adhere to and aggressively propagate unthinking allegiance to and application of religious dogma which, when taken literally (as these Christian fascists insist upon), promotes and will lead to all kinds of atrocities and horrors (as can be seen in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible—something I analyzed in Away With All Gods!).

 

 

There are many religious people whose religious views and sentiments do inspire and drive them to take stands against and to even sacrifice in the struggle against oppression. And this, of course, should be respected and united with. But, at the same time, that does not eliminate the need for sharp struggle in the ideological realm against the outlook that religion purveys and the role that religion plays as a mental shackle on masses of people, in fact working against their acquiring and systematically and consistently applying a scientific approach to understanding reality, and in particular what it is that’s causing the suffering that the masses of humanity are being subjected to and what is the solution to that.

 

 

Yes, ultimately the struggle has to be carried out in the realm of practice; it has to be carried out in the actual struggle to go up against and ultimately overthrow the system which embodies and enforces all this horrific oppression. But there’s a tremendous importance to people, even before they become highly developed theoretically, to get a basic understanding that there is no necessity, there is no permanent necessity, to the existing conditions, and why that is so. This is the source of hope, not on the basis of illusions such as those propagated and perpetuated by religion, but on a scientific basis.

 

Posted October 21, 2019:

While people do exist as individuals, the terrible suffering of the masses of humanity and the urgent challenges facing humanity as a whole as a result of the escalating destruction of the environment by this system of capitalism-imperialism as well as the possibility of nuclear conflagration that continues to loom as an existential threat over humanity—all this cannot be seriously addressed, let alone actually solved, by each person pursuing their particular individual interests, and in fact people acting in this way constitutes a major obstacle to bringing about the necessary solution.

 

 

Another aspect of what is involved here is “world-weary cynicism”.... This world-weary pseudo cynicism (or real cynicism, but pseudo world-awareness) is another manifestation of parasitic individualism—excusing your refusal or your failure to do anything about the crimes being committed in your name, and all the horrific things going on in the world, on the basis of: “Yes, I know, but this is just the way it is. And after all, there’s nothing really that can be done about it. Anybody who comes forward and claims they’re gonna do something about it is just as corrupt as the people who are perpetrating this stuff already, so there’s not really anything that can be done.” As it has been put, very insightfully, this is a sentiment that could be translated as: “Oh, I’m so glad that it’s turned out that the right thing to do is to do nothing at all about these outrages and horrors in the world.”

 

 

One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way, and weighing people down, is American chauvinism—the disgusting notion that America and Americans are better and more important than everybody else.

 

 

With regard to the middle class in this country, although today significant sections of this class are not doing as well as in the past—and some are actually struggling—economically, as the social divide and the income disparities continue to widen to obscene proportions, there is still among them, or among many in the middle class, a persistent and widespread sense of “entitlement” as Americans and an identification of their own interests with what is in fact a system of massive war crimes and crimes against humanity: American capitalist imperialism. And, as noted in THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!, this poison of American chauvinism also exerts some influence among the most bitterly oppressed, even as this is in sharp conflict with the systematic oppression to which they are subjected in this country under this system.

 

 

With the invasions and ongoing wars, the coups, the slaughter of civilians in the hundreds of thousands, the wrecking of countries and the reducing of millions to desperation and starvation at the hands of the imperialists of the USA and their “allies” and craven puppets: Where is the mass outrage and active and determined opposition from people in the USA, in whose name these monstrous crimes are continually committed—including where is it from those who call themselves “progressive” or proclaim themselves “woke”?!

 

 

There is a great need for people broadly to break with this American chauvinism. As I have emphasized previously, there are 3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better:

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

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

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

 

 

While it is right and necessary to unite with people broadly in opposing the injustices and outrages committed by those who rule this country, and while this has taken on heightened importance with the coming to power of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, it is a basic truth that without breaking with American chauvinism—without confronting the very real horror of what this country has been, and what it has done, here and all over the world, from its founding to the present—and without coming to deeply hate this, it is not possible, in the final analysis, to retain one’s own humanity and act in the highest interests of all humanity.

 

 

In direct opposition to the poisonous outlook of American chauvinism, the orientation that must be firmly upheld and fiercely fought for is the basic principle and simple, but profound, truth that “American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives” and “Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First,” which is contained in BAsics 5:7 and 5:8.

 

And, as gone into more fully in BAsics:

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way. (BAsics 3:8)

Winning continually greater numbers of people to this fundamental orientation is critical in terms of achieving any positive change, and will be decisive in bringing about the revolution to finally put an end to this monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism.

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/william-barr-lays-out-a-christian-fascist-nightmare-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

At Notre Dame, William Barr Lays Out A Christian Fascist Nightmare

By Coco Das

| revcom.us

 

In a speech at Notre Dame on Saturday, Attorney General William Barr disgustingly laid out the Christian fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime. In the view of these theocratic fascists, all of society's problems have come from a destruction of the Christian, patriarchal order, which Barr referred to as the "traditional moral order." He declared a war on secularists, including secular government, and on "so-called progressives."

"We are told we live in a post-Christian era," he said, "…but this is not decay, it's organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values." He went on to suggest that at the hands of the progressive movement, Christians "risk a figurative burning at the stake: social, educational and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns."

To the Christian fascists, progressive movements are figuratively burning Christians at the stake. Putting aside the outrageous rhetoric of such a claim, let's be clear that it is not the Christian fascists like Barr and others who are being persecuted, but they themselves who are viciously persecuting others. This is the classic fascist inversion of victimization that is essential to forging a fascist base. When it comes to rounding up, criminalizing, and destroying the rights and lives of immigrants, women, LGBT people, Jewish and Muslim people, people of color, and progressive voices under attack by the Trump/Pence regime, the figurative burning at the stake is not so figurative. We are talking about people being refused service or fired for being gay…for now. We're talking about women being criminalized for having a miscarriage…for now. We are talking about all kinds of attacks against people who do not conform to fundamentalist Christianity upheld in the courts under the guise of religious freedom.

All this can escalate in one fell swoop once this regime consolidates power, or become normalized bit by bit until people's rights are gradually eroded away. When the goal is erasure from society with Mike Pence's Bible taken literally, a much less figurative burning at the stake, even by imprisonment or death, is where the logic of their program could lead and what some of these rabid theocrats actually advocate.

At Refuse Fascism, we say in our call that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. For fifty years, social movements have been able to defeat some of the oppressive aspects of the old order. The civil rights movement, the women's movement, the gay rights movement, and others wrenched some freedom out of a greatly oppressive "traditional moral order" that had made life a living hell for millions of people. For the vast majority of American history, the "traditional moral order" that Barr speaks of so lovingly was the boot pressing down on people's heads. It was the moral order of slavery and genocide, the moral order of Jim Crow, the moral order of women dying from illegal abortions, the moral order of criminalized homosexuality.

And let's talk about William Barr. Barr replaced Jeff Sessions, who was himself an unrepentant white supremacist and Christian fascist, but he was not willing to go far enough outside the norms of the system to protect Trump from the Mueller investigation. Barr stepped in and has done the job he was hired to do, willing to go to great lengths to declare any checks on the president or the regime as illegitimate. Every time a high level operative is ousted, they are replaced with someone who can more effectively bludgeon government and society with this fascist vision.

This highlights a need for us in our millions to become a third force that goes after the whole fascist regime. As Reverend Frank Wulf of the Echo Park United Methodist Church said recently, "We shouldn't forget that even if [Trump] is convicted by the Senate, he will be followed by Mike Pence, who will be just as bad if not worse in so many ways, even though he doesn't have the bellicose personality, the bigger than life personality that Trump does. We have to organize. We still have to be in the streets whether or not the impeachment proceedings go forward."

In fact, removing Trump without removing the whole regime could lead to a situation where the Christian fascist program, which Trump has embraced but does not fully represent, is strengthened and emboldened to go all the way in what they see as their last chance to recreate the "traditional moral order," pulling society backwards with all the vengeance of this fascist movement, and with all the surveillance and fire power of the modern state. That doesn’t mean we should leave Trump in office. Exactly the opposite — it means we must not only insist on Trump’s removal, but go even further, demanding the removal of the whole regime and the reversal of this nightmare direction.

This regime is being very clear about where they are taking us and how far they're willing to go. If we don't take to the streets in massive numbers now, it can quickly become too late and we will not be allowed to say we didn't know what was happening. We do know, and now is the time to seize on the impeachment crisis now erupting, take history into our own hands, and turn dread into a force for hope.

There is a plan at refusefascism.org. NYC and LA launched protests on October 19th that announce four more consecutive Saturdays of protests in cities and towns across the country. These will gather more people and momentum so that in the weeks and months that follow, the movement grows to tens and hundreds of thousands and millions. What unifies all the diverse streams of people that need to pour into the streets is the single demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—Now! The whole regime is a catastrophe for humanity and the whole regime must go.

Puerto Rico and Hong Kong show us how: #TrumpPenceOutNOW!

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

Now More Than Ever!

See excerpts and the Q&A of this film

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.

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/freeway-9-cases-back-to-court-en.html

The #Freeway9 are going back to trial—facing up to three years in jail for sounding the alarm against the Trump/Pence fascist regime!

| revcom.us

 

The #Freeway9 are going back to trial—facing up to three years in jail for sounding the alarm against the Trump/Pence fascist regime! These are members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club who blocked morning rush hour traffic on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles in the fall of 2017 with a 50-foot banner: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

This action was just and these heroes should be thanked and celebrated. Instead they’ve been criminalized and spied on by the LAPD, facing judicial and prosecutorial harassment by the LA Democratic city government.

The defendants were responding to a call from Refuse Fascism—which has been issued again with the #OutNow movement—for a sustained, nonviolent movement of millions in the streets in protest until the Trump/Pence regime is driven from power.

Two of the defendants already went to trial which ended with a hung jury of nine voting for acquittal! In a related case, the #UCLA5 went to trial and were just found not guilty.

These charges should be dropped immediately.

Instead, LA City Attorney Mike Feuer is continuing ahead with these outrageous charges.

There are two important court hearings coming up: Monday, October 21, and Tuesday, October 29, where the defendants' attorneys will demand that the charges be dismissed because of selective enforcement and prosecution on the basis of Refuse Fascism’s politics. They are also demanding that the LAPD reveal the identity of the infiltrator that it sent in to spy on Refuse Fascism meetings.

The LAPD and LA city government are going after Refuse Fascism to suppress any real and meaningful ANTI-fascist protest—when such protests and actions are needed now more than ever.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Pack the Courtroom, Metropolitan Courthouse 1945 S. Hill Street at Washington

Monday, October 21, 8:30 am in Dept. 74

Tuesday, October 29, 8:30 am in Dept. 62

Sign the Petition to Demand the Charges Be Dropped Against #Freeway9.

Call City Attorney Mike Feuer to demand the charges be dropped: 213.978.8100 or tweet @Mike_Feuer

DONATE to the legal and political battle to defend the #Freeway9


Two of the #Freeway9 defendants, their attorney and supporters

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/courtroom-audio-ucla5-defendants-take-the-stand-en.html

Courtroom Audio:

#UCLA5 Defendants Take the Stand
On Trial for Disrupting Fascist Steve Mnuchin During Speech at UCLA

| revcom.us

 

Clip #1:

Clip #2:

Clip #4:

Clip #5:

Clip #6:


UCLA defendants

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/ucla5-jujitsu-in-the-courtroom-en.html

#UCLA5: Jujitsu in the Courtroom

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: Four members of Refuse Fascism, Los Angeles and the Revolution Club were recently found NOT GUILTY in a case that should have never gone to trial. They were facing up to TWO YEARS in jail for speaking out when the fascist Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin came to speak at UCLA. (See here on more on the struggle around the #UCLA5.) This is a story of people taking a stand against oppression, coming under unjust attack, and using every avenue they had—including the procedures of the courtroom itself—to carry that struggle forward. The fact that they were charged at all shows how late the hour is getting; the way that they won indicates that there is still time to reverse the march toward fascism. Revolution/revcom.us was able to sit down with a few of the #UCLA5 defendants to hear more about their case.

Question: Can you talk about the process of testifying? What was the prosecution’s strategy for prosecuting this case, and how did you actually meet that and turn that around in your favor?

Luna: We went into the testimony knowing that what needed to come through was why we did what we did, what are the actual stakes for humanity, bringing in the context of a consolidating fascism and the nazification of campuses... the need to be protesting all that.

The prosecutor is really reactionary, she used to have a focus on prosecuting protesters and we actually have experience with her in a case she prosecuted against people who did civil disobedience against murder by police in 2015. We knew from that she was going to try to paint us as “crazy protesters,” so we were going to have to turn all that around. While mainly going on the offensive about the politics of why we did what we did and why it was right. For example, at one point, she tried to paint it like I was just really mad at UCLA, that I hated UCLA for having Mnuchin speak. I answered it, “I'm not happy that there are fascists and white supremacists in the White House.”

Michelle: From the beginning, [prosecutor] Waxler said this case wasn’t about political protest, that people shouldn’t make up their minds ahead of time. She made this ridiculous point about the case being as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you have all the elements, the bread, the peanut butter, the jelly... if I’m at a protest and I put all that together, did I make the sandwich even if I was at a protest?

But through the trial, her questions became more and more political. She asked everyone in the club about their nicknames, brought in our social media, she asked one of us if we were a communist. She kept hammering about intent, “Did we intend to shut down this event, to disrupt Mnuchin and have our spotlight, our moment to say what we had to say at this event.” She tried to paint us as people who don’t give a fuck about others. “People were just trying to come together to share ideas. These defendants were so angry at UCLA that they were rolling out the red carpet for what they call ‘fascists’ and they felt that this was their time, their stage.” She was so condescending that in the closing arguments she basically compared us to dogs. She said, “Although dogs don’t speak... not that I’m calling any of these defendants dogs... I can always tell what my dog intends by her actions even if she doesn’t speak.”

On this, my lawyer actually had a very good, funny response. He talked about his one-eyed cat, Wink. He used to think Wink rubbed up against his leg to show love, but he found out later it was to mark territory. But the point was how ridiculous and fucked up this was—she was trying to twist our intentions, even though we made very clear what our intentions were throughout all of our testimony—to call out this fascist regime and call people into motion against it.

The prosecutor kept thinking she had us with “gotcha points.” She brought in screen shots from Twitter of me saying that I had disrupted Mnuchin, but it was clear her argument was that we are driven by politics and our politics are out of bounds. All while she kept saying “this is not political.”

Luna: Her strategy backfired, though. This one juror said to us afterwards, “At a certain point, I felt like the prosecutor was yelling at us. And I wasn’t raised that way, to be yelled at. I didn’t even want to listen to her at that point.”

Michelle: The prosecutor brought up my previous conviction, from those anti-police brutality protests where she actually said, “You thought that by breaking the law and disobeying an officer’s command, you were standing up to murder by police.” I answered, “No, I was calling attention to the murders of Black people running away from police who are shot in the back. Civil disobedience is a way to call attention to this and give people a way to act.”

She was trying to twist our words, we were responding with the truth.

We took all this on non-defensively, with a lot of certitude about why what we did was right, why it wouldn’t have been right if Mnuchin’s speech had gone on without being challenged, what it would have meant if people didn’t speak up against all the shit that he was saying.

The judge kept telling the jurors to just go by what’s happening in the courtroom, but we kept bringing in what is going on in the world. This whole trial was very much happening in the context of fascism consolidating. That reality was coming out of what people were saying. The foreperson of the jury said through all this, it was clear that our rights were the ones being violated, so that’s why he voted not guilty. He got it that protest is a right that people still do have but that right was being fought out in court, are we going to have that right or not?

__________

Q: What was the jury selection like?

Atlas: This jury pool was a random selection of 60 people from the west side of Los Angeles. You had several UCLA students, you had tech experts, you had a doctor, you had several lawyers, a lot of people who worked in the film industry, you had all different kinds of people mainly from the middle class. In the selection process, the voir dire, they were asking questions of the jury to determine if they were going to be good jurors. But so many people were openly defiant to the prosecutor. Some people actually said, “If this case has to do with protest against Trump, I’m going to vote not guilty.”

There was even some challenging of the prosecutor straight up. One person said you can’t just look at the laws per se, but you actually have to look at the context to evaluate whether something is legal or illegal and whether or not it should be a criminal charge. Another juror gave a whole speech about why protest sometimes has to go out of bounds to achieve justice. Some jurors talked about their distrust of the police, of the government, and very palpable feelings of opposition. To be clear, this was polarized... a lot of people talked about how they trust the police straight up, or a couple even spoke out in favor of Trump. But overwhelmingly, there was a visceral opposition among many. Several people said they couldn’t be neutral or objective in a situation where Trump is in power and they wanted to help protest against him.

The defense lawyers asked really good questions in the voir dire, about where people get their news, or “if you could pick anyone living or dead to have dinner with—that you aren’t related to—who would it be?” You learn a lot about people from that answer—one person actually answered Donald Trump, but others answered Frida Kahlo, Beyonce, Michelle Obama, the musician Warren Zevon, one woman (who was clearly conservative) answered Jesus Christ.

Another question one of the lawyers asked was, “If I say the word Ferguson, what comes to mind?” A few people in a row answered: “mayhem and violence.” Or, “how sad it is when people mess up their own community.” One of the most outspoken prospective jurors answered something like “a justifiable response to the police murder of a young Black man.” Then one of our lawyers did a whole powerful thing about separating out the cause of the protest and the effects. This both drew out people’s thinking but also repolarized things to where people had to assess where they were going to stand.

__________

Q: What was the response from the jurors to your testimony, how did their understanding change about the objective situation?

Atlas: First, when the decision came down, as each charge was read “not guilty,” there were giant smiling faces from the jury, all watching us. And as each verdict came in, tears started welling up in the eyes of the defendants, of the lawyers, and the jurors. After this, the judge said, “Okay, you can talk to whoever you want now, there’s no more restrictions,” and five jurors walked straight up to us and hugged us, saying: “Thank you so much, you people are amazing, you’re my heroes, it’s really important what you did, keep on doing the work you’re doing.”

It became obvious to the jurors that this case was about our freedom of speech and the right to protest, that these charges were illegitimate. All the jurors we talked to were impacted by our testimony. That when we were speaking about the seven billion people of the world, when we were talking about the crimes that sections of people are suffering under, like immigrants being put in concentration camps.... this was moving... to see who we actually are, and why we’re doing what we’re doing. They even said that they knew that none of the defendants had to testify, and the fact that they all went up there was important.

