revcom.us, January 13, 2020 through January 19, 2020 (#630)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/627/join-the-outnow-movement-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

 

Trump and Pence #OUTNOW!

Trump and Pence #OUTNOW!!

Trump has been impeached. He has ratcheted up the danger of war with Iran.

Now is a time for determined struggle by the people to go all the way to demand: Trump/Pence #OUTNOW!

In the first days of January, Trump ordered the assassination of the high ranking Iranian military leader, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. This is objectively an act of war which massively escalates the threat of further conflict and suffering for the people of Iran and the whole region.

EVERY DAY THAT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME REMAINS IN POWER THREATENS THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE PLANET

Everyone with a conscience must face this hard truth. But that alone is not enough—we must now ACT ON IT.

There is a way to remove this whole regime—the #OUTNOW! Movement of sustained, nonviolent protest that doesn’t stop until the regime has been removed from power.

 

Join the #OUTNOW contingents at the Women's Marches and more January plans

#OutNOW contingent at the women's March in DC January 18 meets up at the southwest corner of Freedom Plaza, 14th Street Northwest and Pennsylvania Avenue. Organizers will be there at 9:00 am. People joining the #OutNOW contingent should arrive by 10. March starts at 11.

Sign up

The impeachment of Donald Trump in the House of Representatives is a real advance. For all of us who have looked on in horror as this regime’s crimes escalate—children in cages, environmental protections shredded, violence threatened against political opponents, and more—it is a moment of celebration that at last this fascist criminal is getting a first taste of justice. This greatly heightens the potential for driving out the whole fascist Trump/Pence regime.

At the same time, Trump’s murderous actions in Iraq are extremely dangerous with potentially catastrophic implications for the people of Iran and beyond.

With a new surge of hope and energy from impeachment—and even greater urgency to prevent new U.S. war moves in the Middle East—now is the time to seize the moment and join together, recognizing that only a determined struggle of thousands and ultimately millions taking to the streets in a broad-based movement of continuing protests can create a political crisis from below that could force this whole regime from power.

The stakes have been raised. A great struggle still lies ahead.

The cracks and strains in our political class are more visible than ever. A Republican Party now well-hardened around its fascist core is in full standoff with a Democratic Party that felt compelled to take the momentous step of impeaching a President for only the third time in U.S. history. An impeachment trial is expected in the Senate in January to determine whether Trump will be removed from power. But Trump and the fascist Republicans are in lockstep intensifying their threats and vowing not to convict him. Impeachment without removal would leave the fascist regime intact and full of vengeance and determination to drive forward its program. And in the unlikely scenario that the Senate votes to remove Trump, the Christian fascist wing of the regime, led by Mike Pence, is poised to take over and hammer in their own theocratic vision of society, backed by the Bible taken literally. Now, this volatility is intensified as Trump's act of war against Iran could spiral into even greater conflict and suffering in the Middle East and potentially even sharper clashes at the top of this society.

As the threat of greater war looms and the impeachment of Trump roils, a mass movement of the people demanding Trump/Pence #OUTNOW! must grow... each week making advances and becoming a magnetic force of all who feel that life here and around the world will be unbearable under the fascism the Trump/Pence regime is rapidly imposing.

We must follow the examples of millions all over the world carrying out mass struggle to demand regime change in their countries.

Concentration camps on the border... environmental devastation accelerated... war, even nuclear war, casually threatened... white supremacist rule... 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 stripped away... THIS IS FASCISM UNFOLDING AND IN POWER.

Our power is the power of the people acting with determination—not to protest one day and go home, but flood the streets, with people of many different points of view acting together, in sustained nonviolent protest—starting in our hundreds week after week, soon becoming thousands, and ultimately millions—refusing to stop until the whole Trump/Pence regime has been removed from power.

 

 

Together, we must make January a month of struggle, building a broad based #OUTNOW! Movement to advance this great cause.

Volunteer to join #OUTNOW in DC during the impeachment trial. Contact us at info@refusefascism.org to volunteer, to donate to cover expenses, to provide places for people to stay.

Saturday January 11 mass protests: Trump/Pence #OUTNOW! No War On Iran! Go to refusefascism.org for a protest near you or how to organize your own #OUTNOW! Protest.

January 18-20: Join in bringing the #OUTNOW demand and program of continuing, sustained mass protest to drive the Trump/Pence regime from power into the Women’s Marches and MLK events.

January 25: Mass #OUTNOW protests in cities across the country that mark a leap in sustained non-violent protest demanding #OUTNOW!

 

ACT! January Times and Places

 

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

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

December 14, 2019: Andy Zee – How to struggle with people to get into the street to drive out Trump and Pence

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/trump-speech-on-us-iran-crisis-gangster-and-fascist-en.html

Andy Zee’s Comments on Trump's Speech on the U.S./Iran Crisis:

Gangster and Fascist

| revcom.us

 

Editors note: The following remarks from Andy Zee were in answer to a question from Sunsara Taylor at a Refuse Fascism webinar on January 8. This question followed questions and answers about the intense struggle in the U.S. ruling class focused now on the pending impeachment trial and the mission of Refuse Fascism and #OUTNOW! in that context. These remarks focused on the fascist nature of Trump’s remarks.

Since this January 8 interview, the Trump/Pence regime has engaged in even more of the gangster-fascist behavior as discussed below toward the Iranian government, the Democratic (and now a few Republican) opponents, and toward the Iraqi government. At the same time, the Iranian government has admitted that in the course of firing missiles at U.S. military bases in response to the U.S. assassination of Qassim Soleimani, they also mistakenly brought down a Ukrainian civilian jet, killing 176 people; and it has also come to light that the U.S. also tried but failed to assassinate another Iraqi military figure in Yemen at the same time as they assassinated Soleimani. The Trump regime has continued U.S. military aid to its Saudi Arabian ally in the reactionary genocidal war against Yemen, and had this second assassination attempt succeeded, it would have been a significant aid to that war. In short, far from averting war, the situation remains highly volatile. Andy Zee slightly edited these remarks for publication to provide some context and clarity.

Sunsara Taylor: It would be good to hear your thoughts on what has developed with the U.S. and Iran and how this relates to the urgency of driving out the Trump/Pence regime.

Andy Zee: Well, look, it’s extremely serious. It’s extremely dangerous. Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times said: the nightmare we’ve all been worried about since the very beginning is now here. She’s right about that, OK—that nightmare is here. And it has not been alleviated by the Iranians taking a measured response today and then Trump’s speech saying: “that’s good” and we’re prepared to pull back a little bit. It’s not been alleviated by this.

And there’s many things in this Iran attack that indicate the fascist nature of this. It started, of course, when he ripped up the Iran agreement that was negotiated under the Obama administration. That agreement also didn’t alleviate the crisis with Iran. But, it certainly did contain it for a period of time and set some parameters for it. But Trump’s shredding of this was a really important first step in totally upending what’s been done in the Middle East. It’s been a long-term aspiration of some forces in the ruling class, forces in the ruling class mostly grouped around Trump, to go to war with Iran for regime change. When the Obama Iran deal came up, Pompeo at that time (I guess he was a congressperson at that point) said that we should send 2,000 missiles to attack Iran, that’s what we should have done. He’s been opposed to this agreement for some time.

Today’s speech by Trump was a gangster speech—in response to the Iranians sending 22 missiles towards the airbases where the U.S. has troops, but nobody was killed and the Iranian leadership just said this is a slap in the face and it’s not the main thing we’re going to do. It was just a slap in the face and then Trump turns around and says to them: OK, here’s what you have to do. But let’s look at a couple of quick things here that indicate the ripping up of the norms besides ripping up the Iran agreement.

One, in assassinating—this was an assassination by drone of a leader of a sovereign state. Soleimani was the number 2 or number 3 person in Iran. You know, somebody wrote today: imagine if they had assassinated a vice president of the U.S. or chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in America. Can you imagine what would be going on here?! Can you just imagine the response? Then, we might actually be in World War 3 right away. This assassination [of Soleimani] is a breaking of international law and protocol. Now it’s true that Obama, following George W. Bush, went wild assassinating people all around the world. But these were ostensibly terrorists—people he branded as terrorists—and non-state actors, even as one was a citizen of the United States, which needs to be noted. But it’s still not the same thing as this. And this was done in another sovereign country without even asking them for permission. So that’s a very serious move, and it’s a shot across the bow of the entire world, including anybody who’s in opposition to the U.S.—because let’s be clear, the U.S. was working with Soleimani in Iraq against ISIS. And they’d been working with him—at different times and through various means as they work with all these actors, like they worked with Osama bin Laden for years in the war in Afghanistan. So this is a signal to anybody—whoever works with the U.S.: if you cross us we’re going to take you out. You’re not safe anywhere from these people.

And guess who gets to decide? The führer, Mein Trumpf—that’s who gets to decide. They didn’t consult with Congress. Now, I’m not saying that Congress wouldn’t have given a rubber stamp to it—I don’t know that. But the fact that Trump didn’t do that is actually a change in the form of rule. It’s part of what fascism is—it’s a change in the form of rule, saying all those decisions are exclusively made by people who are fascists. Trump is an instinctual fascist—we could spend all night talking about his history. But it’s also important to recognize that the people in his administration who have been pushing for this—Pompeo and Pence, in particular—are what we call Christian Fascists, part of a political form of Christianity that believes in end times. These two people believe in end times; they don’t actually care if the world goes up because they’re going to be raptured up to heaven. This is extremely dangerous and they do believe this, OK—they’ve written about it, they’ve spoken about it. And these are the people who are now running the country, trying to remake the country domestically and internationally for a different [ruling class] consensus. They’re opposed to multiculturalism and diversity within America, looking for a white supremacist, a white America. And they’re opposed to multilateralism internationally.