Luna: One woman said, “You guys are very articulate, I wish I was just as articulate as you are because what you think and how you see this really came through.” She also said she was crying throughout, seeing the videos and hearing the testimony. And when she saw the way Tala was yanked out of her chair, her mouth dropped and she looked in shock. She said to me later, “People should be able to protest and be able to do what you guys are doing and this case was wrong.”

Michelle: Throughout the trial, it was interesting to watch different people’s reactions. In Waxler’s closing arguments, she tried to argue, “Oh, I was wrong, it is a free speech trial because you guys violated the rights of Steve Mnuchin.” People’s jaws literally dropped, like what the fuck... she really went there. One guy who wants to join Refuse Fascism said he came to see how it was more than just the elements of her case, but this was a prosecution against these people in particular.

One juror said he noticed the kind of relationship we had with our lawyers. They were inspired by the attorneys’ arguments and their seriousness and how much they actually fought for us. One juror said, “I started crying when I saw your guys’ attorneys start crying.” All of our attorneys were just in tears, I looked over and holy shit, everyone’s crying.

Q: Why were the attorneys in tears? And what was the relationship with the attorneys?

Michelle: It was a different trial for the attorneys on many levels. First, they really cared about this case and they fought hard. Also, there was a lot of struggle about breaking from just caring about “me and my client.” They were part of a collective and were working with the defendants and non-lawyers on our legal team. We were constantly sending memos, asking questions. This was different than just, “Do what you gotta do, and let me know when my next court date is.”

We worked together every day, talking about what happened in court, doing analysis, how are we coming back tomorrow even stronger, having meetings with them during lunch breaks, calling them after court. My attorney wasn’t like, “I’m just gonna go at it this way, no matter what you think.” He was constantly asking for what we think. We kept coming back to what our legal defense was and fighting different questions through with them. Not just on the technicality of whether or not we did a, b or c, but on the biggest level, proceeding from what’s happening in the world and what we are actually trying to do in terms of fighting this case politically. We spoke out as part of the fight to drive out this fascist regime. What we did was legal but also right. We’d been illegitimately arrested and illegitimately charged. Our legal strategy was informed by all that.

But we also had a lot of fun together: joking around, passing notes during trial... and the more we were going through the trial, the closer we all got. My lawyer teaches at a progressive law school and he wore one of the shirts we made for court when he taught his class: “The order of fascism or the struggle for justice?” He said he took a picture of himself in front of his board wearing the shirt. Their hearts and minds were really in it, and that showed.

Luna: One significant thing is that in all of their arguments, they weren’t just defending their individual clients, they were defending all of us. That was significant and they even got told by the judge to stop, but they didn’t.

One of our lawyers, a public defender, told us, “You really inspire me. I come into this court every day and I have to see all of these Black people getting mass incarcerated. You come in and you’re actually doing something about it.” This was so against the grain and against the norms of just having people go through the machine of mass incarceration. We were there saying no, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Michelle: We also found out after that we were having an impact on all these people in the building. A woman doing security in the front of the courthouse told us, “You guys have me reading articles on the website about your cases and about fascism. I spent my whole shift reading.” There were other people who worked in the courtroom—official court personnel—who were moved by us. One woman, when the verdict was being read, was holding back tears and smiling.

Luna: At one point, a woman who worked in the courtroom saw all of us walking in—the defendants and lawyers—and said, under her breath, “Here comes the dream team.”

Michelle: You could see throughout the whole thing, this case was not happening in a bubble. I think it was like people seeing what future people were like, and inspiring the fuck out of all these other people on how different, what kind of different relations people are modeling. The Points of Attention for the Revolution were being modeled and we were there fighting for that kind of future. Throughout the whole thing that had an impact on everybody.


UCLA defendants

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/problem-solution-and-challenges-before-us/excerpt-3-from-bob-avakian-the-problem-the-solution-and-the-challenges-before-us-en.html

Why the Democrats "Do Not and Cannot Provide Any Answer to This Fascism That Is in the Interests of Humanity"

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The Democrats, and the section of the ruling class generally aligned with them, do not and cannot provide any answer to this fascism that is in the interests of the people, of humanity, because they are part of the same system which has created the conditions that gave rise to and fostered this fascism, and they share with the fascist section of the ruling class fundamental interests and assumptions, not least grotesque American chauvinism. This repeatedly comes out from all these institutions of the media and the Democratic Party. And all you have to do is think back to the 2016 Democratic Party Convention that nominated that hawk Hillary Clinton and think how this got concentrated, when not only was there militarism and “U.S.A., U.S.A.” emanating from the stage, but then this got concentrated when some of the people from Oregon, I believe it was, at a certain point, in opposition to all this jingoism and chauvinism, began to chant, “No War, No War, No War,” and they were drowned out by the mass of the delegates yelling, “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.” So just think about that.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The paragraph above is an excerpt from a talk given by Bob Avakian in summer 2017, "The Problem, the Solution, and the Challenges Before Us." This excerpt is taken from the following section of the talk.

 

Now, before moving on to the final section here, I want to talk about what is posed by the Trump/Pence fascist regime—how to oppose this, and how this relates to the fundamental strategic goal of revolution.

First of all, identifying the Trump/Pence regime is important. I’ll come back to that a little bit more and how that comes up in the actual work and struggle in Refuse Fascism and what it’s aiming for. One thing I think we should understand, an important part of this whole picture and we can understand it partly in terms of historical analogy, is what we could call—since Trump is the “master of the deal” according to him—Trump’s deal with the Christian Fascists. You see, I think it’s pretty important for us to understand what happened here with Trump and particularly this dimension of it. If you look back over Trump, he used to be pro-choice, a lot of his views were not in line with those of the Republican Party and in particular the Christian Fascists. The racism, the crude misogyny—yes. But a lot of it was out of line with their position. And, at a certain point, there was a recognition from the two sides of some important things from their points of view. Trump, I think it’s fair to say, could not have won the election if the Christian Fascists had not only—not only if they had opposed him, but if they’d been unenthusiastic about him. And you would think: well, why him? Ted Cruz is much more in line with these Christian Fascists, and he’s much more of a Christian Fascist lunatic himself. He’s right in the heart of that stuff. Why not Ted Cruz, from their point of view? Because at a certain point—and this is spoken to in The Coming Civil War articles—you can’t keep dangling as bait before these fascist forces, and in particular the Christian Fascists, about you’re going to do this and that, like get rid of abortion and suppress the gays and all this kind of stuff. You can’t keep dangling that and never deliver on it, and at a certain point if you do, they’re going to break away from that. And in a sense that’s what has happened. Trump ran within the Republican primaries, but he was not really of the Republican Party. And what Trump represented to these forces—which is why, even when the Hollywood Access tape pussy-grabbing thing came out, they didn’t turn against him (you know, Jerry Falwell, Jr. and all these others)—because they recognized: “Here is somebody who is going outside of the whole rules and the way this is done in the ‘swamp of Washington,’ who will actually carry through on this stuff. So even though Ted Cruz is more like what we’re about, he’s too much been a part of those dynamics. Trump is outside of that. Trump will actually carry through on these things.” And Trump, for his part, recognized that if he didn’t get this force behind him, he was not going to be able to do it.

The historical analogy this calls to mind is the deal Hitler made with the military in 1934. Hitler came to power, but for a long time the military was not really under his command. It still was under the more traditional command. And at a certain point Trump (I mean Hitler) struck a deal in 1934 with the military. The military would come under his command, and in return he would smash the Storm Troopers, the SA, the brown shirts—which he did. And there’s a certain analogy here to Trump and the Christian Fascists, that Trump took up their program. Look who he nominated to the Supreme Court, a Christian Fascist lunatic, Gorsuch. And look who he’s nominating.... he’s doing what he said he would do, as far as the main programmatic things. He’s delivering what these other people wouldn’t carry through and deliver for them because they were still “playing the game” of bourgeois politics as it’s been carried out. So this is an important thing to understand.

Pence is obviously a critical linchpin in this, in this alliance, this uniting of what’s represented by Trump—his own personal ambitions and everything bound up with that—and the Christian Fascists, and programmatically what he (Trump) has taken up in order to get where he’s going and in order to keep going with it. And this is why the regular bourgeois institutions, especially those more in the center of things, like CNN, the Democratic Party and so on, they keep bringing in historical analogies which don’t pan out or don’t pan out completely. You know, they keep saying: “He can’t do that, that’s not the way things are done.” But then he does it, because he’s not playing by those rules. He’s not working within the norms as they’ve been. He is going directly up against them, precisely as an important part of what he’s doing. I mean who ever heard of somebody tweeting all this stuff—not just the asinine stuff but the actual really fascist stuff, including attacks on other people within the ruling structures. You know, Comey’s a nut job, Adam Schiff is a sleazy Democratic politician. I mean, who heard of anybody doing that—that’s outside the norms. This is an important part of what Trump is doing. And Pence is a real linchpin of this, cementing the Christian Fascists—or hinging them together, if you want to continue the analogy: Trump and what he represents and particularly the Christian Fascists. And it’s worth pointing out what was quoted from Andrew Sullivan way back in the Clinton supplement, The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy...And Why Clinton the Democrats Are No Answer, where it says: nowadays some are saying the religious fundamentalist element of this right-wing thing is not the going thing, it’s the fiscal conservatives who want to cut social programs, cut benefits to people, slash taxes for the rich, and so on—those are the ones who have the initiative. And it was pointed out: Well, that may be a very temporary thing, but in an overall sense these Christian Fascists are the ones more setting the terms within this whole fascist thing. And Sullivan pointed out: Even people who are fiscal conservatives—this is writing way back almost 20 years ago, but it’s even more true now—even the ones who are fiscal conservatives have to wrap up their program in this language of this Christian fundamentalism. So this is an important point to understand. And I’ll come back to the whole question of: Well, if we get rid of Trump, then we’ll get Pence, and that might be even worse.

I think it’s important to identify what we can call the triad of fascism, that is, the unapologetic aggressive assertion of white supremacy, male supremacy and American supremacy (or racism, misogyny and bellicose xenophobic jingoism, if you want to use other terminology), reinforced with defiantly—not apologetically, defiantly—ignorant and belligerent opposition to science and rational thought, combined with equally ignorant and belligerent assertion of the “superiority of western civilization,” as evidenced in Trump’s recent speech in Poland. And once again, referring back to what I read from Jackson Lears’ The Rebirth of a Nation, speaking about things at the turn of the previous century, more than 100 years ago, you can see sharply manifested the intertwining and mutual reinforcement of all of this.

Along with this, we have the fascist thuggery—both physical thuggery and intellectual thuggery: mindless storm troopers, coupled with perverted pretensions of victimhood and irrational rationalizations for atrocities. Think about it: You have these storm troopers—you know, the Oath Keepers, the Ku Klux Klan, and all the rest of these people, the Proud Boys, or whatever they’re called—out there in the streets carrying guns, and so on. And you have the NRA videos basically calling for people to engage in civil war against anything positive in society. But you also have the Ann Coulters and others out there with their intellectual thuggery, presenting at one and the same time the Christian Fascists and other fascists as victims. Somehow these people—whose representatives are in power, with a fascist regime implementing its program—somehow they’re the victims, they’re the Christians in the Coliseum with the lions being turned loose on them. Why? Well, there is this book by this guy—his name is, it’s not Jimmy Kimmel, it’s another Kimmel (Michael Kimmel)—called Angry White Men. And he made a statement which I think speaks to a lot of this sort of mobilized resentment, this frustrated entitlement. He said: If you’ve been in a situation—speaking about men who feel aggrieved these days because “the bitches are getting everything their way”—if you’re used to having everything 100% in your favor, and then it’s cut down to 75%, I guess it feels like you’re being persecuted. And that’s essentially what’s happening here. There have been certain concessions to the struggle against things like white supremacy, and patriarchy in different forms, and so on and so forth. So this feels to these people like their birthright of superiority—even if they’re not wealthy and powerful, all of them, some of them are—their birthright is being undercut and diminished and destroyed by these minor concessions. I think this is very important to understand. Then there’s the irrational rationalizations for atrocity. I mean just look at Ann Coulter—pure irrationality but in the service of all kinds of horrendous things—advocacy of horrendous acts: Go in (to Muslim countries), and kill all their leaders, convert them all to Christianity—on and on and on—you can cite these things endlessly.

So I think it is very important to understand this phenomenon. But I also want to stress, again, the importance of not being cowed by it, but boldly countering these fascist thugs in every sphere—including the intellectual sphere and including the physical storm troopers—but, at the same time, doing so as part of a broader movement to drive out this fascist regime, and from our standpoint, in terms of what’s fundamentally needed, part of advancing the 3 Prepares: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Fight All-out for Revolution With a Real Chance of Winning.

It’s very important, in connection with all this and overall, to correctly handle the contradiction between the essence of the bourgeois capitalist state, the dictatorial essence of that, and the appearance of democracy—which, on the other hand, the fascists are moving to resolve in their own way by getting rid of the appearance and moving to grotesque outright dictatorship. And in all this, once again, we can see the long shadow of slavery and the continuing oppression of Black people playing a pivotal role, including in fascist rule today. Among this is its expression through the normal electoral set-up. This includes the whole voter suppression thing, which has taken another leap with this commission supposedly investigating voter fraud, which is really a commission for further voter suppression. And you can see it in the skewing of the electoral process to favor the conservative—that is, the reactionary and fascist-inclined—areas and forces. I saw on one of these programs—I think it was on MSNBC—somebody was saying that there is an analysis that by the year 2030 (or something like that, within a couple of decades anyway) 30% of the population will be represented by 70% of the Senate, and 70% of the population will be represented by 30%. This is an important phenomenon, because is it necessary for them to do away with all the electoral processes? It may not be necessary, because things are skewed toward these rural areas, and small states which tend to be highly rural as well (in many cases, not in all cases). Then you don’t necessarily have to do away with the whole electoral process. And that’s an additional reason—not the most essential reason, but an additional reason—why this whole Democratic Party strategy of “We’re going to flip all these elections in 2018 and win the White House back in 2020,” is out of line with what’s actually happening. I’m not saying they couldn’t possibly win an election, if there is an election in those years, but there’s something going on here. Which, once again, if you think about what led to the electoral college in the first place, and the way the representation in the Senate is set up, and on top of that the way the Congressional districts have been gerrymandered so that sometimes you have like one district... you have a lot of Black people in an area, they’re overwhelmingly in one district, and then all the other districts are the white people in the area... all this kind of thing is part of what they’ve been building up for decades now, which is taking another leap.

And we have to understand, and struggle for people to understand, the straight-up Nazi mentality of this fascism and its consciously genocidal—not only implications but intentions. I go back to that comment, once again, by that “sleazy Congressman,” Adam Schiff. I remember seeing him talking about the original Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act, or whatever they call it) when it was passed. One of his constituents came up to him and asked him how he voted on it, and he said he voted for it, for Obamacare. And his constituent is obviously displeased and asks him: “Why’d you vote for it?” He gave a number of reasons, and then he said: “Well, and besides, one of the main reasons is that people who otherwise couldn’t afford health care can now get it.” Then this guy said: “And you think that’s a good thing?” Adam Schiff said: “Yes, I do. Don’t you?” And the guy said: “No! If they can’t afford it, they shouldn’t have it.” Now, think about the implications of this kind on mentality that’s been built up and primed among sections of the people into a fascist force. This depraved world view that certain types of people—including obviously Black people, other oppressed peoples, but also old people, sick people, women and so on, especially ones who want to have birth control and abortion—that these are people who are seen by these fascist forces as a drain and a stain on society and civilization, and who, therefore, deserve to die (or, what is the same thing, do not deserve to live or to be assisted to live).

There’s a great deal concentrated in and great importance to this statement which appears regularly on revcom.us:

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 is extremely important, and it was very heartening to read about what happened in L.A. when the Trump fascist people came out and were yelling: “U.S.A., U.S.A.,” and the people who were there with Refuse Fascism were led to chant: “Humanity first! Humanity first!”—which drowned out, and actually in the short run silenced, these fascists.

Now, it is also important to go on with the second part of this statement which says:

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.

The Democrats, and the section of the ruling class generally aligned with them, do not and cannot provide any answer to this fascism that is in the interests of the people, of humanity, because they are part of the same system which has created the conditions that gave rise to and fostered this fascism, and they share with the fascist section of the ruling class fundamental interests and assumptions, not least grotesque American chauvinism. This repeatedly comes out from all these institutions of the media and the Democratic Party. And all you have to do is think back to the 2016 Democratic Party Convention that nominated that hawk Hillary Clinton and think how this got concentrated, when not only was there militarism and “U.S.A., U.S.A.” emanating from the stage, but then this got concentrated when some of the people from Oregon, I believe it was, at a certain point, in opposition to all this jingoism and chauvinism, began to chant, “No War, No War, No War,” and they were drowned out by the mass of the delegates yelling, “U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.” So just think about that.

Or think about the question of the fundamental lie of American society—the fundamental lie that “you can make it if you try.” Now, think about this: In the middle of the election, a Trump campaign functionary in Ohio was forced to resign—even a Trump campaign functionary was forced to resign—because she said: If you’re Black and in America today and you’re not making it, it’s your own fault, you aren’t trying hard enough, you’re not working hard enough. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the essence of what she said. She had to resign from the Trump campaign because of that. That’s because she put it in baldly negative terms, openly blaming the people. But I would like somebody to explain to me: What is the difference in logic between that and Barack Obama’s statement in his victory speech in the 2012 election when he said: The great thing about America is if you work hard you can succeed. What is the difference in substance, in the essence of what’s being said, between that and what this woman in Ohio in the Trump campaign had to resign because she said? It’s exactly the same statement, except one is put in very negative terms, and the other is put in very “positive, hopeful” terms by the man of the “audacity of hope.” But it’s exactly the same message, because what is the logic of: If you work hard in America and do the right things, you can succeed? The logic is: If you’re not succeeding, you’re not doing the right things and not working hard—which is exactly what the woman from the Trump campaign said and had to resign over. So you can see a number—we could go through others, but I am running out of time, so I won’t—but there are many other examples in which they share fundamental assumptions because of the very nature of the system that they represent.