And this speech... just two more elements about it. One, is Trump went and overtly blamed everything that Iran has done on his predecessor [Obama]. That is a move that is akin to and a step beyond “Lock Her Up”—which is what he said about and continues to say at rallies about Hillary Clinton. That has to be really grasped, what that really means and the implications of that within the ruling class itself. And at this point I don’t know what the response of the Democrats is, exactly, to this speech. I know that the pundits in the papers said: Oh, phew, we stepped back from the brink and the stock market’s going up again. But this is not resolved. This was a gangster speech, though. And he threatened not only that, but the allies of the U.S. in NATO, who he’s dissed continually. But then here he’s saying to them: You’ve got to break off your relations from Iran—when they’re actually involved with them in various ways in alliances with them and in commercial dealings. So this is very serious and it indicates the fascist nature of the regime.... And it does remind one of (I guess for more recent generations) Tony Soprano ... But I hope some people sometime watch The Godfather. Because back in 2006, Bob Avakian gave a speech called Bringing Forward Another Way that is available in a pamphlet and online at revcom.us where he quotes Ted Koppel, who was a newscaster who made his business on ABC around the original Iran hostage crisis—including that’s where Trump came up with this “we’re going to bomb 52 sites.”1 And Ted Koppel wrote an article that what Bush was saying at that time was what Marlon Brando, who was playing Don Corleone going to a meeting of the mafia, was saying: OK, you can have your nukes, but if Iran, one, hits anybody else then we’re going to wipe you off the face of the earth. And he was making this akin to Corleone saying [to the other mob bosses]: OK, I’ll make peace with you but if a hair on the head of my son is touched then all bets are off. I would say... and this is in that pamphlet Bringing Forward Another Way,2 which is very important because it’s in this pamphlet that Avakian talks about: that what we see (and this is only part of the world situation), what we see in contention between the U.S. and Iran and in the Middle East is the contradiction and the contention between a reactionary ruling class of an oppressed nation up against a reactionary ruling class of... an outmoded (and he used the word outmoded in both cases) ruling class of a dominant nation. And that if you support either one in this crisis you actually fuel the whole dynamic between the two of them and the one that does the most damage in the situation, in that case, and more determinate still, is the U.S. So anyway, it’s worth going back... I just want to give people the recommendation to go back and take a look at that pamphlet. It is both prescient (which means it sees ahead into the future) and also, in that, it’s quite relevant to today.

So I think people should not let down their guard on the danger of war, and it does then impact back to impeachment—because, again, only with struggle of the masses of people demanding the whole regime go, and in that context demanding no war on Iran. And if some people come at it through the other way—no war in Iran, therefore we have to drive out the regime—that’s fine too. But they do have to be linked.


1. Trump threatened that he would order the destruction of 52 sites in Iran—52 being the number of American hostages during the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by Iranian students in 1979. [back]

2. In this section of the talk, “More on the ‘Two Historically Outmodeds,’” Bob Avakian wrote:

Recently Ted Koppel wrote a whole article about this, explicitly invoking the “Godfather”—the movie Godfather I. You see, some of these artistic works have a certain universality, although different classes view them differently. And, speaking from the standpoint of the U.S. imperialist ruling class, Koppel invoked the scene in Godfather I after Mafia Godfather Don Vito Corleone’s oldest son, Sonny, has been killed, in the context of war between different Mafia families. Finally, after this has gone on for awhile, these Mafia families have a “sit-down,” to try to negotiate an end to this warfare. And Don Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando) has real largeness of mind, in terms of the relations and interests among these Mafia families. He says:

“For the sake of our larger interests and peace among us, I will forgive the death of my older son. But what I will not forgive is if anything happens to my son Michael. If a car accident should happen to him…” —he goes on to list a bunch of different things that are apparent accidents, and he says: “If any of those things happen to my son Michael, I’m going to blame some people in this room, and that I will not forgive.” [back]

 

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Forward Another Way is a talk given by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters in 2006 and published in early 2007. This groundbreaking analysis, made during the George W. Bush years, continues to be very relevant, especially in the context of sharpening contradictions centered in the Middle East and aggressive U.S.-led moves against Iran. This work is an illustration of applying the scientific method to approaching international conflicts and understanding social and political contradictions—and identifying where the fundamental interests of humanity lie, providing concrete leadership and guidance for the strategic repolarization for revolution and a thoroughly internationalist orientation. Given the current situation in the world, we urge our readers to restudy this important work or to get into it for the first time. Read more

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/lets-provoke-a-societal-debate-en.html

Free Yourself from the GTF!

Let's provoke a societal debate on American chauvinism with Bob Avakian's challenge

| revcom.us

 

From a Member of the National Revolution Tour:

“In confronting and moving to prevent [the full imposition of fascism], 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.”—Bob Avakian

Now’s the time to reach students and youth with the basic truth and challenge in the statement from Bob Avakian on the Great Tautological Fallacy. Text here and videos here and here.

Play the video on walls, in dorms, in classrooms. Distribute flyers everywhere. Call people together for discussions and debates—online and in person. What creative ideas do the students themselves have? Make plans to get this in thousands of people’s hands at the Women’s Marches THIS Saturday.

For a generation whose whole lives have been lived against the backdrop of endless, unjust wars carried out by their government in their name with little to no opposition since these wars began, this urgently needs to be discussed and debated. While the fascist regime attacks and terrorizes the people of Iran and the Middle East, what is the responsibility of people in the U.S.? What is the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today? What are the consequences of this? Is the American Dream humanity’s nightmare? Why or why not? Can it or should it be a force for “stability” in the region? What do we need to do about all this?

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/the-disaster-in-australia-en.html

The Disaster in Australia and a World on Fire—What Is To Be Done?

| revcom.us

 

Wildfires unprecedented in their ferocity and size have been ravaging widespread areas of Australia. The fires have burnt an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Denmark combined. The largest of the fires measures 1.5 million acres—and this is just one of some 135 separate wildfires now burning. At this writing, 28 people have died in these fires, thousands of homes have been destroyed, and an estimated one billion animals have been killed, including one-third of the koalas in the state of New South Wales. Smoke from the fires has caused air quality to reach 11 times the “hazardous” level in large parts of Australia, including some major cities.

Australia has been going through one of its worst droughts in decades. In a record-breaking December heatwave, some places reached 113-120 degrees Fahrenheit. All this is definitely linked to global climate change, which is fueled especially by the massive emission of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide, or CO2) into the Earth’s atmosphere under the capitalist-imperialist system. As environmental scientists have been warning with increasing urgency, climate change is already causing more frequent and violent extreme weather events like droughts, monster storms, and killer heatwaves—and myriad other types of environmental damage.

The wildfires in Australia conjure up the nightmarish image of a “world on fire”—literally. It’s a preview of much, much worse to come—if the way human society is organized now remains fundamentally the same as it is. We are facing a crisis of existential dimensions—threatening the ecosystems of the planet and life itself.

A Regime Plunging Humanity Toward Disaster

As Australia burned, the Trump/Pence fascist regime—heading up the country that is historically the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases among the world powers—announced a major attack on clean air and water protections. The regime intends to gut a 50-year-old “landmark” environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act. Trump’s move would free major infrastructure projects—highways, bridges, pipelines, and other big federal construction across the country—from environmental review. This is on top of nearly 100 environmental “rollbacks” since Trump became president—and his withdrawal of the U.S. from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

If the fires engulfing Australia are a preview of rapidly approaching “hell on Earth,” the U.S. under the Trump/Pence regime is acting in a way that will get us there even faster.

The Democrats Have No Answer

And what about the supposed would-be saviors of the Democratic Party? Nancy Pelosi announced a day after Trump’s move that “the House is taking action” to protect the environment. In actual fact, the Democrats in the House had voted to pass things like major funding bills and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) revisions, while agreeing with Republicans to take out even minor environmental-protection provisions from the bills. This caused even supporters and congresspeople within the Democratic Party to break ranks.

In fact, relying on the Democrats to get to the heart of the problem is a toxic illusion. The Democrats have no actual solution—because they are also representatives of a system that is driven by the competitive pursuit of profit and more profit and by the rivalry between great powers for global control and dominance. As Bob Avakian says in BAsics 1:29:

This system and those who rule over it are not capable of carrying out economic development to meet the needs of the people now, while balancing that with the needs of future generations and requirements of safeguarding the environment. They care nothing for the rich diversity of the earth and its species, for the treasures this contains, except when and where they can turn this into profit for themselves....These people are not fit to be the caretakers of the earth.

The Need for Another Way

In fact, humanity needs—and urgently needs—a whole other social system to deal with the existential threat of climate change. The framework for this is the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. We invite and challenge all who feel the seriousness and urgency of the situation to grapple with the excerpts of that Constitution, here.


In this December 30, 2019, aerial photo, wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia, east of Melbourne. Smoke from the ongoing firestorm in Australia is obscuring skies halfway around the world. The fires have pumped hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into Earth's atmosphere. Photo: AP


More than 1 billion animals have been killed in Australia fires. Photo: AP

In the past few weeks, massive fires have turned Australia into a vision of hell, and the Trump/Pence fascist regime has moved to gut one of the main environmental protections within the U.S....while the Democrats have done nothing but posture. But there is a real way out. Watch here:

Bob Avakian on the destruction of the planet by capitalism-imperialism...AND the solution

Share widely on social media

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 the Constitution (PDF)

"How Would a Revolutionary Socialist Society Address the Environmental Emergency?
Excerpts from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America"

Read more.

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/629/reaching-students-and-youth-with-revolution-and-a-challenge-to-resist-en.html

While the future hangs in the balance, reaching students and youth with revolution and a challenge to resist

| revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles

The Revolution Club in LA has been out for two days out at UCLA and noticed an important shift: in the wake of the act of war carried out by Trump on Iran, assassinating Soleimani, more people are asking big questions and wanting to understand why the U.S. is in the Middle East in the first place, what is driving the push towards war and what is our responsibility in relation to this.  A significant number of international students, who sometimes walk on by because they feel “politics in America” isn't their concern, were coming up to talk to us, wanting to know what's happening, furious about the role of the U.S. in the world and upset about how much American chauvinism they are encountering among their fellow students.

Now is a time to reach students and youth who are confronting the existential crisis of looming nuclear war—as a serious danger—with a demented bully at the head of a fascist regime with his finger on the nuclear trigger.

In the spirit of the excerpt from The New Communism, by Bob Avakian, reprinted at revcom.us: Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism, we had a banner “America Was Never Great. This System Must Be Overthrown” agitating about the fact that the real criminals are the U.S. empire, the people of Iran are our people and that we have a responsibility to stand up against the war crimes being carried out in our names.

We found a new openness to revolution and a number of people who expressing having had it with the whole system—they don't see any hope there and know that this country is world's number one terrorist.  Others expressed a real frustration with how many people aren't talking about what's happening with Iran and just going about their day to day like it's normal.

While this still wasn't happening anywhere on the scale needed, it is an important shift. 

A student with family from the Middle East talked about how upset she is that her American friends talk about war as an abstraction and on social media, some are making jokes about WW3, because—as she argued—the effects of America's wars have only been felt by people in distant lands.  Others were struck by hearing about the connection between their standard of living and those same U.S. wars.  For many, this is something they have a vague sense of, but don't know in depth and wanted to hear more about.

Yesterday, there was a small protest on campus against India's fascist attacks on Kashmir.  A march of about 20 people, mainly—but not only—South Asian.  We talked more deeply to one of the protesters who is very worried about what's happening, recognizes the similarities between Trump and Modi and is upset that no one she talks to has any idea of what's even happening there.

We made a lot of use of the BEB centerfold on America's crimes—walking it through with people—and a few students left on a mission to challenge their peers with the centerfold, asking them why they think it's ok to keep going along with all that.  We showed some people clips from Bob Avakian's talk: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible.  In particular, there is really urgency for people to engage the clips “Free Yourself from the GTF!” and “America: the leader of the free world? When was that ever true?”  Tomorrow, aim to make much more use of these.  Also, while there were some collective discussions today, aiming for a real collective process tomorrow.  Students need to hear and see each other wrangling with the problems—why is this happening and what do we need to do about it?

We're working for a number of student speakers to represent at Saturday's #OutNow! protest and for a sizeable UCLA contingent. 

 

 

Now is a time to reach students and youth who are confronting the existential crisis of looming nuclear war—as a serious danger—with a demented bully at the head of a fascist regime with his finger on the nuclear trigger.

Share your experience in going out to students and mobilizing for Trump/Pence #OUTNOW! Write revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

Clips from a talk by Bob Avakian: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible!

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

Free yourself from the GTF!

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/625/bob-avakian-statements-on-what-is-fascism-en.html

WHAT IS FASCISM

Statements from Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: Besides the two-paragraph statement “What IS Fascism* that regularly appears on revcom.us, and along with the article by Bob Avakian (BA) that contrasts fascists and communists, and in particular the advocates of the new communism (“Fascists and Communists: Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart”), the following excerpts from recent works by BA are relevant and helpful in getting a basic sense of what fascism is and what are some of its main features, in general and specifically as embodied in the Trump/Pence regime. Also, although its outlook differs in some significant aspects from that of the new communism, the 2005 speech by African-American theologian Hubert Locke (“Reflections on Pacific School of Religion’s Response to the Religious Right”), which was originally posted on revcom.us on January 29, 2006, and reposted on October 7, 2019, contains some very valuable and insightful analysis of fascism, and in particular Christian Fascism.

We are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime: relentlessly assaulting civil rights and liberties and openly promoting bigotry and inequality; acting with callous disregard or cold-blooded malice toward those they consider inferior and a drain or stain on the country; on a mission to deny health care to millions who will suffer and many who will die without it; crudely degrading women, as objects of plunder, breeders of children without the right to abortion or birth control, subordinate to husbands and men in general; defying the science of climate change, attacking the science of evolution, and repudiating the scientific method overall; a regime brandishing an arsenal of mass destruction and threatening nuclear war; intensifying state terror against Muslims, immigrants, and people in the inner cities; unleashing and giving encouragement and support to brutal thugs spewing vile “America First,” white supremacist, male-supremacist, and anti-LGBT venom—a regime that boasts of all this and declares its intention to do even worse.

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!
In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America,
A Better World 
IS Possible
.
The film of this talk by BA, given in October 2017,
is available at revcom.us.

And then there are the ruling class “news media.” There are media, like Fox (I can hardly say it) “News,” that represent the fascist section of the ruling class—which aims to impose undisguised capitalist dictatorship without the rule of law, with open hostility toward other sections of the ruling class itself, that these fascists regard as enemies, and vicious repression against immigrants, Black people, Muslims, women, and LGBT people—all those whose degradation and criminalization is essential for the fascist program of “making America great again.” Lying, systematically distorting reality, is a function and mission of these media.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution
And How We Can Really Make Revolution
.
The film and the text of this speech by BA,
given in the summer of 2018,
are available at revcom.us.

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.”

Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis—
Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism
.
A prepublication copy of this talk by BA is available at revcom.us.

In an article in the New York Times, “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!

Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis—
Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism
.
A prepublication copy of this talk by BA is available at revcom.us.

Stewart further summarizes Lang’s views this way: “Modern fundamentalism, like fascism in earlier times, he says, involves a strong feeling of persecution, typically at the hands of godless liberals or a religious ‘other’; the belief that one belongs to a pure race or national group that is responsible for past greatness, suffers unjust oppression in the present, and is the rightful ruler of the world; the impulse to submit unquestioningly to absolute authority; and the relentless drive for power and control. It is, he says, a kind of supremacist movement, with religion rather than race at its core.”

And there is this chilling statement by Lang:

People have no idea it’s going on....

What does it mean that the conservative church that’s growing in America is an end-times church? What does it mean that we are raising a generation of children to believe that they are the last generation? What is going to happen if we keep on telling them, “Don’t care about the environment, and bring on the war, because we’re going to be lifted out of here, and you can forget about loving your neighbors, because they’re just going to get blown away?”

So, that is the insight of someone very familiar with these Christian fascists. And the fact is that in this country, with its whole history of genocide, slavery and racism, any form of fascism, including one basing itself on “Christian supremacy”—any urge to “restore past greatness”—cannot help but be bound together with white supremacy.

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

† Stewart refers to Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club, The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children  [back]

There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today, and a direct connection between their white supremacy, their open disgust and hatred for LGBT people as well as women, their willful rejection of science and the scientific method, their raw “America First” jingoism and trumpeting of “the superiority of western civilization” and their bellicose wielding of military power, including their expressed willingness and blatant threats to use nuclear weapons, to destroy countries.

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


* What Is Fascism?

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

At the same time—and this can be seen through studying the examples of Nazi Germany and Italy under Mussolini—while it will likely move quickly to enforce certain repressive measures in consolidating its rule, a fascist regime is also likely to implement its program overall through a series of stages and even attempt at different points to reassure the people, or certain groups among the people, that they will escape the horrors—if they quietly go along and do not protest or resist while others are being terrorized and targeted for repression, deportation, “conversion,” prison, or execution.  [back]

Download these quotes as a pamphlet to print and distribute:

 

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

See also:

Fascists and Communists: Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart

by Bob Avakian

Read more

NOW AVAILABLE: PDF for printing

See also:

Reflections on Pacific School of Religion's Response to the Religious Right

by Dr. Hubert Locke

Reposted July 3, 2017. Originally posted January 29, 2006

Read more

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/622/demarcations-special-issue-en.html

Announcing New Special Issue of Demarcations

| revcom.us

 

This special issue features the prepublication version of Bob Avakian’s historic work, BREAKTHROUGHS: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism. A Basic Summary in multiple languages—English, Spanish, Farsi, Portuguese, German, and Turkish. The latter two are partial, and works in progress.

Demarcations, in announcing this special issue, states, “At a moment when it is no exaggeration to say that vast swaths of humanity and the planet are confronting a catastrophic future and even potentially existential risks due to the workings of this system of capitalism-imperialism, there is no greater need and contribution to a radically different world than to take up and spread Bob Avakian’s whole new framework for human emancipation, concentrated in this work, EVERYWHERE.”

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/statement-from-the-communist-party-of-iran-en.html

Statement from the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist):
Qassim Suleimani was the military arm of a reactionary Islamist regime who was killed by the order of Trump, the fascist president of an invading imperialist country

| revcom.us

 

Mao Tse-tung, the leader of the Chinese revolution and the International Communist movement, has a well-known statement saying that some deaths are heavier than a mountain pressing on your heart and some deaths are lighter than a feather. The death of thousands of young men and women of the uprising of last November 2019 in Iran belongs to the first type and the death of Qassim Suleimani to the second type and Donald Trump, who ordered his killing, undoubtedly belongs to the same category as Suleimani. The killing of Qassim Suleimani by the order of Fascist Trump does not erase war crimes committed by him nor the war crimes committed by the regime’s suppressive forces that shoot and kill hungry people protesting their conditions in the streets (of many cities in Iran).