So, in sum on this, even as they do have real and in some aspects very acute differences and conflicts with the fascist section of the ruling class, including over the norms of political rule, they are an expression and an instrument of the same capitalist-imperialist system which produces daily horrors for humanity on a massive scale and which has spewed forth this fascism as a response to a situation that has resulted, above all and most fundamentally, from the basic contradictions and dynamics of this very system that all these politicians and political forces represent and serve.

Now, many have raised: If we drive out Trump—here I want speak to this—then we’ll just get Pence, and if anything he is even worse. Here it’s worth referring back to what was said earlier about the deal between Trump and the Christian Fascists, which Pence symbolizes and whose outlook and program he aggressively spreads and fights for, that of the Christian Fascists. But it’s important to understand that it’s not a matter of just driving out Trump and getting Pence. That way of seeing things, once again, reflects still too much being confined within, and weighed down by, the normal way of seeing and doing things, which is precisely the trap that people have to break out of in their millions and millions. It is a matter not of getting rid of Trump and getting Pence, but it is a matter of driving out the whole Trump/Pence regime. It is a matter of a massive and sustained political mobilization and resistance from below. It is a matter of changing the whole political landscape, the whole political situation, culture and atmosphere in society. If, and as, this begins to happen on the scale and with the determination that is needed, this, in turn, will have significant repercussions among the ruling political forces, creating or deepening cracks and divisions among them and forcing at least sections of the “liberal” ruling class forces to pretend to recognize the legitimacy of what this mass mobilization is demanding, while at the same time seeking to co-opt it and bring it back within the normal and “acceptable” channels and positions. This, in turn, must be responded to by seizing on the further openings that are created by all this, to draw even greater numbers of people into the massive and sustained mobilization. And this overall dynamic must be continued, amplified and accelerated toward the goal of actually driving out this regime before it can fully consolidate its rule and implement its program. All this will be necessary and crucial in order to drive out this regime, and driving out this whole regime in this way would create more favorable conditions for bringing about even further positive change in the interests of not just people in this country who are sick to death of this regime and refuse to accept a fascist America, but of all humanity.

The last thing on this point: there’s the question of what is the relationship between the principal objective now of driving out this fascist regime and the fundamental objective of the revolution we need. Here we have to speak very briefly to Naomi Klein and her book No is Not Enough. Now, it’s very significant that she had to put out a book with that title, even though she didn’t put the exclamation point on the NO. It’s very significant she had to speak to this NO. And what is the answer to that? The answer is, first of all: NO is necessary, vitally necessary. Driving out this regime, in other words, is critical at this point. At the same time, no, it is not enough. And the fact is—which we, again, going back to the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, have to be bringing to people in a very bold and vigorous way—that there is a real, viable radical alternative beyond just driving out this regime: the new communism, the revolution it is the foundation for, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic it has brought forth.

In conclusion on this point, we can go back to the conclusion of the Weimar Republic article and what it says there: that the attack by fascist forces on the Weimar Republic, especially when these fascist forces are in power, is something that has to be opposed; but what needs to be brought forward, fundamentally and ultimately, is not the Weimar Republic, or an even more grotesque and murderous form of what is represented by the Weimar Republic—that is, the bourgeois-democratic form of bourgeois dictatorship and the capitalist-imperialist system it enforces—but the radical alternative represented by revolution, represented and embodied in the new society, the new society represented and embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, and the ultimate goal of a communist world. That is what fundamentally and ultimately needs to replace the Weimar Republic—and, at this point, the road to that lies through driving out this regime and then carrying forward the struggle toward that goal of revolution and a radically new society.

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/skybreak-i-cant-stand-the-american-flag-en.html

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

"Personally, I Can't Stand the American Flag..."

| revcom.us

 

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

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

 

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

It is from this section:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/bob_avakian-breakthroughs/Bob-Avakian-breakthroughs-excerpt-a-basic-summary-en.html

Excerpt from:

BOB AVAKIAN

BREAKTHROUGHS

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

A Basic Summary

BOB AVAKIAN

BREAKTHROUGHS

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

A Basic Summary

Copyright © 2019 by Bob Avakian. All rights reserved.

 

Read complete work here

Download PDF for complete work here

 

The following excerpt from Bob Avakian's work Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism digs into key principles of the new communism in regard to building a movement for revolution. This week we especially want to call attention to the following excerpt:

And then, as an important part of “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism,” there is the principle of putting the problems of the revolution before the masses, while, at the same time, struggling with them to take up the outlook, methods, principles, and program of this revolution. Why is this important? It’s not because, in accordance with a tailist orientation, you think the masses are going to spontaneously have the answer to these problems. If they did already, then we would have a much easier time, we wouldn’t even need a vanguard, they could just make the revolution. So what is the point here? The point is involving the masses, with leadership and with struggle, in the process of identifying and solving the problems of the revolution, rather than a kind of opportunist approach of trying to hide from the masses the problems of the revolution or, with “political truth,” trying to convince them: “Everything’s really going great; all you need to do is get involved”—in which case they’re likely to say, “Well if everything’s going great, why should I get involved, it requires a lot of struggle and sacrifice—you’re doing great, go ahead, let me know when you’ve got everything lined up and then maybe I’ll get involved.” Correctly understood and applied, it is a very important principle that, in a fundamental and ultimate sense, revolution is made by the masses. That is not, and should not be taken as, a recipe for tailing the masses and their spontaneity. But they are the ones who have to make this revolution and they need to be involved, at every stage, in grappling with and contributing to the process of coming up with the means for struggling through and transforming the contradictions you face, the problems of the revolution, in order to make breakthroughs and advance. This is a very important principle and it’s something which should not be identified with tailing the masses and thinking that, in a reified sense, all wisdom resides in the masses and all you have to do is tell them what a problem is and they’ll immediately come up with the solution. It is a matter of involving them, in increasing numbers, on a scientifically-led basis, in the process of struggling to confront and transform the contradictions that have to be fought through on the road to making the revolution.

Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism is available here.

This paragraph was taken from the chapter "The Strategy...For an Actual Revolution." We urge our readers to read the entire chapter.

 

 

These are two contributions written by members of the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour that explore the ideas in the paragraph above:

Further Thoughts on Putting the Problems of the Revolution Before the Masses

July 24, 2019

Read more

Some Thoughts On The National Tour
More On Putting the Problems and Needs of the Revolution Before the Masses

July 19, 2019

Read more

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/bob_avakian-breakthroughs/Bob-Avakian-breakthroughs-excerpt-strategy-for-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Excerpt from:

BOB AVAKIAN

BREAKTHROUGHS

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

A Basic Summary

BOB AVAKIAN

BREAKTHROUGHS

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

A Basic Summary

Copyright © 2019 by Bob Avakian. All rights reserved.

 

Read complete work here

Download PDF for complete work here

 

The following excerpt from Bob Avakian's work Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism digs into key principles of the new communism in regard to building a movement for revolution. This week we especially want to call attention to the following excerpt:

And then, as an important part of “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism,” there is the principle of putting the problems of the revolution before the masses, while, at the same time, struggling with them to take up the outlook, methods, principles, and program of this revolution. Why is this important? It’s not because, in accordance with a tailist orientation, you think the masses are going to spontaneously have the answer to these problems. If they did already, then we would have a much easier time, we wouldn’t even need a vanguard, they could just make the revolution. So what is the point here? The point is involving the masses, with leadership and with struggle, in the process of identifying and solving the problems of the revolution, rather than a kind of opportunist approach of trying to hide from the masses the problems of the revolution or, with “political truth,” trying to convince them: “Everything’s really going great; all you need to do is get involved”—in which case they’re likely to say, “Well if everything’s going great, why should I get involved, it requires a lot of struggle and sacrifice—you’re doing great, go ahead, let me know when you’ve got everything lined up and then maybe I’ll get involved.” Correctly understood and applied, it is a very important principle that, in a fundamental and ultimate sense, revolution is made by the masses. That is not, and should not be taken as, a recipe for tailing the masses and their spontaneity. But they are the ones who have to make this revolution and they need to be involved, at every stage, in grappling with and contributing to the process of coming up with the means for struggling through and transforming the contradictions you face, the problems of the revolution, in order to make breakthroughs and advance. This is a very important principle and it’s something which should not be identified with tailing the masses and thinking that, in a reified sense, all wisdom resides in the masses and all you have to do is tell them what a problem is and they’ll immediately come up with the solution. It is a matter of involving them, in increasing numbers, on a scientifically-led basis, in the process of struggling to confront and transform the contradictions that have to be fought through on the road to making the revolution.

. . .

 

The Strategy...For an Actual Revolution

The goal of communism, the necessary process leading to that—revolution and the thorough transformation of society, and ultimately the world as a whole, to achieve the “4 Alls”—and the possibility (not the inevitability but the possibility) of this revolution: all this is established not through some kind of subjective, and utopian, fantasy but on a scientific basis, through analyzing the basic contradictions of the existing system of capitalism-imperialism, viewing this in the context of, and examining its place within, the larger development of human society and the motive forces of such development, and in this way recognizing the basis and the potential forces for making a radical leap beyond this and all previous systems and relations of exploitation and oppression. Here, as indicated in the observation contrasting possibility with inevitability, is a crucial distinction and a profound question of methodology. In the history of the communist movement, from the time of its founding, there has been a tendency to “inevitable-ism”—the mistaken belief that historical development will inevitably lead to the triumph of communism—which has been more or less pronounced, at various times and in various expressions, but which in any of its expressions has run counter to the fundamentally scientific method and approach of communism, from its founding in the work of Marx (and Engels). In this regard, as well as in other key dimensions, 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.”35 [Boldface in original]

The scientific approach of the new communism emphasizes that the basis for this revolution resides not in the thinking of the masses of people at any given time, but in the defining contradictions of this system that cause continual misery for the masses of humanity while at the same time these contradictions are built into the very structures and dynamics of this system and cannot be resolved or eliminated within its confines.

This finds a concentrated expression in the “5 STOPS”:

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

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

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

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

STOP Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet!

You can see how very relevant and immediately urgent are these “5 STOPS” and the contradictions to which they refer.

So what about the question of an actual revolution in a country like the U.S., and how it’s based, once again, in these defining but unresolvable contradictions built into this system and its basic structures, functioning and dynamics?

In “On the Possibility of Revolution” and “HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution36 (another very important document from the Revolutionary Communist Party), not only the need for this revolution but also the strategy for actually building a movement toward and then carrying out the overthrow of this system, when the conditions for that have been brought into being, is spoken to. Here, I am not going to go into this extensively and in depth—I have done that in “Why We Need An Actual Revolution, And How We Can Really Make Revolution,”37 in particular the second part, dealing with the strategy for revolution—which elaborates on what is put forward, in a concentrated way, in “HOW WE CAN WIN”—speaking to what we must do now to hasten while awaiting the emergence of a revolutionary situation and a revolutionary people in the millions, to prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard for that situation, when it will be possible, and necessary, to fight all-out to win—to overthrow this oppressive system, dismantle its forces of violent suppression and the other institutions of its rule, and establish a radically different economic and political system, aiming for the complete and final abolition of all relations of exploitation and oppression. But I do want to strongly emphasize the importance of actually making real what is presented, in a concentrated way, in “HOW WE CAN WIN,” and elaborated on more fully in “Why We Need An Actual Revolution, And How We Can Really Make Revolution” (and, in this connection, Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon, in particular Part 2, is also very relevant, including the discussion there about ways in which the principles discussed in “On the Possibility of Revolution” may have application more generally in the revolutionary process in different types of countries).

Rather than elaborating extensively on the various aspects of revolutionary strategy that have been developed with the new communism, including significant ways in which this represents a break with what has been the “conventional wisdom” of the communist movement, I want to provide, once again, a basic summary of key aspects of this.

First of all, there is the decisive question of internationalism. Along with referring people to the polemic “Communism or Nationalism?”38 by the Revolutionary Communist Organization, the OCR of Mexico, in Demarcations #4, Winter 2015, and to the discussion of internationalism in THE NEW COMMUNISM, Part II, I want to touch briefly here on the material and the philosophical basis for communist internationalism and the further synthesis of this in the new communism.

The material basis lies in the development of capitalism more fully into an international system of capitalist imperialism and the various features of that, including its investment and exploitation much more fully on an international scale (rather than in the earlier stages of capitalism where production took place mainly in the home country and the search was carried out for markets for those products internationally). The process of production has been much more fully internationalized, increasingly so in the last several decades. This is one overall system with many different component parts and dynamics to each of those component parts within this overall system. The dynamics of this system as a whole on a world level—not solely, but principally and in dialectical relation with the situation within particular parts of the world and particular countries—is the main factor in setting the objective stage for the revolutionary struggle in particular countries. And when, through this dialectical process, the contradictions assume a particularly acute form in particular countries, that can lead to the emergence of a revolutionary situation there. So you have the dynamics within the particular countries but it’s not only, and not even essentially, out of that, that the material conditions emerge which influence the development of the revolutionary struggle and which can ultimately lead to the emergence of a revolutionary situation in those particular countries.

Grasping that also interpenetrates with the philosophical understanding that is necessary for a correct approach to and application of internationalism. As is also discussed in the polemic “Communism or Nationalism?” by the OCR of Mexico, this has to do with the different levels of organization of matter in motion. There are relatively discrete levels in all different kinds of matter (in motion): there are different organs within the human body, and then there’s the human body as a whole, which encompasses all those organs, and there are the dynamics within and between them; there are particular regions within a country, there are particular countries, and then there’s the world as whole. And so on. Each of these different and relatively—I stress relatively—discrete levels of matter in motion have their own dynamics, their own internal contradictions; but, in turn, they are part of a larger system, just as the organs of a body are part of the larger body, and it is that larger body itself and its interaction in turn with the larger environment that ultimately and fundamentally sets the terms for what happens within that body, including within the different organs of the body—although at times what is happening within a particular organ can influence, or even be determining in, what’s happening to the body as a whole, which is obvious if you have a heart attack, for example. So that is the materialism and the dialectics of all this.

And the same applies to the relation between countries and the world and the world system as a whole. There are discrete levels of matter in motion that constitute countries, just as there are discrete levels of matter in motion that constitute different regions within a country. But, in turn, those countries, even with their relative identity and discreteness and the contradictions that are particular within that, exist within a larger dynamic which (as I have pointed out before) is different than something like the relation between the earth and all the galaxies in the universe. In other words, yes, the earth is part of a solar system, which is part of a galaxy, which is part of billions of galaxies, and so on; but that relation doesn’t have the same operative meaning, in terms of social transformation, that the relation between countries and the dynamics of the imperialist system, as a world system, has in this era.

It is the fundamental dynamics of this overall world system which, to cite one profound phenomenon, has been responsible for two world wars. As was pointed out in that OCR polemic, World War 1 wasn’t caused simply, or essentially, by the internal dynamics within each country, which then somehow spilled over into other countries. Obviously, the internal dynamics within different countries played a part in that, but it was the larger world stage and the contradictions on that level that led to that war. And that’s why, for example, in one of his better statements, Stalin said that the reason that they could succeed in the revolution in Russia—or why the conditions were more favorable for revolution there than in some other places—is that the contradictions of the world imperialist system became concentrated and focused within Russia to a large degree at that time. So that’s another example of the correct understanding of the relation between countries and the world situation as a whole.

If you don’t get that relation right, if you reverse that relation—as is done by people who proclaim themselves communists but actually uphold nationalism in the name of communism and become, at best, radical nationalists, which ultimately devolves into bourgeois nationalism—you’re just proceeding on the basis of the internal dynamics of the country and you see that as the most important arena that you’re operating in. And that can become posed against another country with its own internal dynamics. Your internationalism becomes a form of international “intersectionality,” to use the parlance of the times, which can easily be turned into antagonisms between different “sections” that are “intersecting.”

There were tendencies in Mao to proceed “from the nation outward,” even in advocating and practicing internationalism—tendencies to eclectically combine nationalism with internationalism—even as this was definitely secondary to Mao’s fundamentally internationalist orientation. But these secondary tendencies in Mao have been made into a principle by certain “Maoists” (including someone like Ajith) who, in doing so, have effectively replaced internationalism with nationalism.

So it is fundamentally important to grasp the material and the philosophical basis for a correct approach to internationalism: seeing the world arena as fundamentally decisive while correctly grasping and dealing with the moving relations between the contradictions and dynamics within a particular country and other countries—and all that in relation to the capitalist-imperialist system as a world system.

There are definite practical implications to this, as I spoke to in THE NEW COMMUNISM, including that whatever socialist countries exist at any given time have to be approached as, above all—not solely but above all—as base areas to advance the world revolution, or else they’re ultimately going to be pitted against the advance of the communist revolution in the world as a whole; and, in fact, the basis for overthrowing and reversing the revolution in the particular socialist country will be strengthened. This is not a matter of proclaiming a glorious principle—“Internationalism, be above all a base area for the world revolution”—in some sort of abstract or almost religious sense. This involves a great deal of complexity because, more than has been recognized previously in the history of the communist movement, there can be very acute contradictions, which have the potential to be turned into antagonisms, between a socialist country that exists and the revolutionary masses and the revolutionary struggles in other countries. There are many ways in which imperialist and reactionary states and forces in the world will try to impose on the socialist country necessity to adopt policies and actions, in the effort to preserve itself, that are against the fundamental interest of advancing the revolution toward communism on a world scale. And if the revolution does not continue to advance toward communism in an overall sense, it is going to be set back overall, including where socialist countries have been initially brought into being.

So you’re dealing here with very complex, and at times very acute, contradictions. And without the correct approach to grasping the material basis and the philosophical basis for communist internationalism, you don’t even have a chance at approaching correctly, let alone dealing in the real world with, these very profound, and at times very acute, contradictions in a way that actually advances the overall world revolution. Someone once flippantly said, about the loss of socialism in China: “Well, easy come, easy go.” Millions of people suffered and died in order to bring socialism into being in China, and millions of people around the world supported that and to a very large degree, and largely on a legitimate basis, had their hopes riding with socialism in that country. It was a terrible setback when socialism was overturned and capitalism restored there. It is very important to preserve, and in fact to advance, socialism wherever power is wrenched out of the hands of the imperialists. At the same time, however, if the preservation and advance of a socialist state in any particular country is not handled correctly in relation to—and especially if it actually undermines in any essential way—the development of the overall world revolution, then it’s on the road to being reversed as well.

There is the whole question of communism really being communism, and this has been further emphasized with the new communism—communism really being communism and therefore really being internationalist in the way I’ve been speaking to this, as opposed to nationalism in the name of, or eclectically combined with, communism.