Khamenei called for three days of public national mourning for Suleimani, while the martyrs of November rebellion are secretly buried or their tortured bodies are found in the waters behind dams or garbage dumps under the bridges and many still disappeared and thousands more have been arrested and under torture. Khamenei does not even allow relatives of those who lost their lives in the street fight to have a ceremony to commemorate the death of their loved ones martyred in November uprising, because the regime knows if they allow that to happen there would be a nonstop flow of people in the streets of Iran and the people of Khuzestan (in the South) would fill up the marshlands of Mahshar (where hundreds of protesters were driven to and machine gunned) by shedding tears and the people’s blazing anger would rage against this regime even more.

And now with mourning ceremonies for Suleimani, the miserable regime of IRI intends to turn the killing of the fascist Qassim Suleimani by a bigger bully fascist like Trump, into an event to white wash the blood that it has spilt of the masses of people in the November uprising. Maybe Suleimani did not order the mass shooting of the people in the November uprising, but he did order his men in the Quds force and its affiliates in Iraq to shoot to kill the Iraqi protesters in the October and November 2019 uprisings which engulfed that country.1 But we will not allow that to happen; we will not let this regime to use its Mafiosi contentions with the US imperialism in order to buy legitimacy for itself and justify its existence.

With the assassination of Suleimani by Trump’s order, some of the intellectual flunkies of the “two rotten outmodeds”—ie, the reactionary Islamic regime and the Imperialist USA—have started a new round of a campaign to try to polarize the people between these two outmodeds: on the side of the IRI or the US imperialism. Some of the flunkies of the IRI recited poetry for Qassim Suleimani praising him as the “worthy child of Iran”2. And Trump’s flunkies heaped praise upon him for killing Suleimani. These are two poles of the same idiocy and are equally besmirched and reproachable: those who decorate the reactionary policy of building Shiite Islamic Empire as “Resistance to imperialism” as well as those who don’t see the fascist nature of Trump’s “America First” and demand Trump, who is a master of throwing kids into cages, to “liberate people of Iran” from the clutches of the IRI!

IRI and the USA: Reactionary Contention over Iraq

As we wrote in the past, “The survival of the Islamic Republic depends on being an important player in the tumultuous scene of the Middle East and in this regards, it is and it will continue to carry out major military and political gambles”.3

For the past 21 years, Qassim Suleimani and the Quds Force under his command played a central role in this affair. He was eventually killed during one of these gambles. Prior to his death, Qassim Suleimani was involved in a multi-faceted campaign to maintain the Islamic Republic’s influence over Iraq. He tried:

  1. To end the waves of protests who had engulfed Iraq in the past months by resorting to cruel suppression of the people and overt bloodshed,
  2. To unify those Shiite militias who are rivals to the Quds Force (to this end he brought Muqtada al-Sadr to Tehran to meet with Khamenei),
  3. To pressure the Iraqi government in order to keep affiliates of the Quds Force embedded in Iraqi administration, military, and security/intelligence positions (Including key posts in the “Green Zone” and Baghdad’s Airport),
  4. To pressure the Iraqi parliamentarians to vote for “US withdrawal from Iraq”.

Qassim Suleimani’s recent zealous efforts and frantic trips between Damascus and Baghdad and Tehran aimed at preventing the collapse of the Islamic Republic’s influence in Iraq—a trend that has been on the rise since mass protests starting last October across the country against the Iraqi regime and influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Waves of mass protests spread everywhere including cities such as Najaf, which is considered a stronghold of the Quds Force. The consulate general of the Islamic Republic of Najaf was set on fire several times. In addition, the headquarters of various Islamist militia groups—whether affiliated with the Quds Force or its rivals—have been target of the public outrage. Protesting government corruption, unemployment, and influence of Iranian regime in the internal affairs of Iraq are the general sentiments of the protesters occupying Baghdad’s squares and bridges. Consequently hundreds of people were killed by Iraqi security forces, and Iran backed militia of Hashd al-Shaabi brigades and the Quds Forces. This resistance is still going on. This popular uprising also deepened the cracks and fissures in the ranks of the Iraqi Shiite government and destroyed the legitimacy of all its factions. Even Iran’s allies in this government have tried to hastily distance themselves from the Islamic Republic by expressing “concern and disgust” with the killing of protesters. The United States government was extremely happy with this development and saw it as an opportunity to strike down Iran’s influence in Iraq and drive the Quds Force out of the equations in that country. On 29 December 2019, the United States conducted airstrikes against Kata’ib Hezbollah (a branch of the Shiite militia directly under the command of the Quds Force) in northern Iraq in al-Anbar province (reportedly killing at least 25 militiamen and wounding 55 more). After the rain of rockets fell on the headquarters of this group, the Islamic Republic, and especially Khamenei, aimed to use the incident to turn the anti-IRI wave in Iraqi cities into an anti-American wave and restore legitimacy for the Quds Force and the Shiite militias. Hashd al-Shaabi issued a “retaliation” order that resulted in the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad’s protected “green zone” on Dec. 31. The Shi’ite militia entered the area easily because they themselves were part of the security of the Green Zone. But this “show of force” did not have much of an impact on the political climate in Iraq and the Islamic Republic did not benefit from it that much. The main US operation took place when Qassim Suleimani arrived in Baghdad with his associates from Lebanese Hezbollah on a flight from Damascus and senior Hashd al-Shaabi leaders came to pick them up.

The role of Suleimani in the Islamic Republic

Qassim Suleimani was the embodiment and executioner of the Islamic Republic’s policy of expanding its overseas influence. The survival of the Islamic Republic depends on the continuation of this policy—not because of the so-called “securing Iranian borders”, but because the Islamic Republic is not merely a theocratic regime within Iran’s borders, rather, it is the centerpiece of a reactionary Islamist movement in this region and as the IRI policy conceptualizers call it, it is the Um al-Ghora of Islam4 or the “Islamic Metropolis” for other “Islamic cities”. And its goal is to use its state power in Iran to establish an Islamic Empire in a region beyond Iran. This vision has not only made the Islamic Republic into a regional repressive power, but has also intensified the fascist imposition of Sharia law within Iran itself. Such vision requires the IRI regime to make Iran a role model for all other “Islamic cities”. This reactionary mission stimulates the Quds Force’s wars across Iranian borders as well as killing of masses of people inside Iran’s borders.

The wars in the Middle East have undoubtedly been largely the result of the invasions of the US imperialism and its allies—especially since the US occupation of Afghanistan in 2001, and then Iraq in 2003. But the Islamic Republic has played an important role in spreading these wars and has sought to create a space for developing and expanding its Shiite militias and in doing so they have even joined hands with military and security forces of the US in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Following the US occupation of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, major uprisings among Sunni Arabs mounted against the US military, and that was dealt with cruel repression by the US military but in this suppression the Quds Force in particular and the Islamic Republic of Iran in general assisted the US. It was during years of internal repression in Iraq in 2007-2008 which the Shiite militias and particularly the Kata’ib Hezbollah, were formed under the leadership of Qassim Suleimani. The role of the Quds Force and Kata’ib Hezbollah in the assassination of Sunni elites and intellectuals at Baghdad University has not been sufficiently disclosed. After 2011 Kata’ib Hezbollah played a decisive role in the bloody suppression of the “Arab Spring” in Syria and in preserving the regime of Bashar al-Assad in power. Therefore, the “anti-imperialism” of the Islamic Republic and Qassim Suleimani has been very “situational” and purely deceptive.

More Devastating Wars Loom on the Horizon

The conflict between the Islamic Republic and the United States is an old one, but with the occupation of the White House by an all-out fascist regime, this contradiction has taken a new turn and thrives in a qualitatively different context than the past.

The Trump regime shreds all international treaties and pacts into pieces, and acts as an aggressive unbridled bully with the aim of establishing new norms in the global relations and this also encompasses the relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the Trump regime, the US imperialism has taken this “Path” to rise to the challenges that it is facing domestically and internationally. The status of US imperialism as the “sole and unchallenged superpower” in the world has been shaken and it is now confronted with sets of economic, political and military challenges thrown at it by other imperialist powers, namely the European Union, Russia, and especially China. In the meantime, the Islamic Republic is trying to ensure its survival through maneuvering within the cracks and fissures between the imperialist powers. The Trump/Pence regime in the US is upsetting the “conventional” rule of the bourgeoisie and the theocrat-fascist regime in Iran is sitting on top of a capitalist system dependent on Imperialism. But none of them can be considered “misfit patches” for the functioning of the capitalist-imperialist system. They only demonstrate the potentials of the world capitalist system in its antagonism to the interests of the majority of the world’s people.

American imperialism and the Islamic Republic are the enemies of the people in Iran and the entire Middle East. The contradiction between them has a totally reactionary and parasitic character, on both sides of the equation and has been a tremendous source of breeding suffering for the people of Middle East. Comrade Avakian has conceptualized this contradiction as:

... historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists...5

In the past 40 years the Islamic Republic has been making a lot of bombastic statements against the US claiming to have achieved “independence” from it. But, increasingly, it has tied the Iranian economy to the US dictates; hence, exposing the country and the people to the cruel economic sanctions of the US. Not only the Islamic Republic of Iran but the Islamic fundamentalists overall, represent the interests of the strata and classes that aspire to achieve power within the framework of the imperialist relations and to this end they have misused the hatred of the masses of the Middle East of the US imperialism. The tools and means utilized by the Islamic Republic and the American imperialism reflect their deep-rooted hatred of the masses of people.

It goes without saying that no reactionary regime will ever come close to US imperialism in aggression, slaughter and looting. The goal of the US military in Iraq and the Middle East is nothing but to dominate a region that has significant strategic and geopolitical import to dominate the entire world. The US is in the Middle East to plunder the people of these countries and their resources. The United States is in the Middle East to subordinate the imperialist powers of China, Europe, Japan, and Russia to its own global hegemony. America is in the Middle East to subdue the Islamic Republic and other reactionary regimes in the region towards its interests. But the point is that the US and the Islamic Republic and the wars in the Middle East are the product of a “system”. Sitting at the top of the system is the US imperialism, but this fact does not make the Islamic Republic less criminal, nor make its overthrow as soon as possible, less important.