Next, I want to touch on the basic approach to building the movement for revolution, which is captured in the formulation “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism.” Here it is worth noting and touching, even if briefly, on the fact that, while overall leading the newly-born Soviet Union on the road of socialism and contributing in some important ways to the development of the international communist movement, at the same time Stalin actually “reversed” Leninism on a number of important questions. On internationalism, for example—and this was strikingly so during the period immediately leading into and during World War 2, when the interests of the Soviet Union as a state were, on a rather nakedly nationalist basis, put ahead of the overall advance of the world revolution, in what were very acute and intensely contradictory circumstances, just to be clear. Lenin had emphasized that the proletariat in the different countries, in particular imperialist countries, had no “fatherland” to defend (and even though capitalism had not yet developed into capitalist imperialism as it had in Lenin’s time, this basic stand goes back to Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto, where they said the workers of the world have no countries and they called on the workers of the world to unite, which was a very important internationalist stand and declaration to the world). But, under Stalin’s leadership in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s, when they felt the impending war coming—and then, as a key part of that war, there was a massive attack on the Soviet Union by Germany, which had become Nazi Germany—there was explicitly a revising of the notion that the workers have no country and no basis and no interest in supporting the imperialist “fatherland.” Communists actually said things like, “That was true back when the workers had nothing, but now they have trade unions, seats in parliament, and so on, so now they have a stake in the fatherland.”

This was a rather grotesque reversal of the correct position that had been very strenuously and intensely fought for by Lenin, especially in the context of World War 1, in opposition to so-called “socialists” who were rallying to their various “fatherlands” once World War 1 broke out. So, with the approach of and then during World War 2, with Stalin there was a direct reversal, explicitly and rather crudely, of a basic principle and application of internationalism. They were facing very acute circumstances, but you can’t throw out principle just because there are acute circumstances. This is related in important ways to the statement that everything that is actually true is good for the proletariat.

Lenin put great emphasis in his important work What Is To Be Done? on not tailing the spontaneity of the masses, not worshiping the posterior of the masses, but instead bringing communist consciousness from “outside” their own experiences and daily struggles. Lenin stressed that the working class and the masses of people could not spontaneously develop communist consciousness—that they might gravitate toward it, but there were stronger forces in society pulling them back to (as he put it) a striving to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie.

But Stalin, as early as the 1920s, reversed some of this, too. I remember way back in the day when someone brought an essay by Stalin into one of our meetings in the Revolutionary Union, even before the Revolutionary Communist Party was formed. This was a time when we were trying to get oriented to go to the working class—to bring revolution to the working class—and somebody brought in this essay where Stalin said, we should go among the workers and be the best fighters for their immediate interests, and then they’ll see that we’re fine fellows and they’ll want to listen to us about our socialist and communist convictions.

This was extremely crude and was definitely a recipe for the economism that Lenin had polemicized against—the whole notion of reducing the struggle for socialism to something that supposedly evolved out of the daily struggles of the workers around their economic conditions—and it conformed more generally to the revisionist orientation that “The movement is everything, the final aim nothing.”

So, there was a reversal of some crucial principles that Lenin had fought for in What Is To Be Done? and other works. An ironic commentary, on how important Lenin’s What Is To Be Done? is, was made by Donald Rumsfeld during the course of the 2003 Iraq war, when he made an analogy, a very perverse analogy—he was talking about the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist forces, and how “we” (the imperialists) should have stomped them out right away, and he made this analogy: Back at the time when Lenin published that little pamphlet What Is To Be Done?, if we had known then what it would lead to, we would have stomped it out right then. So, in a perverse way, that shows you the importance of “this little pamphlet” by Lenin and how serious it was that this was undermined to a significant degree after Lenin’s death, including in things directly done and led by Stalin.

One of the key things in What Is To Be Done? and one of the key things Lenin was fighting for overall—one of the key lines around which he’s attacked repeatedly—is the concept that, rather than just passively reacting to objective conditions, you should be actively “pushing on” them, actively seeking to transform them (“pushing on” is my phrase, not Lenin’s, but it does correspond to what he strongly emphasized). The accusation is made that all kinds of horrors started with Lenin because, instead of just letting the material conditions ripen more or less on their own and allowing the people to spontaneously arrive at what to do about those conditions, Lenin insisted that you need a vanguard to lead the masses, and a vanguard needs to bring communist ideas from “outside” the experience and spontaneous thinking of the masses—that you couldn’t just wait for the masses on their own to come to communist consciousness, with the idea that perhaps socialism could be achieved peacefully because there would eventually be so many people in favor of it that the bourgeoisie would just stand aside on the basis of the popular will. This is an intense attack on Lenin, and in particular Lenin’s What Is To Be Done?, that is made by all kinds of pseudo- and self-proclaimed “socialists,” as well as regular bourgeois forces. But Lenin was absolutely correct: You do need to “push on” objective conditions to move things toward the point where an actual communist revolution, to overthrow the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, becomes possible; you do need the organization of a vanguard force that brings the understanding of the need to do that to the masses of people and struggles with them to take that up.

And, in a real sense, in the new communism “What Is To Be Done-ism” has been “rescued” and “enriched.” Here again is the question, which I referred to earlier, of hastening while awaiting the emergence of a revolutionary situation. In this regard, I want to make reference to the first six paragraphs of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity,39 where important aspects of hastening while awaiting are discussed, including important discussion about the relation, the dialectical relation, between the objective and subjective factor—the objective factor being whatever the objective conditions are at any given time, including in their changingness, and the subjective factor referring, not to people who are subjective, in the sense of being emotional or half-cocked or something like that, but in the sense of the conscious subjects, the conscious forces, acting on the objective conditions. There, in those first six paragraphs of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, is important discussion of not only the dialectical relation between objective and subjective factors in a general sense but also, more particularly, the way that they can be transformed into each other.

What does that mean? It means that what’s out there in the world, especially as it’s correctly reflected in the minds of people, can become part of the consciousness of the subjective factor, the conscious forces, who can then act on the basis of that consciousness to advance the revolution. In that sense, the objective becomes transformed into the subjective. And the subjective can be transformed into the objective in the sense that, on the basis of an essentially correct reflection of reality, you can go out to change the objective conditions, and thereby what was subjective (what was part of your consciousness) interacts with and changes the objective conditions, and in that sense becomes part of them. So, rather than, “There are the objective conditions out there and all we can do is passively respond to them,” it is a matter of consciously setting out to continually transform those objective conditions in the direction toward revolution, on the basis of a scientific method and approach.

Another important point to briefly touch on here, in these first six paragraphs of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, is the fact that the conscious forces—the subjective factor in that sense—doesn’t just react on the objective situation in some abstract and unchanging, and sort of metaphysical, sense. There are objective factors that are constantly changing in the natural world—for example, look at something like Puerto Rico and what happened there with the hurricane and the aftermath of that (there are objective conditions that are constantly changing in that sense)—and then, as is emphasized in these six paragraphs, there is the constant interaction with the objective situation of other social forces, ultimately representing different class interests, all of whom are trying to operate on and transform the objective situation in line with how they perceive the interests that they represent. And there can be “unintended consequences” in what other class forces do that might actually lead things to become more favorable for revolution IF the communist forces correctly respond to that. So, it’s not just a matter of “OK, we have the objective conditions in some static unchanging sense, and we can ignore all the other social forces out there operating on those conditions and how that is influencing things.” The point is made, in opposition to that, that everything that’s going on with all these different forces—not just “the forces of nature” changing the objective situation, which they do in important ways that interact with social forces, but there are also all these different forces in society representing different class interests, ultimately and fundamentally, which are acting on the objective situation—at a certain point, all that can lead to a situation which you might not have been able to anticipate two months, (or perhaps even two weeks) before, which begins to head toward a revolutionary crisis—IF, once again, the revolutionaries, the conscious communist forces, on a constant basis and in a consistently scientific way, have been transforming the objective situation to the maximum degree possible in line with where things need to go to make possible the overthrow of this system.

This is not something aimless, or something in itself and by itself. There is a whole process that needs to go on of continually transforming the objective situation toward the goal of revolution, and accumulating more revolutionary forces at each point in that process, so that you’re hastening while awaiting, which means you’re actually changing the objective conditions. Pivotally within all this, you are changing the way people think, in response to those changes and in an overall sense: you’re struggling with them—not just ones and twos, here or there, but masses of people—to transform their thinking. Here is the importance of the slogan: Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. In this process, transforming the thinking of the people is pivotal and the key link overall. So, even as you’re uniting with people to fight against the outrages and abuses of this system, where many of the people don’t yet see the need for revolution, you’re struggling to transform their thinking in line with the objective need for revolution. And again, this process is not something aimless (in line with the revisionist notion that “The movement is everything, the final aim nothing”). No, it is a process aiming for, and building toward, something very specific: Revolution. This must be brought forward and popularized at every point in this process.

And then, as an important part of “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism,” there is the principle of putting the problems of the revolution before the masses, while, at the same time, struggling with them to take up the outlook, methods, principles, and program of this revolution. Why is this important? It’s not because, in accordance with a tailist orientation, you think the masses are going to spontaneously have the answer to these problems. If they did already, then we would have a much easier time, we wouldn’t even need a vanguard, they could just make the revolution. So what is the point here? The point is involving the masses, with leadership and with struggle, in the process of identifying and solving the problems of the revolution, rather than a kind of opportunist approach of trying to hide from the masses the problems of the revolution or, with “political truth,” trying to convince them: “Everything’s really going great; all you need to do is get involved”—in which case they’re likely to say, “Well if everything’s going great, why should I get involved, it requires a lot of struggle and sacrifice—you’re doing great, go ahead, let me know when you’ve got everything lined up and then maybe I’ll get involved.” Correctly understood and applied, it is a very important principle that, in a fundamental and ultimate sense, revolution is made by the masses. That is not, and should not be taken as, a recipe for tailing the masses and their spontaneity. But they are the ones who have to make this revolution and they need to be involved, at every stage, in grappling with and contributing to the process of coming up with the means for struggling through and transforming the contradictions you face, the problems of the revolution, in order to make breakthroughs and advance. This is a very important principle and it’s something which should not be identified with tailing the masses and thinking that, in a reified sense, all wisdom resides in the masses and all you have to do is tell them what a problem is and they’ll immediately come up with the solution. It is a matter of involving them, in increasing numbers, on a scientifically-led basis, in the process of struggling to confront and transform the contradictions that have to be fought through on the road to making the revolution.

In connection with all this, I want to speak briefly to the separation of the communist movement from the labor movement. I referred to Lenin’s struggle with the economists of his time and the emphasis in What Is To Be Done? that socialism would not be brought about as the extension of the economic struggle of the workers, and reducing the struggle for socialism and communism to that would lead to the continuation of the situation in which the masses are chained within the existing system—the understanding, emphasized by Lenin, that the masses of people, proletarians and other oppressed people, will never gain communist consciousness just out of the immediate struggle with their employers and the struggle overall for their immediate needs, as important as those are. And, going back to what I said earlier about the development of capitalism into capitalist imperialism, and the changing of the class configuration in the imperialist countries, Lenin made the important analysis that, with capitalism’s development into capitalist imperialism, there was what he called a split in the working class, between certain sections that were more bourgeoisified—bribed, as he put it, from the spoils of imperialism and colonial depredation in what we now call the Third World—and those he referred to as the lower and deeper sections of the proletariat that remained intensely exploited and were the basis for an actual revolutionary movement. This represented an initial rupture of the communist movement from the labor movement—Lenin’s fight against economism and his recognition of a split in the working class in the imperialist countries.

And then, as the communist struggle shifted increasingly to the Third World for a period of time, particularly after World War 1, Mao developed a model in China of a peasant-based people’s war, which obviously was not based on the labor movement. In the early struggles in China, in the 1920s, they tried to base the communist movement in the labor struggles in the cities—and they were devastated and massacred by the ruling forces and their vicious repression. So, obviously, with this peasant-based people’s war there was a further separation of the communist movement from the labor movement.

To take this further, in terms of how it has been developed with the new communism, I want to repeat a formulation that I used one time to drive home this point about the separation of the communist movement from the labor movement. I said, we’re seeking to make “a proletarian revolution with a proletariat that does not exist!” Now, I was being deliberately provocative to drive home an essential point: Not that, in reality, there is not a proletariat, but this was a provocative way of saying that this movement is not going to be an extension of the labor movement, not going to be done with the economist vision of the working class fighting against its employers as the pivotal means for advancing to socialism, and it was not even going to be done by just going to the lower and deeper sections of the proletariat in a country like the U.S. and trying to overwhelmingly base the revolutionary movement there, although masses of people in that position in society obviously need to be involved in and play an important role in this revolution.

Clearly, there is in reality a proletariat, including in countries like the U.S.—there are masses of bitterly exploited wage-workers, within the U.S. itself and on an even greater scale internationally. But the point, and what I was getting at with this deliberately provocative statement, is this: The proletarian revolution will not, and cannot, come about as an extension of the struggle between wage-workers and their employers; the abolition of the rule of capitalism will not come about through some kind of general strike of labor; nor is it necessary, nor even likely, that the main fighting forces in the battle to overthrow the armed repressive force of the capitalist state (the bourgeois dictatorship) will come mainly from employed wage-workers, and it certainly will not come from among the better-paid and more bourgeoisified strata of the working class.

So, what are the backbone, or potential backbone, forces for revolution, particularly in a country like the U.S.? Well, they are the impoverished and bitterly oppressed and repressed masses who do exist in their tens of millions in this country; and this interpenetrates to a great degree with people among the oppressed nationalities, although it is not limited to that. We do have to recognize, at the same time, that there is a phenomenon among many of these masses of what could be called “deproletarianization”—people who were themselves formerly exploited as wage-workers (or the previous generations of whom were exploited in this way) but who now can’t even find themselves in that position (can’t find a job, to put it simply). This has been accompanied by a lot of what could be called “petit-bourgeoisification,” as well as “lumpen-bourgeoisification,” among sections of the oppressed masses—people who get into small-scale activity, which is essentially petit bourgeois in the sense that it involves small scale ownership and trading, and things like that, and people who are into the life of crime, including those who rise to fairly powerful and wealthy positions within that, even though their situation is often and generally very precarious.

There are these phenomena, and there is the phenomenon that in the realm of culture, for example, a certain, relatively small but influential, section of people has managed to rise from within these masses to basically a bourgeois position. The reason I refer to “lumpen- bourgeoisification” is that this includes people who have not only utilized the realm of culture but also in some cases the realm of crime to wrench out a position in which they become quite wealthy, and then they invest in lines of cosmetics and clothes, and so on—they become real bourgeois, even as many of them are part of an oppressed nation or people. And they have the corresponding outlook to a very significant degree. I won’t even talk right now about Kanye West! But, more generally, there’s the phenomenon where you are witnessing a profound silence on the part of many of these cultural figures and others on some of the burning issues for the masses today. Some may tweet about different things, but they don’t step out and take a strong stand in response—as a phenomenon there are many who do not step out and take a strong stand around glaring acts of oppression and injustice against the masses of people. And that’s because their position has changed. Not only is there a fairly significant “petit-bourgeoisifcation” among oppressed masses but there is also the “lumpen-bourgeoisification” that I referred to—and there is a culture which mirrors the extremely individualistic and acquisitive character of the dominant culture as a whole.

There is the phenomenon of what could be called “Reaganism among the masses of people,” the whole “ethos” that came in with Reagan in the 1980s, this extreme individualism—and not just individualism in the abstract, but one that is posed in terms of antagonism toward everybody else: “You can’t trust anybody else; nobody else cares about you; you gotta get over on other people before they get over on you.” To a significant degree, this has become a model for the masses, even though (once again going back to Marx’s statement in the Grundrisse) in their masses they are totally incapable of following this path, only a few can do that. In fact, there are millions of talented people in sports, in the arts, and so on, but only a tiny number of them can ever rise to a position of wealth and prominence. Nevertheless, this is held up as a model. Not only is this held up as a way out for people, it is more generally upheld as a model for people to follow and a way that people should think and conduct themselves. This does pose a real problem—and, more than that, it is an acute expression of a much larger problem in terms of the prevailing culture that has to be struggled against. People’s thinking in this regard has to be radically transformed.

At the same time, with all this, there is the poverty and immiseration, and the relentless injustice and oppression, to which masses of people are continually subjected and which, to go back once again to Marx in the Grundrisse, they have no way out of other than by overthrowing the system. Even short of revolution, all this to which they are continually subjected causes people to rise up against the system and its outrages, and provides a powerful part of the objective basis for masses, particularly (though not only) those who catch the worst hell under this system, to be won to, and to play a decisive role in, the revolution that is required to meet what are in fact their fundamental needs and interests. But this will require a tremendous amount of ideological struggle, transforming the thinking of masses of people, while uniting with them in fighting the oppressive powers-that-be, winning them to become, not people out for revenge and out for themselves, but emancipators of humanity, and in this way to act as backbone forces for the proletarian-communist revolution.

As I indicated, this is closely intertwined with the fight to abolish the oppression of Black people and other oppressed nationalities within the U.S. and the whole question of the relation between national liberation and proletarian revolution, particularly in a country like the U.S., which is spoken to in THE NEW COMMUNISM and is addressed, concretely and in an overall strategic sense, in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.40

At the same time as there are these basic forces for revolution, suffering in this way, who have to be won to this revolution through a tremendous amount of struggle, in which transforming their thinking is pivotal, there is a need for a broader united front, with the leadership of the proletariat—not in the reified sense of individual proletarians representing the essence of this leadership, but in the sense of what are the fundamental interests of the proletariat as a class and, going back to Marx, the fact that the proletariat can only emancipate itself by emancipating all humanity, by eliminating oppression and exploitation throughout the world with the achievement of communism. Being based on that understanding, and proceeding in that way, is what is meant by the leadership of the proletariat. And what is in the fundamental interests of the proletariat, and required for the revolution to realize those fundamental interests, is bringing into the revolutionary process as many forces as possible from the broader ranks of society, and continually struggling to win people to the revolutionary communist position. It is matter of bringing forward those who catch the worst hell under this system, but also—and fundamentally by bringing them forward—working at the same time to bring forward all different strata of the people, including in particular youth and students, who constitute a crucial force that has an important role in this revolutionary process.

This requires a scientific, dialectical materialist approach to the situation and spontaneous sentiments and inclinations not only of the basic masses who can and must be brought forward as the backbone and driving force of this revolutionary process, but also of the middle class in this country, and the different strata within this middle class, whose situation is significantly different than it was 50, or even 20, years ago. It requires a living and constantly deepening understanding of the material position and outlook—the conditions of life and spontaneous thinking—of these different sections of the people and how to carry out the necessary struggle to bring about a profound change in the outlook and values of large and growing numbers of them, winning them to active and increasingly conscious involvement in the revolutionary process whose final aim is the abolition of all relations of exploitation and oppression, all antagonistic relations among human beings everywhere, and all the agony and anguish that is bound up with those relations.

All this—the whole ensemble of “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism”—involves a fundamental rupture with economism in all the different dimensions in which I’ve spoken to this. And one of the ways in which this gets crucially expressed is in regard to the oppression of women and the struggle for the emancipation of women. There has been a strain in the communist movement to reduce this, once again, to merely an economic question—to where the struggle against the oppression of women is reduced to just changing the economic system. And there has also been a way in which this has been posed in antagonistic relation to the struggle against national oppression. For example, in the 1960s there was a very influential line, in a negative sense, that insisted that, with regard to Black people, you couldn’t bring up the oppression of women, because Black men have been so viciously oppressed, which of course is true. But, first of all, what about Black women and all the horrendous ways in which they’ve been oppressed throughout the history of this country and down to the present? And even more fundamentally, what about the emancipation of humanity as a whole? What about transforming all of those “4 Alls,” including that profound social relation which has been woven into class society, has been interconnected with class oppression from the very beginning of the division of society into oppressors and oppressed, namely the oppressed status of women?

There have been economist and nationalist tendencies, even in the name of communism at times, which have downgraded the importance of the struggle for the emancipation of women. And with the new communism, one of its key pillars is recognizing the pivotal and essential role of the struggle to emancipate women and its interconnection with and its decisive role in the overall process of abolishing all oppression and exploitation. Closely interconnected with this is the radical break that the new communism has made with the previous history of the communist movement in regard to sexual orientation and traditional gender relations. While, on the one hand, and principally, the communist movement historically made crucial breakthroughs in scientifically analyzing the origins of the oppression of women, the basis for its final abolition, and the relation of this to the overall development of human society and the struggle to abolish all relations of exploitation and oppression—notably in the seminal work by Engels The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State—at the same time there has been a secondary, but significant, influence within communism of patriarchy which, among other things, has been manifested in a negative orientation toward sexual orientation and gender relations which are in conflict with traditional gender relations—something which those of us who became revolutionary communists out of the upsurge of the 1960s “inherited” from the existing communist movement and traditions and carried forward for a time—too long a time—and which was finally broken with as one important dimension of the development of the new communism. In breaking with this, the approach of the new communism has not been to tail identity politics and attendant relativist and other unscientific methods and approaches, including populist epistemology, but to apply a scientific method and approach to the study of human sexuality and gender relations, throughout history as well as in contemporary society, including by learning from and drawing from the work of others whose outlook and approach are not communist but who have nevertheless done important work in regard to these crucial questions and whose position on this has been more in line with reality than what has been the traditional position of the communist movement. The result of all this is a scientific synthesis which is presented in a concentrated way in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which emphasizes that the goal is not just equality between men and women, but:

to overcome all “tradition’s chains” embodied in traditional gender roles and divisions, and all the oppressive relations bound up with this, in every sphere of society, and to enable women, as fully as men, to take part in and contribute to every aspect of the struggle to transform society, and the world, in order to uproot and abolish all relations of oppression and exploitation and emancipate humanity as a whole.41

It needs to be understood in relation to the emancipation of women and overcoming all oppression bound up with traditional gender relations, as well as in an overall sense, that only if you’re proceeding from the communist viewpoint, with the scientifically-established recognition of the need to achieve the “4 Alls”—only then are you going to be able to overcome the divisions and potential antagonisms among and between different sections of the people, and only then are you going to be able to bring to the fore all the various elements of the necessary struggle for revolution, as represented to a significant degree in those “5 STOPS.” Nothing less than that will make it possible to fully overcome the divisions that exist spontaneously and are constantly fostered by the workings of the system objectively and by the conscious actions of its representatives of various kinds. The ruling class repeatedly seeks to pit different sections of the people against each other and, contrary to the illusions of “intersectionality,” the ruling class has many powerful ways to do that if you’re not proceeding from the point of view of the emancipation of humanity as a whole.

There is a whole history of different sections of the people being pitted against each other. You have the egregious example of the Buffalo Soldiers after the Civil War—Black soldiers who fought to put down and kill off the Native Americans and steal their land—while in the Civil War, among the different Native American peoples, there were some who sided with the northern Union while others sided with the southern Confederacy, based on their narrow perception of their immediate interests. Only coming from the point of view of communism can you unify the masses of people to overcome every manifestation of oppression and achieve the “4 Alls.” This is crucial in an overall sense and it becomes particularly acute around the woman question, because there is a continual tendency, including in the communist movement, to subordinate this, or not to fully give expression to it, in the perceived interests of the moment, and with the narrow, economist outlook regarding what should constitute the working class movement or the communist movement. So, a very important component of the new communism is the recognition of the need to give the fullest expression to the struggle for the emancipation of women and its critical and pivotal role in relation to the overall struggle for the “4 Alls.”

Building on what was discussed earlier in regard to democracy, and its character and role under different systems and with the dictatorship of different classes, there is (as I have put it in the title of a book) the need to “do better” than democracy. This is one of the key elements and also one of the most controversial and often attacked elements of the new communism, for reasons one can well imagine. Once again, there is Mao’s important emphasis on the fact that democracy is part of the superstructure. With the new communism this has been further developed to systematize the understanding that going beyond class divisions and class rule (class dictatorship) also involves going beyond “democracy.” (I will speak to this further shortly, particularly in the context of discussing the question of leadership, and the development of the communist understanding of the character and role of the vanguard party, both before and after the seizure of power and the establishment of the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.)


Notes

35. Revolutionary Communist Party, “Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA–January 1, 2016.” Available at revcom.us. [back]

36. Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, “HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution,” Revolution #457, September 19, 2016. Available at revcom.us. [back]

37. Bob Avakian, “Why We Need An Actual Revolution, And How We Can Really Make Revolution.” Film of a speech given in 2018. Available at revcom.us and thebobavakianinstitute.org. [back]

38. Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico (OCR), “Communism or Nationalism?,” Demarcations: A Journal of Communist Theory and Polemic, Issue Number 4, Winter 2015. Available at demarcations-journal.org and revcom.us. [back]

39. Avakian, Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, Part 2: “Everything We’re Doing Is About Revolution” begins with the following six paragraphs:

“Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism”

Hastening while awaiting—not bowing down to necessity

Next I want to talk about “Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism” and its role in building a revolutionary and communist movement. I want to begin by reviewing some important points relating to the whole orientation and strategic approach of “hastening while awaiting” the development of a revolutionary situation in a country like the U.S.

I spoke earlier about the outlook and approach of revisionist “determinist realism”*** which, among other things, involves a passive approach to objective reality (or necessity), which sees the objective factor as purely objective—and purely “external,” if you will—and doesn’t grasp the living dialectical relation between the objective and subjective factors and the ability of the latter (the subjective factor—the conscious actions of people) to react back on and to transform the former (the objective factor—the objective conditions). In other words, this “determinist realism” doesn’t grasp the essential orientation, and possibility, of transforming necessity into freedom. It doesn’t really, or fully, grasp the contradictoriness of all of reality, including the necessity that one is confronted with at any given time. So, one of the essential features of “determinist realism” is that it dismisses as “voluntarism” any dialectical grasp of the relation between the subjective and objective factors, and sees things in very linear, undifferentiated ways, as essentially uniform and without contradiction, rather than in a living and dynamic and moving and changing way.

Of course, it is necessary not to fall into voluntarism. There are many different ways in which such voluntarism can be expressed, leading to various kinds of (usually “ultra-left”) errors and deviations, if you will—including in the form of giving in to infantilist or adventurist impulses—all of which is also extremely harmful. But—particularly in a protracted or prolonged situation in which the objective conditions for revolution (that is, for the all-out struggle to seize power) have not yet emerged—by far the much greater danger, and one that is reinforced by this objective situation, is this kind of determinist realism which doesn’t grasp correctly the dialectical relation between the objective and subjective factors, and sees them in static, undialectical, and unchanging terms.

It is true that we cannot, by our mere will, or even merely by our actions themselves, transform the objective conditions in a qualitative sense—into a revolutionary situation. This cannot be done merely by our operating on, or reacting back on, the objective conditions through our conscious initiative. On the other hand, once again a phrase from Lenin has important application here. With regard to the labor aristocracy—the sections of the working class in imperialist countries which are, to no small extent, bribed from the spoils of imperialist exploitation and plunder throughout the world, and particularly in the colonies—Lenin made the point that nobody can say with certainty where these more “bourgeoisified” sections of the working class are going to line up in the event of the revolution—which parts of them are going to be with the revolution when the ultimate showdown comes, and which are going to go with the counter-revolution—nobody can say exactly how that is going to fall out, Lenin insisted. And applying this same principle, we can say that nobody can say exactly what the conscious initiative of the revolutionaries might be capable of producing, in reacting upon the objective situation at any given time—in part because nobody can predict all the other things that all the different forces in the world will be doing. Nobody’s understanding can encompass all that at a given time. We can identify trends and patterns, but there is the role of accident as well as the role of causality. And there is the fact that, although changes in what’s objective for us won’t come entirely, or perhaps not even mainly, through our “working on” the objective conditions (in some direct, one-to-one sense), nevertheless our “working on” them can bring about certain changes within a given framework of objective conditions and—in conjunction with and as part of a “mix,” together with many other elements, including other forces acting on the objective situation from their own viewpoints—this can, under certain circumstances, be part of the coming together of factors which does result in a qualitative change. And, again, it is important to emphasize that nobody can know exactly how all that will work out.

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

So that is a point of basic orientation in terms of applying materialism, and dialectics, in hastening while awaiting the emergence of a revolutionary situation. It’s not just that, in some abstract moral sense, it’s better to hasten than just await—though, of course, it is—but this has to do with a dynamic understanding of the motion and development of material reality and the interpenetration of different contradictions, and the truth that, as Lenin emphasized, all boundaries in nature and society, while real, are conditional and relative, not absolute. (Mao also emphasized this same basic principle in pointing out that, since the range of things is vast and things are interconnected, what’s universal in one context is particular in another.) The application of this principle to what is being discussed here underlines that it is only relatively, and not absolutely, that the objective conditions are “objective” for us—they are, but not in absolute terms. And, along with this, what is external to a given situation can become internal, as a result of the motion—and changes that are brought about through the motion—of contradictions. So, if you are looking at things only in a linear way, then you only see the possibilities that are straight ahead—you have a kind of blinders on. On the other hand, if you have a correct, dialectical materialist approach, you recognize that many things can happen that are unanticipated, and you have to be constantly tense to that possibility while consistently working to transform necessity into freedom. So, again, that is a basic point of orientation.

***The subject of “determinist realism” is spoken to in Part 1: “Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right”—available at revcom.us and the bobavakianinstitute.org—and, in the serialization of Part 1, is found in “Marxism as a Science—In Opposition to Mechanical Materialism, Idealism and Religiosity,” in Revolution #109, Nov. 18, 2007. [back]

40. Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). Authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, 2010 (RCP Publications, 2010). Also available at revcom.us and thebobavakianinstitute.org. [back]

41. Ibid., p. 6. [back]

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/speaking-to-a-class-of-300-en.html

Speaking to a Class of 300, Getting into Big Questions, and Getting Organized

| revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

A young professor, who heard about the #UCLA5 case, invited two of us from the Revolution Club to come speak to his large ethnic studies class. He said he wanted to hear from us about our activism, movement building, guiding philosophy, and encounters with state repression. This professor is very familiar with the fascist assault on academia—how “free speech” has been (mis)used to bring fascist speakers onto campus, while left wing professors are harassed and even forced out, and ANTI-fascist speech is criminalized—so he was eager to bring voices like ours onto campus.

The prof opened up the class, saying he wanted students to understand the current moment, with a resurgence of white supremacy and fascism. Then he played a video of himself protesting at a Trump campaign event over 3 years ago—he doesn’t hide his own position on things, and encourages students to take a fact/evidence-based approach to understanding the world and figuring out for themselves what they’re going to do. He then introduced us as people who are continuing that fight.

Watching the prof’s video, I was reminded of the anger and passion so many people felt back then, and the need to bring that spirit of defiance back! So I asked the students to raise their hands if they were in high school when Trump was elected (almost everyone); if they protested back then (about 1/3); if they walked out (about 1/10). I asked them to reflect on that feeling they had back then, like being punched in the gut, of having someone who said such disgusting things about women and Mexicans and Muslims be elected president of the United States. And then to reflect on everything that’s happened since—the Muslim ban, the concentration camps and family separations, ripping up environmental protections, Charlottesville, El Paso, etc.—and how yesterday’s outrage has become today’s new normal. We told them we were here to talk to them about a plan, beginning October 19, to end this Trump/Pence nightmare.

The two of us, we said, came from different backgrounds—one of us a college graduate, the other from the hard streets of South Central—but we both got involved in the Revolution Club cuz we came to understand that this system can’t be reformed and must be overthrown. We explained that we’re talking about an actual revolution based on the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, and that this is completely different from what people like Bernie Sanders are talking about. When we made the point that the Republican Party is fascist, but the Democrats are also a party of war crimes and crimes against humanity, we could see some students nodding in agreement.

As the “solid core” of our presentation, we played the trailer from Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution and Bob Avakian’s response to people who complain about immigrants, which speaks with a lot of science and heart to the horrors this system causes in the world and how this is leading to the rise of fascism.

We re-emphasized the points BA made in the trailer about these “5 Stops” being built in to the system of capitalism, and that the only way to stop them is by getting rid of this system, and replacing it with a completely different system. We told them that the floor was open for questions and comments about all of that, but that we wanted to focus on this question of fascism.

We asked them how they would define fascism. Someone yelled out “Trump!” Others said “dictatorship,” “authoritarianism,” “scapegoating minorities,” “not wanting to transfer power.” We asked the students if they’d heard about Trump’s refusal to comply with the impeachment inquiry, and how do they relate what’s happening now to this definition of fascism. One student explained that what Trump is doing completely violates the Constitution, since impeachment is part of the legal process laid out in the Constitution. Another student referred to how much has already been normalized, and warned about fascism taking hold “step by step.” We underlined his point by reciting the famous Pastor Niemöller poem, drawing out the logic of “at least it’s not affecting ME yet,” and underlining that the point is to fight for humanity and act now, before it’s too late!

This was important, because students were grappling not only with the atrocities perpetrated against different groups, but also how fascism is a different form of rule, in which power is concentrated in the executive and democratic rights stripped away. And there was a collective sense in the room that this is happening, and that it is serious, and a feeling of working together on a common problem.

At this point the professor asked the other Revolution Club member, “As a kid from South Central, how did you get into this?” My comrade spoke to the anger about oppression that he grew up with, and that he was looking for answers for how to end it—not just going with whatever is to “my taste.” So when he first heard about BA, even though he was skeptical about him being a white guy, he really looked into it and found that there are answers.

A student asked, “What do you tell people who say that you’re too radical and extreme?” Another student asked, “What do you say to students who are really passionate about these things, but don’t know what to do?” Another student expressed concerns about the bloodshed involved in an actual revolution. We talked about how the word “radical” actually means getting to the roots. And like any problem, if you don’t get to the roots you can’t really solve it and it’ll just keep coming back. This revolution is about getting to the roots of what’s causing all this unnecessary suffering, digging up this capitalist system, and building a whole new system that overcomes all these inequalities, without turning out the lights on dissent and debate. What’s truly “extreme” is the world we’re living in! And what’s crazy is to allow this system to perpetrate its bloodshed here and around the world—and for masses of people to senselessly shed each others blood—for even one more day!

We called on students who are passionate about all this to look deeply into the cause of these problems, and the solution. At the same time, we called on everyone who refuses to accept a fascist America to unite now, to do what they did in Puerto Rico and Hong Kong, and get in the streets demanding Trump/Pence OUT NOW! We ended by speaking to the crucial role of students, either burying their heads in their books while the world burns, or bringing their energy and creativity to the forefront of the struggle.

The students gave us a round of applause. And after class about 12 stayed to talk. Some of them had an almost uncontainable excitement about meeting us, and each other. One student said she’s constantly thinking about these things, but doesn’t have anyone to talk to about it. She really thinks we have to go out there, stir shit up and make people uncomfortable, but has felt kind of helpless to do that on her own. Another student, originally from Mexico, said that after Trump was elected her mom told her to stay inside and play it safe, which she thought was bullshit. This group had a lot of questions about how to have an impact, given how hard it is to convince people to act, when most people are just looking out for themselves. But through the conversation they came to see how acting together as a group, and not just through one-on-one conversations, can change the equation. Almost everyone raised their hands when I asked people if they were planning to be there October 19. Then I asked people to raise their hand if they wanted to be a Revolution Club “organizer.” Four students enthusiastically raised their hands. Each of them took pictures of all the sign-ups, and they made a plan to start a group chat and a Facebook event. Since then, they’ve been in touch with each other and are working to get people from their school to the action on the 19th.

The professor had a lot of good questions—about revolutionary leadership, the experience of the Black Panther Party, the new communism vs the old communism—which we got into over Thai food after. He was really happy about how things went, most especially because of how much students participated, and how unleashed they were afterward.

Trailer from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution
Watch the whole speech
Watch clips from speech
Spread the trailer everywhere.

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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

| revcom.us

 

"Identity Politics Blues"

 

I don’t even know who the hell I am

I got twenty-five identities and twenty-five brands

I drove to the intersection and my car just stalled

I sure am feeling really confused

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I heard someone saying they had truth to tell

but they got white skin and a penis as well

so I knew that they couldn’t possibly be right

never knew that truth had a gender or hue

‘Till I got these postmodern identity politics blues

 

So I shouted out loud to every woman and man

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

that means you have to buy my merchandise”

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

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I just read this book, you should really try it

“10 Quick Steps to Decolonize your Diet”

Now I can survive on agency alone

there’s nothing meaningless I will refuse

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I purchased an onion and started to cry

as I peeled back its layers of privilege, then I

threw it in the trash and typed a Facebook post

all I need now is someone to accuse

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

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

I just hope that’s not “heteronormative’

but then who am I to even use that word?