Undoubtedly, Trump will try to make the best out of Suleimani’s assassination and escalation of tensions with the Islamic Republic to advance his contradictions with other factions in the US ruling class, and may even spark a wider war with Iran to find a justification for imposing his fascist regime inside the United States. Some members of the Democratic Party in the US have already likened the killing of Qassim Suleimani to “throwing dynamite in a tinder box”. All of these are real, and the maelstrom of chaos and devastating turbulences in the Middle East will turn even faster. The question is: what is the solution for the people in Iran and Iraq as well as in the US and all over the world?

Emergence of a world movement demanding to halt the reactionary and imperialist wars in the Middle East—exactly like the global movement against destruction of the environment—is urgent. The masses of people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Syria to the US, Egypt, Hong Kong and Moscow must come together and declare that they will not tolerate the continuation and expansion of these wars and are determined to put an end to every move by the US imperialists, Islamic Republic of Iran and other reactionary regimes in the region including Islamic warlords. More specifically, there is a need to establish political and practical connection/unity between the mass struggle against the Islamic Republic in Iran and the mass struggle in the United States to bring down the fascist Trump/Pence regime, from below. This will be a dynamic factor for an effective and inspiring resistance to the wars in the Middle East.

Mass and global resistance to wars are essential but these wars are products of a much deeper problem. The situation in the world has reached to a point where not only Iran, but all of humanity, is facing a crucial crossroads: facing catastrophic consequences flowing from the very functioning of the world capitalist system or putting an end to this system through communist revolutions and changing the course of human society towards a clear future which is millions times better than what is.

How the current situation will evolve, what ups and downs and twists and turns will go through and what the outcome of that will be, depends on various factors.

But the freedom and opportunity of the people and our party (the Communist Party of Iran/MLM) lies in organizing the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran and establishing New Socialist Republic of Iran and helping to open the same path in any other part of this region.

Strengthening this path in a country like the USA and under the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA will have profound impact on the morale and vision of the people all over the world and will annunciate to them that this world of oppression and cruelty can be overturned through an actual revolution. With this vision and compass of “New Communism”, we resolve to open our way through twist and turns and tumultuous paths towards a radically different future. The time is running late so let us seize the time.

Revolution, Nothing less!

Down with the imperialist and reactionary wars!

Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran – Down with the US Imperialism!

Long live Internationalist Unity!

Forward in the Communist Revolution for a New Socialist Republic of Iran!

Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)

January 5, 2020


1. The Hashd-ol- Shabi or the Popular Mobilisation in Iraq is an affiliate Shiite Militia of the Quds force and the Quds is the overseas branch of Islamic Republic armed forces. [back]

2. The famous literary figure and well known novelist Mahmood Dolatabadi did this. He is more than 80 years old and was in the past pro Tudeh Party (pro USSR revisionist party in Iran). [back]

3. Analytical Statement of the CPIMLM—May 17, 2019 [back]

4. Literally means: the mother of all villages. [back]

5. Bob Avakian: Bringing Forward Another Way: on the Two “Historically Outmodeds” [back]

Widespread protests in Iran followed government-set gasoline prices spiking. Photo: Human Rights Watch

Iranians protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, November 4. Photo: AP

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/american-crime-17-mass-murder-in-the-skies-over-iran-en.html

American Crime

Case #17: Mass Murder in the Skies Over Iran:
The Shoot-Down of Passenger Flight 655… by the U.S. Navy

| revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian has written that one of three things that has “to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: 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.” (See “3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.”)

In that light, and in that spirit, “American Crime” is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment focuses on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

Editor's Note (January 13, 2020): As we go to press, a major political crisis is developing in Iran concerning the Iranian theocratic regime's downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 passengers, most of them Iranian citizens or of Iranian origin. This was in the immediate aftermath of the regime's response to the U.S. assassination of one of its major military leaders, Qassem Soleimani, with missile attacks against a U.S. base in Iraq. Iran admitted "unintentionally" hitting the plane after initially denying it, amid rising tensions with the U.S. Mass protests have broken out against the Iranian regime in Tehran, the capital, and other cities.

In this article, we review the history of the U.S. shooting down a passenger jet in Iranian airspace over 30 years ago, an American crime!

THE CRIME

At 9:53 on the morning of July 3, 1988, Captain Mohsen Rezaian was piloting Iran Air Flight 655, a civilian airliner on a routine flight from Bandar Abbas, 140 miles across the Persian Gulf to Dubai, normally a 28-minute flight. 290 people were aboard the plane.

Suddenly, without warning, two surface-to-air missiles launched from the U.S. warship Vincennes, 18 miles away, ripped apart his plane which then crashed into the Gulf. All aboard were killed, though only about 200 bodies could be recovered.

At the time, Iran had been at war with Iraq for nearly eight years.

In 1984, Iraq launched its first attack on Iranian oil facilities and shipping, and in 1987, Iran responded by targeting the oil tankers of Kuwait—which was supporting Iraq’s war—with mines. The U.S. dispatched 42 U.S. warships to escort re-flagged Kuwaiti oil tankers and ostensibly to protect neutral shipping (which did face threats from both belligerents). In late May 1988, the naval cruiser U.S.S. Vincennes equipped with the state-of-the-art Aegis radar system had been sent into the Gulf, supposedly to protect against Iranian anti-ship missiles.

A little over a month later, it shot down Iran Air 655. Sixty-six children under 12, 156 men, and 66 women were killed. Most all were Iranians, but there were also Arabs, Koreans, and Japanese people among the dead.

One Iranian businessman was waiting to greet his family in Dubai. All were killed—his wife, her brother, and their eight children. When he heard the news, “The man just went out of his mind, going from pillar to post and banging his head,” a witness reported. To this day, there are ceremonies in Iran in memory of those killed on July 3, 1988.

THE ALIBI

The U.S. immediately blamed Iran for the disaster. On July 5, the New York Times ran an editorial that called on readers to see things from the perspective of the Vincennes’ captain, Will Rogers. The editorial was titled “In Captain Rogers’s Shoes,” and sketched the following scene:

The [Vincennes] was not only in a combat zone; but at that very moment was engaged in action against Iranian gunboats making high-speed runs against it. Then Captain Rogers’s radar operators reported an aircraft heading toward the ship and descending. The plane, which had taken off from Iranian territory, was reportedly flying five miles outside the civilian air corridor and failed to answer three warnings over the civilian distress channel that all aircraft are supposed to monitor. The radar operators apparently had indications, which the Navy refuses to discuss, that the plane was a powerful F-14 jet.... Captain Rogers already had a battle on his hands. Barring surprising findings, it is hard to fault his decision to attack the suspect plane.

But the Times had no trouble finding fault with the dead pilot and with Iran, arguing that in the “episode”:

... blame may lie with the Iran Air pilot for failing to acknowledge the ship’s warnings and flying outside the civilian corridor. Iran, too, may bear responsibility for failing to warn civilian planes away from the combat zone of an action it had initiated.

And the Times’ editorial concluded:

The present rules of engagement allow a captain to fire first in defense of his ship. ...the onus for avoiding such accidents in the future rests on civilian aircraft: avoid combat zones, fly high, acknowledge warnings. Better still, no one would have to be in Captain Rogers’s shoes in the first place. That prospect turns on Teheran’s willingness to bring an end to its futile eight-year war with Iraq.

The Times’ editorial was echoed by then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, who told the UN that:

[The shooting down of Flight 655] occurred in the midst of a naval attack initiated by Iranian vessels against a neutral vessel and, subsequently, against the Vincennes when it came to the aid of the innocent ship in distress.

Despite these hostilities, Iranian authorities failed to divert Iran Air 655 from the area. They allowed a civilian aircraft loaded with passengers to proceed on a path over a warship engaged in battle. That was irresponsible and a tragic error.

The information available to Captain Will Rogers, the captain of the Vincennes, indicated that an Iranian military aircraft was approaching his ship with hostile intentions. After seven unanswered warnings, he did what he had to do to protect his ship and the lives of his crew. As a military commander, his first duty and responsibility is to protect his men and his ship.1

LIE UPON LIE

Virtually every word of the U.S. version of events was false, and by the time Bush gave his UN speech, the U.S. knew it. As is brought out and documented in meticulous detail in “Vincennes: A Case Study,” (from the pro-military U.S. Naval Institute) here is the truth:

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE

The United States has a long and bloody history of seeking to dominate and oppress Iran (one of the world’s largest oil producers).3 In September 1980, the U.S. gave the green light to Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) to invade Iran in order to weaken and contain Iran’s new Islamic Republic.

During the initial stages of the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. provided or facilitated military aid to Iraq—including poison gas that Iraq used to kill thousands of Iranian troops as well as Kurdish civilians. When Iraq seemed to be close to winning, the U.S. provided aid to Iran. (The U.S. goal was to protract the war and weaken both countries.) There were 262,000 to 367,000 Iranians and 105,000 Iraqis killed, plus an estimated 700,000 injured or wounded on both sides.4

But by 1987, the war was destabilizing the whole region, and Iran was getting the upper hand, threatening U.S. allies and interests in the region, so the U.S. sought to bring it to an end by moving decisively against Iran. The U.S. warships were sent to the Gulf not only to protect Kuwaiti tankers but also to pressure Iran. Tensions escalated on April 14, 1988, when the U.S. frigate Samuel B. Roberts hit an Iranian mine and nearly sank. Four days later, on April 18, with U.S. backing (and with the use of sarin gas), Iraq seized back the strategic Fao (al-Faw) Peninsula. That same day, U.S. forces launched Operation Praying Mantis, attacking the Iranian navy inside Iranian territorial waters, destroying or severely damaging half of Iran’s navy.5

It was clear that when the Vincennes arrived in the Gulf in May 1988, it was “on a mission” to draw blood, to carry out aggressive military action that had nothing to do with its alleged function of providing radar protection for the U.S. fleet.