Why must I be stricken with a cisgender muse?

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

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

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

there’s nothing decent that they won’t condemn

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

These damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

Yesterday, a cop punched a guy in the face

without a trigger warning and inside a safe space

he told the cop, the cop wasn’t impressed

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

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I went to the lecture on empowering dogs

someone started whispering “What about frogs?”

Pretty soon, things ground right to a halt

after all, who are we as humans to choose?

These damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I woke up in the morning for a leaderless swim

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

two minutes later, I promptly started to drown

the other swimmers smirked and just looked amused

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I somehow washed ashore and collapsed on the sand

I coughed and gasped for air and I could not understand

how the currents took me so far out to sea

it dawned on me that I might need to lose

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

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

if I could just stop asking if I have the right

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

how much longer must we be abused

by these damn postmodern identity politics blues?

 

 

 

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/revolutiontour/donate-en.html

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

Updated | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

 

$25,000 Is Needed in October

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

You can also make this a monthly donation

Donations accepted here via PayPal and credit cards:


To Sustain and Donate by Mail:

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

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


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

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/upsurge-of-protests-in-latin-america-en.html

Upsurge of Protests in Latin America

| revcom.us

 

The recent months have seen an upsurge of anti-government protests in a number of countries in Latin America. On this page are pictures and short accounts of some of this struggle. The economies and political structures of all these countries have long been dominated by U.S. imperialism, even as other imperialist powers are increasingly contending in this region.

Chile

On October 6, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera announced a drastic fare increase for the metro rail system. This was a new attack on the masses of Chileans who already found life unbearable, from the increasing burden of debt to cuts in pensions and health care and rising costs of electricity and other necessities. There has been widespread discontent over government corruption scandals and the repression of student movements. The fare increase set off waves of peaceful protest, from people taking to the streets banging on their pots and pans (a traditional form of protest in Chile) to a new form: the "evasions," spread on social media, where people assemble at a metro station at a specified time and board trains en masse without paying. By the end of last week, clashes between protestors and police had resulted in 308 reported arrested and 167 injured. On Friday, dozens of the metro stations were attacked and burned. By Saturday, Piñera had declared a state of emergency in the capital of Santiago and sent in the military, complete with tanks, water cannon, and soldiers. Before the day was over, this was extended to other major areas in Chile. By the end of the day, he suspended the fare increase, amid widespread calls for his resignation, but within hours the military had declared a two-week curfew. The situation remains very tense.


During the week of October 6, clashes between protestors and police had resulted in 308 reported arrested and 167 injured. Photo: AP


A fare increase set off waves of peaceful protests on Sunday, October 6, but by Friday dozens of the metro stations were attacked and burned. Photo: Video screen capture

Ecuador

For the first half of October, Ecuador was turned upside down by a powerful upheaval against new austerity measures, which included the elimination of fuel subsidies in this oil-producing nation. These measures were devastating to the large indigenous population of Ecuador, as well as taxi, bus, and truck drivers, and the cuts in public worker benefits and wages hit even more broadly. Submitting to demands of the International Monetary Fund, President Lenín Moreno, announced the austerity measures on October 1. Massive protests erupted on October 3. The next day, Moreno declared a state of emergency. But the protests escalated, and on October 8, the president fled his offices in the capital city of Quito to Guayaquil on the coast. As the struggle continued to mount, Moreno reached a deal with some leaders of the indigenous groups, withdrawing the austerity decree in exchange for an end to the demonstrations. But the government is viciously striking back. Seven people were reported killed in the protests, and a number of opposition leaders have fled the country. Many protesters who were arrested are facing heavy jail time. At least one major labor organization has denounced the settlement and called for protests to resume at the end of the month.


Austerity measures were devastating to the large indigenous population in Ecuador. Photo: AP


Seven people were reported killed in the protests as the struggle continued to mount. Photo: AP

Peru

In 2011, the Peruvian government gave a license to Southern Copper Corp., a Mexican corporation, to start an enormous copper mining project in the Tambo Valley in southern Peru. Farmers and others in the region recognized that the project would cause massive pollution to the land and water, devastating agriculture, the environment and the peoples’ livelihood. In 2011 and again in 2015, they waged intense battles against the project, causing it to be suspended in 2015. When it was again started up earlier this year, the masses again rose up in protest. They marched in their thousands in the nearby city of Arequipa. They blocked the port of Matarani. They blocked highways. And they waged intense militant battles with the police. In August, the government temporarily suspended the mining company’s license “for further evaluation.” But the protests have continued.


The farming community in Tambo Valley fearing it would lose vast tracts of agricultural land if the mine is built, marched in their thousands in the nearby city of Arequipa. Photo: Peoples Dispatch


People have protested the Southern Copper plans for US$1.4 billion Tia Maria copper mine in Arequipa, Peru since 2010. Once again the protests have intensified. Photo: Peoples Dispatch

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

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

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:6

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/616/the-slaughter-of-the-kurds-en.html

The Slaughter of the Kurds, the Fight over "American Interests," and the Interests of Humanity

| revcom.us

 

This past week, Donald Trump withdrew American soldiers from a Kurdish area of Syria.1 This gave Turkey a green light to cross the border and attack the Kurdish-led militias controlling the region, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF had earlier allied itself to the U.S. to drive out the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist force ISIS.

In doing so, Trump came under political attack not only from the Democrats and sections of the U.S. military and spy agencies, but also some otherwise reliable Republican-fascist allies.

Four things need to be said about this:

First, this Turkish invasion will lead to terrible slaughter and excruciating suffering for those who are not outright killed. At this point, the only question is how bad it will be.

Second, with little concern for the lives of the Kurdish people, those within the US ruling class who have criticized Trump for this have largely either posed this in terms of what is best for “U.S. national security” or made a putridly narrow appeal to protecting American lives (“these Kurdish fighters are shedding blood to protect Americans from terrorist attacks by ISIS, so we should support them to keep doing that”).2 Trump defends this move in those same terms.

These phrases cover over the reality of a system of imperialist domination of the huge majority of the world’s people and nations, and the imperialist competition over who will be top dog. The U.S. military has murdered nearly ten million people since the end of World War 2 in defense of that system—a system which grinds up the lives of billions of people worldwide in its daily operation and which causes the needless death of millions of children a year through preventable disease.

Third, this is not the first time that forces which have gained the leadership of the struggle of the Kurdish people have tried to ally themselves with greater powers than their immediate oppressor—like in this instance, the U.S.—to gain some form of national self-determination. Every single time this has led to betrayal. This history shows what happens when the masses of people are not led to sharply distinguish their interests from those of the imperialists who promise them deliverance but give them betrayal, and continued oppression.

Fourth, this move by Trump and Turkey is occurring in the context of major changes in the Middle East. Great-power rivalry for the domination of a strategically vital part of the world is heightening, even while regional powers like Turkey and Iran seek to extend their sphere of influence and seek to contend in this mix. Differences and splits in the U.S. ruling class are really sharp over how to extend and maintain U.S. dominance, and this is what is meant by U.S. “national security” interests—the national interests of the U.S. imperialists.

In regard to the significant splits among the rulers that this has widened, it's important for all concerned about humanity and the danger of fascism to return to the crucial orientation which appears on this site every week:

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.

And to further quote Bob Avakian, who pointed to those paragraphs in his new preface to “Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of ‘Painless Progress’” and wrote that “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.”


1. The Kurdish people are a bitterly oppressed minority who live in the nations of Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq, and they are the main group in this area of Syria. [back]

2. Christian fascists have more cast this as a question of defending religious freedom against Sunni Islamic fundamentalist forces like ISIS. Christian fascists who are now in power with the Trump/Pence regime want to institute a Christian-fundamentalist fascist form of rule in society. They perceive and portray their fascist view of Christianity as under siege, and locked in a holy war for domination, and recast current conflicts in society in this framework.  [back]

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

With a Note Added by the Author, Fall 2019

Read more

Now also available in Spanish

DOWNLOAD PDF for printing 2-sided as 5.5x8.5" brochure

DOWNLOAD PDF for printing 8.5x11 pamphlet

See also:

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!

Republicans, Democrats and U.S. Crimes Against Humanity: A Chart

Read more

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/why-you-should-and-should-not-feel-ashamed-of-america-en.html

Why You Should—and Should NOT—Feel Ashamed of America—and What You Can Do About It

| revcom.us

 

A lot of people say that the way in which Trump hung the Kurds in Syria out to dry makes them ashamed to be an American. And in fact the way in which America has played the Kurds—and not just this time, but over many decades—is shameful. (See this piece on revcom.us.)

But if you’re ashamed because America “broke its word,” do you think this is something new, or somehow unusual? Then you need to think about America’s whole history with the Native American Indians, in which treaty after treaty after treaty was broken when it suited white America’s interests. 

If you’re ashamed because you somehow think the U.S. is on the side of right in Syria, then no. Forget it. The U.S. "special forces"1 were there as part of America’s imperialist project to dominate the region of the Middle East—and if you think that’s been good for the people of that region, you should look into the history of Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, and on down the line, where the toll of those killed, wounded, exiled, imprisoned or otherwise destroyed and ground up in the service of one U.S. “effort” or another easily mounts into the tens of millions and beyond. If you identify with this country and want something to be ashamed about? Then be ashamed of the way the U.S. under both Obama and Trump has supported the Saudi Arabian war against Yemen, in which the American ally has used U.S. military and intelligence support to kill thousands of Yemeni children, create the worst cholera epidemic in recent history, and put over a million people on the edge of starvation.

The particular troops removed from Syria were pulled because one faction of your rulers thought that removing them would better serve that project and those imperialist interests, and other very powerful factions did not. Now they’re having a fierce argument over that, and you’re being marshaled on one side of it. Don’t be.

Those crimes in the Middle East are just one part of the towering crimes committed in every corner of the planet by “the shining city on a hill.” And go to the American Crime series which gives some sense of the horrific scope of this. 

But go further. Stop identifying with this country and take the step to identify with humanity. As Bob Avakian has said,

If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you’ve already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world. If you can envision a world without any imperialism, exploitation, oppression—and the whole philosophy that rationalizes it—a world without division into classes or even different nations, and all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas that uphold this; if you can envision all this, then you have the basis for proletarian internationalism. And once you have raised your sights to all this, how could you not feel compelled to take an active part in the world historic struggle to realize it; why would you want to lower your sights to anything less? (BAsics 1:31)

 


1. So-called special forces refer to a corps of highly trained killers not subject to the discipline of even ordinary U.S. troops in their freedom to inflict mayhem and horror on anyone in their way, whether soldier or civilian.  [back]

Oil, Power and Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda.

See:

Excerpts on Imperialism and the Kurdish People

from Larry Everest, Oil, Power & Empire—Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda

Read more

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/cpi-ml-the-military-offensive-of-turkeys-fascistic-army-en.html

The Military Offensive of Turkey's Fascistic Army in Rojava

The statement of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

| revcom.us

 

The military offensive of the fascist state of Turkey against Rojava (Kurdistan of Syria) and the autonomous region controlled by the People’s Defence Units (YPG) is indeed an act of genocide to eradicate the Kurdish people of the area. The fascist republic of Turkey to fulfill its main objective against the Kurdish nation, has extended this war beyond its borders against the Kurds of Syria, as well. These are the crimes pouring out of the Erdogan’s “Spring of Peace”.

A number of cities and villages in northern Syria have been hit by Turkey’s air and artillery attacks, and many targets including  Syrikani (Ras al-Ayn) and Gary Espy (Tell Abyad,) have been bombarded. The Turkish government says it is seeking to create a “safe zone” along the border and aims to drive out the Kurdish forces affiliated with the Democratic Union Party (DYP) labelled as “terrorist groups”. Erdogan and the Turkish government have turned more than four million Syrian refugees residing in Turkey into an instrument of their fascist policy.

This aggressive occupation is not just against the Kurds in Syria. Through this war Erdogan is trying to respond to the extreme dissatisfaction of the Turkish people against him and his AKP party, by launching more aggressive attacks against his opponents including the Kurds and non-Kurds, under the pretence of “National Security.” Since the beginning of these attacks, various opponents Erdogan, including, opposition political forces, intellectuals and unions etc, have declared their opposition against this war. The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) a party within the Turkey’s power structure, has called for a broad coalition unity against Erdogan; meanwhile Erdogan has also called his supporters out to defend his party’s policies.

This attack was carried out with the green light from Trump and blessing by Iran and Russia with some ifs and buts nevertheless tacitly gone along with it- but posed to take the most advantage of the situation. The Syrian National Army formerly called “Free Syrian Army” comprised of former officers of Bashar Al-Assad, mercenaries of the Security and Turkish Army (MIT), have welcomed Ankara’s decision to invade Syria. In a statement issued Wednesday, this group stated that “The Kurds have left us no other choice” and issued the decree to forces under their command to “Hit them with your strong fists and pour your fire at them, make them taste hell.”

What we are seeing in the region today is the expression of the contradictions arising from the heart of the global capitalist system and the reaction of the imperialist rulers, especially American imperialism, to these contradictions. These wars (of empire) which have slaughtered and displaced several generations of Kurds, Arabs and others in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen that have filled their lives with horror and fear, is indeed hallmarks of all contradictions of the time we live in. The US government, no matter what faction is in the White House, has never taken the side of the Kurdish people regardless of its off and on conflicts and disagreements with the Turkish government. The reason is that the Republic of Turkey is part of the structure of the rule and hegemony of American imperialism, and in general, the Western imperialists in the Middle East.

Trump shamelessly tweeted that. “Now the Kurds are fighting for their own land so that you understand...they did not fight for us in the World War II and they did not help us with Normandy.” The history of US imperialism’s relationship with the Kurds is full of lies and betrayals. United States goal has never been about the triumph nor the right to self-determination for the Kurds. The US has repeatedly betrayed the Kurdish nation and the bourgeois political forces and has used them as an instrument to bolster its own relations, as a backbone and pressure on the governments of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria. Cooperation between the Syrian Ba’ath government at the time of Hafiz al-Assad, the CIA, Israel’s Mossad and MIT (Turkey’s security agency) for arresting Abdullah Ocalan was one of these deals. In the current situation, the ominous shadows of these bloody deals are visible once again.

In the Middle East today, any political movement that wants to be the people’s movement and serve the people it claims to represent, must do its utmost to avoid the vortex of coalitions and deals with the imperialist powers (the US, Russia, China and the European Union) and consequently, should avoid deals with the regional governments (Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria and Iraq, etc.) and thus, take their people away from that sinkhole, quickly. But the ruling party in Rojava, the PDD, and its military branches (YPG and YPJ) have run counter to this rule. Together with other nationalist parties in Kurdistan, they have made it part of their strategy and a very common thing to turn into an instrument for the imperialist powers and the governments of the region. This is a policy that has always caused massacres and displacement for the Kurdish people.

For many years the Middle East, has been the scene of war and bloodshed by the imperialist forces and the reactionary governments of the region. These infidelities, atrocities, genocides, and endless wars will continue unless there is at the scene, in one or more areas a powerful communist movement based on the real communism, the new communism, to lead masses of people “in another way,” a leadership, qualitatively different, from what has been ruling in the region, for many years. The people of the region must first unite in theory and then in practice against all the imperialists and the reactionaries of the region and their wars.

As the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) has emphasised in the draft constitution of the new Socialist Republic of Iran, one should only strive for the communist revolution and build a society that:

“will serve as a base for the advancement of the world revolution and will show the people of the world through publicity and modeling that poverty and deprivation stemming from the old property relations, old thoughts, oppressive social relationships such as women’s oppression, economic domination, political and cultural domination, racism and the hegemony of nation over another nation, the destruction of the environment, monopolization of access to science and art by a handful of people in society, forcing art and science to serve the capitalist system, banning the thinking and turning humans into submissive beings which are bolts in the capitalist system, all will diminish by overthrowing the capitalist system, the establishment of socialism and the move to the establishment of a communist social system in the world.”

 

October 10, 2019

This statement appears on the website of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

The New Communism

Available to download as PDF in English | Spanish | Farsi

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/616/trump-blatantly-tramples-on-the-constitution-en.html

As Trump Blatantly Tramples on the Constitution and Whips Up His Fascist Mobs...

Do You Really Think That Just "Relying on the Process" Will Drive Out the Fascist Regime?

| revcom.us

 

This week the Trump/Pence regime has counterattacked in two ways against the attempts of the Democrats to impeach Trump.

First, the regime has gone further in defying the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, ordering all those in the regime not to obey what are in fact lawful subpoenas from Congress to testify and declaring in a public letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the whole impeachment process is by definition “illegitimate.”

Second, Trump himself has held televised rallies to further stir up, weld together, and prepare for battle the fascist mobs who support him. His speech to a crowd in Minneapolis was more racist, jingoistic, and misogynist than ever and his message to them was clear: “they want to erase your vote ... they want to erase your voice, and they want to erase your future.” These rallies are part of an all-out fascist mobilization for Trump, including through FOX TV (more accurately known as Fascist News Network).

In fact, those who support Trump not only fear their future may be “erased,” but they are willing—and the fascist regime is organizing them in these rallies—to fight to defend that future, violently if need be. The Minnesota rally featured a conflict between the mayor of the city and the head of the police union over whether the police could attend in uniform. When the mayor ruled that they could not, a huge number of police came as a bloc anyway, dressed in red MAGA gear. Trump crowed from the stage that “Cops love Trump, and Trump loves cops.”

In the face of this, can you just sit at home and watch TV and hope that somehow the Democratic Party-led impeachment process will go forward and actually remove Trump, while you stand aside or maybe ease your conscience by sending a check to some candidate? Can you really put your faith in these Democratic politicians to deal with this kind of thing? What evidence makes you think, given their sorry record of capitulation to this fascist movement over the past 30 years, that they will? In fact, many of these Democrats concede in advance that Trump will likely stay in office no matter what happens, because of Republican dominance of the Senate. Without massive, sustained, nonviolent action from below demanding that the Trump/Pence regime be OUT NOW, carried out by millions with the same conviction that this is a fight for a future worth living, do you really think Trump and Pence and the rest will just accept the result, if somehow he were convicted in a Senate trial? The outcome of this battle will be disastrous and potentially catastrophic if those who are on the side of humanity do not understand that the stakes here really are the future of humanity and are willing to act on them with at least the same level of conviction as those fascist mobs Trump marshals.

In this light, there was one encouraging sign in Minnesota—the thousands who came out to oppose Trump and stand up to the MAGA mobs. More, much more, of this spirit and these kinds of actions need to happen... and need to feed into a broad movement around the single unified demand of OUT NOW!, beginning in New York and Los Angeles on October 19.


October 11, 2019, Minneapolis protest against Trump. Photo: Lorie Shaull/Flickr

Now More Than Ever!

See excerpts and the Q&A of this film

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/attorney-general-barr-is-an-outright-theocrat-en.html

Attorney General Barr, the Top Law Enforcement Agent in the U.S.: An Outright Theocrat

| revcom.us

 

At a speech delivered at the University of Notre Dame’s law school (!) on Friday, October 11,  Attorney General William Barr denounced “ so-called progressives” and “secularists” as the cause of major problems of today’s society. “Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic.” Really?! The fact is that it is the workings of the system of capitalism-imperialism, its values and mandates of dog-eat-dog rank individualism that are at the root of these problems. But in a vision that comes straight out of the founders of the fascist state of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale, Barr makes the claim that “This is organized destruction.  Secularists and their allies have marshalled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.” 

To cut to the quick, these are the rantings of a Christian Fascist who occupies the position of chief law enforcer making the case for reasserting the Christian religion as the guiding ideology and establishing it as the dominant, official religion in society.  The First Amendment is supposed to guarantee that the government will not establish any religion.  While this has often been violated, over the past several decades this has gone to a whole other level and it is now this freedom that is in fact subject to an “unremitting assault.”  This speech by Barr—coming from the nation’s highest law officer—represents a serious escalation of that “unremitting assault.”  This goes along with the administration’s repeated legal suits, filings and administrative regulations that actually impose religious views on women, LGBTQ people, Muslims, atheists, and others—and in these cases particularly oppressive views. Barr is claiming to be making a case for religious liberty, decrying the ways that Christians have been blocked from imposing their religious creed and values on everyone in all spheres of public and private life.  But he is actually making a brazen and dangerous assault on freedom from a state-established religion.  And doing so at a law school no less, where legal standards and training of future lawyers, prosecutors, and judges are being propagated! 

Bob Avakian makes clear the danger of this in his film The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In discussing the dangers of fascism in all its dimensions, he speaks to this question.  “While the Constitution does establish the separation of church and state—and the Christian Fascists are wrong, or simply lying, when they insist that the founding documents of this country established it as a ‘Christian nation’—the reality is that Christianity has all along been the unofficial state religion of this country, and the country’s identity, throughout its history, has been as a ‘white Christian nation,’ grounded in male supremacy as well as white supremacy and driven by a ‘manifest destiny’ to dominate not only the continent of North America but ultimately the world as a whole.” The fascists at the helm of the Trump/Pence regime are seeking to establish a Christian theocracy which they will impose with violence and horrors for humanity if they are not stopped. 

What Barr is arguing for is being upheld in courts across the land.  While Congressman Ted Lieu tweeted in response to Barr’s speech: “I’m just a simple Catholic. But even I know your job is to enforce the law, not the Bible. We are a Constitutional Republic, not a theocracy. Do your job instead of being a full on conspiracy theorist,” why didn’t anyone else in the Democratic Party make the point that this is totally unacceptable in an Attorney General, that such a speech (which was clearly a very well-considered and major speech) is grounds for disqualification for his position, and that this whole thing shows the danger represented not just by Trump but by Mike Pence and the rest of the Christian fascist movement that permeates this regime? 

While there is a broad swath of people in society who sense what is going on here, most are recoiling from calling it out for what it is.  All those who are horrified by what is happening in this country and want to see it stopped, need to get clear on this, and not stand by hoping that the normal workings of this system will correct this.   If you do not want Gilead, get with the movement calling for #OUT NOW! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Now More Than Ever!

See excerpts and the Q&A of this film

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/trump-revenge-video-is-not-a-joke-en.html

The Trump Revenge Video Is NOT A Joke.
Don't Shrug It Off.

| revcom.us

 

Imagine this: Donald Trump walks into a church filled with scores of his political opponents and members of the media and single-handedly annihilates them, killing each one individually and glorying in the revenge he takes.

This was the video shown at a recent pro-Trump conference, attended by Trump Junior and Sarah Sanders and held at a Trump hotel in Miami. The existence of the video leaked over a week later. Sanders and Junior said they hadn’t seen it, with Sanders issuing an innocuous statement that she does not “support violence of any kind against anyone.” The White House said that Trump himself “strongly condemns” the video—but everyone knows that if Trump really feels something, he puts it out on Twitter, which he has not done.

These “sorry, not sorry responses” show that this sick and sadistic video expresses something that runs very deep in the fascist, pro-Trump/Pence base: the strong feeling that their opponents constitute a mortal threat that must be annihilated. The hardcore followers of Trump see a world in which they do not reign supreme and unchallenged as intolerable, and this video tells them—and tells us, if we will listen—that they must stop at nothing to preserve it. Such a base can easily dominate and do worse to an opposition that outnumbers them, even vastly outnumbers them, but cannot match their passion and organization.

The question we immediately face is this: can those who oppose this fascism be won to see that a world in which the destruction of the environment is not just allowed to proceed but further fueled... in which the nuclear codes are carried everyday by a narcissistic bully... in which immigrants are put in concentration camps and children are ripped from their parents, women are subjugated and LGBTQ people are denied human rights, Black people and Latinos are spoken of as sub-human and treated as enemies and aliens, critical thinking and evidence-based conclusions are assaulted, and the twin values of money-uber-alles and religious fanaticism are further enshrined while dissent is criminalized... is not just bad, but intolerable and indeed a direct and mortal threat to the existence of humanity?

A regime, a movement, like the one now in power is not going to be beholden to constitutions or elections that they can proclaim as rigged if the results do not suit them. They have told us that.

So, again, the question is whether those who do oppose this regime and what it stands for will be provoked and challenged to recognize or face this truth and confront it more deeply, and be inspired to take massive, nonviolent, sustained action to actually drive out this regime? The experience in Algeria, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, and elsewhere over these past few years shows that such action can compel the fall of a regime. It must be done here. The “norms” which this regime has so relentlessly shredded cannot be relied upon to meet this threat.

The demonstrations over these next five weeks that build Saturday after Saturday —demonstrations which must draw in and give hope and energy to those who are under assault by this regime or sickened by what it does—will determine the answer. There is not someone else or some other force or some limit that these fascists recognize that will save humanity. It is you—it is us.

Now More Than Ever!

See excerpts and the Q&A of this film

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/drop-the-charges-on-noche-diaz-and-the-puerto-rican-peoples-parade-7-en.html

Drop the Charges on Noche Diaz and the Puerto Rican People’s Parade 7!

Hands Off the Revolution Club!
We Have the Right to Lift Our Heads!

| revcom.us

 

Seven members of the Revolution Club Chicago, including Noche Diaz of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, are facing trial this fall, stemming from an illegitimate mass arrest by the Chicago Police Department at the 2018 Puerto Rican People’s Parade. The Revolution Club members were surrounded and violently arrested for speaking with people, at a public parade, about the crimes of this system and getting organized for revolution. This arrest is part of a pattern of very similar illegal arrests, as well as ongoing harassment, physical interference and attempted intimidation by the Chicago police of the Revolution Club for speaking in public places. All seven are charged with interfering with a police officer, a misdemeanor charge that carries possibly a year in jail. In addition, Noche is charged with a sound ordinance violation and disorderly conduct, which carry hundreds of dollars in fines.

At the Puerto Rican People’s Parade in 2018, the Revolution Club was set up along the parade route where vendors line the streets playing music and selling flags and food. The Revolution Club banner said, “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown,” and there were posterboard displays of the crimes of this system, including the criminal actions of the Trump/Pence regime that caused the deaths of thousands of people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Members of the Revolution Club were passing out flyers with the message of how a real revolution is the way out of this mess and can actually be made, calling on people to be part of getting organized for revolution. And they had scheduled a film showing in the park for later that evening, the 2017 speech by Bob Avakian, “The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.”

For two hours before the parade arrived, the Revolution Club talked to people and passed out flyers. They often spoke over a bullhorn, powerfully bringing together how this system is responsible for the deaths in Puerto Rico, the U.S.-backed bombing of Yemen, and the ripping away of immigrant children from their parents as well as the terror and brutality of the police right here. (What should be the obvious right of the Revolution Club to speak to people at public events, has also been explicitly affirmed by the ACLU in a letter to the Revolution Club in the wake of this case, including the right to use amplified sound.)

Then suddenly a crowd of at least 12 police officers, including several commanders, showed up. Within minutes police officers had surrounded seven Revolution Club members, jumped on them, grabbed them, thrown them to the ground and arrested them. The revolutionaries were put into a suffocating hot wagon, then dripping with sweat were put in ice-cold cells. The women were subjected to invasive body searches.

Between July 2016 and September 2019, members of the Revolution Club were arrested or ticketed on 14 different occasions and nearly arrested, interfered with, or harassed an additional 20 times in that time period. The “near arrests” were times where the police were very close to arresting members of the Revolution Club but backed off after being strongly challenged by a lawyer or witnesses. In many other instances, the police have purposely maintained a close physical presence to intimidate people to try to prevent them from coming over to talk and find out more about the revolution.

These arrests are blatant political repression of a message the CPD—and their political higher-ups—don’t want connecting with the people they want to keep in line. And while Chicago’s Democratic administrations try to silence revolutionaries who envision and fight for a world free  of all oppression, the fascist regime in the White House lashes out and gains strength in its ability to crush all dissent.

This needs to be fought back against and these charges defeated, with the demand that all the charges on the seven defendants be dropped, and that the illegal attacks on the Revolution Club stop.

This is a high-stakes fight. For one, each of the members of the Revolution Club facing trial could be jailed up to a year if convicted. We need their voices out here now more than ever. Very importantly, this trial concentrates questions of who has a right to speak. Will the police be allowed to silence people and groups who are speaking out against the system and the role of the police? Will the authorities be able to isolate and crush revolutionary leadership that is showing a way out of the nightmare this system has humanity locked in? Or will we strengthen the revolution through this fight, opening up more space in society for all those fighting for a better world?

The masses of people have a right to lift our heads to the vision of a radically better way the world could be and the basis, science, strategy, and leadership to fight for that world, that is the message of the Revolution Club.

You Are Needed – What You Can Do

  • Call Kim Foxx’s office at 312-603-1880 to demand the charges be dropped
  • Spread the word about this case and the need for others to join this battle by putting up posters in your neighborhood or school and sharing the graphics on social media (and if you do graphic design, donate your skills to developing more art)
  • Donate to enable and support the legal battle and the political battle
  • Sign and spread the Drop the Charges statement
  • Invite defendants to speak to your class, church, organization, or group of friends and family
  • Be in court to show support for defendants at the October 29th discovery hearing, 9am 555 W Harrison Courtroom 303, and other important hearings

Contact the Revolution Club:
(312) 804-9121 • Revclub.chi@gmail.com
Social media @revclubchi
Revolution Club Organizing Center
1857 E. 71st Street
Chicago, Illinois 60649

Print and Distribute (PDF, 2-sided)

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/617/ucla-values-free-speech-until-you-use-it-to-oppose-fascism-en.html

UCLA Values Free Speech...
Until You Use it to Oppose Fascism

| revcom.us

 

When a member of Trump’s fascist cabinet comes to campus, UCLA rolls out the red carpet. When people oppose him, UCLA makes sure they’re prosecuted.

What does free speech mean to the university when, in a test of a new policy for “events that trigger protest,” three members of the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism LA are on trial, criminally charged, some facing over two years in jail, simply for speaking out during a speech by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin?

Last February, As Mnuchin bragged about imposing murderous sanctions that exacerbated the effects of drought in North Korea and prevented people from receiving proper medical treatment in Iran—my co-defendants and I called out his crimes against humanity, including the crimes of his fascist Tax Bill. We challenged the audience to take up the call of RefuseFascism.org to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power through sustained nonviolent mass resistance, like they did in Puerto Rico when they drove out their hated governor with 15 days of protests.

For this, we were forcibly removed from our seats and arrested. Video of this incident went viral when Mnuchin tried to suppress the footage, and UCLA went along until the Society of Professional Journalists filed a public records request because this was, after all, a public event with a government official speaking in that capacity!

 

This op-ed was CENSORED by the Daily Bruin

A year later, we find out we are charged with several misdemeanor crimes: trespass, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, and defying an illegitimate 7-day ban from the campus. We defied this ban to participate in a March 1 student protest, 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants and again, several days later, to see the heroic whistleblower Chelsea Manning speak. This was in violation of our right to freedom of speech and assembly, acting as a prior restraint on our ability to exercise this.

Through the process of investigation, we found that UCPD arrested us on the say so of Vice Chancellor of Campus Affairs, Mick Deluca, rather than on the basis of probable cause. This is unconstitutional! UCLA also pushed for the criminal charges, taking advice from a Zionist legal organization trying to effectively criminalize any speech criticizing Israel and the genocide they are waging on Palestine—advice which they repurposed to persecute revolutionary communists. AND UCLA administrators testified against us during trial.

That’s not all. Police reports reveal that UCPD stalked the Revolution Club, recording our activities and even license plate numbers on several occasions when we were on campus carrying out constitutionally protected speech and simply talking to people—occasions completely unrelated to the incidents for which we are being charged. This is in addition to the LAPD sending an informant into the meetings of Refuse Fascism in broader LA. Did UCLA green light this Orwellian surveillance as well?

Toward the end of the trial, resisting arrest charges were dropped because they suppressed evidence proving the police brutalized us and lied about it on the stand, claiming we resisted arrests and that there was no evidence of police brutality against us. This new evidence included photos taken by the UCPD of our injuries, use of force reports and audio recordings of interviews with us.  Further exposing the illegitimacy of these prosecutions, the interviews were conducted by the UCPD without reading us our Miranda rights and even continued despite someone asking for an attorney. 

These cases are criminalizing constitutionally protected protest and speech while the Trump/Pence fascist regime threatens humanity, gutting the rule of law, stacking the courts with fascists, rounding up immigrants—consolidating a fascist America.

In the face of all this, universities across the country are complicit, spending millions protecting the free speech of fascists with the bully pulpit of the president, and criminalizing ANTI-fascist protest and speech of students without the societal megaphone to amplify our voices and without the state power to enforce our dictates.

In March, Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at carving out more space for fascist speakers and giving backing to a movement of Nazi youth. This is in an atmosphere where professors are put on watch lists by student organizations with ties to the highest office, where they are reported by right-wing students, amplified by hysterical fascist media unleashing a swarm of internet trolls—all working to drive critical thinking out of academia. Evolution, climate science, the truth about America’s history and its role in the world today, Ethnic Studies and anything evidence-based is under assault.

Instead of saying NO, the universities are facilitating the suppression of dissent and normalizing a fascist remaking of the country. Apparently UCLA wants to be at the helm of trampling radical thought. Students, which side are you on?


Martin Heidegger Award—print and distribute (PDF)

Flyer—print and distribute (PDF)

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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

Fascists and Communists:
Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart

By Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/615/Bob-Avakian-some-basic-qa-en.html

Some Basic Q&A, Drawn From the Speech
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

America: the leader of the free world? When was that ever true?

For Black people, isn't Trump just more of the same?

What's the matter with liberals?

Slavery? Genocide? And you think fascism can't happen here?

What Has Given Rise to the Situation in Which We Have a Fascist Regime Ruling the U.S.?

Why Can't We Rely On the Democratic Party to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime?

If We Drive Out Trump, Won't We Just Get Pence? And How Can Mass Action Drive Out Trump, Anyway?

On What Basis Can Revolutionaries and People Who Are Not Revolutionaries Unite to Drive Out the Regime?

Watch the full film here

Watch more excerpts and Q&A

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/616/skybreak-bob-avakian-a-true-scientific-visionary-en.html

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

Bob Avakian–A True Scientific Visionary

| revcom.us

 

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

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

The New Synthesis of Communism and the Residues of the Past

by the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

Read more

Question:     One thing I wanted to zero in on a little bit on this point about what struck you in particular about BA—and I think you’ve definitely talked about some of that, but just to go a bit more at this point about BA’s scientific method and leadership, which was in evidence during the Dialogue—I guess a way to put it is: For anyone who wants a fundamentally different world, or even people who are beginning to question why the world is the way it is and if it could be different, what lessons should people be drawing from the scientific method that BA was applying during the Dialogue and, obviously related to that, his leadership as it got expressed in that Dialogue?

AS:     Well, if we’re going to talk some more about scientific methods and leadership—using scientific methods and how BA actually concentrates that kind of scientific approach—we should be talking about truth and what truth is. Because I felt that this was modeled during the Dialogue. I believe BA quoted Malcolm X—and it’s a quote I’ve always loved—I’m paraphrasing a little bit but at one point Malcolm X said something like, I didn’t come here to tell you what you want to hear, I came here to tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. I think that’s pretty close to the exact quote. I love that quote, and I love the fact that BA embodies that same kind of approach and attitude. It’s a very core part of his method. It makes his life more difficult, I’m quite sure, because it’s always easier to pander to popular, fashionable views: what do people say, what do most people think, what do most people like or not like. A true visionary...I believe that Bob Avakian really is a true scientific visionary when it comes to the question of the transformation of human society, I think he’s bringing in a lot that’s new, he is building on the communist science and the development of communism through previous periods, but he’s taking it a lot further and he’s got some really important conceptions and methods that are putting the whole science of communism on a more sound foundation and a much more inspiring and hopeful foundation than at any time in the past. So I think there’s a lot in his work to dig into.

And at the Dialogue, I felt that one of the things that came through is his commitment to truth. That might seem obvious in a leader—that, of course, you should be telling the truth—but it’s not just that there are corrupt leaders who lie to people and manipulate the truth. Sure, we all know about that. But there are a lot of people, even well-intentioned people, who don’t actually understand what the truth is in a scientific way. [laughs] There are actually people who function as if the truth is what most people think, or most people say. Well, if you stop to think about it for a minute, of course that’s ridiculous, and Bob Avakian gave examples of that in the Dialogue, including in relation to religion. For instance, I remember the example he gave of epilepsy—that in times past and under the influence of old religions from thousands of years ago, when people didn’t understand a lot of stuff, most people would have thought that epilepsy was caused by being possessed by the devil, and it’s only in fairly recent modern history that people have understood that it’s a disease and that it can be treated, and that it has nothing to do with devil possession or things like that.