It is possible that Rogers did not realize the plane he was shooting down was a passenger jet, but it is certain that like a swaggering pig rolling through a Black neighborhood spreading terror, it really wasn’t very important to him to make the assessment. His was a “shoot first, ask questions later” orientation. It is also possible that the U.S. deliberately shot down a civilian airliner to send a chilling, Mafia-like message to Iran.

In either case, and because at key points in the incident Rogers checked in with and got approval from naval headquarters in Bahrain, it’s clear his actions were in line with and served the strategic orientation of the U.S. military at that point: to bully and bloody Iran in order to force them to agree to a ceasefire in the war with Iraq. Taken together with the U.S. destruction of half the Iranian navy, and the U.S.-backed seizure by Iraq of the Fao Peninsula, the shootdown of Flight 655 was taken by Iran as a signal of U.S. ruthlessness and a message that things would only go from bad to worse if they didn’t abide by U.S. demands to agree to end the war.

Sixteen days after Flight 655 was downed, Iran accepted the UN ceasefire that the U.S. had been pressuring it to agree to.

THE CRIMINALS

President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush, who were strategically in charge of the U.S. role in the Iran-Iraq War, and “set the tone” (whether or not they gave specific orders) in which war crimes like the shoot-down of Flight 655 could take place. Reagan called it a “terrible tragedy” (a statement “Aimed at Saving U.S. Policy in the Gulf,” according to the Washington Post), but overall he and Bush in particular brazenly defended and justified this crime.

The U.S. Naval Command (Joint Task Force in the Middle East) in Bahrain, which oversaw the Vincennes operations and green-lighted them at key points. And, two years after the incident, President George H.W. Bush commended Captain Rogers for his actions and awarded him the Legion of Merit—the U.S. military’s second-highest peacetime medal.

While the commendation did not mention shooting down Flight 655, it covered the period in which it happened, and Rogers was specifically praised for his “dynamic leadership, logical judgment and unexcelled devotion to duty” in the attack on Iranian boats that led up to and provided justification for shooting down the plane. Rogers’ weapons and combat systems officer, Lt. Commander Lustig, also received a medal for the attack on the Iranian boats, which was described as a “heroic achievement.” Both Rogers and Lustig remained in the military and were given important posts.

Not one member of the Vincennes crew was ever disciplined in any way for the mass murder. In fact, the whole crew was awarded Combat Action Ribbons.

Captain Rogers, who made the decision to shoot down the plane, lied about what happened afterwards, and never expressed the slightest remorse.

The officers and crew of the Vincennes, who, even if they were not making command decisions, carried out immoral orders and participated in the lies and coverup once the slaughter was over.

The U.S. media (with special “honors” to the New York Times), which shamelessly promoted the lies the U.S. military told to justify its crimes, and was a mouthpiece for both bullying Iran and rousing the U.S. population—especially progressives and liberals—to support the U.S. attacks on it.


1. Excerpts for Vice President George Bush’s Remarks to U.N. Security Council, July 14, 1988. [back]

2. “The data from USS Vincennes' tapes, information from USS Sides and reliable intelligence information corroborate the fact that TN 4131 was on a normal commercial air flight plan profile … squawking Mode III 6760, on a continuous ascent in altitude from take-off at Bandar Abbas to shoot down.”, See Vincennes: A Case Study, by Lieutenant Colonel David Evans, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), in Proceedings, Vol 119/8/1,086, August, 1993, published by U.S. Naval Institute. [back]

3. See American Crime, Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression—Made in the USA, revcom.us, May 16, 2016. [back]

4. The Republican Party Is Fascist; The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, “Fueling the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988,” revcom.us, January 7, 2019. [back]

5. Vincennes: A Case Study, Ibid. [back]

 

Arrow is flight path of 655 and red "explosion" symbol is where plane was destroyed by rocket attack.

Iranians carrying coffins in the streets of Tehran of the victims of the U.S. airstrike against the Iranian commercial flight 655. (Photo: AP)

Iranians throwing flowers in the Persian Gulf in annual commemoration of the 290 people killed when the U.S. shot down the commercial aircraft 655.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“I will never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

Then-VP George H.W. Bush, August 2, 1988 speech while campaigning for the presidency

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/hindu-mob-assaults-students-at-leading-indian-university-en.html

Hindu Fascist Mob Assaults Students at Leading Indian University—Protests Escalate Throughout India

| revcom.us

 

On Sunday, January 5, fascist thugs attacked students, professors, and university staff at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, India, one of India’s major universities and known as a progressive campus.

Dozens of masked men, chanting fascist slogans armed with bricks, rocks, and iron rods, charged into campus, brutally assaulting the students and university personnel, forcing them to run “for their lives” as one student said. The mob chased them into their dormitories, forcing students to barricade themselves in their rooms, as the fascists vandalized their dorms, specially singling out progressive or Muslim students to beat up based on the posters and books in their rooms.

“They pelted stones at us, stones half the size of bricks,” one professor who was hit in the head and bleeding profusely told the New York Times. “I saw the face of terror.”

After an hour-long rampage, with the attackers openly roaming around campus menacing people as police stood by and did nothing, at least 42 students and others had been injured, most hospitalized, and many more terrorized. Videos showed police standing by as students were being beaten, having turned off the street lights and letting the mob roam without interference.

Despite revelations by the press of who was behind these fascist mob attacks, as of this writing no arrests have been made—and the only people charged are the victims, including Aishe Ghosh, the student union president, who was hit over her eye with an iron rod and was taken to the hospital.

What has become clear is these thugs are part of or closely associated with the Hindu fascist student group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party and its parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). One RSS leader defended the assault: “The students of JNU are communists and they had to be taught a lesson.”

The attack on JNU is part of a larger campaign by the fascists to reshape academia to serve their whole fascist agenda, since Modi’s election in 2014. They have moved across the board in undercutting student and university rights, and appointing pro-RSS administrators, while encouraging the forming of Nazi style fascist thug organizations on campuses. JNU, as a leading progressive university, has been in their crosshairs.

“For the Modi government, JNU has been a symbol of the territory they haven’t been able to capture,” a student of the RSS told the New York Times. “They are projecting it as a symbol of everything that is bad in this country, and that is why they need to destroy it.”

This vicious attack of terror sparked a further wave of protests by students and others throughout India, with some erupting that night itself, and spreading through the next week across the country. These student protests are a very positive development, standing in solidarity with the JNU students who have refused to back down, calling for the dismissal of various authorities responsible, feeling, as one student commented, “an unprecedented attack on our existence.” One of India’s top film actresses, along with some other celebrities, joined the vigils of solidarity against the attack, with fascists calling for boycott of their films and art. Many others joined the students who occupied and protested over multiple days and nights at one of India’s most famous landmarks, the Gateway of India in Mumbai.

Background on the Hindu Fascist Assault Since the Re-election of Modi

Modi and the RSS program is to turn India from a secular state, with at least formal rights for all the country’s religious and national minorities, into a fascist state that is a “Hindu rashtra,” i.e., a Hindu country. India has the second largest number of Muslims in the world, with about 200 million Muslims, and this program is a direct attack on Muslims and other minorities.

After Modi’s re-election, their fascist assault on the secular foundations of the India state has recently taken major leaps1—with the withdrawal of autonomy from Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, and millions being declared stateless in the state of Assam, bordering Bangladesh and with a large number of Bengali migrants. They were forced to take a punitive new citizenship test which forced them to produce documents proving they or their ancestors lived in India before 1971 or be declared foreign migrants.

In mid-December the “Citizenship Amendment Bill” was passed in parliament. The bill overtly discriminates against Muslims, making religion a criterion for determining which immigrants can be allowed for Indian citizenship, specifically excluding Muslims from being considered. This goes along with a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), which will be an official record of all legal citizens of India where individuals would have to provide a prescribed set of documents for inclusion. These are potentially genocidal measures against the Muslims in India, given the underlying ideological program of the Modi Hindu-fascists.

These draconian, anti-Muslim measures have sparked massive protests, which have cut across religious lines throughout India and that have continued for the past month, with students playing a key and very dynamic role. Savage police attacks and repression have fueled greater outrage and resistance, turning the current upsurge into one of the most powerful student-led protests since the country obtained independence in 1947.

 

1. See “Admit That the Waters Around You Have Grown,” by Coco Das.  [back]


Indian students and activists shout slogans against fascist attack on students by masked men inside Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, January 2020. Photo: AP


Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) President Aishe Ghosh: "I have been brutally attacked by goons wearing masks." Photo: Twitter

As Bob Avakian said on the occasion of the Arab Spring in Egypt, in “EGYPT 2011: MILLIONS HAVE HEROICALLY STOOD UP... THE FUTURE REMAINS TO BE WRITTEN”:

When people in their masses, in their millions, finally break free of the constraints that have kept them from rising up against their oppressors and tormentors, then whether or not their heroic struggle and sacrifice will really lead to a fundamental change, moving toward the abolition of all exploitation and oppression, depends on whether or not there is a leadership, communist leadership, that has the necessary scientific understanding and method, and on that basis can develop the necessary strategic approach and the influence and organized ties among growing numbers of the people, in order to lead the uprising of the people, through all the twists and turns, to the goal of a real, revolutionary transformation of society, in accordance with the fundamental interests of the people. And, in turn, when people massively break with the “normal routine” and the tightly woven chains of oppressive relations in which they are usually entrapped and by which they are heavily weighed down—when they break through and rise up in their millions—that is a crucial time for communist organization to further develop its ties with those masses, strengthening its ranks and its ability to lead. Or, if such communist organization does not yet exist, or exists only in isolated fragments, this is a crucial time for communist organization to be forged and developed, to take up the challenge of studying and applying communist theory, in a living way, in the midst of this tumultuous situation, and to strive to continually develop ties with, to influence and to ultimately lead growing numbers of the masses in the direction of the revolution that represents their fundamental and highest interests, the communist revolution.

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/some-important-words-en.html

Some Important Words for Those Caught Up In—or Agonizing Over—the Violence Among the People

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: In the past few weeks, violence among prisoners from different gangs has resulted in the deaths of at least five people in the hellish prisons of Mississippi. In this situation, the following passage from Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, by Bob Avakian (BA), stands out.

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]1

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,”2 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.3

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!4

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.

NOTES

1. Bob Avakian, BAsics. [back]

2. 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]

3. The 6 Points of Attention for the Revolution

The Revolution Club upholds, lives by and fights for the following principles:

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/624/andy-zee-an-appeal-to-save-revolution-books-en.html

A Letter From Andy Zee:

An Appeal to Save Revolution Books

A Beacon in Dangerous Times

| revcom.us

 

To the Revolution Books Community,

I write to ask for your support for Revolution Books when it is needed more than ever—a moment of stark contrast between our hopes and dreams for the future and the stark reality that great catastrophe looms as fascist regimes take root here and around the world.

Revolution Books embodies the potential for humanity in these dark times. You felt this when you first walked through our door and found the literature, poetry, history, science, art, and the revolutionary theory for a radically different world. You experienced programs and engagement with us and with each other that percolated with emancipatory possibility. What you felt at RB is precious and especially so when this beacon that lights the way forward is so needed.

Revolution Books is alive with the scientific understanding that a different and better world is possible. RB is the political, intellectual, and cultural center of a movement for an actual revolution and that is why it is a unique incredible bookstore—a resource for the world.  The animating heart of the store is the framework for unleashing the revolutionary potential of humanity: the breakthrough in scientifically knowing and radically changing the world through revolution, the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, a leader who never gave up asking the hard questions of the road forward to human emancipation and developing the path to that future.

This past month marks the fourth anniversary of Revolution Books in Harlem. RB has been enriched by the diversity and great cultural legacy of Harlem and has enriched the community. Yet, too few even in Harlem know we are here. RB urgently needs your financial support as well as your problem solving creativity so that this year not be our last. Our volunteer staff are determined that this end not come to pass, but that will only be possible with you. We are confident that working together we can solve the problem of making RB financially viable. Our immediate goal is to raise $50,000 by January 31, 2020.  And do so in a way so that going forward Revolution Books is sustainable and known far and wide—filling a great need for revolutionary possibility in dangerous times.

The heart of the problem Revolution Books confronts is a society wide problem. In the face of the danger of the white supremacist fascist Trump/Pence regime and with the future of humanity threatened by global warming, way too many people have turned inward. We have a culture of the “selfie”—a society obsessed with “look at me” as I look out for just me—while the world literally burns and drowns.

Revolution Books brings a whole different ethos and culture—you’ve experienced it. Books that matter. History that tells the truth. Novels that imagine the past, tell of other peoples, or imagine a different future. Children’s books that reach across cultures and foster a positive morality. Author readings and discussions with progressive writers from Pulitzer Prize winners to new authors who enlighten and challenge, and mix it up with RB’s spokespeople who probe and elicit the best from our guests. At RB we seek to foster a culture of revolt against a revolting culture while nurturing art that imagines in the present what a future world and people could be. And, at RB people experience and can take up the science of revolution in the extensive body of work of Bob Avakian that shatters demoralized defeatist preconceptions that the misery and spirit crushing world of today is all that could be.

If RB were known everywhere throughout Harlem, NYC, and damn it— the world, it could be self-sufficient. With you, this is possible. With the funds to get the word out—mass publicity, a robust internet presence, and an even wider stock of books—that could change the equation. But, to get there, we need you and others like you problem solving and working with us on raising funds, awareness and programming. With that, RB would not only thrive, but more, we would all be a leg up on changing the culture and the world.

Donate generously today to raise the $50,000 needed to sustain the store. And become a monthly sustaining Friend of Revolution Books.

The great playwright Bertolt Brecht posed:

In the dark times
Will there be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing.
About the dark times.

At Revolution Books there are the songs and poems of the bitter fruit of the past and present, but at our core is a conquering spirit, a radical imagination, and a scientific method to illuminate the fight out of the darkness and to a world fit for humanity.

¡Adelanté!

Andy Zee
Spokesperson
Revolution Books

437 Malcolm X Blvd.
Harlem, NY 10037

PS: Join us for wine and cheese Fridays at RB and give a book to and open the world for someone you care about.

Donate generously to Revolution Books HERE


Andy Zee and author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o at Revolution Books

437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave.
212-691-3345
revbooksnyc@yahoo.com
revolutionbooksnyc.org

 

 

 

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

Watch This: "What if..."

| revcom.us

 

To Revcom,

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

Andy Zee

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

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/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.

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/bob-avakian-individualism-beb-and-the-illusion-of-painless-progress-en.html

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

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

| revcom.us

 

Note Added by the Author, Fall 2019

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

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

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

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

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

~~~~~~~~~~

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Fascists and Communists:
Completely Opposed and Worlds Apart

By Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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.

 

 


 

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

| revcom.us

 

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

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

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

The second theme is the critical role of revolutionary theory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Revolutionary Theory

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE NEW COMMUNISM

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

Download PDF of book here

Read more

Breakthroughs —

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

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

 

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Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian

August 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

April 22, 2019. This article was originally published in 2014. We believe that it is particularly timely now to either return to this or, for those who have not read it before, to read it for the first time.

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/avakian/film-trump-pence-regime-must-go/bob_avakian-the-great-tautological-fallacy-en.html

The Great Tautological Fallacy

Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

In confronting and moving to prevent [the full imposition of fascism], 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.

The following is from the 2017 speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible. The full speech, and other of Bob Avakian's works, can be accessed at www.revcom.us. Bob Avakian has brought forward the new communism and leads the movement for revolution in the U.S.

 

In confronting and moving to prevent [the full imposition of fascism], 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. This is a poison infecting people broadly in this country, even among the bitterly oppressed, and there is a great need for people to break with this American chauvinism. Free yourself from the GTF!— the Great Tautological Fallacy. A fallacy: an idea, or a way of thinking, that is false, wrong. A tautology: a round-in-a-circle way of reasoning that asserts something and then claims to prove it by merely asserting the same thing again. So, the Great Tautological Fallacy to which I am referring is the notion that America is a force for good in the world, and therefore whatever it does is good (or at least done with “good intentions”), even if the same thing when done by other forces, especially forces opposed to “us,” is bad, is evil—because... because America is a force for good in the world. Thus, in the grip of the Great Tautological Fallacy, when one is told by the authorities in government and the media, etc., that North Korea developing a small number of nuclear weapons and a few long-range ballistic missiles poses a “grave threat,” one does not question, one does not ask why that is a “grave threat,” while the only country ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States, having thousands of nuclear weapons and  the capability to use them, anywhere in the world, is somehow not a grave threat. Under the influence of the Great Tautological Fallacy, one does not stop to think about the fact that, in this situation, North Korea could only be developing this weaponry as an attempt to deter an attack from the United States—for North Korea’s leaders know that if they initiated an attack, they would face massive, overwhelming retaliation—and from the point of view of the imperial rulers of the United States, such a possibility of deterrence is precisely the problem, because it could in some measure limit the ability of the U.S. to dominate and dictate.

Here is another example: Recently, Chelsea Manning, a former soldier, who took great risk and spent years in prison for exposing, among other things, war crimes by the U.S. military in Iraq, was extended an invitation to be a lecturer in an academic program at Harvard University. But then, when some government officials and others, including Mike Pompeo, objected and threatened to pull out of the program, Harvard disinvited Manning. Well, who is Mike Pompeo? He is the head of the CIA—an “intelligence” arm of the U.S. government which, without exaggeration, is an instrument of murder on a mass scale. Going back to the 1950s, and through succeeding decades,  the CIA has worked through right-wing butchers, in countries such as Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Indonesia, and many others, to pull off coups that have removed popular governments from power and replaced them with murderous reactionary dictatorships. More than a million people have been slaughtered as a result of these actions by the CIA. But, through the lens of the Great Tautological Fallacy, the head of the CIA is a respected figure, and his denunciations of Chelsea Manning can cause Manning to be ousted from the program to which she was invited at Harvard.

Of great help in casting off the Great Tautological Fallacy is the “American Crime” series that appears regularly on revcom.us—where you can get a beginning sense of the scope and the depth of the atrocities that have been carried out, here and all over the world, by the rulers of this country, from the beginning and down to today.

But from childhood we are indoctrinated with the notion that America is a shining light of freedom, and the President of the United States is “the leader of the free world.” Well, when has this been true? Was it true during all the years of slavery? Or during the long years of Jim Crow segregation after the Civil War, when thousands of Black people were lynched while leering mobs of white racists celebrated, and Black people as a whole were subjected to constant terror? Is this a shining light of freedom now, when Black people have to take to the streets demanding “Stop Killing Us!” because the police kill a thousand people every year, many of them unarmed, especially Black people, Latinos, and Native Americans? When millions of women are battered and huge numbers are raped every year in this country, is this a shining light to the world? And what is this “free world"? Does it include the countries where the U.S. has backed and armed military juntas and other oppressive dictatorships, with their bloodthirsty death squads terrorizing the people, over the last 100 years and more, throughout Latin America and many other parts of the world? Does it include today countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey—all “allies” of the U.S. and all ruled by brutally repressive governments? Or what about the Philippines, where the government has carried out the cold-blooded murder of more than 10,000 people within the last year, and the head of state, Duterte, openly boasts of this? Does the “free world” include Israel, a nuclear-armed state that has occupied Palestinian land, in flagrant violation of UN resolutions, for 50 years, and forcibly maintains over a million Palestinian people in Gaza in what amounts to an open-air prison, living barely above survival level, and subject to repeated bombardment by Israeli armed forces, which in 2014, with full support from the U.S. government (headed then by Obama), killed over 2000 people in Gaza, the overwhelming majority civilians, hundreds of them children? Is all this the “free world” of which the U.S. is the leader? Once you remove the blinders of the Great Tautological Fallacy, it can be seen that the “free world” simply means those parts of the world that are under the domination of, or are “friendly” to, the United States, no matter how monstrous their ruling classes may be, while the “non-free world” is made up of those who remain outside of, and especially those who pose opposition or obstacles to, the domination of the U.S. empire.

The U.S. government wages war in Africa and Asia, as well as the Middle East, claiming it is fighting to defend civilization against the brutal and murderous Islamic fundamentalist jihadists. But the imperialists of the U.S. are certainly no less brutal and murderous, and the “civilization” they boast of is literally built on the blood and bones of people all over the world. And why is this Islamic fundamentalism such a force now? Fundamentally because of the workings of capitalist imperialism itself. Besides the overall role of imperialism in creating more favorable soil for these Islamic fundamentalists, actions of the U.S. imperialists have further fed their growth.

In the 1980s the U.S. actually armed and built up Osama bin Laden and other Islamic fundamentalists to strike at the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

In 2003, in violation of international law, the U.S. invaded Iraq to overthrow the head of government there, Saddam Hussein. This invasion was carried out under the cover of lies that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. This invasion, and the occupation of Iraq by American forces that followed, caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, set off bloody conflicts among the Iraqi people and created more fertile ground for Islamic fundamentalist forces.

And the same thing happened in Libya. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, and with the insistent urging of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. intervened in a conflict within Libya on the side of forces opposed to the long-time ruler Muammar Qaddafi. With the fall of Qaddafi—which was brought about mainly as a result of massive bombing of his forces by the U.S. and its allies—the rivalries and conflicts within Libya were intensified, and Islamic fundamentalist forces gained strength.

Or take the case of Iran. In 1953 the CIA engineered a coup that overthrew a popular government that was moving to nationalize the oil of the country, so that it could be used for the development of its economy, instead of being controlled and plundered by the U.S. and Britain. This coup brought the Shah of Iran to power, and the people of Iran suffered decades of torment and torture at the hands of the Shah and his secret police. And, here again, these actions of the U.S. created more favorable ground for the forces of Islamic fundamentalism, which ultimately seized power through the revolution that overthrew the Shah in 1979.

These are only a few examples of the American crimes that have been committed, and the kinds of consequences that have followed from these crimes, in countries all over the world. And all this underlines the crucial importance of casting off the blinders of the Great Tautological Fallacy and breaking with American chauvinism. We need to think about humanity, first and above all.

During the 1960s, a whole generation (or a large and defining part of that generation) broke with American chauvinism, cast off the Great Tautological Fallacy and, at the cost of real sacrifice, dared to stand up against the atrocities committed, here and throughout the world, by the rulers of this country, and fight for a better world. Unfortunately, all too many (though not all!) of that generation have become disoriented and have allowed themselves to become, as the French say, “récupéré”—that is, they have come  back under the wing of the ruling class, in particular its “liberal” representatives in the Democratic Party, and have far too much accepted things on the terms of a system they once, very rightly, recognized as viciously criminal. But now, when the workings of this system have brought this fascist regime to power, there is, more than ever, a profound and urgent need for people, of all generations, to finally and thoroughly break with American chauvinism, and act in the interests of humanity.

 

Bob Avakian has brought forward the new communism and leads the movement for revolution in the U.S. The above is from his 2017 speech, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America: A Better World IS Possible. The video of the whole speech and this excerpt in particular is available online at www.revcom.us.

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

 

 

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/outnow-an-invitation-and-challenge-en.html

Trump and Pence #OUTNOW!
An Invitation and Challenge to Everyone In the Streets Today for the Women's March

| revcom.us

 

Editors' note: This message and leaflet is intended to reach the participants in the Women's March on Saturday, January 18, 2020. We call on our readers to print and distribute this message.

We are at a crucial crossroads. What we decide to do can determine the future.

Trump has been impeached and faces a Senate trial over removal, widening divides throughout society. Now is the time for determined struggle by the people to go all the way to demand: Trump/Pence #OUTNOW!

Trump carries out a brazen war crime by assassinating a high-ranking official of Iran, threatening more. He reminds the world that a dangerous bully heading a fascist regime has an itchy Twitter-finger on the nuclear button. The danger of all-out war remains even as Trump’s sanctions intensify the suffering of the Iranian people.

EVERY DAY THAT THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME REMAINS IN POWER THREATENS THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE PLANET.

Concentration camps on the border... environmental devastation accelerated... war, even nuclear war, threatened... white supremacist rule... 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 being stripped away... THIS IS FASCISM UNFOLDING AND IN POWER.

Everyone with a conscience must face this hard truth. But that is not enough—we must ACT ON IT.

Look around today—at all of us marching, across the country. The deep yearning to see Trump removed from power visible on our signs, our faces, and in peoples’ hearts. To see the nightmare he represents in the rearview of history.

OUR power is the power of the people acting with determination in the streets. But not by protesting one day and going home. We must flood the streets in mass, sustained, nonviolent protest, with people of many different points of view acting together to stop a catastrophe for humanity. Starting in our hundreds, soon becoming thousands, and ultimately millions! Refusing to stop until the whole Trump/Pence regime, including the Christian fascist Pence, has been removed from power! All, with the single unifying demand: Trump/Pence #OUTNOW!

Especially now, this could intensify the kind of political crisis in this country that compels the removal of the regime. The impeachment of Trump is a real advance. The cracks and strains in our political class are sharper and visible. People are restive with dread and hope. Now is a moment to seize—building mass, sustained, nonviolent protest demanding the removal of the whole regime.

This is the example of people all over the world taking to the street against hated regimes. We should do no less!

We must not return to business-as-usual. We must not repeat the pattern of the last three years where righteous protest against each new atrocity was followed by a return to normalcy as fascism advanced. Nor can we rely on the 2020 election. An election which is likely neither to be “fair” nor whose verdicts will necessarily be honored by Trump. His threats to “lock up” political rivals, massive voter suppression and the racist Electoral College are real. In addition to horrors Trump inflicts on humanity in the time between now and the elections, we cannot gamble the future on Trump’s willingness to peacefully leave office even if voted out.

These are not “normal” times. This is not a “normal” President and regime. The “normal” channels of redress will not suffice, especially as Trump and his regime shred them apart. But there are deep cracks throughout all of society, including among the powers that be.

URGENTLY what is needed and possible NOW: A different kind of protest... Sustained and growing, each week making advances and becoming a magnetic force for all who increasingly feel the Trump/Pence regime represents an existential danger and threat to humanity. #OUTNOW! is a single unifying demand that everyone can take up, across different perspectives, geographies and righteous streams of struggleand be out in the streets. Together, let’s turn dread and fear of the future into a force for hope.

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

Trump/Pence #OUTNOW!

RefuseFascism.org

@refusefascism.org

917-407-1286

Donate via Venmo:
@Refuse-Fascism


January 11, New York City

Together, at this crucial crossroads, we must build a broad-based #OUTNOW! Movement to advance this great cause.

Join the Refuse Fascism #OutNOW team in Washington DC during the impeachment trial.
Volunteer at RefuseFascism.org.

Weekend of January 18-20: Join in bringing the #OutNOW demand & program into Martin Luther King holiday events.

Saturday January 25: Bring #OUTNOW into mass protests against U.S. war on Iran.

Sunday January 26: Mass meetings to wrestle with and make plans for how to put #OUTNOW on the map on a whole new level.

See RefuseFascism.org and follow @RefuseFascism for events nationwide.

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/630/january-18-in-dc-and-nationwide-bring-outnow-to-the-womens-marches-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

January 18, In DC and Nationwide: Bring #OUTNOW! to the Women's Marches

| revcom.us

 

Bring #OUTNOW Into Women's Marches —
Times & Places to connect with #OUTNOW contingents around the country:

  • IN DC: 9:00 am contingent gathers 11:00 am march 14th Street NW & Pennsylvania Avenue Facebook event
  • Boston: 2:00 - 4:00 pm Harvard Square Cambridge MA
  • Chicago: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Michigan & Jackson Blvd. Facebook event
  • Cleveland: 10:30 am - 2:00 pm Cleveland City Hall
  • Detroit / Ann Arbor / Lansing: 1:00 pm Reutter Park corner W. Kalamazoo & Townsend Streets, Lansing
  • Honolulu: 5:30-6:30pm Gather in front of Honolulu Zoo
  • Los Angeles: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm 4th Street & Hill (downtown LA) Facebook event
  • New York: 10:00 am nw corner 7th Avenue & Cental Park South (59th Street)
  • Philadelphia: 9:30 am 18th & Race Facebook event
  • Washington DC: 9:00 am contingent gathers 11:00 am march 14th Street NW & Pennsylvania Avenue Facebook event

 

 

Funds urgently needed each month to maintain, upgrade, and expand revcom.us.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

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

 

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