But the point is that one of the things that BA consistently models, which is a hallmark of a good scientist, is being willing to go where the evidence takes you, and not looking at things superficially, but systematically and methodically digging into historical experience, and from many different directions—the historical experience of political forces, of revolutionary movements, of communist parties and movements, of the international situation—examining all that accumulated experience, and also drawing on other spheres, not just politics but also art and science and culture, all the many facets of human experience throughout history, in order to draw out the key patterns and the key directions of things and the key contradictions which come to characterize a phenomenon, or a particular phase of history, or a particular form of social organization. And then critically evaluating it, and figuring out on what basis it could be changed if it doesn’t meet the needs of the people.

One of the things I’m struck by, as someone who was trained in the natural sciences, is how unscientific most people are! Even very, very educated people, people with Ph.D.s in different spheres or whatever, are generally incredibly unscientific. They just have knee-jerk reactions to things. Very often, very educated people come across, frankly, like blithering idiots when they try to analyze phenomena in society, and that’s usually because they are basing themselves not on science but on populism, on what is the general consensus. I don’t really care what most people think, if it’s not right. You have to show me the evidence of why something is true. And if one person is putting forward something that is true (that corresponds to actual reality) and yet nobody else agrees with them, that doesn’t make it not true! Show me the evidence. And, conversely, if great numbers of people believe something to be true—“everybody knows this” or “everybody knows that,” there’s a general consensus—I have to say that, as a scientist, I don’t find that particularly convincing! You are really going to have to show me the evidence.

You can’t just tell me the numbers, you can’t play the numbers game, you can’t tell me that something is true just because a lot of people believe it.

One of the things that really captures this from BA, and that can be found in the book BAsics, is the statement that I believe is a real concentrated expression of a scientific method on the question of exactly what we’re talking about here: What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think. That’s worth pondering and reflecting on. That’s the difference between subjective reactions to things and a real scientific method. Because what people think is important. It’s either right or wrong, it should either be encouraged or discouraged, it should either be reinforced or transformed. But in any case it’s part of objective reality and, so, of course, it’s important. But objective reality is not determined by what people think, no matter how many people think it or how few people think it. You have to dig deeper, you have to dig and uncover those underlying features and patterns. And that’s one of the things that is a hallmark of BA’s work and of the new synthesis that he’s brought forward. And it is in sharp contrast to what has too often prevailed in a lot of the political movements—even revolutionary movements, even communist movements—in past periods and even through today. It is shameful the degree to which there is not rigorous scientific pursuit of the truth among many people and many organizations. And it’s a problem in the international movement, among international forces today. There is often an unwillingness to critically evaluate the past.

One of the things that BA has argued for a lot is that we have to be willing to confront the truths that make us cringe. If you’re serious about trying to transform the world in a good direction, you have to be willing to examine past experience in a rigorous scientific manner. There are two parts to that: You have to dig deeply to understand what is correct in what was done before, in what was previously understood and what was previously accomplished; but then you also have to be willing to recognize where things went off track, or where there were shortcomings or mistakes made. That’s how we learn, historically, that’s how human beings accumulate knowledge, but it’s also absolutely necessary for transforming things in the right direction.

And, you know, there are a lot of wrong tendencies epistemologically. Epistemology is the science of how you think about thinking, how you accumulate knowledge. That’s what that is. And the question is, how do you know something is true? You should not be trying to determine what’s true just on the basis of how many people believe it or don’t believe it. You should also not be trying to say that the truth resides in superficial phenomena, like in an immediate narrow slice of experience or practice. You should not fall into pragmatism. Pragmatism is the view that if something works now, then it must be true. I was reading a good example about that in a very interesting piece that I would recommend people study. It can be found through the revcom.us website—it’s in the online theoretical journal Demarcations, which can be accessed through the revcom.us website. In this piece, there is an important appreciation of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis put out by the OCR, the revolutionary communists in Mexico, entitled “The New Synthesis of Communism and the Residues of the Past” by the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico. It’s about some of the line differences in the international communist movement, and it’s an appreciation of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis in relation to that. And there’s a whole discussion of pragmatism in there, and how many people think that truth is whatever is kind of “convenient” for accomplishing certain objectives in a very narrow and immediate sense. The article gives the example of the thalidomide drug which was developed some time back to treat morning sickness and was touted as an advance in science. Well, it “worked” for that purpose and it got heralded, but it turned out that it hadn’t been sufficiently, deeply analyzed in an all-sided way, and it also led to children being born with tremendous birth defects. The deeper truth turned out to be how harmful it was, not that it “worked.” Well, that’s an analogy for the same kind of mistakes that can be made in the political sphere.

And Bob Avakian insists that everybody should act like critical thinkers, and really that everybody should contribute to the process of actually analyzing what is true and what is false in various kinds of phenomena. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much experience you have—you can be in the Party as a Party leader, or you can be in the Party as a new person and relatively inexperienced, or you can be outside the Party, you could be a critic of communism or you could be an adherent of communism—it doesn’t matter who you are. If you have principled methods, and you are willing to actually try to get to the truth of things, your contributions would be welcomed in terms of trying to advance knowledge and understanding. Now, you also should be willing to be subject to criticism yourself, from others who might punch holes in your theories or analyses. That’s what good scientists do. As a natural scientist, I had many good experiences that way, where I or other scientists would put forward some analyses of some things in nature and propose some experiments that could be conducted to uncover some of the deeper reality, and then you got your colleagues and friends together and they would spend the next hour or so trying to punch holes in your theories and questioning your underlying assumptions! That can be a very healthy and productive process (and fun too!), as long as it’s done in the right spirit (free of snark and ego) and with the right method.

 

 


 

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)

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/349/watching-Fruitvale-Station-with-Bob-Avakian-en.html

Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian

August 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This article was originally published in 2014.

For those who don’t know, Fruitvale Station is a very powerful, moving, and excruciating film that depicts the last day in the life of Oscar Grant.  Oscar was a 22-year-old, unarmed Black man murdered by Bay Area Rapid Transit police on New Year’s Day, 2009.  He was returning home from celebrating on New Year’s Eve, when police stopped Oscar and the friends he was with, harassed and brutalized them, straddled Oscar as he lay face down on a subway platform, and fatally shot him in the back. 

Not too long ago, I watched Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian (BA), chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.  Towards the very end of the film, agonizing, heartbreaking and infuriating scenes are shown: The cop shooting Oscar in the back; Oscar’s girlfriend frantically rushing to the scene, trying to find out what happened; Oscar’s loved ones gathering together and waiting desperately to find out if he would make it, only to find out he was gone forever.

As these scenes unfolded, I looked over at BA.  He was sobbing.  Not just misty-eyed. Sobbing.  And he continued to cry tears of heartbreak and rage for several minutes, as the closing credits rolled.

This made a very big impression on me.  BA did not know Oscar Grant personally. But he felt the sting of his murder in an extremely raw and visceral way. And I think his reaction speaks volumes about who Bob Avakian is, what he represents, and what he is all about. 

BA has literally been fighting against this system for 50 years.  He has been a revolutionary communist for about 45 years.  He has been shouldering the responsibility of leading the Revolutionary Communist Party for almost 40 years. And over the course of the last several decades, he has forged the theory and deepened the science for the revolution humanity needs to get free, while also providing practical leadership to the party and movement working for that revolution.  And all of this has involved not only tremendous work, but also tremendous risk and sacrifice on BA’s part as anyone with a sense of U.S. history, and/or BA’s personal history—specifically, what this reveals about the way the U.S. government viciously goes after revolutionary leaders—should well understand. And over all these decades, and through everything described above, BA has never lost an ounce of his love and feeling for the masses of people, his sense of outrage and hatred for all the ways in which the masses suffer needlessly, and his fire for revolution to emancipate the masses all over the world.  Not one bone in his body has become numb.  

There is a great deal more that could be said about the experience of watching Fruitvale Station with BA. But I want to highlight two points.

First, I think that in BA’s reaction to this movie, there is a lot for revolutionary communists, and anyone with concern for humanity and hatred for oppression and injustice, to reflect on and learn from.  Even with all the work BA has done and continues to do in the realm of theory, in order to forge a deeper understanding of why police murders like the execution of Oscar Grant and countless other outrages keep happening, the larger picture they are connected to, and how these outrages can be ended through revolution; even though BA has been at this for decades; and even with all of the horrors that pile up every single second that this system remains in place, there is absolutely no sense on BA’s part of world-weary detachment or defeatism when something like the murder of Oscar Grant goes down.  His reaction is decidedly not:  “Oh, well of course, this happens all the time, what do you expect?”   Rather, he cries tears of rage and anguish, both because he feels acutely the pain of Oscar’s life being stolen and because he knows that outrages like this are completely unnecessary and that humanity does not have to live this way.

This brings me to the second point I want to make here—and it is one I want to give even greater emphasis to, even while the first point above is very important and very related. The point I want to close this letter with is: We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

I’ll say it again: We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

And when I say “we had better,” that “we” is addressed to many different people and audiences.  Yes, I am most definitely speaking to revolutionaries and communists and to all those who are already deeply familiar with and supportive of BA.  But in saying “we,” I am also speaking to those who are just now—or just recently—learning about and getting introduced to this revolutionary leader—including, to quote BA, “Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human” who “can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.”   

To all the masses of people, here and around the world, who suffer brutal oppression minute after minute, day after day... and to all those who may not directly suffer this oppression but ache for a world where this oppression is no more, I want to say this:  If you do not know about Bob Avakian, or just recently learned about him, that is not your fault.  But you, and millions of other people, need to understand how incredibly rare and precious it is for the people of the planet that we have this revolutionary leader and act in accordance with that reality.

BA is not only the leader of the revolution, he is also a best friend to the masses of people.  He is a leader who has done decades of work in the realm of theory to bring forward the scientific method, strategy and vision needed to make revolution and bring into being a radically new world where all the horrors that humanity suffers unnecessarily would be no more. He is continuing to develop the advanced scientific method that he has forged, and apply that method to all of the big questions and obstacles confronting the revolution. He is able to break all of this down for people, without even slightly watering it down, in a way that everyone can understand, take up, and be inspired by. He has taken on the daily responsibility of leading a party and a movement to make revolution right here in the most powerful imperialist country in the world. He has dedicated his life to the emancipation of humanity. And, through all of this, he maintains a deep, visceral connection to and feeling for the masses of people who most desperately need this revolution.

A leader like this comes along very, very rarely.  And when this does happen, the absolute worst thing we could do is fail to recognize this, fail to act in accordance with this, fail to take this seriously, or take this for granted.  Instead, all of us—whether we have known about BA for decades, are just learning about him and what he represents, or anywhere in between, and whether you agree with BA about everything or not—must fully recognize and embrace what BA means for the people of the world.  We must study, and learn all we can from his incredible body of work on the biggest questions of revolution and human emancipation, as well as the lessons of who he is and what he stands for as a revolutionary leader.  We must realize that it is not just us who need to know about BA, his work and vision, and the leadership he is providing to this party and movement for revolution:  millions of people must know about all of this, and this must impact all of society.    

Furthermore, and very crucially, we must fully confront the reality of what it would mean for the people of the world to lose this leader, and take extremely seriously that there are people and forces—those officially part of the powers-that-be, as well as those willing to do the work of the powers-that-be—who hate what BA represents and would like nothing more than to tear him down, silence him, and take him from the masses of people.  And we must be absolutely determined not to let that happen.

This means taking very seriously the need to do everything we can to protect and defend BA. This means denouncing and not giving a millimeter of space to those who slander and personally attack BA, because these attacks and slanders are part of creating the poisonous atmosphere and conditions that would make it easier for the powers-that-be, or those doing their bidding, to take BA from the people of the world.  Protecting and defending BA, and building a wall around him, also means boldly and sharply challenging those who may not be part of the camp of the enemy, but who are wallowing in, or at least being influenced by, arrogance, cynicism and snark, and who seek to dismiss without seriously engaging what BA has brought forward; this arrogance, snark, cynicism, and dismissal, regardless of the intent of those who fall into it, stands in the way of BA and all that he has brought forward having the reach and societal influence that this urgently needs to have.  And this, too, creates easier conditions for those who would try to silence and isolate BA and take him from the masses.

Few things in life are more tragic than a critical lesson learned too late. And it would truly be a tragedy if BA were taken from the people, and then people said: “Wow, I wish I had realized sooner what we had here.”

But the good news is: It is not too late.  We, and the masses of the planet, have BA right now.  We had better realize, and let everyone know, what that means.

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-50-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. 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.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/refuse-fascism-press-release-10-21-2019-en.html

The Trump/Pence #OUTNOW! Movement—Bear Sprayed in LA—Begins Nationwide Protests: Saturday, October 26

| revcom.us

 

For immediate release October 21 2019 
Contact: Refuse Fascism (917) 407-1286
RefuseFascism.org 
Interviews Available

 

RefuseFascism.org Launches National Movement of Weekly Sustained Non-violent Mass Protests to Demand The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—NOW!

Los Angeles Protest Viciously Attacked with Bear Spray by MAGA Thugs

NYC Protest Marches to Trump Tower with Dr. Cornel West

Andy Zee, a national spokesperson for RefuseFascism said today:

“This is the moment to take to the streets in cities and towns across the country in massive non-violent protest with the demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—NOW! The #OUTNOW! protests must sustain week after week until the regime is removed.”

“We face a political crisis of epic dimension: this regime is rapidly advancing a fascist program. Trump’s “America First” is a program of extreme danger—the vicious twitter finger of Trump is also on the nuclear trigger... The attacks on the #OUTNOW! protest in LA by fascist thugs evidence again the fascist movement that is unleashed by the words and deeds of this regime. We have already seen mass murderers inspired by this regime.”

“Impeachment must not, as Speaker Pelosi has insisted, only be on narrow grounds which would legitimize the Trump/Pence agenda, and just symbolic—conceding defeat in the Senate in advance. Impeach and remove on all the regime’s crimes. This requires a groundswell from below. That’s what we begin #OUTNOW! this week. With massive sustained protest that which seems inconceivable today can become possible.”

Dr. Cornel West—also a co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org said in the shadow of Trump Tower:

“We have culminated a magnificent march, we have initiated a historic anti-fascist coalition. I stand with those who are willing to put their bodies on the line and make their voices heard to make sure that there will never ever be a fascism in the United States of America.”

“This is a profoundly human affair, and that’s why we march. There is always a critical slice of folk who are full of deep love and courage and willingness to take a risk, that constitute a catalyst for the larger group, not just in this country but around the world.”

Bo Login, Iraq war vet and member of Refuse Fascism, LA who was bear-sprayed @ #OUTNOW! protest on Santa Monica Pier:

“As an Iraqi war vet who has spoken out against U.S. crimes, I have been repeatedly targeted with violence and death threats. All this demonstrates so clearly the violence Trump/Pence regime is unleashing and why people should join us to prevent a fascist America.”

RefuseFascism says:

“In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America”

Interviewees available:

Andy Zee; Cornel West; Bo Login, LA Refuse Fascism protester bear-sprayed

Los Angeles Press Conference - to be announced

Man in MAGA cap arrested for attacking anti-Trump protesters with bear repellent,” Washington Post, October 21, 2019

VIDEO: Trump Supporter In MAGA Hat Carries Out Vicious Pepper Spray Attack During Peaceful Liberal Protest

Puerto Rico and Hong Kong show us how: #TrumpPenceOutNOW!

#OUTNOW Call from Refuse Fascism

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @RefuseFascism

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

New York City October 19, 2019

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/trump-compares-lawful-impeachment-inquiry-to-lynching-en.html

Trump Compares Lawful Impeachment Inquiry to a Lynching

This fascist needs to be OUT NOW! 

| revcom.us

 

Trump—on the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation—dared to compare the lawful inquiry of the House of Representatives into his outrageous acts to a "lynching."

"Lynching"? As in the lynching of over 5,000 people in this country's brutal racist history, the overwhelming majority of whom were Black?

Don't make us puke!

Trump began his political career calling for the "legal lynching" of the Central Park 5 in New York.

Trump inspired one-man lynch mobs from Pittsburgh to El Paso to Gilroy, California.

Trump tells police "don't be so gentle," and brays that "cops love Trump, Trump loves cops"—cheering on the modern counterparts of the lynch mobs.

This fascist needs to be OUT NOW!  

 

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

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/fascists-high-and-low-racists-then-and-now-en.html

FASCISTS, HIGH AND LOW; RACISTS, THEN AND NOW

| revcom.us

 

Yesterday, 30 fascist Congressmen prevented a hearing from going forward by their thuggish, mob-like antics. They echo their slavery-defending forefathers of the 1850s in their tactics, their mania to defend white supremacy, and their determination to impose their reactionary order on society. They also echo the thuggish attack on the Refuse Fascism demonstration by their brother fascists in LA last Saturday—who themselves even shouted out, “you want a civil war, we’ll give you a civil war.”

No. But if we want to stop these fascists from violently imposing their will on humanity, with catastrophic consequences, we need to take the streets, in nonviolent but determined mass action, thousands now building to millions. Be part of starting this this Saturday, all over the country.

Slavery? Genocide? And you think fascism can't happen here?

Watch the full film here.

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/one-year-since-tree-of-life-synagogue-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Friday marks one year since the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, unleashed against Jews for the alleged crime of supporting immigrants.

| revcom.us

 

Since then: more massacres of immigrants and Latinos... more children of immigrants locked away from their parents in cages for the "crime" of seeking asylum, or weeping in the streets after their parents are seized in workplace raids... more massive Nazi-style rallies, each more ugly than the last...thugs on the attack—at demonstrations or even in the halls of Congress... and all headed by a president who loudly claims that he is above the law!

One year after the Pittsburgh massacre and...

NEVER AGAIN IS NOW! WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

TRUMP-PENCE OUT NOW! Saturday October 26—Find a city near you!

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/618/today-outnow-launches-nationwide-en.html

Today! #OUTNOW! Launches Nationwide!

| revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime is fascist. It won't be bound by rules and will do anything to stay in power. The only thing that can stop them—and ultimately remove them from power—is the people, us, in the streets. Nonviolent... massive... sustained... and growing. Be part of rising to the challenge.

Go here for location nearest you.

 

 

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us: